NFL Flag USA Football Gridiron List USA Football
Official Football Development Partner
NFL NFL Players
NFL Flag Rules - Quick Version

RUNNING PLAYS

Ball is spotted where flag is pulled from ball carrier. If nose of football breaks plane of midfield or end zone before flag is pulled, first down or touchdown is awarded.

Quarterback cannot directly run with ball – has to pass or handoff. Quarterback may handoff and take a handoff himself and then becomes eligible to pass or run.

Quarterback is player who receives the snap from center.

Shotgun snaps are allowed.

Direct handoffs behind line of scrimmage – may be multiple handoffs.

      a. NO laterals or pitches of any kind

Player who takes handoff can throw from behind Line Of Scrimmage

Once ball handed off, all defense can rush

Runners may not leave feet – spinning is allowed

NO flag guarding of any kind

NO offensive blocking

Ball carrier cannot charge defensive player

PASSING PLAYS

From behind Line Of Scrimmage, thrown beyond Line Of Scrimmage

Shovel passes allowed beyond LOS

7 seconds to pass, unless ball is handed off.

PASS RECEIVER

All players eligible to receive (QB as well after handoff)

One player in motion at time

One foot inbounds when receiving

Interceptions are returnable, EXCEPT on PAT conversions

PASS RUSHING

Players rushing passer must be minimum of seven yards from LOS

Any number of players may rush quarterback

Players not rushing can be on the Line Of Scrimmage

Once ball is handed off, all players may rush

Rushers may attempt to block pass – NO contact with QB

Offense cannot block rusher on purpose – CLEAR PATH

Striking the Passer is 10 yard penalty

Sack occurs when flags pulled off QB behind LOS

FLAG PULLING

Ball carrier has to have full possession of ball

Defenders can dive to pull flags – NO tackle, hold or run through

Defenders cannot attempt to strip the ball from carrier

Defense may not pull flags off player not in possession of ball

NO stiff-arming, dropping of head, arms or shoulders: no covering

*THE NFL FLAG OFFICIAL RULE BOOK CAN BE FOUND UNDER “LINKS” OR AT NFL FLAG.COM