NYC Social Flag Football Rules

FLAG FOOTBALL RULES

  • Remember, this is a social League. Keep a relaxed attitude, meet some new people, and have a good time.
  • There should be equal playing time for all Players, regardless of gender.
  • You always need your T-Shirts. They are our only way of identifying you and not wearing them will affect your standings!
  • Please treat our referees with respect.
  • Referees will be judging your Sportsmanship; it’s best to be gracious whether you’re winning or losing.
  • Any aggressive behavior will not be tolerated and may result in suspension or expulsion from our Leagues.
  • Please be on time. We recommend showing up at least 15 minutes early to avoid any confusion and the chance of forfeiting.

Number of Players 6v6

A team must have a minimum of 4 players to start. A maximum of 6 players may be on the field at any given time, 2 of whom must be women. Any team with only 1 woman participating must play down a player at 4 men/1 woman.

Number of Players 7v7

A team must have a minimum of 5 players to start.  A maximum of 7 players may be on the field at any given time, 2 of whom must be women. Any team with only 1 woman participating must play down a player at 5 men/1 woman.

Number of Players 8v8

A team must have a minimum of 5 players to start. A maximum of 8 players may be on the field at any given time, 3 of whom must be women. Any team with only 1 woman participating must play down a player at 5 men/1 woman.

Substitutions

New York professionals are a busy bunch! We understand that, despite your best efforts, registered members may not be able to attend every game.  To promote the social spirit of our league, we will allow teams to use Substitute players. Substitutions during the playoffs are not permitted.

Non-Contact

  • This is a non-contact league. All players must try to avoid contact at all times. However, we understand that there will be incidental contact. Just because contact occurred, doesn’t always mandate a penalty.
  • Tackling, blocking, picking, intentional or unintentional contact of any kind can result in a penalty and or an immediate ejection from the game without warning.
  • Defensive players attempting to grab a flag, covering receivers down-field, etc. must give offensive players the right-of-way.
  • Offensive players must avoid contact with defensive players.
  • The lowering of the shoulder or initiating contact for the purpose of gaining yardage or position is not permitted. This is treated as an offensive flag guard. (See offensive penalties for details)

Game Length and Structure

Games consist of (2) 22-minute halves (with a brief halftime, if time permts) with a continuous running game clock. Teams are permitted one timeout per half.

If the score is within 6 points or less in the last 2 minutes of the game, the clock will stop for the following reasons:

  • Two-Minute Warning
    • The two minute warning just resets the play clock and is not a free timeout for both teams.
    • Ball carrier runs out of bounds
    • Incomplete passes
    • Touchdown (the clock remains stopped for extra points)
    • The End of a Kickoff
    • Turnover on Downs or Change of Possession
    • QB Spike
      • A spike is when the quarterback throws the ball directly into the ground immediately after taking the snap.  This action must immediately follow the snap and doesn’t count as a female play (Even if the quarterback spiking it is female)
    • Official Timeout
      • Team Timeout- Each team is permitted one timeout per half.  Timeouts can’t be carried over from the 1st to the 2nd half.
    • Penalties
      • Offensive penalties in the last two minutes – clock starts once the penalty is walked off and the ball is deemed “ready for play” by the referee signaled with their whistle
      • Defensive penalties in the last two minutes – the clock starts on the following snap

The Field

The playing field is broken down into three equal size zones with endzones. Each zone is marked with a cone of a similar color. These cones signify first downs. **Field size and dimension are subject to change based on space available**

Yellow cones are used to signify the front of the endzone. For unlined fields the edge of the cone facing the in play part of the field will be used to mark the boundary lines.

Coin Toss and Captains’ Meeting

Before the game, a coin flip with the two team captains determines which has 1st possession. The captain for the away team (as per the NYC Social schedule) will have the choice and must make the choice prior to the flip.  In the playoffs, the higher seeded team will choose heads or tails.

The winner of the coin flip chooses one of the following:

  • Kickoff
  • Receive
  • Direction or Side in the First Half

Teams may not “Defer” and a choice must be made by the team that wins the toss.

After a selection has been made and the ref or game coordinator has confirmed it, the selection may not be changed for any reason.

Kickoff

Kicking Team

The kicking team lines up in its endzone and the ref gives a signal to start the play. The “kicker” may either punt, place kick or throw the ball and must kickoff from inside his/her endzone. The use of a kicking tee is not permitted however a teammate may act as the holder for a place kick. The person holding the ball must be one of the players legally allowed to be on the field at the time of the kick.  (i.e. a team may not use an 8th or 7th player, depending on the league, to hold the ball. The kicking team may not leave the endzone until the ball is either kicked or released from the kicker’s hands.

A team is allowed to getting a running start for the kickoff.  All players may not cross the goal line prior to the ball being kicked or thrown.  The kicker may not cross the goal line in his or her kicking motion.  All players must start in the field of play and not out of bounds.

If the kick goes out of bounds before midfield, it’s spotted where it went out of bounds. If a kick goes out of bounds after midfield, it’s spotted at the last cone the ball passed before going out of bounds (either the midfield or down marker)

Receiving Team

The receiving team must line up on their respective half of the field. No player is permitted past midfield on the receiving team prior to the kickoff.  The ball may be fielded out of the air, cleanly off a bounce or off any part of another player’s body without hitting the ground.  Any “muffed” or failed attempt to field a kickoff that results in the ball hitting the ground after touching the player will be ruled down at the spot of the touch.

Once a player from the receiving team begins advancing the ball, all players in front of the ball carrier must stop moving immediately (this is to avoid any attempt at blocking).

Members of the receiving team may not at any time form a “wedge”. NCAA defines a “wedge” as at least 3 teammates lining up shoulder to shoulder and less than two yards apart, in an effort to block for the ball carrier. A wedge will be considered a block with contact no matter whether contact occurred or not. Determining whether or not a wedge has been formed to create an advantage for the receiving team is solely at the discretion of the referee.

The wedge can lead to increased injuries and contact.

Players behind the ball carrier may move (backwards laterals on kickoffs are legal). Players who move in front of the ball carrier will be called for illegal blocking regardless of whether he/she actually blocked someone.

If the kickoff goes into the receiving team’s endzone, the receiving team can either run the ball out or down the ball, resulting in a touchback. If the kickoff leaves the back of the endzone, it’s automatically a touchback. Touchbacks are placed at the closest cone to the receiving team’s endzone.

Initiating a Play and Required Procedure

  • After the conclusion of a play the referee sets the ball and establishes the line of scrimmage. Once the ball is set and deemed “ready for play” by the referee, the play clock is started.
  • Offense must have a center (who must be directly in front of the QB) and a QB at the start of each play.
  • Center must snap the ball from the ground.
  • All offensive players are eligible receivers.
  • All players must line on or behind the line of scrimmage.
  • 1 player may be in motion parallel to the line of scrimmage (but may not be moving forward); all others cannot move.

When the offense is ready, the center snaps the ball directly to the quarterback to start the play.

The “Quarterback” is defined as the “player directly behind the center (either under center or in shotgun) and initiates the beginning of the play”.

If it is unclear to the referee who the quarterback is, the referee will stop the play after the snap in question and enforce a penalty for illegal procedure on the offense.  All players on the field should have no doubt by the team’s formation that the quarterback is on a given play.

Offense

We encourage you to pass, run, lateral, and reverse. The more creative the plays the better! But there are a couple things to keep in mind.

  • A legal pass must be thrown while positioned behind the line of scrimmage.
  • A legal catch is a ball thrown from behind the line of scrimmage to a player who establishes control of the ball while at least one foot in bounds.
  • All players are eligible receivers.
    • Players that step out of bounds and then re-enter the field can’t be the first person to touch the ball.  If this happens the play is ruled incomplete and a non-catch.
      • Ex: Receiver is running route in the end zone and steps out of bounds and continues route.  Receiver then catches a pass (while in bounds) for a touchdown. The play is ruled incomplete because the receiver was out of bounds prior to catching the ball and not eligible.  The receiver can be re-established as eligible on that play if another play or defender touches the ball prior to the receiver in question.
      • On offense, there is no minimum or maximum number of players required on the line of scrimmage.  The only player that must be on the line of scrimmage is the center.

Defense

Doing its best to avoid contact, the defense can cover the offensive team as it sees fit, however, no defensive player may cross the line of scrimmage until 1 of 3 things happens:

  • Completion of the referee’s 5-second count (see below)
  • A hand-off or lateral/toss in the backfield
  • A fumble in the backfield (Not a Fumbled Snap – which is a dead ball)

The 5-Second Count

After the snap, the referee will begin the count using a 5-second “Mississippi” cadence at normal speed.  The count is deemed completed at the point where the referee finishes the “final syllable of the 5thMississippi” and not before.  The defense can’t cross the line before the count is completed, even if trying to cover a receiver in the backfield.  When the count is completed any or all players can rush.

The quarterback may not cross the line of scrimmage to run the ball until the referee completes the 5-second Mississippi count.

Once a quarterback throws a forward pass or lateral or hands the ball off, the referee will stop the 5-second count and the defense is free to cross the line of scrimmage. There must be a “clear transfer of ball possession between two offensive players” for the referee to stop the 5-second count.

Defensive “Rusher”

The defense may line up anyway it sees fit, with one exception. For each play (that is not a punt or kickoff) the defense must have a player as the “rusher” no more than 3 yards from the line of scrimmage at the snap and until the end of the 5-second count. A defense that fails to employee a rusher will be called for illegal defensive formation.

If a team is playing with less than the required number of players, they are not mandated to have a rusher and can’t be penalized for not having one.  However, the quarterback can still run at the completion of the 5-second count.

Conclusion of a Play

A play ends when 1 of 7 things happens:

  • A ball carrier is “tackled”, meaning (a) he/she’s flag is pulled, (b) any part of his/her body touches the ground (besides his/her feet), (c) he/she runs out of bounds, (d) or he/she, after losing a flag for reasons other than an action by the defense, is touched with one hand by a defender
  • A team scores
  • Incomplete Pass
  • Fumbled football that is touched by either the offense or defense.  Diving on fumbled footballs is not permitted.
    • A ball is inadvertently fumbled put out of bounds without being touched (team with the last possession is awarded ball and it’s spotted at the point at which it went out of bounds)

NOTE: If a team purposely fumbles a ball out of bounds (subject to referees discretion), the team will be assessed a delay-of-game penalty and/or lose possession depending on the current down.

  • Penalties or Violations that by force play to stop
  • Someone is in danger/severely injured
  • Official Time Out, Team Timeout or Weather Stoppage

Spotting the Ball

After a player has been “tackled”, the ref spots the ball based on the ball carrier’s hips. For example, when a ball carrier’s flag is pulled or when he/she attempts to score, the referee will look to see where the ball carrier’s hips are at that moment.  Also, on scoring plays into the endzone, both the hips and the ball must have crossed the plane of the goal line in order to award the touchdown.

Female Plays

At least every 3rd play must be a “female play” (aka “closed” or “girl” play). To be a female play, 1 of 3 things needs to happen:

  • A woman serves as the QB for a downfield pass (Handoffs or passes behind the line of scrimmage to males don’t count).
  • A woman is the intended receiver for a downfield pass (over the line of scrimmage).  Passes behind the line of scrimmage do not count.  This doesn’t have to be a completed pass, but she must be viewed as the intended receiver.
    • In the referee’s judgment, the quarterback throws to an intended female target and male team members steps in front of his own teammate to attempt to catch or catches the ball, the female play is now nullified and the play counts as male.
    • If there is question on the intended receiver of a pass, the ruling relies solely on the referees’ judgment and can’t be influenced by a player trying to explain his intention.  If the intended receiver of a legal forward pass is not clear, that is the fault of the player and the referee will use their discretion to determine how the play is ruled.
    • The above provisions can be enforced only upon referee’s judgment and can’t be argued.  Any arguments over a judgment call on male / female play and “intended receiver” will be viewed as verbal harassment of the particular official and penalized accordingly.
  • If a legal forward pass is thrown (over the line of scrimmage) with the intended receiver as a female and the ball deflects off the female and then is caught by a male, the play counts as female.
  • A woman is the primary rusher (as QB or running back).  This means she tries to achieve positive yardage downfield (This does not mean she receives the ball & hands it back off to a guy).
  • If in referee’s judgment, the offense is “hitting” female receivers with ball with the only intention to hit them and not for them to catch the ball; they will be warned and docked 0.5 on sportsmanship.  (i.e. hitting the receiver in the ankle or legs to have the next play be an “open play”)  If the action continues, the team will be docked 0.5 points, penalized 15 yards for an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty with a loss of down and the female play will not count.  This must be clearly in poor sportsmanship and not an attempt to avoid a rush and “throwing it away”.  The referee has sole discretion to enforce this clause.

Once a team runs a female play (as defined above), the “female play count” resets and the team may choose to run two consecutive male-only plays before it must run a female play again.

Prior to each play, Refs tell the teams if the play is “open” or “closed” after stating the down (For example, the ref will say “It’s 2nd and open,” or “It’s 3rd and female…”)

Teams that fail to run a female-play will be penalized with a loss of down and must run a female play next play.  The ball will remain ad the previous spot as no yardage will be penalized on top of the loss of down.

First Downs

First downs are earned based on distance and are not mobile markers but instead fixed positions on the field.  After the ball is spotted, any part of the ball must be touching the “invisible plane” that is the first down line (similar to the endzone) to be awarded the first down.  When a team passes a first down marker, they receive a new set of downs.  If a team passes a first down marker and then loses yardage on a following play, it does not get another first down if it crosses a marker it has already passed.

Change of Possession

The ball is turned over to the other team when any of the below things happen:

  • A play that results in a score
  • A team fails to convert a fourth down into a first down by gaining the required yardage (turnover on downs)
  • A team executes a punt
  • A team intercepts the ball
  • If the offense loses/fumbles the ball on the ground, the 1st team to touch it receives the ball where it was touched.  The play is dead as soon as a player touches it. (Penalties will be assessed to any player who dives for the ball or wrestles with another player for the ball and his/her team will automatically lose possession of the ball.)
    • A fumble occurs any time the ball hits the ground on a non-forward pass attempt following the snap of the ball.  A fumbled snap is a dead ball and is not ruled a fumble under any circumstance.
  • A loss of down penalty committed on fourth down

Executing a Punt

Punting Team

On fourth down, a team must declare to the referee whether it wishes to punt (no fake punts).

  • All punts must be kicked and not thrown.
  • All players must be on or behind the line of scrimmage prior to the punt – similar to kickoffs.
  • The punter is allowed to punt the ball from anywhere behind the line of scrimmage as long as he/she is in-bounds and does not cross the line of scrimmage (there is no snap on a punt).
  • If a punt crosses the line of scrimmage and touches a player from either team and then hits the ground, the ball is dead at that spot and belongs to the receiving team.

Receiving Team

  • If the offense elects to punt, the defensive/receiving team will be informed and allowed the opportunity to send players back to return the punt.
  • The referee will signal the ball “ready for play” and the team may then punt.  No team may punt until the referee has signaled the ball ready in an effort to catch the other team with their backs to them.  At the same time, if a team is delaying getting in position in an effort to waste time, the referee may signal the ball ready for play even though the team may not fully be in position.  This is at the referee’s sole discretion.
  • The receiving team does not have to have a rusher on the line of scrimmage and must put all players at least 10 yards back from the line of scrimmage.
  • The receiving team may not try to block punts.
  • Similar to kickoffs, no player from the receiving team in front of the ball carrier may move, but players behind the ball carrier may choose to move.

Scoring

A touchdown is scored when a ball carrier’s hips break the plane of the goal line, or a receiver catches a ball (with one foot in bounds) in the endzone. Touchdowns are worth 6 points.

IMPORTANT NOTE: A touchdown is ruled based upon the position of the ball carrier’s hips and not the position of the ball or the ball breaking the “plane of the goal line”. Both the hips AND the ball must cross the plane.

Extra Points

Teams may go for 1 or 2 points after achieving a touchdown. No extra point attempts may be returned by the other team for points. Conversions are always ruled an “open play” and may not be mandated as a “female play”.

1-Point Conversion: A run or pass play that crosses the goal line from the 5 yard line.

2-Point Conversion: A run or pass play that crosses the goal line from the 10 yard line.

After the touchdown and the ball is returned to the referee and the referee will ask the captain of the scoring team their decision on whether to go for a 1 or 2 point conversion. At this moment, the 25 second play clock starts.

Teams cannot change their decision to go for 1 or 2 point conversions after being called for a penalty.

If a team lines up and then changes their mind, the play clock will continue to run during the resetting of the ball by the referee. If in the process of resetting the ball for play, the clock expires, a delay of game penalty will be enforced.  The team will now be forced to go with their original decision with the additional penalty yards.

Restarting After A Conversion

Upon completion of a conversion, the scoring team takes the ball and walks to the opposite end of the field to kickoff.  The defense remains on their side of the field and will setup to return the ensuing kickoff.

After a scoring drive, teams have 5 seconds to return to their respective endzones before the ref starts the play clock.  This is to prevent teams delaying the game by walking to the opposite side of the field to kickoff.

So after a score a team has a total of 30 seconds to kick the ball off. (5 seconds + 25 Second Play Clock)

Safety

A safety occurs when 1 of 3 things happens:

  • The team in possession of the ball fumbles it and touches the ball 1st in its own endzone.
  • A player is “tackled” in his/her own endzone.
  • The team in possession of the ball commits a penalty inside its own endzone.
    • For example, flag guardian or illegal contact in your own endzone while on offense would be a safety.

The defensive team is awarded 2 points and possession of the ball at midfield. There is no free kick to restart play.

Note: If a player receives a punt or kickoff or intercepts a pass and the momentum of the of the play carries them into the endzone, it is not a safety. Unless the player leaves the endzone under his/her own and then returns into the endzone, then it would be ruled a safety.

Conclusion of A Game

After the completion of a game, the referee will call the captains from both teams together.  At this time the following will be completed:

  • Confirming the Final Score of the Game

Penalties

  • Unsportsmanlike Conduct – Any intentional act with the ability to injure, arguing, taunting, harassing or anything considered an act of aggression towards another person, referee or any other member of NYC Social Gamestaff.
    • PENALTY: 15 yards from previous spot and automatic first down if penalty is on the defense.
      • Any team receiving 2 unsportsmanlike conduct penalties in one game forfeits that game automatically no matter what the score and receive a forfeit loss in the official scoring.
      • Delay of game – Any attempt by a player to prevent play, including but not limited to, failure to snap the ball before the 25 second play-clock expires, moving a ball out of bounds, preventing the ref from setting the ball.
        • PENALTY: 5-yard penalty and replay current down.
        • Penalty Enforcement on Plays the Involve Change of Possession (kickoff, punt or interception vs. other plays from line of scrimmage)
          • If there is a penalty after change of possession occurs that is a spot foul (i.e. flag guarding), the penalty will be enforced and the next closest cone after the enforcement will be the first down to gain.  Any positive yardage after the spot foul will be nullified and the referee will notify the team of the first down to achieve at the conclusion of the enforcement.
          • However, if a team has possession of the ball currently and has an established line of scrimmage the rules will be enforced as follows.  If a player gains a first down and then commits a penalty that results in a loss of yardage from the spot of the foul, the first down will be credited and the penalty will be enforced from the spot as per the violation and the written rule.

Offensive Penalties

  • Illegal Contact – Contact by an offensive player with a defender, prior to the ball being thrown, that prevents the defender from covering the receiver.
    • PENALTY: 10 Yard Penalty from Line of Scrimmage and replay down.
    • A “pick” is illegal contact and any catch resulting from a play will NOT COUNT.
      • Pick  plays are often a very “gray area” and with multiple players in a small area contact is bound to happen.  In the ref’s sole discretion that the offense gained an advantage though the use of an intentional pick play.  Referees will do their best to be on alert for teams using this very dangerous play to gain an advantage.  NOT all contact may be a pick or even a penalty, players complaining to the refs about this will not be tolerated.
  • Offensive Pass Interference – Contact by an offensive player while the ball is in the air that prevents a defensive player from possibly catching the pass and or maintaining their current position.
    • PENALTY: 10 Yard penalty from the line of scrimmage and replay of down.
  • Flag Guarding– A ball carrier’s hands or arms prevents a defensive player from grabbing his/her flag:
    • PENALTY: With contact, 10-yard penalty from the spot of the infraction.
    • PENALTY: Without contact, 5-yard penalty from the spot of the infraction.
    • The penalty will be assessed from the spot of the foul but no replay down will be awarded.
  • Blocking – Intentional or unintentional interference by an offensive player to prevent a defensive player from perusing or tackling a ball carrier.  A block on a defensive player pursuing the intended receiver while the ball is in the air or before the ball is thrown will be ruled a “pick”.  (See above)
    • PENALTY: With contact, 10-yard penalty, loss of down.
    • PENALTY: Without contact, 5-yard penalty, loss of down.
    • If the block occurs behind the line of scrimmage, the penalty is enforced from the previous spot.  If the contact occurs past the line of scrimmage it is marked from spot of the foul.  In both scenarios, it is a loss of down penalty.
  • Failure to Utilize a Mandatory Female-Play
    • PENALTY: The result of the play will not count.  The ball is returned to the previous spot and there is a loss of down penalty. The following play will be female.  The play is allowed to finish to conclusion before penalty is enforced. The defense may decline this penalty if there is a turnover that results on this play.
  • Illegal Forward Pass – Quarterback’s entire body crosses the line of scrimmage before releasing a forward pass.
    • PENALTY: 5 yards from the previous line of scrimmage and loss of down. Penalty is a “live ball foul” enforced at the conclusion of the play and may be declined by the defense.
  • Illegal Forward Handoff- the quarterback can not hand the ball forward to a player who is over the line of scrimmage.  A player may handoff to another player who is also behind the line of scrimmage.
    • PENALTY: 5 yards from the previous line of scrimmage and loss of down. Penalty is a “live ball foul” enforced at the conclusion of the play and may be declined by the defense.
  • Offside – Offensive player lined up across the line of scrimmage prior to the snap.
    • PENALTY: 5 yards from line of scrimmage and replay down. The play is blown dead at time of the snap.
      • NOTE: It is common for refs to issue “warnings” for players that are clearly lined up offside prior to the snap and this is consistent with the spirit of the league.  However, this is not mandatory to give warnings and all players are responsible for their position in relation to the line of scrimmage prior to the snap.
  • Offside on Kickoff – Crossing the endzone line before the ball:
    • PENALTY: 5-yard penalty, assessed at the end of the return. No option to re-kick is given to the receiving team.
  • False Start – All players that are not the one permitted legal receiver in motion must be stationary prior to the snap of the ball for at least one second.  Any “quick or jerky” movement (as defined by NCAA and enforced by referee judgment) that simulates the start of the play is considered a false start.
    • PENALTY: Play is blown dead at time of infraction and results in 5 yard penalty from line of scrimmage and a replay of the down.
    • A center that snaps the ball and then stops or the offense doesn’t execute the play will be considered an act of “simulating the start of a play”.
  • Diving – A player dives while attempting to (a) advance the ball: 5-yard penalty assessed at the spot of the dive, loss of down. (b) recover a fumble
    • PENALTY: lose of possession, 5-yard penalty assessed at the end of the play.
  • Jumping / Hurdling – A player leaving his or her feet in an effort to jump or hurdle a defender is a dangerous play and is not legal.  Jumping to avoid a flag pull is also not legal.  Both of these actions give the runner an advantage and put the defender at a disadvantage similar to guarding your flag as an offensive player.
    • Jumping to avoid a flag pull – PENALTY: 5 Yard Non-Contact Flag Guard
    • Jumping or Hurdling that results in contact with the defender – PENALTY: 10 Yard Contact Flag Guard
  • Illegal QB Rush – Occurs when the quarterback crosses the line of scrimmage prior to the completion of the 5 second Mississippi count, in an effort to advance the ball for positive yardage.
    • PENALTY: 5 Yards and Replay Down (Can be accepted or declined by defense)
  • Excessive Celebration –Any action, after the conclusion of the play, that is not in keeping with the spirit of league and the code of conduct (i.e. Sportsmanship)
    • PENALTY: This is Unsportsmanlike Conduct penalty. If it occurs after a scoring play, the defense then has the option to have the penalty assessed on either the upcoming conversion or the ensuing kickoff.
      • If the penalty is assessed on the kickoff, it is 15 yards from the end of the kickoff run. NYC Social assesses all yardage penalties from the end of the kickoff run.

Defensive Penalties

  • Illegal Contact – Contact by a defensive player against an offensive player:
    • PENALTY: 10-yard penalty and automatic first down -can be declined by the offense.
      • The contact is assessed as stated above whether it was “intentional or not”.  The referee doesn’t have to infer the motive of the player and above the mentioned contact will be enforced either way.  The defensive player must be able to control his or her movements as any unnecessary or excessive contact in the attempt to pull a flag, will be called and enforced as stated above.
    • Some Common Forms of Illegal Contact:
      • Pushing a player out of bounds instead of pulling flag
      • Making contact with a receiver either at the line of scrimmage, downfield or after the ball has passed them.  It will be called for contact on pass that was ruled “uncatchable” where pass interference would normally be called.
      • Stripping or attempting to strip the ball
    • Defensive Pass Interference – Contact by a defensive player while the ball is in the air that prevents an offensive player from possibly catching a pass.
      • PENALTY – 15 Yards from the Previous Line of Scrimmage and Automatic First Down
      • It is no longer a spot foul.
      • If the previous spot is inside 15 yards, the resulting enforcement spot will be half the distance to the goal.

Defensive Pass Interference vs. Defensive Illegal Contact in Relation to Male/Female Count

  • If an illegal contact penalty is called against the defense, the play remains either “open” (male of female) or “closed” (female). The penalty will be assessed from the line of scrimmage and a first down will be awarded.
  • For example, it is second down and “open” and after the ball is snapped a defensive player bumps a receiver in order to slow his or her downfield progress. Play continues and the result of the play is a short gain by a female player. The Referee will call illegal contact on the defense thus presenting the offensive team with two options. The team can accept the illegal contact penalty, receive 10 yards from the line of scrimmage and an automatic first down or the team can decline the penalty and accept the play’s yardage advancing the down to “3rd and open.”
  • If a pass interference penalty is called against the defense, the play will be counted as male or female based on the intended receiver.
  • Offside / Encroachment– Any defensive player:
    • Lining up in the neutral zone prior to the snap
      • NOTE: It is common for refs to issue “warnings” for players that are clearly lined up offside prior to the snap and this is consistent with the spirit of the league.  However, this is not mandatory to give warnings and all players are responsible for their position in relation to the line of scrimmage prior to the snap.
      • Crossing the line of scrimmage before the ref completes the 5-second count (unless there is transfer of the ball in the backfield).  Play-action is not a transfer and a defender can be called offside on such play.
      • A defensive player crossing into the neutral zone in an attempt to or causes a false start by the offense.  A defensive player coming over the line and making contact with any member of the offense before the snap would be considered encroachment.
        • NOTE: Immediately blown dead at time of this specific infraction
      • PENALTY: 5-yard penalty and replay down. Play is allowed to continue (on offside play only) and offense may elect to accept or decline.  The play is blown dead if encroachment
    • Offside on Kickoff – Crossing midfield before the ball is kicked/thrown
      • PENALTY: 5 yard penalty, assessed at the end of the play.
        • Teams will not have the option of a re-kick and all offside or illegal motion penalties will be enforced at the end of the run.
    • Illegal Formation – Defensive failure to establish and maintain a Rusher at the snap and until the end of the 5-second count.
      • PENALTY: 5-yard penalty assessed at the end of the play and repeat down. Play is allowed to continue and offense may elect to accept or decline
        • NOTE: A “rusher” must remain within 3 yards of the line of scrimmage during the count to establish their position as rusher.  They may move side to side but not drop back deeper than the 3 yards from the line of scrimmage.
        • The legality of the position of the rusher is solely at the referee’s discretion. Referees will be advised to at their discretion and in the spirit of the league.
    • Diving – A player dives while attempting to recover a fumble. Denial of possession, 5-yard penalty assessed from the spot of the dive. The recently completed down counts.
      • Diving for a flag on is legal and the player does so at their own risk.
      • If the dive occurs when a player is trying to score a touchdown, the touchdown does not count.  The penalty is assessed from the spot of the dive and there is a loss of down penalty.  If this occurs on a fourth down play, there is a turnover on downs.

Ejected Participants

Any ejected individual must get approval by NYC Social prior to attending or participating in future Club games, leagues, or hosted events, including Post-Game Parties. Attempted participation without approval is subject to further penalties. Rulings may include, but are not limited to, probation, game/league suspension, or permanent expulsion.

Playoffs and Awards

Regular season team standings are determined by: 1) winning percentage points 2) Sportsmanship and 3) point differential.

Teams not advancing to the Playoffs will be awarded a Friendly Game.

Top teams will advance to the Playoffs – typically a Single Elimination Tournament – where they will compete for Gold and Silver Medals and Prizes. Please note: Spirit and Bar Awards are given to deserving teams, regardless of ranking.

To be eligible for Playoffs, teams must have an average Sportsmanship rating of at least ‘4.0’ and cannot have forfeited more than one Game during the regular season. Sorry, no Substitute players are allowed in the Playoffs. Any team receiving less than ‘3.5’ Sportsmanship in a Playoff Game Forfeits its spot in the bracket, plus they must receive approval from NYC Social prior to participating in future games, leagues, or hosted events.

Equipment

Belts and flags are provided for you. Shirts are provided by the league and must be tucked in.

Any player wearing a non-Team T-Shirt deemed too confusing to the other team (ex: wrong color or wrong league) will not be allowed to play. Clothing with loops is not permitted. Backwards/forward hats, towels, chains and necklaces are not allowed. Shorts with pockets are allowed but if they are ripped while an opponent is pulling for a flag, it’s neither the defender’s fault nor a penalty.

Metal/removable spikes are not allowed. Molded cleats are permitted provided they don’t tear up the field. We’re playing on turf, so make appropriate shoe decisions.

A quarterback may not have a towel tucked into his or her belt.  They may also not have any pen or pencil in their pocket to help draw plays up in the huddle.

Forfeits 6v6

If a team has less than 4 players or less than 1 woman at game time, the team suffers an automatic forfeit in the standings, although the game will still be played for fun.

A game will be ruled a forfeit if any of the following occur:

  • No Show (no one from one of the teams is present at game time)
  • Not enough players (4)
  • Not enough female players (1)
  • Improper conduct

Forfeit time for all games is officially the scheduled game time. Exceptions can be made if a team is waiting on a couple of players (e.g. transit issues) with the understanding that the delay will cut time from the end of their game, and that the final decision is subject to the Referee’s discretion.’

Forfeits 7v7

If a team has less than 5 players or less than 1 woman at game time, the team suffers an automatic forfeit in the standings, although the game will still be played for fun.

A game will be ruled a forfeit if any of the following occur:

  • No Show (no one from one of the teams is present at game time)
  • Not enough players (5)
  • Not enough female players (1)
  • Improper conduct

Forfeit time for all games is officially the scheduled game time. Exceptions can be made if a team is waiting on a couple of players (e.g. transit issues) with the understanding that the delay will cut time from the end of their game, and that the final decision is subject to the Referee’s discretion.’

Forfeits 8v8

If a team has less than 5 players or less than 1 woman at game time, the team suffers an automatic forfeit in the standings, although the game will still be played for fun.

A game will be ruled a forfeit if any of the following occur:

  • No Show (no one from one of the teams is present at game time)
  • Not enough players (5)
  • Not enough female players (1)
  • Improper conduct

Forfeit time for all games is officially the scheduled game time. Exceptions can be made if a team is waiting on a couple of players (e.g. transit issues) with the understanding that the delay will cut time from the end of their game, and that the final decision is subject to the Referee’s discretion.’

Inclement Weather

In the event of heavy rain or snow that results in the conditions of a game being unsafe or travel being unsafe, NYC Social will update the Weather Line (347)-491-7001 with any postponements 90 minutes before game time.

In the event the games have been started and then have to be called off due to inclement weather while underway, the games will be restarted from the beginning if less than half of the game has been played and will be called or resumed from the stoppage of play if gameplay crossed the half-game mark . Any games postponed for weather will be rescheduled and information on the rescheduled game will be sent to all players and Gamestaff by email.

Season Abandonment

Registered teams that miss two weeks of play will be considered to have abandoned their place in the league. Teams in this category will be contacted by a NYC Social staff member to confirm their status. Teams failing to respond within two business days will be removed from the Season schedule and will forfeit their registration fees. Teams that do respond will be required to supply reasoning for lack of attendance and petition the league for reinstatement. Season abandonment and reactivation decisions will be made on a case-by-case basis at the sole discretion of the league management and must be resolved before returning to play in the current Season or in subsequent Seasons.

Team T-Shirts

Each player on an official team roster will receive a league-issued shirt at the start of the Season. The shirt must be worn and visible during each and every game of the Season. Players who forget their Team T-Shirt will cause their team a 0.5 point deduction (each) from that week’s Sportsmanship Rating. Players who forget their Team T-Shirt or wear an illegally altered Shirt (see below) to the game will be made to wear a pinnie in order to participate in the game.

Team T-Shirts are also used by staff at the sponsor bar to determine whether a player is eligible to receive league discounts.

While Shirt customization is allowed, teams/players must abide by the following rules when personalizing Shirts:

  • No company names or logos
  • No offensive language
  • No design that obscures or alters the NYC Social logo

Names, nicknames, numbers, and team logos are all welcome additions to the Team T-Shirts. Please also feel free to bedazzle, tie-dye, or apply patches to them, if you are so inclined.

If a player’s Shirt no longer fits into the guidelines above, the player will be charged $10 and issued a replacement Shirt.

Alcohol, Controlled Substance, and Safety Policy

Individuals (players, fans, or friends of players) will, at the discretion of NYC Social, be ejected immediately if any of the following are true:

  • found bringing alcohol, weapons, or controlled substances to any venue or sponsor bar in use by NYC Social
  • suspected of excessive pre-game alcohol consumption
  • suspected of abusing a controlled substance
  • deemed unruly or a danger to themselves or others at any time

Anyone who is ejected from one of our venues or sponsor bars will be required to petition the Club for reinstatement before participating in or attending any subsequent NYC Social event. Team(s) associated with the offending player, friend, or fan will lose 2 Sportsmanship points from its Sportsmanship Rating.

These policies are in place for the safety, enjoyment, and continued camaraderie of all players, the sponsoring venues, sponsor bars, and the entire Club