1. Backfield – players who are 1 yd. or more behind the line of scrimmage when the ball is snapped.
  2. Blitz – when a defense commits extra players, in addition to linemen, to rush the passer.
  3. Contact blocking – open hand, straight arm blocking between two players.   Contact must be between the shoulders and the waist.
  4. Downs – a series of four consecutive plays allotted to the offensive team; in order to keep possession of the ball the offense must reach the next zone line.
  5. Eligible receiver – any offensive player who is legally in the backfield or any player on either end of the line of scrimmage.
  6. Forward pass – a pass in the direction of the opponents goal.
  7. Fumble – there are none in touch football.  The ball is dead when it hits the ground.
  8. Illegal use of hands – a player’s use of the hands to grasp and impede an opponent who is not a ball carrier.
  9. Interception – gaining possession of the ball when the defender catches a pass thrown by the opponent.
  10. Lateral pass – when the ball is tossed or thrown to the side or backward.
  11. Line of scrimmage – and imaginary line running across the field where the ball is positioned.
  12. Man-to-man coverage – defensive pass coverage in which defenders are each assigned to a potential receiver.
  13. Neutral zone – area located within the width of the football.
  14. Passing route – the decided path the receiver takes in an attempt to get open to receive a pass (or to serve as a decoy).
  15. Sack – when a defender touches the passer behind the line of scrimmage.
  16. Snap – the quick exchange of the football from the center to the quarterback to put the ball in play.
  17.  TOUCHING – simultaneous touching (NOT PUSHING) of both hand anywhere between the shoulders and knees of an opponent who is carrying the ball.
  18. Zone line to gain – the next line marked by a cone on the playing field in the direction of the opponent’s goal line.


1.      In touch football, the field is broken into stationary 15 yard zones with first downs being achieved by crossing the next zone line to gain.  For example it can be first down and 2 yards to go or first down and 14 yards to go.  A goal is scored when a player crosses the goal line with the ball or catches a pass when standing beyond the goal line.

2.      The game begins with a kickoff.  A player on one team kicks the ball from his goal line off a tee toward the opponents’ goal line.  A player on either team can field the ball after it travels 10 yards downfield.  Usually a player on the receiving team receives and s/he tries to carry the ball as far up field as possible until s/he is touched. 

3.      The kicking team tries to touch the ball carrier as close to their goal as possible.  When ball carrier is touched or runs out of bounds the play is over and the ball is placed in the middle of the field opposite where the play was stopped.

4.      The point where the play resumes is called the line of scrimmage.  The line of scrimmage stretches from one sideline to the other, passing through the point of the ball nearest the defense.

5.      Each play starts when the center snaps the ball to the quarterback.

6.      The offense is allowed four plays (downs) to advance the ball to the next zone line.  If they are successful, they get a new set of downs until they:

a.       Are stopped by the defense

b.      Turn the ball over to the defense by means of an interception or failure to make it to the next zone line.  OR

c.       Score a touchdown.



  1. Offside – defensive player is in or beyond the neutral zone when the ball is snapped.
  2. Encroachment – Offensive player in or beyond the neutral zone before the ball is snapped.
  3. Delay of game – Offensive team taking more than 25 seconds to snap the ball after it has been set down on the scrimmage line.
  4. Holding – Any player using the arms to impede a players movement.
  5. Pass interference – defensive player making contact with an eligible receiver who is beyond the neutral zone with the intent of preventing the receiver from catching the ball..



  1. Diving or running into a player
  2. Two on one blocking
  3. Tackling a runner
  4. Spiking, kicking, throwing, or not returning the ball to the line of scrimmage at the end of a play.
  5. Roughing the passer.
  6. Contact with anything but open, extended arms.
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