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Snapping, handling, and passing the ball

This is an excerpt from 2021 & 2022 NIRSA Flag & Touch Football Rules Book & Officials' Manual-20th Edition by NIRSA.

Rule 7. Snapping, Handing, and Passing the Ball

Section 1. The Scrimmage

Article 1. The Start.
All plays must be started by a legal snap next to the orange ball spotter, which is on or between the hash marks. The ball may be moved with approval by the Referee due to poor field conditions.

Article 2. Ball Responsibility.
A players are responsible for retrieving the ball after a down. The snapper will bring the ball from the huddle to the A scrimmage line (1st ball spotter–orange). A small towel may be placed under the ball, regardless of weather or field conditions.

Article 3. Stances.
Players may use a 2, 3, or 4 point stance.

Section 2. Prior to the Snap

Article 1. Encroachment.
Following the ready for play signal and until the snap, no B player may encroach or touch the ball, nor may any player contact opponents or interfere with them in any other way. This includes standing in the neutral zone to give defensive signals or shifting through the zone. After the snapper has placed their hand(s) on the ball, it is encroachment for any player to break the scrimmage line plane, except for the snapper’s right to be over the ball. Penalty: Dead Ball Foul, Encroachment, 5 yards from the succeeding spot (S7 and S18). During the interval between downs when 2 or more encroachment fouls are committed by B, the penalty will be 10 yards for the subsequent encroachment fouls.

PLAY. After the ball is marked ready for play by the Referee, B-4 charges into the neutral zone beyond B’s scrimmage line (2nd ball spotter–gold), to give A a 1st down. RULING. Dead Ball Foul, Encroachment, 5 yards. The penalty is declined by A. B is informed by the Referee that if this foul occurs again during the same dead ball interval, a 10 yard penalty will be enforced, if accepted.

Article 2. False Start.
No A player shall make a false start. A false start includes simulating a charge or start of a play. An infraction of this Rule may be penalized whether or not the ball is snapped and the penalty for any resultant encroachment shall be cancelled. Penalty: Dead Ball Foul, False Start, 5 yards from the succeeding spot (S7 and S19).

Article 3. Snap.
The snapper, after assuming position for the snap at A’s scrimmage line (1st ball spotter–orange) and adjusting the ball, may neither move nor change the position of the ball in a manner simulating the beginning of a play until it is snapped. An infraction of this provision may be penalized, whether or not the ball is snapped, and the penalty for any resultant encroachment foul by an opponent shall be cancelled. When over the ball, the snapper shall have their feet behind their scrimmage line (1st ball spotter–orange). The snapper shall pass the ball back from its position on the ground/towel/orange ball spotter with a quick and continuous motion of the hand(s). The ball shall leave the hand(s) in this motion. There is no Rule restriction regarding placement of the long axis of the ball at right angles to A’s scrimmage line. NOTE: The snapper may have one or both knees on the ground during the snap. Penalty: Dead Ball Foul, Illegal Snap, 5 yards from the succeeding spot (S7 and S19).

Article 4. Disconcerting Act.
No defensive player shall use disconcerting acts or words prior to the snap in an attempt to interfere with A’s signals. Penalty: Dead Ball Foul, Disconcerting Act, 5 yards from the succeeding spot (S7 and S23).

PLAY. B-1 calls defensive signals loudly: (a) before A gets set; or (b) while A is yelling cadence or audibles. B-1 is not using words similar to A’s cadence or audibles. RULING. Legal in (a) and (b).

More Excerpts From 2021 & 2022 NIRSA Flag & Touch Football Rules Book & Officials' Manual 20th Edition

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