5 Best Flag Football Plays You Can Utilize in Your Game

In flag football, almost all the standard offensive and defensive formations you’re accustomed to seeing in tackle football don’t apply. Players are confined to specific zones on the field known as ‘pads’. This means you cannot have more than five players on either side of the ball at any given time. The result is a fast-paced game that requires great communication between teammates as well as a high level of strategy. So knowing the best flag football plays can help you and your team win big.

Understanding what your team can and cannot do is key to success. Each team has its own set of strengths and weaknesses. But an experienced squad will know how to use those attributes effectively in order to come out victorious. 

In this blog post, we’ll take a look at 5 plays that would be perfect for flag football! You can employ these plays if you take part in our South Florida flag football games.

Here are the 5 best flag football plays you can do:

The Screen Pass

Screen passes are a really effective way for a flag football team to get a receiver open in the middle of the field. Make sure you have your linemen set up to block for the running back. But leave your guards and center uncovered to allow them to pass protect for the quarterback. 

The running back will take a slight angle towards the outside of the field. Then flatten out his path towards the middle of the field in order to set up the screen for the wide receiver. The receiver will then use his speed to beat his defender to the spot where the ball is set up to be caught. This play is particularly effective against aggressive defensive schemes which allow the defensive players to get upfield quickly in an effort to force a turnover.

Hook and Ladder

The hook and ladder is a play that would be a huge success in flag football. With this play, you’ll take one of your wide receivers and put him on the inside of the field. This wide receiver will run a sort of ‘out’ route. But instead of cutting towards the outside of the field, he’ll cut towards the inside. 

The outside receiver will then run a ‘hook’ route towards the sideline, aiming for the outside edge of the field. Your inside receiver will then ‘ladder’ back towards the inside of the field, looking for the ball near the center. The quarterback will throw the ball to the inside receiver. Then the outside receiver will look to head towards the sideline to get out of bounds, giving his team a big gain. This play is particularly effective against zones but can be used against man coverage as well.

Double Post-out-and-up

This play is similar to the hook and ladder. It involves two receivers running routes towards the inside of the field. However, instead of one receiver running a hook route and another running a ladder, both receivers will run post routes towards the inside of the field. 

The quarterback will take his drop and then look to his two inside receivers to see which one is open. Once he makes his decision, he’ll throw the ball to the open receiver. The latter will look to get out of bounds, gaining as many yards as possible. This play would be particularly effective against a zone defense, as it’s tough for defenders to properly defend two routes at once.

Hail Mary Pass

This play would be one that would occur at the end of the game when you’re trying to score as many points as possible. The Hail Mary pass is exactly what it sounds like – the quarterback will throw the ball as high as possible towards the end zone with very little accuracy. If the ball is caught, the receiver will then try to fight for as many yards as possible, as the defense will be very unlikely to chase him down. 

This play requires a lot of luck. But if it works, it’ll be one of the most exciting plays in all of flag football. It is particularly effective against a man’s defense, as it’s tough for defenders to properly defend the end zone if the ball is high enough.

The Strategic Delay of Game

This is a trick play that you would want to run when one of your players fakes an injury in an attempt to stop the clock. The player who is faking the injury will then hustle off the field, signaling for the team’s medical staff to come out and assist him. 

Once the team’s medical staff has brought out a stretcher and is tending to the ‘injured’ player, the quarterback will walk towards the medical staff, take the football from them, and then walk back towards the referee to inform him that the team is delaying the game and will be running a play. 

The referee will then put a delay of game penalty on the team, and the team will then be able to run a play before the clock runs out. This play would be particularly effective against an aggressive team that doesn’t want to waste time out of the 2-minute warning.

Playing Flag Football in South Florida

South Florida is a hotbed for all kinds of folks, from artists to professional athletes. And with so many people living and playing here, there are plenty of opportunities to get active, meet new people, and try new activities. Even if you’re not into the smash-mouth nature of traditional football—or even other types of flag football—you can still enjoy the game in smaller form by playing it as a recreational sport.

As an organized league activity that involves throwing flags onto a man instead of tackling him, flag football is great fun for adults who want to stay active while minimizing injuries and risks.

If you want to play flag football in South Florida but don’t know where to start, check out South Florida Flag Football Association (SFFFA). We are a 9-on-9 competitive flag football league located in Hollywood, Florida. 

Itching to play some football? Call us here: ​​(888) 778-1386.

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"Always put God first"
Shannon Knowles
Founder | SFFFA
South Florida Flag Football Association