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False Start Penalty in Football

What is a False Start Penalty?

The False Start penalty is called when the offense has lined up for the snap and then illegelly moves before the snap. This is not to be confused with an offsides penalty that is called against the defense when a player is across the line of scrimmage, but not touching an opposing player when the ball is snapped.

Number of Yards

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

The Signal

When signaling the False Start penalty the referee will place both arms horizontal at chest level with hands made into a fist. They will then roll their fists around each other.