Playing Rules

Updated September 1, 2023
General Rules

Florida State University does not provide accident insurance coverage for injuries received by Intramural Sports participants. Each participant should make sure that they have coverage either through family policies or the student insurance plan.

Florida State University PROHIBITS possession or consumption of alcoholic beverages on University property. Smoking and the use of smokeless tobacco is also prohibited at Campus Recreation facilities. This includes the Rec SportsPlex, Main Campus Fields, Westside Courts, and Tully Gym. Violators will be asked to leave the area. Failure to do so can result in forfeiture of the contest, suspension of individuals and/or teams, and appropriate action by the Office of Student Conduct & Community Standards and/or the FSU Police.

Sport Rules

Current NIRSA Flag & Touch Football Rules (2023 & 2024) will govern play with the following modifications:


1. Participation is limited to currently-enrolled, fee-paying FSU students, faculty members, and full-time staff. FAMU & TCC students and members of the community are not eligible.

2. In order to participate in an intramural contest, each player must present their current, valid FSUCard. Check-in takes place at designated sign-in locations at the facility, not at the fields or courtside.

3. Additional information regarding player eligibility, team rosters, and participant check-in is available in the Seven Principles of Intramural Sports, available online at the FSU Intramural Sports web site and in the Intramural Sports Office at the Main Campus Fields (1001 W. St. Augustine Street). Requests for exceptions to any policy must be directed to the IM administrative staff during regular weekday business hours in the Intramural Sports Office. No exceptions are granted at the fields or courts.


1. Players can compete on only one men’s or women’s team, regardless of league classification. In addition, players may compete for one co-rec team during the same season.

2. Seven (7) players constitutes a team. All players must present their current, valid FSUCard at the game site to sign-in to participate.

3. A team must have 5 players to start a game. Players who arrive late may be added to the roster and may enter the game at a dead-ball situation.

4. Team rosters will be formed based on the players who compete in the team’s first regular season game (sign-in at the facility on the night of the game). Additions may be made to the roster at any time throughout the season and during the playoffs (until championship day). New players will become part of a team’s roster when they sign-in at a subsequent game. No player may participate on more than one team, unless their second team is a co-rec team.


1. Footballs are available for check-out at the Rec SportsPlex. Each team must furnish its own game ball and practice balls.

2. Teams are encouraged to furnish their own like-colored jerseys. Scrimmage vests (pinnies) are available for checkout at the facility.

3. Individual player equipment must meet the following requirements:
A. Shirts: All shirts must be tucked in and remain tucked in during play. If the shirt (sweatshirt or jacket) has a hood, the hood must be tucked inside the shirt (sweatshirt or jacket). If the player wears a half shirt, it must be a minimum of 4 inches above the waist. Shirts must not have arm openings that are larger than 4 inches. The referee will use their fist to measure the distance of the arm opening.
B. Pants: Players may not wear pants or shorts that have belt loops, pockets, or an exposed drawstring. Players may not wear towels that hang from the waist.
C. Headgear: Players may not wear baseball style caps or other rigid headwear. Knit and stocking caps are permitted. Players may wear a headband no wider than two inches and made of non-abrasive cloth, elastic, fiber, soft leather, or rubber. Bandanas with knots are prohibited. Rubber or cloth elastic bands may be used to control hair.
D. Pads or Braces: No pads or braces may be worn above the waist. Leg and knee braces made of hard, unyielding material must be covered on both sides and all edges with appropriate slow-recovery padding.
E. Shoes: All players must wear shoes. Tennis/running shoes, soft-soled shoes, and football shoes are permitted. Metal spikes, baseball-style spikes, and cleats with metal exposed are prohibited. Any player caught wearing spikes will be ejected from the game.
F. Participating while wearing illegal equipment is a 10-yard unsporting conduct penalty.
G. If teams choose to bring a playbook out onto the field, it cannot be of an unyielding material and must not be visible during play. Also, the playbook must stay on the person instead of being thrown on the ground.

4. Jewelry is NOT allowed to be worn by any participant during a flag football game. This jewelry consists of any visible rings (including wedding bands), watches, necklaces, earrings, studs, bracelets, and any other such similar jewelry. Medic alert bracelets must be taped to the body or secured under clothing such as a wristband or sock to be worn during play. A player is subject to ejection for failure to remove any jewelry after first warning.

5. Each player must wear a three flag belt with one flag on each hip and one in the rear. Special rules have been established to determine how to legally fasten and remove the flag belt.
A. All players must have three flags at the beginning of play.
1. Failure to wear a flag belt at the start of the play, if noticed by an official prior to the snap is a live ball penalty (5 yards).
2. If a runner loses their flag during the action, play continues. The play ends when a defensive player touches the runner with one hand between the shoulders and the knees.
3. If failure to wear the flag belt is noticed by the official after the play starts, the play continues with the ball becoming dead when the runner is touched between the shoulders and knees. The defense can accept the result of the play or penalize for failure to wear required equipment (5 yards).
B. Tampering with the flag belt in any way to gain advantage, including tying, using foreign material, or other such acts is unsporting conduct. (10 yards, loss of down and player disqualification)

6. The dimensions of the fields have been standardized into regulation 80 yard x 40 yard playing areas with two 10-yard endzones and three 20-yard zones. Two inbounds lines (hash marks) shall run parallel with and 15 yards inbounds from each sideline.

7. For each play, the ball shall be spotted at the spot on the field where the previous play ended, if inside the inbounds lines. For plays that end between the inbounds line and the sideline or out-of-bounds, the ball will be spotted on the inbounds line closest to the spot where the previous play ended. At the start of each half and following any touchbacks or touchdowns, the ball will be spotted at the center of the field.

8. There will be lines 3 yards and 10 yards from either goal line from which extra point plays will be run, and 14 yards from either goal from which to put the ball in play to begin a half, after a score, safety, or touchback.

9. There will be a restraining line 2 yards outside and parallel to the sideline. Teams and spectators must stay behind this line and between the 20 yard lines.

10. Field barriers shall be set at the distance from the field of play as required by NIRSA rules.


1. Game time is forfeit time. A team needs at least 5 legal players to begin the game. A team that forfeits a regular season game must contact the IM Sports Office by 12 Noon on the day following the scheduled contest to request to stay in the league.

2. Games will consist of two 20-minute halves with a 5-minute halftime.

3. A toss of a coin will determine which team will gain possession of the ball first. The team that wins the coin toss may make a choice or defer their option to the second half. The team that retains the choice has the following options:
A. To go on offense to start the game (first possession of the ball).
B. To go on defense to start the game.
C. Defend the goal of their choice.
After the initial choice, the opposing team will select from the remaining two options.

4. There will be no kickoffs. In all “kickoff” situations, the “receiving” team will get the ball on their own 14 yard line, 1st and 6. This includes all touchbacks and after touchdowns and safeties. The ball will be spotted at the center of the field at the start of each series in these instances.

5. Timing will be continuous for the entire first half and for the first 18 minutes of the second half.
Only a team time-out and official’s time-out can stop the clock. The clock will stop during the final two minutes of the second half for:
A. Incomplete pass – clock restarts on the snap.
B. Out of bounds – clock restarts on snap.
C. Penalty – clock restarts depending on the result of the previous play.
D. Score – clock restarts on opponent’s next snap from scrimmage.
E. Time-outs – clock restarts on snap.
F. Fair catch – clock restarts on snap.
G. Touchback – clock restarts on snap.
H. Inadvertent whistle – clock starts on the ready for play whistle.
I. First down – clock restarts depending on result of the previous play.

6. Approximately 2 minutes before the end of each half, the Referee shall inform both team captains of the playing time remaining in each half. The clock will stop in the 2nd half for the 2-minute warning and will restart on the next snap.

7. The ball must be put into play no more than 25 seconds after the official has marked it ready for play.

8. Two one-minute time-outs per half are allowed for each team. Teams will receive one time-out for the entire overtime session, regardless how many overtime periods take place. Time-outs do not carry over between halves or into the overtime period.

9. Overtime will be played in all games, as necessary. In overtime:
A. A coin toss will be conducted to start the overtime period. The winner of the coin toss has the choice of offense or defense. If the game goes to a second overtime, the team which lost the toss at the beginning of the first overtime, has the choice to start on offense or defense for the second overtime. The choice will then alternate for each succeeding overtime period.
B. Each team will have a series of four downs to score from their opponent’s 10-yard line. Teams which begin their overtime period outside of the 20-yard line due to penalty must score in 4 downs and will NOT receive any first downs for crossing zone-line-to-gains in the process. Teams may receive another set of downs by penalty only (automatic first down).
C. When a team scores, they will attempt an extra point (1, 2, or 3).
D. The team on defense first will have its chance to score and attempt an extra point.
E. Overtime will continue until a winner is declared.
F. When the defense secures possession of the ball during overtime, the offense’s series shall be over and the ball declared dead. The defense may not return the ball for a touchdown.


1. FSU Intramural Sports reserves the right to postpone or reschedule a contest if circumstances warrant such action. Regular season games cancelled by rain are generally not rescheduled. Contests postponed due to other reasons may or may not be rescheduled at the discretion of the Intramural Sports staff.

2. In the case of inclement weather, the Intramural Sports staff will not make a decision regarding the playing of games until after 4:00 pm. For information on cancellations, use the FSU Rec app or visit the Intramural Sports web site.

3. A game stopped because of inclement weather is a regulation game if four or more innings (3 1/2 if the home team is ahead) have been played. In the event that a game is stopped in the middle of an inning, the official score will revert the score at the end of the last complete inning.


1. A touchdown shall count for six (6) points.
A. After a player scores a touchdown or try after a TD, the player must raise their arms above their head so that the nearest official can deflag the player.
B. If the official deems that the flag belt has been illegally fastened (tied, twisted, tucked in, etc), the player is disqualified and an unsporting conduct penalty is enforced. (10 yards from the previous spot with loss of down and the score is nullified, no loss of down if it occurs after change of possession.)

2. After a touchdown, the scoring team attempts a PAT (point after touchdown). The captain will indicate from which distance the offense will attempt the PAT. The captain may also designate where, between the inbounds lines, the ball shall be spotted for the PAT.
A. From the 3-yard line – Worth 1 point.
B. From the 10-yard line – Worth 2 points.
C. From the 20-yard line – Worth 3 points.

3. When the defense secures possession of the ball during a PAT attempt, the attempt shall be over and the ball declared dead. The defense may not return the ball for a touchdown (cannot score during a PAT).

4. A safety shall count for 2 points. Afterwards, the ball will be put in play by the scoring team at their 14-yard line.

5. (Mercy Rule) If a team is leading by 19 points, or attains a lead of 19 points or more, in the final 2 minutes of the game, the game will end.


1. First Downs
A team registers a first down when it crosses or touches one of the first down lines (zone lines-to-gain). Once the first down has been established, that team may not make another first down by crossing the same line during that series of downs.

2. Line of Scrimmage, Required Number of Players
Four (4) offensive players must be on the line of scrimmage at the snap. A player is deemed on the line of scrimmage when facing their opponent’s goal line with the line of their shoulders approximately parallel thereto and with their head or foot breaking the plane of the imaginary line drawn through the waistline of the snapper and parallel to the scrimmage line. At anytime at or after the ready for play signal, all offensive players must momentarily be at least 5 yards inbounds prior to the snap, unless covered (recognized) by a defensive player. There is no requirement for defensive players to line-up along the line or be at least 5 yards inbounds prior to the snap.

3. Fumbles
A fumble is dead at the point the ball touches the ground. The ball goes to the team who last had possession with the resulting loss of down. A ball that has not hit the ground can be recovered (in the air) and advanced by either team. This includes snaps by the center that are not caught by an offensive player (i.e. quarterback). Bad snaps are dead at the spot they hit the ground. For the purposes of timing, fumbles and bad snaps are considered running plays and the clock will not stop on

4. Handoffs
Any player may hand the ball forward or backward to any player anywhere on the field. During a handoff, the ball is in contact with a player at all times.

5. Forward Passes
A forward pass is LEGAL when:
A. The passer’s foot is behind the line of scrimmage when the ball leaves the hand.
B. The pass occurs before a change of possession (defense may not throw a forward pass following a fumble recovery or interception).
C. It is the first and only forward pass made during the down. Only one forward pass is permitted per down, regardless of whether is pass is completed beyond or behind the line of scrimmage.
Note: 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 abides by the provisions of this section.

6. Pass Receptions
All legal players are eligible to receive a pass. One foot must land in bounds before any part of the body lands in the out-of-bounds area for a legal pass reception. One knee is equivalent.

7. Interceptions in the End Zone
If a player intercepts the ball in the endzone, the player may return it out of the end zone. If the player is deflagged while running in the end zone, it is a touchback. Interceptions in the end zone during a PAT attempt or overtime immediately end the play (no returns).

8. Screen Blocking
The only type of blocking that is allowed is screen blocking. No contact is allowed between the offense and defense. Penalty: Personal foul, 10 yards.
A. The screen blocker must have their hands at their side or behind their back.
B. Any use of the hands, arms, legs or body to initiate contact is illegal.
C. The player must be on their feet before, during and after the screen block.
D. The blocker cannot take a position so close to a moving opponent that their opponent cannot avoid contact by stopping or changing direction. This position will vary from 1 to 2 steps depending on speed of the defensive player.

9. Retrieval of Ball after a Play
The offensive team must retrieve the ball after every play from scrimmage. The snapper will maintain control of the ball and bring the ball from the huddle to the line of scrimmage.

10. Punting the Ball
On fourth down, the referee will ask the offensive team captain to select if they wish to (1) punt or (2) try to reach the zone-line-to-gain (“go for it”). Once a decision is reached, the referee will announce the decision to the defense. If the offense declares to punt, then wants to change their decision, they may do so after a charged timeout or an accepted penalty in which the down is to be replayed.
A. All punts must be announced to the referee. There are no quick kicks. PENALTY: Illegal kicking, 10 yards from the previous spot.
B. The kicking team must have 4 players (5 in co-rec) on the line of scrimmage during a punt. PENALTY: Illegal procedure, 5 yards from the previous spot.
C. The kicker must catch and kick the ball immediately in one continuous motion. PENALTY: Illegal procedure, 5 yards from the previous spot.
D. Neither team may advance beyond their respective scrimmage line until the ball is kicked. PENALTY: Illegal procedure, 5 yards from the previous spot.
E. Kickers may not punt barefoot. PENALTY: Failure to wear proper equipment, 5 yards from the previous spot.
F. No player from the kicking team may interfere with a player from the receiving team that is in position or moving into a position to catch an airborne punt. The opportunity for kick catch interference ends when a punt hits the ground. PENALTY: Kick catch interference, 10 yards from the spot of the foul.
G. Punts that have not been touched by a player are NOT dead while bouncing on the ground. When a punt touches a player from either team and then hits the ground, it is dead at that spot and belongs to the receiving team. If a punt is muffed by the receiving team and caught in the air by the kicking team, it is dead at that spot and the kicking team retains possession, first and line-to-gain. If caught in the air by the receiving team, they may advance the ball.
H. When a punt breaks the plane of the receiving team’s goal line, it is a touchback. Punts may not be returned out of the endzone.
I. There are no fair catches. Fair catch signals that are used in an attempt to confuse the opponent shall be considered Unfair Acts. PENALTY: Unfair Act, 10 yards from spot of signal or catch (depending on which is a greater penalty for the receiving team).

11. Inadvertent Whistles
When an official sounds their whistle inadvertently:
A. During a legal pass, while a snap is in flight, or while a kick is in-flight, the down will be replayed.
B. When a player is in possession or during a backward pass, the team in possession at the time of the inadvertent whistle may choose either to accept the play where it is blown dead or to replay the down.

VII. EXPLANATION OF COMMON PENALTIES1. Delay of Game (dead ball foul, 5 yards from the previous spot)
The ball must be put in play properly and legally and any action or inaction by either team which tends to prevent this is illegal delay of game. This includes:
A. Interrupting the 25 second count for any reason, except for a time-out allowed by the referee.
B. Consuming more than 25 seconds in putting the ball in play after it is marked ready for play.
C. Deliberately advancing the ball after it has been declared dead.

2. Encroachment [Offsides] (dead ball foul, 5 yards from the previous spot)
Following the ready-to-play whistle and prior to the snap, no player on defense may encroach, touch the ball, or contact an opponent in any way. It is encroachment for any player to break their scrimmage line plane (yellow disk [defense], orange disk [offense]). Players do NOT have the opportunity to jump across the line and “get back” onside. It is a foul as soon as the player initially enters the neutral zone.

3. False Start (dead ball foul, 5 yards from the previous spot)
No offensive player shall simulate a charge or start of a play.

4. Illegal Formation (5 yards from the previous spot)
When there are less than four (4) offensive players on the line of scrimmage at the snap, it is a live ball illegal procedure penalty. The player who receives the snap must be at least 2 yards behind the offensive scrimmage line.

5. Illegal Batting (10 yards from the spot of the foul)
Players shall not bat a loose ball other than a pass or fumble in flight. Exception: A backward pass in flight may not be batted or thrown forward by the passing team.

6. Illegal Motion and Shift (5 yards from the previous spot)
Only one offense player may be in motion, but not in motion towards the opponent’s goal line (or line of scrimmage), at the time of the snap. After a huddle, all offensive players must come to a stop and remain stationary for 1 second before an offensive player may go in motion. If two or more players shift/go in motion simultaneously prior to the snap, both must come to a stop and reset prior to the snap.

7. Flag Guarding (10 yards from the spot of the foul & replay the down OR spot of the foul & loss of down)
The ball carrier shall not protect their flags by blocking with their arms or hands in order to deny the opponents the opportunity to remove them. This includes the quarterback/passer in possession of the ball. Note: Stiff arming is flag guarding. Running while holding the ball at hip-level, intentionally or unintentionally, may also be considered flag guarding.

8. Illegally Deflaging an Opponent (Personal foul, 10 yards)
An offensive player must have possession of the ball before they can be legally deflagged. Pulling or removing a flag belt from an offensive player without the ball is illegal. If the player is an eligible receiver, the violation may be considered pass interference.

9. Illegal Contact by the Ball Carrier (Personal foul, 10 yards from the spot of the foul)
The ball carrier must run to avoid tacklers. Deliberate charging of an opponent is against the rules. Officials will use the same judgment on charging and blocking by offensive and defensive players as in basketball. “Brushing contact” and unavoidable contact is not willful “charging.” The ball carrier may spin or jump around defenders to avoid deflagging; however, the ball carrier must remain in control of their body during such moves. If the foul is intentional or unsporting, then 10 more yards will be added to the penalty and the player will be disqualified.

10. Holding (10 yards from the end of the run [defense], 10 yards from the spot of the foul [offense])
Holding is grasping or encircling an opponent with the hand or arm in any way that impedes their movement. A defensive player may not hold, push, or knock the ball carrier down in an attempt to remove the flag. Similarly, an offensive player may not hold an opponent to prevent a deflagging.

11. Tripping (10 yards from the end of the run)
Tripping is using the lower leg or foot to obstruct an opponent (including the ball carrier) below the knees.
PENALTY: 10 yards from the end of the run.

12. Illegal Contact by the Defense & Tackling (10 yards from the end of the run)
If a defensive player reaches across the body of the ball carrier to pull the flag and contact is made, the responsibility of the contact lies with the defensive player. A runner shall not be thrown to the ground. There shall be no contact with an opponent who is on the ground. If a defensive player tackles the ball carrier, who in the opinion of the referee, would have scored except for being tackled, a touchdown shall be awarded. Deliberate tackles will result in disqualification.

13. Roughing the Passer (10 yards from previous spot, if incomplete pass thrown; 10 yards from end of run following completed pass)
Defensive players must make a definite effort to avoid charging into a passer. Contact with the passer shall be avoided except in cases where the defensive player is attempting to deflag the passer. Excessive contact is not permitted at all times. Contact with a thrown ball (hitting the ball then the passer in the same motion) does NOT affect this rule and roughing the passer may still be called. Roughing the passer does not apply on illegal forward passes; however, illegal contact may be called.

14. Illegal Forward Pass & Intentional Grounding (5 yards from the spot of the foul and loss of down)
A pass thrown in violation of the legal pass guidelines listed above is considered illegal. A pass that is intentionally thrown to the ground or out of bounds to avoid a loss of yardage is also illegal.

15. Offensive Pass Interference (10 yards from the previous spot)
Pass interference occurs when a player contacts another eligible receiver who is beyond the line of scrimmage. Restrictions exist for the offense from the time that the ball is snapped until it has been touched by a receiver.

16. Defensive Pass Interference (10 yards from the previous spot, automatic first down)
Restrictions exist for the defense from the time the pass is thrown until it has been touched by a receiver. Face guarding with no intent to catch, intercept, or bat the ball is also considered pass interference. Note: Contact or interference by the defense prior to when the pass is thrown is still considered illegal and will be penalized as a personal foul.

17. Other Personal Fouls (10 yards from the end of the run [defense], 10 yards from the spot of the foul [offense])
Any act prohibited hereunder or any other act of unnecessary roughness is a personal foul.
A. No player shall punch, strike, strip, steal, or attempt to steal the ball from the player who has possession.
B. There shall be no tripping or clipping.
C. There shall be no hurdling. Hurdling shall be interpreted as an attempt by the runner to jump with both feet or knees foremost over a player or between player. (You can jump or spin away from players to avoid having your flag pulled.)

18. Unsporting Conduct (all enforced from dead ball spot, 10 yards)
No player shall commit unsporting acts during play or intermission including:
A. Using words similar to offensive audibles or quarterback cadence prior to the snap in an effort to interfere with the offense’s signals or movements.
B. Intentionally kicking the ball (other than a punt)
C. Intentionally kicking an opponent or swinging an arm, hand or fist at any opposing player or official.
D. Disrespectfully addressing an official or indicating objections to an official’s decision.
E. Using profanity, taunting, insulting or vulgar language or gestures.
F. Fighting or leaving the sidelines and entering an alternation.
Two unsporting fouls by the same player or nonplayer results in disqualification. A player or nonplayer can be disqualified following the first unsporting foul.


1. Team Composition
Eight players, four men and four women, constitute a team. A team may have as few as six players, with the makeup of the team being 3 men and 3 women. A team can participate with seven players, with the composition being 4 men and 3 women or 3 men and 4 women. At no time shall the number of males over females exceed one.

2. Equipment
Regular or intermediate size footballs may be used.

3. Scoring
A. If a female scores a touchdown (runs across goal line or receives a pass in the endzone), the point value is 9.
B. If a female throws a legal forward pass in a play that results in a touchdown by any offensive player, the point value is 9.
C. All other touchdowns (by male players) score 6 points. Successful PATs count the same for both genders (1, 2, or 3).

4. Mercy Rule
If a team is leading by 25 points, or attains a lead of 25 points or more, in the final 2 minutes of the game, the game will end.

5. Number of Players on the Line of Scrimmage
Five (5) offensive players must be on the line of scrimmage at the time of the snap.

6. Run Plays / Action Before a Pass / Illegal Male Advancement
Male Runner (Ball Carrier) > A male runner cannot advance the ball through the line of scrimmage.
There are no restrictions during a run by a male runner once the ball has been touched by any player beyond the line of scrimmage.
There are no restrictions after a team change in possession.
Penalty: Illegal Male Advancement, 5 yards from previous spot.
Play 1: Male throws a forward pass to female beyond the line of scrimmage who then throws a backward pass to a male who is behind the line of scrimmage line. The male then runs for a 10 yard gain. Ruling: Legal Play.
Play 2: The play is “open”. Male throws a legal forward pass to a male who first touches the ball behind the scrimmage line, juggles it through the scrimmage line and then catches it beyond the scrimmage line. Ruling: Legal Play
Female Runner > There are no restrictions on any run by a female player at any time.
Male Restrictions In Effect > During the period between the snap and when a legal forward pass is thrown.
Male Restrictions in Effect > During the period between the snap and the time when the ball is legally possessed beyond the line of scrimmage by any player.
Male Restrictions End > When any player has caught a legal forward pass anywhere on the field. Complete a pass, eliminate the restrictions.
Male Restrictions End > When the ball has been legally possessed beyond the line of scrimmage by any player.
Restricted Play > Once a male runner has carried the ball across the line of scrimmage illegally, it is an Illegal Male Advancement foul, regardless of future gain or loss of yardage on the play.
PENALTY > The penalty for Illegal Male Advancement is 5 yards from the previous line of scrimmage.

6. Pass Plays / Open and Closed Status / Illegal Male Pass Reception
Announcement > Prior to each play, the game referee will announce both the down and either “open” or “closed” status for the upcoming play.
Open Status > The term “open” means any player can complete a legal forward pass to any other player.
Closed Status > The term “closed” means a male player may not complete a legal forward pass to any other male player.
Open to Closed > The status changes from “open” to “closed” on any legal male to male forward pass completion, regardless of a gain or loss of yardage on the play.
Closed to Open > The status changes from “closed” to “open” on any legal male to female, female to male, or female to female forward pass completion beyond the line of scrimmage, that results in positive yardage gain.
Restricted Play > Any male to male forward pass completion during a “closed” play is considered an Illegal Forward Pass
If a female passer completes a forward pass to a male receiver behind the line of scrimmage on either an “open” or “closed” play and any male runner advances beyond the line of scrimmage, it is an illegal forward pass.
PENALTY > The penalty for an Illegal Forward Pass is 5 yards from the previous line of scrimmage AND loss of down.
Play 1: The down is “closed”, a female throws a legal forward pass to a male behind the line of scrimmage who advances the ball beyond the line of scrimmage. Ruling: Illegal forward pass
Play 2: The down is “closed”, a female throws a legal forward pass to a male behind the line of scrimmage who is deflagged behind the line of scrimmage. Ruling: Legal Play, next down is still closed.

7. Open and Closed Status – Specifics
A. Initial Series Starts Open > Following any change of possession or at the start of a half, the first play for an offense’s series shall be open.
B. Laterals and Backwards Passes > There are no restrictions on any lateral or backward pass.
C. Only First Forward Pass Matters > Open and closed plays are determined by the action of a legal forward pass and catch. Therefore, throughout a play there may be multiple possessions by males or females but the status of the next play is determined by the initial pass and catch.
D. Positive Yardage Gain > The spot where the ball becomes dead by rule (before penalty enforcement) must be beyond the Team A scrimmage line.
E. Run Plays Have No Effect > Any run play or play that does not involve a legal forward pass has no effect on open/closed status.
F. Penalties Have No Effect > The enforcement of a penalty has no affect on open/closed status.
G. PAT Attempts > Open/closed status for a PAT attempt is determined by the previous play (that scored the TD) just like a normal down.

8. Co-Rec Restricted Plays Summary
1. Prior to the reception of a legal forward pass by any player, no male runner (ball carrier) can be the first player to advance the ball across the scrimmage line. Any play with this action, regardless of positive or negative yardage gain, is a foul.

2. On a “closed” pass play, a male passer may not complete a pass to a male receiver anywhere on the field. Any closed play with this action, regardless of positive or negative yardage gain, is a foul. PENALTY: In both cases, the penalty Illegal Forward Pass, 5 yards, loss of down.

9. Sample Plays
A. Play 1 > A male quarterback is rushed by a defender and scrambles ahead across the scrimmage line.
– (All plays) PENALTY: Illegal male advancement, 5 yards from the line of scrimmage.
B. Play 2 > A female quarterback is rushed by a defender and scrambles ahead across the scrimmage line.
– (All plays) NO penalty, legal play, no restrictions on a female player.
C. Play 3 > A male quarterback hands off to a male runner who runs ahead across the scrimmage line.
– (All plays) PENALTY: Illegal male advancement, 5 yards from the line of scrimmage. A male may never be the first player to carry ball across the line during a run play. Even if there was a loss of yardage on this play, this action is still a penalty.
D. Play 4 > A male quarterback scrambles across the line of scrimmage, runs back behind the line, then throws a legal forward pass to a female receiver who runs ahead across the scrimmage line.
– (All plays) PENALTY: Illegal male advancement, 5 yards from the line of scrimmage. A male may never be the first player to carry the ball across the line prior to the throwing of a legal forward pass.
E. Play 5 > A male quarterback throws to a male receiver behind the line who runs ahead across the scrimmage line.
– (Open status) NO penalty, legal open play because a legal forward pass was involved. Next play is CLOSED.
– (Closed status) PENALTY: Illegal Forward Pass, 5 yards from the line of scrimmage and loss of down. Run is legal, but male-to-male pass on closed play is a penalty. Next play remains CLOSED.
F. Play 6 > A female quarterback throws to a male receiver behind the line who runs ahead across the scrimmage line.
– (All plays) NO penalty, legal open and closed play because a legal forward pass was involved. If closed, the next play is OPEN if positive yards are gained.


1. The mission of Intramural Sports is to provide a recreational environment for the University community which is safe and enjoyable. While the game atmosphere is often competitive, ensuring participant safety, providing a fun, social atmosphere, and promoting sporting behavior among participants, spectators, and team followers are our primary concerns. The game atmosphere should remain good-natured at all times. Participants shall maintain good sporting behavior throughout their participation in all facets of the intramural program.

2. The Sporting Behavior Rating System is intended to be an objective scale by which teams’ attitude and behavior can be assessed throughout the intramural sports league and playoff seasons. Behavior before, during, and after an intramural sports contest is included in the rating. The team captain is responsible for educating and informing all players and spectators affiliated with their team about the system.

3. A team is responsible for the actions of the individual team members and spectators related to it. Additionally, FSU Intramural Sports does not recognize the use of coaches. Only the team captain shall speak to the officials regarding administrative matters (protests, ejections, disqualifications, etc). Furthermore, the team captain’s efforts in assisting officials/staff to calm difficult situations and to restrain troubled teammates are key to controlling team conduct.

4. Sporting behavior is vital to the conduct of every Intramural contest. In order to encourage proper conduct during games, officials, administrative personnel, and supervisors shall make decisions on whether to warn, penalize or eject players or teams for poor behavior. These decisions are final. The Intramural Sports administrative staff will rule on further penalties as a result of unsporting conduct.

5. Each participant should choose their team members carefully, as all team members will suffer the consequences of any disciplinary action taken by the Intramural Sports staff against that team for violation of the intramural rules and sporting behavior guidelines. Protests or appeals of sporting behavior ratings will not be recognized. The Intramural Sports administrative staff reserves the right to review any rating given to a team.

6. Additional information regarding team and participant sporting behavior including the rating method, factors, and scale is available in the Sporting Behavior Principle of the Seven Principles of Intramural Sports, available online at the FSU Campus Recreation web site.