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Line of scrimmage

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

American football line of scrimmage, before a play
American football line of scrimmage, before a play
Canadian football line of scrimmage, before a play
Canadian football line of scrimmage, before a play

In gridiron football, a line of scrimmage is an imaginary transverse line (across the width of the football field) beyond which a team cannot cross until the next play has begun. Its location is based on the spot where the ball is placed after the end of the most recent play and following the assessment of any penalty yards.

A line of scrimmage is parallel to the goal lines and touches one edge of the ball where it sits on the ground prior to the snap. Under NCAA, and NFHS rules, there are two lines of scrimmage at the outset of each play: one that restricts the offense and one that restricts the defense.[1] The area between the two lines (representing the length of the ball as extended to both sidelines) is called the neutral zone. Only the offensive player who snaps the ball (usually the center or long snapper) is allowed to have any part of his body in the neutral zone. For there to be a legal beginning of a play, at least seven players on the offensive team, including two eligible receivers, must be at, on or within a few inches of their line of scrimmage. (Beginning in 2019, high school football will allow as few as five players on a line of scrimmage, but in practice, the limits will remain the same since teams will still be limited to four persons behind the line of scrimmage; the difference would only come into play if a team plays offense with fewer than 11 players.)[2]

In American football, the set distance of the line of scrimmage between the offense and defense is 11 inches (28 cm), the length of the ball. In Canadian football, the set distance of the line of scrimmage is 1 yard (91 cm), more than three times as long as the American line.

Many fans and commentators refer colloquially to the entire neutral zone as the "line of scrimmage," although this is technically not correct. In the NFL rulebook, only the defensive-side restraining line is officially considered a line of scrimmage.[3] Referees, when explaining a penalty, will refer to "the previous spot" instead of the "line of scrimmage" to avoid confusion.

Modern video techniques[4] enable broadcasts of American football to display a visible line on the screen representing the line of scrimmage. The line is tapered according to the camera angle and gets occluded by players and other objects as if the line were painted on the field. The line may represent the line of scrimmage or the minimum distance that the ball must be moved for the offensive team to achieve a first down.

The line of scrimmage first came into use in 1880. Developed by Walter Camp (who introduced many innovations that are part of the modern game of American football), it replaced a contested scrimmage that had descended from the game's rugby roots. This uncontested line of scrimmage would set into motion many more rules that led to the formation of the modern form of gridiron football (although the Canadian rules were developed independently of the American game, despite their similarities).

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the offense segment of the football team is further divided into three main groups with specific positions within each group the three major groupings for the offense so the offensive line the receivers and offensive backs each group will have specific assignments it needs to accomplish for the offense to move the ball down the field and ultimately score by rule the offensive team must have seven players lined up on the line of scrimmage when the ball is snapped and the play begins the offensive line normally consist 25 players a center two guards and two tackles whose job is to block opposing players on all plays run by the offense offensive linemen are usually bigger and or stronger than the other offensive players and need good balance and quickness in a limited area it is difficult for any offence to have success without a well-coordinated efficient offensive line the five offensive linemen must line up on the line of scrimmage the center lines up over the ball in addition to blocking assignments the center begins every play by moving the ball to the quarterback either by direct snap or by a shotgun snap the two guards lineup on either side of the center the two tackles lineup one on either side of the two guards for teams that won the ball more than a pass the tight end may be considered part of the offensive line the tight end will line up on the line of scrimmage on the outside of the offensive tackle and be used primarily as a blocker the tight end may be smaller and have the ability to run pass routes and catch the ball the receivers group usually starts with one or two players a flanker and the split end whose job it is to block on running plays and to run proper pass routes and be able to catch and run with the ball often they will be asked to block linebackers or defensive backs rather than bigger defensive lineman the flanker will line up of the line of scrimmage and split away from the tight end when the receiver lines up as a wingback his alignment will be of the line of scrimmage and just outside the position of the tight end the wingback may be used as a ball carrier in some offenses the split end lines up on the line of scrimmage on the side of the field away from the tight end split out from the offensive tackle either the flanker or split end can become ball carriers when the offense runs a reverse play the offensive backfield will usually be made up of three players 1 quarterback who should be a good athlete smart understand the offense and be able to handle the pressure other position in addition there will be 1 fullback who must be able to block on both run and pass plays carry the ball especially running inside the offensive tackles and run some pass routes to catch the ball and one halfback or tailback whose primary assignment will be to carry the ball on many running plays run proper pass routes catch the ball and serve as a blocker the quarterback serves as the leader of the team calls the play formation and snap count in the huddle breaks the huddle brings the team to the line of scrimmage and at the line calls out the cadence to start the play he received the snap from the center and either hands the ball off to another player passes the ball to a receiver or runs with the ball the quarterback lines up directly behind the center to receive the ball or 4 yards behind the center if he's receiving a shotgun snap the full-back will line up behind the quarterback or directly behind one of the offensive tackles the halfback in line up behind one of the offensive tackles or behind the full-back in an i-formation

See also


  1. ^ Kirshner, Alex (2018-08-30). "The illegal formation rule is simple. Officiating it is tricky". Retrieved 2020-02-28.
  2. ^ "40-Second Play Clock, Postseason Instant Replay Among Football Changes"
  3. ^ "Football: Pre-Snap Violations and Rules". Retrieved 2020-02-29.
  4. ^ Sportvision 1st & Ten graphics system.
This page was last edited on 29 March 2020, at 22:53
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