FLAG FOOTBALL RULES 2023 Foword
National federations may adapt Rule 1 to meet local needs and circumstances, provided no adaption reduces the safety of the players or other participants.
SECTION 1. General Provisions
Article 1 - The Game
a. The game shall be played between two teams of not more than 11 players each, on a rectangular field and with an inflated ball having the shape of a prolate spheroid.
b. A team legally may play with fewer than 11 players, but a foul for an illegal formation occurs if the following requirements are not met:
1. When the ball is free-kicked, at least four Team A players are on each side of the kicker (Rule 6-1-2-c-3).
2. At the snap, at least five players wearing jerseys numbered 50 through 79 are on the offensive scrimmage line and no more than four players are in the backfield (Rules 2-21-2, 2-27-4 and 7-1-4-a) (Exception: Rule 7-1-4-a-5). (A.R. 7-1-4:IV-VI)
Article 2 - Goal Lines
Goal lines, one for each team, shall be established at opposite ends of the
field of play, and each team shall be allowed opportunities to advance the ball across the other team’s goal line by running, passing or kicking it.
Article 3 - Winning Team and Final Score
a. The teams shall be awarded points for scoring according to rule and, unless the game is forfeited, the team having the larger score at the end of the game shall be the winning team.
b. When the referee declares that the game is ended, the score is final.
Article 4 - Game Officials
The game shall be played under the supervision of the game officials.
Article 5 - Team Captains
Each team shall designate to the referee not more than four players as its field captain(s). One player at a time shall speak for his team in all dealings with the officials.
Article 6 - Persons Subject to the Rules
a. All persons subject to the rules are governed by the decisions of the
b. Those persons subject to the rules are: everyone in the team area, players, substitutes, replaced players, coaches, athletics trainers, cheerleaders, band members, mascots, public-address announcers, audio/video/lighting system operators, and other persons affiliated with the teams.
Article 7 - Teams Subject to the Rules
a. These rules apply to all competitions sanctioned by IFAF and by IFAF member federations. Subject to the agreement of IFAF, the rules may be altered by a
competition authority where appropriate and necessary to adjust for:
1. The age group of the participants.
2. The gender of the participants.
b. IFAF-affiliated officiating organisations shall use the current Manual of Football
Officiating published under the jurisdiction of IAFOA.
c. IFAF-affiliated teams and/or competitions and/or national federations not complying
with IFAF football-playing rules are subject to sanctions.