Touch Football Rules

These are the rules by which we play:

  1. Be friendly & have fun.
  2. If we have more than 20 players, we split up into two simultaneous games.
  3. When there are an odd number of people, the last person picked must play all-time defense until a new player arrives.
    • If two new players show up at the same time, the last of those two picked plays all-time defense.
  4. Anyone can play and everyone gets to play. No one is forced to sit and wait for a game to end before they can play.
  5. Bring plenty of water to remain hydrated.
  6. Playing with cleats is encouraged but metal (baseball) cleats are forbidden. You cannot play with us if you insist on wearing metal cleats.


  1. A touchdown is one point.
  2. The team that gives up a safety must turn the ball over to the opposing team.
    • No points are earned for a safety.
  3. We play up to five points for the first couple games.
  4. The last game is played to seven points, by two.


  1. The offense gets four downs to convert a first down; the first down marker is the 50 yard line.
  2. The quarterbacks keep track of downs. If there is a dispute over the correct down, it is up to the quarterbacks of the respective teams to resolve.
  3. Receivers must have two feet down within the field of play for a reception to be good.
  4. If you are bobbling the ball as you go out of bounds, it is incomplete.
  5. Downfield blocking is allowed but use your hands with palms open, not your forearms or elbows. That’s a good way to hurt people.
  6. No stiff-arming. It doesn’t do any good, anyway. When you stiff-arm, you’ve basically given the defender an easy way to get two hands on you. Besides, it’s another good way to hurt someone. Same goes for slapping a defender’s hands away from you. That’s poor form.
  7. The quarterback may run with the ball only after the pass rusher has crossed the line of scrimmage.
  8. The quarterback’s entire body must be over the line of scrimmage when he throws the ball for the play to be an illegal pass.
  9. If the quarterback crosses the line of scrimmage at any point during the play, he may not pass the ball.
  10. A quarterback is sacked if a defender tags him with both hands while he is still in possession of the ball. It does not matter if the quarterback’s arm is moving forward in the process of throwing; if the ball is still in his hands while he is tagged, he is sacked.
  11. Only one forward pass is allowed per play, regardless of whether or not the receiver caught the ball behind the line of scrimmage. A forward pass is a forward pass is a forward pass and there shall not be two of them during the same play. In order for a double (or triple) pass to be legal, the receiver must be behind the line of scrimmage AND behind the person who thew him the ball.
  12. Intentional grounding is allowed; quarterbacks can throw an intentionally incomplete pass with no receiver in the vicinity in order to avoid a sack but the ball must cross the line of scrimmage.
  13. If the offense does not convert on fourth down, the opposing team takes over where the ball first hits the ground.


  1. There is no punting and there are no kickoffs.


  1. This is touch football. Do not tackle. Try not to knock people down. Be nice.
  2. Two-hand touch: That means two hands must be placed simultaneously on the defender in order for him to be down. The football is an extension of your body, so if a defender has one hand on the ball and another on your body, you are down. Your clothes are also an extension of your body. As is your hair.
  3. If you tag someone, call out the fact that you have done so immediately so there is no confusion.
  4. Fumbles are live.
  5. A defensive player can strip the ball from an opponent as long he does not have two hands simultaneously on his opponent, in which case the receiver is down.
  6. A play is live until the ball carrier is touched down; if he falls to the ground but has not yet been tagged, he may get up and resume the play. If a player is on the ground, he need only be be tagged with one hand to be ruled down. Relatedly, he cannot be stripped of the ball while he is on the ground because that would necessitate touching the ball carrier with one hand, making him down.
  7. Pass interference is called if it is obvious according to normal NFL pass interference rules. If the defense commits the penalty, the offense gets to redo the down. If the offense commits the penalty, it forfeits that down.
  8. In order to avoid arguments, any contested plays are called by the defense. Remember that the opposing defense gets the same privilege, so be honest.
  9. The pass rusher must count to “five Mississippi” before crossing the line of scrimmage. (LISTEN BELOW for a reasonable 5-Mississippi count).
  10. There are no blitzes.


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