7th Grade Flag Football

                        Study Guide



Background Info:

Although team games using a kicked ball date back to the beginning of the Christian era, American football as we know it today developed in the late 19th century from two English sports, soccer and rugby.

          Some colleges in the US began to play each other in football following the soccer-based London Football Association rules in 1860. The Harvard team, however favored rugby rules and became familiar with an egg-shaped ball and kicking returns when it accepted a challenge from McGill University in Canada.  The following year, Harvard challenged Yale to a game played primarily under rugby rules but with modifications that started a move toward the more liberal game we know today.


The Game:

The object of the game is to carry or pass the football over the opponents’ goal line for a score while preventing the opposite team from advancing the ball into your end zone.  The offensive team may advance the ball by running or passing, and the defense stops (downs) the ball carrier or receiver by detaching one of the flags from his/her belt.  The ball is placed at the downed position (line of scrimmage) on the field and play continues.


Team scoring the most points wins the game.  Touchdowns count 6 points and occur when the offensive team passes or carries the ball over the opponents’ goal line.  The offense can score 2 point conversion immediately following a touch down by moving the ball over the opponents’ goal line from 5 yards away.


The ball is put into play at the beginning of the game, beginning of the second half, and after each score by a place kick from the kicking team’s 20 yardline.  If the team fails to move the ball to at least 10 yards in four attempts (downs), the opponents take over possession of the ball at that point on the field. A team may punt the ball to the opposition any time during their four-downs.  Usually a team only punts when it feels it cannot make a first down.






Line of Scrimmage: An imaginary line stretching the width of the field that separates the two teams prior to the snap of the ball. Ball is placed on this line for play action to begin.


Off-side: A penalty that occurs when any part of a defender's body is beyond his line of scrimmage when the ball is snapped.


Punt: A kick usually used on fourth down and is designed to drive the other team back as far as possible before they take possession of the ball


Down: A play, starting when the ball is put into play and ending when the ball is ruled dead. (Each team gets 4 of these to move the ball 10yrds)


Quarterback: The offensive player who receives the ball from the center at the start of each play before either handing it to the running back, throwing it to a receiver, or running with it himself.


Snap: The action in which the ball is thrown or handed by the center to the quarterback, to the holder on a kick attempt, or to the punter.


Fumble: When any offensive player loses possession of the football before a play is blown dead.


Pitch: The act of the quarterback tossing the ball to a running back who is moving laterally away from him.


Touchdown: A scoring play in which any part of the ball, while legally in the possession of a player who is in-bounds, crosses the plane of the opponent's goal line.


2 Point Conversion: A scoring play, immediately after a touchdown, in which a team can add two bonus points by running or passing the ball into the end zone on one play starting from the opponent's two-yard line.