Football Penalties – The Basics For All Fans

Football is now the most watched sport in the United States. Its fan base has been steadily growing for decades now, and the National Football League championship, the Superbowl, is the most watched television program of the year. It is surprising, however, how many fans do not know any more than the most basic rules of Football. There are a myriad of possible penalties in the game, but several are much more common and therefore more important for all fans to be aware of. Here are some of the most common along with their descriptions and why they are significant.

False Start

The false start is the most common penalty in both College and Professional Football. A false start occurs when an offensive player makes a move before the snap and after taking a set position. The amount of movement required to trigger a false start penalty can be as small as a few centimeters, however, offensive linemen are held to a much higher standard that wide receivers as they have a higher UFABET ราคาพูล influence on the defense in signaling the start of the play. The false start results in a penalty because defensive players could be tricked into crossing the line of scrimmage before the snap.


The Off-sides penalty is triggered when a defensive player crosses the line of scrimmage prior to the snap. If the ball is snapped while the defensive player is in the neutral zone, the offense can gain a free play. If they are successful at gaining yardage, they can decline the penalty and take the gain on the play. If the play is broken up or a pass intercepted, the off-sides penalty will result in no loss of down and an additional five yard gain for the offense. If the player crossing the line of scrimmage contacts an opposing player, the penalty is called encroachment.


Holding is the act of grabbing or pulling an opposing player other than the ball carrier. Holding penalties are commonly called on offensive linemen while attempting to block incoming defensive players.


The facemask penalty is called on players that grasp the facemask portion of an opposing player’s helmet. This penalty can be called as an unintentional facemask, or a personal foul. The exception to this rule is for the ball-carrying player, who is allowed to push opposing players away by the facemask.