Rules


Tournament will be played based on the NIRSA Flag Football Rules below and will govern play for any rules not mentioned in the following MFL Rules:
Captains will be the only ones allowed to speak with referees. Any unsportsmanlike conduct will not be tolerated and will result in disqualification. 
Uniform/Equipment
1.      No shorts/pants with pockets or belt loops; cannot be worn inside out.
2.      No Jewelry/watches; shirts must be tucked in; towels cannot hang from belt or interfere with flags.
3.      No cleats with metal spikes.
4.      Regular men’s official size ball will be used. The field is 80 x 40 yards + 10 yard endzones.
Game Play
5.      Games will be played 7 vs. 7. Team must have at least 4 players on the field on time to start game or else game will be forfeited.
6.      Two 20 minute halves.
·       Clock runs continuously. 25-second play clock once ball is spotted.
·       With 2 minutes remaining in the second half, clock stops on first downs, incomplete passes, penalty (except intentional), out of bounds, touchdowns and change of possession. Clock will not run during PATs. It will run on ready for play if ball is thrown to the floor intentionally to conserve time.
·       Timeouts – each team is allowed 2 1-min time-outs per half. Half time is 5 mins. Timeouts don’t carry over.
7.      “Home” Team will choose the coin flip. The winner will choose to receive, defend or defer their choice to the second half, in which case they will choose the side they wish to defend. The loser of the coin toss will have the choice of side to defend and the choice to receive or defend at the start of the second half, unless the winner of the coin toss deferred their choice to the second half, in which case the loser will choose to receive or defend at the start of the game.
8.      Beginning each half and after touchdowns or touchbacks, the ball is placed at the 14 yard line. No kickoffs.
9.      PAT (extra point)- 1 point – 3 yard line; 2 points – 10 yard line; 3 points – 20 yard line. Defensive team is not allowed to score
10.    Substitutions are allowed anytime between plays. Team area is between the 20 yard lines, 2 yards off the sideline. Every player must play at least 5 minutes per half.
11.    No overtimes during seeding games, ties will be in effect. During playoffs, the "Visiting" Team will choose the coin flip in overtime. Both teams will play on the same side. If there are multiple overtimes, the choice to receive or defend will alternate. Each team will get 2 downs to score a touchdown from the 10 yard line. They will try an extra point if they score. From the 2nd overtime onward, a 2 or 3 point try will be required.
Offense
12.    Any offensive player may receive the snap, but they must be a minimum of 2-yards behind the scrimmage line.
13.    The snapper is the only player required to be on the line of scrimmage. All players are eligible to receive the ball unless they voluntarily go out of bounds. A catch only requires the first foot to be in bounds.
14.    Only one player may be in motion parallel to or away from the line of scrimmage when the ball is snapped.
15.    Screen Blocking - no contact (except that which is unavoidable) - cannot advance in the direction of the defensive player, making purposeful contact. The offensive blocker may keep his position in between a runner and a defender without using hands, arms, elbows, legs or body. 
16.    Player may not throw a forward pass after front foot has passed the line of scrimmage- even if they come back past the line. 
17.    Runner may not charge nor contact an opponent in their path or run between 2 opponents unless the space is reasonable.
18.    No flag guarding, stiff arming, etc. No hurdling or diving.
19.    If ball carrier loses their flag belt, or if flags are not to the players sides (unless defensive player moves them) - one-hand tag constitutes the offensive player down. Ball is spotted at front foot of ball carrier.
20.    4 downs to reach “zone line to gain”; 1stdown anytime ball is advanced past either 20 yard line or 40 yard line. 
21.    Ball is dead anytime it hits the ground-except punt return. No fumbles. Runner is down when anything but hands or feet touch ground.
22.    Punts allowed on fourth down and must be announced. No fakes. No spot passes. 
23.    On punt return, 4 players on the receiving team must be on the line. Kicking team may not pass the line of scrimmage until ball is kicked. Defense is not allowed to block the punt. Return is allowed if ball hits the ground unless it hits a player first.
24.    Offensive team is responsible for bringing back the ball to the line of scrimmage. Referee will whistle when ball is ready for play. No hurry-up offense. Defense will be allowed 10 seconds from dead ball to get set.
Defense
25.    Rusher(s) must line up at least 1 yard from line of scrimmage. They are not allowed to have ANY contact with the thrower’s arm, upper body or ball- they must reach for the flag only. Defenders cannot cross the line of scrimmage until the referee says “Go,” about 3 seconds after the snap, unless the QB leaves the pocket (more than 1 step right or left of center) or any other player touches the ball.
26.    Defender is not allowed to hold the ball carrier when attempting to de-flag.
27.    Defender is not allowed to push player out of bounds nor allowed to attempt to strip ball - must attempt to de-flag.
28.    Defender is not allowed to intentionally de-flag an offensive player who does not have the ball. Defender must hand flag back to player after de-flagging.
29.    Offensive/defensive players are not allowed to initiate contact with opposing players at any time, especially off the line of scrimmage.
30.    Whether a pass is catchable or uncatchable has no bearing on offensive and defensive forward pass interference.
Important Penalties
5 yard penalty
1.    Delay of game 
2.    Offensive player illegally in motion
3.    Illegal forward pass (also loss of down- no replay of down)
4.    Intentional grounding (also loss of down- no replay of down) 
5.    False start; offside; encroachment; illegal snap
10 yard penalty
6.    Unsportsmanlike conduct; Kicking, spiking or throwing ball during dead ball
7.    Strip or attempt to strip the ball 
8.    Contact before or after ball is dead; Defensive/Offensive use of hands
9.    Drive, charge or run into an opponent, hurdle any player, diving to the ground 
10.    Forward pass interference- Offensive (also loss of down- no replay of down); Defensive (spot foul if more than 10 yards, plus automatic 1st down) 
11.    Roughing the passer (automatic 1st down) 
12.    Illegal offensive screen blocking
13.    Guarding the flag belt (Flag Guarding); stiff arm; etc.
14.    Obstruct or holding the runner; push runner out of bounds; Illegal flag belt removal 
15.    Unnecessary contact, throw runner to ground, tackle player (will also be disqualification)

Card
Keeping in mind the changes noted above, you may watch this video to get a general sense of how to play: