What is the line of scrimmage

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what is the line of scrimmage

Line of Scrimmage (Game On, #2) by Desiree Holt

Sometimes it’s not about winning…
One bad tackle. That’s all it took to put wide receiver Jake Russell in a cast for the rest of the NFL season. From being a high school all-star to getting drafted by the Austin Mustangs, football has been Jake’s life for as long as he can remember. It’s what defines him—because he has a secret he never shares. But now that he’s laid up in bed with a nurse displaying a lot of distracting bedside manners, he’s discovering life on the sidelines might have its perks. . .
One last paycheck. That’s all Erin Bass has left to her name when the resort she works at shuts down. Desperate, she agrees to be a caregiver to hardass jock Jake Russell, who also happens to be a memorable one-night stand. Before long, caring leads to daring new ways to catch up in bed, especially with Jake still in a cast. But with football on the sidelines, this time the game is serious. . .
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Football 101 - Chapter 7 - Offense

As a general rule, we like to be as simple as possible in our techniques and progressions when setting out to control the line of scrimmage.
Desiree Holt

Line of scrimmage

This is an imaginary line on the football field that separates the offensive and defensive teams before the start of each play. The line of scrimmage spans the width of the field and is placed at the spot where the previous play ended, and after any penalty yards have been assessed. Each team cannot cross the line of scrimmage until after the current play has started, otherwise they will be called for an offsides penalty. Rodgers walks towards the line of scrimmage and lines up behind center, analyzing the defense before the snap. Historically, there has been some confusion as to where the line of scrimmage begins and ends.

The Line of Scrimmage. When I started the process of becoming a high school football "referee" a half-dozen years ago I had to put aside a fan's perceptions and understandings of the game and take up an official's instead. Everything changed. As an official I no longer "watched" the game in the same way-- indeed, I didn't watch it at all in any ordinary sense of the term. Each of the four officials 1 in a typical varsity-game crew has a specific zone of observational responsibility, and woe betide the official whose attentions stray too far from his zone. Learning not to watch the game's center of attention -- the star runningback juking his way downfield or a long pass's graceful arc -- is one of the first and most difficult transitions a novice official must make. The officiating crew must collectively watch the whole field of play, and hence a division of observational responsibility among them is essential.

Other topics

Thanks to an NFL rule that requires certain players to wear a microphone, we can now hear what quarterbacks say at the line of scrimmage. In fact, Manning does many of the same things at the line of scrimmage as other quarterbacks. The difference between Manning and other quarterbacks is that he almost always makes the correct adjustments. One common thing Manning does at the line of scrimmage is make protection adjustments. That is, the middle linebacker whom the offensive line is responsible for blocking. The Mike may actually be a safety, a cornerback or even a defensive lineman.

An imaginary line crossing the field which both offensive and defensive players cannot cross until the football is snapped and the play has started. It is also the location where the ball is spotted after running a play or being assessed a penalty. 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". Only the center is allowed to have any part of his body in the neutral zone, and the offensive team must have a minimum number of players on the offensive line of scrimmage.


  1. Gaetane R. says:

    In American and Canadian football, a line of scrimmage is an imaginary transverse line beyond which a team cannot cross until the next play has begun.

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