Line of scrimmage


Line of scrimmage

In American and Canadian football a line of scrimmage is an imaginary transverse line crossing the football field across its narrower dimension, 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 NFL and NCAA rules, there are actually two lines of scrimmage at the outset of each play: one that restricts the offense and one that restricts the defense. The area between the two lines (representing the length of the ball as extended to both sidelines) is called the "neutral zone". Only the center, the offensive player who snaps the ball, is allowed to have any part of his body in the neutral zone. In order for there to be a legal beginning of a play, a certain number of the players on the offensive team, including certain eligible receivers, must be at, on or within a few inches of their line of scrimmage.

In Canadian football the team on defense must line up no nearer than a yard to the line of scrimmage. In American football they must only be beyond the line.

Many fans and commentators refer colloquially to the entire neutral zone as the "line of scrimmage," although this is technically not correct. Others use the general term to refer specifically to the defensive line of scrimmage, since it is the line relevant to the measurement of progress toward the goal. Referees, when explaining a penalty, will refer to "the previous spot" instead of the "line of scrimmage" in order to avoid confusion.

Sportvision provides a product called 1st & Ten which allows broadcasts of American football to include a visible line which 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.

ee also

* Glossary of American football
* Comparison of Canadian and American football


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Look at other dictionaries:

  • line of scrimmage — ☆ line of scrimmage n. Football an imaginary line, parallel to the goal lines, on which the ball rests at the start of each play and on either side of which the teams line up …   English World dictionary

  • line of scrimmage — n a line in American football where the ball is placed at the beginning of a period of play …   Dictionary of contemporary English

  • line of scrimmage — noun uncount in football, an imaginary line between the two teams that passes through the ball to the two sides of the playing field …   Usage of the words and phrases in modern English

  • Line of Scrimmage — American Football Spielfeld Die Line of Scrimmage (übersetzt etwa als Gedrängelinie) ist die Linie, von der beim American Football die Spielzüge beginnen. Steht der Werfer der angreifenden Mannschaft, meistens der Quarterback, vor der Line of… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • line of scrimmage — noun line parallel to the goal lines where football linesmen line up at the start of each play in American football the runner was tackled at the line of scrimmage • Syn: ↑scrimmage line • Hypernyms: ↑line * * * noun [singular] American football …   Useful english dictionary

  • line of scrimmage — {n. phr.} An imaginary line on a football field parallel to the goal lines where each play except the kickoff begins. * /The play was stopped at the line of scrimmage./ …   Dictionary of American idioms

  • line of scrimmage — {n. phr.} An imaginary line on a football field parallel to the goal lines where each play except the kickoff begins. * /The play was stopped at the line of scrimmage./ …   Dictionary of American idioms

  • Line of scrimmage — Ligne d engagement Ligne d engagement avant l action de jeu. Dans le football américain, la ligne d engagement ou ligne de mêlée (anglais : line of scrimmage) est une ligne imaginaire, transversale au terrain de football sur sa largeur, qu… …   Wikipédia en Français

  • line\ of\ scrimmage — n. phr. An imaginary line on a football field parallel to the goal lines where each play except the kickoff begins. The play was stopped at the line of scrimmage …   Словарь американских идиом

  • line of scrimmage — line′ of scrim′mage n. spo an imaginary line on a football field, parallel to the goal lines, along which opposing teams face each other at the beginning of each play • Etymology: 1905–10 …   From formal English to slang


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