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Football Disconcerting Acts or Signals Penalty

Football Disconcerting Acts or Signals Penalty

If there's one penalty that you have almost certainly never seen during a game, it's a disconcerting signals penalty. Football disconcerting acts, or a signals penalty, is a very rare penalty which is almost never called during gameplay. This penalty is when the defensive team is trying to mimic the offense's cadence to trick them. This means that the defense will pose falsely as the quarterback and "hike" the ball, hoping that the offensive players will jump offsides. This penalty is very rarely called because it's a move that players seldom attempt.


In football, a disconcerting act or signal penalty occurs when a defensive player pretends to be the quarterback, mimicking their cadence and causing confusion on the offensive side of the ball. The penalty is under the umbrella of unsportsmanlike conduct. This penalty cannot be called on anyone on the ball's offensive side, as they cannot mimic their own cadence. The penalty is often hard to call because of yelling going on from both sides of the field. At times a referee or umpire will hear the defense intentionally mimicking the offense.


Disconcerting Acts or Signals15 yards15 yards15 yards15 yards15 yards

A disconcerting act or signal penalty is under the umbrella of unsportsmanlike conduct penalties on the entire defense. It is a team penalty, rather than an individual penalty. Because of this, the penalty for a disconcerting act or signal is 15 yards for the offense and an automatic first down for the offense. As the penalty is called so rarely, you may see it only once every few seasons at most. When it does happen, the offense will add an additional fifteen yards and the defense will be warned to not commit the penalty again.

Penalty Signal

football penalty signal unsportsmanlike conduct

The penalty signal for a disconcerting act or signal is the same as any other penalty that falls under the category of unsportsmanlike conduct. There cannot be a penalty signal for every small penalty, especially for one as rare as a disconcerting act or signal penalty. The signal is a referee holding their arms out, parallel to the ground, with the palms down, followed by pointing in the defense's direction.


  • A defensive tackle near the center yells "hut, hut, hike" to confuse the opposing center and get them to snap the ball before the quarterback obtains it
  • The defensive players yell an offensive line adjustment, causing the offensive line to move.
  • A player on the defense matches the quarterback's voice and yells audibly, confusing the offense.

Similar Penalties To Disconcerting Acts or Signals