About Flag Football

For anyone who has yet to fully discover what Flag American Football is, the below is a quick summary of what the sport is. For more general questions, please see our FAQ Page.

In a nutshell, what is it?

Flag American Football is a non-contact version of American Football. It takes away the helmet, pads and big hits but still leaves in the same strategy and speed seen in the full version of the sport.

Played in a 5-vs-5 format, over 2 20 minute halves, Flag Football uses a similar 4 down approach as the main game, requiring an offense to move the ball over halfway in a maximum 4 downs and then attempting to score in another 4 downs. Teams can move downfield either by passing the ball, or by running with it, the same way that the contact version does. There is no kicking or punting game involved in the 5-vs-5 Flag version of American Football.

Although it could be compared to touch rugby by its design, tackling in Flag Football requires just a little more hand-eye coordination. Players play with two tackle flags hanging from a belt, positioned on each hip. A tackle is made when an opposing player pulls one of these flags free of the belt. The play is deemed over at the spot of the tackle.

How many players on a team?

A minimum required to start a game is 5, with the maximum game day roster of 10.

10 players allows for teams to use players in dedicated roles for either offense or defense but does not result in players being stuck on the side-lines for too long, meaning everyone gets the opportunity to play! A team with fewer players on game day will simply get more time on the field per player, and will help increase their fitness ;).

Players can be subbed on and off in a rolling-sub format, at the end of each play. Substitutions cannot be made while a play is in progress.

What are the positions?


Quarterback – Player who passes the ball or hands it to the running back. Quarterbacks are also normally the play callers for the offense.

Running back – Player whose primary duty is to run with the ball after being given it by the quarterback. Also catches the ball out of the backfield. Sometimes lines up as a wide receiver.

Wide receiver – Wide receivers are the players whose main responsibility is to catch the ball thrown to them by the quarterback.

Centre – Snaps (gives) the ball to the quarterback at the start of each play. Responsible for blocking the pass rusher from the defense. Also able to catch the ball passed by the quarterback.


Pass Rusher – Main responsibility is to tackle the quarterback before they have a chance to throw. Normally a linebacker, pass rushers also help defend against the running back.

Linebacker – Player who normally lines up to either defend against the running back, or to mark the centre. On some players, one of the linebackers is normally designated as the passrusher.

Cornerbacks – Players who mark the wide receivers. Their job is to try and either intercept or break up passes or tackle a wide receiver if they make a catch.

Safety – The last line of defense. A player who is able to support their teammates in either defending the run, or by helping a cornerback mark his man when defending the pass.