Flag Football Rules - Charlottesville Sports & Social Club, LLC


Rules are still being drafted and formatted. These rules are in no way final and are subject to change.

General Rules

  • All players must be wearing their issued shirts of the appropriate sport and season. Failure to abide by this rule will result in a match forfeit and/or other punishments at the discretion of the league.
  • All rules of the field owners must be obeyed. If using a field that is owned by the Charlottesville Parks & Recreation department, all of their rules regarding conduct and prohibited items must be obeyed. Failure to abide by those rules may result in ejection from the league.
  • Unsportsmanlike Conduct: Acting in an unsportsmanlike manner will result in an ejection from the game, and a 1 game suspension. Two ejections from any CVSSC sport in a 1 year period will result in a 1 year suspension from all CVSSC sports. This includes sponsor venues -- reports of disruptive behavior or causing a disturbance will not be tolerated and may result in additional suspensions not limited to the rules listed above.
  • Altercations: If a situation goes beyond the unsportsmanlike conduct rule, such as trying to physically assault another player, the player will be removed from the league with no refund. The player will also be suspended from all CVSSC sports for the following season.
  • The tackling or forcing to the ground of another player will be considered unsportsmanlike conduct and result in immediate ejection from the game followed by a 1 game suspension. 
  • Disputing Calls: Calls may only be discussed with the referee(s) by the captain or assistant captain of either squad. Verbally abusing a referee will result in ejection and further punishment may be handed down.
  • Overruling: The head referee, at his discretion, may overrule any of these rules below.
  • Games cancelled due to weather will be attempted to be made up. There are no guarantees on making up rained out games.
  • At no time may a player hurdle or attempt to dive over another player. Doing so will result in a 10 yard penalty and a warning for unsafe play. Jumping while running is permitted as long as there is not another in the path of the runner.


  • Cleats are permitted, but NO metal spikes.
  • Equipment (flags, stopwatches, whistles) will be provided to each team's captain. Failure to return these items in expected condition at the end of the season will result in fines to cover replacement cost. Footballs are to be provided by the team. Co-ed leagues use a junior sized ball. Open division has the choice of junior or NFL.


  • To help keep costs down, teams will occasionally be required to provide 1 referee to assist the head ref in running the game clock, spotting the ball, etc. Failure to provide a referee will result in a $25 fine per referee not provided. Failure for a team or a player on a team to pay the referee no-show fine before their next scheduled game will result in a forfeit.


  • All players must be 18 years of age by the start of the season.
  • All players must have signed the CVSSC waiver form prior to playing.
  • Balances must be paid in full prior to the first team game. Unpaid teams/players will not be permitted to play.

Roster Rules

    The referee will keep the official score. After the game, the team captains are responsible for reporting the scores to scores@cvillesocial.com in a timely fashion.
  • There are no maximum number of players to a team.
  • Super Social Division: 7 players on the field during a play (for each side), 3 of which must be women (for each side). A team may field with no less than 6 players, 2 of which still must be women. Not being able to field a team by 10 minutes of the game start time will result in a 6-0 forfeit loss.
  • Social Division: 8 players on the field, no gender requirements.
  • If a team is short players to field a legal roster, they may bring subs in to either get to a legal roster, or 7 total players. For each sub brought in,  the opposing team receives 4 points.  
    Roster challenges and protests must be submitted to the league within 2 days of the game being completed. From that point on, the game is considered final and can not be challenged.

Game Rules


  • Game times will be 2 20-minute halves, with a 5 minute half-time. All time is running time except in the following situations:
    • A play that causes a clock stoppage in the last minute in either half.
    • Timeout called by team.
    • Injury. 10 seconds will be run-off if the injury was to an offensive player and less than 1 minute remains in the half.
  • Time will be kept by the head referee.


  • Co-ed: On kickoffs (not punts), you can elect to throw the ball instead of kicking it. Balls thrown or kicked out of bounds will be placed at the spot the ball went out of bounds, and then a 5 yard penalty added. Balls that travel through the back of the end zone will be marked at the 10 yard line.
  • Open: Kickoffs and punts must be kicked. All touchbacks will be spotted at the 15 yard line.
  • Co-ed: No onside kicks are permitted.
  • Open: Onside kicks are permitted. The ball must travel at least 10 yards to be eligible to be recovered by the kicking team.


  • Ruled down -- A player is ruled down and the play over when his flagged is pulled, or the player comes in contact to the ground with any body part other than the feet or hands. If the ball carrier's knee or elbow hits the ground, the player is down and the play is over.
  • The ball will be spotted at the forward most point of the ball during the play.
  • Motion -- only 1 player is allowed in motion pre-snap, and that player must not be moving towards the line of scrimmage.
  • Snap -- the center is permitted to hike OR toss the ball back to the quarterback only. No indirect snaps are permitted. Once the ball leaves the center's hands, the play is active.
  • Open Division: The QB can be rushed, or rush the ball, on any play.
  • Co-ed Division: Gender Rule -- A female player must be the primary offensive player at least every 4 downs. A primary offensive player is defined by:
    • A player throwing the ball forward past the line of scrimmage.
    • A player making a reception.
    • A player attempting to make a reception, but failing, as long as the ball is deemed catchable.
    • Being the primary runner and advancing the ball past the line of scrimmage.
  • Co-ed Division: The following do NOT fill the gender requirements:
    • A male throwing an uncatchable ball to a female (out of bounds or at the feet).
    • A female QB spiking the ball to stop the clock.
    • A female catching the ball off a deflected pass intended for a male.
    • A female pitching the ball back to a male behind the line of scrimmage (even as QB)


  • Teams must announce their intention to punt. No fake punts are allowed. No punt blocking is allowed. Offensive players must remain on their side of the line of scrimmage until the ball is kicked.
  • Open division: See rules for punts: click to view PDF.
  • After a score, the ball is kicked off from the 15 yard line. (see kickoff rules)


  • blocking is permitted. This means:
    • Co-ed: Hands must be kept behind the back. A player may not extend their arms to block. This enables you to throw 'picks', but no blocks with the hands/arms, or intentional elbows are permitted.
    • Open: Blocking is permitted on all plays from the line of scrimmage.
    • Open: Lineman may not extend their arms to block. Extending your arms to block will result in a 5 yard penalty.
    • Open: Blockers may not double team a pass rusher. Double teaming a pash rusher will result in a 5 yard penalty.
    • Open: Blocking on kickoff returns and punt returns is permitted. Teams are not permitted to attempt a punt block.


  • OVERTIME IS ONLY PLAYED DURING PLAYOFFS. Regular season games will be ruled a tie.
  • In the event of overtime, each team will receive the ball for 1 series at their opponent's 15 yard line. They will have 4 plays to reach the end zone. After this possession, the other team has their attempt to score from the 15 as well. After the first overtime, all teams must go for 2 on extra-point conversions.
  • The team that won the kickoff has the option to go first or defend first in overtime.

First Downs

  • The playing field will be divided into 4 15-yard zones. A first down is made by reaching the next zone in 4 downs. Fields are 60 yards in length, 30 yards in width, with 10 yard end zones (total size 80x30).
  • Upon a touchback, the offense will start with the ball on the 15 yard line.



  • Open Division:QBs may rush the ball at any time
  • Super Social:Male QBs cannot rush the ball past the line of scrimmage unless the defense rushes after the 3-second count.
  • Female QBs can rush the ball at any time.
  • Balls pitched or handed off to a male OR female can be rushed past the line of scrimmage. If a female QB hands the ball off/pitches the ball to a male, this play is not considered a gender play.

Rushing the Passer

  • Co-ed: The line judge will keep a verbal 3 second count, in a manner that can be heard by both the offense and defense. After 3 seconds, the defense is permitted to rush the QB.
  • Co-ed: In the event of a pitch, lateral, or handoff, the defense is allowed to rush immediately.
  • Open: The passer may be rushed at any time.


  • All forward passes must be made from behind the line of scrimmage.
  • Intentional grounding rules are in effect. A pass not in the vicinity of a receiver may be ruled intentional grounding by the officiating team resulting in a 5 yard penalty and loss of down.


  • All players are eligible to receive passes, even offensive linemen, if the offense team chooses to utilize them.
  • College football rules regarding catches in-bounds will be used. This means that only 1 foot needs to come down in bounds for a catch to be ruled complete.
  • A player must maintain control through the point of having a flag pulled or hitting the ground for a catch to be ruled complete.
  • If a player is forced out of bounds by a defender and the referee rules that without the push by the defender, that the offensive player would have established possession in-bounds, then the play is ruled as a catch the ball will be spotted where the offensive player was forced out.

Delay of Game

  • The offensive team must snap the ball within 20 seconds of the ball being put back into play by the line judge.


  • *** Gender Touchdown *** 8 points - a touchdown scored on what would be considered a gender play
  • 6 points - touchdowns.
  • 2 points - safety, extra point conversion from 10 yard line following touchdown.
  • 1 point - extra point conversion from 5 yard line following touchdown.


  • Fumbles are immediately dead balls upon hitting the ground.
  • Interceptions on extra point attempts are able to be returned by the defense for a 2 point score upon reaching the opposite end zone.
  • Interceptions returns are permitted and follow normal football rules.

Unsportsmanlike Conduct

  • Celebrations are fine, but please keep them in good taste and not disrespectful of the other team. Taunting, swearing, or other unsportsmanlike conduct will be penalized.

5 Yard Penalties

  • Failure to wear required equipment (ie - missing flag belt)
  • Delay of game ( dead ball ).
  • Illegal snap ( dead ball ).
  • False start or Encroachment ( dead ball ).
  • Illegal shift (ie - 2 players in motion at snap)
  • Illegal motion (ie - player moving toward line of scrimmage at snap)
  • Illegal forward pass ( from point of pass and loss of down )
  • Intentional grounding ( from point of pass and loss of down )
  • Helping the runner (ie - runner may not be pulled or pushed by a teammate)
  • Illegal substitution

10 Yard Penalties

  • Unsportsmanlike conduct
  • Flagrant unsportsmanlike conduct or personal foul ( disqualification )
  • Flag guarding ( from the spot of the foul )
  • Illegal Contact (ie - illegal use of hands/arms/legs/etc, stiff-arms, stripping the ball)
  • Holding
  • Offensive Pass Interference ( from the line of scrimmage and loss of down )
  • Defensive Pass Interference ( from the line of scrimmage and automatic 1st down )
  • Roughing the passer ( from the end of the run or the line of scrimmage and automatic 1st down )
  • Illegal participation
  • Illegal flag belt removal
  • Illegally secured belt ( loss of down - on touchdown, revoke touchdown )( disqualification)
  • Illegal kicking
  • Not using a required player in a forced gender situation. If the penalty occurs on 4th down, the ball is turned over to the defensive team.

Open Penalties