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Illegal Formation Penalty in Football

What is a Illegal Formation Penalty?

The are various forms of the Illegal Formation penalty. The NFL will call this penalty when fewer than 7 players are lined up on the line of scrimmage. Eligible receivers must also be the furthest out on both sides of the field. College Football will call Illegal Formation when there are 5 or more players lined up in the backfield.

Number of Yards

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

The Signal

When signaling the Illegal Formation penalty the referee will place both arms horizontal at chest level with hands made on an open position. They will then roll their forearms around each other.