VAVi SPORT & SOCIAL CLUB OFFICIAL 7v7 Men’s Flag Football Rules

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, start on the offense’s 20-yard line.

Teams change sides after the first 20 minutes. There will be a 3-minute half time.

This is a non-contact game.

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 for at least 5-10 seconds 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.

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 at game time the team must forfeit.

Grace time: No more than 10 mins. But the referee is to discuss options with the 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.

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

If time permits and the score is tied at the end of the game, a coin flip will determine first possession for overtime. The winner will be determined by the “penetration method.”

The ball will start on the 20-yard line. Each team will have 4 plays to drive towards the end zone. Possession will alternate each play. At the end of 8 plays whoever has penetrated farther will win.

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 two timeouts each 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 5 yd line

There is punting on 4thdown. There must be 4 players on the line of scrimmage until the kick.


Offense may use multiple handoffs.

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

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

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.

No bull rushing (running directly into 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.

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.

All passes must be forward and received beyond the line of scrimmage.

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.

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 knee hits the ground.
-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 the 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…10 yards
(holding, blocking, etc.)

Illegal flag pull…5 yards
(before receiver has ball)

Illegal rushing…5 yards

Dead play…5 yards
(defender crosses into neutral zone)

Illegal motion…5 yards
(more than one person moving, false start)

Illegal forward pass…10 yards and loss of down
(pass received behind line of scrimmage)

Offensive pass interference…10 yards and loss of down

Flag guarding…10 yards (from where infraction occurred)

Delay of game…5 yards
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 match
~ If the winner of the head-to-head match 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.

For more information about our flag football leagues contact

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


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