Flag Football is on its way to becoming a part of the Olympic games as one of five additional sports being included in the 2028 games in Los Angeles.
The games will be a variant of the rules used in American/Gridiron Football. Let’s examine some of the projected rules of the games (via Olympics.com).
Flag Football games are 5-on-5 contests with rosters maxing out at 12 players.
Flag Football games consist of two 20-minute halves.
Clocks run consistently until the two-minute warning of each half.
During the last two minutes of each half, the clock stops during a normal stoppage.
Play starts on the five-yard line (no kickoffs).
There is no kicking in Flag Football, so no scoring via field goals or traditional extra points attempts.
All touchdowns are worth six points.
After each touchdown, teams will remain on offense for one play extra play and have the option of going for:
One point: via one play from the five-yard line to get the ball into the endzone.
Two points: via one play from the 10-yard line to get the ball into the endzone.
All players will wear three flags and in place of tackling, defenders must obtain at least one of the flags from the ball carrier to have him/her be considered down.
There is no jumping or diving at ball carriers allowed.
Downs & Turnovers
Starting at the opposition’s five-yard line, the offense has four attempts (downs) to get to the midfield (halfway mark), which gives it a first down (four additional downs/attempts) to get the ball into the endzone.
Turnovers on downs result in the team getting the ball from the opposition’s five-yard line (as opposed to where the turnover on downs occurred).
The field (or the pitch as it might be referred to internationally) is smaller than a traditional American Football field. It’ll measure 70 yards by 30 yards with 10 yards of endzone on each end.
It doesn’t sound like there will be rushing allowed by the QB, per the Olympics’ official site.
Play starts at a team’s own five-yard line with the centre snapping the ball back to the quarterback who either passes the ball forward to try and find a receiver, or hands off to a running back.
Other Rushing Flag Football Rules
No rushes are allowed when the offense is within five yards of the endzone.
What about Overtime?
If the score is tied after 40 minutes of play, sudden-death overtime begins, meaning the first team to score wins.