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Delay of Game Penalty in Football




What is a Delay of Game Penalty?

Contrary to what some may believe, the Delay of Game penalty can be called against the offense, defense, and even special teams. The most common Delay of Game penalty is called when the offense does not snap the ball before the play clock reaches zero. The penalty can be called on the defense if officials believe they are taking an inordinate amount of time to get set for the next play.. This will more than likely take place when the offense is in "Hurry Up" mode late in the half/game.


Number of Yards

There is a 5 yard penalty in both the NFL and College Football.


The Signal

When signaling the Delay of Game penalty the referee will cross the arms at chest level with the one arm sitting on top of the other and elbows bent at 90 degrees. Both palms will face down.