We play in a 7v7 leage, 4th grade boys. We had one last game left, but the other coach couldn't get enough kids, so we delayed a week and had an unofficial game; i.e., no refs. I talked the other coach into experimenting with kicking. Here are our results, and "lessons learned".
We did kickoffs only, 1st and 2nd half, and after scoring. No punting. The rules were (safety first):
- kicking team takes a knee and let's the designated kicker kick.
- if the receiving team catches the ball, it's down at that point
- if the receiving team muffs the catch, it moves back 5 yards
- if the ball lands on the ground, the receiving team has to let it roll. That's the starting point.
- touchback brings the ball out to the normal 15 yard starting point
- the coach can, if he wants to, declare a normal virtual kick, where the ball is placed on the 15 yard line to start
We had a total of about 8 kicks (start of the halves and 6 TDs). Of the ones I remember, two kicks were caught. One was right on the normal 15 yard line and one was short, so the kid ran up about 5 yards and caught it. One kick sailed past the end zone for a touchback. One kick (we were the receiving team) landed on the 1 foot line and bounced backward to the one yard line. Wow. The rest of the kicks were low and hit the ground short with a lot of momentum. Since they were short, they didn't roll into the end zone for a touchback. They weren't high kicks so they did not bounce backwards.
I would change two of our experimental rules if we did it again.
- if the receiving team outright catches the ball in flight, give them a 5-yard positive markoff (otherwise, there is not much benefit to catching the ball)
- remove the rule that says to let the ball roll if it hits the ground. They should be allowed to stop the ball, but not advance it.
All in all, the kids had a ton of fun kicking. We had a tee for the kicker. The kicking team took a knee, so they cheered on their kicker's effort. It was a new skill (kicking and receiving) learned by both teams.
Has anyone else here tried adding kicking to their flag football league rules? What did you see?
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