Football Study Guide

  • Flag Football Study Guide



    On November 6, 1869, Rutgers and Princeton Universities played what was billed as the first college football game. However, it wasn't until the 1880s that a great rugby player from Yale, Walter Camp, pioneered rules changes that slowly transformed rugby into the new game of American Football.


    Throwing a football

    Position your fingers in between the laces. 

    between laces

    Place your index finger near the tip.

    finger position

    Use your fingertips to grip the ball.


    Position your feet correctly.

    feet position

    Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart. Flex your knees slightly, and position your body so you're standing sideways. So, if you’re right-handed, you should be facing to the right with your left foot forward.


    Use the proper throwing motion.

    throwing motion

    As you prepare to throw and find your target, keep your upper arm perpendicular with your body and your forearm at a right angle. Use your other hand to keep the ball steady, maintaining a solid grip on the football.


    Release the ball correctly.

    spiral motion

    When you release the ball, spin it with your fingers to initiate the spiral.


    As you step into the throw, pitch your throwing hand forward, spinning the ball as you release it. Basically, you want to use your fingers to roll the ball out of your hand. Make sure that your hand and arm extend so that your index finger is the last one on the ball.

    final position



    Catching a Football

    1. Catching a high football
      1. Raise your hands so they’re in line with where the football is heading.
      2. Stretch both of your arms up above your head so you're ready to catch the ball when it passes over you. You can also jump into the air with your arms stretched upward to help you reach the ball.
      3. Make a diamond shape with your hands.
      4. Catch the tip of the football in the diamond shape when it reaches your hands.
      5. Squeeze your fingers around the outside of the football.
      6. Use both hands to tuck the ball between your biceps and your chest.
    2. Catching a low football
      1. Lower your hands so they’re ready to receive the low pass.
      2. Turn your hands so your fingers are pointing down at the ground.
      3. Cross your pinky fingers so they form an “x” shape.
      4. Catch the tip of the football in the open space above your crossed pinky fingers.
      5. Squeeze your other fingers around the football to secure your catch.
      6. Lift the ball up and tuck it between your chest and biceps.





    Kicking tee (if desired)

    Flag belts

                                 We have two types of flag belts.

    1. Belts that are entirely pulled off when the flag is pulled. You may not tie this belt on, or the flags will rip. It must be clipped on for easy release.

     multi flag


    1. Belts that stay on and the flag falls off when pulled. These belts are secured on so they do not fall off.

     single flag




    1. Quarterback
      1. The quarterback guides the offense during the game.   The quarterback calls the cadence and “takes the snap” meaning he receives that ball from the center and can then hand it off to the running back or pass the ball to a receiver.
    2. Receiver
      1. The receivers run routes down field and try to catch passes that are thrown from the quarterback in order to advance the ball or score points.
    3. Center
      1. The center handles the snap of the ball from the line of scrimmage to the quarterback. In flag football rules the center is then eligible to act as a wide receiver and go out for a pass.
    4. Running Back
      1. The running back is the primary ball carrier for running plays. The RB lines up in the back field and moves forward at the snap to receive a hand-off from the QB. If the ball is not handed to the running back that player can then go out for a pass in the same way as a wide receiver. PE rules only allow one running play per four downs. This includes running back plays and quarterback runs.
    5. Free Safety
      1. Defensive player who plays the deep pass. They defend against the pass by attempting to prevent the offensive receiver from catching the ball, either by knocking the ball down or by catching the ball before the intended receiver can.
    6. Strong Safety
      1. The Strong safety in flag football is very similar to the free safety. The only difference is that the strong safety has the freedom to move closer to the line of scrimmage in order to defend against running plays.
    7. Defensive Back
      1. The defensive backs play the short pass first and the run to the outside.
    8. Line Backer
      1. Opposite to how safeties play (i.e. pass first then run), the line backers guard against the run first then pass. The line backers will also be the primary rusher against the quarterback. Once any threat of a running play is eliminated the line backers should drop back into pass coverage.


    Field of Play


     field dimentions




    Start of the game

    1. The game begins with a kickoff at the at the 20 yard line
    2. Kicking team must line up behind the kicker
    3. The receiving team must line up on the other side of the field, starting behind the next cone.
    4. Receiving team does not have to catch the ball out of the air.
    5. First player to pick up the ball will run towards the other team until their flag is pulled, they drop the ball, or they score a touchdown.



    The offense is the team that is trying to move the ball down the field and score.

    1. The spot where the running players flag is pulled is called the line of scrimmage.
    2. From this spot, that team has four downs (or four tries) to get to the next cone.
    3. The team must line up behind the line of scrimmage, and cannot move until the ball is snapped to the quarterback.
    4. The quarterback will need to throw the ball to one of the receivers. If it’s caught the receiver must then run until they get their flag pulled, drop the ball or score a touchdown.
    5. The quarterback or running back may only run once in a series of four downs, and only after four seconds.
    6. The spot where the receiver gets their flag pulled, becomes the new line of scrimmage. If it is past the next cone, it is a first down. If not, it is the second down of the teams four downs.
    7. If a team gets in to the end zone within their four downs, they get 6 points.
    8. They may play for the point after the TD or (PAT) by trying one more play starting from halfway between the end zone and the previous cone.
    9. If a team scores, they will turn around and kick the ball off to the other team.



    The defense is the team that is trying to stop the other team from scoring.

    1. The defense must line up facing the offensive team.
    2. They must count (loudly) for four seconds before any player can rush the QB.
    3. One player can rush, the rest sholuld defend the receivers and try to stop them from catching the ball.
    4. If an offensive player catches the ball, the defense must pull that players flag to stop them from scoring a touchdown.



    1. If the defense catches a quarterbacks throw, that is an interception.
    2. The player should run towards their end zone until they score, go out of bounds, drop the ball or get their flag pulled.
    3. The spot where they stop will be the new line of scrimmage and that tea now becomes the offense.
    4. If the defense fails to get to the next cone in four downs, the defense gets the ball at the same line of scrimmage going the other directions. This is called a turnover on downs.