Girl's Guide to College Football

Penalties

The Swamp.

When an official throws a yellow flag on the field, it means a penalty has occurred. A flag on the play can occur on the following conditions:

False start aka offsides: An offensive player moves before the snap, resulting in a 5-yard penalty.

Illegal procedure: An offensive player moved before the snap, or moved perpendicular to the line of scrimmage when the ball is snapped, resulting in a 5-yard penalty.

Holding: Offensive player grabs the jersey or arms of a player on defense, resulting in a 10-yard penalty. If a defensive player holds, a 5-yard penalty occurs.

Illegal block in the back: An offensive player blocks a defender from outside the front shoulder pads, resulting in a 10-yard penalty

Clipping and Chop blocking: Seen as dirty plays, when a player blocks another below the waist from behind, resulting in a 15-yard penalty. This often starts fights between players because it is seen as an intentional attempt to cause injury.

Delay of Game: The offense takes longer than the allowed 25 seconds to snap the ball, resulting in a 5-yard penalty

Face Mask: A player grabs the face mask of an opponent, resulting in a 5-yard penalty. This penalty can be worth 15 yards if the defender intentionally uses the face mask to tackle or drag the opponent to the ground.

Unsportsmanlike conduct: if a player strikes or taunts an opponent, attempting to start a fight, or if a player runs into/jumps onto another after the whistle signifying the end of a play is blown, resulting in a 15-yard penalty. Also, Unnecessary roughness, tackling someone when a play is over or they don't have the ball, results in the same penalty. Illegal and excessive celebration can fall under this category.

Grounding the ball or intentional grounding: To avoid being sacked, a quarterback throws the ball away, resulting in a 5-yard penalty.