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Columbia Youth Football League

Columbia Youth Football League

1st & 2nd Grade Flag Football Rules

1st & 2nd Grade Flag Division Rules

The Basics

·   A coin toss determines first possession.

·   The offensive team takes possession of the ball at its own 20-yard line and has four plays to cross the 50 yard line and then 4 more plays to cross the next 20 yard line and then 4 more plays to score. If the offense fails to get a 1st down or score, the ball changes possession and the new offensive team takes over on its 10-yard line.

·   All possession changes start on the offense's 20-yard line, except for interceptions.

·   Teams change sides after the first 20 minutes. Possession changes to loser of coin toss and the clock does not stop.

·   Half time is 10 minutes with the 40 minute clock stopped at this time

·   All players must play a minimum of (6) plays per half


Players/Game Schedules

1.  Teams must field 7 players at all times.

2.  Teams consist of 8-16 players - 7 on the field, with substitutes.


1.  Games are played to 40 minutes running time.

2.  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. This ruling will be enforced starting with the 2nd game. We want to keep the pace of the game moving.

3.  Each team has one 60-second and one 30-second time-out per half.


1.  Touchdown: 6 points

2.  Extra point: 1 point for running or 2 points for passing - both from the PAT (2.5) yard line.

3.  Safety: 2 points


1.  The quarterback can run with the ball.

2.  Direct handoffs behind the line of scrimmage are permitted. Offense may use multiple handoffs.

3.  No stiff arming is allowed

4.  The player who takes the handoff can throw the ball from behind the line of scrimmage.

5.  Once the ball has been handed off, all defensive players are eligible to rush.

6.  Spinning is allowed, but players cannot leave their feet to avoid a defensive player (no diving).

7.  The ball is spotted where the ball carrier's feet are when the flag is pulled, not where the ball is.


1.  All players are eligible to receive passes (including the quarterback if the ball has been handed off behind the line of scrimmage).

2.  Only one player is allowed in motion at a time.

3.  A player must have at least one foot inbounds when making a reception.


1.  Shovel passes are allowed.

2.  Interceptions are returnable and are the only turnover where a team does not start from its own 10 yard line.

Dead Balls

1.  The ball must be snapped between the legs, not off to one side, to start play.

2.  Each team will get 1 free snap per series, meaning if it is a bad snap you can do that play over 1 time per series. This does not include fumbles on hand-offs, the snap only.

3.  Substitutions may be made on any dead ball.

4.  Play is ruled "dead" when:

a.      Ball carrier's flag is pulled

b.      Ball carrier steps out of bounds

c.      Touchdown or safety is scored

d.      Ball carrier's knee hits the ground

e.      Ball carrier's flag falls out

Note: There are no fumbles. The ball is spotted where the ball hits the ground.

Rushing and Blocking

1.  Defense: only Two (2) players can rush within the tackle box (tackle to tackle, and one yard off the ball)

a.      No defensive player is to lineup over the center

b.      Rushers must be on the line of scrimmage. Teams must have 2 down linemen. defensive linemen are allowed to rush. No other positions can rush the QB until the ball is handed off passed

c.      After the ball leaves the quarterbacks hands by either a hand off or pass all defensive players can rush

d.      Defensive players may not run through a blocker, they must run around the block

e.      Defensive players will be restricted in the use of his hands to the blockers body and shoulders

f.       Aggressive rushing will be penalized

g.      Defensive lineman must be directly over the offensive linemen, head to head

h.      Linemen must be in a 2 point stance

2.  Offense

a.        A blocker must be on his feet at all times while blocking. All linemen must assume a 2 point stance. The blocking allowed is similar to a screen block in Basketball

b.        3 offensive linemen must be used

c.        Cross Blocking and roll blocking are not permitted

d.        A blocker cannot use his hands

e.        Blocking shall be done with the arms and body in the form of shoulder and brush blocking only, Blocking should be more like interference than physical blocking

f.         Bunting, elbow, or knee blocking is not allowed

g.        Blocking a player from behind is not permitted

h.        There will be no downfield blocking allowed, however players can run interference. Aggressive blocking will be penalized

i.         All illegal blocks will result in a 10 yard penalty. Players involved in excessive rough blocking will also be subject to penality


1.  If the referee witnesses any acts of tackling, elbowing, cheap shots or any unsportsmanlike act, the game will be stopped and a coaches meeting will be called. FOUL PLAY WILL NOT BE TOLERATED.

2.  Trash talking is illegal. Officials have the right to determine offensive language. (Trash talk is talk that may be offensive to officials, opposing players, teams or spectators.) If trash talking occurs, the referee will give one warning. If it continues, the player or players will be penalized and or ejected from the game. Trash talking or abusive language from the parents will not be tolerated.

3.  Coaches are absolutely not allowed to argue with the referee on a call during any point of the game, this does not set a good example for the young kids. There will be a half-time meeting with both head coaches and the referees to discuss any problems that have occurred. Please be adults and don't make us enforce this rule. We are all volunteer referee's and will miss things, as coaches we need to understand that and show respect to one another.


1.  All penalties will be called by the referee

2.  Defense:

a.      Offsides-Five yards and replay down

b.      Interference-5 yards and replay down

c.      Illegal contact-(holding, pulling/holding of shirt, etc.) 5 yards and replay down

d.      Illegal FLAG pull-(before receiver has ball) 5 yards and replay down

e.      Flag must be clearly taken from the ball carrier. The defensive player may not hold the ball carrier while attempting to take the flag.

f.       Illegal rushing-more than 4 rushers, lining up over the center, outside of tackle box and off the line of scrimmage. 5-yard penality.

3.  Offense:

a.      Illegal motion-(more than one person moving, false start, etc.) Five yards and replay down

b.      Illegal forward pass-(pass thrown beyond line of scrimmage) Five yards and replay down

c.      Offensive pass interference-(illegal pick play, pushing off/away defender) 5 yards and replay down

d.      FLAG guarding-5 yards (from line of scrimmage) and replay down

e.      If the ball carrier's flags are not being worn properly offense will replay down


·   Referees determine incidental contact that may result from normal run of play. Incidental contact will happen, kids will fall down and run into each other. This is a judgement call by the referee.

·   All penalties will be assessed from the line of scrimmage.

·   Tackling - the ball carrier may not be pushed down, or ridden down even if the intent was to remove the flag. No grabbing of shirts/jerseys!

·   Games cannot end on a defensive penalty, unless the offense declines it.

·   Anyone on the field must be a CYFL certified coach

·   There are no kickoffs.


·   Cleats are allowed, except for metal spikes. Inspections must be made.

·   Official CYFL FLAG jerseys must be worn during play. These jerseys must be tucked in at all times to avoid interfering with de-flagging.

·   Flags must be worn on both sides of a player.

·   Mouthpieces must be worn on the field.



Columbia Youth Football League
PO Box 7052 
Columbia, Missouri 65202

Email: [email protected]

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