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NFL Flag Official League

Referee Homepage

  • Make sure your cell phone is fully charged and the Virtual Scoreboard app is downloaded and ready to go for your first game.
    • Input team names (Example: 3rd Giants), set game clock (12 minute halves) play clock (30 seconds) and QB clock (7 seconds)
    • Give each Head Coach the code to access the Virtual Scoreboard and they will pass it on to their parents.
    • Establish who will work game clock, play clock and QB clock during the game. 
    • After each game record game score with a screen shot
  • Host a "Faceoff" at midfield 5 minutes before the game with all players on both teams and all coaches. 
    • Discuss the importance of sportsmanship
    • Stress no contact during the game
    • Do a equipment check by asking each player to pull their flags, make sure each belt is tight, make sure each flag is on the side of players hips.  Make sure the excess belt is tucked away, rolled up and taped is the preferred method.
    • Check for illegal colored shorts and that each jerseys is tucked in.  If a coach requests that a player be allowed to wear their jersey untucked, the flag must be up a little higher around the waist and easy to pull by a defender.  This exception can be made only if a jersey is to short to remain tucked in during plays of the game. 
    • Explain that you are there manage the Flag Football game by spotting the ball, keeping score, Running the clock and to notify the Head Coach when a player or coach breaks a rule.
    • Explain how the out of bounds lines will be called, any player that touches the white out of bounds line will be called out of bounds.  The referee will line up on the opposite side of the coaches on the sideline, the referee will be in charge of calling out of bounds on his side while the coaches on the sideline will be in charge of calling out of bounds on their sideline.  
    • Explain how you are there to spot the ball and then running to the 7 yard mark off the line of scrimmage to make sure that all rushers are lined up at 7 yards or more.  Ask that one asst coach on the other side of the field should be standing at the line of scrimmage for you to help you make sure the ball is marked in the correct spot after each play.
    • Manage the coin flip, make sure the away team is in white jerseys and they get to call heads or tails.  Use a coin or siri to flip a coin for you.  Winner of the coin toss gets to choose offense or defense first.  Loser of the coin toss gets to choose what side of the field they want to defend.  Make sure to flip sides for the 2nd half and whoever was on defense at the start of the game is on offense for the start of the 2nd half.
    • It is very important that our referees blow the whistle loud and quick everytime a flag is pulled.  It is very important that our referees do not blow the whistle unless they are 100% that confident that a player stepped out of bounds or their flag was pulled.  If you do accidentally blow a whistle and a players flag was not pulled, they play will still have to stop where the ball was when you blew the whistle.  This is something that has happened in a couple of our games and has upset the coaches very very much.  Please do your best not to make a mistake and blow your whistle early.
  • Establish who enforces the penalties
    • Explain that the Head coaches will be the ones calling/enforcing the penalties and you are there to assist with penalty warnings and walk off the penalty yardage.
    • If a coach believes a penalty should be called, then the head coaches will discuss and decide if it should be a warning or an official penalty to be walked off by the referee. 
  • Delay of Game Penalty’s
    • Each Offense is required to snap the ball within 30 seconds which will start once a referee establishes the 7 yard rush line.  After approximately 20 seconds the referee should be alerting the offense of the time if they are still in the huddle.  We want to make sure every team takes no longer than 30 seconds to call a play so we can make sure each team gets as many offensive plays as possible.   A delay of game penalty is -5 yards and a loss of down.
  • Offensive Charging & Defensive Unnecessary Roughness Penalty’s.
    • Our Flag Football Rules allow a defensive player to break down in front of the ball carrier and try to force the runner to change directions.  If the running back runs into the defensive player that would be considered a charging penalty as long as the defensive player is stationary and its clear the runner has initiated the contact. 
    • If the defensive player is moving while trying to draw a charging penalty and it looks like the defensive player initiated the contact that is considered an Unnecessary Roughness penalty against the defensive player. 
    • Both penalties are -10 yards and loss of down or automatic first down.  This will be a penalty that our referees will be responsible for interpreting and calling as they see it.  When deciding who initiated the contact if it is unclear, the penalty will be called on the defensive player.  It has to be 100% clear that the runner initiated the contact for it to be called on the offense.
  • Halftime Rules
    • Halftime is 5 minutes long
    • Teams switch sides at the start of the 2nd half.
  • Clock Management
    • Each half is 12 minutes long with a running clock.  Make sure you give the coaches a 10 minute and five minute announcement as the clock winds down. 
    • Each team gets 3 timeouts per game
  • Report Game Score
    • Keep track of the exact score of your game and announce it after every score in the game so the Head Coaches are aware.  Email the score to the Flag Football Commissioner by the end of day.  Also in your game score report, please add a few comments about the way the coaches and players treated you and how the coaches managed the game.  We want to make sure everyone respects each other on the field, if you see any coach, parent or player act inappropriately add that in your comments as well.
  • Referee Pay
    • Referees will receive $20 per game.  Flag Referee's will be expected to show up 15 minutes before each game starts to set up the field or confirm the field is set up properly.  Each Game should take less than 1 hour if the game is started on time.
  • Referee Ratings
    • All referees will be graded after each game by both Head Coaches.  
    • Referees will receive detailed coaching if there are any complaints about the way the game was managed by the referee.
    • The top rated referee's will be selected for the NFL Flag Playoffs.

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