Complete Flag Football Rules    Flag Football Rules Video    IM Principles

Last Updated for Summer 2015

No Pets, No Alcohol, & No Tobacco Products are permitted at the Rec SportsPlex. Violators will be ejected.


Games are 7-on-7, a minimum of 5 players is required to avoid a forfeit.  Players MUST be current, fee-paying Florida State University students, faculty or full-time staff. FAMU and TCC students are NOT eligible for FSU IM sports and events. (See Fair Play Principle) Each player MUST present his/her valid FSUCard to the IM staff at the designated sign-in location (Rec SportsPlex) prior to each game in order to participate. (See Participation Principle)

Players are added to a team’s roster during the check-in process at the RSP. New players may be added to a team’s roster prior to any regular season game and prior to any playoff game, except on the day of the league/campus championship. Once signed in for a team, a player may not change to another team during the regular season or playoffs. (See Participation Principle)

Players must wear shorts or pants WITHOUT pockets and WITHOUT beltloops. Shirts must be able to be TUCKED IN or end at least 4 inches above the waistline. Shirt arm holes must be within 4 inches of the armpit. Shoes are required. Metal spikes and metal cleats are PROHIBITED. Hats, caps, and bandannas with knots are PROHIBITED. Jewelry, casts, and any other items deemed dangerous by the official are also PROHIBITED.


Games consist of two 20-minute halves. The clock will run continuously through the entire 1st half (there will be NO 2-minute warning). The clock will run for the first 18 minutes of the 2nd half, stopping when necessary during the final two minutes of the 2nd half only.

Teams receive 2 time-outs per half. Timeouts do NOT carry over. All regular season games can end in a tie. Overtime will only be played in playoff games. An OT period consists of a series of downs for each team from the 10-yard line.


Teams obtain a first down by crossing a line-to-gain. Lines-to-gain are the 20 and 40 yardlines. Four offensive players (five for co-rec) must line up along the line of scrimmage at the start of each play. The player receiving the snap must be 2 yards behind the line of scrimmage at the time of reception (no direct snaps). Defensive players who enter the neutral zone prior to the snap are immediately offside and do not have the opportunity to jump back onside.

All players on the field are eligible receivers. The first part of a receiver’s body to contact the ground shall determine if the receiver is in-bounds or out-of-bounds on a reception. Only one foot (or knee) is required to be in-bounds.

A player in possession of the ball shall not use his/her arms or the ball to block defenders from reaching his/her flag belt. This includes running while holding the ball over the waist area (belt) and stiff arming. This is flag guarding. Excessive contact by any player against an opponent shall be considered a personal foul (illegal contact).

The only type of blocking permitted is screen blocking. Screen blocking is essentially non-contact, similar to basketball. A defender must avoid contacting the blocker in any way. The blocker may not initiate contact. Any number of defenders may rush the quarterback at any time.

Any player may handoff the ball in any direction, anywhere on the field.

An offensive player may run through (across) the line of scrimmage, then run back behind the line of scrimmage and throw a forward pass OR toss the ball backward to another player who can then throw a forward pass as long as such pass is the first and only forward pass in the down and the pass is thrown when the passer’s feet are behind the line of scrimmage at the time of the pass. Only ONE legal forward pass is permitted per down.

Fumbles are immediately dead when they touch the ground. Defenders may NOT bat a ball in the possession of a player or attempt to force a fumble. For timing purposes, fumbles and bad snaps are considered running plays.

All punts must be announced. On 4th down, the referee will ask the team captain to declare a punt or play. Once announced, the decision is final unless a team time-out is taken or a penalty with a repeated down is accepted.

PAT attempts may be for 1 point (3-yard line), 2 points (10-yard line), or 3 points (20-yard line). A turnover ends the PAT attempt immediately. Interceptions during a PAT attempt cannot be returned for a defensive score. The Mercy Rule is 19 points in men’s and women’s games and 25 points in co-rec games. When one team is leading by this margin at the 2-minute warning of the 2nd half or anytime thereafter, the game will be called. 


Sportsmanship is an essential part of intramural sports. Players and spectators shall show respect towards opponents and game officials at all times. Teams receive a sportsmanship rating at the conclusion of each game on a scale of 0 to 4. Teams must maintain a 3.0 average to continue participating in the league or tournament. Misconduct of players or team spectators may result in ejection and/or forfeiture of the game.

All teams, regardless of record, with a 3.0 or better sportsmanship average advance to the playoffs. Playoff draw meetings are held and schedules are posted online during the final week of the regular season.