Rule 7 – Section 1 – Article 3 – Offensive Team Requirements — Prior to the Snap
Each of the following (a-d) is a dead-ball foul. Officials should blow the whistle and not allow the play to continue. After the ball is ready for play and before it is snapped:
a. Snapper. The snapper (Rule 2-27-8):
- May not move to a different position nor have any part of his body beyond the neutral zone.
- May not lift the ball, move it beyond the neutral zone or simulate the start of a play.
- May take his hand(s) off the ball, but only if this does not simulate the start of a play.
b. Nine-Yard Marks.
- Each Team A substitute must have been between the nine-yard marks. Team A players who participated in the previous down must have been between the nine-yard marks after the previous down and before the next snap. (A.R. 3-3-4:I)
- All Team A players must have been between the nine-yard marks after a charged team timeout, an injury timeout, a media timeout or the end of a period.
c. Encroachment. Once the snapper is established, no other Team A player may be in or beyond the neutral zone [Exceptions: (1) Substitutes and departing players; and (2) offensive players in a scrimmage kick formation who break the neutral zone with their hand(s) to point at opponents].
d. False Start. No Team A player may commit a false start (Rule 7-1-2-b) or contact an opponent. (A.R. 7-1-3:III)
PENALTY − [a-d] Dead-ball foul: Five yards from the succeeding spot. [S7 and S19 or S20: FST/ENC].