A defensive delay of game is a penalty in Football that is called on the defensive team when a play is not started after a set amount of time has passed due to some kind of interference by a player on the defense. A defensive delay of game may occur after a play if the defense interferes with the ball, whether during ball placement or while the ball is being returned to officials, to delay the game. Any delay of game penalty in Football results in a loss of 5 yards for the offending team.
Defensive delay of game is rarely called. So much so that many may not know that this penalty exists. Some players are able to get away with delaying the game by laying on top of a player who was tackled with the ball, acting as if they cannot get up. The penalty is called under the referee's discretion, and such is rarely called.