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Upward Flag Football

A fundamental league teaching the sport and sportsmanship. Minus tackling and kicking, players gain every other skill relevant to football.


Mid-August through October.

  • Boys in 1st through 5th grade
  • Practices start in mid-August
  • Each team will practice one hour per week
  • Practice times vary for each team
  • No practice during fall break or games the following Saturday
  • Games start in early September on Saturdays

Rules: Upward Flag Football

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  • Cleats are recommended.
  • Mouthguards are required.
  • A full uniform is provided along with flags, and a wrist coach.


  • There will be a one-hour practice per week.
  • At each practice the coach will deliver a short devotion to the players that teach character.
  • Teams will have the opportunity to learn Bible Scriptures together. Green Star awards are given to every player participating in learning the Bible verse.

At each practice, your child’s team will participate in a 5 to 7 minute devotion time. These devotions are age-appropriate for each division. This devotion time will promote salvation, character, and self-esteem in your child. At each practice, your child will receive a Scripture Magnet with the Bible verse to be learned for the next practice. Take time to familiarize yourself with the Scripture verses so you and your child can discuss the weekly Bible verses and themes.

Substitution System
This substitution system is designed to provide every player equal opportunity for improvement. The substitution system ensures that:

  • Every child will play at least half of the game.
  • No child will sit out more than one possession at a time.
  • Every child will play offense and defense.
  • Every child will have an opportunity to be in the starting lineup.
  • In most cases, each child will play against someone of equal ability.
  • Coaches are not open to making unfair substitutions or being accused of such.
  • Coaches are free from monitoring playing time for each player.
  • Playing time for all players is virtually even over the course of the season.


  • A minimum of three players will be on the line of scrimmage at all times.
  • Only one player is allowed in motion at a time.


  • Touchdown: 6 points
  • Extra point: 1 point (played from 5-yard line with a pass) or 2 points (played from 10-yard line with a run or a pass).
  • Safety: 2 points – Scoring team will receive the ball at their own 5-yard line.


  • The quarterback cannot run the ball across the line of scrimmage.
  • The person who receives the snap from the center (under-center or shotgun) is considered the quarterback and cannot run the ball across the line scrimmage.
  • The option play, where the quarterback runs the ball down the line of scrimmage before pitching the ball is allowed, keeping in mind he cannot run the ball across the line of scrimmage.
  • The quarterback is the only player who can make the pitch. The pitch can occur at anytime while behind the line of scrimmage.
  • Once the pitched is received, the ball carrier can run the ball, handoff the ball (behind the line of scrimmage) or pass the ball (halfback pass).
  • Direct handoffs behind the line of scrimmage are permitted. Offense may use multiple handoffs. After the ball crosses the line of scrimmage, there will be no handoffs or laterals.
  • Five yards from the goal line and 5 yards from the midfield first down line are “no running zones.” This is to avoid short-yardage, power-running plays.
  • The ball carrier may not dive. A dive will result in a penalty.
  • The ball is spotted where the ball carrier’s feet are when the flag is pulled, not the location of the ball.


  • All players are eligible to receive passes (the quarterback becomes eligible after a handoff or pitch).
  • A player must have at least one foot in bounds when making a reception.
  • If a player catches a pass with his knee(s) on the ground, the play is blown dead, and the ball is spotted at the point of completion.


  • All forward passes must be completed behind the line of scrimmage. Once the ball leaves the quarterback’s hand, the defender can make a play on the ball. The defender must avoid contact with the receiver.
  • The quarterback has a seven-second “pass clock”. If a pass is not thrown within the seven seconds, play is dead, loss of down (equal to an incomplete pass). Once the ball is handed off or pitched the seven-second rule is no longer in effect.


  • Teams may run man-to-man or zone defenses.
  • Interceptions may not be returned, with the exception of the 4th/5th and Middle School divisions. The change of possession will be awarded at the place of the interception.
  • Once the ball has been handed off, pitched or passed, all defensive players are eligible to cross the line of scrimmage from anywhere on the field.

Rushing the Passer

  • All players who are rushing the quarterback must begin seven yards back from the line of scrimmage. Any number of players may rush the quarterback (except 1st and 2nd grade). Players not rushing the quarterback may defend along the line of scrimmage or line up off the line of scrimmage.
  • Once the ball is handed off, pitched or passed the seven-yard rule is no longer in effect, and all defenders may cross the line of scrimmage. Before each snap, the referee will designate the seven yard rush line.
  • Only one defender may rush the quarterback in the 1st and 2nd grade division.


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