Unless otherwise indicated in the gameplay rules for a sport, there is no maximum number of players allowed on a team’s roster provided all players have signed the Team Roster and Waiver Form. It is the responsibility of all team captains to ensure players are in compliance with this policy. Teams have up until the third week of the season to make changes to their roster. After the third week, rosters will be frozen. Roster changes that require additional T-Shirts will be subject to availability. All roster changes must be communicated to and approved by the league office.
To be eligible to participate in any SSL league, tournament, or social event, each player must be confirmed on his or her team’s roster and have agreed to the waiver. Team captains are responsible for ensuring that all members of their team have read and accepted the terms of the waiver policy. The waiver is included in the online registration process, including for those players invited to a team by a captain. The waiver can also be found by visiting your dashboard.
All SSL participants must be 21 years of age or older prior to their first scheduled game.
Players may only be on one roster for any given sport on a given night, regardless of if multiple divisions are offered. Violation of this rule may result in game forfeiture by both teams.
The SSL reserves the right to request a photo ID from any player at any time for any reason.
Teams that wish to challenge the eligibility of a player on their opponent’s roster must make that request with an SSL Official as early as possible. Only individual players may be challenged. Entire teams may not be challenged.
Playoff team players will automatically have their roster spots verified by an SSL Official.
SSL T-Shirts are your team’s uniforms. All players must wear the appropriate color uniform with the current SSL front logo to participate. Past season’s uniforms are not permitted, even if they are the correct color. Any player not wearing the appropriate uniform will be sidelined for that game.
The SSL T-Shirt must be worn on the outside of any clothing worn during play with all logos and designs in tact and clearly visible.
Players are permitted to modify their uniforms in any way provided they do not cover up or obscure any of the logos printed on the shirts and the resulting garment does not pose a threat to player safety.
Whenever possible, the SSL will separate programs into divisions based on playing experience, ability, and competitiveness. In the event multiple divisions are not possible, all players will be placed into a single division.
Division placement for all teams will be at the sole discretion of the SSL.
Any player, or team based on the majority of their players, that is determined to be in the incorrect division may, at any point during the season, be switched to the appropriate division at the discretion of the SSL.
Drones, model planes, and any other unmanned aircraft are not permitted at any SSL activity.
FINALE WEEK FOR LEAGUES:
In the final week of league play, the top teams will compete in a single-elimination playoff to determine the league champion. The playoff may be held on a day or at a venue other than the normal day and venue used for regular season games.
All other eligible teams in good standing with the league will be scheduled for a final game against a team similarly ranked in the final standings.
Championship and other participation prizes will be distributed at SSL discretion and include, but are not limited to, gift cards/vouchers to SSL partner establishments, league sponsor promotional items, and/or credits toward future SSL programs.
Prior to the start of the game, players and spectators should regularly check the SSL Rainoutline for venue status updates. Players and spectators can also sign up for automatic updates via email and/or text message. Details are available on the SSL website.
Once the game has started, gameday coordinators will work with facilities coordinators and SSL Operations personnel to monitor weather and playing conditions in order to determine if play will need to be suspended and/or games postponed.
In the event of inclement weather or any other event that causes games to be postponed, the SSL will make every effort to reschedule. In the event of multiple cancellations, the SSL reserves the option to shorten the regular season and/or the playoff schedule. Makeup games may be scheduled on weekdays other than those regularly scheduled. Makeup games may be scheduled at venues other than those regularly scheduled. Neither refunds nor pro-rated refunds will be given if the season is shortened due to inclement weather or due to actions taken by the venue.
If a team is short the minimum number of players to play a regulation game, the game will be ruled a forfeit.
In the case of an injured player, at the sole discretion of an SSL Official, a game may be continued if a team does not have the minimum number of players for a regulation game provided the team has a chance to win.
Teams forfeiting multiple games in a season are subject to removal from the league.
If the forfeiting team is short the minimum number of players to play an exhibition game, a $50 forfeit fine will be assessed.
This fine will be converted into either a gift card/voucher redeemable at a current SSL partner or a credit that can be used toward a future SSL program and distributed to the appropriate players of the offended team who showed up with no game to play.
The offended team, provided they are in good standing and do not owe any outstanding dues or fines to the league, can collect the forfeit fine gift card, voucher, or future credit from an SSL Coordinator during the final week of the season. If the fineable forfeit occurs in the last week of the season, the offended team will receive a credit for participation in a future SSL program.
Teams must participate in the final week of the season in order to collect any forfeit fine gift cards, vouchers, or future credits they are owed. If a team does not participate in the final week, any forfeit fine gift cards, vouchers, or future credits owed are forfeited.
Forfeit fines must be paid online within 72 hours. Unpaid forfeit fines may result in additional forfeits and/or suspension from the league. Teams with outstanding fines from past seasons will be barred from future registration in any SSL sport or event until they are paid in full.
Game forfeiture notice must be submitted via the SSL website by 5:00 PM on the preceding day (Friday for weekend games) in order to avoid the forfeit fine.
The minimum number of players required to play an officiated exhibition game is noted in the “Roster” section of each sport’s respective rules document.
We are all adults, and the SSL expects all participants and spectators to act like it. Unsportsmanlike behavior may result in disqualification. At the request of an SSL Official, disqualified players or spectators must leave the playing area.
Repeated or egregious unsportsmanlike behavior, including refusal to leave the playing area, will result in an extended suspension term.
Suspended players are not permitted to attend any current or future SSL leagues, tournaments, races, and social events until after having received written approval from SSL Player Services. Violation of this policy may result in a team forfeit and additional suspension.
LET’S KEEP IT SOCIAL:
You may hear this from an SSL Official if someone is on the verge of committing an act not in accordance with the spirit of our programs. It is simply a reminder for everyone to calm down, play the game, and keep it social!
TAKE A BREAK:
If a player is exhibiting overly aggressive or unsportsmanlike behavior or is otherwise posing an unnecessary risk to themselves or others, he or she may be directed to “take a break” by an SSL Official. This is designed to prevent a more serious violation of SSL policies that would result in disqualification.
OVERLY COMPETITIVE PLAYERS:
All SSL sports are intended to be recreational. Any player or team who is deemed to be excessively competitive and/or overly aggressive may be removed from competition at the discretion of any SSL Official or gameday coordinator.
Overly competitive actions include, but are not necessarily limited to:
- Running up the score
- Refusing to include teammates in gameplay
- Repeatedly targeting weaker players
- Aggressive shouting (even if it is to yourself or a teammate)
- Being too Physical
- Arguing with, or directing negative comments toward, other players
- Arguing with, or directing negative comments toward, SSL Officials
- Attempting to deceive SSL Officials
DYNASTIES AND COMPETITION:
Everyone loves a little competition, but one team dominating a league season after season can spoil the fun for everybody.
If a group of players has dominated multiple seasons, the SSL will have the option to, in its sole discretion, request those players to form two or more separate teams to promote parity in the league or withdraw their registration entirely. All subsequent registrations must then be approved by the SSL prior to registering.
Fields used for SSL Football are approximately 40 yards wide and 100 yards long. The field is divided into four 20-yard line to gain zones and two 10-yard end zones.
The SSL will provide officials for all games. Arguing with officials will not be tolerated.
The SSL will provide all field equipment and “Triple-Threat” style flag belts. Players may use their own flag belts if approved by an SSL official. “Sonic” or “Pop” style flags are not permitted.
Each team is responsible for providing their own football for use while they are on offense. Balls must be regulation collegiate or NFL size. Balls that are severely underinflated or undersized are not permitted.
***SHORTS OR PANTS WITH POCKETS OF ANY TYPE, SIZE, OR LOCATION ARE NOT ALLOWED***
Shorts and pants with pockets pose a significant safety concern and are thus not permitted in any SSL Flag Football League or Tournament. Taping down pockets or turning inside out does not make shorts or pants legal for play. Zippering pockets does not make shorts or pants legal for play.
***CUT-OFF SHIRT SLEEVES RESULTING IN EXCESSIVELY LARGE ARMHOLES ARE NOT ALLOWED***
Players should order the appropriate size shirt so that it is long enough to remain tucked in the pants/shorts during the entire down or short enough so that there is a minimum of four inches from the bottom of the shirt to the player’s waistline.
At their own risk, players may wear sunglasses made of a pliable, non-rigid material. Frames that contain metal or glass should are discouraged. The Referee shall be the sole determiner of the legality of any sunglasses worn by players.
The following items are not permitted:
- Shorts or pants with pockets of any type or location
- Shoes with metal or ceramic cleats
- Athletic braces or casts made from hard, unyielding material (unless covered on all sides and edges with at least ½ inch of closed cell slow recovery rubber or similar material)
- Headgear containing hard, unyielding, or stiff material (including billed hats)
- Sunglasses made from any hard, unyielding material.
- Jewelry (except for smooth wedding bands and stud earrings)
Special event wristbands must be covered by a sweatband or with athletic tape.
Low profile smartwatches and fitness trackers may be worn provided they are covered by a sweatband or with athletic tape.
The maximum numbers of players on the field is eight. The minimum number of players is six. The maximum number of males is five. The minimum number of females is two.
If a team is short the minimum number of players by game time, the game will be considered a forfeit and an exhibition played.
The minimum number of players to play an officiated exhibition game, and avoid the forfeit fine, is four.
If one team is ahead by twenty or more points, that team must play short one male player.
Teams lose the ability to challenge a player’s eligibility at halftime, except in the case of a late-arriving player.
Quick, repeated, or feigned substitutions intended to deceive opponents at or immediately before the snap are considered Illegal Participation.
Each game consists of two 22-minute halves separated by a three-minute halftime intermission. Regular season games may end in a tie.
Possession and direction shall be determined by Rock, Paper, Scissors prior to the beginning of the game. The winning team will have the option of choosing possession or direction in the first half only. The other team will have the remaining option. The team that started on defense in the first half will start on offense in the second half and move in the direction opposite of that which they moved in the first half.
Once the second half is underway, the game may be considered final if cancelled for any reason.
The clock shall run continuously until the final two minutes of the second half. During this time, the clock will only stop for a time-out or injury.
During the final two minutes of the second half, the clock will stop for the following:
- A team or official time-out
- Runner steps out-of-bounds before being deflagged
- Incomplete Pass
- Penalty Enforcement
- Touchdown (clock remains stopped during the try)
The clock will not stop for first downs or when a runner is deflagged in-bounds.
If the scoring differential is 20 or more points in the last two minutes of the second half, the clock will not stop, even if the scoring differential subsequently falls to below 20 points.
READY FOR PLAY:
Prior to any offensive down, the referee will declare the line of scrimmage and mark the ball ready for play by announcing the down, zone-line-to-gain, and coed status (open or closed). Once the ball has been made ready for play, the offense shall have 25 seconds to legally snap the ball. The offense shall not snap the ball prior to it being made ready for play.
On a change of possession, the referee will not make the ball ready for play until the defense has had an opportunity to get set (15-seconds maximum).
EXTENSION OF PERIOD:
A half may be extended by an untimed down if any of the following occurs as time expires:
- A foul for which there was an accepted penalty by either team, except that which calls for a loss of down
- A double foul (offsetting penalties)
- A touchdown (The try will be attempted unless in the second half of a playoff game when the points do not affect the outcome.)
Each team is entitled to two one-minute time-outs per game.
If an injury occurs for which the clock is stopped, that player must leave the game for at least one scrimmage down.
The following point values are awarded in SSL Flag Football:
- Touchdown: six points
- Safety: two points
- Try: one point if from the five yard line; two points if from the ten yard line; three points if from the twenty yard line
After a touchdown, the offense shall declare their attempted try value to the referee. Once this declaration is made, it can only be changed if no attempt has been made and that team calls a time-out.
If the defense gains possession of the ball during the offense’s try after touchdown, the ball becomes dead immediately.
In the case of a safety, the scoring team will next put the ball in play from its own ten yard line, unless moved by penalty.
LINE OF SCRIMMAGE:
The snapper is the only offensive team player required to be on the line of scrimmage at the snap.
No defensive players may cross the line of scrimmage until the referee’s five-second count has elapsed. The five-second count ends if the player who received the snap relinquishes possession to another offensive player.
END OF RUN:
Once a runner has been legally deflagged, the new line of scrimmage shall be determined by the position of the ball when the action to remove the flags occurred.
If a runner’s flags fall off on their own, or the flag belt is covered by an untucked shirt, the runner will remain live until he or she has been touched with at least one hand between the shoulders and the knees.
If a runner goes out of bounds, the new line of scrimmage will be determined by the position of the ball when it crossed the boundary line.
Fumbles become dead immediately and cannot be recovered. If fumbled backward, the line of scrimmage on the ensuing down will be the point where the ball first touched the ground. If fumbled forward, the line of scrimmage on the ensuing down will be the point where the ball was fumbled.
Except in the case of a penalty or turnover, teams shall begin each possession at their own ten yard line.
First downs are awarded when a team advances the ball to the next zone line-to-gain in four downs or less (except if affected by a penalty), as prescribed by penalty enforcement, or either team obtains legal possession following a punt, penalty, score, or turnover.
Once a team has advanced into a zone line-to-gain, that team must advance the ball into the next zone line-to-gain to obtain a first down, even if that team has retreated into the previous zone line-to-gain.
- For example, if a team has to reach the 40 yard line to obtain a first down, that team must still reach the 40 yard line to obtain a first down if moved back to the 18 yard line due to penalty.
Turnovers can only occur in the case of an interception, punt, or if the offense fails to advance to the next zone line-to-gain in four or fewer downs.
FOURTH DOWN AND PUNTS:
On fourth down, the offensive team must declare their intention to punt the ball or attempt to advance to the next zone line-to-gain. After this declaration, the referee will not make the ball ready for play until the defense has had a reasonable opportunity to get set. Once the defense has set, the offense may not change their declaration unless they call a time-out.
With the exception of the punter, players must remain stationary until the ball has been kicked beyond the line of scrimmage.
The receiving team must have at least five players on the line of scrimmage throughout the return. Remaining players may drop back to receive the punt. If the returner advances past the original line of scrimmage, players originally on the line may trail the runner to receive a backward pass.
The punt may be played off of a bounce if there are no other punting team players in the area. However, the ball becomes dead immediately if it hits the ground after touching any player.
Fake punts are not permitted. Punt blocks are not permitted.
BLOCKING AND CONTACT:
The following is not permitted in SSL Flag Football:
- Blocking (either at the line or in front of the ball carrier)
- Screen Blocking (Running in front of the ball carrier)
- “Chucking”, “Bump and Run” and any other contact at the line
- Excessive Contact
All players must attempt to avoid contact at all times.
After a huddle, all offensive team players must come to a stop and remain stationary for a full second prior to the snap or any player going in motion. The offense is allowed to have a single player in motion at the snap. The player may only move parallel to or away from the line of scrimmage.
All snaps are “Shotgun” snaps. This player may not receive the snap directly from the center.
If a snap count is used, whether verbally or nonverbally, only the player that initiates the count may receive the snap.
At the snap, all offensive players must maintain a position at least five yards inbounds from the nearest sideline. If the defensive covers an offensive player positioned within five yards of the sideline, it is not a foul provided the offensive player was at least five yards inbounds from the sideline at any point after the ball has been marked ready for play.
A forward pass is completed or intercepted when a player secures possession of the ball and first makes contact inbounds with any part of the body.
If a player steps out-of-bounds, that player becomes ineligible to touch a forward pass unless first touched by any other player.
An offensive player may advance the ball across the line of scrimmage if:
- the defense crosses the line of scrimmage, whether legally or illegally.
- the player did not receive the snap.
An offensive player may not advance the ball across the line of scrimmage if:
- the defense has not yet crossed the line of scrimmage and the player received the snap.
- it is a closed play and that player is male.
Jumping or hurdling over players is not permitted unless absolutely necessary to avoid contact.
Diving is not permitted by a ball carrier in an attempt to gain yardage or otherwise avoid being deflagged.
Charging or stiff-arming an opponent is not permitted.
A runner shall not use his or her hands, arms, or the ball in a manner that clearly denies flag belt access to a defender attempting to deflag the runner.
This includes placing or swinging a hand or arm over the flag belt, placing the ball over the flag belt, or lowering the shoulder in a manner that places the arm over the flag belt.
The following constitutes Pass Interference:
- Illegal Contact beyond the line of scrimmage with an eligible receiver or defender during a legal forward pass.
EXCEPTION: If an eligible receiver and a defender both initiate simultaneous and equitable contact while making an equal attempt to reach, catch, or bat a pass, there is no illegal contact or pass interference.
- Hindering an opponent’s vision without making an attempt to catch, intercept, or bat the ball, even though no contact is made (also known as “Face Guarding”). Note: The player must place one or both hands in front of the opponent’s face or wave their hands or arms near the opponent’s face.
- Deflagging or tagging an eligible receiver beyond the line of scrimmage during a legal forward pass.
The referee will declare the coed status prior to each play.
Teams must use a female as an operative player within three consecutive downs.
To be considered operative, a player must:
- have been targeted for an attempted legal forward pass
- have been targeted for an attempted backward pass behind the line of scrimmage
- receive a handoff behind the line of scrimmage and run the ball, regardless of whether or not positive yards are gained
- attempt a legal forward pass
- receive the snap and attempt a backward pass behind the line of scrimmage
- receive the snap and run the ball, regardless of whether or not positive yards are gained
Note: The intent is to be included as a primary part of the play (running, receiving, or passing) regardless of its success. Receiving a pitch or handoff beyond the line of scrimmage would not satisfy and reset the coed count.
If a female has not acted as an operative player after two consecutive downs, the succeeding down shall be a closed play.
All other plays, including extra point attempts, shall be considered open.
The coed count shall reset once a female has been used as an operative player or after a change of possession has occurred.
DEFENSE DURING CLOSED PLAY:
If a male is in position to receive the snap on a closed play:
- The defense must declare only one player to guard the quarterback. This player may move laterally across the line of scrimmage with the quarterback with his arms below his shoulders until the five-second count has elapsed, after which the player may cross the line of scrimmage only in an attempt to deflag the quarterback.
- All other male defensive players must line up in the area of male offensive players and remain stationary with their arms down until the ball has been advanced or legally touched beyond the line of scrimmage.
- Except where allowed by rule, male defensive players may not touch a forward pass until it is first touched by a female offensive player.
- An interception by a male player is only possible if a forward pass is first contacted by a female offensive player and caught by a male defensive player who was originally restricted to the line of scrimmage during the play.
If a female is in position to receive the snap on a closed play:
- All defensive players are permitted to participate as if the status of the play was open.
The following shall be considered Illegal Procedure by the Defense on a Closed Play:
- A male defensive player makes contact with, or otherwise denies a female offensive player a reasonable opportunity to catch, a legal forward pass unless allowed by an uneven player ratio or first deflected by a female offensive player.
- Any male defensive player leaves the line of scrimmage prior to a legal forward pass being touched beyond the line of scrimmage.
OFFENSE DURING CLOSED PLAY:
The offense must declare who will receive the snap on a closed play. Only that player may attempt a forward pass or, as allowed by rule, advance the ball across the line of scrimmage. The referee will not make the ball ready for play until the defense has had a reasonable opportunity to get set.
If the ball is grounded to stop the clock or the player receiving the snap takes a knee on a closed play, the ensuing down will remain a closed play, regardless of who received the snap.
If a male is in position to receive the snap on a closed play:
- All other offensive males must remain stationary until the ball has been legally touched beyond the line of scrimmage.
- Once the ball has been legally touched beyond the line of scrimmage, any offensive player may trail the runner in order to receive a backward pass.
- If the snap is fumbled or the quarterback is sacked, the ensuing down will remain a closed play.
If a female is in position to receive the snap on a closed play:
- All offensive players are permitted to participate as if the status of the play was open.
- If the snap is fumbled or the quarterback is sacked, the coed count shall reset and the ensuing down will be an open play.
The following shall reset the coed count:
- A female is determined by an official to be the intended target of a legal forward pass.
- A female is determined by an official to be the intended target of a backward pass behind the line of scrimmage.
- A female receives the snap and attempts a legal forward pass.
- A female receives the snap and attempts a backward pass behind the line of scrimmage.
- A female receives the snap and attempts to advance the ball across the line of scrimmage.
- The offense accepts the penalty for an Illegal Procedure foul but declines the yardage.
The following shall not reset the coed count:
- A female snaps the ball to a male player.
- A female receives the snap and hands the ball off to a male player.
- A quarterback intentionally throws the ball to the ground near a receiver without a reasonable expectation of a reception.
- A forward pass is deflected by a stationary defensive male during a closed play.
The following shall be considered Illegal Procedure by the Offense on a Closed Play:
- A male receives the snap and advances the ball across the line of scrimmage.
- Any male offensive player leaves the line of scrimmage prior to a legal forward pass being touched beyond the line of scrimmage.
- A male player not receiving the snap attempts a forward pass.
If a male quarterback intentionally throws a pass into a defensive player in an obvious attempt to draw a penalty, an Unsportsmanlike Conduct penalty will be assessed against the quarterback.
UNEVEN RATIOS ON CLOSED PLAYS:
The following situations assume a male quarterback during a closed play.
Two female offensive players; three female defensive players:
- The defense may use all female players to guard the female offensive players .
Four or more female offensive players; three female defensive players:
- A male defensive player may cover an additional female offensive player one-on-one without a cushion. The male may make contact with a pass intended for his receiver only, but an interception will result in an incomplete pass.
Three offensive female players; two defensive female players:
- A male defensive player may cover a female offensive player one-on-one with a three yard cushion and must allow a reasonable opportunity to catch a pass.
- If a female offensive player first contacts the ball and it is subsequently recovered by a defensive male in coverage, the result will be an incomplete pass.
Three offensive female players; four or more defensive female players:
- The additional female defensive players must individually line up against a male offensive player and remain stationary with her arms down until the ball has crossed the line of scrimmage.
Each game consists of two 18-minute halves separated by a three-minute halftime intermission.
If at the end of regulation both teams are tied, the game will proceed into overtime.
Overtime periods are untimed. The game is over when the tie is broken at the conclusion of an overtime period.
Each team is entitled to a single one-minute time-out during the entire overtime. Time-outs do not carry over from the regulation period.
Scoring rules do not change in overtime periods. Coed rules do not change in overtime period.
Prior to the first overtime period, both team captains will play Rock, Paper, Scissors. The winning captain will have the option of choosing possession or which side of the field the overtime periods will take place. The other captain will have the remaining option.
Each team will have the opportunity to score from the opposing team’s 20 yard line in four or fewer downs, unless affected by penalty.
If a pass is intercepted in overtime, the ball becomes dead and the defense will begin its possession from the 20 yard line.
Teams will change the order of possession after each overtime period.
Starting with the third overtime period, any team that scores a touchdown must attempt a two point conversion on the try.
Teams earn three points for a win, one point for a tie, and zero points for a loss. Teams are ranked in order based on the following criteria:
- Total Standings Points
- Head to Head
- Total Points Allowed
- Total Point Differential
Each game consists of two 18-minute halves separated by a three-minute halftime intermission. Preliminary round games may end in a tie.
Any rules not specifically mentioned here follow those set forth by NIRSA governing co-rec play.
FOULS AND PENALTIES:
Any penalty may be declined. Unless otherwise noted, acceptance of a penalty does not change the coed status.
The result of a play, including the end of the run and whether the line to gain was reached, shall be determined after application of penalties for live-ball fouls.