Touch Football Game Rules


Mechanics of the Game

The league will play 5 downs (no kicking/punting plays).

On the 5th down the Offensive team must declare whether they are playing the down or giving it up. If the Offensive team chooses to play the 5th down and they do not score a TD, the opposing team will take possession at the original line of scrimmage. If the team chooses to give up the play then the opposing team starts their 5 downs 5 yds from their goal line. NOTE: If the offensive team completes their 5th down pass but does not score then the line of scrimmage starts at the point of the touch

Ball possession starts on 5-yard line in place of kickoffs.

Any player who receives the ball in the backfield through a snap, a hand-off or lateral pass is considered to be a quarterback and can run. Optional QB can run.

1 foot inbound on all catches = completion.

Any tipped or deflected balls by an offensive player to another offensive player or a defensive player to another defensive player that causes the ball to travel towards the opposing teams End Zone, shall be whistled dead at the point of the original tip.

Fumbled balls are dead balls.

Fumbled after reception, ball is dead at the place of fumble.
• Fumbled snap to QB - ball is LIVE.
• Any diving with the ball to avoid a touch will be placed at the spot of the dive.
• Any lowering of the head to avoid a touch will result in a dead ball at the spot of the lowering.
• If an offensive player is pushed out of bounds, player is still eligible. If player goes out of bounds on his/her own player is ineligible for catch or play = loss of down if caught by ineligible player.
• All sidelines and dead ball lines are considered out of bounds.
• If ball hits ceiling or light fixtures, dead ball and loss of down.
• Each team is responsible to pick up own ball, if delay in retrieving ball 20-second count will commence.

Scoring

Points are awarded for touchdowns (6 points), converts (1 points, 2 points) and safety touches (2 points).

A touchdown is scored when a team gets the ball into the opponent's end zone by running with the ball across the goal line or by completed pass from a team mate.

After a touchdown, the scoring team has the choice of attempting a one-point convert from the five-yard line, or a two-point convert from the ten-yard line. All converts must be passing or running plays.

A safety touch counts for two points and is awarded to a team when its opponents cause the ball to go into their own end zone and the play is ruled dead prior to the ball being taken out of the end zone.

A game is usually divided into two halves of 25 minutes. The clock runs continuously during the halves, except for a ‘time out’.  At the end of the first half there is a two (2) minute rest period before the second half begins.

Each team has one 60-second time out per half, which if not used, cannot be carried over to the next half. Officials may call any number of time outs, at their discretion, to deal with measurements, rule explanations or injuries. However, if an official calls an injury time out, the injured player(s) must sit out for at least one play before returning. If the injured player(s) wish to remain in the game and not sit out, the team must use their team time out.

A team must have a minimum of four players on the field to start a game. If a team does not have enough players or refuses to take the field a delay of game penalty will be applied and that team will lose choice for both halves and a 10 yard dead ball penalty will be applied at the start of the game. If both teams do not have enough players to start a 10-minute grace period will be provided to allow players to arrive but the game clock will start at the designated start time.


Play-offs

In the case of a tie at the end of a play-off game, both teams get 3 chances to make converts.

Coin toss to decide who which team goes first and which side of the field is used for all plays.

The converts are 1 or 2 point plays and the points are added to the game score. Once the offence has announced their 1 or 2 point play selection they can not change. Teams alternate plays until one team is mathematically eliminated or a winner is determined.

The ball is live, so intercepted balls brought past the line of scrimmage would give defence points. Any target zone pass interference in the end zone would result in the awarding of the points attempted. If the penalty is not in the end zone, then yards are added and convert attempt replayed.


General Information

Participants in the game of Touch Football must consider the safety of all players in the game. Aggressive play must be tempered with control in order to avoid unnecessary body contact and the possibility of injury to opponents. Players who show no regard for this concept will be penalised for the unnecessary contact. Sportsmanship and consideration for the well-being of others is an integral part of the game.

The rules of Touch Football exist to ensure that no team creates an unfair advantage over the other team. Therefore, infractions such as interference, tripping, unnecessary roughness, contacting the passer, obstruction, offside, unsportsmanlike conduct and objectionable conduct will be called by the officials, when committed by players during a game. It is imperative that all participants display sportsmanship during a game. Persistent arguing, obscene language, threats to players, officials or spectators bring disgrace to the sport and will not be tolerated.

Players who are ejected from the game and written up by an official are automatically fined and miss at least the following game. No-show teams are fined.
General:
• PLAYERS MUST BE REGISTERED WITH INDIVIDUAL SIGNED WAIVERS PRIOR TO PLAYING ANY GAMES OTHERWISE, THEY WILL NOT BE ALLOWED TO PLAY.
• During regular season, a team that is found to be using a player that has not signed a Soccer World waiver form will incur a team fine of $50.00. The offending player will be ejected from the game and the fine must be paid before the team's next game in order to be eligible to play.
• During regular season, a team that is found to be using a player that has not signed a Soccer World waiver form for a second time in the same season will incur a team fine of $100.00. The offending team will also automatically forfeit the game. The fine must be paid before the team's next game in order to be eligible to play.
• During Playoffs, a team that is found to be using a player that has not signed a Soccer World waiver form in the playoffs will automatically forfeit the game.
• Teams of 10 -14 players is recommended.
• Any Player who throws a forward pass during the season cannot throw a forward pass for a lower division team during that season. All QB/Optional QB’s however can play on another team as a receiver or defender. All designated QB’s who take a direct snap can only play for 1 team during that season. If an optional QB plays one week but not the next, this rule still applies.
• Schedules will not be adjusted due to players playing on more than one team
• All team rosters will be final after the 7th game of the Fall Season and the 11th game of the Winter Season. Players cannot be added to the rosters under any circumstances after the 7th game of the Fall Season and the 11th game of the Winter Season for the remainder of the regular season and playoffs.
• Teams must provide 5 business days’ notice for any rescheduled game
• Teams will be given one (1) rescheduled game at no cost. Any additional requests, a $50.00 administrative charge will apply to the team requesting the change. Game change requests are always at the discretion of the opposing team agreeing, the opposing team is not required to accept any game changes beyond what the original schedule states at the beginning of the season (unless the League changes the game schedule due to unforeseen circumstances). If the opposing team does not agree to a game change, then the team requesting the game change will automatically have to forfeit the game. RESCHEDULING OF ANY PLAYOFF GAMES WILL NOT BE PERMITTED.
• 5 players aside (includes quarterback) but teams must have a minimum of 4 registered players to start a game. If that team does not have a 5th registered player before the 10 minutes of the 1st Half, that team will forfeit the game.
• When a team has a 5th player show up at the late, but within 10 minutes of the 1st Half, that late team will be penalized accordingly:
o Lose all right to start with the ball in the 1st Half and 2nd Half.
o Game time will be reduced to the 1st Half 15 minutes long, 2nd Half 25 minutes long.
o If the late team’s jersey is the same colour as the other team, the late team must have an alternative coloured jersey.
• To determine the late time, referees will start the clock on the hour and time will be determined based on Soccer World clock count down in time.
• Substitutions can be made at any break in the game or between plays.
• 50-minute continuous running game time with exception of time outs or referee time outs to deal with injuries, discipline, or at their discretion (two x 25-minute halves, with 2 min halftime).
• One 30-second timeout per team per half; which will stop the running game clock. In the event that a team calls a time out with 30 secs or less in each half, the referee will count down the time to zero (0). No stop watches will be used. All other times the referee will stop and start the clock manually upon the snap of the ball, with the exception for time outs with less than 1 min, the refs will use their wrist stop watches as the bases to keep time from this point on.
• One hand touch only.
• Only indoor turf cleats (no spikes or metal cleats) and running shoes may be worn.
• All team players must have matching base uniforms.
• All uniforms must be numbered.
• Captains are responsible for validating game scores within 72 hours of game completion, if they notice an error in the score posting, they must submit an email to Soccer World within 72 hrs of game completion notifying Soccer World of the error and to ensure it can be corrected in a timely manner, otherwise, it may remain as originally posted.
• Any player who wears a hard cast during the game must provide a foam protection around the cast to eliminate any injury to other players. If they choose not too then the referees are instructed to remove the player from the field until the changes are made and the referee approves.
• Any player that receives an open wound or bleeding will be removed from the game and cannot return until the open wound is attended too and bleeding has stopped.
• Any player that wears any type of jewellery on their body during a game will be asked to leave the field until the jewellery is removed. This means any type of ear, nose, mouth and eye jewellery too.

Mechanics of the game:
• The Men’s and Women’s league will play 5 downs (no kicking/punting plays).
• On the 5th down the Offensive team must declare whether they are playing the down or giving it up. If the Offensive team chooses to play the 5th down and they do not score a TD, the opposing team will take possession at the original line of scrimmage. If the team chooses to give up the play then the opposing team starts their 5 downs 5 yds from their goal line. NOTE: If the offensive team completes their 5th down pass but does not score then the line of scrimmage starts at the point of the touch
• Ball possession starts on 5-yard line in place of kickoffs.
• Any player who receives the ball in the backfield through a snap, a hand-off or lateral pass is considered to be a quarterback and can run. Optional QB can run.
• 1 foot inbound on all catches = completion.
• Any tipped or deflected balls by an offensive player to another offensive player or a defensive player to another defensive player that causes the ball to travel towards the opposing teams End Zone, shall be whistled dead at the point of the original tip.
• Fumbled balls are dead balls.
• Fumbled after reception, ball is dead at the place of fumble.
• Fumbled snap to QB - ball is LIVE.
• Any diving with the ball to avoid a touch will be placed at the spot of the dive.
• Any lowering of the head to avoid a touch will result in a dead ball at the spot of the lowering.
• If an offensive player is pushed out of bounds, player is still eligible. If player goes out of bounds on his/her own player is ineligible for catch or play = loss of down if caught by ineligible player.
• All sidelines and dead ball lines are considered out of bounds.
• If ball hits ceiling or light fixtures, dead ball and loss of down.
• Each team is responsible to pick up own ball, if delay in retrieving ball 20-second count will commence.
Rushing:
• Rusher lines up 5 yards on either side of bag and 1 yard outside centers feet but within 5 yards lateral of the centre
• Rusher advances when centre snaps the ball. Rusher loses right to the QB if he changes sides once the center sets. Eg. Lowering the head.
• Offside by the rusher occurs when any part of the body is within 5 yards of the line of scrimmage before the ball is snapped. All other players are eligible to rush but cannot cross the line of scrimmage before the rusher unless they are 5 yards back prior to snap.
Scoring:
• 6 points for a touchdown.
• 1-point (from 5 yards out) or 2-point (from 10-yards out) converts. Converts must be another play.
• 2 points for a safety. (Tag or ball lands in end zone or through end zone).
• Game is deemed over when a team is winning by 40 points or more with 2 minutes left in the game.
• Points will be awarded as follows: 3 points for a win, 1 point for a tie, 0 points for a loss. If a team forfeits, the opposing team will show the game as a 7-0 win (3 pts will be assigned to the opposing team).
• If two or more teams in the same division are tied then the following format will be applied to determine ranking: (games between tied teams results used)
1. Games played between the tied teams (wins/loss record if still tied go to Points For)
2. Points for (if still tied then go to Points Against)
3. Points Against (if still tied then go to Total Points Scored)
4. Total Points Scored
• At the end of the season, it is at the discretion of the League Convenor to move the top 1-2 teams of each division up to the next division and/or the bottom 1-2 teams of each division down to the lower division for the next season if that team registers.
Penalties:
• If a team fails to field a team for at least two games without at least 5 days notice to the League Office, then on the third and additional missed games, the team will be fined $100 for the LOSS of game for the opposing team and will not be allowed to play any additional games until the penalty is paid in full. If the opposing team chooses to remain on the field for their scheduled game, they will forego the $100 bonus in lieu of the 1 hr field time.
• Taunting - There will be no taunting of opposing players = 5-yard penalty.
• Spiking - Any spiking of the ball at any time = 5-yard penalty. If spiking occurs after a touchdown the offending team will be penalized 5 yards on the convert.
• Delay of game = 5-yard penalty loss of down.
• Defensive holding = down over and 5-yard penalty.
• Offensive holding = loss of down and 5-yard penalty.
• When player with the ball is running with the ball, team members cannot interfere with play, no hand blocking or impeding allowed. Infraction = dead ball at place of infraction... no loss of down.
Pass Interference
• Catchable Balls: Defensive = pass interference at the spot of the foul and (Target) repeat down.
Offensive A. 1st-2nd-3rd-4th downs, change of possession at the point of the foul. B. 5th down, Option # 1 – defence accept change of possession at point of scrimmage Option # 2 – defence decline 5 yd penalty, down repeated
• Non-Catchable Balls: Defensive = 5-yard penalty and repeat down. (Remote/Non-Target)
Offensive A. 1st-2nd-3rd-4th downs, 5-yard penalty and loss of down regardless in field of play or end zone. B. 5th down the defence has the choice to decline the penalty and take ball over on downs
• 2ND RIGHT TO THE BALL: Any player has second right to a ball after being tipped or deflected.
• On 5th down live ball fouls, if accepted by the defence, the offence will have the option to go for it or give it up. If it is a dead ball foul then it turns over on downs.
• Illegal Re-entry – An offensive or defensive player is not permitted to leave the field of play under their own accord during a play, return to the field of play, and then participate in the play. The following penalties will be applied:
1. Offensive Player – 5-yard penalty from the line of scrimmage and loss of down. No advance is given to the offensive team if a catch or run is made.
2. Defensive Player – 5-yard penalty and repeat of down for the offense. If a pass or run is advanced, then the offensive team has the option of either:
a. Taking the penalty
b. Decline and accept the yds gained no repeat of down
3. If both teams have a player with illegal re-entry then they become offsetting and down is repeated.
4. If a player is forced out, (referee to determine) then either player is not penalized and play and down results stand
5. If a QB steps out of bounds after the ball is snapped in the endzone, this becomes a touch back and 2 points are awarded to the opposing team and ball changes hands to the opposing team on their 5 yard line.
• Extension – The ball carrier is not allowed to extend the ball with the arms in an effort to gain extra yards. This is applied as a dead ball foul from the point of the torso of the ball carrier when the extension took place. It is a 5-yard penalty.
• A player who interferes with another player, i.e. grabs hands or in someway prevents a player from catching a tipped or deflected ball is guilty of Pass Interference when the ball remains catchable.
• Aggressive hand or body contact either before or after a reception (co-incidental contact allowed, both players going for the ball) = 10 yards down over and completed yards.
• Aggressive Pushing out of bounds = 10 yards down over and completed yards.
• In the END ZONE, any defensive rough play toward the intended receiver, or flag against the defender covering the intended receiver, the ball is placed on the 1-yard line and down repeated.
• In the END ZONE, any offensive rough play is a loss of down & 5-yard penalty or loss of attempt at convert.
• The defender/rusher will be called for a Personal Foul if they make ANY kind of contact with the Quarterback’s throwing arm or hand or above the Quarterback’s shoulders while the Quarterback is attempting to make a pass, this includes the Quarterback’s natural follow-through motion. Personal fouls are 15-yard fouls and can be live or dead ball fouls at the option of the non-offending team.
• Any additional rough play or roughness not mentioned above is at the discretion of the official. Offending player(s) will be cautioned and/or removed from the game and/or face possible suspension.
• FIGHTING. Any person(s) fighting, AUTOMATIC EJECTION FROM THE FACILITY for the day and suspension until the disciplinary review is completed.
• TACKLE = IMMEDIATE EJECTION from the game
• Swearing or abusive language directed at an official may result in an Objectional Conduct, When the same player receives a 2nd OC in a single game is an IMMEDIATE EJECTION FROM THE FACILITY and a one game suspension from the league.
• An accumulation of five OC’s by a single player through-out the season will result in a one game suspension, this may carry-over to the next season.
• When a team receives its second OC in the same game the player receiving the OC is their first of the day will be ejected from the game.
• De-escalation: An official may suggest that a player deescalate and sit out a series to compose their selves. After the series the player may return.
• ANY PERSON STRIKING DIRECTLY OR INDIRECTLY or THREATENING A REFEREE OR EXECUTIVE OFFICIAL OF THE LEAGUE WILL BE SUSPENDED FROM THE LEAGUE, until a disciplinary review is completed.
• Team captains have the right to remove a player on his team from the field of play due to poor conduct or unsportsmanlike behavior. Refusal of the player to leave will result in an automatic league suspension.
• A breach of any of the above deemed to be aggressive by an official, can be followed up by game ejection of the player(s) or team from the game and/or banishment from the league without refund of team fee, or any proportion thereof.
Playoff Format:
o For Divisions with 8 or more teams, the top 8 teams will advance to the playoffs.
 Possession will be determined by coin toss at the beginning of the game, Home team gets to call it
 Quarter Finals: 1st vs 8th, 2nd vs 7th, 3rd vs 6th, and 4th vs 5th (based on end of season standings)
 Winner of quarter finals will be reseeded and advance to Semi-finals based on standings after quarter final results
 Winners of semi-final games advance to finals
 Quarter and Semi-final games will be played on the same day, as scheduling permits.
 Games are same format as regular season: 2 x 25-min halves.
o For Divisions with less than 8 teams, the top 4 teams will advance to the playoffs.
 Possession will be determined by coin toss at the beginning of the game, Home team gets to call it
 Semi-Finals: 1st vs 4th, 2nd vs 3rd (based on end of season standings)
 Winners of Semis advance to finals
 Games are same format as regular season: 2 x 25-min halves.
o Any teams that have players participating on more than 1 team, must choose 1 team to play for in the event of a playoff scheduling conflict (ie. Games will not be rescheduled to accommodate player absences).
Format for Tie Games in Regular or Play-Off Games:
o Coin toss to determine which team has first choice. Highest ranking team to call.
o 3 attempts per team either from the 5 yard line or 10 yard line alternating.
5 yard line completion = 1 point 10 yard line completion = 2 points
o At the end of 3 plays/team total score determines winner.
o If tie remains, then a coin toss will be done again and it becomes sudden death from this point. Highest ranking team determines heads or tails.

Soccer World Adult Touch Football Indoor Rules will follow TFO Outdoor Touch Football Rules then Football Canada for any questions that are not spelled out in our rules provided.

Game Rules

Touch rules

Indoor Touch Football is played with five on-field players per team. The team that has possession of the ball has six downs to attempt a score. If on the sixth down the offence does not score, the ball goes to the defence.

The offence can elect to decline a sixth down attempt to score and thereby give up possession of the ball. If the offence attempts to score on their six down, and does not score, possession is awarded at the point of the spot at the end of that play.

The winner of the coin toss can elect to have the first-half or second-half choice of options. The loser of the coin toss will have choice of options in the other half. Choice of options are;

  • start the half with the ball, or
  • select which end of the field to defend.

When one team chooses to have the ball, the other team is then given the option to choose what end to defend.

Game starts from the offence line of scrimmage (5-yard line). All offensive players must take a position on or behind the line of scrimmage. Defensive players must take a position at least one yard from the line of scrimmage on the opposite side and at least 3 yards from the Centre. The Centre must snap the ball between the legs to the Quarterback, who must receive the ball at least five yards behind the line of scrimmage. All players on the offence, except the Centre, are allowed to be in motion prior to the snap, but are not permitted to cross the line of scrimmage until after the snap. The game is mainly a passing game, with all players on the offence being eligible receivers. No blocking is permitted. The play is terminated when a defender touches the ball carrier with one hand or the fingers of that hand. Two-hand touches are permissible as long as there is no rough touch.

During scrimmage plays, the defence will have one or more players, called the rusher, pursue the Quarterback after the ball is snapped. Specific rules applicable to the rusher include:

  • being at least eight yards away from the line of scrimmage,
  • being within 1-5 yards outside the Centre’s outside foot,
  • not changing sides after the ball is put down by the Centre,
  • being in this vicinity before the Centre’s head goes down.

In turn, the rules grant the rusher a direct and unobstructed path to the Quarterback after the ball is snapped. No-one is permitted to block or obstruct the rusher in any way. If the rusher changes sides after the ball is put down by the Centre, the rusher will lose the right to a direct path to the Quarterback with the Centre, however, all other players must continue to provide the rusher with a direct line to the Quarterback. Even if the Centre looks up after putting his/her head down, the rusher has lost the right to a direct path to the Quarterback with the Centre only.

Teams may use more than one rusher on a play. All rushers have the right to a clear and direct path to the Quarterback, provided they adhere to the rusher’s rules.

The first defensive player to cross the line of scrimmage must have started from a point 8 yards down field from the line of scrimmage but does not have to line up within 5 yards of either side of the Centre's feet.

Two bean bags are used to mark the line of scrimmage and the rusher's starting line. Officials will place these bags at the appropriate spot prior to the start of each play.

Teams are permitted only one forward pass on each scrimmage play. The ball may be passed laterally among team mates as many times as they wish. An attempted lateral that results in the ball going forward is illegal, and is ruled an offside pass when touched by a team mate. Fumbles are not recoverable in Touch Football. The ball is considered dead when it hits the ground during a scrimmage play, except on the initial Centre-Quarterback exchange when the ball is snapped, and on a lateral to an offensive player that occurs;

  • behind the line of scrimmage, and
  • before a forward pass is thrown.

In the latter case, in order for the ball to be considered live, it must touch the intended player first before hitting the ground.


Scoring

Points are awarded for touchdowns (6 points), converts (1 points, 2 points) and safety touches (2 points).

A touchdown is scored when a team gets the ball into the opponent's end zone by running with the ball across the goal line or by completed pass from a team mate.

After a touchdown, the scoring team has the choice of attempting a one-point convert from the five-yard line, or a two-point convert from the ten-yard line. All converts must be passing or running plays.

A safety touch counts for two points and is awarded to a team when its opponents cause the ball to go into their own end zone and the play is ruled dead prior to the ball being taken out of the end zone.

A game is usually divided into two halves of 25 minutes. The clock runs continuously during the halves, except for a ‘time out’.  At the end of the first half there is a two (2) minute rest period before the second half begins.

Each team has one 60-second time out per half, which if not used, cannot be carried over to the next half. Officials may call any number of time outs, at their discretion, to deal with measurements, rule explanations or injuries. However, if an official calls an injury time out, the injured player(s) must sit out for at least one play before returning. If the injured player(s) wish to remain in the game and not sit out, the team must use their team time out.

A team must have a minimum of four players on the field to start a game. If a team does not have enough players or refuses to take the field a delay of game penalty will be applied and that team will lose choice for both halves and a 10 yard dead ball penalty will be applied at the start of the game. If both teams do not have enough players to start a 10-minute grace period will be provided to allow players to arrive but the game clock will start at the designated start time.


Play-offs

In the case of a tie at the end of a play-off game, both teams get 3 chances to make converts.

Coin toss to decide who which team goes first and which side of the field is used for all plays.

The converts are 1 or 2 point plays and the points are added to the game score. Once the offence has announced their 1 or 2 point play selection they can not change. Teams alternate plays until one team is mathematically eliminated or a winner is determined.

The ball is live, so intercepted balls brought past the line of scrimmage would give defence points. Any target zone pass interference in the end zone would result in the awarding of the points attempted. If the penalty is not in the end zone, then yards are added and convert attempt replayed.


General Information

Participants in the game of Touch Football must consider the safety of all players in the game. Aggressive play must be tempered with control in order to avoid unnecessary body contact and the possibility of injury to opponents. Players who show no regard for this concept will be penalised for the unnecessary contact. Sportsmanship and consideration for the well-being of others is an integral part of the game.

The rules of Touch Football exist to ensure that no team creates an unfair advantage over the other team. Therefore, infractions such as interference, tripping, unnecessary roughness, contacting the passer, obstruction, offside, unsportsmanlike conduct and objectionable conduct will be called by the officials, when committed by players during a game. It is imperative that all participants display sportsmanship during a game. Persistent arguing, obscene language, threats to players, officials or spectators bring disgrace to the sport and will not be tolerated.

Players who are ejected from the game and written up by an official are automatically fined and miss at least the following game. No-show teams are fined.

Flag rules