Flag Rugby is a fun, all-inclusive way to introduce young children to the fundamental skills of rugby with a big emphasis on having fun! No experience needed to play and all are welcome to come try it out! Flag Rugby substitutes a traditional “tackle” with a flag. Flag Rugby is perfect for new players!

Click below to jump ahead to check out some of the rules and referee signals for flag rugby!


To carry the ball into the opposing team’s try zone and ground the ball, scoring a try (5 points).

Size of Field
The size of the field is adjusted for the age and ability of players. The average size is 40 yards wide x 60 yards long

Time of Game
Grades 6 and Under – Two 10 minute halves
Grades 7-8 – Two 12 minute halves

Equipment Used
Each player will wear their uniform, flag belt, and shoes. Mouth guards are not required, but can be used. All games are played with a size 4 rugby ball.

Scoring Points
Players score points by touching the ball down to the ground in their opponent’s try zone. Players must be in control of the ball when doing this. All tries are 5 points.

Number of Players
Girls Rugby teams are made up of 5-7 players.


All Girls Rugby games are non-contact using flag belts to replace tackling.

Players pass once a flag is pulled. Unlike American football, a flag pull does not stop the game. Players are allowed no more than 3 steps following a flag pull and must pass the ball within 3 seconds.

All passes in rugby are backwards or lateral.

Restarts are free passes – Restarting the game after a small infringement like a forward pass, dropping the ball forward, or going out of bounds will result in a free pass being awarded to the other team.

For older age groups, restarts can include uncontested scrums and uncontested lineouts.

Foul play will be penalized. Foul play could include the following:

  • Obstruction, Blocking, Fending – preventing the defense from pulling a flag will be penalized.
  • Stripping the ball – Players cannot strip the ball from the ball carrier.
  • Intentional contact – Flag rugby is meant to be non-contact. Any intentional contact will be penalized.
  • Failure to release – If the ball carrier does not pass within 3 seconds after having their flag pulled, it will be penalized.

All penalties will result in a free pass to the non-offending team.

Image: Player fending off flag pull. Aka Flag Guarding

An advanced concept of rugby is called ‘advantage’. This rule comes into play after an infringement of the rules occurs. Although advantage can be found in many places during a regular game of rugby, for Girls Rugby, this applies mostly with dropped or fumbled passes. There are three game scenarios in which we apply the advantage rule.

Game Scenario Advantage Rule
A pass is dropped and fumbles forward and picked up by the defense. Allow the defense to pick up the ball and play on without blowing the whistle.
A pass is dropped and fumbles forward and picked up by the offense. Turnover to the other team. Restart play with a free pass.
A pass is dropped and fumbles backwards. In this case, the ball was not advanced forward. Either team can pick up the ball and play on without blowing the whistle.


Image: Referee signal for Advantage



A referee will blow their whistle and hold their arm straight up in the air with an open palm. This indicates a try has been successfully scored.


This arm out indicates that an advantage is being played. The referee will not blow their whistle unless an advantage is not gained and play will need to restart. If their arm drops, that indicates an advantage has been gained.


A referee will blow their whistle and point his/her arm in a 45 degree angle towards the team being awarded the restart after a penalty.


The ball has been knocked or dropped forward. No advantage has been gained. The referee will blow their whistle and move their arm back and forth in front of their face, indicating a knock-on.


The ball has been passed forward. The referee will blow their whistle and move their arms forward in a 45 degree angle, indicating a pass forward.