ARTICLE 1. Ball Ready for Play
a. No player shall put the ball in play before it is ready for play. [S1]
Note: The officials shall stop every play when they are not ready to watch it and replay the down.
b. The ball shall be put in play within 25 seconds after the referee has declared the ball ready for play.
ARTICLE 2. Starting With a Snap
After the snapper touches the ball, the snapper may not lift the ball, move it forward or simulate the start of the snap.
Before the snap, the long axis of the ball must be at right angles to the scrimmage line.
A legal snap is handing or passing it backward from its position on the ground with a quick and continuous backward motion of the hand or hands and actually leaving the hand or hands in this motion. The snap need not to be between the snapper’s legs.
There is no minimum number of players at the line of scrimmage.
a. After the snapper touches the ball and before the ball is snapped all players must be inbounds and behind their scrimmage line.
b. No offensive player shall make a false start or make a movement that simulates the beginning of a play.
c. All players of the offensive team must come to an absolute stop and remain stationary in their positions for at least 1 full second before the ball is snapped or a motion starts.
d. When the snap starts, one player may be in motion, but not in motion toward his opponent’s goal line.
e. The quarterback cannot run with the ball past the line of scrimmage, unless he has released the ball and it has been returned to him.
f. When the ball is snapped on or inside the 5-yard-line going towards the opponent’s end zone (no-running-zone), the offense has to make a forward pass play. If the quarterback or runner get deflagged behind the scrimmage line before a forward pass play has happened, it is no penalty for a run play within the no-running-zone.
g. The quarterback has 7 seconds to throw or hand-off the ball after the snap. If this limit exceeded the ball becomes dead at the scrimmage line.
a. Before the ball is snapped all players must be inbounds and behind their scrimmage line.
b. After the ball is declared ready for play no defense player may touch the ball until after the snap is complete.
c. No player shall use words or signals that disconcert opponents when they are preparing to put the ball in play.
d. A maximum of 2 blitzers can ask for the right of way. If a blitzer is giving an invalid signal or if more than 2 players simultaneously keep their hand raised it is an illegal signal.
e. A player who is less than 7 yards away from his scrimmage line cannot raise his hand to simulate being a blitzer.
f. All blitzers are allowed to cross the scrimmage line while the ball is live and before the quarterback has released the ball. All other defensive players have to stay behind their scrimmage line until the ball has been handed off, faked handed off or passed from the quarterback.
ARTICLE 5. Handing the Ball
The Offense may hand the ball off multiple times behind the line of scrimmage.
a. No player may hand the ball to a teammate except an offense player who is behind his scrimmage line.
b. No snapper may receive a forward hand-off.
ARTICLE 1. Backward pass
A runner may pass the ball backwards provided they are behind the scrimmage line when they do so and it is prior to any change of possession.
ARTICLE 2. Complete Pass
Any pass or fumble caught by an eligible player touching the ground inbounds is completed and the ball continues in play unless completed in the opponent’s end zone or a teammate of the runner catches the fumble.
ARTICLE 3. Incomplete Pass
Any pass is incomplete if the ball touches the ground when not firmly controlled by a player. It also is incomplete when a player leaves his feet and receives the pass but first lands on or outside a boundary line. [S10]
When a forward pass is incomplete, the ball belongs to the passing team at the previous scrimmage line, this is the dead ball spot.
When a backward pass is incomplete, the ball belongs to the passing team at the spot of the last possession, this is the dead ball spot.
When a fumble hits the ground or is touched by a teammate of the runner (fumbler), the ball is dead and belongs to the fumbling team at the spot of the last possession, this is the dead ball spot.
ARTICLE 5. Illegal Touching
All inbound players are eligible to touch, bat or catch a pass. The quarterback is only allowed to catch a pass after it has been touched by another player.
No offense player who goes out of bounds by himself during a down shall touch a pass inbounds or while airborne.
If an offense player is forced out of bounds and immediately returns to the field of play or end zone, he is still eligible.
ARTICLE 1. Legal Forward Pass
A team may make one forward pass during each scrimmage down before team possession changes, provided the pass is thrown from a point behind the scrimmage line.
ARTICLE 2. Illegal Forward Pass
A forward pass is illegal:
a. If thrown by an offense player who is beyond the scrimmage line when he releases the ball.
b. If thrown after a runner has gone beyond the scrimmage line.
c. If it is the second forward pass by the offense during the same down.
d. If thrown after team possession has changed during the down.
ARTICLE 3. Pass Interference
Pass interference rules apply only during a legal forward pass play up to the point where the pass is completed or falls incomplete. Physical contact is required to establish interference.
Pass interference is contact that interferes with an opponent whilst the ball is in the air. It is the responsibility of the defensive players to avoid the opponents.
It is not pass interference when 2 or more eligible players are making a simultaneous and fair attempt to touch, bat or catch the pass. Eligible players of either team have equal rights to the ball.
Note: Contact on a pass play before the pass has been thrown or if the pass does not cross the scrimmage line, is a contact foul (R 9-1-1).