We understand that every sports league has different quirks and or rules that make it different than the average sports league. The Golden State Flag Football League is no different. There are several things that EVERY GSFFL fan should know before attending ANY game at Montague Field Park and or watching ANY game on the GSBC Bleacher Report Network on Facebook LIVE. We have tried to rack our minds of many of the different rules that will sometimes be called over the course of a season:


1. No Flag Guarding

  • The offensive player who has the ball is not allowed to swat the hand of the defender away from his flag. The offensive player is ALSO not allowed to hold or grab his own flag to prevent the defensive from pulling it. This results in a 5 yard penalty.
  • Now, most of the time this rule is enforced. However, over the course of a season, this call be missed a couple of times and the players on either side will react accordingly. It is just a part of the game!

2. No Tackling

  • There is a reason why it is called FLAG FOOTBALL. One of the most obvious rules a part of the GSFFL is that there is to be no tackling.
  • Again, this one is almost always enforced; however, there is usually 4 or 5 times in the season where the ref will not make the call due to inconclusiveness on whether or not the play was indeed a tackle. Once again, the players from either team will react accordingly.

3. No Field Goals

  • There is NO field goals EVER in the GSFFL. On 4th down, you can either go for it OR punt the ball.
  • On 4th down, there is ALWAYS a big decision on whether to go for it OR just punt the ball. It really depends on where you are on the field. If you are at your own 18 yard line and ONLY have to get to the 20 yard line to get the 1st down, many teams will go for it JUST BECAUSE it is very easy to get 2 yards off a run play.

4. The PAT Rule

  • There is ALWAYS alot of confusion that goes into this next rule. The PAT Rule makes the PAT more meaningful. After a touchdown, the offense has two choices: run the ball for 2 points or pass the ball for 1 point. A run is worth 2 points and a pass is worth 1 point. There. We wrote it twice so you can remember it!
  • This rule impacts games. Many times the games will come down to whether or not they successfully got their 1 point or 2 points after a touchdown.

5. The First Down Rules

  • Many people are left confused at how the first down system works in the GSFFL. A first down can be generated after every 20 yard line. In the GSFFL, there is a possibility of 3 first downs. There is a 20 yard line, a 40 yard line and another 20 yard line. What this means is the offense could start their drive on their own 18 yard line and only need 2 yards to get a first down.
  • Many team captains will strategically give themselves an extra down to play with by pulling up at the yard line BEFORE the first down marker especially if the play was run on 1st down. Once you get inside the 20 yard line on the opposing side of the field, you get 4 chances at the end zone—use them wisely!

6. Onside Kick Rule

  • To successfully pull off an onside kick, the kicking team must kick the ball across the 40 yard line (midfield) before they can touch the ball. Obviously, if a kick off hits the receiving team ANYWHERE on the field, the ball is live and can be picked up by either team.
  • It has been quite a while since an onside kick was successfully completed, but we would not be surprised if a team tries to successfully complete an onside kick sometime this coming season.