Reflex Football (RFB) is 7-on-7 contact-flag football. Even though RFB is not full-contact, some level of contact is allowed in our rules. As with any sport in which any level of contact is allowed, there is a risk of temporary or permanent injury, and even death. Players assume full liability while competing at RFB games, tournaments, invitationals, and other such events.
We recommend all Pros arrive 45-60 minutes prior to their game start time in order to allow enough time to get dressed, warm up, and game plan with their teams.
All players will be required to sign in with a valid driver’s license or government ID upon arrival.
Each team must setup on their designated “bench” or side of the field. If unsure which side you are on, please ask one of the officials.
A coin toss by the head official will be used to determine who will receive possession first. Coin toss will begin 5 minutes prior to the game start time. Each team will be required to have 3 captains present at the center of the field to begin.
All teams are required to clean up their benches during and after their game. Please do your best to ensure a tidy field at all all times.
List Of Team Positions
- QB – Quarterback
- WR – Wide Receiver
- RB – Running Back
- TE – Tight End
- C – Center
- S – Safety
- CB – Corner Back
- LB – Linebacker
- LR – Line Rusher
Reflex Football is played on a 80 yard field, 48.33 yards wide, with 10 yard end zones. First downs are predesignated on the field and are exactly 20 yards apart.
SCORING & POINTS
Extra Point: 1pt from 3-yard line / 2pts from 10-yard line
The Game Clock measures the amount of time surpassed in a game. The game is comprised of two halves with a total duration of 25 minutes. During the first 23 minutes, the clock will be running continuously and only stop for only timeouts, play challenges, and injuries (Fake injuries will result in a 10 yard penalty, a loss of down, and the clock being reset). During the last 2 minutes of each half, the clock will stop for the following: 2-minute warning, ball carrier going out of bounds, timeouts, injuries, first downs, incomplete passes, penalties, scoring plays, change of possession, official reviews, and play challenges.
There will be a default 5-minute halftime break between halves. Both team captains may decide to shorten halftime to as low as 2 minutes.
The offense will have 30 seconds to get set and start the next play or else they will receive a 5 yard delay of game penalty.
- Delay of Game Automatic 5 yard penalty, redo down.
CHANGE OF POSSESSION
Directly after a change of possession, the defense will have 30 seconds to signal that they are ready before the offense may snap the ball. After the defense has stated that they are ready, the offense will have 30 seconds to get set and snap the ball.
Each team receives a total of two 60-second timeouts per half.
If there is a tie after the second half, there will be an additional overtime/sudden-death period added to the game. A coin-toss will decide which team will have the option to receive first, defend first, or choose their end zone. Overtime period will be similar to college rules in which teams will begin 20 yards out of their opponent’s end zone and receive 4 downs to score a touchdown. If a team scores a touchdown, they will also have the option of 1-point or 2-point extra point from 3-yards or 10-yards respectively. The first team to earn a higher score and stop the other team from tying the score wins the contest. If a team scores to get in the lead, but then the opposing team scores and goes for a higher extra point, and is successful, that team will be deemed the winner of the contest.
Regular Season Only: If the game is still tied after both teams have received two drives, the contest will automatically end with a tie.
Post Season Only: If the game is still tied after both teams have received two drives, teams will be forced to go for two points following scoring plays.
A team’s captain can decide to spend a remaining timeout to review a play or rulebook ruling. Penalties cannot be challenged. During a play review, only the act that is being challenged may be overturned. Officials are the only individuals that may review the film to make a call during a challenged play. In the event that something is missing from the RFB rulebook, the officials will go with whatever the rule is in the NFL.
All scoring plays receive an automatic booth review. Controversial plays (official’s discretion) within the last 2-minutes of play in a half or period will receive an automatic booth review.
Playoff games may require different rules, check with your head captain to make sure you understand the rules for playoff games.
After each play, the ball will be spotted horizontally within a maximum of 3 yards left of or 3 yards right of the center of the field. Offense will receive the option of spotting the ball directly in the horizontal center of the field only on the play directly following a throwoff.
A Throwoff will occur after every scoring play from the scoring team to the opposing team.
The receiving team will receive a maximum time of 30 seconds to get set, then the throw-off team will receive 30 seconds to throw the ball into the air.
All 7 players of the throwing team must be behind their 20-yard line and may not go passed it until the ball is in the air.
The throwing team must throw a lob passed the next first down marker, within the boundaries of the field. The ball may not go out the back of the end zone.
- Illegal Throw On Throwing Team (ACCEPT: 10yds + Rethrow | DECLINE: Take From Spot)
Each player on the receiving team must line up on or behind their designated marker, prior to the ball being thrown in the air.
- Illegal Formation On Receiving Team (ACCEPT: 10yds + Rethrow | DECLINE: Keep Play)
The receiving team player that catches the throwoff may take a knee immediately after catching the ball while within the end zone, prior to advancing into the playing field, for a TOUCHBACK at the 10 yard line.
The ball is live once a player on the receiving team makes contact with it. If a player on the receiving team makes contact with the football, and it goes backwards, the ball will be down where the football touches the ground. If a player on the receiving team makes contact with the football, and it goes forward, the ball will be down where the player was when they made contact with the football.
If a player is attempting to receive a throwoff, and that player’s full body is out of the endzone as the ball makes contact with them, but then the ball proceeds to travel into the endzone, this will be considered a safety against the receiving team. If a player is not fully out of his endzone while this occurs, it will be considered a touchback.
A player on the throwing team is not allowed to deliberately make contact with a player on the receiving team attempting to catch the throwoff, before the receiver makes contact with the ball.
- Illegal Contact On Throwing Team (ACCEPT: 10yds + Rethrow | DECLINE: Keep Play)
After a scoring play, the scoring team may elect to initiate an onside-play in which the scoring team must complete a 40 yard play, starting from their 20 yard line. The ball is marked wherever the player is downed, and the onside-play is a scoreable down. If there is an incompletion on the onside-play, the opposing team will receive the option to mark the ball from any of the three first down markers. If the opposing team intercepts the ball on an onside-play, the ball will be marked wherever they defender was downed.
During an Onside play, if an interception occurs and then the ball is then fumbled by the defense and regained by the offense again, the offense now has the possession of the ball, even if they do not gain 40 yards from the line of scrimmage.
The Onside play is an untimed play only during the stop-clock period. Each team may only perform two onside plays per half.
Snapping in RFB is done via the Center position. The Center must line up at the designated cone spot marked by the Ref. Once the Center is set, the line-ref will give the ready signal and hold it in the air (a thumbs up). The recipient of the snap must be at least 3 yards off the ball. Only one player is allowed in horizontal motion during the snap.
If the offense jumps or moves across the line after the play is set and prior to the ball being snapped, they will receive a false start penalty..
- False Start On Offense (Dead Ball Penalty | 5 Yard Loss From Previous Spot, Replay Down)
DEADZONE and OFFSIDES
A 1-yard deadzone will be marked by the official between the line of scrimmage and the defense. If any player is caught in or beyond the deadzone during the snap, a penalty will incur against their team while the play continues, and enforced after the play.
- Offsides On Offense: (ACCEPT: 5 Yard Loss From Previous Spot, Replay Down | DECLINE: Keep Play)
- Offsides On Defense: (ACCEPT: 5 Yard Gain From Previous Spot, Replay Down | DECLINE: Keep Play)
Illegal Forward Pass
The offense is allowed one forward pass per down, which must be performed with the quarterback’s entire body on or behind the line of scrimmage. If a ball carrier has carried the ball past the line of scrimmage, it may NOT be thrown forward again, even if it is brought back behind the line of scrimmage.
- Illegal Forward Pass (ACCEPT: 5 Yard Loss From Previous Spot, Loss of Down | DECLINE: Keep Play)
Advancing The Ball
The offense will receive 4 downs to get a 1st down, which are 20 yards apart and are predesignated on the field. On 4th down, the offense may elect to convert (go for it) or concede possession to the opposing team from their own 10 yard line. If the opposing team elects to convert but they fail to advance the football, this will result in a loss of possession to the other team with the football being marked at the spot. If the opposing team elects to convert while they are inside their opponents 10 yard line, and they fail to advance the ball into the end zone, this will result in a loss of possession, and the opposing team will receive the ball at their 10 yard line; the only exception to this is in the case of an interception, in which case they will be marked wherever the ball carrier was downed.
A ball carrier may throw, toss, or give the football to their teammate during a play, as long as the ball does not travel forward in the process. If the ball is pitched backwards or laterally, and is dropped or fumbled backwards, the ball is down where it made contact with the ground, otherwise the ball is down where the player lost possession of the football.
- Illegal Lateral (ACCEPT: 5 Yard Loss From Spot Of The Foul, Loss of Down | DECLINE: Keep Play)
Ball carriers may get up after falling to the ground if their flag was not pulled. If a player is on the ground (any part of their body besides hands or feet), they may be touched to be downed, otherwise they may get up and continue running. If a ball carrier is pushed to the ground, but is not touched while on the ground, then the ball is still in play. A ball carrier must be touched by an opposing team player, while the player is on the ground, to be downed. If a receiver catches a pass and gets touched while in mid air, and then falls to the ground, they are down where they fell.
VOLUNTARY PLAY KILL
If a player wishes to down themselves, they can pull off one of their own flags, or voluntarily take a knee. If a ball carrier says “I’m down” or any similar phrase that would cause the defense to believe the play is dead, then the play is dead.
The Line Official must give the ready signal before the QB can snap the ball. The offense must have at least three players other than the center lined up ON the line of scrimmage.
- Illegal Procedure On Offense (ACCEPT: 5 Yard Loss From Previous Spot, Replay Down | DECLINE: Keep Play)
Only one player may be in motion as the ball is snapped.
- Illegal Motion On Offense (ACCEPT: 5 Yard Loss From Previous Spot, Replay Down | DECLINE: Keep Play)
If a ball carrier is pushed or carried back against their will as their flag is pulled, then the ball will be spotted at the position where the ball was prior to the player being pushed back.
A ball carrier’s flag must be pulled by a defender in order to down them, unless otherwise stated in this rulebook. When a ball carrier’s flag is pulled, they are downed at the position of the ball the instant the flag clearly detaches from the players belt. If a ball carrier’s flag falls off prior to a defender making contact with the ball carrier or their flag, the ball carrier must be touched to be downed. If a defender makes contact with a ball carrier or their flag(s), and it later falls off (delayed fall), the offensive player is down where they were when the flag detached from the player.
A player may not intentionally pull the flag of another player on the field who is not in possession of the ball, prior or to the snap or during an active play. This is considered an illegal flag pull and will be enforced as follows:
- Illegal Flag Pull On Offense (ACCEPT: 10 Yard Loss From Spot | DECLINE: Keep Play)
- Illegal Flag Pull On Defense (ACCEPT: 10 Yard Gain From Spot | DECLINE: Keep Play)
If the ball makes contact with the ground (even while still in possession of the ball carrier), the ball is considered dead at the spot in which the ball made initial contact with the ground.
A loose ball is a live ball that is not in player possession, i.e., any ball that has been thrown, fumbled, or pitched. A Loose Ball is considered to be in possession of the team whose player threw, fumbled, or pitched the ball. It is a Loose Ball until a player secures possession or until the ball becomes dead.
A Fumble is any act, other than passing, handing, or pitching, which results in a loss of player possession. The use of the term Fumble always means that the ball was in possession of a player when the act occurred. The ball is considered loose until a player secures possession or until the ball becomes dead. A fumble is only recovered by a team after a player from that team gains possession of the ball while in bounds. If the ball is fumbled behind the ball carrier, the ball will be down where the ball made contact with the ground. If the ball is fumbled in front of the ball carrier, the ball will be down at the spot of the ball carrier where they lost possession of the ball.
Intentional Fumble: An intentional fumble that causes the ball to go forward will be considered an illegal forward pass.
Stripping: In RFB, a defensive player is allowed to strip (take) the ball from a ball carrier, however, the strip must be performed cleanly and without excessive force (intentionally tackling or using the ground as leverage). A recovery by the defender must be made prior to the ball touching the ground.
In the case of an inadvertent whistle, the play will be marked dead at the point of the whistle sound. The team in possession will have the option to replay the down or receive the ball at the spot of the whistle being blown.
A player is in possession when he is inbounds (one foot) and has a clear, firm grip or control of the football with any body part as long control is established.
If there is any question by the covering official(s) as to whether a forward pass is complete, intercepted, or incomplete, it always will be ruled incomplete. If a player would have caught, intercepted, or recovered a ball inbounds, but is carried out of bounds, player possession will be granted. If, prior to receiving a pass, the receiver steps out of bounds without being forced by a defender, then they cannot be the first player to make contact with the ball following a legal forward pass.
- Illegal Touching (ACCEPT: 10 Yard Loss From Previous Spot, Loss of Down | DECLINE: Keep Play)
If a receiver’s flag is pulled BEFORE establishing control of the football, they must be touched to be down. Otherwise, they are still in play.
POSSESSION OF A LOOSE BALL (NFL Rule)
To gain possession of a loose ball that has been caught, intercepted, or recovered, a player must gain complete control of the ball while inbounds, and maintain control of the ball long enough to clearly become a runner. A possession is made when a player has the ball long enough to become a runner when, after his second foot is on the ground, he is capable of avoiding or warding off impending contact of an opponent, tucking the ball away, turning up field, or taking additional steps. If the player loses the ball while simultaneously touching both feet or any other part of his body to the ground, there is no possession. This rule applies in the field of play and in the end zone.
SIMULTANEOUS POSSESSION (NFL RULE)
If a Loose Ball is controlled simultaneously by two opponents, and both players retain it, this will result in a simultaneous possession, and the ball will belong to the team that was last in possession. It is not simultaneous possession if a player gains control first and an opponent subsequently gains joint control.
POSSESSION WHILE FALLING (NFL RULE)
A player who goes to the ground in the process of attempting to secure possession of a loose ball (with or without contact by an opponent) must maintain control of the ball until after his contact with the ground, whether in the field of play or the end zone. If he loses control of the ball, and the ball touches the ground before he regains control, there is no possession. If he regains control prior to the ball touching the ground, it is a catch, interception, or recovery. A player is considered to be going to the ground if he does not remain upright long enough to demonstrate that he is clearly a runner with clear control of the ball. If a player goes to the ground out of bounds (with or without contact by an opponent) in the process of attempting to secure possession of a loose ball at the sideline, he must maintain complete and continuous control of the ball until after his initial contact with the ground, or there is no possession. If a player has control of the ball, a slight movement of the ball will not be considered loss of possession. He must lose control of the ball in order to rule that there has been a loss of possession.
It is pass interference by either team when any act by a player more than one yard beyond the line of scrimmage significantly hinders an eligible player’s opportunity to catch the football.
A defender may not deliberately hinder a receiver’s vision of the football without attempting to deflect or intercept the football.
- Pass Interference On Offense (ACCEPT: 10 Yard Loss From Previous Spot, Replay Down | DECLINE: Keep Play)
- Pass Interference On Defense (ACCEPT: 10 Yard Gain From Previous Spot, Automatic 1st Down | DECLINE: Keep Play)
In RFB, players are allowed to block with their hands and forearms above the waist, however, a player is not allowed to lower or use their shoulder, head, or anything else outside of hands and forearms to drive into or through another player. Blocking below the waist is prohibited.
Block in the Back: a block that is delivered from behind an opponent above his waist. It is not a block in the back if:
– A player is making a personal attempt to recover a loose ball
– The opponent turns away from the blocker when contact is imminent
– Both of the blocker’s hands are on the opponent’s side. (If either hand is on the back, it is a foul.)
- Illegal Block (ACCEPT: 10 yard loss from spot of the foul, replay down | DECLINE: Keep play)
Tackling, lowering the shoulder/head, and trucking are prohibited. Trucking includes players attempting to run, jump, or dive into players without trying to get around them.
STIFF ARMS & FLAG GUARDING
Ball carriers may stiff arm players below the neck only. Stiff arms to neck or face are dead at the spot and will result in an penalty.
Defenders are only allowed to make contact with receivers only while making a play on the football. Defenders are prohibited from intentionally or forcefully striking/pushing a receiver without making a play on the ball. This will incur an unnecessary roughness call + ejection warning for the first offense, and an automatic ejection on proceeding offenses. Repeat offenders may be subject to suspension.
- Unnecessary Roughness On Offense (Continuous Penalty | ACCEPT: 10 yard loss from spot of the foul| DECLINE: Keep play )
- Unnecessary Roughness On Defense (Continuous Penalty | ACCEPT: 10 yard gain from succeeding spot + automatic 1st down | DECLINE: Keep play )
Defenders may only push ball carriers towards the nearest sideline, while the ball carrier is near the sideline and in bounds. All other instances of pushing are prohibited.
- Unnecessary Roughness On Offense (Continuous Penalty | ACCEPT: 10 yard loss from spot of the foul| DECLINE: Keep play )
- Unnecessary Roughness On Defense (Continuous Penalty | ACCEPT: 10 yard gain from succeeding spot + automatic 1st down | DECLINE: Keep play )
TACKLE IMPEDING A TOUCHDOWN
If a defensive player resorts to tackling in order to prevent a player from scoring a touchdown, the ref may still rule a touchdown if the player is within 10 yards of the opponents endzone AND it is obvious that the offensive player would have scored if the defending player did not tackle that player.
If an offensive player grabs onto a defensive player in attempt to block them from reaching another player, this is considered an offensive hold. Defensive players ARE allowed to hold onto a player only while reaching for a flag, when necessary (this is to counteract the fact that offensive players are allowed to swat and stiff-arm other players). If a defensive player holds on to the garment of an offensive player unnecessarily, when it is obvious that they will no longer be able to pull the flag, then this is considered holding on the defense. If the hold is done in an overly aggressive manner, the defensive player may be flagged for unnecessary roughness. This is a contact sport, so please be aware of the risk involved with clothing being ripped or torn while in play. Neither the league nor the defender will be responsible for torn clothing while they are attempting to block or pull a player’s flag.
- Holding On Offense (Continuous Penalty | ACCEPT: 5 Yard Loss From Original Spot, Redo Down | DECLINE: Keep Play)
- Holding On Defense (Continuous Penalty | ACCEPT: 5 Yard Gain From Resulting Spot, 1st Down | DECLINE: Keep Play )
Celebrations: Players/teams are allowed to celebrate for touchdowns and big plays as long as the celebration is fun/creative, does not delay the game, and is considered family appropriate. Offensive or inappropriate celebrations will incur an unsportsmanlike penalty.
Disrespecting an Official/Volunteer: If a player at anytime disrespects (use of profanity, threatening, taunting, etc) an official or volunteer (recorders, photographers, etc), this will result in an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty for the first offense, followed by an immediate player ejection for the second offense.
Unnecessarily Loud Profanity: We understand we are all adults and that this is the game of football, but we do also need to look out for our fan base (especially the youth) and our product. Therefore, officials are required to penalize players for use of “unnecessarily loud profanity”. Cursing that isn’t loud enough for the stadium to hear or that is only as a result of a play during the game will not be penalized. Cursing that is loud, distasteful for families, and otherwise deemed unnecessary will incur a penalty or suspension.
Disrespecting/Vandalizing Equipment: Individuals are prohibited from forcibly/frustratingly throwing, striking, kicking, or vandalizing RFB equipment in any way. This includes pylons, cones, footballs, referee flags, game clock, the commissioner, etc.
Provoking: Provoking includes (but is not limited to) any of the following intentional actions/speech by an individual that are not related to football, and that may provoke them into verbal or physical retaliation:
- Attempting To Engage: When any player attempts to initiate any violent actions or violently charges towards another player/member of the RFB community and causes a scene, commotion, or for the game to stop.
- Use Of The P***y Word: Will be considered use of “fighting words” to provoke violence.
- Use Of The B***h Word: Will be considered use of “fighting words” to provoke violence.
- Racial/Hateful Slurs: Will be considered use of “fighting words” to provoke violence.
- Personal Insults: This includes personal/distasteful insults against someone’s family/loved ones, occupation, religion, etc.
Discipline for the above:
- First Offense: Automatic 10 yard penalty + ejection warning.
- Second Offense: Ejection from the game + possible suspension.
Any player who is ejected must fully exit the premises (parking lot included) immediately, or no more than 15 minutes following the ejection, for the remainder of that gameday.
NO TOLERANCE POLICY:
Striking: Striking involves any attempts of physical-violence/battery against anyone at an RFB game or event and will result in an automatic ejection, being escorted off the field, and the possibility of local law enforcement being contacted.
Gun Violence: In an effort to protect the lives of the members of the RFB community, any non-defensive Acts/threats of gun violence against individuals of the community will result in an immediate ejection and indefinite suspension from the league, with local law enforcement being notified.
Sexual Harassment: Any unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical harassment of a sexual nature towards any member of the RFB community will result in an immediate removal from the premises, for local law enforcement to be notified, and for charges to be pressed against the individual.
Drugs & Alcohol: As per the rules of the facilities in which we operate, all forms of illicit/recreational drugs, and alcoholic beverages are banned from the premises. Any member of the RFB community that is caught in possession of these items while on the premises (parking lot included) will be ejected from the premises, suspended, and may local law enforcement contacted against them if necessary.
Pets & Animals: Trained domestic pets ARE allowed to visit RFB under the following circumstances:
- No pets are allowed on any artificial turf fields on the premises.
- No wild/exotic animals are allowed on or near the premises under any circumstances.
- All pets must be well trained, and must be near and in control of the owner at all times.
- Pets may not be left under the sun for prolonged periods of time.
- If an unprovoked pet attacks/injures any other guest, this will be considered assault by the owner of the pet with local law enforcement being notified of the incident and possible charges being pressed.
- The owner is responsible for the clean up of any feces made by their pet.
- The owner is responsible for any league or facility property that is damaged by their pet.
Failure to abide by our pet rules may result in suspension of the individual, or infractions against the team, or contacting of local law enforcement if necessary.
The RFB Pro dress code is enforced in order to ensure the integrity of the brand of Reflex Football, as well as to protect our players from accidents/injuries. Refusal to read and adhere to the dress code may result in the penalization, ejection, fining, and ultimately suspension of a player. We also reserve the right to request the removal of any garment, accessory, or jewelry item if it is deemed a hazard by the officiating crew.
All RFB Pro players must wear the official flags provided by the league’s game manager for each game. Flags must be worn around the waist with each of the two flags on the opposite hip of the player. The belt must be adjusted tight enough so that the the belt does not rotate around the player when pulled. Players are prohibitted from modifying the flag belts in anyway as to gain an advantage in the game. All teams will be responsible for returning all 16 flag belts they were provided back to the game manager immediately after their game.
Failure to follow these instructions may result in a penalty:
- Illegal Equipping On Offense: (ACCEPT: 10 Yard Loss From Previous Spot, Loss of Down | DECLINE: Keep Play)
- Illegal Equipping On Defense: (ACCEPT: 10 Yard Gain From Previous Spot, Automatic 1st Down | DECLINE: Keep Play)
All eyewear must be specifically designed for sports and must be deemed by the head official as safe to wear in RFB.
Softshell protective headwear is allowed.
We highly recommend players purchase and equip mouth protection with full lip coverage.
All RFB PRO athletes must wear their supplied RFB PRO uniform jersey during competition in order to participate in the game. All players must wear their team jersey over any existing tops worn by the player (Including hoodies/jackets).
All RFB PRO athletes must wear their supplied RFB PRO uniform shorts during competition in order to participate in the game.
All RFB PRO athletes must wear cleats designed either for football, soccer, or lacrosse. Tennis shoes / regular shoes, metal cleats, and spikes are strictly prohibited.
Towels and any other accessory that rests on the player’s waist will be counted as a flag if they get pulled off the player (it must be easily detachable).
The wearing of any earrings or other loose piercings during gameplay is strictly prohibited. Chains must be tucked in during play. All other jewelry worn is done at the discretion of the player wearing them, as they will be solely responsible if their precious belongings are damaged by themselves or other players.