Youth Flag Football Field Scottsdale Arizona
Youth Flag Football Scottsdale AZ

Scottsdale Youth Flag Football

The Arizona Youth Flag Football League, in conjunction with the NFL Flag Football program, is a flag football league for kids in grades K-8th, with the emphasis on community fun in Scottsdale, AZ. The league is for both boys and girls of all skill levels and promotes a competitive, confidence-building, non-contact football experience. The goal of the league is to provide a fun league for kids to be involved in, while also developing and furthering their football skills.

Fall Flag Football Season 2021

Flag Football League FAQ's and Helpful Information

Flag football has a lot to offer, from co-ed leagues to competitive tournaments. Here are five important benefits for kids playing flag football:

1. No Contact: Flag football is a non-contact sport, meaning there’s no tackling, diving, blocking, screening or fumbles allowed. Therefore, players aren’t required to wear any heavy equipment, such as helmets and shoulder pads. This creates an approachable atmosphere where kids can learn how to play and develop their skills without the aspect of physical contact.   

2. Accessibility: Flag football is an incredibly inclusive sport and opens the doors to many players, including female athletes. In fact, the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) plans to launch the first college sanctioned women’s flag football league in the spring of 2021. 

3.  Learn the fundamentals: There’s a common myth that flag football doesn’t prepare kids for tackle football—and that simply isn’t true. The basic fundamentals taught in flag football directly transfer to tackle, including catching, throwing, formations, routes, and defensive skills. For example, the way defensive players are required to square up their body and align their head and knees is the exact positioning needed to physically tackle an opponent.

4. Easy commitment: With most leagues only meeting once per week, many families happily squeeze flag football into their packed schedules. Typically, teams practice for about 45 minutes before their game, and then the game itself is usually an hour or less. Of course, some high-level competitive leagues offer more playing time, if that’s something you’re looking for.  

5.  It’s fun!: Plain and simple, flag football is loads of fun. With fewer players on the field, there’s more engagement and a faster speed of play. Games are quick, competitive and every drive counts, especially in tournaments. It’s the version of football you loved playing in your backyard—why ever stop?

The first rule of flag football is pretty straight forward: there’s no contact allowed. That includes tackling, diving, blocking, and screening. Instead, players wear flags that hang along their sides by a belt. To “tackle” the person in possession of the ball, the opposing team needs to pull one or both of their flags off.

While flag football rules are designed to keep players safe, you’ll find that they also create an engaging, fast-paced version of football without the physical contact. 

Here’s a list of basic flag football rules: 

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

  • Only direct handoffs are permitted—there are no laterals or pitches anywhere on the field 

  • The quarterback has seven-second pass clock to get rid of the ball

  • The quarterback can’t run with the ball unless it was handed off first

  • Offensive players must steer clear of the rusher and may not get in his/her way

  • Any defensive player lined up seven yards off the line of scrimmage is eligible to rush

  • If the ball is handed off, any defender may rush

  • Interceptions are returnable (even on extra point attempts)

  • The ball is dead when it hits the ground, the offensive player’s flag is pulled from their belt, the ball-carrier steps out of bounds, or the ball-carrier’s body—outside of their hands or feet—touches the ground

  • All offensive flag football penalties result in a loss of down and yardage

  • All defensive flag football penalties result in an automatic first down and some are associated with yardage

For a complete list of flag football rules, download the NFL FLAG Football Rule Book.

NFL FLAG football is a non-contact sport. There’s no tackling, diving, blocking, screening or fumbles.

NFL FLAG FOOTBALL RULES

One of the first questions families ask us is: how many players are on a football team? NFL FLAG football teams compete 5 on 5, but you may find various leagues out there—6 on 6, 7 on 7, 9 on 9—depending on the region and age group. NFL FLAG football rules allow up to 10 players total per team. 

To accommodate a smaller team size, a flag football field is shorter than a typical football field at 30 yards wide and 70 yards long, with two 10-yard end zones and a midfield line-to-gain.

Here’s a quick overview of how to play flag football: Every game begins with a coin toss to determine which team will start with the ball (there’s no kickoff per NFL FLAG football rules). Games are two 15 to 25 minute halves, depending on the league, and the clock only stops for timeouts (each team has three), injuries and half-time. 

The starting team begins on its own 5-yard line and has four downs (essentially four plays) to cross midfield for a first down. If the offense fails to advance after three tries, they have two options: they can “punt,” which means they turn the ball over to the opposing team who starts its drive from its own 5-yard line, or they can go for it. But if they still fail to cross midfield, the opposing team takes over possession from the spot of the ball. 

If the offensive team crosses midfield, they have three downs to score a touchdown. The rules of flag football only differ slightly from tackle when it comes to scoring: a touchdown is 6 points and a safety is 2 points (1-point conversion from the 5-yard line; 2-point conversion from the 10-yard line). 

Learn more about how to play flag football.

The first rule of flag football is pretty straight forward: there’s no contact allowed. That includes tackling, diving, blocking, and screening. Instead, players wear flags that hang along their sides by a belt. To “tackle” the person in possession of the ball, the opposing team needs to pull one or both of their flags off.

While flag football rules are designed to keep players safe, you’ll find that they also create an engaging, fast-paced version of football without the physical contact. 

Here’s a list of basic flag football rules: 

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

  • Only direct handoffs are permitted—there are no laterals or pitches anywhere on the field 

  • The quarterback has seven-second pass clock to get rid of the ball

  • The quarterback can’t run with the ball unless it was handed off first

  • Offensive players must steer clear of the rusher and may not get in his/her way

  • Any defensive player lined up seven yards off the line of scrimmage is eligible to rush

  • If the ball is handed off, any defender may rush

  • Interceptions are returnable (even on extra point attempts)

  • The ball is dead when it hits the ground, the offensive player’s flag is pulled from their belt, the ball-carrier steps out of bounds, or the ball-carrier’s body—outside of their hands or feet—touches the ground

  • All offensive flag football penalties result in a loss of down and yardage

  • All defensive flag football penalties result in an automatic first down and some are associated with yardage

For a complete list of flag football rules, download the NFL FLAG Football Rule Book.

NFL FLAG football is a non-contact sport. There’s no tackling, diving, blocking, screening or fumbles.

NFL FLAG FOOTBALL RULES

One of the first questions families ask us is: how many players are on a football team? NFL FLAG football teams compete 5 on 5, but you may find various leagues out there—6 on 6, 7 on 7, 9 on 9—depending on the region and age group. NFL FLAG football rules allow up to 10 players total per team. 

To accommodate a smaller team size, a flag football field is shorter than a typical football field at 30 yards wide and 70 yards long, with two 10-yard end zones and a midfield line-to-gain.

Here’s a quick overview of how to play flag football: Every game begins with a coin toss to determine which team will start with the ball (there’s no kickoff per NFL FLAG football rules). Games are two 15 to 25 minute halves, depending on the league, and the clock only stops for timeouts (each team has three), injuries and half-time. 

The starting team begins on its own 5-yard line and has four downs (essentially four plays) to cross midfield for a first down. If the offense fails to advance after three tries, they have two options: they can “punt,” which means they turn the ball over to the opposing team who starts its drive from its own 5-yard line, or they can go for it. But if they still fail to cross midfield, the opposing team takes over possession from the spot of the ball. 

If the offensive team crosses midfield, they have three downs to score a touchdown. The rules of flag football only differ slightly from tackle when it comes to scoring: a touchdown is 6 points and a safety is 2 points (1-point conversion from the 5-yard line; 2-point conversion from the 10-yard line). 

Learn more about how to play flag football.

Even though several leagues follow basic flag football rules, you won’t find one standardized rule book across all organizations—mostly because there are many different versions of flag football out there. So, some 7 on 7 flag football rules may differ from 5 on 5, for example. 

Generally, highly-competitive leagues with larger teams tend to adopt more lenient rules. College teams and the American Flag Football League (AFFL) compete 7 on 7 and allow certain types of contact, like open arm blocking and holding the chest. Other teams might allow contact above the hip and below the neck. That’s why some 7 on 7 flag foot rules require players to wear soft shell helmets.

Youth leagues, on the other hand, usually follow similar rules as NFL FLAG football, which is strictly no-contact. The best way to learn about your league’s 7 on 7 flag football rules is to receive a copy of the rule book. But if you’d rather skip the fine print (we don’t blame you), go directly to the coach. 

 

Boundary lines: The outer perimeter lines around the field, including the sidelines and back of the end zone lines. 

Offense: The team who has possession of the ball and is trying to advance to the opponent’s end zone for a touchdown. 

Defense: The team who doesn’t have possession of the ball and is trying to prevent the other team from scoring by pulling the ball-carrier’s flags down.  

End zone: The two end zones, located on opposite sides of the field, are the scoring areas. The goal line, which a player must cross to score a touchdown, is the start of the end zone. 

No run zone: The rules for flag football include no run zones that are located five yards before each goal line and the midfield. If the ball is spotted within a no run zone, the offensive team must use a pass play to earn a first down or touchdown. The objective is to prevent power football in tight spaces, limiting contact. 

Line-to-gain: The line the offense must cross to get a first down or score. 

Line of scrimmage: This is an imaginary line that expands the width of the field and runs through the point of the football. It indicates where teams can’t cross until the play has begun. 

Backfield: The part of the field directly behind the line of scrimmage

Downs: A down is the period after the ball is snapped and the team is attempting to advance down the field. In flag football rules, teams have four downs to cross midfield. If they successfully cross midfield within four downs, then they have three downs to score a touchdown. 

Flag guarding: This flag football term happens when the ball-carrier prevents a defender from pulling down their flags. For example, they might stiff arm, cover their flag with their open hand, or lower their elbow. It is illegal and results in a penalty. 

Lateral: A backward or sideway toss of the ball by the ball-carrier. Reminder: laterals are not permitted according to youth flag football rules.  

Live ball: This is the period of time when the ball and play is in motion. It’s generally used in regard to penalties—live ball penalties are enforced before the down is considered complete. 

Passer: The passer is the person throwing the ball. This flag football term is more common in flag football because the passer doesn’t necessarily have to be the quarterback. 

Rush line: An imaginary line running across the width of the field seven yards (into the defensive side) from the line of scrimmage. In other words, any defensive player who is positioned seven yards off the line of scrimmage is eligible to rush.

Rusher: The defensive player assigned to rush the quarterback to prevent him/her from passing the ball by pulling his/her flags or blocking the pass. Offensive players must steer clear of the rusher. When the ball is handed off, any defender may rush. 

Shovel pass: A pitch attempted beyond the line of scrimmage. The quarterback “shovels” the ball directly forward to a receiver. These are legal, whereas laterals and pitches are illegal plays, according to flag football rules. 

 
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