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Welcome to 2024 SPRING FLAG FOOTBALL with SVMFL! This season we will have programs available for boys and girls 4 years old to SRs in High School. For the FIRST TIME EVER we are introducing an ALL FEMALE division for Spring and divisions for HIGH SCHOOL. All practices and games will be held on Sundays at Recreational Park and be played under the guidance of NFL Flag (7v7). Each game is 50 minutes with a 5 minute half time. In addition to our football program we will once again offer Sideline Cheer for Spring. Season runs 4/21-6/16.



The first rule of flag football is pretty straight forward: there’s no contact allowed. That includes tackling, diving, blocking, and screening. Instead, players wear flags that hang along their sides by a belt. To “tackle” the person in possession of the ball, the opposing team needs to pull one or both of their flags off.

While flag football rules are designed to keep players safe, you’ll find that they also create an engaging, fast-paced version of football without the physical contact. 

Here’s a list of basic flag football rules: 

  • All passes must be forward and received beyond the line of scrimmage

  • Only direct handoffs are permitted—there are no laterals or pitches anywhere on the field 

  • The quarterback has seven-second pass clock to get rid of the ball

  • The quarterback can’t run with the ball unless it was handed off first

  • Offensive players must steer clear of the rusher and may not get in his/her way

  • Any defensive player lined up seven yards off the line of scrimmage is eligible to rush

  • If the ball is handed off, any defender may rush

  • The ball is dead when it hits the ground, the offensive player’s flag is pulled from their belt, the ball-carrier steps out of bounds, or the ball-carrier’s body—outside of their hands or feet—touches the ground

  • All offensive flag football penalties result in a loss of down and yardage

  • All defensive flag football penalties result in an automatic first down and some are associated with yardage

For a complete list of flag football rules for this season follow the link here; flag rules 2024 2.pdf

NFL FLAG football is a non-contact sport. There’s no tackling, diving, blocking, screening or fumbles.

Flag Football Drills

Running back drills

Not only do running backs need to be fast to gain yardage, but they also have to be agile to dodge incoming defenders. Successful running backs have a strong sense of intuition and great vision of the field. This section outlines running back drills that help you develop fundamental skills and build quick feet, so you can map out your routes and stay—quite literally—two steps ahead of your opponents. 

See running back drills to add to your football training.

Quarterback drills

Time and time again, quarterbacks have made huge impacts on the game of football. But becoming a standout quarterback takes more than a great arm—you need to be strategic, quick, and consistent. These quarterback drills break down key fundamentals, such as how to properly receive, grip and release the ball. 

View quarterback drills that improve technique and footwork.

Wide receiver drills

Flag football is a high-speed game where the clock rarely stops and players are always on the move—especially wide receivers. We’ve compiled a list of 15 wide receiver routes that every receiver should know, ranging from basic routes in the route tree to more complicated routes that require advanced footwork and directional changes. Whether you’re going for a quick first down or a Hail Mary, these wide receiver drills have got you covered. 

See 15 wide receiver routes to add to your playbook.

Football agility drills

You can’t underestimate the importance of agility when it comes to playing flag football. Offensive players need to navigate sharp routes and tight pivots with ease, while effective defensive players need swift movements to efficiently pull the ball-carrier’s flags. This section details five football drills that focus on quick footwork, speed and smooth transitional movements to make you a more agile flag football player.

Check out 5 flag football drills that focus on improving agility.

Football conditioning drills

Conditioning is essential in every sport, especially flag football. It’s important that players properly warm up their muscles and build endurance so they’re prepared for practice or the game ahead. Plus, conditioning is one of the best ways to improve strength and flexibility in muscles that don’t always get the attention they need. That said, these football drills tend to be—well—a bit tedious. That’s why we’ve selected youth flag football drills that are engaging and fun, so you hardly notice how hard you’re working.

Take a look at six conditioning drills you can include in your football training.

Flag pulling drills

Flag football is a non-contact sport. Instead of physically tackling, players wear flags that hang along their sides by a belt and the defensive line must successfully remove the flag from the ball-carrier’s belt to end the play. This section outlines exactly how—and where—to pull the flag, so you can become a skilled defensive player. After all, good defense is just as important as good offense.

See football drills to help you practice properly pulling a flag.

How to catch a football

One fundamental skill youth flag football players need to learn right from the get-go is how to properly catch a football. The way you align your body, position your hands, and tuck the ball can help you consistently catch the ball and protect it from defenders. This section walks through techniques that you can easily incorporate into your football training schedule.

Learn how to catch a football with these football drills.

How to throw a football

There’s a lot that goes into throwing a football—hand placement, grip, motion, release point. This section provides a step-by-step guide on how to accurately throw the football and walks through basic football drills you can do to nail down these techniques. We even cover how to throw the ball farther and give it a perfect spiral. 

Add these football drills to your workout and throw the ball accurately each time.

How to snap a football

Every play starts with a snap between the center and quarterback. In flag football, the center has two options after the snap: they can play as a shield, warding off defenders using lateral movements. Or the center can release and become a receiver, opening themselves up for a pass. So, not only do you need to learn the different snapping methods, but you also need to make these movements seamless so you can quickly take off on your route afterward. These football drills provide a variety of snapping stances and techniques, so you can find a perfect rhythm with your quarterback.

Learn how to snap a football with these flag football drills.

Flag Formations and Plays


We recommend beginning coaching with a strong set of fundamentals before conquering complex setups. Some of the best football plays are actually quite simple. That’s why our guide provides needed information—from basics to more advanced football formations—for both 5 on 5 and 7 on 7 flag football plays.  

What is a football formation? At the beginning of all offensive plays, players on the field must create an offensive formation at the line of scrimmage. Football formations give each player a specific location on the line of scrimmage to begin their play. This prevents players from running into each other, crowding on the field, and promotes safety.

Take a look at the offensive flag football plays below. Each circle or O represents an individual player, with the square representing the quarterback. Where each player is located at the start of the play represents an offensive formation. The arrows reflect the plays, or routes, which provide an individualized map for each player in a formation.


You want to score some touchdowns, right? Let’s dive into individual routes that will give you enough knowledge and context to create new, slick flag football plays of your own.



This image showcases six different routes that can be used on offense in flag football.

Let’s walk through each player, from left to right. Note that all routes begin at the hike of the ball by the quarterback.

0 - Hitch: In this hitch route, the player runs straight for seven yards, then quickly pivots backwards for a couple yards. This throws off defenders running backwards to guard the player, and opens them up to a quick pass from the quarterback. 

1 - Slant: During a slant, the player should run forward a couple yards, then cut at a near 45-degree angle forward. This play becomes more effective when combined with 2 - Out (See below).

2 - Out: In an out play, the player should run forward for a designated yardage, five in this case, and then cut on a direct 90-degree angle in either direction.

Offensive football plays pro-tip: The combination of 1-Slant and 2-Out is a classic, effective technique. As the two players cross directions mid-route, their defensive counterparts are often unable to track and follow their designated target. This opens not one, but two players for a quick throw from the quarterback. Your first down awaits!

Offensive football plays safety pro-tip: When combining two football plays that cross each other, like slants and outs, make sure the players communicate who is going to leave their formation first. This prevents any collisions as the players complete their routes.

3 - Post: The player runs forward a designated amount, in this case seven yards, then cuts at a 45-degree angle to the center of the field. This route is reliable for critical yardage gain.

Offensive football plays pro-tip: Having a hard time keeping all the types of routes straight? Easily remember ‘post’ routes by envisioning that you’re running towards the field goal post in the center of the field.

4 - Corner: This player proceeds straight for seven yards, then runs at a 45-degree angle toward the edge of the field. This route is optimal if you need the player to catch the ball and then step out of bounds to stop the clock during a nail-biting game.

5 - Fly: The fly is the easiest route in the book. Run straight—and fast! Give this route to the player who has some serious wheels (and hands) to gain lots of yardage. First down!


Now let’s go over some more complicated routes showcased in the image above and walk through each individual player’s movement.

6 - Option: In this trick route, the player appears to begin a slant, heading toward the center of the field, but then cuts directly parallel toward the sideline. This is effective for needed short yardage.

7 - Stop and Go: This route is perfect for players who have a need for speed. First, they run straight about seven yards and then stop. Just when the designated defensive guard thinks they’re covered, the player takes off again toward the end zone. Catch that ball and they’re home free.

8 - Post Corner: This route mixes the magic of a post route with—you guessed it—a corner route. This player runs straight for seven yards, then cuts toward the center of the field. Once their guard is still, they break out toward the corner of the field.

9 - Chair: This player runs forward about four yards, then cuts parallel to the side of the field. Instead of stopping like an out route, they shoot straight up the field toward the end zone. These two back-to-back cuts leave defensive guards in the dust.

You can mix and match these routes to create your own custom flag football plays, which can be used in 5 on 5 flag football, 7 on 7 flag football, and even more advanced leagues.


Now that you know all the individual routes that make up a flag football play, let’s go over a few of the best flag football plays. Note that the plays shown are set up for 5 on 5, but can easily be adapted to other variations or levels.


Single-Back Criss-Cross - In this play, two receivers start at the line of scrimmage, equal lengths apart. An additional receiver starts a couple yards behind the quarterback.

Upon the snap, the center and the left receiver perform reverse slants, slightly staggered. This cuts off their respective defensive guards, opening them up for quick yardage. 

The receiver on the right side of the quarterback performs an in route (opposite of an out route), at about 10 yards. It’s recommended to throw to this receiver if a first down is needed or the receiver is wide open.

Lastly, the receiver stacked behind the quarterback runs toward the outside of the field and up the field. Because this receiver is stacked behind the line of scrimmage, it allows more time for the player to get open before they are met by their respective defensive guard.


Trips Right - Notice that one side of the field has a defensive blindspot? It’s time to break out the triple, or ‘trips,’ formations. Trips plays can be used on either side of the quarterback and are designed to expose defensive weaknesses and cause confusion, making it one of the best youth flag football plays to unleash. 

For this football play, we will stack the three receivers on the right side of the quarterback.

The receiver starting farthest right does a slight slant and then flies up the field, spreading out the defensive line. Meanwhile, the middle receiver performs a corner to further spread out the defense.

The inside receiver and center then do a crossing in and out, twisting up the remaining defensive players. Because of the misdirection of these two players, often one of them will remain open for some short, quick yardage while the defensive line readjusts to the scramble.


Single-Set Right Cross- Are you down by five with only 15 seconds left on the clock? Here’s the perfect football play to score some heavy yardage.

Have two receivers line up to the right of the quarterback, and the last receiver a few yards behind the quarterback. Upon the hike, the two receivers on the right perform a seven yard corner and a seven yard post, respectively. This cross throws off defenders and should leave you with two receivers open over 10 yards deep.

Safety pro-tip: Make sure to designate which player crosses first—you don’t want any team members bumping heads.

The remaining receiver behind the quarterback will start the route in a slant, then break off into a fly at the line of scrimmage. Perfect for a final hail mary!

If none of these routes leave receivers open, the center can release and do a five yard out. This is a quick release, resulting in slightly less yardage, but still a solid backup plan.


There are several benefits of having 7 on 7 flag football play:

  • Allows for more players to play at once

  • Opens up additional possibilities for play formations

  • Allows mixing of player skill levels

  • Opportunity for more quarterback running plays

In typical 7 on 7 play, there is an additional offensive player role. Often one of the seven players plays as a lineman, whose role is to guard the quarterback from getting their flag pulled during the play. 

Safety pro-tip: It is important to note that in all 7 on 7 play the linesman position is a non-violent role.  Tackling is never acceptable in this role.

The remaining additional player often plays as a receiver. This allows for there to be a total of four receivers, often split on either side of the quarterback. The two receivers closest to the quarterback are called ‘slot receivers’ and the two further receivers are known as ‘wide receivers.

Positions in Flag Football


Football is the ultimate team sport. Every play is designed like a machine, with each individual doing their part to keep things running. If one person fails, the entire team could fail.  

It’s the same story whether you’re on offense or defense. Every football position serves a purpose, especially in flag football where you’ll find fewer players on the field. While tackle football consists of 11 players, SVFL NFL FLAG football teams compete 7 on 7. So, the positions in football differ depending on how many players there are. 

If you’re new to 7 on 7 flag football, this football positions 5 on 5 chart will help you get a better understanding of where each player starts on the line of scrimmage and what their role is on the field.  *SVFL plays 7v7, NFL Tournaments and some leagues play 5v5. 



What are the positions in flag football? In simple terms, flag football positions are essentially the same as tackle, but without the linemen. There are five players on the field in NFL FLAG football—for both offense and defense—with assigned roles. Here’s a basic overview of the football positions 5 on 5. 

Football offense positions:

  • Quarterback: The quarterback receives the snap and passes the ball or hands it off (they aren’t allowed to run with the ball after the snap).

  • Center: The center snaps the ball to the quarterback and then can run for a pass as a receiver.

  • Wide receiver: Depending on the play, some 5 on 5 teams field three receivers, or a couple receivers and a running back. The receiver runs designated routes to catch a pass (usually right and left receivers).

  • Running back: The running back takes a hand off and runs with the ball or throws it. They’re also eligible to receive a pass.

Football defense positions: 

  • Defensive back: The defensive back covers wide receivers, either man-to-man or zone. 

  • Safety: The safety stands further back from the line of scrimmage and is responsible for stopping opponents who get loose. 

  • Rusher: The rusher attempts to prevent the quarterback from passing the ball (must be at least seven feet off the line of scrimmage at the snap to rush the passer).

Flag football positions 7 on 7:

Keep in mind that there are many versions of flag football, including 6 on 6, 7 on 7, 8 on 8, and 9 on 9. So as the team size increases, so do the football positions. For example, flag football positions 7 on 7 use a combination of wide receivers, running backs and tight ends on offense, in addition to the quarterback and center. The number of each position depends on the coach’s strategy and whether limited contact is allowed on the field. 

On defense, players can also be assigned as linebackers, who line up behind the rusher, in 7 on 7. 


Players who have a well-rounded skill set make the most impact in an offensive football position. They can throw, catch, and quickly run complicated pass routes. They have the ability to read the field and know how to adapt their football position during a play to successfully advance downfield. Here are the offense football positions explained: 

Quarterback  - Think of the quarterback as the team’s offensive leader. This football position is responsible for calling the play or receiving direction from the coach and then communicating it to the rest of the team. In NFL FLAG football, every play begins with a snap to the quarterback, who then decides to hand it off or pass it. They’re a central part of the team as they touch the ball on every drive and are highly visible players. 


  • Good vision of the field 

  • Ability to read the defense 

  • Passing fundamentals, such as wind up, release, accuracy, and strength 

  • Quickness to avoid a defensive pass rush

  • Leadership skills and mental toughness under pressure 

Center - A center is responsible for snapping the ball to the quarterback and reading the opposing team’s defense. This football position differs the most compared to its tackle counterpart. The center actually becomes a wide receiver after snapping the ball, so you’ll often find them running a pass route immediately after the snap. 


  • Proper coordination to accurately snap the ball to the quarterback to begin the play

  • Quick reflexes 

  • Ability to read the defensive team while clearly communicating with the quarterback

  • Similar skills as a receiver: Ability to sharply increase speed and take off downfield for a pass, correct technique to grip the ball and successfully catch a pass

Wide receiver - The wide receiver’s main job is to catch a pass from the quarterback or another player and advance down the field or score. They’re constantly running precise and often complex pass routes to try and get themselves in a position away from their defender to receive a pass. In flag football, teams typically have two to three wide receivers on the field at once. 


  • Speed and stamina go a long way for wide receivers as they’re always trying to outrun the other team 

  • Ability to run specific and complex pass routes

  • Good hands and athleticism to catch difficult passes (acceleration, strength, jumping) 

  • Clearly communicates with quarterback  

Running back - This position in football is responsible for carrying the ball during a running play. The center lines up in the backfield and after the ball is snapped, they move forward to receive a hand-off from the quarterback and run with the ball to advance down the field. If they don’t receive the ball from the quarterback, they can become a receiver as well. Running plays are not permitted within five yards of the midfield or end zone in NFL FLAG football, so this football position typically adapts their role to the play more often than others. 


  • Quick feet and acceleration are key traits of a good running back

  • Multifaceted player who understands fundamentals and can fill in where they’re needed most 

  • Similar skills as a wide receiver: Good hands and athleticism to catch difficult passes (acceleration, strength, jumping) 


Since there’s no contact in flag football, such as tackling or blocking, defense looks a little different. Instead of linemen, there are five defensive football players who typically take on one of two positions: a defensive back or rusher. But all flag football defensive positions have the same objective: to prevent the offensive team from scoring. Here are the defensive football positions explained. 

Defensive backs - A defensive back’s primary goal is to defend wide receivers and intercept the incoming pass or pull the flags off the ball-carrier’s belt. These positions in football can play either man-to-man or zone, depending on the coach’s strategy and league rules. 


  • Quick and agile to defend opposing players 

  • Mental sharpness to read the field and react to a passing play vs. a running play 

  • Ability to react to the ball and intercept the pass

  • Technique to properly pull the ball-carrier’s flags off: correct alignment, stance, and movement 

Rusher - Rushing the passer is an important role on defense as it prevents the quarterback from completing the pass. The rusher starts seven yards behind the line of scrimmage at the snap and the quarterback has a seven-second pass clock to throw the ball. Bottom line: The quicker the rusher gets to the quarterback, the more opportunities the defensive team has to force mistakes and intercept the pass. 


  • Speed and acceleration, with the ability to come under control once they are within distance of the quarterback to remove the flag(s)

  • Technique to properly pull the ball-carrier’s flags off: correct alignment, stance, and movement

Safety - Some flag football teams will play with a safety on their defense, although this is more commonly found in 7 on 7 leagues. This player sits further back behind the line of scrimmage and acts as a catch-all, stopping anyone who gets loose. If an offensive player makes it out of a running play, or a wide receiver goes deep, the safety covers and prevents the ball-carrier from scoring. 


  • Ability to read the field and play, while making game-time decisions on where coverage is needed 

  • Speed and acceleration 

  • Technique to properly pull the ball-carrier’s flags off: correct alignment, stance, and movement

Defensive positions in football have three main responsibilities: to read the play, see the ball and “tackle” the ball-carrier by removing their flag(s). Even though players aren’t physically tackling their opponents, many of these defensive skills directly transfer over to tackle football.  For example, the way that flag football players are required to square up their body and align their head and knees with their opponent before pulling off their flags is the exact same positioning needed to physically tackle a player. That’s why coaches are adamant about teaching proper technique, as these fundamentals are necessary among every position in football.



Football, as we know it, is changing. The way the game used to be taught and played is different from what’s happening today. Player protection and injury prevention are front and center, causing a major culture shift within the sport. Leagues across all levels are adopting new technology, regimes and regulations in an effort to reduce the risk of injury, as researchers continue to focus on the impact of sustained contact in youth sports.

To help parents better understand what’s changed, we’ve highlighted the key developments in football safety awareness.  

Limiting Contact in Practice

In 2015, theJournal of the American Medical Association (JAMA)released a study that found concussions are more likely to occur during a tackle football practice rather than a game, with the reason being that there are simply more practices than games. So, to better protect players,leagues across the countrybegan to decrease the amount of person-to-person contact that occurred during practice.

One studyin particular followed a group of high school football players withinthe Wisconsin Interscholastic Athletic Association. After new rules and restrictions were passed defining and limiting the amount of contact allowed in practice, the rate of sports-related concussions decreased by 57 percent.

New Rule Changes

To eliminate potentially risky behavior that could lead to injuries,the NFL, theNational Federation of High School Sports (NFHS)and athletic associations alike have changed several football rules, banning certain drills and enforcing new penalties.

For example, full-contact drills, such as theOklahoma drill, blindside blocks, pop-up kicks, clipping, and targeting are no longer allowed. Additionally, many schools have implemented their own safety precautions by limiting the amount of players on the field and in pads during practice, as well as eliminating contact in two-a-day practices.

Coaches and players also receive mandatory training in concussion recognition and management to increase football safety awareness. In fact,concussion reoccurrences across 20 different high school sports have declinedover the last decade, likely as a result of better protocols in concussion management.

Teaching Proper Technique

Across all levels of football, coaches are teaching a new way to tackle. Certain coaches used to teach players to put their heads in front of the ball-carrier when making a tackle, essentially using their head as an extra limb to prevent their opponents from moving forward.

Today, coaches are employing new strategies that reduce the risk of head injuries, even at the professional level. For example, the Seattle Seahawks teach “Hawk tackling,” which is a rugby-style method that focuses on using your shoulder for leverage while hitting the ball-carrier’s thighs. And in youth football, players learn to wrap and roll instead of going in head first.

Even more, theNFL Way to Playis an educational initiative designed to demonstrate proper technique, explain fundamental concepts and share best practices. Football safety efforts are also being implemented in flag leagues where to successfully remove their opponent’s flags, players must square up, bend their knees and align their head exactly as they would in tackle football.

As we continue to learn from research—somestudieshave found adverse mental health and cognitive functions associated with tackle football, whileothers haven’t—parents and guardians should feel empowered to promote conversations around football safety.

Parents should inquire about their league’s strategies in preventing injuries. Understanding the ways in which a program is trying to protect its players, coupled with reading the emerging research, can help parents and guardians make informed decisions.

Equipment and Uniform

The registration of your player includes (to KEEP) 
NFL reversible performance jersey 
NFL Shorts 
Flag Belt and Flags 

Please provide for your player these required items 
Mouth Guard 
Cleats (NO METAL) 

Optional items your player might like 
Football Gloves 
Warm Gear or Cold Gear such as legging or under shirts 
Arm or leg sleeves 
Sports sunglasses
Protective headgear

Not Allowed to be worn 
Baseball style hats
Shorts or pants with pockets 
Exposed chains or hanging earrings 
Watches or Jewelry on arms 

Uniform rules for game day
"Away" team wears white side of jersey
Jerseys must be tucked in and not hang below the flag belt
Flag belts must be sung to the body with  a flag on the right and left hip 
Flags are NOT to be cut 
The excess pull of the belt must be tapped, tied or tucked in
Players will not be able to play without a mouth guard 

For your young players please take the time prior to practice  and the game to help your player secure  flags and extra special care for tying shoe laces.

Southington Valley Midget Football League

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Plantsville, Connecticut 06479
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