Adult Flag Football Rules

Adult Flag Football Rules - Swift Sportsdome 2021-2022

  1. GAME
  • All games will be played with a regulation Adult Football provided by the Reno Sportsdome.
  • Games will be played 5 v 5. o Team can play with a minimum of 3 players.
  • Games are played on a 40 minutes continuous clock with two twenty-minute halves. The clock only stops for timeouts.
  • Halftime is 1 minute long
  • Each team has one 60 second timeout per game.
  • Each time the ball is spotted, a team has 30 seconds to snap the ball. o Teams will receive one warning before a delay of game penalty is enforced.
  • If the score is tied at the end of 45 minutes, the game will be determined a tie, unless it is a playoff game. *Referees can stop the clock at their discretion*



  • Boundary Lines: The outer perimeter lines around the field. They include the sidelines and back of the end zone lines.
  • Line of Scrimmage: (LOS) an imaginary line running through the point of the football and across the width of the field.
  • Line-To-Gain: (LTG) The line the offense must pass to get a 1st down or score.
  • Rush Line: An imaginary line running across the width of the field 7 yards (into the defensive side) from the line of scrimmage
  • Offense: The squad with possession of the ball.
  • Defense: The squad opposing the offense to prevent them from advancing the ball.
  • Passer: The offensive player that throws the ball & may or may not be the quarterback.
  • Rusher: The defensive player assigned to rush the quarterback to prevent him/her from passing the ball by pulling his/her flags or by blocking the pass. Legally from seven yards beyond the L.O.S.
  • Downs (1-2-3): Three attempts or “downs” to advance the ball. They must cross the LTG to get another set of downs or to score.
  • Live Ball: refers to the period of time that the play is in action. Generally used in regard to penalties, live ball penalties are considered part of the play and must be enforced before the down is considered complete.
  • Dead Ball: refers to the period of time immediately before or after a play.
  • Charging: The movement of the ball carrier directly at a defensive player who has established position on the field. This includes lowering head, making contact with the defender with a shoulder, forearm, or the chest.
  • Flag Guarding: An act by the ball carrier to prevent a defender from pulling the ball carrier’s flag by stiff arm. Lowering elbow/head, or by blocking access to the runner’s flags with a hand or arm.
  • Controlled Ball: When a player uses the ball in their possession as an extension of their hand.
  • Stripping: Player who has the ball or bobbling the ball has it knocked away.
  • Unsportsmanlike Conduct: a rude, confrontational, or offensive behavior or language.



  1. The Reno Sportsdome will provide flag belts at all games. 
  2. NO CLEATS are allowed at the Reno Sportsdome. Tennis shoes or turf shoes are permitted. Flags must be worn parallel to the player’s side and on the player’s hip. 
  3. Players may tape their forearms, hands, or fingers. Players may wear gloves. Braces with exposed metals are not allowed. Casts must be wrapped in padding and approved by referee. 
  4. Players must remove all watches, hats, earrings, and any other jewelry that the officials deem hazardous. 
  5. Teams must have matching jerseys. If a team does not have matching jerseys, teams will be required to wear pennies provided by the Reno Sportsdome. Player’s jerseys must be tucked into shorts or pants if they hang below the beltline. If needed a jersey can be knotted or taped to not interfere with the flags.
  6. Pants or shorts with belt loops or pockets are NOT PERMITTED.
  7. An intermediate-size ball is okay to use in Adult Flag Football leagues with the exception of division 1. In the event of a disagreement regarding the ball, the head official decides if a particular ball is okay to use.