Most announcers and fans dont know the proper terminology in football and dont understand what signals mean. One of the things I enjoy is training or officiating with new officials if your not on your toes you could make mistakes and look foolish. Here recently I had a guy tell me he had encroachment. My response was “on who?”. The look on his face was priceless and then he said to me “on the defense of course” I responded with “well I wasn’t sure since both can encroach”. After that this officials said “no, only the defense can encroach”. I then just smiled and signaled to the press box and we finished the game. That is what sparked my interests for writing this article. I thought I would go over a few definitions for football. I’ll follow up in December with basketball and then move on to baseball in the spring.

This is just a few definitions.

Encroachment – Following the ready-for-play and after the snapper has placed his hand(s) on the ball, encroachment occurs if any other player breaks the plane of the neutral zone. (this foul can be committed by either the offense or the defense, this foul is often called offsides which is not correct)

False Start – After the ball is marked ready for play and before the snap begins, no false start shall be made by any A player. It is a false start if:

a. A shift or feigned charge simulates action at the snap.

b. Any act is clearly intended to cause B to encroach.

c. Any A player on his line between the snapper and the player on the end of his line, after having placed a hand(s) on or near the ground, moves his hand(s) or makes any quick movement. (only the offense can commit this foul, this foul is often called illegal procedure and is not correct)

Block in the Back – Blocking in the back is a block against an opponent when the initial contact is in the opponent’s back, inside the shoulders and below the helmet and above the waist, and not against a player who is a runner or pretending to be a runner. (this foul is often confused when a player is hit on his shoulder which makes it a legal block, this foul can be committed by either the offense or the defense)

Blocking below the waist – Blocking below the waist is making initial contact below the waist from the front or side against an opponent other than a runner. Contact with an opponent’s hand(s) below the waist that continues into the body below the waist is considered blocking below the waist. Blocking below the waist applies only when the opponent has one or both feet on the ground. (this foul can be committed by either the offense or the defense, in the past if initial contact was with the hands then you could not have blocking below the waist. this season the rule was altered to include the hand contact if it is below the waist as well)

If there is any other questions or rules your not sure about just ask.