What Is An NFL Snap Infraction?

If you’re a fan of American football, you’ve probably heard of the term “snap infraction.” But what exactly is a snap infraction? In this blog post, we’ll explain everything you need to know about this important rule in the NFL.


In the National Football League (NFL), there are a number of rules that regulate how the ball can be moved before it is snapped. One of these rules is that the offensive team must have seven players on the line of scrimmage when the ball is snapped. If there are less than seven players on the line of scrimmage, it is considered an illegal snap infraction.

This rule is in place to prevent teams from having an unfair advantage by having fewer players on the line of scrimmage. It also prevents teams from snaps that would be difficult or impossible to defend against.

There are a few different ways that an illegal snap infraction can be called. The most common way is if there are less than seven players on the line of scrimmage when the ball is snapped. Another way an illegal snap infraction can be called is if the center snaps the ball before all of the offensive linemen have taken their stance.

If an illegal snap infraction is called, it will result in a five yard penalty for the offense. This penalty will be assessed from the spot of the infraction. In some cases, if the infraction occurs in the end zone, it will result in a safety for the defense.

What is an NFL Snap Infraction?

A snap infraction in the NFL is when the center snaps the ball to the quarterback outside of the tackle box before the quarterback is ready. This is a 5 yard penalty.

False Start

A “false start” is an infraction in gridiron football resulting in a loss of yards. It occurs when the offensive team, while behind the line of scrimmage, causes the ball to be snapped while one or more offensive players are not yet at their positions. The penalty for a false start is five yards from the previous spot. A false start is normally not committed by the center, because he is on the line of scrimmage and is therefore considered to be “set”, unless he moves afterwards.

Delay of Game

The delay of game penalty in the NFL is usually called when the offense fails to snap the ball within the allotted thirty seconds after the previous play has ended. This infraction results in a five yard loss.


Encroachment is when any part of a defensive player’s body, other than his hands or feet, touches an offensive lineman before the ball is snapped. If this happens, it’s a 5-yard penalty. If the defense does it in the end zone, it’s a safety.


After the quarterback has received the snap, he has a limited time to throw the ball, typically between 2 and 10 seconds depending on league rules. If the quarterback does not attempt to throw the ball within that time frame, it is considered an infraction and a penalty will be assessed.

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