General Question

MrItty's avatar

Can anyone explain, in laymens terms, what the following football penalties are?

Asked by MrItty (17381points) November 23rd, 2008

encroaching, illegal motion, offside, false start

Observing members: 0 Composing members: 0

11 Answers

aanuszek1's avatar

Encroachment-When the defense comes across the line of scrimmage and actually touches an offensive player before the snap, encroachment is called.

Illegal Shift-A player can not make a motion as if they play were live if they are simply changing their position. Once a player shifts his position he must not make a movement for at least a second before the ball is snapped. More than one player may be shifting at once as long as all get set.

Illegal Motion-Similar to illegal shift except the player does not come to a stop. Also, only one player is allowed in motion and the motion must be parallel to the line of scrimmage.

Offside-Each team must be lined up on their line of scrimmage and can not be lined up in the neutral zone when the ball is snapped. The neutal zone is the area between the front and back of the ball.

False Start-A false start occurs when an offensive player moves before the ball is snapped. This penalty is not called if a player is in motion, but that player must either be moving parallel to the line of scrimmage ( a receiver in motion ) or set before the snap to not be in violation. Motion is a common tool used by coaches to try to free up a receiver, or confuse a defense and is simply a player changing their position on the field before the snap. Only receivers, running backs, and the quarterback may be in motion.

Bluefreedom's avatar

Encroaching – If a defensive player or players come across the line of scrimmage and actually touch an offensive player before the snap.

Illegal Motion – When two or more offensive players are moving at the same time before the snap.

Offside – Each set of team members have to stay lined up on the scrimmage line with no one inside the neutral zone before the ball is snapped. The neutal zone is the area between the front and back of the ball.

False Start – When a player goes past the line of scrimmage without touching someone before the ball is snapped.

aanuszek1's avatar


aanuszek1's avatar

Just saying, you know, seeing as you just kinda copy-and-pasted my answer, formatting and all.

Bluefreedom's avatar

Wrong answer. Several of my explanations are distinctly different and more easily understood than yours. Nice try though.

chutterhanban's avatar

For a random further clarification, offsides is called on the defense and false start on the offense.

MrItty's avatar

aanuszek1, thanks very much for that Great Answer.

I meant to also ask abotu “Neutral Zone Infraction”? How would that be different than offside or encroaching?

aanuszek1's avatar

neutral zone-length of the football from one tip to the other when it is spotted (i.e. placed on a certain spot) on the field during a “normal” down and the area between the two free kick lines during a “kick” down.

neutral zone infraction- occurs whenever a defender enters the neutral zone, causing the offensive player in close proximity to react immediately (move)

If that makes any sense :)

MrItty's avatar

Thanks again!

aanuszek1's avatar

No Problem :)

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