2021 NFL FLAG TOURNAMENT RULES

2021 will feature qualifying tournaments for NFL FLAG Championships at Pro Bowl and qualifying tournaments for FLAG Bowl at Super Bowl. Read details below and get your team ready to register!

NFL FLAG Regionals kick off at the Cleveland Browns Regional on May 1-2 with OPEN borders for any official NFL FLAG program to participate. This will be the ONLY NFL FLAG Super Regional of 2021 where borders are OPEN. Following this event, NFL FLAG Regionals will take place and spread out across the country, throughout the rest of 2021. All NFL FLAG Regionals are exclusive to official NFL FLAG participants ONLY and will adhere to regional border restrictions. NFL FLAG Regionals feed into NFL FLAG Championships at Pro Bowl.

NFL FLAG Open Tournaments:  For the first time ever, NFL FLAG will offer NFL FLAG Open Tournaments, where ANY player or team can participate with no border restrictions. Winners of NFL FLAG Opens will earn a full bid (registration cost only) to NFL FLAG Bowl at the Super Bowl. Alongside the NFL FLAG Open tournaments, NFL FLAG will sanction existing flag football tournaments. These sanctioned events are privately owned by individuals around the country who support NFL FLAG. Sanction tournaments will adhere to NFL FLAG guidelines and offer the winners half bid entry into the NFL FLAG Bowl at Super Bowl.  

NFL FLAG National Rankings: NFL FLAG will implement a ranking system for teams competing in the NFL FLAG Tournament Series. Teams will qualify for NFL FLAG national ranking points by participating in NFL FLAG Regionals or NFL FLAG Opens. Team rankings will be posted regularly on the NFL FLAG website and social media. Team rankings could affect the team seedings at both NFL FLAG tournaments.

All tournament covid guidelines outlined here are non-negotiable and will be enforced at every NFL FLAG event

NFL FLAG Cleveland Browns Super Regional

  • May 1 - May 2, 2021

  • Open region borders 

  • NFL FLAG participants ONLY 

  • Winners attend NFL FLAG Championships at Pro Bowl 

  • 2x NFL FLAG ranking points 

NFL FLAG Regional Tournaments

  • Spring-Summer Regionals (May-July) Fall Regionals (October-December)

  • Closed region borders 

  • NFL FLAG participants ONLY 

  • Winners attend NFL FLAG Championships at Pro Bowl 

  • 2x NFL FLAG ranking points 

NFL FLAG Open Tournaments

  • Open borders 

  • Open to any teams and participants (including Non-NFL FLAG) 

  • International teams welcome 

  • Winners attend NFL FLAG Bowl at Super Bowl 

  • 2x NFL FLAG ranking points 

NFL FLAG Sanctioned Tournaments

  • Open borders 

  • Open to any teams and participants 

  • International teams welcome 

  • Winners get half bid to NFL FLAG Bowl at Super Bowl 

  • 1x Ranking Points 

NFL FLAG Tournaments FAQ

Q: Are there multi-team discounts for NFL FLAG Tournaments? 

A: There are NO multi team discounts. 

Q: Is there any financial assistance for teams traveling to NFL FLAG Tournaments? 

A: All teams are responsible for their own financials for the Regional Events. 

Q: If an NFL FLAG Tournament is canceled due to weather, do I get a refund? 

A: If NFL FLAG cancels any event, all teams will be refunded the entry fee. 

Q: Is there a cap on the number of teams that can participate per age division? 

A: Yes, each event will be capped depending on the amount of field space, so don’t miss out and register early! 

Q: Will players be age verified at NFL FLAG Tournaments?  

A: Yes, participants must be age verified through the NSID Website. Onsite age verification will not take place under any circumstances. 

Q: What does “open borders” mean? 

A: “Open borders” applies to NFL FLAG Super Regionals. Any NFL FLAG program in the U.S. can attend the tournament, and you are not restricted to only your region. 

Q: What does “closed borders” mean? 

A: "Closed borders" means that any NFL FLAG program in the region can attend the event, and only teams from within that region are eligible to attend.

Q: If my team wins an NFL FLAG Regional, can we still participate in the NFL FLAG Bowl tournament series?

A: Yes, if you win an NFL FLAG Regional you will still be allowed to play in NFL FLAG Opens, but NFL FLAG Championship at Pro Bowl and the NFL FLAG Bowl are played on the same weekend at separate locations.

Q:  If we win both the NFL FLAG Regional and Open, can we play at the NFL FLAG Championship and the NFL FLAG Bowl tournaments?

A: Yes, you can play in both. However, the NFL FLAG Championship will be played in Las Vegas, NV and the NFL FLAG Bowl will be played in Los Angeles, CA on the same weekend. The only way you could make this work is splitting your roster in half to attend both tournaments.

Q: Will a registration refund be issues if a team needs to pull out of a tournament?

A: No, refunds will not be issued if a registered team decides that they can no long participate in the tournament.

Q: What is age verification? Do I have to complete this step?  

A: Age verification is confirming the appropriate age of each athlete ensuring that no documents are being altered or falsified. Every player is required to do age verification.  

Q: How do I get my athlete “age verified”? 

A: Once you’ve accepted your athlete’s roster invitation and completed registration, you will receive a confirmation email with a link to National Sports ID (NSID). By clicking this link, you will be able to register your child through NSID to receive their ID number. There is a $10.00 cost to be age verified. 

Q: What documents do I need to get my athlete age verified?  

A: A birth certificate or passport or state id may be used. All participants are required to upload school documents, like a report card or progress report as well. 

Q: Does getting my athlete age verified cost money?  

A: Yes, the age verification process costs $10.00. Once your child is age verified, they will not need to be re-verified for another tournament this year.  

Q: My athlete is playing in more than one tournament. Do I need to pay for age verification each time?  

A: No. You will only need to pay for the age verification process once and your athlete is eligible to participate in any NFL FLAG tournament this year. When you register for another tournament, be sure to log into NSID with the same log in email to make sure you are using the correct ID number for your athlete. If you have any questions regarding payment, please reach out to NSID directly at (EMAIL ADRESS)  

Q: My athlete is not showing as age verified. What do I do?  

A: There are a few reasons why your athlete may not be shown as eligible or age verified on their team roster.  

1) The submitted documents may still be under review. We do our best to check all documents  in a timely manner but want to make sure we’re reviewing each document carefully. Check back  in a day or two to see if your athlete’s status has changed.  

2) The documents submitted are illegible, or otherwise unusable.  

In either case, we encourage you to check your athlete’s status with NSID by reaching out to customer service at events@rcxexperiences.com 

Q: How do I invite players to my roster?  

A: Once you have created a team in LeagueApps, you will be able to add players by entering the parent email address. This will send an email to the parents of the player for them to accept. This will place the athlete on your roster.  

Q: How do I know my team is fully validated? 

A: On the dashboard of the coach/admin who created the team it will reflect that your team is fully validated.  

Q: Do head coaches and assistant coaches need to be background checked? 

A: Yes, all coaches will need to complete their background check and concussion certification through this (LINK)  

Q: How much does it cost to complete a coach background check/concussion certification? 

A: $20, the certification and background check will last you for 1 year. 

How to complete your team’s registration for an NFL FLAG tournament 

1. Find your event at nflflag.com/tournaments and click ‘register’. Registration for each event opens approximately 8 weeks prior to the first day of the tournament.  

2. A Coach, Assistant Coach, or Team Administrator will click the registration button for the age division in which their team is competing.  

3. Fill out the registration information. Once complete, you will receive a receipt of completion and a confirmation email with next steps. If you do not receive these emails, please reach out to events@rcxexperiences.com

4. Once your team is registered, you will be able to invite players and coaches to your roster. 

5. Players and additional staff will need to complete their registration information. They will also receive a confirmation email when complete.  

6. Once registration is complete in League Apps, both coaches clear a background check in Player’s Health, and all players are age verified, an NFL FLAG Tournament staff member will complete your team’s validation within League Apps. This may take up to two weeks following your registration.  

Once you complete your registration in League Apps, coaches will need to complete a background check and concussion protocol training.  

Coaches/Staff: Steps to complete background checks & concussion protocol training: 

  • A link to your Player’s Health portal will be sent to you in your confirmation email & sent to you by Player’s Health within a week of your registration being completed.  

  • If you have already coached in an NFL FLAG tournament this year, you will not need to get another background check. You may need to sign new waivers and/or complete concussion protocol training and will be prompted to do so.  

  • If you have questions regarding your background check, you may contact Player’s Health at support@playershealth.com.  

  • You MUST have a completed background check in order to coach at any NFL FLAG tournament.  

  • If you have any concerns about your background check, please reach out to our team at events@rcxexperience.com.  

Players: Steps to complete age verification through National Sports ID:  

  • A link to National Sports ID (NSID) will be sent via your registration confirmation email. 

  • Players will be prompted to fill out additional information to verify their age. 

  • You will not need to be added to a roster within NSID.  

  • If you have any questions regarding age verification, you can email the NSID team at admin@nationalsportsid.com 

 

NFL FLAG Regional Tournament FAQ

  • Teams registering for an NFL FLAG Regional must be from an NFL FLAG league. All players must be registered in the same NFL FLAG organization to be eligible. Teams will be verified, and league operators will be consulted to ensure that all teams are compliant.
  • The NFL FLAG Championships at Pro Bowl will always take place on the same weekend and in the same host city of that year's Pro Bowl
  • The only way to qualify for NFL FLAG Championships at Pro Bowl is by winning a Regional or Super Regional
  • Qualified teams will receive a full bid (registration cost only) to NFL FLAG Championships at Pro Bowl
  • NFL FLAG national rankings will be used to fill spots for the NFL FLAG Championships at Pro Bowl if qualified teams decide not to redeem their full bid entry
  • NFL FLAG Tournament Rule Book will be used
  • A roster must consist of a minimum 5 players and maximum 10 players. Maximum of 2 coaches are permitted. The league organizer must be able to prove that the player participated in their league.
  • All players MUST be registered in the same NFL FLAG organization to be eligible
  • Once a team qualifies the entire roster and head coach is FINAL. Edits may not be made to the rosters for the NFL FLAG National Championships at Pro Bowl.
  • A coach can only be rostered as “head coach” for 1 team in a tournament but can be rostered as “assistant coach” for infinite teams in separate age divisions in the same tournament. 
  • Qualified teams are not permitted to change age divisions for the NFL FLAG Championships at Pro Bowl. 
  • Players may only be on one roster. They cannot play in two NFL FLAG Regional divisions.  
  • Qualified players are ineligible to attend any other regional tournament in any division. 
  • Once qualified, the head coach is ineligible to coach in the SAME division at any other regional tournament. 
  • International teams are NOT permitted to attend NFL FLAG regional tournaments.
  • A qualified team MAY still attend an NFL FLAG Open or sanctioned tournament.
  • NFL FLAG Regional teams will be provided with NFL FLAG jerseys for each event, unless otherwise noted. 
  • If your 2020 Season was affected by Covid-19, and some players were not registered in the 2020 season, circumstances like these will be reviewed by our team to determine if that player is eligible to participate. We may ask the league organizer to prove that the player was registered with the program in 2019 season.
  • All teams will be put into a pool play format
  • Every team is guaranteed a minimum of (3) three pool play games. 
  • The top 50% of teams from pool play in each division will advance to a single elimination playoff bracket. 
  • All teams will be re-seeded according to the following criteria for bracket play: 
    • Overall Record 
    • Head-to-head 
    • Points Against 
    • Points For 
    • Coin Toss 
  • 8u Coed 
    • Birthyear 2012 or 2013 or 2014 
  • 10u Girls  
    • Birthyear 2010 or 2011 or 2012 
  • 10u Coed 
    • Birthyear 2010 or 2011 or 2012 
  • 12u Girls  
    • Birthyear 2008 or 2009 or 2010 
  • 12u Coed 
    • Birthyear 2008 or 2009 or 2010 
  • 14u Girls 
    • Birthyear 2006 or 2007 or 2008 
  • 14u Boys 
    • Birthyear 2006 or 2007 or 2008 
  • 17u Girls  
    • Birthyear 2003 or 2004 or 2005 
  • 12u Coed Recreational (Select Locations) 
    • Birthyear 2008 or 2009 or 2010 
  • 14u Coed Recreational (Select Locations) 
    • Birthyear 2006 or 2007 or 2008 

Participants must be age verified through the NFL FLAG digital platform. Onsite age verification will not take place under any circumstances. 

  • NFL FLAG Regional Tournament registration opens 10 weeks prior to the date of the event
    • $300 team registration fee 

NFL FLAG Open Tournament FAQ

  • The NFL FLAG Bowl will always take place in the same host city for that year's Super Bowl, the weekend before Super Bowl Weekend
  • Winning teams in each age division will qualify for the NFL FLAG Bowl at Super Bowl
  • Qualified teams from Opens will receive a full bid (registration cost only) to NFL FLAG Bowl at Super Bowl (Bids are not transferable)
  • NFL FLAG national rankings will be used to fill spots for the NFL FLAG Bowl if qualified teams decide not to redeem their Full Bid entry
  • NFL FLAG Tournament Rule Book will be used
  • A roster must consist of a minimum 5 players and maximum 10 players. Maximum of 2 coaches are permitted.
  • Any player or team is eligible for Open Tournaments
  • Once a team qualifies the entire roster and Head Coach is FINAL. Edits may not be made to the rosters for the NFL FLAG Bowl at Super Bowl
  • A coach can only be rostered as “Head Coach” for 1 team in a tournament but can be rostered as “Assistant Coach” for infinite teams in separate age divisions in the same tournament
  • Qualified teams are not permitted to change age divisions for the NFL FLAG Bowl at Super Bowl 
  • Qualified players are still eligible to compete in other Opens
  • International teams are permitted to attend NFL FLAG Opens
  • If you win an NFL FLAG Open, you are still able to compete in others Opens
  • There are no travel restrictions for NFL FLAG Opens
  • Jerseys will not be provided by NFL FLAG
  • Players may be on a maximum of two rosters, per individual tournament, but not in the same division
  • All teams will wear their own uniforms at NFL FLAG Open Tournaments 
  • 8u Coed 
    • Birthyear 2012 or 2013 or 2014 
  • 9u Coed 
    • Birthyear 2011 or 2012 or 2013 
  • 10u Coed 
    • Birthyear 2010 or 2011 or 2012 
  • 11u Coed 
    • Birthyear 2009 or 2010 or 2011 
  • 12u Coed 
    • Birthyear 2008 or 2009 or 2010 
  • 13u Coed 
    • Birthyear 2007 or 2008 or 2009 
  • 14u Girls  
    • Birthyear 2006 or 2007 or 2008 
  • 14u Boys  
    • Birthyear 2006 or 2007 or 2008 
  • 17u Girls  
    • Birthyear 2003 or 2004 or 2005 

Participants must be age verified through the NFL FLAG digital platform. Onsite age verification will not take place under any circumstances.  

  • All teams will be put into a pool play format
  • Every team is guaranteed a minimum of (3) three pool play games. 
  • The top 50% of teams from pool play in each division will advance to a single elimination playoff bracket. 
  • All teams will be re-seeded according to the following criteria for bracket play: 
    • Overall Record 
    • Head-to-head 
    • Points Against 
    • Points For 
    • Coin Toss 
  • NFL FLAG Open registration opens 10 weeks prior to the date of the event
    • $300 team registration fee 
  • All players on the roster must be registered with an NFL FLAG league to receive the NFL FLAG league discount (documentation may be requested)

NFL FLAG Sanctioned Tournament FAQ

Age Divisions: 8u, 9u, 10u, 11u, 12u, 13u, 14u Boys, 14u Girls, 17u Girls

  • Open borders 

  • Open to any teams and participants 

  • International teams welcome 

  • Winning teams in verified age divisions at NFL FLAG Sanction Tournaments receive a half bid entry (registration cost only) to the NFL FLAG Bowl at Super Bowl. You can combine your two earned half bids form a full bid. However, you are NOT allowed to transfer your bid to another team.

  • 1x ranking points 

AGE VERIFICATION 

  • In order to participate in an NFL FLAG Tournament, all athletes must be age verified through our 3rd party age verification partner, NSID.  

  • The age cutoff for all tournaments is January 1, 2021 

  • Once an athlete is age verified, they are eligible for any NFL FLAG Tournament 

  • The cost for an athlete to be age verified is $10 

  • If you qualify through a sanctioned tournament and ultimately make it to the NFL FLAG Bowl, you will still need to be age verified through NSID before participating. 

STAY TO PLAY 

  • All teams must book their hotel rooms through our partner HotelPlanner.com 

  • Please utilize the links sent to you via registration or on our website to book hotels 

  • When booking, you will be prompted to include your team name – please include the name that your coach used during registration 

  • All teams residing outside 75 miles from the event are required to use our hotel booking platform 

  • HotelPlanner.com will have the most competitive rates, with a variety of hotels and even includes Airbnb options (depending on location) 

BACKGROUND CHECKS 

  • All coaches are required to undergo a background check 

  • Coaches who do not complete the check, or who are not cleared will be unable to stand on the sidelines with their teams as a coach 

NFL FLAG/RCX reserves the right to remove a team from a tournament, or at any point during the registration process, if a team is caught cheating, or is otherwise non-compliant with any of the above requirements. The above tournament standards are non-negotiable. Failure to adhere to our guidelines and complete our compliance may result in immediate removal from a tournament, and/or exclusion from future events. If you are an NFL FLAG Team and you have failed to comply, or have shown a lack of integrity throughout any of our processes, the league you represent and its operations may also be at risk. 

COVID GUIDELINES

The following COVID-19 Guidelines are the result of careful consideration and planning by RC Experiences, NFL YHSFB staff & NFL Medical Advisory Committee’s health officials, who have experience outlining and implementing COVID-19 protocols, in order to ensure the safety of staff, participants and spectators NFL FLAG Events. Medical Committee members: Dr. Allen Sills, Jim Ellis, Robb Rehberg, John Mellody  

These guidelines include protocols for participants and spectators who plan to attend NFL FLAG events and will need access to the facility. In addition, there is detail regarding changes made to the structure and format of the event, and expectations regarding equipment usage & sanitization to maintain compliance with the standards. 

All guidelines outlined below are non-negotiable and will be enforced at every NFL FLAG event  

GENERAL GUIDELINES FOR ALL PARTICIPANTS AND SPECTATORS 

  • All attendees must sign our event waiver prior to attending the event. 

  • Do not enter the event if you, or anyone you live with, are exhibiting any signs of illness including sneezing, coughing, sniffles, fever, loss of taste or smell, or generally don’t feel well. 

  • If tournament staff believes that a spectator or participant should not be admitted due to symptoms or results of a health screening, they will be asked to leave, and the team may be asked to exit the tournament at RCX’s discretion. 

  • Tournament staff reserves the right to remove any participants or spectators who do not comply with COVID Guidelines. 

  • Masks are to be worn by all staff, spectators and coaches at all times. Players must always wear masks with the exception of game play. Players must wear masks when on the sideline and not competing. 

  • Temperature checks will be administered to all athletes and coaches each day of the event. 

  • If meals are distributed to athletes/coaches, the coach will be asked to pick up meals for their team. The meals will be pre-packaged and will be designated for each team. Coaches will be asked to social distance when picking up their meals and all staff assisting with distribution will wear gloves. 

  • Concession areas are required to have 6ft between people waiting in line and all tables must be 6ft apart. 

  • Bathrooms also should abide by social distancing rules, which will require space between people waiting in lines. 

SPECTATOR SEATING AND ADMISSION 

  • Only ten (10) players, two (2) coaches per team and referees can view the game from the field.  

  • Spectators may not congregate behind player benches, and must abide by social distancing guidelines, maintaining 6 feet of distance from other spectators. 

  • Spectators must be 30 feet (10 yards) from the field of play.  

  • All spectators are required to wear face masks.  

  • If possible, spectators should bring their own seating to the event to better maintain proper distance from other spectators.  

  • If possible bleacher seating will be removed. Spectators must maintain social distancing guidelines and remain 6 feet away from other attendees. 

  • If there are bleachers on site and there is access to them for spectators, we ask that all spectators remain within 6ft of each other to allow for proper social distancing. 

  • The sidelines of the fields must be clear of spectators so that athletes and coaches can maintain social distancing guidelines.  

GAME PROTOCOL 

  • On one full soccer/football field, there will be a maximum of three games at a time  

  • Games will be scheduled with 10-minute breaks in between to allow those to leave and others to arrive with minimal interactions.  

  • Schedules will be distributed in advance of all games with buffer times clearly marked. 

  • On turf fields, coaches and teams are not permitted to cross the 50-yard line to keep coaches and players sharing two fields from close interaction.  

  • Athletes and coaches from each team must be on opposite sides of the field.  

  • It is recommended that players/coaches bring their own chair to be spaced appropriately or stand on the sidelines. 

  • Teams will be prompted to enter and exit fields by tournament staff. Teams are asked not to congregate around the fields or in public areas when not participating in tournament play. 

  • Every time a coach, player or referee gets to the field to start a game they must sanitize their hands at designated hand sanitizing stations at each field 

  • At the pregame meeting and throughout the game, coaches and referees will not be allowed to shake hands or have any physical contact with each other.  

  • Players and coaches are asked to refrain from high fives or any other physical gestures of celebration.  

  • Eliminate huddles when possible.  

  • If the coach must meet with a player or the team, each member of the huddle must be 6 feet apart. 

  • We suggest each player should have QB wristbands containing plays/formations. Coaches should call the play number from the sideline.  

  • Players should refrain from picking up other players' flags off the ground. 

  • At the conclusion of the game, players will be asked to forego the sportsmanship line at the end of the game. Instead we are asking for each team to line up across from each other on their sideline and give a round of applause as a salute to the other team to promote sportsmanship.  

  • Game cards will not be signed. The coaches should confirm the score verbally with the official at the end of the game. 

EQUIPMENT 

  • All teams will be provided footballs and should use their own footballs when their team is on offense. 

  • You are to use the provided hand sanitizer and disinfectant wipes to be used before, during and after the games, and whenever appropriate, such as if/when coming into contact with the ball or any other players, coaches or shared equipment.  

  • Refrain from sharing equipment in general.  

  • Each team is responsible for disinfecting their flags with disinfectant wipes, after each game. 

  • Players should be discouraged from removing and re-inserting mouthguards while on the field. If a mouthguard falls out, players should be instructed not to re-insert it until it can be sanitized with clean hands.  

  • All players should bring a personal water bottle with their name on it to use during the game. There will be no communal coolers with Gatorade or water at the fields 

How to complete your team’s registration

1. Find your event at nflflag.com/tournaments and click ‘register’. Registration for each event opens approximately 8 weeks prior to the first day of the tournament.  

2. A Coach, Assistant Coach, or Team Administrator will click the registration button for the age division in which their team is competing.  

3. Fill out the registration information. Once complete, you will receive a receipt of completion and a confirmation email with next steps. If you do not receive these emails, please reach out to events@rcxexperiences.com

4. Once your team is registered, you will be able to invite players and coaches to your roster. 

5. Players and additional staff will need to complete their registration information. They will also receive a confirmation email when complete.  

6. Once registration is complete in League Apps, both coaches clear a background check in Player’s Health, and all players are age verified, an NFL FLAG Tournament staff member will complete your team’s validation within League Apps. This may take up to two weeks following your registration.  

Once you complete your registration in League Apps, coaches will need to complete a background check and concussion protocol training.  

Coaches/Staff: Steps to complete background checks & concussion protocol training: 

  • A link to your Player’s Health portal will be sent to you in your confirmation email & sent to you by Player’s Health within a week of your registration being completed.  

  • If you have already coached in an NFL FLAG tournament this year, you will not need to get another background check. You may need to sign new waivers and/or complete concussion protocol training and will be prompted to do so.  

  • If you have questions regarding your background check, you may contact Player’s Health at support@playershealth.com.  

  • You MUST have a completed background check in order to coach at any NFL FLAG tournament.  

  • If you have any concerns about your background check, please reach out to our team at events@rcxexperience.com.  

Players: Steps to complete age verification through National Sports ID:  

  • A link to National Sports ID (NSID) will be sent via your registration confirmation email. 

  • Players will be prompted to fill out additional information to verify their age. 

  • You will not need to be added to a roster within NSID.  

  • If you have any questions regarding age verification, you can email the NSID team at admin@nationalsportsid.com