SSSC rules for Football Flag Indoor 7s
© SSSC 1996-2020
FLAG FOOTBALL INDOOR
1. Equipment/Field Set-Up: Team captains are responsible for bringing either a regulation CFL or NFL football and set of flag belts (with 2 flags each) for every game. Each team should bring both light and dark coloured shirts to each and every game.
[back to top]
2. Game Time/Default: Games are 55 minutes in length, with NO break for half-time. Games must start and end ON TIME - games that start late DO NOT finish late. Teams are comprised of five (7) players with a minimum of two (2) women and two (2) men on the field. A default will occur if any team cannot field a squad 10 minutes after the official start time. A team can play with a minimum of 4 people, as long as two (2) of the players are women, and two (2) of the players are men. Captains may agree to waive the rules regarding minimum people but this should be decided before the game starts. IF IT IS AGREED THAT THE GAME COUNTS, IT COUNTS!
[back to top]
3. General Rules:
A coin toss or Rock Paper Scissors will decide who will start on offense.
The game will start with the ball placed 5 paces out from the offensive team's endzone. After each score, the new offensive team will also start their drive 5 paces out from their endzone. There will NOT be kick-offs at any point.
Each offensive play starts at the line of scrimmage. The ball MUST be placed on this line prior to the "snap" - i.e. a play CANNOT be started with the ball in the hands of the Quarterback behind the line of scrimmage or in the huddle. The quarterback can "snap" the ball to him/herself, or receive the ball via a snap from a 'centre', but must shout "Hut" loud enough for everyone on the field to be aware that the play has started.
- Spinning - An offensive player CAN turn their bodies from side to side, but CANNOT spin 360 degrees. This prevents defensive players from injuring their fingers. If a player spins, the ball is dead at the point where the spin occurred.
- Offensive players may not block or otherwise obstruct any defensive players.
- Offensive players cannot protect/cover/hide/block his/her flag. If the person with the ball blocks the defenders hand from grabbing their flag, the play is dead where the block occurred.
- Flags should be placed on the hips of each player at the outset of each play. The flag must be on top of all clothing and cannot be folded over such that the attachment is on the inside. An offensive player that is missing a flag may make a play on the ball, but once they have possession of the ball while missing a flag they are considered "down" and the play is dead at that spot (revised March 2012). Flags must be a minimum of 12 inches in length (from top to tip), and 2 inches in width. A diagonal is allowed at the end of the flag but may not exceed 2 inches in length. Please click here to see a diagram of flag dimensions.
- An offensive player can dive or jump to catch a ball, but once in possession he/she cannot leave their feet at any time (this includes all forms of jumping and diving). If the ball carrier breaks this rule, the play is dead at the point where the player stood before the infraction.
- The offensive team has FOUR (4) downs to cover the entire field. If the offensive team fails to score on the 3rd down, the ball is turned over and the new offensive team starts their drive from the position where the last play ended.
- Unlike outdoor flag football, the offensive team DOES NOT have the option of punting on the 4th down.
- The defense must loudly count five (5) "steamboats" before rushing the quarterback. While counting, the defense must line up at or behind the line of scrimmage. As soon as the quarterback releases the football, the defenders can cross the line of scrimmage. Therefore, if the quarterback makes a pass or handoff to a receiver who remains behind the line of scrimmage, the defender CAN rush the receiver. (i.e. the defenders do not have to wait until the receiver crosses the line of scrimmage).
- First point of contact: A receiver is determined to be "in" or "out" based on their first point of contact with the ground. If a player lands first with one foot in-bounds, and then the other foot touches down out-of-bounds, it IS a fair catch, but the play ends where the receiver went out of bounds. If a player catches the ball, but is straddling or lands straddling the sideline, it is NOT a catch. Only a ONE foot landing is needed - as long as that foot touches down in-bounds.
- Scoring: A point is scored when a player catches any legal pass or runs the ball into the defensive end zone prior to having one of their flags stripped. Please note that it is not enough to have the "plain of the end zone" broken by the ball - to score a player must step over the line in the end zone.
- The quarterback may only run the football at the end of the 5 "steamboats" when and if the defense crosses the line of scrimmage. (If the defender does not cross the line of scrimmage, the QB cannot run at any time).
- Teams receive one (1) point for each touchdown. There are no conversions.
- From the time the ball is placed on the line of scrimmage, the offense has 30 "steamboats" to start the next play. Running down the clock with an unnecessarily long huddle is not an acceptable strategy.
- Safe Plays:
A defender may not step in front of the ball carrier or block a running lane if it has the potential to create an unsafe play. Likewise, an offensive player should not run with their head down, in an attempt to run through the defenders.
When the ball is in the air, no player may initiate contact particularly while attempting to make a defensive block. This has the potential to create an unsafe play (and potential collison of heads).
It is the responsiblitiy of both offensive and defensive players to avoid physical contact at all times.
When it comes to playing safe, please use your best judgment.
- If a defending team sacks the quarterback (or any offensive player with the ball) in the offensive end zone, the ball is turned over at midfield to the defending team. No points are scored. This includes the scenario where a quartberback voluntarily downs him or herself in the endzone on 3rd down.
- Ending the game - With 8 minutes to go in the game, (e.g 8:48pm if the game ends at 8:55pm, etc) the convenor will announce "5 minutes- to 4 plays". At the end of the 5 minutes the convenor will announce 4 plays. Once those 4 plays are complete, the game is done.
- At no time should any player hold onto the clothing of another player in an attempt to slow them down or impede their playing space.
- Other obscure or minor NFL or CFL rules WILL NOT APPLY (e.g. it is NOT a foul if a defensive player has his/her back to the ball and inadvertently blocks a pass with their arms or back of their head).
- Teams may call a one (1) minute time-out per game needed, except during the last 10 minutes of play
- A game can end in a tie during the regular season. In the playoffs, if a game is tied at the end of regulation time, teams will break the tie with this overtime format:
- A coin toss (or rock-paper-scissors) will determine which team has first possession to start overtime. Teams will take turns trying to score from their opponent's 5 yard line. Teams will have only 1 down to score a touchdown. Each team will get a chance with one possession to score. If still tied after both teams have had a single possession, it will be sudden-death and the next team to score, wins. If a team scores on defense (runs an interception back for a touchdown) then the game is over. Please ensure this overtime runs quickly as teams after you need to get their games started. (updated March 2012)
[back to top]
4. Dead Play: If a player carrying the ball slips/falls and one knee touches the ground, the play is dead and the defense does not have to remove a flag for the play to stop. PLEASE OBSERVE THIS RULE CAREFULLY! It helps immensely in promoting safer play. In addition, if the football touches the ground for any reason, the ball is dead and the play is over. The next play is started at the spot where the last person touched the ball. There are no fumbles (this includes stripping the ball from a player without the ball touching the ground).
[back to top]
5. Discrepancies: All games are self-refereed. Disputes about a possible infraction are to be discussed amongst the people involved in the play. If an agreement cannot be reached, don't waste time arguing the play - simply redo the down. Please play safely and with good spirit.
[back to top]
6. Rough Play: ANY ROUGH OR PHYSICAL PLAY WILL RESULT IN IMMEDIATE EXPULSION FROM FURTHER LEAGUE PLAY AND MAY RESULT IN LIFETIME LEAGUE EXPULSION. PLEASE SEE THE SPORT AND SOCIAL CLUB POLICY SHEET FOR OUR OFFICIAL POLICY ON THIS SUBJECT. It is recognized that incidental contact between players is inevitable - however, all players should go out of their way to avoid creating an unsafe play. This rule supersedes all others.
[back to top]