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Summary of Penalties
Descriptions and categories of infractions

Automatic First Down     Five yards     10 Yards     15 Yards     Five yards and loss of down     10 Yards and loss of down
    15 Yards and loss of coin toss option     15 Yards     15 Yards and automatic disqualification
    Suspension from game for one down


Automatic First Down

1. Awarded to offensive team on all defensive fouls with these exceptions:

(a) Offside.
(b) Encroachment.
(c) Delay of game.
(d) Illegal substitution.
(e) Excessive time out(s).
(f) Incidental grasp of facemask.
(g) Neutral zone infraction.
(h) Running into the kicker.
(i) More than 11 players on the field at the snap.


Five yards

1. Defensive holding or illegal use of hands (automatic first down).

2. Delay of game on offense or defense. 

3. Delay of kickoff. 

4. Encroachment

5. Excessive time out(s).

6. False start

7. Illegal formation

8. Illegal shift

9. Illegal motion

10. Illegal substitution

11. First onside kickoff out of bounds between goal lines and not touched.

12. Invalid fair catch signal

13. More than 11 players on the field at the snap for either team. 

14. Less than seven men on offensive line at snap. 

15. Offside

16. Failure to pause one second after shift or huddle. 

17. Running into kicker

18. More than one man in motion at snap

19. Grasping facemask of the ball carrier or quarterback

20. Player out of bounds at snap. 

21. Ineligible member(s) of kicking team going beyond line of scrimmage before ball is kicked.

22. Illegal return. 

23. Failure to report change of eligibility. 

24. Neutral zone infraction. 

25. Loss of team time out(s) or five-yard penalty on the defense for excessive crowd noise.

26. Ineligible player downfield during passing down. 

27. Second forward pass behind the line. 

28. Forward pass is first touched by eligible receiver who has gone out of bounds and returned.

29. Forward pass touches or is caught by an ineligible receiver on or behind line.

30. Forward pass thrown from behind line of scrimmage after ball once crossed the line.

10 Yards

1. Offensive pass interference. 

2. Holding, illegal use of hands, arms, or body by offense. 

3. Tripping by a member of either team. 

4. Helping the runner. 

5. Deliberately batting or punching a loose ball. 

6. Deliberately kicking a loose ball. 

7. Illegal block above the waist.


15 Yards

1. Chop block. 

2. Clipping below the waist. 

3. Fair catch interference. 

4. Illegal crackback block by offense. 

5. Piling on (automatic first down).

6. Roughing the kicker (automatic first down).

7. Roughing the passer (automatic first down).

8. Twisting, turning, or pulling an opponent by the facemask. 

9. Unnecessary roughness. 

10. Unsportsmanlike conduct. 

11. Delay of game at start of either half. 

12. Illegal low block. 

13. A tackler using his helmet to butt, spear, or ram an opponent.

14. Any player who uses the top of his helmet unnecessarily. 

15. A punter, placekicker, or holder who simulates being roughed by a defensive player.

16. A defender who takes a running start from beyond the line of scrimmage in an attempt to block a field goal or point after touchdown and lands on players at the line of scrimmage.


Five yards and loss of down 
(Combination Penalty)

1. Forward pass thrown from beyond line of scrimmage. 

10 Yards and loss of down
 (Combination Penalty)

1. Intentional grounding of forward pass (safety if passer is in own end zone).
If foul occurs more than 10 yards behind line, play results in loss of down at spot of foul.

15 Yards and loss of coin toss option

1. Team's late arrival on the field prior to scheduled kickoff. 

2. Captains not appearing for coin toss. 

15 Yards
(and disqualification if flagrant)

1. Striking opponent with fist. 

2. Kicking or kneeing opponent. 

3. Striking opponent on head or neck with forearm, elbow, or hands whether or not the initial contact is made below the neck area.

4. Roughing kicker. 

5. Roughing passer. 

6. Malicious unnecessary roughness. 

7. Unsportsmanlike conduct. 

8. Palpably unfair act. (Distance penalty determined by the Referee after consultation with other officials.)

15 Yards and automatic disqualification

1. Using a helmet (not worn) as a weapon.

2. Striking or purposely shoving a game official.

Suspension from game for one down

1. Illegal equipment. 
(Player may return after one down when legally equipped.)

Touchdown awarded (palpably unfair act)

1. When Referee determines a palpably unfair act deprived a team of a touchdown.
(Example: Player comes off bench and tackles runner apparently en route to touchdown.)

 


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