The DFL 2015 Rules
Cleats are not allowed, sneakers only. Inspections must be made prior to the game.
A coin toss determines first choice, possession or side of field. If a team chooses to take possession, the other team will choose which side to play on.
There are no kickoffs. The offensive team takes possession of the ball at its 5-yard line and has three plays to cross midfield. Once a team crosses midfield, it has three plays to score a touchdown. If the offense fails to score, the ball changes possession and the new offensive team takes over on its 5-yard line. An automatic first down by penalty will overrule the other requirements regarding three plays to make either a first down or score.
All possession changes, except interceptions, start on the offense’s 5-yard line.
Number of Players
Teams consist of 5 on the field at a time.
Teams may play with a minimum of four (4) Players (due to injuries).
Game length is 50 minutes running time consisting of two halves, 21 minutes PLUS five plays each. Converts do not count as part of 5 plays. You have 5 minutes of warm up, 2 minutes at half, and 3 minutes to clean up and go.
If the score is tied, in playoffs, at the end of regulation time, teams move directly into overtime. A coin toss determines first possession of overtime. The team that wins the coin toss starts with the ball on the 50 yard line and three downs to score, plus a convert, if applicable. Teams will continue in rounds with each team getting possession at the 50 yard line, until one team scores more points than the other in a single round. There will be no timeouts granted during the overtime period.
Each time the ball is spotted the offense has 20 seconds to snap the ball.
Each team has 2 x 30-second timeouts per half. These cannot be carried over to the second half or overtime.
Officials can stop the clock at their discretion.
The teams will be warned when there are two minutes left to play in the half.
There will be a halftime period of 1-2 minutes between the first and second half.
Touchdown: 6 points
Extra point: 1 point (played from 5-yard line)
Extra point: 2 points (played from 10-yard line)
Safety: 2 points
Note: An interception return to opponent’s end zone on any extra-point play by the defense will result in the defense scoring 2 points plus gaining possession for the next series at its own 5-yard line.
To start the play, the ball must be snapped between the legs of the Center.
The Center is the Player who gives the ball to the Quarterback via a snap. The Center cannot take a direct handoff back from the Quarterback (no Center sneak play).
The Quarterback is the Player who receives the ball directly from the Center.
The Quarterback cannot run with the ball past the line of scrimmage.
An offense may use multiple handoffs behind the line of scrimmage.
Tosses or sweeps behind the line of scrimmage are allowed and are considered running plays. Downfield tosses are not permitted. Once a player has possession of the ball beyond the line of scrimmage, any loss of possession will be blown dead by the official.
“No-running zones” are located 5 yards from each end zone, and from half. When the ball is on or inside the 5-yard line going towards the opponent’s end zone, the offense cannot run. The offense cannot use a running play to cross the line of scrimmage within this zone.
The Player who takes a backwards handoff can throw the ball from behind the line of scrimmage.
All Defensive Players are eligible to rush once the ball has been handed off or tossed, or there is a play-action fake or fake handoff.
Spinning is allowed, but Players cannot leave their feet to avoid a Defensive Player (no diving/hurdling).
The ball is spotted where the ball carrier’s feet are when the flag is pulled, not where the ball is.
It is up to the ball carrier to avoid contact with the defender. Good defensive positioning should be rewarded by the officials.
All Players are eligible to receive passes (including the Quarterback if the ball has been handed off behind the line of scrimmage).
Offensive players may not advance the ball, accidentally or by design, by tipping a pass. If a ball is tipped by an offensive player forward, and then caught by an offensive player, the play shall be deemed dead at the point of the first tip
A Player must have at least one foot inbounds when making a reception. (They cannot return on to the playing field from an out of bounds position.)
Only Players starting 5 yards from the line of scrimmage can rush the passer.
Interceptions change the possession of the ball.
The defense can return interceptions.
On interceptions that occur and remain in the end zone, the ball will become dead and will result in the ball belonging to the intercepting team at its 5-yard line. Should an interception occur in the end zone and the ball carrier leave the end zone, the ball will belong to the intercepting team at the spot the ball becomes dead. However, should the ball carrier return to the end zone and be flagged, or the ball be ruled dead the result would be a safety for the other team.
Substitutions may be made on any dead ball.
Play is ruled “dead” when:
• Official blows the whistle.
• Ball carrier’s flag is pulled or becomes illegal.
• Ball carrier steps out of bounds.
• Touchdown or safety is scored.
• When any part of the ball carrier’s body, other than a hand or foot, touches the ground.
If the ball carriers flag falls off, the play will be whistled dead and the ball will be spotted at the spot where the flag fell off.
If a players flag(s) falls off inadvertently before he has caught a pass, then the play will be blown dead at the spot of the catch.
Note: There are no fumbles. The ball will be spotted where the ball carrier’s feet were when the fumble was made. I.e. a bad snap will be blown dead and the ball will be spotted at the Center’s feet. There is no stripping of the ball.
Rushing the Quarterback
All Players who rush the passer must be a minimum of 5 yards from the line of scrimmage when the ball is snapped. Any number of players can rush the QB, provided that the player is within the legal limits. Players not rushing the Quarterback may defend on the line of scrimmage. Once the ball is handed off or tossed, or there is a play-action fake or fake handoff, the 5-yard rule no longer is in effect and all Defenders may go behind the line of scrimmage regardless of where they are on the field.
If the referee witnesses any acts of flagrant contact, tackling, elbowing, cheap shots, blocking, or any unsportsmanlike act, the game will be stopped and the Player will be ejected from the game. FOUL PLAY AND/OR LANGUAGE WILL NOT BE TOLERATED.
All penalties can be declined.
Penalties will not exceed half the distance to the opposing team’s goal line from the line of scrimmage. Pass interference inside the end zone will result in the ball being placed 6 inches outside of the 5 yard line.
Only the team captain may ask the referee questions about rule clarification and interpretations. Players cannot question judgment calls.
Games cannot end on a defensive penalty, unless the offense declines it.
Offside — 10 yards replay down.
Pass Interference — automatic first down at the spot of the foul.
Illegal contact (holding, blocking, etc.) — 5 yards forward and replay down.
Illegal flag pull (before Receiver has ball) — 5 yards and replay down.
Illegal rushing (starting rush from inside 5-yard marker) — 5 yards and replay down.
Substitution fouls (Player enters field after ball is blown ready for play, i.e. to deceive opponents, or 6 Players on the field). 5 yards and redo down.
Disconcerting signals (signals to distract opponent or simulate offensive signals prior to snap) 5 yards.
Interference with opponent or ball at the snap - 5 yards.
Delay of Game - 10 yards back, redo down.
Offside - 10 yards and redo down.
Rusher Interference — the Rusher must be given a clear line to the QB regardless of where he rolls or starts. There is a one yard zone for the Center to run straight forward, he must not get in the rusher’s path. The Rusher must not be within one yard, on either side, of the line from where the ball is snapped. 10 yards back and redo down.
Player out of bounds (if Player goes out of bounds, Player cannot return to the field and catch ball) if player comes back and catches a pass, the catch does not count and the offensive team loses that down.
Illegal forward pass — 5 yards back from where the foul took place.
Offensive pass interference (illegal pick play, pushing off/away Defender) — 5 yards back from the line of scrimmage.
Flag guarding — 5 yards back from the point of foul and play is whistled dead.