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WSR Youth Sports

Flag Football Rules

7 Man Screen Program

Section 1 – The Game (Basic rules of 7 Man Screen):

Article 1 – Playing Rules Can Be Modified: Any rule found in this book may be altered to suit the needs of the 7 Man Screen Program.  The U.S.F.T.L. recommends using the Official Rule Book as closely as possible for the following reasons:

A.     All rules are subject to U.S.F.T.L. Tournament and League Director’s discretion.
B.     For a better understanding of all the rules of 7 Man Screen Flag football.
C.     For uniformity in playing rules so that different areas of the United Sates can compete against one another in a safe and fair manner.

Article 2 – Coin Toss

A.     A coin toss shall begin each game. The captain winning the toss shall choose one of the following options:
1.     Offense
2.     Defense
3.     Designate which goal his team will defend.
4.     Defer choice to the second half.
B.     Loser of the coin toss shall make a choice of the remaining options.
C.     Before the start if the second half, the choice of options shall be reversed.

Article 3 – Possessions:

A.     No Kick-Offs – Game will begin with offensive team starting at the 5 yard line, Zone-Line-to-Gain.  Touchbacks and Safeties will be placed at the 5 yard line.
B.     First Downs – are achieved by crossing midfield. A team shall have 4 downs to advance to the next Zone-Line-to-Gain.
C.     All players must start with their flag belts on.  If a player starts with-out his flag belt properly secured with all flags attached, his team will be assessed a 5 yard penalty.
D.    On interceptions, the Intercepting team will take possession where they are deflagged after the interception. Interceptions can be returned out of the end zone and can be returned for touchdowns.

Penalties on interceptions will be assessed where the interception occurred.

EXCEPTION: If the referee judges that a player intentionally or flagrantly commits a penalty then the penalty will be at the point of the foul, no less than the point of interception. 

Article 4 – Snaps: Ball must be snapped between the legs or from the side to start play. Direct snaps are not legal.  The snap must be received at least 1 yard behind the Center.

Article 5 – Huddle Clock – Each time the ball is spotted, a team has 40 seconds to snap the ball.

Article 6 – Screen Blocking:

A.     Screen blocking is legally obstructing an opponent without contacting him with any part of the screen blocker’s body.  The offensive screen block shall take place without contact.  The screen blocker shall have his hands and arms at his side or behind his back.  Any use of the arms, elbows or legs to initiate contact during an offensive player’s screen block is illegal.  A blocker may use his hand or arm to break a fall or to retain his balance.  A player must be on his feet before, during and after screen blocking.
B.     Screen Blocking Fundamentals – A player who screens shall not:
1.     When he is behind a stationary opponent, take a position closer than a normal step from him.
2.     When he assumes a position at the side or in front of a stationary opponent, make contact with him.
3.     Take a position so close to a moving opponent that his opponent cannot avoid contact by stopping or changing direction.  The speed of the player to be screened will determine where the screener may take his stationary position.  The position will vary and may be one or two normal steps or strides from the opponent. 
4.     After assuming his legal screening position, move to maintain it, unless he moves in the same direction and path as his opponent.  If the screener violates any of these provisions, and contact results, he has committed a person foul.
C.     Blocking and Interlocked Interference – Teammates of a runner or passer may interfere for him by screen blocking, but shall not use interlocked interference by grasping or encircling one another in any manner.
D.    Use of Hands or Arms by the Defense – Defense players must go around the offensive player’s screen block.  The arms and hands may not be used as a wedge to contact the opponent.  The application of this rule depends entirely on the judgment of the Official.  A blocker may use his arms or hands to break a fall or retain balance.

Penalty: Personal Foul (S38)

Section 2 – The field size (see attachment)

Article 1- Field Dimensions:

Abbreviated Field:

A. Field Size – 30 yards in width x 50 yards in length.
B. End Zones – (2) 7 yard end zones

Article 2 – Out of Bounds:  Stepping on the boundary line is considered out of bounds.

Section 3 – The Players:

Article 1 – Roster Size

A. Teams consist of a total of specified players on the roster set by the league.
B. A player may only appear on 1 roster.  NO EXCEPTIONS, even if the other team approves it.  If a player found playing on a team illegally, the team will forfeit the game in which the illegal player participated.

Article 2 – Number of Players on the Field: 7 players on the field at a time.

Article 3 – Forfeits:  To avoid a forfeit, you must have at least 5 players to begin the game.  Game time is forfeit time.

Section 4 – Equipment:

Article 1 – The Ball Size: 5-6/7-8:  Junior. 9-13: Regulation.

Article 2- The Flags:  All flags used in the 7 MAN SCREEN Program shall be an Officially Licensed Flag of the U.S.F.T.L.

Article 3 – Shoes: Cleats are allowed but they must be rubber.  No metal spikes are allowed.  Screw-in cleats are allowed if the screw is part of the cleat.  Inspections will be made.  Tennis shoes are permitted. 

Article 4 – Jerseys:  All jerseys shall be tucked in the pants or shorts.  No waist length or half jerseys allowed.

Article 5 – Mouthpiece:  All players must wear a protective mouthpiece.

Article 6- Optional Protective Wear: - Players may tape their forearms, hands and fingers.  Players may wear gloves, elbow pads and knee pads.  Braces with exposed metal are not allowed and must be taped.  All protective wear must be approved by game officials prior to game time.

Article 7 – Jewelry: Players must remove all watches, earrings or any other jewelry that officials deem hazardous. 

Article 8 – Shorts/Pants:  Pants or shorts shall not have pockets or have any red or yellow markings.

**MOUTH PIECES ARE MANDATORY 100% of the time to include practices.

NOTE: Referees will check each team before the game to confirm mouthpieces and no pockets.

Section 5 – Timing & Overtime:

Article 1 – Game Length:

A. Regulation Time – 40 minute game length – (2) 20 minute halves with a running clock.  The clock stops only for time outs.
B. Two Minute Warning (2nd Half Only) – When there are 2 minutes left in the 2nd half, the game clock shall stop for incomplete passes, out-of- bounds, time outs and scores (clock starts on snap), and change of possessions, penalties and first downs (clock starts on the ready for play whistle).

Article 2 – Halftime: 5 minutes.

Article 3- Huddle Clock: Each time the ball is spotted, a team has 40 seconds to snap the ball.  Teams will receive one warning before a Delay of Game Penalty is enforced.

Article 4 – Time Outs:  

A. Each team has (2) 30 second time outs per half.
B. Each team has (1) 30 second time out per overtime period.
C. Officials can stop the clock at their discretion.
D. In the event of an injury, the clock will stop than restart when the injured player is removed from the field of play. 

Article 5 – Overtime: No overtime

Section 6 – Scoring:

Article 1 – Scoring Values:

A. Touchdown = 6 points
B. Extra Point = 1 point (3 yard line – pass or run)
                     2 points (5 yard line – pass or run)
NOTE: A team that scores a touchdown must declare whether it wishes to attempt a 1 or 2 point conversion.  Any change, once a decision is made to try for the extra point, requires a charged time out.  Decisions cannot be changed after a penalty.
C. Interceptions on returned extra points are worth the value of the attempted extra point (1, 2.
D. Safety = 2 points

Article 2 – Mercy Rule:

A. Two Minute Warning – If a team is ahead by 17 points or more when the referee announces the Two Minute Warning for the second half, the game shall be over.
B. After the Two Minute Warning – If a team scores during the last two minutes of the second half and the score creates a point differential of 17 or more, the game shall end at that point.

Section 7- Live Ball and Dead Ball:

Article 1 – Live Ball:

A. The ball is live at the snap and remains live until the Official whistles the ball dead.
B. One foot inbounds for Legal Catch: A player who gains possession in the air is considered in-bounds as long as one foot comes down in the field of play.
C. Imitating Offensive Signals – The defense may not imitate the offensive team’s signals by trying to confuse the offensive players while the Quarterback is calling out signals to start the play.  This will result in an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty (S27)

Article 2 – Dead Ball:

A. The ball is ruled dead when:
1. A snap to a Quarterback hits the ground.
2. A fumble hits the ground (no fumble recoveries allowed).  
3. A ball carrier’s knee touches the ground
4. A ball carrier steps out of bounds
5
. A ball carrier’s flags are legally removed
NOTE: If a ball carrier’s flags fall off inadvertently, play shall revert to a one hand touch between the shoulder and knees.
6. If no flags are worn at the time of the snap, play reverts to a one hand ouch.
PENALTY: failure to wear proper equipment (S23)
7. A touchdown, point after or safety is scored.
8. Any Official can whistle the play dead.
9. Substitutions may be made on any dead ball.B.     The Official will indicate the Neutral Zone and Line of Scrimmage. It is an automatic dead ball foul if any player on offense or defense enter the Neutral Zone.  In regards to the Neutral Zone, the Official may give both teams a courtesy Neutral Zone notification to allow their players to move back behind the Line of Scrimmage.

NOTE:

  1. There are no fumbles. The ball is spotted where the ball hit the ground.
  2. The ball will be spotted wherever the ball was at the time of a flag pull.

Section 8 – Running:

Running Plays:

A. The ball will be spotted wherever the ball was at the time of a flag pull.
B. The Quarterback MAY run with the ball at any time.
C. The offense may use multiple handoffs.
1. “Center Sneak” Play – The ball must completely leave the center’s hands on the snap and he must step backwards off the Line of Scrimmage in order to receive a direct handoff from the Quarterback before advancing the ball.
D. Laterals and pitches ARE allowed anywhere on the field.
E. Only two defensive players are eligible to rush at the snap.
F. Runners may not leave their feet (diving) to advance the ball.
G. Spinning is allowed. Lateral moves to the left or right are permitted.
H. Runners may leave their feet if there is a clear indication that he has done so to avoid collision with another player without a flag guarding penalty enforced.
I. NO CONTACT – SCREEN BLOCKING ONLY IS ALLOWED.
J. Downfield Blocking – Screen blocking for the ball carrier is allowed downfield but must be a set block.
K. Flag Obstruction – All jerseys MUST be tucked in before play begins. The flags must be on the player’s hips and free from obstruction.  Deliberately obstructed flags will be considered flag guarding.

Section 9 – Passing:

Passing Plays:

A. Backward passes and laterals ARE allowed.
B. Only one forward pass per down.
C. If a passer crosses the Line of Scrimmage and comes back behind the Line of Scrimmage and throws a pass, it is an illegal forward pass.
D. Interceptions change the possession of the ball at the point of interception.  Interceptions may be returned.
E. Intentional Grounding – A passer many not intentionally throw the ball into the ground to avoid a loss of yardage.
EXCEPTION:  In the last 2 minutes of each half, a passer may throw the ball into the ground to stop the clock and conserve time for his team.  This play is legal, provided the passer is not trying to avoid a loss of yardage.

Section 10- Receiving:

Receiving Plays:

A. All players are eligible to receive passes.
B. No contact allowed on the Center or Receivers on offense. 
C. Only one player is allowed in motion at a time.  All motion must be parallel to the Line of Scrimmage and no motion is permitted to wards the Line of Scrimmage.
D. A player must have at least 1 foot in-bounds to make a legal reception.
E. In the case of simultaneous possession by both an offensive and defensive player, possession is awarded to the offense. 

Section 11 – Kicking (The Kicking Game):

Article 1 – Kick Off (Free Kick)

A. No kick-offs – place the ball on 5 yard line after a touchdown or field goal.
B. Safety – Place ball on 5 yard line.

Article 2 – Extra Points (Try-For-Point):

A. 1 point = 3 yard line – pass or kick
2 points = 10 yard line – run, pass, or kick
B. Change Point choice - You may only change your extra point choice by calling a time out.
C. Next Play – After an extra point, the next play shall be FROM 5 YARD LINE.

Article 5 – the Onside Kick/Turnover Rule (Time Preservation Rule):  There is no on-side kick allowed.

Section 12 – Rushing the Passer:

Rushing Plays:

A. Restraining Line (Rush) – Defensive players who rush the passer will line up on the restraining line, located 7 yards off the Line of Scrimmage, when the ball is snapped.  If the line of scrimmage is 7 yards or less from the goal line the rushers must be on the goal line to start.  Any two players can rush the Quarterback at the snap.
B. Defensive players who will not rush must be 1 yard off the line of scrimmage.   
C. A ball spotter shall be used to mark the Line of Scrimmage.
D. Players rushing the Quarterback may attempt to block a pass, however, NO contact can be made with the Quarterback in any way. Blocking the pass or attempting to block the pass and then making contact with the passer will result in a roughing the Passer penalty. Players must go for the Quarterback’s flag.
E. A sack occurs if the Quarterback’s flags are pulled behind the Line of Scrimmage.  The ball is placed where the ball is at when the flag is pulled.  A safety is awarded if the sack takes place in the offensive team’s end zone.

Section 13 – Flag Pulling:

De-Flagging: De-flagging is the legal removal of a flag from an opponent in possession of the ball.  Pushing, striking, holding, slapping or tripping when attempting to pull a flag is not permitted.  Defensive players may leave their feet to pull a flag.  Offensive player are not permitted to protect or guard their flags.

A. A legal flag pull takes place when the ball carrier is in full possession of the ball.
B. Defenders can dive to pull flags but cannot tackle, hold or run thought the ball carrier when pulling flags.
C. It is illegal to attempt to strip or pull the ball from the ball carrier’s possession at any time.
D. If a player’s flag inadvertently fall off during the play, the de-flagging reverts to a one hand touch of the runner between the shoulder and the knees. 
E. If a flag is removed illegally, play should continue with the option of the penalty or the play.
F. A defensive player may not intentionally pull the flags off a player who is not in possession of the ball. 
G. Tampering with the flag in any way to gain an advantage including, tying the flag, cutting the flag, using foreign materials or other such acts are illegal.
H. Flag guarding is an attempt by the ball carrier to obstruct the defender’s access to the flags by stiff arming, dropping the head, hand, arm or shoulder, or intentionally covering the flags with the football jersey.

Section 14 – Formations:

Article 1 – Minimum Players on Line:  Offenses must have a minimum of four players on the Line of Scrimmage and up to six players on the Line of Scrimmage.  The Quarterback must be off the Line of Scrimmage. 

Article 2 – Motion:

A. Offensive players must come to a complete stop for 1 second before the ball is snapped unless he is the only player in motion.
1. One player at a time may go in motion at the Snap behind and parallel to the Line of Scrimmage.
2. No motion is allowed towards the Line of Scrimmage.
B. Movement by a player who is set or a player who runs toward the Line of Scrimmage while in motion is considered a false start.
C. The center must snap the ball with a rapid and continuous motion between his legs or from the side to a player in the backfield (not on the Line of Scrimmage) and the ball must completely leave his hands.

Section 15 – Unsportsmanlike conduct:

A. If the referee witnesses any acts of intentional tackling, elbowing, cheap shots or any unsportsmanlike act, the game will be stopped and the player will effected from the game.  The decision is made at the Referee’s discretion.  No appeals will be considered.  FOUL PLAY WILL NOT BE TOLERATED!
B. Offensive or confrontational language is illegal.  Officials have the right to determine offensive language.  If offensive or confrontational language occurs, the Referee will give on warning.  If it continues, the player or players will be ejected from the game.
C. Players may not physically or verbally abuse any opponent, coach or Official.
D. Ball carriers MUST make an effort to avoid defenders with an established position.
E. Defender are not allowed to run through the ball carrier when pulling flags.
F. Fans must also adhere to good sportsmanship as well.
1. Yell to cheer on your players, not to harass Official or other teams.
2. Keep comments clean and profanity free.
3. Compliment ALL players, not just on player or team.
G. Fans are required to keep fields safe and kid friendly.
1
. Keep younger kids and equipment such as coolers, chairs and tents to a minimum of 10 yards off the field.
H. Team/Players leaving the bench area during a fight:
1. If either team leaves the bench during a fight, the game will immediately be forfeited.
2. Any player that comes off the sideline during a fight will be ejected and sit out the next game.

Section 16 – Penalties:

     Article 1 – General:

A. The Referee will call all penalties.
B. All penalties will be assessed from the line of scrimmage except as noted (spot fouls)
C. Only the team captain or head coach may ask the Referee questions about rule clarification and interpretations.  Players may not question judgment calls.
D. Games may not end on a defensive penalty unless the offense declines it.
E. Penalties are assessed live ball then dead ball.  Live ball penalties must be assessed before a play is considered complete.
F. Penalties will be assessed half the distance to the goal yardage when the penalty yardage is more than half the distance to the goal.
G. Flagrant contact fouls will not be tolerated.  Offending player(s) will be ejected from that game and sit out the next game.

Contact

WSR Youth Sports

100 Tremont Center 
Waynesville, Missouri 65583

Phone: 573-774-6171
Email: [email protected]

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