Football Icon

Football Challenge Flag

What is a challenge in football? The head coach can challenge an official if the ruling on the field was incorrect. Get ready to learn all about football challenges.


A challenge is way for the head coach to request instant replay review of the previous play.

Instant Replay

Instant replay is technology that officials use to review a previously recorded play. Instant replay allows officials to re-watch the down on video in slow motion and from various angles. Instant replay helps the referee to make a final decision.

Challenge Flags

To use a challenge, the head coach will throw a red flag called a challenge flag onto the field after the down ends.

Challenge Flag Rules

The rules of challenge flags in the NFL are:

  • Each team gets two (2) challenge flags with instant replay per game
  • The head coach must throw it onto the field prior to the next snap
  • A timeout is used on a challenge
  • A timeout is restored if the challenge is correct
  • A challenge is given to a team if both challenges used are correct
  • Using a challenge with no timeouts results in a loss of 15 yards from the line of scrimmage

Search Results