For indoor flag football, the away team will start with the ball in the first half, and the home team will start with the ball in the second half. The dimensions of the field are 30 yards wide from sideline to sideline and 80 yards long from end line to end line. There is a goal post at each end of the field.
The ball is inflated so it has some weight to it. Before each play, players take a knee on the ground near their own end zone. The referee signals "Ready" by raising his arm upright and holding it there. When the play begins, all contact between players is allowed, including touching the ball before it is kicked. Players can use their hands, arms, shoulders, and hips to knock the ball forward.
There are three ways to score: touchdown, point-after-touchdown, or safety. A player reaches the end zone while carrying the ball, or "running out the clock," and either stops moving or advances the ball into the end zone without advancing it. If a player is injured while he is running out the clock, then no time is lost due to the injury; instead, the opposing team gets one free kick after the play when asked by the official.
A player may also score by kicking the ball through the uprights of the opponent's goal post. This is called a field goal.
Although flag football regulations vary, this is an example of a common league's rules. Flag football fields are typically 60-80 yards long and 20-30 yards wide. The end zones are each ten yards long. A flag is used to start the game and is thrown into the air to indicate a free-throw attempt. Two players take shots from between 20 and 25 feet away using a ball made of foam core with feathers attached. The player who makes the shot wins the toss of the coin and chooses whether to receive or kick off. Players can be substituted out at any time during the game.
The aim is to be the last man standing after 90 minutes. Between games there is often a water break followed by some type of snack such as hot dogs or chips. At the end of the season, all of the teams that remain will play in a championship game called the "Super Bowl". This is usually held on the last day of the season but it can be held at any time during the year if necessary. The winner is declared champion of the field.
There are several types of flags used in American football including the American football, the goal post flag, and the snap flag. The American football has ten stripes and three stars while the goal post flag has thirteen stripes and four stars. The star pattern represents heaven while the number of stripes represents the fact that America is made up of many states.
Flag football is played in class in the "meadow" east of the parking lots. The offensive team initiates play by tossing the ball long downfield to the defensive team. The offensive team then has four (4) downs to move the ball for a score. If at any time the ball is lost, there is a free kick given to the opposing team. A free kick is like a punt in other sports - it can be returned for a point-blank range field goal or placed anywhere on the ground behind the line of scrimmage.
The term "touchdown zone" is used to describe the area on the field where a player is awarded credit for a touchdown. This area varies depending on whether the play is first down (1 yard required for a first down), second down (2 yards required for a first down), etc. The length of the touchdown zone depends on which player is assigned the duty of scoring points after each down. If the offense is in a hurry-up mode and scores in a short amount of time, the center may elect to go for the touchdown instead of kicking the ball away.
In addition to the standard width of 20 feet, the touchdown zone may be expanded if the players agree beforehand.
Prior to the initial kick-off, a coin is tossed to determine which team will kick off first and which goals the teams will defend. The change of teams concludes at halftime. At the start of each half and after a score, play begins with a kick-off. Flag football has no free kicks; all kicks are made by punting. A fair catch is required when returning a punt or kickoff.
The American Football Association (which developed the game based on rules used in the United States during World War I) originally banned the punt because it was thought to be too dangerous. However, in 1973, the association's rules committee voted to allow coaches to call for fair catches as long as they gave their opponents the opportunity to return the ball.
Today, most professional and many college football teams include a punt in their game plans. The punt can be effective strategy for shifting the field position advantage against a strong opposing defense, especially if there is little chance of scoring before the end of the half. Punts also give less experienced players an opportunity to show what they can do with the ball in hand.
In fact, according to statistics provided by ESPN, NFL teams that punt more often than not have better records than those who don't. Of the top 10 punting teams in 2011, nine had winning records and only one had a losing record. The same thing can be said for top 10 kicking teams; only one (Chicago) had a losing record.