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Beach City Sports Flag Football Rules

Beach City Sports Flag Football Rules

Summarized Explanation of Rules:  

(BCS Rules have evolved to improve the game and safety of the players through 8 years of playing the game, and through our bi-annual Rules Committee.  This “Summarized Explanation” does not include ALL of the rules, but is our best-attempt to summarize the more-detailed 33 points that follow)

  • Touchdown scored by male- 6 points. 8 points from behind the blue cone.
  • Touchdown scored by female – 8 points.10 points behind the blue cone, and 6 points within the red zone (unless quarterbacked by a female)
  • Extra point : 2 Points from the Red Cone. Or 1 Point from halfway between the Red Cone and the Pylon.
  • Safety – 2 points
  1. Each team consists eight players on the field (most commonly 5 male/3 female) There is a minimum requirement of at least 3 members of either sex on the field at one time. If you are wearing a shirt, it must be your team shirt or a shirt of similar team color. No baggy shorts or pockets allowed for safety reasons.  
  1. Each Game consists of two 20 minute halves. Each team is allotted two (30 sec) time-outs in both the first and second halves. The referee will count the 5 second rush for each down.
  1. Each half will begin by spotting the ball on the 5-yard line, with no kick-off. Each team will have four downs to advance the ball to the next cone for a new set of downs, get a female first down (limited to 3 per game), or score a touchdown. Only the ball has to cross the goal line to be considered a touchdown.
  1. The spot of the ball is where calls are made - i.e. where the ball is when the flag is pulled (not where the flag is when the flag is pulled).  Fumbles result in a dead ball.. Any blocking, flag guarding, or diving by the person with possession of the ball will result in a penalty.
  1. All players on the field must be registered and/or have signed a waiver at the tent before playing. Substitute players must be disclosed in the Captains huddle before the game begins AND have checked in at the registratin tent to sign a waiver (this is Captains responsibliity to oversee). A minimum of 6 rostered players (min 1 female) is required to avoid a forfeit.
  3. This is a zero contact league. Absolutely no cussing or berrading the referees will be permitted. 

    Full Explanation of Rules:  

Scoring – Values:

  • Touchdown scored by male- 6 points.  8 points from behind the blue cone.
  • Touchdown scored by female – 8 points. 10 points behind the blue cone.  6 points within the red zone (unless quarterbacked by a female).
  • Extra point from between the Red cone and the pylon- 1 point
  • Extra point from the Red cone- 2 points
  • Safety – 2 points
  1. Each team consists eight players on the field (5 male/3 female) There is a minimum requirement of at least 3 players from either gender on the field at one time  (12 player minimum roster) 6 players minimum is required to not forfiet and must include 1 feamle player. 
  2. The field is 80 yards x 40 yards. It is divided by midfield (Blue Cone), which represents a first down, with an orange cone on either half of the field that represents a first down as well.
  3. Teams are required to wear jerseys or matching-color shirts.  Shirts must be tucked in with your flags and belt completely visible and accessible. If you are wearing a shirt, it must be your team shirt or a shirt of similar team color.
  4. Each player must wear a flag belt with two flags attached. The flags should be a different color then the shorts/pants you are wearing and must hang to the sides.  NO BAGGY SHORTS OR POCKETS are permitted. All players are required to wear BCS flags. 
  5. Each game will consist of two halves of 20 minutes. The first half is a running clock and will only stop for  official time-outs or team time-outs. The second half is also a running clock but will stop for the two minute warning and any incomplete passes, run out of bounds, a score, a penalty and any time outs in the final two minutes of the game. (score must be within 20 points ot it will remain a running clock) Games can not end on a defensive penalty. The play clock is 15 seconds and will be enforced. Games that end in at tie go into overtime and are played college rules style. Game will end after one overtime session 
  6. Each team is allotted two (30 sec) time-outs in the first half and two (30 sec) in he second half . Time outs do not roll over to the 2nd half.
  7. Any rule discrepancies that cannot be decided on will revert back to NFL rules
  8. Each team will have four downs to advance the ball to the next BLUE or ORANGE cone for a new set of downs, get a female first down or score a touchdown. RED CONES ARE NOT A FIRST DOWN  (They represent a 2-pt conversions). If any part of your body touches or is under blue outfield lines, or the line moves you will be ruled out!
  9. Any touchdown scored before the blue cone (midfield) by a MALE/FEMALE player rewards an additional two points for the score. A bluecone FEMALE TD will not get awarded extra points if the play involves a pitch to a MALE player. This counts for any catch, run or interception. 
  10. Any touchdown thrown/caught/ ran by a female on a play that originates outside of the Red Zone rewards an additional two points for the score. Note: Female first downs are NOT permitted at any time within the Red Zone.  FEMALE TD’s caught from inside the Red Zone will only count for 6 points. Additionally, ANY rush of a FEMALE player while inside the Red Zone will only count for 6 points unless it’s a female QB run which is an 8 point Score. Note: the player who yells hike is the QB. Any throw by a female player will count for 8 even if the play originated inside the red zone. Any throw by a female player from behind the Blue Cone will count for 10 points.  Any cpmpleted female throw or catch that is passed the line of scrimmage can count as a automatic first down - limited to 3 per game (NEW Spring 2019).  Teams may only use one female first down per drive and if you use it, it automatically voids the following first down cone. A forward pass must be past the line of scrimmage, and must be clear and conclusive.   There are no additional points awarded to femaled involved in a 1 or 2pt conversion. 
  11. Each half will begin by spotting the ball on the 5- yard line (between the goal line and the Red cone) with no kick-off.
  12. Offensive Position and action during the snap- A player must be 5 yards away from the sideline before the snap. A team must also have at least five players on their line of scrimmage at the snap. Motion is legal with only one player allowed to move before the snap.
  13. Defensive Position during the snap –  Defense must set up with a minimum of FIVE PLAYERS within 15 yards of the Offensive Line of Scrimmage. Typically that is marked by the next first down cone. 
  14. If a player is offsides on offenses it is a dead ball penalty.
  15. The player that receives the snap must be at least two yards behind the center and standing directly behind the center.  The player who yells HIKE is the only player the ball can be snapped to. No direct snaps. Snaps that are fumbled are dead balls. If a snap is fumbled in your own end zone, it will be ruled a safety. Any illegal forward pass in the end zone will result in a safety. Any safety is two points for the defense and possession of the ball.
  16. If a team uses a rusher on any given play, they must wait until the ref’s 5-count and says GO before they can rush the QB. The rushing player must reach for the flags and not touch the QB’s arm. Touching the QB’s arm or impeding their throw in any way will result in a 10 yard penalty.  There is no limit to the number of players who may rush. Each team will have three blitzes per game and can blitz on any play. Blitzing player must wait until the Quarterback has touched the ball and the player must yell blitz loudly enough for the Ref to hear. If the blitzing player crosses the line of scrimmage before the ball touches the QB’s hands it is a penalty. If the offense accepts or denies the penalty, the defense will lose the blitz.  Any player who hikes the ball must immediately run a route and must do their best to avoid contact with the rushing player on defense.  In addition, any blitzing player must make it well known that he/she is blitzing and they must avoid contact with the player hiking the ball. It should be noted that the player hiking the ball are typically looking behind them, so contact and penalties will be left up to the discression of the referee.
  17. Intentional grounding: ANY intentional grounding including on a blitz will result in a loss of down and a five yard penalty. The defense will also keep their blitz. AN intentional grounding occurs if the QB throws the ball away that is not within 5 yards of one od the offensive receivers. 
  18. A runner may pass the ball backward at any time. A backward pass (pitch) that hits the ground will be considered a dead ball at the spot it hits the ground; this will not stop the clock. Once the ball has passed the line of scrimmage, you may only lateral once per play except within two minutes remaining in the game. There are unlimited pitches in the last 2 minutes of the game. A pass (pitch) that is intercepted by the defense can be advanced.
  19. On the offensive side of the field, the QB can run without being rushed on any play before mid-field. Once the line of scrimmage passes mid field, the QB may only run if they are blitzed or rushed after the count. (The defensive player must break the line of scrimmage)
  20. Exception to this rule: If the defense yells blitz and gives the impression they are blitzing, the QB may run whether the defenseive player(s) break the line of scrimmage or not
  21. Running plays by a non QB player are legal at ANY time and do NOT qualify as a pitch. Once the ball touches the runners hands on a hand off, the defensive rushing player may break the line of scrimmage and try to flag pull the ball carrier.
  22. Only one legal forward pass can be made per down. If more than one occurs, it will result in a 5-yard penalty and loss of down. 
  23. Fumbles result in a dead ball where the players lose control and the ball hits the ground. Any fumble that hasn't hit the ground is a live ball. If the fumble is behind the line of scrimmage, the  ball is dead at the spot. 
  24. Interceptions are legal and may be advanced.   1 and 2 point conversions can also be intercepted and can result in a score of 2 points if the defensive player gets into his or her end zone.  All turnovers require the offense to wait 15 seconds before hiking the ball.
  25. If a players knee, elbow, body or the ball hits the ground without being touched, they will be ruled down and the play is over.
  26. Punting the ball is allowed yet there will be no official kick. On a punt, the punting team agrees to move the line of scrimmage two cones forward from where they are. It will then result in change of possession to the opposing team.
  27. Pass interference is defined as an attempt to impede a catch.  If interference is by the defense, it will result in a penalty of 10- yards and replay of the down. If interference is by the offense, it will result in a 10 yard penalty and a loss of the down.
  28. There is absolutely no diving by the ball carrier, blocking, or fighting at any time.
  29. Mercy rule is in effect. If a team is leading by 40 or more points in the second half of the game, the game clock will automatically be reset to five minutes regardless of the game clock. (Captains may override this rule)
  30. Guarding the flag: Runners shall not flag guard by using their hands, arms, or the ball to deny opportunity for an opponent to pull or remove the flag belt. No stiff arming or jumping to avoid a flag pull! Guarding the flag will result in a 5 yard loss from the spot of the foul. Hurdling over an opponent is illegal and will result in a 5 yard loss from the spot of the foul. Holding a player in attempt to impede their progress in general, or to grab their flag will result in a 5 yard advancement from the end of the play. If a player is held within the last orange cone, with a clear path, the player is awarded a TD. Only the ball has to cross the goal line to be considered a touchdown.
  31. Substitutions  – During any game, if a team has at least 6 registered players from their roster (min 1 female), that team is not required to forfeit. The League does not allow substitutions of non roster players in any game;  However, Team Captains of the opposing team may override this rule and allow same-or-lower-division subs for the other team UP UNTIL PLAYOFFS. If a team does allow subs that are non rostered, the team needing subs may only have as many subs that will give them a total of 8 players.  If a team wins with the use of any higher-division substitute players, they may be required to forfeit up to two weeks after the game with proof of the unauthorized sub(s).
  32. Substitutions (part 2) Rosters are set in stone after week 4 of the season, and only rostered players are allowed to play during playoffs. Any team caught breaking this rule will forfeit their playoff game. The league will review any discretions to this rule. Roster replacements will not be approved after week 4 for playoffs unless the team in-question is unable to field a team of 8 rostered players and/or 3 female players.  If a team has the minimum 12 players (lower divisions {3,4,5}) or minimum 11 players (higher divisions {1,2}) registered AND finds themselves unable to field 8 players for a playoff game, the league will provide a replacement "sub" for that team's playoff game IF notified within 48 hours of game.  Please Note:  Team Rosters are available at all times for team captains to review at the Registration Tent. 
  33. This is a zero contact league. Absolutely no cussing or berrading the referees will be permitted during the game.  Any player who is asked to leave a game by a referree will cause their team to play down one person for the remainder of the drive. No baggy shorts or pockets are allowed; Players wearing shorts with small pockets may be requested by any opposing player to exit the game to TAPE the pockets shut. 
  34. Disciplinary Parameters:  Yelling, cussing or aggression towards a ref or line judge WILL NOT be tolerated. We understand that at times you may want to voice your opinion about a call or a rule. This is ok, however only the captains may question the referee in a calm manner. Please keep in mind the referee’s are trying as hard as they can and may make a mistake from time to time. Excessive aggressiveness, unsportsmanlike conduct towards players/referee’s/ your own team members, and other conduct detrimental to the League will result in ejection of the game, suspension from the league or a lifetime ban. If a player is ejected from a game, then his/her team must complete the drive with 7 players. Once the possesion in over, both teams can play at full strentgh with 8 players. All disciplinary decisions are voted on & enforced by the BCS Advisory Committee on a seasonal or as-needed basis.  We reserve the right to refuse service to anyone.
  35. Divisional Champion Rules : If a team wins the Championship in their respective division, it is 100% up to the discretion of the league to move them up a division the following season. In effect as of Fall 2014, Premier (or Top) Division Champions that win two seasons in a row must have their roster approved by the BCS Advisory Committee.
  36. Drinking is strictly prohibited on the Beach. Any player found drinking will be asked to leave any Beach City Sports permitted area. If a player refuses to leave, it may result in a forfeit of their game.
  37. Players must be at least 20 years old to play in any Beach City Sports league. Any team with an underage player will result in a forfeit to their game.


If any player is injured during a game, they are to stop playing immediately and see the Referee or Tent Ambassador if they are able to do so. If it is determined that you are ok to play by either the Athletic Trainer or a League Commissioner, then you may proceed. If the referee determines that you are no longer eligible to play, you must leave the game until you are ok’d to return to the game by the Referee or onsite Athletic Trainer. If a player is bleeding, you must have the bleeding stopped and covered before you can return to the game. There are NO EXCEPTIONS to this rule. If a player is injured and can not move, the referee will stop the game clock and will follow the injury protocol. The game will then resume when the referee determines it is safe to do so.

Injury protocol:

If a player is hurt and can move, they are to leave the game immediately and go to the main BCS tent for first aid attention. If a player is hurt and cannot move, the referee will stop the game and tend to the injured player, He/She will then decide if they can be moved to the tent or if the life guard must be called over for medical attention. The Lifeguards/AthleticTrainer when then determine if you can be moved to the tent or if we should call for medical assistance. Under no circumstance should you be playing if you feel you are injured. Playing while being injured without informing the referee may result in a suspension.


>> Golden Keg Division is for first-season teams, as well as teams who have been grandfathered in due to their fun-natured attitude towards the game & each other.

>> Pre-Party Division is for beginner-intermediate level teams, with an emphasis on the SOCIAL aspects of beach football.  Fresh talent is appreciated, but arguing of any kind is not tolerated here.

>> The Party & After-Party Divisions are for teams who have registered as ‘Intermediate'.  Once rosters are submitted, you will either be placed in Party OR After-Party Division by BCS Administration.  

Division #          Division Names (as of Fall 2018)         Minimum Roster  Requirement           Max # of "Gold Starred Players"

Division V                Golden Keg                                             12                                                  0

Division IV               PreParty                                                  12                                                  0 (up to 1 exception at discretion of the league)

Division III               Party Division                                           12 (Turf 11)                                   2 starred players (Newport Sundays 3) 

Division II                After Party                                                11                                                  4 starred players

Division I                 Elite Division (Stats + $500 Prize)           11                                                  Unlimited



* Blue Star Quarterbacks can only QB in the Elite and After-Party divisions in any league 


**Players are still capable of playing in two divisions during the same season, only if their teams are in consecutive divisions - for example they could not play in After-Premier Division and Pre-Party Division.  A maximum of 4 next division players are allowed to be shared on one roster in their lower division. Requests to avoid overlapping game schedules happen automatically when you register for both teams in question 5 days BEFORE Opening Day of the league.

**If a team wins the Championship in their respective division, it is 100% up to the discression of the league to move them up a division the following season.  If a team wins twice within their divsion, it is mandatory that the team moves up a division.

  • Please note for TOURNAMENT RULES there are a few "alterations" to our standard league rules: Game-times are reduced to two 15 minute halves; as well as teams will receive only THREE (3) time outs, 3 blitzes, and a limited 3 "female first downs" within each game. A female first down can only be used once per drive. Tournament is double elimination, however if an undefeated team loses in the championship game, the loss will end the tournament and the winning team will be crowned Champs. All other rules remain the same.

                       Summary of Penalties & Enforcement

Loss of 5 Yards:Illegal Equipment, Delay of Game, Illegal Snap, Offsides, Flag Guarding, Jumping to avoid a flag pull, Illegal forward pitch, Holding and Rushing before the 5 count Loss of Down AND 5 Yards: Illegal forward pass, Illegal forward run by QB, Intentional Grounding  Loss of 10 Yards:Pass interference-  offensive (loss of down), Pass  interference- defensive (repeat down),  Roughing the passer (repeat down),  Stiff-arming