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7 Man Rules


MASSFLAG 7 on 7 semi-contact rules



MARKINGS - First down markers are positioned in set locations, first downs are only achieved by crossing these markers. 

THE BALL - Each team must supply their own football, the teams football must be fully inflated and official size and weight, the referee will determine if a football is fit for play.

FLAG BELTS - Each team will be provided with flag belts (league play only), which must be returned after the game.  In the event they are lost or stolen, a belt-restocking fee may be charged to the team.  A player caught with a illegal flag belt or inverted flags will receive a warning and the second time a 15 yrd penalty.

CLEATS - Only INDOOR cleats/turf shoes or sneakers will be allowed (league play only)  Screw-ins, metal or metal tipped cleats or outdoor cleats will not be permitted.

ATTIRE – No billed hats will be allowed on the field of play. No jewelry will be allowed including but not limited to necklaces, watches, bracelets, or hooped earrings.

UNIFORMS -  Team will be required to supply their own jerseys for the league, jerseys can be t-shirts, game shirts etc but must all match in color. In the event 2 teams are wearing the same color extra jerseys will be provided for the game.


AMOUNT - The game is to be played by two teams of seven players each. More than seven players on the field is illegal, while less than seven (7) players is legal with a minimum of six players needed to play.  Penalty for too many players: 5 yards for illegal substitution or 10 yards for illegal participation

CAPTAINS - At the beginning of the game, each team must designate a captain. The captain will act as sole representatives of their team in all communications with the officials.

ROSTERS - Teams may carry up to 16 players on their roster. Team rosters are frozen after the third game. Players cannot switch teams or be added to a roster after this game. Players must sign the "waiver" form prior to the first game of the season. The only exception in adding a player after the 3rdweek is in the event of a player replacing a injured player for the remainder of the season.


LENGTH OF THE GAME - The length of the game is 40 minutes (league play), 28 minutes (tournament play)

Running time with no clock stoppage is used in the first half. During the final 1 minute of the second half, traditional clock stoppage is used only when the ball carrier steps out of bounds, there is an incomplete pass, a change in ball possession, a score is achieved, and when there is a penalty only if the score is within one score eight (8) points. The clock will start as soon as the penalty has been accessed.

HALFTIME - Between the first and second halves, there shall be an intermission of two (2) minutes. During the intermission, play is suspended, and the teams may leave the field.

STARTING EACH GAME - A coin toss will determine the call. One of three choices may be called. You may DEFER until the second half. Meaning you can have the right to choose at that time. You may choose to receive the ball or you may choose which goal your team will defend.

TIME OUTS - Each team is allowed one time out per half. Timeouts will not carry over into the second half.

Charged time outs can be used at anytime. The time clock will begin at the snap of the next play.

EXCEPTION: The Referee may allow necessary time to attend to an injured player; or repair legal equipment in which the clock will NOT STOP.

TIME BETWEEN PLAYS - The offensive team has 30 seconds in which to snap the ball once the referee has spotted the ball after the previous play has been ruled dead. It shall be the responsibility of the offensive team to retrieve the ball and hand it to the referee after each play. The referee will indicate by signaling to the offensive team when 10 seconds remains on the 30-second clock.

MERCY RULE - Should a team be trailing by 18 or more points at the final "Two-Minute Warning”  the referees have the option to end the game immediately.


LINE OF SCRIMMAGE - Offensive team must have at least 3 players on the line of scrimmage at the time of the snap. 2 on 1 blocking is allowed as long as it is open hand.  They can be anywhere as long as on the line of scrimmage.

MOTION - Only ONE PLAYER can be in motion at the snap of the ball and must be running parallel to or away from the line of scrimmage.  Please note that more than one player can initially shift, however all players must be set for one second before the player goes in motion.

CHARGING – All offensive players once receiving the ball must make an attempt to avoid contact with the defense. If an offensive player lowers their shoulder, or attempts to bull through a defensive player, a 10 yard person foul penalty will be accessed from the spot of the foul.

OPEN HAND - During a legal block, contact can be made with OPEN HANDS ONLY. Open hands can be thrust forward initially to contact an opponent inside their body frame. Hands cannot be thrust forward above the shoulders to contact an opponent on the neck, face, or head. As the play develops, a blocker is permitted to work for and maintain position on an opponent as long as they do not push from behind or clip. Open hand blocking is allowed on all portions of the field and is not restricted to the line of scrimmage.  Two on one blocking is allowed.

ELIGIBLE RECEIVERS – All 7 players, including the linemen, are eligible to run down field and catch passes. Receivers can all line up on one side -- there does not have to be a balanced wide receiver set.

FORWARD PASSES – The offensive team is only allowed one forward pass, which is to occur behind the line of scrimmage.

FLAG GUARDING - A ball carrier cannot guard their flags from the opponent while attempting to elude tacklers. Play will be dead at the spot of the foul and will result in a 10-yard penalty and loss of down, unless the ball carrier exceeds the 1st down mark by more than 10 yards.

SPOTTING OF THE BALL – The ball is spotted where the ball carrier’s flags are pulled, not where the ball is. Laterals or pitches are not allowed beyond the line of scrimmage.

STIFF ARMING - Stiff-arming is illegal and will draw an unnecessary roughness penalty. This will result in a penalty 10 yards from the spot of the foul.


NEUTRAL ZONE – A one-yard neutral zone has been established between the offensive and defensive lines.

BUMP AND RUN –Bump and Run is permitted on a receiver within five (5) yards of the line of scrimmage.  Penalty:  5 yards and repeat the down.

TACKLING - A legal tackle is defined as pulling OFF the ball carrier's flag belt, without impeding his forward movement. Incidental contact does not constitute a penalty against the offense or defense.  Tackling a ball carrier is illegal, as is aggressively shoving or pushing the ball carrier to the ground or out of bounds, which will result in a 10-yard penalty plus automatic first down. 

STRIPPING THE BALL – Players attempting to strip the ball and not attempting to pull a flag are subject to a personal foul penalty: 10 yards from the end of the run.



SPOTTING THE BALL - The ball will be placed according to the position of the ball at the time the flag was pulled. 

BALL CARRIER IS NOT WEARING OR INADVERTENTLY LOSSES HIS FLAG BELT - In the event a ball carrier is not wearing or inadvertently loses their flag belt, the play is dead at the spot the flag falls out, even if the flag falls out on its own. If a player makes catch with only one flag belt the play is dead at the point of the catch.

BALL CARRIER INADVERTENTLY FALLS TO THE GROUND - A ball carrier who falls to the ground is considered down and will not be allowed to get back up to play. A player is considered down when his knee, elbow or any other body part with the exception of the hand touches the ground, the play is also down when the ball touches the ground when it is in the ball carriers possession. 

FUMBLES - There are no fumbles. When the ball carriers loses control of the ball and it touches the ground the play is ruled dead and the ball is spotted at the point it touched the ground as long as the spot is at or behind the ball carriers forward progress.

BAD SNAPS FROM CENTER - Any center snap that falls and touches the ground will be ruled dead at the spot of the ball hits the ground.  If the ball hits the ground in the endzone it is considered a safety.

BALL PLACEMENT- The team that is receiving the ball at the start of the game or after any touchdown will start the ball at the 5 yrd line. There will be NO KICKOFFS to start play.

PUNTING -   The offensive team is allowed to “punt” the ball on 4th down to better their field position.  On 4th down the referee will ask the offense what they wish to do.  The offense must declare what they will do i.e. go for 1st, or “punt”.  The offense may not change their mind on 4th down unless they use a timeout.  A “punt” basically means the offense will star their possession on their own 5 yrd line, if a team decides to “go for it” and fails to reach the first down maker, the opposing team will take over possession at that spot.

OVERTIME – If both teams are tied after regulation the game will end in a tie with the exception of playoffs.  The format will follow the High-School/College system of each team getting 4 downs to score from the 12-yard line.  Both teams get equal chances to score, this will be repeated until we have a winner.  Teams must go for 2 pts. after the 2nd overtime. 


TOUCHDOWNS = 6 points

EXTRA POINT = 1 point  (from the 5-yard line)  or = 2 points   (from the 12-yard line)

You may run or pass an extra point attempt. If you attempt to pass for the extra point and your pass is intercepted, the play is dead. 

SAFETY   = 2 points 


ENCROACHMENT/OFFSIDE - A lineman will be considered offside when he/she breaks the neutral zone prior to the snap, even if there is no contact made with the opponent.  You are not allowed to jump back. 5 yard penalty and replay the down.

ROUGHING THE PASSER – When the defender makes contact with the quarterback in a manner that is not deemed an attempt to go after the flag belt, any contact at all with the QB’s arm.  This includes when a defender tries to deflect the pass and makes contact with the quarterback’s arm or hand. 10-yard penalty from the line of scrimmage and an automatic first down. 

NOT ENOUGH PLAYERS ON THE LINE OF SCRIMMAGE – The offense and defense are both required to have at least 3 players on the line of scrimmage.  If the either fails to have four players on the line at the start of the play, a penalty will be called.  5 yards and replay the down.

DEFENSIVE HOLDING –  This occurs when a defender grabs the ball carrier and impedes his forward progress.  This includes when the defender is attempting to pull a flag and misses and grabs the ball carriers shorts or shirt.  10-yard penalty from the spot of the foul or end of the run.  Or when a defensive player grabs and holds an offensive player to gain an advantage rushing or covering.

PASS INTERFERENCE - Defensive pass interference will result in an automatic 1st down and a spot foul.  Offensive pass interference will result in a loss of down and 10 yd. Penalty from line of scrimmage.

FLAG GUARDING – Flag guarding is defined as any attempt by the ball carrier to shield his/her flags from being pulled.  This includes but is not limited to, swinging free hand, pushing an opponent’s hand away, holding flags with free hand, lowering or dipping their shoulder, and using the ball to shield the flag.  10-yard penalty and loss of down (unless a first down is achieved after the penalty has been marked off).

DIVING – At no time may a ball carrier leave his feet to advance the ball. Diving will be at the sole discretion of the Referee.  A 5-yard penalty (unless a first down is achieved after the penalty has been marked off) will be applied.  5


Fighting and unsportsmanlike conduct will not be tolerated. Players ejected by the referee for striking an opponent or official may face criminal charges. A player ejected for striking (i.e. throwing a punch) another player will be suspended for 1 calendar year PERIOD.  There will be no exceptions to this rule. If you throw a punch, you are gone. If you leave the field or bench to get involved you will be suspended as well. Even if your intentions are good, it is not your job to get involved. The staff and officials will handle this situation. Verbal abuse also will not be tolerated. Such abuse will be handled in this manner:  If a player yells at or swears at a ref they get a warning.  If it persists they will get a 15 yard penalty,  if it continues is ejection from the game immediately.  Taunting and over excessive celebration will also be grounds for a penalty or ejection.  Penalty: 15 yards unsportsmanlike conduct

Drinking/Controlled Substances – Drinking of alcoholic beverages is NOT allowed before or during games. Player(s) found drinking prior to or during their game would not be allowed to play. A player believed to be under the influence of a controlled substance will not be allowed to play.


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