How To Play Touch Football

Learning how to play touch football is a great way to interact with family and friends. From a game in the schoolyard to a touch football game after Thanksgiving dinner tossing around the old pigskin is a lot of fun. Here’s how to play touch football so that you and your family and friends can take part in a great American tradition.

  • Football
  • Players
  • 10 yard rope
  1. Pick two teams for touch football. The great thing about touch football is that you don’t need 22 people to be on the field like a real football game. Select two teams with at least two people on each. If there is an odd amount of people, then select someone to be the automatic quarterback. That means that they’ll be the quarterback for each team so that the number of receivers and defenders are the same.
  2. Select the playing field surface. An open space of at least 50 yards is ideal so that the teams have enough space to move the ball down the field. Mark off two “end zone” lines by making a line in the dirt or marking them with an object.
  3. Determine how many touches makes a player down. There are a few variations on how to play touch football including the number of touches it takes to consider a player down, thus ending the play. The most common versions are one touch or two touches of the opposing player. Two touches allows the offensive player a little more mobility if the offense chooses running plays.
  4. Determine when the defense can rush the offense. Because there is no tackling in touch football, you need to determine when the defense can rush the quarterback and try to touch him down for a sack. Many people using a “ten count” or a “three Mississippi” count where the defensive players count those out loud before being allowed to rush the quarterback.
  5. Flip a coin to determine who gets the ball first. Rock, paper scissors will also do the trick if there are no coins around to play touch football.
  6. Kick-off and play touch football. Touch football games are usually played by a time limit or to a certain score. Determine what the end of the game will be for your game and start playing.
  7. Use four downs when you play touch football. Just like in a normal game the offense will have the ball for four downs. If they are unsuccessful securing a first down they may punt on fourth down or turn the ball over after they don't make a first down on fourth down. Use the ten yard rope along the sideline to determine if a first down was reached. Simply move it ten yards along with each first down.
  8. Complete the game when the limit is reached. Once time has expired or the max score has been reached the touch football game is over. Switch teams and start a new game or call it a day.


  • In touch football there is rarely field goal attempts unless playing on an actual field. A touchdown counts for seven points as there is usually not a point after attempt.
  • If you desire a point after attempt, after a touchdown is scored, give the ball back to the team that just scored and give them one play to get in the end zone from a few yards away
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