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Pass Interference Penalty in Football

What is a Pass Interference Penalty?

An Pass Interference Penalty can be called on both the offense and defense, although it is more often called against the defense. Pass Interference is called when a defensive player makes contact with an intended receiver before the ball has been touched by the receiver. The offensive pass interference is mostly called when the offensive player pushes the defensive player away, making it easier to catch the ball.

Number of Yards

When a defensive pass interference occurs in the NFL, the ball is placed at the spot of the foul. If the penalty occurs in the end zone, the ball will be placed on the 1 yard line. For college football, the penalty is the lesser of 15 yards and the spot of the foul. If the penalty occurs in the end zone the ball is placed on the 2 yard line. Both the NFL and College also award an automatic first down. On the offensive side the NFL has a 10 yard penalty and College has a 15 yard penalty.

The Signal

When signaling the Pass Interference penalty the referee will raise their hands/arms to chest level with palms facing out and do a pushing motion.