US Beach Flag Football Association Co-Ed Modified Rules
(all other side rules follow the NIRSA flag rules)

Points of emphasis for play.

  • Game time: The league games will be played in two halves of 25 minutes each.   Tournaments have 25 or 20 -minute halves with a maximum 10-minute halftime.  If a larger bracket of 6 or 7 teams, time will be shaved off to equal playing time with smaller brackets.  The amount of playing time will equal to other brackets by this method.  Clock will only stop, other than a time out and after the two-minute warning on incomplete passes, out of bounds.  Otherwise it runs.
  • Persons subject to these rules: Team representatives, including players, substitutes, replaced players, coaches, trainers, and spectators and other persons affiliated with the team, and in the team playing area, are subject to the rules of game and shall be governed by decisions of officials assigned to the game.
  • Game official’s authority: The game officials shall assume authority for the contest, including penalizing unsportsmanlike acts, 10 minutes prior to the scheduled game time, or as soon thereafter as they are able to be present. The official’s jurisdiction extends through the referee’s declaration of the end of the 2nd half or overtime and until they leave the playing vicinity. 3 officials will be assigned to the playoff / final game.
  • Six players (4 male and 2 female) are required to start the game. You may play with less than six, but cannot continue with less than five (3 male and 2 female) Rationale: you must have 4 on the line of scrimmage at all times prior to the snap.  Anyone may be in motion, but one at a time. You may start the game with 5 players (3 male and 2 female- NO exceptions). You have you have a 15-minute grace period (by the officials watch). During the first 5 minutes of the scheduled game, 7 points is awarded to the opposing team. During 10 minutes an additional 7 points is awarded the opposing team. At 15 minutes the game is forfeited. If neither team has enough eligible players at game time, the first team to have the required players is considered as ready to play.
  • There will be no kick offs to start either half of the game. The ball will not be put in play from the first cone from the goal line (normally the 20 yard line).
  • Beach Flag football in its nature is non-contact.  To further demonstrate the intentions of the safety of the league we have clarified the tackle rule.  Any tackling is a penalty.  Under the no tackling infractions; any player who leaves his or her feet to dive at an offensive player and makes contact primarily with the elbow, forearm, head and or shoulder will constitute a tackling infraction as they knock a player down.  It will be first down from that point (spot foul).  This will not exclude a first down if it has not already been accomplished by the offense. 
  • An infraction will occur if a player takes a run at an offensive player who is catching a ball and leads with the elbow, forearm, and or shoulder with no attempt to grab a flag, but rather to knock the ball loose.  This will be considered a tackle and unsportsmanlike.  A first down will be issued in accordance with pass interference. Possible ejection if an obvious attempt to hurt a player at any point of contact on the field!!  Ejection is for the entire tournament.
  • In a jump ball scenario for a pass, contact invariably will occur.  An infraction will be noted if the defensive player contacts primarily with the elbow, head, forearm and or shoulder as they knock an offensive player down.  The action is highlighted by the deliberate action of the play horizontally into the jump ball group for the sole purpose of breaking up the play by taking down the receiver.  A first down will be issued in accordance with pass interference.
  • **Special Note:  If this tackle infraction were to occur again by the same player in the same game the player will be ejected from the game site @ the referee’s discretion for the integrity of the game.  It is enforced as a un-sportsman like conduct to hurt another player.  There is no direct tackling of another player in flag football.  Infractions of such malice are considered un-sportsman like and can be flagged once and then ejected on another deliberate infraction to hurt a player.  That ejection is for the entire tournament weekend.  If disruptive the team can also be penalized
  • First Downs are 2 completions over the line of scrimmage only = 1st down.  ONLY 1 first down per drive unless a penalty.
  • Scoring: Men are worth 6 points.  Women are 9 points for catching, throwing, running into the end zone.  No rule to have to throw to women.
  • Try: 1, 2, and 3 points:The scoring team has the option on a try for point of either 1 point from the 3 yard/step line, 2 points from the 5 yard / step line, or 3 points from the cone/15 step line marker. The team must declare their intention prior to the officials placing the ball in play.  If the defense picks the ball off and returns it for a score it will count for the # of points the offense was attempting.
  • Declared “kick” (passes) will be allowed if declared on 4th down only. There will be no rushing on a declared kick.  A time out can change the call.
  • Time between each down: The time between each down has been changed to 35 seconds in a tournament.  Rationale: Officials have determined in previous seasons most plays were called and snapped within 35 seconds or less & we want to keep the game moving.  Clock will not stop, other than a time out, two minute warning on incomplete passes and out of bounds.
  • Flag belts: Minimum of two flags Velcro with detachable flags. The flags must be centered on the hips at all times. Flags must be 2 inches wide and 14 inches long. The flags should be contrasting color to their opponent’s flags.  At the refs discretion a pop belt may be used if it gives no advantage from a Velcro belt.
  • Removing the flag: After de-flagging the runner, the flag must be held above the head for the officials to see. If the runner does not have flags, or has only one flag, the game reverts to one hand touch anywhere between the shoulders and the knees.
  • Shoes may be worn only with soft rubber soles.  No regular shoes or boots may be used for safety of the players in the soft sand.
  • Jewelry: or exposed metal on clothes and person will not be worn. Knee braces made of hard plastic or metal must be covered on both sides by a ½” closed cell, slow recovery rubber or other material (rubber) similar thickness.
  • Clothing: Jerseys with a number must be worn. The jersey must either be long enough to remain tucked in AT ALL TIMES or at least 4 inches above the naval. Pants or shorts shall not have belts, belt loops, or pockets. No pockets on jerseys (sewn pockets on pants, shorts or jerseys are no longer allowed.) Drawstrings must be kept insides of pants at all times.
  • Mercy rule: There will be a 28 points mercy rule in the second half ONLY.  If a team is ahead AT ANY TIME by 28 points the game clock will continue to run with no time outs on either side or stoppage of play. The game will be stopped if altercations show up for poor sportsmanship due to the extreme scores.  Referees option at that point after a warning in the second half.  The idea is to have fun and play.
  • Forfeit:  In tourney play, if you forfeit a game you are out of the tourney and may be subject to being held out of future tourneys.  Be aware of the daily schedule and be on time.  Forfeits affect playoffs so let play and have fun.
  • Time outs:  Each team will be allowed two time outs per half.
  • Ejections: Ejections will result in a 2 game suspension. Any player or coach ejected from a game must sit out the next 2 scheduled games. Ejected players or coaches will not be allowed in the vicinity of the playing field during their suspension period. Good rule of thumb. If you can be seen, you are in the vicinity. In a tournament you are out for the remainder of the tournament. If ejected 2x then you are banned from all tournaments.
  • If ejected 2 times the lifetime ban is enforced.If you try and register and sneak into future play with another team that team may be subject to a lifetime ban for allowing you to play with them. Throw a punch for any reason and you are banned for life in our tournaments.  Safety is key/
  • Contact:  Incidental contact is a judgment call by the officials.  Any contact, which in the judgment of the officials, is an attempt to remove the flag from a runner, an OPPONENT may cause incidental (not great force) contact to the body, but not the face, neck or head of the runner. An opponent may not hold, push, or knock the runner down in an attempt to remove the flags. Lowering the upper body and/or spinning by the runner and causing contact to the opponent, is an illegal contact penalty. Playing through or running through an opponent is an illegal contact penalty.  Potential head injuries ae an un-sportsmanlike penalty and ejection is possible.  It is best to pull up and go around.
  • Team Boxes. Team boxes will be located on opposite sides of the field for teams and coaches. Team boxes will be two yards off the sideline and extend between the two 20 yard lines.
  • Screen blocking. Screen blocking is legally obstructing an opponent without using any part of the body to initiate contact.  It is like a basketball charge rule where the blocker must be set for one full second. The rusher must go around the set player.
  • Protest.A written protest involving the misapplication of a rule and $100 must be presented to the Commissioner within 24 hours in league play. The protest must be made known to the officials at the time of protest and before the next snap of the ball. A team captain may protest the misapplication of a rule ONLY. If a team captain’s protest is upheld, the game will be started at the point of protest on the following play date when available and the game officials will not receive an additional fee for this game.  * Tournaments decisions will be declared on the field by the tourney director with reports of the officials and any player as necessary.
  • Age: Must be 18 years or older for the league play. 
  • Field Size:  30 wide by 60 long with 10-yard end zones in the soft sand.
  • Shirts:  A same colored numbered shirt must be worn at all times during the game.  The number must be 5-7 inches on either the back or front of the shirt.  Shirts must be tucked in or cut 4 inches above the belt line so fingers do not get snagged and hurt.
  • Ball:  We use the Wilson NFL composite leather ball.
  • Commissioner and refs use the NIRSA rules for all other rules for the flag football games.