Capital Area Minor Football Association

2023 Non-Contact Rules


The purpose of our flag football program is to introduce athletes aged 6-9 to the game with a minimum of body contact taking place. Players will learn the fundamentals in a fun environment. Our goal is to create a love of the game of Football. 

Overall Rules

Where an aspect of the game has not been addressed in the proceeding text the "2023 The Canadian Amateur Rule Book - Flag Football” for 5 aside shall apply. 


Each player will be supplied with a T-shirt that is to be worn as the team uniform. Children are permitted to keep these shirts at the end of the season.

All players will wear a belt to which "flags" are attached. Players are tackled by having one of these flags pulled off.

It is recommended that each child wear football or soccer cleats to improve their maneuverability and prevent injuries. Cleats with metal tips are not permitted.

Game Length    

All games will be preceded by a practice/warm-up of about 20 minutes. 

The game will consist of two, 20-minute halves at straight time, followed by “5 last plays” at the end of each half..

The half-time break will be about 5 minutes. 

The official will give a two-minute warning at the 18-minute mark letting the teams know that there are 2 minutes until the last 5 plays. At the 20-minute mark, the official will announce the last 5 plays. These 5 plays will take place regardless of scoring or turnover.  

NOTE: If an accepted penalty occurs and the down is to be replayed an additional play will be added to the 5 last plays. For example A penalty occurs on the 2nd of the “Last 5 Plays” and is accepted resulting in a replay of the down, the replayed down is still considered the “2nd play of the last 5 plays” 

Clock Stoppage 

The clock should only stop for 1 of the following reason

1) Coach Time Out each coach will have 2, one-minute time outs per half

2) Official's Time Out

3) Injury Time Out

If a team has a lead of more than 21 points then the clock will run straight without stoppage. 

Number of Players

Each team will have 6 players on the field at any time.  

The offense must always have two ends and a center on the line of scrimmage

All Offensive players are eligible receivers. 

Offensive Plays

Teams will attempt both running and passing plays. A team will have 5 downs to score. The offence must throw a legal forward pass on at least one of the first four downs in each series of downs. Failure to do so will result in an "Illegal Procedure" penalty. A 5 yard penalty will be applied and the down repeated. The offensive team will still be obligated to pass the ball again after the penalty has been applied.

Officials will not stop play until the ball is dead. Attempting to pass and getting sacked will not satisfy this rule. The ball must be thrown as a legal forward pass. Forward passes thrown behind the line of scrimmage and towards the sideline area must travel at least 10 yards and cross the line of scrimmage to satisfy this rule. A lateral pass will not satisfy this rule.  

The defensive team has the option to decline the penalty, let the play stand, and bring up fifth down. The offensive team can run the ball on fifth down.

When on offense and positioned 5 yards or less from the opponent's end zone only pass plays are allowed. This area is considered the No Run Zone. The same definition of what constitutes a forward pass applies here. 

Ball Carrier 

On each of the first 4 downs, a different player must carry the ball or be the target of a pass. On 5th down any player can carry the ball or be the target of a pass.


Blocking is not permitted

Because the players are not wearing any protective equipment, coaches must be on guard to keep this body contact under control. Penalties should be called quickly when unnecessary roughness occurs.

Play Clock

From the time the referee blows time in, a team will have 60 seconds to put the ball in play.  


On all plays only one defensive player is permitted to rush the passer. The rusher must be at least 7 yards off the line of scrimmage. 

Physical Contact

Defenders are not permitted to physically tackle ball carriers. They are not allowed to deliberately throw or push offensive players and at no time are defenders allowed to have physical contact with pass receivers.

Because the players are not wearing any protective equipment, coaches must be on guard to keep body contact to a minimum. Penalties should be called quickly when unnecessary roughness occurs. Players who continually practice rough play may be ejected from the game.


A convert is worth 1 point

A team may attempt a convert either by running or passing.

A running convert shall start from 10 yards out of the end zone and a passing convert shall start from the 5-yard line.


Ball carriers are tackled by having one flag pulled off either hip. 

Ball carriers are not permitted to shield flags with their hands or to bat away defenders' hands from their flags. If they do they will be ruled to have been tackled at the point where the infraction occurred.

Tacklers cannot grab the ball carrier's shirt to slow him down before pulling off his flags. They are not permitted to grab his belt or arms. If a ball carrier is deliberately tripped or knocked down in the course of being tackled a 10-yard unnecessary roughness penalty will automatically be applied.  

Ball carriers are not permitted to push tacklers away or to contact them with their hands. Ball carriers are not allowed to swat away tackler's hands reaching for their flags. If they do the Referee will blow the play dead where the infraction occurred.  

Tacklers are not permitted to make physical contact with ball carriers other than attempting to pull off flags.

Players who physically tackle ball carriers rather than making a reasonable attempt to pull the flag may be subject to ejection from the game.

Players are not considered tackled until a flag has been pulled. Falling down or being knocked down does not constitute a tackle and play should continue until a flag is removed.


When a ball is fumbled due to physical contact with the ball carrier by a defensive player the ball will be considered dead and possession retained by the offensive team. Defensive players are not permitted to strip the ball from ball carriers.

Equal Play Rule

Each player will play one-half of the game on offense and one half on defense. The switch will take place at half-time. Where a team has less than 12 players one or more players will have to remain on the field when possession of the ball changes. This should be done through a rotation that maintains equal play for all. No players are permitted to play the entire game. 


Unnecessary Roughness - Anything that results in a player being deliberately knocked to the ground. 10 yards. Use the normal paces of the coach of the benefiting team. If the penalty results from a deliberate physical tackle that prevented a certain touchdown from being scored the referee may award the score to the offensive team.

Rough Play - Where a player has more than one deliberate Unnecessary Roughness penalty in a game a 25-yard penalty will be applied and the offending player ejected from the game.

Illegal Procedure - The offense must have a center and two ends on the line of scrimmage. Players cannot move before the ball is snapped. 5 yards. Repeat down. The defense may decline the penalty.    

Offside - Defence cannot cross the line of scrimmage before the ball is snapped. 5 yards. Repeat down. The offense may decline the penalty.

Holding - Offensive Players cannot hold defenders or push them with an open hand. The ball carrier is deemed tackled where the infraction occurred. 10 yards back from the point of infraction or line of scrimmage if an infraction occurred behind the line of scrimmage. Repeat down if infraction behind the line of scrimmage. The defense may decline the penalty.

Run Interference - Non-ball carriers on the offense are not to deliberately impede a defensive player's path to the ball carrier. If the infraction occurs it will be 10 yards back from the spot of the infraction or 10 yards back from the line of scrimmage if it happens behind the line of scrimmage. Repeat Down. The defense can decline the penalty 

Pass Interference - Neither pass receivers nor defenders can push one another on pass routes. Pass will be deemed complete where infraction occurred if the defender interfered. The pass will be deemed incomplete if the receiver interfered. 10 yards added on to the completion if defensive interference. 10 yards back from the line of scrimmage if an offensive player interfered. Repeat down on offensive interference. The defense may decline the penalty.

Unsportsmanlike Conduct - Taunting opposing players or using foul language. 10-yard penalty.

Click HERE for a Printable version of the above rules.