Turkey Bowl Flag Football Rules


WSL Turkey Bowl Rules

This year's tournament will have more of a pick-up feel to it.  There will be no referees and teams that are not playing will help keep score and time.  Registration will be individual sign ups and we will have a draft to determine teams the night before.  We will keep couples/spouses together on the same team if they wish to play together.  Tournament set up will be round robin play followed by single elimination playoffs.  This may change based on the number of teams playing.

The WSL Turkey Bowl is meant to be competitive, but at the same time fun and laid back.  We are all looking to get some exercise and work off all those extra calories we took in!  Have fun!

Since we will not have any referees, we are asking teams to call their own penalties and to keep the game fun.  We will have helpers from each team help with ruling s if need be.  If there are any discrepancies, the tournament director (Matt Laskey) will help make an official ruling.

1. Introduction to the game

The game is very similar to traditional football, with some very key differences. Most notably, 4-on-4 flag football, is a non-contact sport. This means that downfield blocking, jamming of receivers, bump-and-run coverage, and stiff-arm moves are all illegal.

1.1. Eligibility

In order to play in the event, players must be 15 years or older and must have a signed waiver, either completed online or a paper copy before the game.  Players must pay their registration fee before playing in their first game.

1.2. Rosters

Teams must have at least 1 female on the field at all times.  Teams may also borrow players during regular pool play, but not the playoffs

2. The Game

2.1. Determining the Initial Possession

The initial possession will be given to the first team listed in the schedule.  The second team listed will be able to choose what side of the field they will defend.

2.2. Timing

All games will consist of 2â??12 minute halves. There is a two minute break between halves.

2.2.3. Between Plays

Teams will have 20 seconds from the time that the ball is spotted to snap the ball.

2.3. The Playing Field

The playing field is 24 yards wide and 60 yards in total length. The end zones are each seven yards deep. The first down marker is at mid-field. There are lines delineating no-run zones (See section 4.3.2) located five yards from each goal line and five yards in either direction of the first down marker.  The field will be lined with markers for out of bounds.

2.4. Determining a Winner

The team that has scored the most points during the course of the game will be deemed the winner.

2.5. Ties

Any round-robin game ending in a tie will be deemed a tie, and will go down as such for each team. Ties occurring in playoffs will be settled with overtime.

2.6. Overtime

Overtime will consist of each team having the option of attempting a one-point try from five yards outside the end-zone, or attempting a two-point try from twelve yards outside the end-zone. The team with the most points after alternating possessions will be deemed the winner.

3. Equipment

3.1. Footwear

Only rubber cleats will be allowed on the field.  Metal cleats are prohibited.  Tennis shoes will also be allowed.

3.2. Team Uniforms

To differentiate who is on what team, players will receive team colored bandanas that they are to wear during the game.  The bandana can either be worn on the head or on an arm, as long as it is clearly visible.

3.3. Footballs

The game ball will be decided before each game.  The WSL will also provide footballs

3.4. Flags

The WSL will provide players with the flags.  The flags are the adjustable kind with three Velcro flags per belt. 

3.5. Towels

A towel can be worn from the belt but cannot interfere with or obscure the playersâ?? flags. If a player chooses to wear a towel, the defensive player can choose to pull the towel from that playersâ?? belt, and it will be recognized as a valid flag pull.

3.6. Playbooks

Playbooks are to be kept on the sidelines. Players have the option of wearing approved wrist equipment that can contain

a play list, but no playbooks will be allowed on the field during play.

3.7. Foreign Substances

The use of foreign substances, such as stick-um, will not be allowed.

4. Offense

At the beginning of the half, the offense will start the ball from their own 5 yard line (1 point conversion marker).  Teams will have 4 plays in which to advance the ball past the first down marker. If they succeed, they will be given 4 additional plays in which to advance the ball into the end-zone.  After an interception, the offense will begin their possession at the point where the defending team pulled the flag of the intercepting player, or where that player went out of bounds. If possession begins before midfield, the team will have 4 plays in which to advance the ball past that marker for a first down, and will be granted three additional plays in which to advance the ball into the end-zone. If the possession begins past the mid-field marker, the offense will have just the 4 plays in which to advance the ball into the end-zone.

The offense will have the option to punt on 4th down and the defense will take the ball from their own 5 yard line.  There will not be any actual punts or kicks during the game.

4.1. Alignment of Players at the Snap

Offensive players can align themselves in any way they choose before the snap. The only limitations are that the center must be on the line of scrimmage and the other players must be on or behind the line of scrimmage. The offense must wait until the officials have properly marked the line of scrimmage and before snapping the ball.

4.2. Starting the Play

The offense has 20 seconds from the time that the ball is spotted in which to snap the ball. The center may snap the ball between their legs or to the side to start the play. The center must give right-of-way to the defensive rusher

4.3. Advancing the Ball

The offensive team can advance the ball in the following ways:

4.3.1. Forward Pass

After the snap, the Quarterback can complete a forward pass to a receiver.

4.3.2.

 Running or Passing the Ball After a Hand-Off

The Quarterback may choose to hand off the ball to a player in the backfield. There is no limit to the number of hand offs which can occur behind the line of scrimmage. After a hand off, the receiving player can choose to run the ball forward, or has the option to attempt a forward pass. As soon as the player advances beyond the line of scrimmage, his pass option ceases to exist.

On plays beginning within the no-run-zone five yards before the first down marker, or the no-run-zone located five yards before the end zone, the offense will not have the option to advance the ball without a forward pass.

If a player should drop or fumble the ball at any time, the ball will be considered dead at the spot where it first hit the ground, or at the spot where the player lost possession, based on which is further back.

The Quarterback is allowed to rush the ball if the opposing team decides to blitz on that play.

4.3.3. The Seven Second Rule

The Quarterback has seven seconds from the time the ball is snapped to throw the ball. If he fails to do so, the play will be ruled dead at the previous line of scrimmage. If a team executes a hand-off, the seven-second count is no longer in effect.

4.3.4. Diving/Jumping

Players are not permitted to dive or jump to advance the ball.  Play will be called dead at the spot of the ball during the dive or jump and a 5 yard penalty will be assessed. 

4.4. Spotting the Ball

The ball should be spotted at the point where the player's hips were when their flag was pulled. Players cannot extend the ball to achieve a better spot.

If a player falls towards his own line of scrimmage while making a catch, the ball will be spotted at the furthest point the ball progressed while in possession of the player, or at the hips of the player, whichever is closer to the original line of scrimmage.

4.5. Achieving a First Down

A First Down can be achieved in two ways:

The Offense advances the ball past the first-down marker in less than three plays, or an Official calls an infraction that results in a first down.

Upon achieving a first down, the offense will be granted a fresh set of downs in which to score a touchdown.

4.6. Scoring an Offensive Touchdown

An offensive touchdown is awarded when the offense advances the ball into the end-zone. Six points will be awarded for a touchdown.

4.7. Extra Points

After a touchdown is scored, the offense will have the following options:

4.7.1. Attempting a One-Point Conversion

The Offense will have one play from five yards outside the opponent's end zone. If they advance the ball into the opponent's end-zone, they will be awarded one point. (Must be a pass play)

4.7.2. Attempting a Two-Point Conversion

The Offense will have one play from twelve yards outside the opponent's end zone. If they advance the ball into the opponent's end-zone, they will be awarded two points.  (May pass or run the ball)

Note: Any defensive penalty occurring in the end-zone during the course of an extra point will result in the extra point try being deemed as successful, and the offense will be awarded the appropriate number of points.

4.7.3. Interceptions on Extra Points

Interceptions on an extra-point attempt can be returned by the defensive team. The defensive team will be credited with one point for a successful interception return on an extra-point try, regardless of whether the offense was attempting a one or two point conversion.

5. Defense

The defensive team will attempt to stop the offense from scoring.

5.1. Alignment of Players Before the Snap

Defensive players can line up any way that they choose before the snap. Their only limitation is that they must be lined up between their own end-zone and the line of scrimmage.

5.2. Rushing the Quarterback

There will be a 5 second Mississippi rush to blitz the QB.  Once the Defense rushes on the play, the quarterback is allowed to run, except in the no run zone.  Defenses are allowed 1 blitz per set of 4 downs.

5.3. Rushing After a Hand-Off

If the offense chooses to hand the ball off, any defensive player can rush immediately, regardless of where they lined up before the play.

5.4. Defending a Forward Pass

The defensive team can defend a forward pass by batting the ball down, or by trying to intercept the ball. No contact with offensive players will be allowed.

5.5. Interceptions

Interceptions can be returned by the defensive team.

5.6. Safeties

A safety occurs when the offensive team is stopped or commits a penalty in their own end zone. Two points and possession of the ball will be awarded for a safety.

6. Penalties

The field officials have the final say on all penalties.

6.1. General Penalties

6.1.1. Fighting

Fighting will not be tolerated. Any players involved in fights will be immediately expelled from the facility with no refund. Their team may be disqualified from the competition as well. In addition, a fifteen yard penalty will be assessed.

6.1.2. Taunting

Taunting of players will not be tolerated. A fifteen yard penalty will be assessed for taunting, and repeat offenders will be expelled from the game, and possibly from the tournament.

6.1.3. Unsportsmanlike Conduct

Conduct deemed as unsportsmanlike includes cursing, excessive confrontation or abuse of an official, intentionally delaying the game, or otherwise disrupting the game in an unsportsmanlike manner. A fifteen yard penalty will be assessed, and the offending player may be ejected.

6.2. Offensive Penalties

The defense has the option to accept or decline any offensive penalty. All offensive penalties will result in a five yard penalty from the line of scrimmage, and a loss of the down (False starts will just result in a 5 yard/step penalty). Any offensive penalty occurring in the offense's end-zone will result in a safety.

6.2.1. Illegal Snap of the Ball

The ball must be snapped by a center to the QB.  No direct snaps.  Any illegal snap of the ball will result in a 5 yard penalty and loss of down.

6.2.2. Illegal Motion

Once the offense is set, only one player can be in motion at a time. The player must move laterally or backwards, and not forwards. Illegal motion will result in a five yard penalty from the line of scrimmage.

6.2.3. False Start

Offensive players cannot move forward or cross the line of scrimmage before the snap of the ball. A false start will result in a five yard penalty.

6.2.4. Impeding the Rusher

Offensive players must give the defensive rusher a clear path. Impeding the rusher will result in a five yard penalty from the line of scrimmage and a loss of the down.

6.2.5. Blocking Downfield

If a pass is completed to a receiver, other receivers must stop their patterns and stand still. If an offensive player fails to stop his pattern after a completion is made by another offensive player, and the player without the ball interferes with a defender's opportunity to pull the receiver's flag, downfield blocking will be called. The penalty is five yards from the line of scrimmage, and a loss of down.

6.2.6. Illegal Pick

Receivers are not allowed to intentionally set picks for defenders in order to free other receivers. Illegal picks will result in a five yard penalty from the line of scrimmage, and a loss of the down.

6.2.7. Flag Guarding

An offensive player in possession of the football cannot impede the defender's ability to pull his flag by swiping at his hand or using the ball as a shield. Flag guarding will result in a five yard penalty from the line of scrimmage, and a loss of the down.

6.2.8. Lowering of the Head or Shoulder

The offensive player cannot lower his head or shoulder in an attempt to run over or impede a defensive player. Lowering of the head or shoulder will result in a five yard penalty from the line of scrimmage, and a loss of the down.

6.2.9. Pass Interference

Offensive players can not in any way interfere with a defensive player at any time. Offensive Pass Interference will result in a five yard penalty from the line of scrimmage, and a loss of the down.

6.2.10. Illegal Forward Pass

Passes occurring beyond the line of scrimmage are not allowed. Illegal forward pass will result in a five yard penalty from the line of scrimmage, and a loss of the down.

6.2.11. Illegal Hand-Off or Pitch

The ball cannot be handed off or pitched backward beyond the line of scrimmage. An illegal hand-off or pitch will result in a five yard penalty from the line of scrimmage, and a loss of the down.

6.2.12. Illegal Run from Scrimmage

The offense cannot advance the ball by running if the line of scrimmage is within one of the no run zones. The offense cannot advance the ball by running unless a valid hand-off occurs. Illegal run from scrimmage will result in a five yard penalty from the line of scrimmage, and a loss of the down.

6.2.13. Delay of Game

The offense has 20 seconds from the time the ball and seven yard mark are spotted in which to run an offensive play.

Failure to run a play within the allotted 20 second period will result in a five yard penalty from the line of scrimmage, and a loss of the down.

6.2.14. Seven Second Violation

The Quarterback has seven seconds to throw the ball after it is snapped. If seven seconds expires  and the ball has not been thrown, the play will be dead and the QB will be considered sacked at the spot where they are standing.  Referees will call out the time.

6.3. Defensive Penalties

The offense has the option to accept or decline any defensive penalty. Defensive penalties occurring in the end-zone on extra points will result in scores being awarded. The game cannot end on a defensive penalty.

6.3.1. Off-Sides

Defensive players must line up between their end zone and the line of scrimmage. Lining up over the line of scrimmage will result in a five yard penalty from the line of scrimmage and repeat of the down.

6.3.2. Illegal Rush

Defensive players rushing before the # second rush with no hand-off occurring will be penalized for Illegal Rush.

The penalty will result in a five yard penalty from the line of scrimmage and repeat of the down.

6.3.3. Illegal Contact

Defenders cannot jam receiver or engage in any other type of illegal contact. This will result in a five yard penalty from the line of scrimmage and an automatic first-down.

6.3.4. Holding

Defenders cannot impede the offensive player by holding his body or equipment. Holding will result in a five yard penalty from end of the play and an automatic first-down.

6.3.5. Illegal Flag Pull

A defender cannot intentionally pull the flag of an offensive player before that player has possession of the ball.  If a ball carrier's flag is pulled before they have the ball, they may still advance the ball until they are tagged with a one hand touch.   Illegal flag pull will result in a five yard penalty from the line of scrimmage and an automatic first down.  The offense may choose to decline the penalty.

6.3.6. Pass Interference

The defensive player shall not make contact with the receiver while the ball is in the air. Pass interference will result in a spot foul and automatic first down.

6.3.7. Roughing the Quarterback

The defensive player cannot go for the arm of the quarterback at any time. A defensive player making contact with the quarterback's arm will result in a roughing penalty. Roughing the quarterback will result in a five or fifteen yard penalty and an automatic first down, depending on the severity of the infraction as judged by the official.

6.3.8. Delay of Game

Defensive players intentionally delaying the game will be penalized. Defensive delay of game will result in a five yard penalty from the line of scrimmage and repeat of the down.

6.3.9. Illegal Push

The defensive player must make an attempt to pull the flag of the offensive player. They cannot intentionally push an offensive player out of bounds. Illegal push will result in a five yard penalty from the line of scrimmage and an automatic first down.




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