Basic offsides questions

Discussion in 'On The Field' started by VYFan, Jan 16, 2021.

  1. VYFan

    VYFan 2,500+ Posts

    So, if a receiver goes out wide to set up for play and accidentally steps over the line before stepping back onsides to set up, is that a penalty? Saw it called years ago, but now I see it happen but not called.

    Second, if the center pulls the ball back 3 or 4 inches as he grips it, which I see all the time, can the DL go right up to where the ball now sits, technically in the offense’s territory? Can the WRs still just be behind where the ball should be, or where is actually is?
  2. Horns11

    Horns11 5,000+ Posts

    For the first one, it's only a penalty if they line up offsides, get set, and don't move back onsides before the snap. You're always allowed to move backwards or laterally if the team keeps 7 on the LoS. I don't think I've ever seen a linesman flag offsides while they're setting up.

    On the 2nd, the neutral zone does not move. It's set before the C touches the ball. So if the DL moves forward, he's technically in an infraction area. WRs can be directly "on" the ball assuming the offense has 7 on the LoS.
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  3. VYFan

    VYFan 2,500+ Posts


    so, basically, if the center moves the ball back, the actual LOS stays the same. I have also seen centers appear to move the ball forward. Have you ever seen a ref either flag that or tell him to move it back?
  4. Horns11

    Horns11 5,000+ Posts

    No flags but plenty of umpires/refs at the HS level who tell the C to move it back. Especially in 3rd and short or some play where you know it's just going to be a smash mouth sneak or handoff.

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