NJ Play Sports Coed Flag Football Tournament Rules


Maximum 8 players on the field (minimum 2 females on the field at all times)

  • Two 15-minute halves with 1-3 minute half times. Running time for first half, 15 minute running second half with 1 minute stop time if game within 8 points

One Team timeout per game.

Ball will be spotted where the players hips/flags are at the conclusion of the play

Non-contact (NO Blocking)

No offensive picks allowed

NJ Play Sports t-shirts are provided. 

Cleats are strongly suggested. Metal cleats are prohibited

Each team will have a series of four (4) downs to advance the ball from one zone to another. Mid-field is the only first down. Failure to do so in four downs results in loss of the ball to the opponent. If you start the possession on your opponent's side of mid-field the count will be 1st and Goal.

All games are RAIN or SHINE (unless hazardous conditions)

Any unsportsmanlike conduct will result in that player/team being suspended/removed from participating in future NJ Play activities, at the discretion of NJ Play officials.

No Actual Punts - Once a “punt” is declared, the defense will start with the ball on their own 5 yard line (Same rule applies for safeties)

3 games Guaranteed 

Qualified teams will advance to the playoffs.

Player refs may be assigned throughout the day to assist main officials with out of bounds and down field calls 




Only the team captains are permitted to ask the head official for rule clarification. If it is a judgment call, the referees can confer with each other and the team captains for discussion, but players and/or captains are not allowed to question judgment calls.




Referee will have two captains shoot rock/paper/scissors, odds/evens, or coin flip.

Winning captain selects Offense/Defense or direction in the first half (In the second half, teams change directions and possession).

Game starts with the receiving team in possession on its own 5-yard line.




  • Two 15-minute halves with 1-3 minute half time
  • Running time for all 15 minutes of first half, 14 of 15 minutes running time second half (see below for explanation)
  • Final one minute2 of second half - clock stops when the score differential is 8 points or less for:
  • Official's time-outs (injuries and called time-outs)
  • An incomplete pass
  • An offensive player goes out-of-bounds (Without being deflagged)
  • A touchdown
  • A First Down
  • Any turnover (interception, change of possession on downs or after a punt)
  • The clock continues to run on all fumbles (including fumbles snaps from the center to the QB)
  • Any penalty deemed intentional by the referee in an effort to affect the clock (whether to run off time or stop the clock) in the last two minutes of the game is prohibited
  • If a team is up by 9 or more points, the clock will continue to run for the last 1 minutes
  • If the point differential changes from below 9 points (stoppage time) to 9 points or above (running time) within the final 1 minute the clock shall stop/run in accordance with the score.
  • The clock will stop for a 1 minute warning in the second half if the score differential is 8 points or less. Clock is always restarted when the offense snaps the ball.




Each team receives one time-out per game. Time out will only stop the clock for 25 seconds then the clock starts again.




Teams are required to bring two shirts (light and dark)

Proper footwear must be worn to participate (i.e. sneakers or cleats)

Metal Cleats are prohibited




Touchdowns 6 points

2 yard conversion: 1 point

10 yard conversion: 2 points

Safeties: 2 points

*Extra point attempts may be intercepted and returned for 2 points with the defense retaining possession at their 10 yard line.




A safety will be scored when a player:

Is de-flagged with the hips across the goal-line in their own end zone (not on a punt or intercepted pass)

If player advances the ball out of end zone and runs back in on a punt or intercepted pass, a safety will be awarded

Runs out of bounds in their own end zone

Snaps the ball out of the back of their own end zone

Fumbles in their own end zone

*The defensive team receives 2 points and will receive the ball on their own 5 yard line




Each team will have a series of four (4) downs to advance the ball from one zone to another. Mid-field is the only first down. Failure to do so in four downs results in loss of the ball to the opponent. If you start the possession on your opponent's side of mid-field the count will be 1st and Goal.


Co-ed Rules


Teams must use a female as an operative player within 3 consecutive downs


An operative player is defined as follows:

The intended receiver in the eyes of the official

Attempts a pass as quarterback (does not have to get positive yards)


An operative player is NOT defined as a player who:

Hands the ball off to a male player

Snaps the ball into play

Receives a hand-off only to give it back to a male before crossing the line of scrimmage


Female Plays

A pass deflected by a male and caught by a female

A pass intended for a female (in the eyes of the referee) that is deflected by a female, and is caught by a male

Female plays not utilizing a female and resulting in loss of down and the following play will still be considered a female play


Female Plays Are Not


Male or Female QB is sacked on a play designated as a female play

Male or female QB spiking the ball, to stop the clock, on a female play

Female receives a handoff or a pitch (The ball must be thrown forward to be considered a female play)

Female QB handing off, pitching or throwing the ball to a male that is not in front of them

FEMALE QB lateralling the ball to a MALE who then throws it to another MALE

On Extra points, every player is eligible, even if it should be a female play.




Only 8 players are allowed in the huddle

Ball must always be snapped near the ground by the center to the quarterback

The center is eligible to receive a pass after snapping the ball into play

The player receiving the snap is the quarterback for that play

No player shall put the ball in play until it is declared ready-for-play by the head referee

The offensive team has 25 seconds to put the ball in play after it is spotted by the referee

Centers may adjust the ball, including picking it up to reposition it as long as this motion is not used to intentionally draw the defense offside

Only 1 man may be allowed in motion when the ball is snapped.  The man in motion has to be moving parallel to the line of scrimmage or backwards.

Only 3 players are allowed in the backfield at the snap

If the ball hits the ground during the snap it is treated like a fumble and is dead immediately at the spot where it hit the ground

This will not stop the clock during the last two minutes of the 2nd half



No active blocking is allowed(Penalty: 10 yards from line of scrimmage; replay down.)

A player may use his body to shield another player by having their arms by their sides or behind their back, shielding player must be stationary. In this instance, the shielding player must not initiate contact.

There is also no contact allowed at the line or downfield by any defensive player.

The center may move side to side during the 3 seconds of the “Mississippi” count but then must remain stationary if intending the screen the rusher

Contact must be avoided by all players.


Rushing Quarterback

Each team with 8 players must keep 1 player on the defensive line within 2 yards of the center to start the play

That player must remain on the line of scrimmage if they are intending to rush the QB after 3 Mississippi (counted by the referee)

Teams that are short players may choose to not have a defensive line man but give up the right to rush on that play


Pursuing the QB

Defense may not pursue the quarterback behind the line of scrimmage until the referee completes the 3 Mississippi count. 

The count beings when the ball is snapped

The defense can rush after 3 Mississippi count

Any player may rush once the count is completed

The quarterback may only run once the defense has crossed the line of scrimmage

If the ball is handed off or thrown in the backfield, the defense is allowed to rush immediately




Ball carrier is de-flagged

The receiver can be de-flagged once he makes initial contact with the ball.

Ball carrier touches the out of bounds line with any part of his/her body

Ball carrier scores. Ball carriers’ hips must break goal plane for touchdown or conversion

Ball touches the ground as a result of a fumble, punt or incomplete pass or even while in a player's hand

Ball carrier slips or falls, or any part of his/her body (excluding feet or hands) touches the ground, the ball becomes dead

If an offensive player becomes de-flagged without cause the play will continue until he is touched with two hands by a defender




There are no stiff arms allowed by any player. This will be considered an illegal contact foul and a 10-yard penalty will be assessed and loss of down.




A pass is complete if:

Caught by any player of the passing team (who has at least one foot in bounds) beyond the line of scrimmage

Caught in bounds simultaneously by opponents & the ball is awarded to passing team at spot of catch

Player that has ball control and is pushed out of the end zone/sideline will be considered inbounds/TD/extra point




The team taking possession of the ball will start on its own 5 yards line.  There are no kick-offs




The offensive team must declare a punt. (No actual Punts in tournament play)

The takes possession of the ball at their own 5 yard line





There are no fumbles - any play ends when the ball makes contact with the ground

If a player has possession of the ball and then loses it and the ball makes contact with the ground, the ball will be spot where the player last had complete control of the ball

If a ball becomes loose, either team my attempt to catch the ball prior to it hitting the ground and advance it towards their opponents end zone

Stripping the ball is NOT allowed



Interceptions may be advanced by the defense.

If the offensive and defensive players both have simultaneous possession, the ball will be awarded to the offensive player



Downfield laterals are allowed

A lateral is a toss of the ball to a team member next to or behind you. If the lateral is behind the line of scrimmage, the player receiving the pass has the option to run the ball, regardless of Mississippi count, or throw the ball down field to an eligible receiver

Illegal forward laterals will result in a 5 yard penalty from the spot of the foul




A team is permitted to substitute players before each play. Players must be set on the field for one second before the snap.

Teams may not have more than 8 players in the huddle.

The penalty for an illegal substitution is 5 yards from the line of scrimmage prior to the ball being snapped






The offense has 25 seconds to run a play after the referee has signaled he is ready for play.  Referees will give a count from 5 down to zero before calling this penalty  5 yards; play is blown dead prior to snap


Too Many Men on the field - No more than 8 players on field. Penalty will be assessed after discovery  5 yards; replay down. Opposing team may decline penalty



Defensive Offsides - If any defender crosses the line of scrimmage before 3-Mississippi is fully uttered: 5 yards will be assessed from the line of scrimmage  and the down will be replayed (Penalty may be decline by the offense) 

        Defensive Pass interference will be an automatic first down at the spot of the penalty

Defensive pass interference in the end zone will result in a first down on the 1 yard line




QB illegal forward pass/illegal run - The QB throws a forward pass after he crosses the line of scrimmage or runs before defense crosses the line of scrimmage- 5 yards will be assessed from the line of scrimmage  and there will be a loss of down (Penalty may be declined by the defense)

Offensive Offsides- When any part of the offensive player's body is beyond the scrimmage line before the ball is snapped or an offensive play leaves before the ball is snapped: play is blown dead at snap, 5 yards will be assessed from the line of scrimmage  and the down will be replayed

Illegal Motion - Players must be set on the field for one second before the snap. - 5 yards; 

Illegal forward lateral - Illegal forward laterals will result in a 5 yard penalty from the spot of the foul.

Blocking - No blocking is allowed (Penalty: 10 yards from line of scrimmage; replay down.)

Illegal contact/holding Making intention contact with another player will result in a 10 yard penalty and replay the down

Offensive picking - Offensives picks are not allowed (Intentionally impeding the path of a defensive player in order to free up a potential receiver).  The penalty is 10 yards and replay the down.

Pass interference (when ball is in the air) - Pass interference will be called if a player significantly hinders the ability for an opposing player to get open or catch the ball. It will be considered incidental contact if both players are clearly going for the ball.

Offensive Pass interference will result in a 10 yard penalty and replay the down. 

Flag Guarding- Intentionally or unintentionally obstructing an opposing player from reaching for a flag belt - The play will be blown dead and it will be a 10 yard penalty from the spot of the foul. This will also result in a loss of down.