Flag Football Study Guide History

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Flag Football Study Guide


The basic roots of the game can be traced back to styles of both soccer and rugby being played in England as early as 1820. At about the same time, students at Princeton University. (New Jersey) were participating in contests resembling the combination of the above, referring to their

Interpretation of the games as “ball own.” In 1867 Princeton students established the first set of known rules for the American style of play, and the size and shape of the ball became more consistent. On November 6, 1869 the first organized game between different institutions was played, featuring Princeton and their rival Rutgers.The original number of players of 15 per side was reduced to 11 by Walter Camp (Head Coach at Yale University). He is also responsible for

establishing a system of “downs” and the distance to advance the ball at ten yards. The forward pass became legal in 1905. President Theodore Roosevelt, in 1906, called upon Harvard, Yale and Princeton to solidify the future of the game. More than 60 universities sent representation and formed the original National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) at that time. Other than equipment, facilities, and the size, strength and speed of the participants, the game has remained relatively unchanged for nearly 100 years. Football is the most popular sport in the United Staes.

Basic Rules

1. To start the game, the ball is kicked off (from the ground), from one end of the field to the other. This is also done by thescoring team after each ensuing score.

2. The team with the ball “offense” now has four chances (downs) to move the ball 10 yards for a 1st down.

3. When a team scores, they automatically go for their extra point. Either a one point kick or two point conversion.

4. The defense may not push or grab an offensive player.

5. Crossing the line of scrimmage before the ball is hiked will result in an off-side.

6. The ball is then snapped (hiked) to the QB standing behind the center.

7. You may run or pass every down.

8. If a defensive player “interferes” with an offensive players’ chance to catch a ball, it is a penalty. (H.S. is 15 yards)
PE Rules

1. To start the game, the ball is kicked off, using a punt or a kickoff,10 large strides from the sideline.

This is also done by the scoring team after each ensuing score.

2. Four down to get a 1st down. A 1st down is the middle cone.

3. When a team scores, scoring team will take 5 large strides from the goal line and get 1

attempt to score 1 additional point.

4. The defense may not push or grab an offensive player and may only touch a player

once he/she has the ball

5. The defense will stand a minimum of 1 yard off the line of scrimmage. The defense may

not cross that line until they count (OUT LOUD) 5 Mississippi to rush or 10 Mississippi to sack . Qb may not run unless the opposing tem rushes.

6. The ball must be snapped (hiked) “shot gun” style, with the QB standing back a couple

of feet. You may hand it off to a runningback

7. Football that is fumbled is considered DOWN (cannot pick it up and run it in).

8. You may run or pass every down.

9. If a defensive player “interferes” with an offensive players’ chance to catch a ball, the ball will be placed at the site of the foul and no down will be charged to the offence.

10. A shot gun hike that goes over, or bounces to, the QB or punter is a dead ball.

Players and Positions

Regulation teams are made up of 11 players on offense and 11 on defense

o Center – the position in the middle of the line of scrimmage. This person also snaps the ball to the quarterback to begin play

o Fullback or Half back – are also called running backs. Play behind the front line and the quarterback

o Quarterback – the offensive player which is the “signal caller” and controls the game on the field

o Tackle – a tackle is also called a lineman – they stand next to the guard

o Guard – the player who protects the quarterback – they play on either side of center

o End – the players who are on either end of the line – can be lineman or receivers

o Linemen - The front players on defense (defense tackles and ends).

o Linebackers - stand back from the main line of scrimmage, which gives them an advantage of sorts – they get to seewhat the offense is up to once the ball is in motion.

o Defensive backs - The players on the defensive team who take positions somewhat back from the line of scrimmage.Generally defensive backs are classified into several different specialized positions: cornerbacks or safety.


Touchdown = 6 points

Field Goal = 3 point

Run/Pass Conversion = 2 points

Field Goal Conversion = 1 point

Safety = 2 points


Blocking - act of protecting your ball carrier or quarterback by getting in the way of the defender.

Center – snaps the ball to start the play

Dead ball - in flag football a dead ball occurs when: the ball hits the ground on a punt or kick, a player falls down, a fumble occurs,

any out of bounds play, and in an incomplete pass. No fumble can be picked up and advanced.

Defense - team trying to prevent the offensive team from scoring.

Defensive backs – guard the receivers

Down – each new play or from the snap of the ball until that play finishes.

Extra point – one play immediately following your touchdown (1 or 2 points)

Field goal – similar to a kickoff, attempted when too far to score a touchdown. Ball is held on ground by a teammate and kicked through uprights of goal post(3 points)

First down – when the ball is moved 10 yards by the offense and renews your four downs.

Forward pass - a forward pass may be thrown by any player that is behind the line of scrimmage at the time of the throw. Only one forward pass per downs is allowed.

Handoff – exchanging the ball with a teammate

Interception – Defensive player interrupts (by catching) a pass from one player to another

Kickoff – kicking the ball from the ground or a tee

Lateral pass - A pass that is thrown to a player behind you. This pass can be thrown from

anywhere on the field as long as it is not to someone in front of you.

Line of scrimmage (L.O.S) - imaginary line passing through the end of the ball nearer teams goalline and parallel with the goal line that divides the offensive and defensive teams before the snap of the ball.

Off sides – crossing the L.O.S. pre-maturely (prior to the snap)

Offense - team putting the ball in play.

Penalties - an act that is against the rules and results in loss of down or down over in flag football. All penalties in flag football are included to reduce injuries in class. Diving for flags is not permitted for that purpose. Double penalties offset each other resulting in a down over.

Punt – kicking the ball (4th down) by dropping the ball from your own hands

Safety - pulling the flag of an offensive player behind their own goal line scoring 2 pts.

Snap – to hike the ball, onset of each new play

Touchback - a ball caught in your own end zone from a kickoff, interception or punt that is downed.

Touchdown - most common method of scoring, and is worth 6 points.


Throwing: Load-Cock-Throw

Catching: Catch the ball with your finger tips using the triangle method

Carry the Football: Fingers – Palm – Elbow –Bicep - Rib Cage

Basic Routes

Stop: 5 steps and stop Slant: 3 step and slant Take Off: Vert Dig: 12 yard In

Post: 12 yard slant Return: slant then return to the sideline

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