Flag football is gaining popularity as an alternative to mainstream football. This variant of football helps you stay fit, and it also lets you enjoy the experience of playing football that involves less tackling. But, before playing any sport, it is necessary to know the rules of he game.
One of the major differences in regular football and flag football is that, in flag football there is no kick off, and it can be played with a maximum 9 players in each team.
The field used for flag football measures eighty yards in length, and it is divided into four 20-yard zones. It can either be of standard width, which is 53 yards, or even as narrow as 25 yards. At each end of the field, there is a 10-yard end zone. That's where the scoring takes place. There may not be a goalpost in an end zone in flag football.
The Game Play
The team which is in possession of the ball gets four attempts, called downs, for moving the ball across one 20-yard zone. Simply put, rushing, running with the ball, or passing to cross the goal line for a touchdown is the main objective of the game, as done in traditional American football. If a team succeeds in doing that, they get four more downs. On failing to move the ball, the other team gets possession of the ball.
Also, flag football considers the ball 'dead' in case the carrier drops it or fumbles. The ball is declared dead when it goes out-of-bounds, when there is an incomplete pass, or if any part of the player's body, other than his hands and feet, come in contact with the ground. Consequently, possession goes to the opposing team. Players are also allowed to score by kicking the ball through the goalposts. This is called a field goal.
Scoring is almost the same as traditional football. A touchdown gets a team 6 points, when a team in possession moves the ball across the goal line of the opponent. After this attempt, when the players follow with the touchdown, also called point of attempt, they get a couple or 1 point. Added to that, a safety is scored by a team when a defender downs the ball carrier. The ball carrier, though, has to be in the ball carrier's end zone for attempting a down. A field goal refers to a kick through the opponent's goalpost, that takes place during a series of downs. This gets a team 3 points, if successful.
Last but not the least, penalties for rule violations are awarded to all players. Even players on offense are eligible to receive penalties. A minimum of four players are required on the offensive line for beginning each play. Failure to have the required number of players results in a 5-yard penalty. In other cases, blocking is permitted, but blockers should have both feet on the ground before, during, and after contact with a player from the opposite team. A 10-yard penalty is awarded if this rule is violated.
As you can see, the rules of flag football are not too tough to understand. These were the basic rules, though. If you are training under a coach, he will tell you where the catch lies in each of these rules, and the other intricacies involved.