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* '''Roughing the passer''': A defensive player hits the quarterback after the ball has either been passed or handed off. There are three main ways this happens: The defender takes two or more steps to hit the quarterback, hits above the shoulders, or leads the hit with his head.

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* '''Roughing the passer''': A defensive player hits the quarterback after the ball has either been passed or handed off. There are three main ways this happens: The This is usually called if the defender takes two or more steps to hit the quarterback, hits above the shoulders, or leads the hit with his head.head. The quarterback must clearly not be in possession of the football; hits that occur immediately after a pass or handoff and don't fall afoul of the noted conditions are likely to not be called as roughing.


* A is a qualifier such as "Dead ball foul:", "After the play was over:", "Personal foul:", etc. Only done when necessary.

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* A is a qualifier such as "Dead ball foul:", "After the play was over:", "Personal foul:", etc. Only done when necessary. "Personal foul" is announced after any other qualifiers, as it is a specific category of penalties.


* '''Targeting''': A helmet-to-helmet collision that's initiated either intentionally or recklessly. Usually a college-specific penalty; in the NFL this is either called as unnecessary roughness or spearing. In college, this gets a booth review to determine whether or not the hit was done with intent.
::''Penalty''[=:=] 15 yards (offense), 15 yards + first down (defense); additionally, a confirmed targeting call is an automatic ejection and suspension for one full game (if done in the second half of one game, the player can't play the first half of the next game).
::''Signal''[=:=] Referee puts a closed fist to the side of his head.



** '''Targeting''': A helmet-to-helmet collision that's initiated either intentionally or recklessly. Called spearing in the NFL. In college, this gets a booth review to determine whether or not the hit was done with intent.
::''Penalty''[=:=] 15 yards (offense), 15 yards + first down (defense); can also lead to ejections for either side. In college, a confirmed targeting call is an automatic ejection and suspension for one full game (if done in the second half of one game, the player can't play the first half of the next game).
::''Signal''[=:=] (college) Referee puts a closed fist to the side of his head.

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** '''Targeting''': A helmet-to-helmet collision that's initiated either intentionally or recklessly. Called spearing in the NFL. In college, this gets a booth review to determine whether or not the hit was done with intent.
::''Penalty''[=:=] 15 yards (offense), 15 yards + first down (defense); can also lead to ejections for either side. In college, a confirmed targeting call is an automatic ejection and suspension for one full game (if done in the second half of one game, the player can't play the first half of the next game).\n::''Signal''[=:=] (college) Referee puts a closed fist to the side of his head.\n


* '''Targeting''': Exclusive to American college football, an especially egregious penalty when a player (intentionally or otherwise) leads with his helmet and hits the target in the head and neck area.
::''Penalty''[=:=] 15 yards and ejection of the offending player. If this occurs during the second half, the player is also suspended for the first half of the next game. Such calls are always reviewed.
::''Signal''[=:=] Referee puts a closed fist to the side of his head.




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::''Signal''[=:=] (college) Referee puts a closed fist to the side of his head.

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* '''Targeting''': Exclusive to American college football, an especially egregious penalty when a player (intentionally or otherwise) leads with his helmet and hits the target in the head and neck area.
::''Penalty''[=:=] 15 yards and ejection of the offending player. If this occurs during the second half, the player is also suspended for the first half of the next game. Such calls are always reviewed.
::''Signal''[=:=] Referee puts a closed fist to the side of his head.


* '''Illegal shift''': More than one person moves before the snap, but the players are not set (not holding their position for at least one second.)

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* '''Illegal shift''': More than one person moves shifts position before the snap, but the players are they do not set (not holding re-set (they must hold their position for at least one second.second before the snap.)


* '''Illegal formation''': Any formation where there are not seven players on the line of scrimmage, with the two players on the end of the line being eligible. (All other players must be behind the line.)
::''Penalty''[=:=] 5 yards
::''Signal''[=:=] Same as false start.



* '''Illegal motion''': An offensive player is moving forward at the snap. (Note that in the Canadian game, all backfield players may be in motion at the snap ''in any direction'', as long as they are on their side of the ball at the snap.)

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* '''Illegal kickoff''': On a kickoff, the ball goes out of bounds before it crosses into the end zone. (In American football, if a player on the receiving team is out of bounds when the ball is touched, the ball is considered out of bounds. This can lead to LoopholeAbuse if the ball is near the sideline inside the 5 yard line.)
::''Penalty''[=:=] The receiving team can take the ball at the spot where it went out of bounds or 25 yards from the spot of the kickoff.
::''Signal''[=:=] Same as for false start. (Canada[=:=] Same as false start/procedure, plus a swinging motion of one leg to simulate a kick.)

* '''Illegal motion''': An offensive player is moving forward at the snap; or more than one player is moving at the snap. (Note that in the Canadian game, all backfield players may be in motion at the snap ''in any direction'', as long as they are on their side of the ball at the snap.)



* '''Illegal kickoff''': On a kickoff, the ball goes out of bounds before it crosses into the end zone.
::''Penalty''[=:=] The receiving team can take the ball at the spot where it went out of bounds or 25 yards from the spot of the kickoff.
::''Signal''[=:=] Same as for false start. (Canada[=:=] Same as false start/procedure, plus a swinging motion of one leg to simulate a kick.)

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* '''Illegal kickoff''': On a kickoff, the ball goes out of bounds shift''': More than one person moves before it crosses into the end zone.
snap, but the players are not set (not holding their position for at least one second.)
::''Penalty''[=:=] The receiving team can take the ball at the spot where it went out of bounds or 25 yards from the spot of the kickoff.
5 yards
::''Signal''[=:=] Same as for false start. (Canada[=:=] Same as false start/procedure, plus a swinging motion of one leg to simulate a kick.)
Referee holds both hands flat at chest level and extends both arms.



::''Signal''[=:=] Same as for forward pass.

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::''Signal''[=:=] Same as for touching of forward pass.




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::''Signal''[=:=] Referee holds arms out from sides and raises them (as if flapping his wings). Can be preceded by personal foul signal.)




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::''Signal''[=:=] Same as for Leaping.




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::''Signal''[=:=] Same as for Encroachment (and both can also be called offsides.)


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::''Signal''[=:=] Same as for Roughing the Kicker (but that is usually preceded by a personal foul signal.)


** In Canada, the order is reversed (team, then number) and in the CFL, the referee uses the penalized team's region identifier rather than which side of the ball they are on (ex., "Holding, Toronto, #74" rather than "Holding, #74, [on the] Defense").

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** In Canada, the order is reversed (team, then number) and in the CFL, the referee uses the penalized team's region identifier rather than which side of the ball they are on (ex., "Holding, Toronto, #74" rather than "Holding, #74, [on the] Defense"). Defence"). %% Canada uses Commonwealth spelling of "defence".



** In the NFL and US college football, the penalty does not apply if the QB is outside of the pocket (defined as the area between the offensive tackles), as long as the pass goes beyond the line of scrimmage. In Canada, the penalty does not apply if the pass reaches the line of scrimmage, regardless of the QB's location. In US high school football, the foul is called regardless of the QB's location or where the pass traveled.

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** In the NFL and US college football, the penalty does not apply if the QB is outside of the pocket (defined as the area between the offensive tackles), as long as the pass goes beyond the line of scrimmage. In Canada, the penalty does not apply if the pass reaches the line of scrimmage, regardless of the QB's location. In US high school football, the foul is called regardless of the QB's location or where the pass traveled.traveled—except in Texas, which uses the college rule set.



* '''Face mask''': Grabbing a player's face mask enough to turn his head and/or pull him down. This used to be called for both incidental contact (such as grabbing and then immediately letting go) and deliberate contact (grabbing and pulling/twisting the helmet). Now, the latter is all that's called in the NFL and college.

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* '''Face mask''': Grabbing a player's face mask enough to turn his head and/or pull him down. This used to be called for both incidental contact (such as grabbing and then immediately letting go) and deliberate contact (grabbing and pulling/twisting the helmet). Now, the latter is all that's called in the NFL and college.college (as well as Texas high schools).



* '''Illegal formation''': This can happen several ways: Less than 7 players on the line of scrimmage (NFL, high school); more than 4 players in the backfield (college); eligible receivers are not at the very ends of the line of scrimmage (NFL); five ineligible players are not on the line of scrimmage. Also, any player who is normally an offensive lineman (i.e. ineligible), who reports as eligible and then fails to line up as an eligible receiver. On defense, seven players on the line of scrimmage on one side of the ball. Kickoffs have their own special formation rules in the NFL and college. In college, the kicking team must have at least four players on each side of the kicker. In the NFL, ''both'' teams have special restrictions. The kicking team not only has to have five players on each side of the kicker, but also must have at least two players between each sideline and set of numbered yard markings, plus at least two players between each set of yard markings and hashmarks. Additionally, only the kicker can line up more than 1 yard from the spot of the kickoff. The receiving team must have at least eight players lined up in the "setup zone", the area between 10 and 25 yards from the kickoff spot.

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* '''Illegal formation''': This can happen several ways: Less than 7 players on the line of scrimmage (NFL, high school); more than 4 players in the backfield (college); eligible receivers are not at the very ends of the line of scrimmage (NFL); five ineligible players are not on the line of scrimmage. Also, any player who is normally an offensive lineman (i.e. ineligible), who reports as eligible and then fails to line up as an eligible receiver. On defense, seven players on the line of scrimmage on one side of the ball. Kickoffs have their own special formation rules in the NFL and college. In college, college (plus Texas HS), the kicking team must have at least four players on each side of the kicker. In the NFL, ''both'' teams have special restrictions. The kicking team not only has to have five players on each side of the kicker, but also must have at least two players between each sideline and set of numbered yard markings, plus at least two players between each set of yard markings and hashmarks. Additionally, only the kicker can line up more than 1 yard from the spot of the kickoff. The receiving team must have at least eight players lined up in the "setup zone", the area between 10 and 25 yards from the kickoff spot.



** If the officials deem the pass to be "uncatchable" by ''any'' eligible offensive player, there is no pass interference in the NFL, CFL, or college. The "uncatchable pass" exception does not apply in high school play.

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** If the officials deem the pass to be "uncatchable" by ''any'' eligible offensive player, there is no pass interference in the NFL, CFL, or college. The "uncatchable pass" exception does not apply in high school play.play (except in Texas, which uses college rules).



* '''Tripping''': Actually tripping another player with the foot or lower leg. (Note that tripping the person in possession of the ball is legal in NCAA and US high school play, but not in the NFL or Canada.)

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* '''Tripping''': Actually tripping another player with the foot or lower leg. (Note that tripping the person in possession of the ball is legal in NCAA and US high school play, but not in the NFL or Canada.Canada [except in British Columbia, where high schools play under American rules].)


** At the high school level and below, fouls are generally not charged to a specific player, unless they commit a foul which warrants an ejection.
** In Canada, the order is reversed (team, then number) and the referee uses the penalized team's region identifier rather than which side of the ball they are on (ex., "Holding, Toronto, #74" rather than "Holding, #74, [on the] Defense").

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** At the high school level and below, fouls are generally not charged to a specific player, unless they commit a foul unsportsmanlike conduct, which warrants an ejection.results in a warning for the first instance and ejection for the second.
** In Canada, the order is reversed (team, then number) and in the CFL, the referee uses the penalized team's region identifier rather than which side of the ball they are on (ex., "Holding, Toronto, #74" rather than "Holding, #74, [on the] Defense").


* '''Helmet-to-helmet collision''': Two players violently meet helmet-first. This generally happens when the tackling player leads with his head and the receiver/runner lowers his own to meet the tackle. If intentional, it's also known as "targeting".
::''Penalty''[=:=] 15 yards (offense), 15 yards + first down (defense); if called as targeting, ejection of the offender

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* '''Helmet-to-helmet collision''': Two players violently but unintentionally meet helmet-first. This generally happens when the tackling player leads with his head and the receiver/runner lowers his own to meet the tackle. If intentional, it's also known as "targeting".\n See Unnecessary Roughness below for the intentional version.
::''Penalty''[=:=] 15 yards (offense), 15 yards + first down (defense); if called as targeting, ejection of the offender
(defense)



** '''Targeting''': Similar to a helmet-to-helmet collision, but initiated either intentionally or recklessly. Called spearing in the NFL. In college, this gets a booth review to determine whether or not the hit was done with intent.

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** '''Targeting''': Similar to a A helmet-to-helmet collision, but collision that's initiated either intentionally or recklessly. Called spearing in the NFL. In college, this gets a booth review to determine whether or not the hit was done with intent.


* '''Helmet-to-helmet collision''': Two players violently meet helmet-first. This generally happens when the tackling player leads with his head and the receiver/runner lowers his own to meet the tackle.
::''Penalty''[=:=] 15 yards (offense), 15 yards + first down (defense)

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* '''Helmet-to-helmet collision''': Two players violently meet helmet-first. This generally happens when the tackling player leads with his head and the receiver/runner lowers his own to meet the tackle.
tackle. If intentional, it's also known as "targeting".
::''Penalty''[=:=] 15 yards (offense), 15 yards + first down (defense)
(defense); if called as targeting, ejection of the offender


* C is the number of the player who committed the penalty and whether he's on offense, defense, or the kicking or receiving team as appropriate; in the CFL, the referee uses the penalized team's region identifier rather than which side of the ball they are on.

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* C is the number of the player who committed the penalty and whether he's on offense, defense, or the kicking or receiving team as appropriate; in appropriate.
** At
the CFL, high school level and below, fouls are generally not charged to a specific player, unless they commit a foul which warrants an ejection.
** In Canada, the order is reversed (team, then number) and
the referee uses the penalized team's region identifier rather than which side of the ball they are on.on (ex., "Holding, Toronto, #74" rather than "Holding, #74, [on the] Defense").


* C is the number of the player who committed the penalty and whether he's on offense, defense, or the kicking or receiving team as appropriate.

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* C is the number of the player who committed the penalty and whether he's on offense, defense, or the kicking or receiving team as appropriate.appropriate; in the CFL, the referee uses the penalized team's region identifier rather than which side of the ball they are on.


::''Penalty''[=:=] 5 yards for first infraction, 15 yards for each subsequent infraction (college), warning for first infraction, 5 yards for second, 15 yards for each subsequent (infraction (high school)

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::''Penalty''[=:=] 5 yards for first infraction, 15 yards for each subsequent infraction (college), warning for first infraction, 5 yards for second, 15 yards for each subsequent (infraction infraction (high school)
school).


** Defence: The offence is prevented from snapping/spiking in a timely fashion.

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** Defence: Defense: The offence offense is prevented from snapping/spiking in a timely fashion.

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