Rule 7 – Section 1 – Article 2 – Shift and False Start
b. False Start. Each of the following is a false start by Team A if it occurs prior to the snap after the ball is ready for play and all players are in scrimmage formation:
- Any movement by one or more players that simulates the start of a play.
- The snapper moving to another position.
- A restricted lineman (Rule 2-27-4) moving his hand(s) or making any quick movement.
(a) It is not a false start if a Team A lineman immediately reacts when threatened by a Team B player in the neutral zone (Rule 7-1-5-a-2) (A.R. 7-1-3:V)
(b) It is not a false start if the snapper takes his hand(s) off the ball, provided this does not simulate the start of a play (Rule 7-1-3-a-3).
- An offensive player making any quick, jerky movement before the snap, including but not limited to:
(a) A lineman moving his foot, shoulder, arm, body or head in a quick, jerky motion in any direction.
(b) The snapper shifting or moving the ball, moving his thumb or fingers, flexing his elbows, jerking his head, or dipping his shoulders or buttocks.
(c) The quarterback making any quick, jerky movement that simulates the beginning of a play.
(d) A back simulating receiving the ball by making any quick, jerky movement that simulates the beginning of a play.
- The offensive team never coming to a one-second stop prior to the snap after the ball is ready for play. (A.R. 7-1-2:IV) This is an illegal shift that converts to a false start.