American Football Club Enschede Broncos

Broncobowl English Rules

Flag football is a game where the basic rules of the game are similar to those of American Football, but instead of tackling players to the ground, the defensive team must remove a flag or flag belt from the ball carrier (“deflagging”) to end a down.

Broncobowl rules are based on the 2019 IFAF rules for flag football

Below we have a short list of basic rules.

The Game

Flag football is played with two teams of 5-10 players who attempt to score points by moving the ball down the field across the goal line. The team with the most points at the end of regulation time is the winner.

The team with possession (Offense) starts with a series of 4 downs on their own 5 yard line. If this team crosses the middle line of the field during one of those downs they are rewarded another series of 4 downs. When the team does not cross the middle or goal line on the 4th down, the team loses possession and the other team will start a new series on their own 5 yard line.


If a player from a team crosses the goal line with the ball or makes a legal catch of a pass in the end-zone with both flags still attached his team scores a touchdown, awarding six points to that team. After a touchdown the team gets one down (try) to try to either score one extra point from the 5 yard line or two extra points from the 12 yard line.


A down is a unit of the game that starts with a legal snap after the ball is ready for play and ends when the ball next becomes dead.

A live ball becomes dead and an official shall sound his whistle when:

  – A ball touches anything out of bounds.
  – The runner goes out of bounds.
  – Any part of the runner’s body, except his hand or foot, touches the ground.
  – A runner simulates placing his knee on the ground.
  – A pass or fumble strikes the ground.
  – A teammate of the fumbler catches the ball.
  – A player becomes in possession of the ball with fewer than 2 flags.
  – The flags of a player in possession of the ball are not positioned correctly and the player himself is responsible for it.
  – A touchdown, touchback, safety or successful try occurs.
  – A foul which causes the ball to become dead (e.g. illegal kick or delay of pass) occurs.


Notable rules in flag football are:

– The quarterback cannot run with the ball past the line of scrimmage, unless he has released the ball and it has been returned to him.

– When the ball is snapped on or inside the 5-yard-line going towards the opponent’s end zone (no-running-zone), the offense has to make a forward pass play.

– The quarterback has 7 seconds to throw the ball after receiving the snap. If this limit exceeded the ball becomes dead at the scrimmage line.

– Right of place is given to a standing player. Standing means to remain at the spot and make no lateral movement. Jumping vertically in order to throw or catch a pass or pulling a flag whilst standing still does not give up the right of place. Right of place supersedes right of way when determining who is guilty of a foul.

– Right of way is given to a player by rule who has established a direction of movement and does not alter that direction. A player with Right of Way has a higher priority when determining who is guilty of committing a foul than all players except those with right of place.

– The runner has no right of way and is charged with avoiding contact with opponents.

– All offense players have the right of way as long as a legal forward pass is still possible and defense players must avoid contact. When the forward pass is in the air all players have the right to play the ball, but not by targeting (playing through) the opponent.

– At the snap, all blitzers have to be 7 or more yards away from their scrimmage line. All other defensive players have to stay behind their scrimmage line until the ball has been handed off, faked handed off or passed from the quarterback.

– A maximum of 2 blitzers can ask for the right of way. There is no requirement for a player requesting right of way to blitz. And a player may rush without requesting right of way. If more than 2 players simultaneously raise their hand then all lose the right of way and it is an illegal signal.

– A player who is less than 7 yards away from their scrimmage line cannot raise his hand to simulate being a blitzer.

– No player may hand the ball to a teammate except an offense player who is behind his scrimmage line.




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