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Flag Football is an excellent way for young players to learn the basics of football. We recommend that kids who are new to the sport (5-6-7 yr olds) try flag for at least a year before strapping on the pads & helmet. Below are some basic details about the game & how it is played:

The Rules

National Pop Warner rules states that each Flag football team must have a minimum of 10 players and can roster a maximum of 24 players. All players will play a minimum of 10 plays each game. FPW will do its best to keep the Flag squads small in order to give the players more time on the field. This also allows for more one on one instruction during practices.

The Basics

Flag football follows the same rules of tackle football when it comes to offense. A quarterback takes a snap, can pass or hand off, and no forward passes are allowed beyond the line of scrimmage. Touchdowns are worth six points and extra points are scored from the 5-yard line.

Fag football does NOT allow tackling. While playing defense, the player must pull the flag off the ball carrier's belt as opposed to making a tackle, Once the flag has been pulled off, the play ends when the flag hits the ground, or the defender holds up the captured flag to a referee.

Once the ball gets snapped, it is live until it goes out of bounds, points are scored, or the ball carrier’s flag is pulled. Play is also whistled dead if the ballcarrier’s arm or knee touches the ground, or someone with just one flag catches a ball. The number of downs may vary, but most leagues will have four, like regular football. The first possession starts at the 5-yard line, and that team gets that set number of downs to cross midfield. If they do, they get another set of downs to score. If they fail, the other team gets the ball at its own 5.


Flag practices start with 3 nights per week in August and goes to 2 nights per week in September (after Labor Day). Which days the team will practice depends on the coaching staff’s schedule and field availability.


Flag teams play 10 regular season games. There is a “Bowl Game” (Flag Fest) at the end of the season in which all Flag teams in the WCC Conference are invited to participate. 


The football players will be loaned practice pants, game pants, and belts by the FPW Association which you will need to return at the end of the season. Part of your registration fees cover the following items for you to keep: a mesh “FPW” practice jersey, a game jersey with players name on back. Flag players do not wear helmets or any pads. The items you will need to purchase are cleats (no metal), mouth pieces, and socks.