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How to Play Flag Football

How to Play Flag Football

Unlike the traditional forms of American and Canadian football, game of flag football is played with flag belts tied to the waist. A general idea of how to play flag football can be obtained through facts presented below.
SportsAspire Staff
In the game of flag football, you don't have to handle the opponent physically. Just pulling the flag would suffice. In some instances, belts are used instead of flags. These flags are attached around the waist of players. Before getting into the details of how to play flag football, let us understand the basic rules and regulations. Dimensions of the field used for flag football are 70 (yards) x 30 (yards). The length of end zone which takes up 10 yards on each side of the field is not included in the specifications given above. Minimum number of players in a team playing flag football is 5. Generally, there are 7 players in a team. The game of flag football lasts for 44 minutes. It is divided into halves of 22 minutes each.

Learn How to Play Flag Football
There are many different aspects of a game that you need to consider while learning. The explanation presented below takes into account the factors like scoring, playing techniques and the basic rules of this game.

Scoring
Six points are awarded to a team that scores a touchdown. A touchdown is the action in which the offensive team is successful in taking football to the end zone of the defensive team. Two safety points are awarded to the defensive team if their players are able to tackle offensive team players in the latter's end zone. Along with 2 points, the defensive team also gets the advantage to kickoff from the 14-yard line of their own area.

The Game
The toss determines which team is going to play offensive. Play starts with the ball placed on the 5-yard line of the offensive team's area. Unlike in the traditional game of football, flag football doesn't start with a kickoff. Let us have a look at how this game is played.

The offensive team has three chances of crossing the midfield area and entering that of the opposing team. If the offensive team is unable to cross the midfield in 3 chances, they lose possession of ball; the ball is then handed over to the defensive which turns offensive. However, if the offensive team successfully crosses the midfield area, it gets 3 more opportunities to score a touchdown. Inability to do so, results into switching of possession of ball.

Down Rule
The period starting from the point when ball is put into play to the point when ball becomes dead is known as down. The ball is called 'dead' if the flag of player carrying it is pulled and/or he goes out-of-bounds.

The characteristic feature of flag football is that players have to wear flags around their waist. A flag of that player who is in possession of the ball is pulled. The player in possession of ball is considered as down if the opponents pull his flag.

Passes and Interceptions
The forward and backward passes in football are bound by the following rules. Offensive team is allowed a forward pass only from the line of scrimmage. This line is not marked on the field. Instead, it is an imaginary line drawn from the point where ball is placed on the field after a recently concluded play; the line of scrimmage is parallel to the width of football ground. Once the players from offensive team pass the line of scrimmage, they cannot make a forward pass. In case the forward pass is intercepted by a player from the defensive team, possession of ball goes to the latter.

The backward pass is also referred to as a snap. This pass is made between the legs and need to be done quickly. The snap is used to start the game of football. No player can move from his position until a snap is made. After learning about all the rules and regulations, you would also like to know something about the important plays.

Important Flag Football Rules
The flag belt plays an important role in this sport. It is therefore, necessary to know the flag football rules pertaining to the belt in order to play this game correctly.
  • Players cannot guard their flag belts.
  • Flag of a player can be pulled only if he possesses the ball.
  • The shirt needs to be tucked in so that flag is clearly visible.
  • If a player pulls the flag of an opponent who is not in possession of ball, the former is fined with a 10-yard penalty.
Playing flag football can be a nice change from the regular football game. Basics of the flag football give us an overview of rules & regulations and important facts about how to play this game.
Woman Flag Football Player Practices Technique
Female Flag Football Player Catches A Pass