Appalacian Youth Football League

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AYFL Flag Rules & Regulations


Appalachian Youth Football League Inc.


Rules and Regulations


 REVISED...May 2018


AYFL - Flag Football Rules of Play

All players wishing to participate in AYFL Flag Football must be registered with his / her participant school's program and must be going to 1st or 2nd grade in September of the current season.


All other matters relating to registration, participation, coaching, conduct and rules enforcement will follow current AYFL Rules and Regulations and will be governed by the current AYFL Board

of Directors.


Game Rules

  • The number of players on the field shall be eleven (11) per team. If a team cannot field 11 players for the game, the game will be played with the number of players present (8 on 8, or 7 on 7, or at coach’s discretion).
  • If a team cannot field at least seven (7) players, the game will be forfeited.
  • Flag teams will also abide by the AYFL tackle division's rule for the number of Mandatory Plays that ALL participants play in each game. (See Section VII Paragraph D)
  • The "field of play" will be 50 yards long!  If additional yardage is necessary for end zones, the field will be marked accordingly.  The width of the field will be within the sidelines and the farthest hash lines.
  • Scoring will be as follows: 6 points for a touchdown and 1 point for the completed conversion.  However, there will be an '18 point spread' mercy rule where scoring will stop until the spread is reduced below 18 points.
  • Players must wear a mouthpiece on every play. The mouthpiece must have an extension (handle) which is visible when the player's mouthpiece is in and his / her mouth is closed. The extension cannot be more than 3 inches long.
  • The game ball shall be Wilson "K2", *ONLY*.
  • Each player will wear a belt which holds two (2) detachable Velcro flags. The flag positions will be on the right hip and left hip.
  • The time of play will consist of  2--20  minute halves, with a running clock. The clock will only stop for injuries. There will be a ten (10) minute break between halves. Teams will change end zones at halftime. There will only be 1 time out.
  • During normal game play, ANY ball that hits the ground (including the center/quarterback snap) shall be ruled dead. The ball will be spotted at the point in which it touches the ground.  Therefore, there will be no fumbles in the flag division. This is meant to deter injuries which could result in players diving after the ball.
  • There will be no punts allowed at any time. The offense will either go for the first down on its fourth down from scrimmage, or, elect to have the ball spotted twenty (20) yards downfield, and give up possession. If there is less than twenty (20) yards to the end zone, then the ball will be spotted at half the distance to the goal line.
  • There will also be no kickoffs in this division.  At the start of the game, or, after a score, the ball will be placed on the upcoming offensive team's twenty five (40) yard line. 
  • The offense must advance the ball ten (10) yards from the original (first down) spot of the ball in order to get the first down. The offense has 4 downs to complete 10 yards.
  • The offense must have five (5) players, but no more than six (6) players, on the line of scrimmage, before the snap. Pre-snap motion is not permitted.
  • The defense may have as many linemen as the offense has, except for the offensive center. There will be no nose tackle position allowed. Defensive linemen cannot line up in the offensive line's gap. The defensive linemen shall line up head to head, or head on shoulder.  The offensive line CANNOT line up with a spread offense, in other words, the space between two offensive players must not exceed (approx.) 6 inches.   Once the ball is snapped, the defensive lineman must make contact with the opposing offensive lineman and then pursue the ball.  Shooting of the “gaps” is prohibited.
  • Linebackers (inside and outside) must be at least five (5) yards off the line of scrimmage, at the snap of the ball.
  • Cornerbacks may line up on the line of scrimmage if covering a receiver; otherwise he must be at least seven (7) yards outside of the last offensive linemen and three (3) yards off the line of scrimmage. Blitzes are NOT allowed.
  • A defensive player attempting to stop the ball carrier must reach only toward the flag belt of the ball carrier. Any action of tackling is prohibited, and subject to the penalties listed below. Likewise any action of grabbing / holding while attempting to pull a flag, is also subject to these penalties.
  • Limited to 2 coaches per team, on the field, during playing time, with sideline assistance.
  • Helmet use is optional.  If used, must be foam type only, no plastic.
  • Flag length is to be a minimum of 12 inches.  Velcro  is to be used.


Flag Football Penalties shall be as follows:

Ball carrier stiff arm / shielding                                     5-yards

Tackling / grabbing / holding the ball carrier                  5-yards

Spiking of the ball                                                       5-yards

Unsportsmanlike Conduct (Players or Coaches)              TBD    

Offside / Illegal Procedure                                            5-yards

Pass Interference                                                        5-yards

Holding (Offensive or Defensive)                                  5-yards

Blocking in the back                                                    5-yards

More than the permitted 2 coaches on field                   1st offense 15-yards, 2nd offense Ejection from game and 1 game suspension.


It is the responsibility of the offensive player to avoid the defensive pursuit.

Prior to the game, both teams coaches will discuss refereeing of the game. There must be a Ref appointed by each team to keep calls fair.

Vice President and/or President of Home team must be at all games, and will be responsible for controlling any confrontations.

Coaches are not permitted to yell across the field to an opposing coach or athlete.

Aggressive play is to be governed by both team’s coaches. 


Each team is responsible for its own player’s disciplinary action or infringement.


There will be a warning issued for the first offense,  the second offense will result in removal from the game.


Unless stated otherwise in these AYFL Flag Rules and Regulations, AYFL Flag Football coaches and participants are subject to the current AYFL (tackle)  Rules and Regulations. Coaches, player, and parents are urged to obtain and read a copy of the AYFL Rules and Regulations.


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