Capture the Flag

Developed by WAKA Social Sports 2012 all rights reserved.

Capture The Flag at a Glance

Capture the Flag is a game with 2 or 4 teams of 10 to 20 players attempting to steal their opponents flag(s) and return it to their home territory, all the while protecting their own flag. Players in opponents territory may be tagged and placed in jail. The team that successfully steals and returns more flags to their own territory than any other is the victor.

Playing Field

  • The field shall be established on any safe terrain suitable for play. Suitable terrain may be flat and unobstructed, such as a soccer field, or more rugged terrain, including any wooded area without significant ground cover, to allow safe running and pursuit. Field may have small obstacles, buildings and/or low fences, but they are not required. Temporary obstacles, such as inflatables or wooden blinds may also be used. Territories will be divided using cones placed no more than 10 paces apart. Field edges will be clearly defined by cones or other obvious demarcation (road, river, field paint, etc.).
  • The field will be divided into territories of even size, one per team.
  • A jail or detention area will be defined on the back left corner of each territory. This is where opposing players will be led and stay until tagged free by a member of their own team. Each jail will have at least one side of 20 feet or more facing the center of the field.
  • A Safety Area with a diameter of 16 feet will be defined around each flag's position.


  • Flags - any flag minimum 6 inch x 6 inch (Example)
  • The Safety Zone - 2 ropes 50 feet long - (clothes line quality). These are placed in a circle, with approximately a 16 foot diameter, around the flag once it is placed. 50 flag football belts - 1 per player (Example)


  • Games must be officiated by at least two authorized officials, one being designated the Head Referee. When available, at least three officials referee each game: a Head Referee, and 2 Territory Referees. The Head Referee governs all game play, issues all final rulings, and has final authority on equipment issues. Territory Referees officiate within a designated territory and assist Head Referee as directed.
  • Prior to each game, the Head Referee must conduct a meeting with the Captains of each team, to address any ground rules in effect, to ensure the exchange of team rosters, and to identify the designated Captains who will be authorized to discuss calls with the Referees during the game.
  • Referees have jurisdiction over play and may:
    • call a time-out;
    • call off a game due to darkness, rain or other cause at the Referee's discretion;
    • penalize a player, including game ejection, for any reason. This includes but is not limited to un-sportsman like conduct, fighting, delay of game and physical or verbal abuse. Ejected participants must leave the field area and may not return to the game.
  • Referees have jurisdiction over play and must:
    • cancel the game if lightning is seen, or delay it until safe to continue;
    • keep a record of the final game score.
  • Referees may make rulings on any points not specifically covered in the rules (at the time of occurrence), but the ruling shall not be deemed as a precedent for future rulings.


Player Eligibility

  • All participating players must appear on written roster, to be exchanged between the captains of each team before play begins.


  • Each game shall have two (2) to four (4) participating teams.
  • Each team must field at least eight (8) and no more than twenty (20) players.
  • Each team must be divided evenly into attackers and defenders.
  • Each team shall have one Captain and one Co-Captain (collectively “the Captains”) who are jointly responsible for the team. The Captains may discuss calls with the Head Referee, but must accept the Head Referee’s final ruling. Other players besides the Captains that dispute calls with the Referees are subject to ejection from the game.

Game Play

Regulation Game

  • Regulation games last 45 minutes.
    • In the event of a tie score at the end of the game, the game shall be marked as a tie.
  • A game that is called off by the Referee due to darkness or lightning after 25 minutes of play shall be considered a regulation game. Regulation games called off that end in a tie shall be marked as a tie.
  • A game that is called off by the Referee for any reason before 25 minutes of play shall not be considered a regulation game and a new game may be rescheduled.

Preparing for Play

  • Games may be played at night or at dusk, as the park permits. This makes it harder to find the opponents flag as well as adding an element of mystery.
  • Each team will place their flag at a location of their choosing within their own territory.
  • The flag will be be surrounded by a rope of at least 50 feet in length forming a circle of approximately 16 feet in diameter.

The Engagement

At the beginning of the game, and after each point is scored, all players start in their own territory. Play commences at the command of the Head Referee.

Attacking, Defending, and Tagging

  • Anyone going out of bounds from opponents territory goes to jail.


  • Defenders search for and tag the opposition within their territory. (Defenders will likely need to define precisely where they 'enter' a territory, such as placing at least one foot or other body part on the ground in oppositions territory.)
  • Tagging an opponent in your territory results in their capture, at which time they must go directly to the jail of their tagger.
  • When entering the opposition's jail, the tagged player should hold one hand in the air so other players recognize they are in jail.
  • Players may patrol the boundary of the safe area around their own flag but are not allowed inside their own safety territory.
  • If the flag is advanced (or moved) by the opposing team, but not taken back to their own territory, play will be paused and the flag zone boundary will be moved by the defending team, to form a circle at the flag's new location. A loud horn or whistle may be used to indicate pause and resumption of play.
  • No more than 3 defenders may protect the safe area. (what is the penalty for failing to do so, and how far away must the rest of the players remain?)
  • No more than 3 defenders may guard the jail. (what is the penalty for failing to do so, and how far away must the rest of the players remain?)

Capturing The Flag (Scoring)

  • Other team members, referred to as attackers, cross into the opposition territory to capture the opponents flag.
  • When a player penetrates the safe area and captures the flag, the opposition cannot tag him until he leaves the safe area.
  • If an attacker is tagged while in possession of the opposition's flag in opposition territory, play is halted, and the safe area is moved to the spot of the tag. The tagged player goes to jail. All other players return to their own territory and play restarts.

Jail Breaks

  • Opponents may tag a team member who is inside the jail to release her.
  • Jailed players may jog within the safe area.
  • Jail guards may not enter their own jail.
  • A tagged jail member receives a free pass to her side of the field. A freed player holds both hands above their head and walks to their own territory. They may not be tagged until they have been in their own territory.


  • A team scores a point when the flag is captured and carried into their own territory ('carried' is important. I don't know that we want it thrown into their own territory).
  • If teams capture the flag and return it to their own territory simultaneously, flags are returned to each side's most recent safe area and the game restarts.
  • Once a flag is captured, play is halted, teams place their flags at a location of their choosing, all players return to their own territory and play restarts at the command of the Head Referee.

Injury and Substitutions

  • In cases of injury or illness, a time-out may be requested for participant removal and replacement with a teammate as a substitute.
  • Injured players shall not play in the game.


  • The spirit of these rules is to ensure a fun environment and participant enjoyment. All games are to be played in a sportsmanlike manner. If necessary, the World Adult Kickball Association (WAKA) will address any inconsistencies, discrepancies, and misunderstandings in accordance with the spirit of these rules. These rules are maintained at and are subject to change without notice.