VAVi Flag Football plays under the guidelines of NCAA Football with these exceptions for 7v7: 

Beginning of game 

There will be a meeting at the beginning of each game between the team captain and the referees that will have a coin toss and a discussion on rules, boundaries and sportsmanship. The team that wins the coin toss at the beginning of the game will have 1st choice of offense/defense or direction first half. The other team has first choice second half. 


Each team must use a ball that is equal to or greater than the dimensions used in NCAA football. 

During each game, a total of only 2 game balls can be used determined by each team before the game starts. Teams must keep the ball they want to use close to the sidelines so time is not wasted when searching for their game ball. Once the ball is set and about to be hiked, play will resume regardless of ball being used. 

The Game 

The offensive team takes possession of the ball at its 20-yard line and has 4 plays to cross each yard marker. If the offense fails to get a first down or score, the ball changes possession and the new offensive team takes over at the line of scrimmage. 

All possession changes, except interceptions and safeties, start on the offense’s 20-yard line. 

Teams change sides after the first 20 minutes. There will be a 3-minute half time. Basic NCAA rules apply except where otherwise listed. 

Huddles: Subs are not allowed in and out of the game during a “no-huddle” offense. Huddles are required in order for a sub to come in so the defense recognizes new players on the field. 

Only 2 intentional offside by the defense per game up to the 2 minute warning. Courtesy for onsides/offside since some fields may be crooked. 

If the score is a 21 point differential, the game clock will not stop unless a timeout is called. 

Players/Game Schedules 

Teams must field a minimum of 6 players at all times. If at any time a team cannot have 6 players on the field then they must forfeit. 

Teams may have up to 14 members on the roster.

If a team fails to produce a full team, there will be a 10 min grace period. Once the grace time has elapsed, then the team must forfeit. But the referee is to discuss options with opposing team that has enough players. 

If the opposing team decides to take the forfeit win, both teams are still encouraged to play a game with as many players as available just for fun! Official keeps official time. 

If a team forfeits, the opposing team will be awarded 21 points and the win. 


Games are played with 2 20-minute halves and a 3-minute halftime. The clock is a running clock except for the last 2 minutes of the second half.  

There are no overtime play in the regular season. 

Each team will have 4 plays starting from the 20 to score. They would have the option to go for 1 pt, 2pt or 3pt if the team does score. Then the opposing team will have 4 plays starting from the 20 yard line to tie or go for the win. If teams are tied or don’t score after their first possessions, we repeat the format with each team required to go for 2pts. 

Each time the ball is spotted, a team has 25 seconds to snap the ball. Teams will receive one warning before the delay-of-game penalty is enforced. 

Each team has three timeouts in the first half. Each team has two timeouts in the second half. 

Officials can stop the clock at their discretion. 

There is no seven-second clock because the defense can rush the entire time. 


Touchdown: 6 points 

Extra Point: 1 point (played from 5 yard line – throw only) or 

 2 points (played from 12 yard line) 

 3 points (played from 20 yard line 

Safety: 2 points. If ball is hiked into end zone by offensive team and ball hits the ground, it is a safety & 2 points will go to the defensive team and it will be there ball on their own 30 yd line. 

If on an extra point try the defense intercepts the ball, the defense may return for 2 points regardless of what the offense were going for. 

The ball and the flags must both cross the goal line TOGETHER. The ball mark is where the flags are pulled, not where the ball is.  


There is punting on 4th down. There must be 4 players on the line of scrimmage until the


While the defense cannot rush the punter, the defense player can try and block a punt by jumping straight up but without crossing the line of scrimmage. If the defense cross the line of scrimmage, a 5 yd offsides penalty will be assessed on the defense.  

Offensive punting team cannot not move until the ball is kicked.  

Punter can hold the football rather than have it snapped to them when it a declared punt. Running: 

Offense may use multiple handoffs. 

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

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

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

Blocking is allowed, but all blocks have to be hands extended and below the shoulders. 

There is no blocking down field while the quarterback has the ball in their hands. But blocking down field is allowed there is a ball carrier running. 

No bull rushing (running directly into the blocker). All defensive rushers must pick a shoulder and not run thru the middle of the blocker. 

If a player who has possessed the ball falls down on his own (without being touched), he may get up and continue to advance the ball. If he is touched when he is down, the offensive player is down by contact.  

Offensive line must be in a 2pt point stance. (upright stance) 


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

Only one player allowed in motion at a time. 

A player must have at least one foot inbounds when making a reception. If a player flags fall off on its on during a possession, that player must be touched.  

If a player falls to the ground while having possession of the ball, and isn’t touch, the player can get up and continue advancing the ball.  


Passes behind the line of scrimmage are allowed.  

Shovel passes are allowed but must be received beyond the line of scrimmage. Interceptions change the possession of the ball at the point of interception. Interceptions

are live. 

Face guarding is NOT pass interference if the defender does not touch the offensive player. 


Defense players can rush as many players as they want. 

Defense can make contact with receivers within 5 yards of the line of scrimmage. Defensive rushers can rush from either a 2pt stance or 3pt stance. 

Defense cannot “bull rush” a blocker. All rushers must pick a shoulder to rush and not attempt to rush thru a players chest. 

Defense cannot push offensive player with the ball out of bounds. You must attempt to go for their flags. 

There is no stripping of the football.  

Dead Balls 

The ball must be snapped between the legs, not off to one side, to start play. Substitutions may be made on any dead ball. 

Play is ruled dead when: 

-Ball carrier’s flag is pulled. 

-Ball carrier steps out of bounds. 

-Touchdown or safety is scored. 

-At the point of an interception. 

-Ball carrier’s flag falls off and ball carrier is touched by defensive player. -Once a defender crosses into the neutral zone (5 yard penalty) 

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


If the referee witnesses any acts of tackling, elbowing, cheap shots, blocking, or any unsportsmanlike act, the game will be stopped and the player will be ejected. FOUL PLAY WILL NOT BE TOLERATED. 

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 talk occurs, the referee will give one warning. If it continues, the player or players will be ejected from the game. 

Fighting will result in immediate rejection from the game. Fighting will result in

immediate ejection from league. Also VAVi directors will review the incident to determine if the player(s) will be permanently removed from all future seasons. 

After the 1st ejection the incident will be reviewed by VAVi directors to deem if further action is required. If the same player is rejected from 2 games in one season the player will be removed from the team for the rest of the season. No refund will be given. 


Only roster players may play on a team and no last minute substitutions are allowed. However, please see below “ringer clause” To add a player to the roster you must contact the VAVi office at least 24 hours before game time. 

Teams need at least 4 players from their own team for 7v7 to have an official game with subs.  

*Ringer Clause: If before your game or during the first 10 minutes of your game, you feel that a player on the opposing team is not on an official roster and could possibly affect the outcome of your game, it is the responsibility of the team captain to approach the umpire/referee and log a complaint. If the opposing team captain confirms a player on their team is not on their roster and a possible “ringer”, then the non-rostered player in question must sit out that game or the rest of the game. However, if both teams agree to play with a sub or non-rostered player, then it will be played as a true game and the player must sign a waiver form. 

Complaints about subs, non-rostered players or “ringers” cannot be logged after 10 minutes into your game or at the end of your game. If you have additional questions about a non-rostered player at your court or field, you may also call VAVi’s After-Hours Phone at 858-220-8328. 


All penalties will be called by the referee. 


Offsides 5 yards 

Interference 10 yards and automatic first down 

Illegal contact 5 yards added to end of the run (holding, blocking, etc.) 

Illegal flag pull 5 yards 

(before receiver has ball) 

Roughing the Quarterback 10 yards and automatic first down Illegal hands to the face 10 yards 

Illegal rushing 5 yards 

Dead play 5 yards 

(defender crosses into neutral zone)

Pushing offensive player out of bounds Add 5 yards to the end of the run. 


Illegal motion 5 yards 

(more than one person moving, false start) 

Illegal forward pass 5 yards and loss of down 

(pass received behind line of scrimmage) 

Offensive pass interference 10 yards Remove- and a loss of down 

Flag guarding 10 yards (from where infraction occurred) and loss of down 

Delay of game 5 yards 

To many men on the field 5 yards 

Pick plays 5 yards and loss of down 

Illegal block in the back 10 yards from spot and loss of down Illegal hands to the face 10 yards 

Illegal forward pitch 5 yards from the spot 

Unsportsmanlike conduct 15 yards 

Two Unsportsmanlike penalites on the same player will result in an ejection. 

Illegal Procedure 5 yards 

(teams cannot break the huddle with more players than it’s allowed to have on the field) 

Any part of the body that is behind the line of scrimmage on an attempted throw is not a penalty. 

Referees determine incidental contact that may result from normal run of play. All penalties will be assessed from the line of scrimmage. 

Only the team captain may ask the referee questions about rule clarification and interpretations. Players cannot question judgment calls. 

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


Cleats are allowed, except for metal spikes. 

You must wear your team color shirt (VAVi shirts preferred). Shirts must be tucked in at all times. Shorts with cargo pockets are prohibited. Flag belts must be worn around the waist with flags at the hips.. 


The top 4 teams will go to the tournament based on season rankings. The top teams will be determined by record (3 points for a win, 1 point for a tie, 0 points for a loss). If time permits, we will occasionally take more than 4 teams to the tournament (ie. We have 5 or more hours of field time). 

In case there is a two-way tie between teams, the following tiebreaker system will be used: 

~Head-to-head matchup 

~If there is still a tie or if they played each other twice and both have a 1-1 record we will move on to Head-to-head point differential (Head-to-head points scored minus points scored against) 

~Overall season point differential (Overall season points scored minus overall points scored against) 

~In the case that a tie still persists, a coin flip will determine the winner. 

In case there is a three-way tie between teams, the following tiebreaker system will be used: 

~Head-to-head matchup 

~ If the winner of the head-to-head matchup can’t be determined (ie. 2 teams played each other twice or each team has a 1-1 record), then the head-to-head point differential will be used and compared for all 3 teams. (ie. Average Points scored minus average points scored against). Whoever has the highest average point differential will take the higher playoff seed. 

**Average point differential will be used when two tied teams in the three-way tie played each other twice. If Team A and Team B played each other twice and Team C only played them once, we will use the average score for Team A and Team B’s two games. To determine this, we will add up the points scored for both teams in both games and subtract points scored against. This number will then be divided by 2 to determine the average. 

~Overall season point differential (Overall season points scored minus overall points scored against) 

~In the case that a tie still persists, a coin flip will determine the winner. 

**PLEASE NOTE: If one of these teams in the tiebreaker forfeits anytime during the season, that game will be counted as a 21-0 loss for the forfeiting team. 

Overtime during the playoffs will be treated as follows. Each team will start on the 5 yd line and will be allowed 4 plays. Whichever team gets the furthest will be awarded with the win. There are no first downs in overtime. In the case that both teams scores TD’s, they will each be allowed a chance to go for 2 extra points. The 2 point conversions will go back and forth until one team is deemed the winner.

All other playoff scenarios that occur will be treated on a case-by-case basis by the Sports Operations Manager. The Operations Manager has the final say on any disputes and will treat each situation in the fairest and most logical way. All questions regarding these rules can be sent to

*All rules are subject to change: Last Updated Feb 2020**


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