To provide better insight into the challenges of being a high school football game official and help fans learn more about the rules, USA TODAY High School Sports is working with the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS) on a weekly series about high school football rules.
The material is drawn from the NFHS Football Case Book for 2015. Note that member associations of the NFHS independently make decisions regarding compliance with or modification of these playing rules for the student-athletes in their respective states. Texas and Massachusetts do not use NFHS Football Rules.
Roughing the passer
Where to spot the ball
Today’s topic: Snap Infractions (NFHS Rule 7.1.3)
The offensive linemen take their positions and the center has made preliminary adjustments. Prior to the snap the center:
Situation 1: tilts the ball to an angle of 90 degrees;
Situation 2: lifts the ball and pushes it forward in order to make a deep snap or;
Situation 3: rotates the ball end for end;
Situation 4: removes both hands.
Situation 1: The action is legal.
Situations 2, 3 and 4: It is a snap infraction. The covering official will sound his whistle immediately, signifying the ball remains dead. A snap infraction is a dead-ball foul and the penalty of 5 yards is administered from the succeeding spot.