Line of scrimmage

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View along the line of scrimmage - it runs from the referee's foot over the tip of the ball to the referee on the other side of the field

The line of scrimmage (roughly translated as crowds line ) is an imaginary line in American football and Canadian football , which runs parallel to the goal line from sideline to sideline and must not be exceeded before the start of a turn. It does not have a fixed position on the field, but is determined anew with every move.

There is one line for offense and one for defense . In between there is the neutral zone , which must not be injured by any player except the center with the hand holding the ball during a snap . The neutral zone is ten yards wide for kickoffs and other non-scrimmage kicks . For downs from the line of scrimmage, that is, if the play begins with a snap, its width in American football corresponds exactly to the length of the football (approx. 11 inches or 28 cm). in Canadian football it is one yard, in flag football it is three yards.

View along the line of scrimmage (small piece left of the 10-yard line) in a game in college football

The line of scrimmage is also important for forward passes and kicks (kickoffs and punts ). These are only legal if they are executed by the offense and the executing player is not already beyond the line of scrimmage at the throw / kick.

If the quarterback or another suitable imaging player behind the line of scrimmage tackled is called the bag , at a ball carrier or scavengers tackle for loss (TFL).


  • Stephan Faust, Markus Hederer (Red.): American Football. The official rules. Interesting facts from A to Z. Falken, Niedernhausen / Ts. 2000, ISBN 3-8068-1673-5 .

See also

Individual evidence

  1. ^ Line of Scrimmage. What is Line of Scrimmage?, accessed January 10, 2018 (American English): "There are actually two lines of scrimmage in a football game: one for the offense and one for the defense. The difference between the two lines is approximately the length of a football and is referred to as the "neutral zone". "
  2. Someone trolled Chiefs fans with a crafty edit to the Wikipedia entry for 'neutral zone'. Retrieved January 23, 2019 .
  3. ^ 5 Canadian Football League Rules the NFL Should Consider. Retrieved January 23, 2019 .
  4. Jump up ↑ Flag Football. (PDF) Accessed January 23, 2019 .