/ Intramurals

Men's Flag Football Rules

Minimum roster size: 5
Maximum roster size: 10

A team shall consist of a maximum of five players or a minimum of four.

Coin Toss: Before the start of the game, the IM supervisor will toss a coin in the presence of opposing captains, after first designating which captain shall call the fall of the coin. The captain winning the toss shall choose one of the following options:

  • Offense
  • Defense
  • To designate which goal his team will defend
  • To defer the choice of the above options to begin the second half

Length of field: 50 yards: two 25-yard halves with two 5-yard end zones

Length of game: Two 18-minute halves with a 5-minute halftime. During each half, the first 16 minutes is running time.

  • A two-minute verbal warning is given by theIM worker. During the final two minutes of each half, the clock will be stopped any time the play is dead. There is a dead ball when there is an:
    • Incomplete pass
    • First down
    • Touchdown
    • Turnover
    • Player goes out of bounds
    • Timeout
  • In the final minute of the game, the clock will be stopped for each sack, as well, only in the last minute of the second half.
  • The clock will continue to run on completed passes that do not result in a first down.

Possession: Each team is given four downs to advance the ball over the center line. If this is achieved, four additional downs are given to score.

Timeouts: Two one-minute timeouts per half per team (not accumulative).



At the beginning of each half and after touchdowns or safeties, kickoff from the 10-yard line by a place kick. The kicking team must stay behind the 10-yard line until the ball is kicked. The receiving team must have a minimum of four receivers behind the center line. 

On the kickoff, a ball that hits the ground before someone touches is not live; the play is dead.

Intentional short kicks are not allowed. The ball must clear the center line, and if it doesn't, the ball will be given to the opposing team one yard before the center line, giving them the chance for a first down upon crossing the center line.


Before the down, the offensive team must inform their opponents of the intention to punt.

A ball kicked past the center line, but out-of-bounds is either a foul (penalty: five yards from kick) or rekicked. The receiving team has the choice of which penalty will be enforced. If it is kicked out of bounds before passing the center line, the opposing team will have the ball one yard before the center line, giving them the chance for a first down upon crossing the center line.

Following a touchback, the ball is placed at the 10-yard line.

A muffed catch (touched ball not caught) is marked dead on that spot.


There is no rushing of the quarterback. The quarterback may not run with the ball nor hand off to a running back. Passing is the only component of offense. A pass must cross the line of scrimmage to be good. Lateral passes are allowed, as in regular football. The person receiving the lateral must be behind the person with the ball. And someone receiving a lateral behind the line of scrimmage may pass the ball.

The quarterback must pass the ball within seven seconds (one thousand 1, one thousand 2...one thousand 7). The seven seconds will be called out by the IM worker(s). If the pass is not off in that time, it is an automatic sack and loss of down. You have until "one thousand 7" to make the pass.

  • A defensive team must have a minimum of three players on the line of scrimmage.
  • The offensive line players must remain stationary for one second prior to the snap.
  • The player receiving the snap may be no more than two yards from the line of scrimmage.
  • If a snap hits the ground, it is dead.


All players are eligible to catch a pass. One foot must come down inbounds for a completed pass to be ruled good.

Pass Interference

  • Pass interference will be penalized with a first down. Pass interference constitutes an obvious attempt to impede (such as hands on the face).
  • The ball must cross the line of scrimmage for pass interference to be called.


No blocking with the hands, arms or legs is permitted. Incidental bumping may occur, but no contact can be made with the arms or hands unless it is an obvious attempt to deflag an opponent. Should any player gain an advantage by use of the hands, a penalty will be assessed (penalty: personal foul, 10 yards).

Setting picks downfield is illegal. Screen blocking, near the line of scrimmage, is legal as long as arms and hands are held at the players' sides or behind their backs.

Ball carrier restrictions

It is a penalty for the ball carrier to stiff arm, charge into, drop a shoulder, knee or try to knock over a defensive player at any time (penalty: personal foul, 10 yards. The player will be ejected if flagrant). This is judged like a block/charge foul in basketball. Spinning and diving is legal. However, the ball carrier must be in control of his/her body at all times.

If a fumble occurs and is recovered by the team that had the ball, it is a dead ball at the spot of the fumble and results in a loss of that down. If a fumble occurs and it is recovered by the opposing team, it is a dead ball and that team takes possession of the ball at the spot of the fumble. If the ball is stripped and does not touch the ground, but is recovered by the other team, it is live and they may legally advance the ball.


The flag belt must be worn legally attached. The ball is spotted at the point of the ball when de-flagged, not the end point of the dropped flag, nor the spot of the person.

It is a foul for a defensive player to tackle, trip, push, shove or elbow the ball carrier or blocker. The runner's forward progress may not be impeded in any way (penalty: personal foul, 10 yards, and/or, the offender shall be disqualified).

A ball carrier who has fallen to the ground with a knee down, even though not legally deflagged, is down; the play has ended. Also, if the ball touch the ground while in the grasp of a player, the play has ended.

  • If a player's flag has fallen off accidentally during the course of play and becomes the ball carrier, that player must be touched with two-hands to be considered officially deflagged.


If the defensive team commits a foul so near its goal line that they can be penalized only by halving the distance to the goal line, the object being (in the opinion of the supervisors) to consume time, it shall be regarded as a refusal to allow play to proceed. In that event, the referee shall warn the offending team once, and then if the offense is repeated, it is in the supervisors' power to award a touchdown.


  • Touchdown: 6 points
  • Safety: 2 points
  • PAT: 1 or 2 points

A player scoring a touchdown must be able to legally detach his belt and show the IM supervisor.

Mercy Rule:

If a team is 17 or more points ahead when the 2-minute warning is announced for the second half, the game shall be over.

Point After (PAT):

The ball is placed three yards from the goal for one point or 10 yards for two points. The team gets one chance to advance the ball for a PAT with a pass. A PAT attempt can not be run back for points if the ball is intercepted or recovered by the defensive team. The ball would then be dead on a turnover during a PAT.


If the game ends in a tie, each team shall have one series of four downs to score from the 10-yard line. If successful, the PAT may then be attempted. If the game is still tied after the first extra set of downs, this ends the first overtime. A second set of extra down is then awarded to each team. The game is scored a tie if the score remains tied after two overtimes in regular season. In the playoffs, the set of overtime downs will continue until a winner is determined.

Sportsmanship Rules

IM  sportsmanship rules will be strictly enforced. Rosters will be checked regularly. Unsportsmanlike action will not be tolerated.

  • One no show will put your team on probation. Once on probation, either one additional no show or one forfeit will remove your team from competition.
  • Additional players may be added up to game time on the day of your scheduled event using the roster addition form. Email intramurals@hope.edu with questions.
  • Check the IM website homepage to learn of cancellations due to rain.