Co-Ed Rules

Revised 7/20/12


Rules and Regulations


•Officials shall be members of an approved local association holding a current contract with the Fairfax County Department of Parks & Recreation. The Association’s Commissioner shall assign officials to games.
•Any player, manager, coach, or team official hitting, pushing, or shoving an official will be barred from further participation, if he was the aggressor.
•Official time shall be kept on the field.


•A player must be at least 18 years of age by first game in order to participate in these leagues.
•A player may participate on only one coed and one men’s flag football team within the Fairfax County Flag Football leagues.
•No player on a current high school, college or professional team may participate in this league (entry of name on any school roster constitutes participation).
•Players and coaches must conduct themselves in a sportsmanlike manner at all times. Physical violence, abusive language or unsportsmanlike action will not be tolerated. Disciplinary action will be taken against individuals and/or teams who do not strictly adhere to the league rules. Individuals and/or teams may be suspended from the league, with no portion of the franchise fee returned.


•Rosters must be entered online on the team page by coach or asst coach.
•League rosters are limited to 25 (twenty-five) players. All changes (i.e., additions, deletions, etc.) must be made on the website.
•Playoff rosters are final following the third game of the season. To avoid a forfeit, teams may, with permission of the opposing captain add players for a single regular season game following the third game. *Exception: Outside of post-season female participants are allowed to participate on any team in order for team to make female participation quota.


•Each team is required to wear same color jerseys/shirts.
•The wearing of any external hard, resistant, protective material is prohibited.
•Metal cleats are prohibited. Rubber or soft vinyl cleats molded to the shoe are permitted.
•Teams will provide game balls for their games.
•Teams must furnish their own flags. The flags should be 3-inches wide and USFFA approved e.g., Sonic Socket release flags. No Velcro flags are permitted
•Pants with pockets are prohibited. If pants have pockets, players may turn the pants inside out or tape pockets closed and accepted by officials at game time. A team representative must make notice to officials of anyone with taped pockets prior to game time.
•In the event that both teams have the same color shirts, the home team keeps the color. The away team is responsible for making alternate arrangements
•Teams must wear pants or shorts that are a different color than his or her flags.


•United States Flag & Touch Football Rules will prevail, except where amended below:
•Games may be played with a minimum of seven (7) players. (There is a maximum of five men per team on the field.)
•There will be 30 minute grace period (comes off playing time) from regularly scheduled starting time in order to allow teams time to assemble the required number players (seven). If at game time, a team does not have the required number of players, then that time loses the option to kick/receive for both halves. EXAMPLE: Team does not have the required number of players at game time, the grace period is invoked. Eight (8) minutes after the original scheduled game time Team A now has the required number of players. Team B has their choice to kick or receive for each half or take direction for each half.
•If seven (7) players are present, these seven must start. (Maximum of five (5) men)
•All games will be played in two 30 minute halves. The clock will run at all times, except:
a)For team time outs (two per half of one minute duration, which are not accumulative), and for official time outs for injury.
b)In the last two minutes of each half, regulation timing will be in effect.
c)Time between halves will be three minutes.
•If the field is 80 yards long (goal line to goal line) and 50 yards wide when playing on grass fields. Games played at synthetic fields will be 100-yard regulation football sized fields.
•A third delay of game and penalty and all successive delay of game penalties during the course of any one game will result in the 5-yard penalty plus a loss of down.
•A coin toss will determine opening possession. The team winning the coin toss may choose one of the following options: kick/receive, or direction. The opposing captain will then select direction or possession. Possession and direction will automatically switch for the second half.

•Touchdown - 6 points (Male participant)
•Female Touchdown - 9 points (to count as a female touchdown, the female player must either run the ball in to the end zone subject to officials discretion, catch a pass in the end zone, or throw a pass for a touchdown)
•Safety - 2 points
•Extra point - 1 point (from 3 yard line – pass, run, or kick.)
•Extra point - 2 points (from 10-yard line – pass, run or female participant kick ONLY!)
•Field Goal – 3 points

 In case of a tie at the end of regulation play during regular season, the game shall be declared a tie. Playoff games will continue with overtime sessions until a team wins. If multiple overtimes are required in a playoff game, the order of possession will switch for each successive overtime period. In the event of a tie after two successions each time will have to go for a 2-point try.

•There will be NO KICKOFFS. The ball is placed on the 20-yard line at the beginning of the game, half time and after all scores.
•On scrimmage kicks (punts), the team kicking must announce their intention to kick. (i.e. – quick kicks are not allowed).
•Neither team may leave the scrimmage line until the ball has been kicked. Both offensive and defensive teams must have five players on the line.
•When the ball is punted, the ball is DOWNED when touched by the kicking team; Dead when dropped by the receiving team. If the receiving team does not catch the ball and it drops on the ground, the receiving team can pick it up and it is still considered a live ball. A fair catch may be called. The person receiving the punt may run forward, lateral the ball off. He/She may not throw the ball forward (spot pass). Any number of laterals is allowed.

NOTE: The person receiving the punt and intending to pass the ball can adjust his/her feet but cannot move forward, laterally or backward before passing.

•All blocking must be done with both feet on the ground and contact made above the waist. Exception: A blocker that loses personal body control due to an opponent`s aggressiveness after contact shall not be penalized.
•Two on one blocking is permitted.
•Under no condition is a rolling block permitted.
•No check blocks once receivers leave the line of scrimmage and proceeds 5 yards. Unlimited check blocks are allowed up to 5-yards. No male to female “chucking” is allowed. Only gender to gender “chucking” allowed.
•Offensive lineman may use extended arm (Pro Block) provided palms are facing opponent and blocker is either stationary or moving backward. Contact must be made between the waist and shoulders.
•Blocking or pushing a ball carrier that is running near a sideline for the purpose of knocking him out-of-bounds and stopping his progress is a foul (15-yard penalty).
•There is no knee blocking or tripping allowed by the offense or defense.
•When teams are on the line of scrimmage the line up must be women on women, men on men. A man may not line up opposite women. When a woman initiates a block, she does so at her own risk.
•No one is allowed to hit the center within a 2-yard radius of the center unless the center initiates the block.
•There is no restriction on the number of people who are eligible to rush.
•A male player cannot line up on the line of scrimmage across from a female player. He must line up two yards away from a female player.
•A male lined up in the middle of the field on defense, must be at least two (2) yards away from the center. However, he can’t rush unless he is at least five yards wide of the center.
•When a male rushes, he must rush from a position five yards wide of the center.

•It is the offensive player’s responsibility to make sure flags are legally in place.
•If an offensive player loses his/her flag in a play the play (for that player only) becomes dead where player gains possession of ball.
•Players must start the play with their flags in place.
•Intentionally de-flagging a player without the ball, or intentionally throwing the flags away from a player will result in an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty.

Ball is dead when:
•Whistle blows.
•Ball goes out of bounds
•Any part of ball carrier`s body, other than his hands or feet, touch the ground
•Ball touches ground as a result of a muff or fumble (ball belongs to team which had possession before the muff or fumble),
•An incomplete backward pass or snap from scrimmage hits the ground; ball is dead at the spot it hits the ground.

•All players are eligible to receive a legal forward pass; the passer cannot pass to him or herself.
•A forward pass may be thrown from any point behind the line of scrimmage on a given play.
•Unlimited number of forward passes as long as the passer is behind the line of scrimmage. Once the ball passes the line of scrimmage, the player may not retreat behind the line of scrimmage to throw an additional pass.
•Forward passes, lateral passes or air fumbles recovered by the defense may be advanced only when the ball has not touched the ground.
•A player must have complete possession of the ball and land with the first foot inbounds to be a legal reception.
•females may not be covered "man to man" with a male. If a defense is playing "zone" - then ok, but not one-on-one.

Running plays:
•A player may run with the ball from behind the line of scrimmage.
•The ball carrier may not: stiff arm to ward off an opponent, knock the hands of the defense away, flag guard, deliberately charge a defensive player, jump, dive, or be helped, pushed, or pulled by his teammates in order to avoid getting the flag pulled.

First Downs:
•A first down will be awarded at each next line to gain.
•Lines-to-gain will be indicated by a pylon or cone at each 20-yard line.
•A female must throw a completed pass, catch a pass, or run with the ball for plus yardage. (Remember, a female herself, has to actually move the ball forward beyond the line of scrimmage for plus yardage beyond the set neutral zone.) This means in order to obtain a first down a female must be involved actively in at least ONE of the four downs. If a female is not involved in at least ONE OF THE FOUR downs, no matter how many yards are gained, the team will not obtain a first down.
•On a pitch play, the female must advance past the point of the pitch, in order for the play to be considered as the female play.

Scrimmage line:
•There shall be a minimum of five players on the offensive line.
•No players shall interlock legs.
•All offensive players must be within 15 yards of the ball when it is declared ready for play.
•No snaps directly under center. (Player receiving snap must be at least 3 yards from center.)

Penalties will be administered in accordance with United States Flag & Touch Football Rules:

Five-Yard Penalties
a. Offside
b. Failing to announce punt
c. Crossing scrimmage line before ball is punted
d. Delay of Game
e. Getting ahead of a ball before it is kicked off (off-sides)
f. Rushing the kicker
g. Violation of a free catch
h. Helping the runner
i. Illegal procedure

Ten-Yard penalties:
a. Tripping by defense
b. Offensive holding
c. Pass interference by offensive team (also loss of down)
d. Holding player when attempting to de-flag him.
e. Illegal Rush

Fifteen-Yard Penalties:
a) Flag guarding (15-yards from the spot plus loss of down)
b) Tackling and roughing (ejection from game could result), touchdown will be awarded if in the judgment of the official this action prevented a touchdown.
c) Defensive or offensive player leaving feet to make block
d) Illegal Blocks
e) Unsportsmanlike conduct; if conduct is flagrant, offender shall be disqualified.

Note: A team using any foul language will be given one warning. Any foul language after the warning will receive an automatic unsportsmanlike conduct penalty. The language does not need to be addressed at anyone. If the language is auditory, the penalty will be assessed.

f) Striking, Tripping, Clipping, Kneeing, elbowing, etc.
g) Too many time outs used (plus a 10-second time run-off if during the last 2 minutes of any half, plus loss of down)
h) Downfield blocking (15-years from the spot plus loss of down)

Spot of Foul
i) Defensive Pass Interference (spot will be 1-yard line if penalty occurs in the end zone)


•If the required number of players (seven) has not been met by halftime, the team having the required number shall win by forfeit and the score shall be 7 0. If both teams fail to have the required number of players, the game will be declared a double forfeit and will not be made-up.
•A team forfeiting two league games because of failure to have the required number may be dropped from further participation until their case is reviewed. All games will stand and no part of the franchise fee will be returned.
•Using an ineligible player shall result in forfeiture


•Decisions involving an official`s judgment are not subject to protest. If an official`s application of a rule is believed to have been misapplied or misinterpreted, that team may request a time out to review that ruling, provided the request is made prior to the ball becoming live for the next play. If the conference results in the referee altering his ruling, the opposing coach will be notified, the revision made, and the time out shall be charged to the official. If the referee`s ruling prevails, the team requesting the conference will be charged with a time out. A coach referee conference after all permissible time outs for the coach`s team have been used, and during which the referee is requested to reconsider the application of a rule and no change in the ruling results, is delay of game and shall be penalized 5-yards.


 Any questions or situations not covered are these league rules or official interpretations thereof shall be referred to the League Commissioner(s) for a final ruling. The Commissioner`s ruling shall not be subject to protest or review.
 No games may be postponed without prior approval of the League Office.
 All games postponed due to inclement weather will be rescheduled.
 Games postponed in progress will be resumed from the point they left off. It will be the Coaches’ responsibility for both teams to note where the game was left off as well as the officials.

In the event that a game can’t be rescheduled (i.e. – last week of season), the following rules will govern the results:

 In the event that the game has not yet reached half time, the game will be recorded as a tie.
 In the event that the game is postponed during the second half, the team in the lead will be granted a win, while the team behind will be granted a tie.
 Any player, team, or coach found guilty of gross misconduct should be suspended from further League play.
 Any player or coach found guilty of defacing or destroying county property shall be held responsible for damage and shall be suspended from play until restitution is made.
 No person or persons shall drink alcoholic beverages of any kind while participating either as a team member or spectator at programs administered by the Fairfax County Department of Parks, Recreation and Cultural Resources.
 First Offense: player shall be suspended from the team`s next two games and the team shall forfeit the game
 Second Offense: player shall be suspended from the League for one year. Suspension shall carry over to include league and/or post¬season tournament play.

Tiebreakers for Playoff Seeding:
1) To determine playoff seeding, ties will first be broken using head to head results. If there is more than a 2-way tie, and head to head creates additional ties, or if tied teams did not play each other, then ties will be broken based on the following “power point” system:
2) Wins by the Team -12 points
3) Ties by the Team - 6 points
4) Games tied by a defeated opponent - ½ point
5) Games won by a tied opponent - ½ point
6) Games won by a defeated opponent - 1 point
7) If a tie still remains, a coin flip will determine playoff seeding.

 Offense can set their positions anyway they like. Defense can also set anyway they like, however, a defensive male player may not line up directly across from an offensive female player. He must be at least 2 yards away from her. Once the ball is snapped, the defensive player may move forward to defend a pass to the female player, but he cannot initiate contact or “chuck” her. Women defenders may line up directly across from anyone.

 With respect to rushers, men may line up two (2) yards off from a female player and rush, by running around her (so long as he initiates his rush from at least 5 years from the center). If a woman attempts to block a rushing man and the man uses, in the judgment of the official, excessive force against her, he will be penalized for unsportsmanlike contact.

 If a woman is rushing, only a woman may attempt to block her. A man may not use a moving shield or screen to block a woman rusher. If the man is stationary, the quarterback may move in the pocket so as to use the blocking-back as a screen, but the blocking back (male) must remain stationary.


All players are expected to abide by the following code of conduct to stay in good standing:

 Respect the game, play fairly, and follow its rules and regulations.
 Show respect for authority to the game officials and league employees.
 Demonstrate good sportsmanship before, during, and after games.
 Be courteous to opposing teams and treat all players with respect.
 Be modest when successful and gracious in defeat.
 Respect the privilege of the use of public facilities.
 Refrain from the use of drugs, tobacco, alcohol, and abusive language.
 Teams are responsible for the conduct of their players and spectators.