Youth Age Group Rules Toolkit

BAFA have created a bite-sized rules toolkit for each age group of Youth Flag, designed to be viewed online or printed as double sided cards for your convenience. This should make it easy for coaches and team managers to check the rules at a glance.

Click the link below to view:



For further clarification please read below:


Pitch Size

This change has been brought in to reflect the needs of the age groups as a whole, not just the experienced players. For U14, whilst experience players may be used to a 25 yard width pitch, an 11 year old, who may be physiologically underdeveloped and is starting for the first time, may not be comfortable with a playing width so wide. The playing experience for the player is the most important reasoning here. As a minority sport the needs of new and young players cannot be sacrificed for the benefit of experienced players – this is paramount in growing the sport nationally.


With regards to markings on the field, as stated in the 2021 Season pack, it is not essential to have pitches marked out in paint. To mitigate this teams are welcome to mark out a U17 pitch in paint and when U14s play on that pitch use cones to shorten the width.


Ball Size

Player’s choice depending on their hand size. To develop throwing ability the ball thrower should be allowed the choice of using a ball that they are comfortable throwing.



No blitzing at U11 to promote and develop passing skills of young players.


On Field Celebrations

Flag Football should be fun for young children. They shouldn’t be penalised for being happy when they do something good. For U14s and U17s small celebrations are permitted on field such as high 5s, jumping etc, however not excessive – keeping in line with rules of previous years. Players are welcome to celebrate as normal on their respective sidelines.


Celebration guide below:


Celebration Do’s & Don’ts (ON THE FIELD)


U14 & U17


High 5s, cheering, jumping up and down, short dance (10 seconds max)

High 5s, cheering, jumping up and down

Not permitted

Taunting, excessive celebrating (dancing for too long etc)

Taunting, dancing, excessive celebrating


Everything is permitted except taunting.

Everything is permitted except taunting.



Coach on field before play

For U14s and U17s coaching support is still available on the sideline. In previous years for Youth Flag matches coaches were not allowed to be on field, and this a continuance of the same rule. Only Cadets were allowed coaches on field, and that rule is still in place for U11s.


Play Clock

U11s may not be ready to manage a play clock just yet.



To promote learning the rules for U11s, referees should explain to the player what they did wrong and how to correct it, then allow them to re-do the down.



No need to run up the score and keep a record of it at U11. Game time remains the same to ensure players still have the same time to play on field.

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