A delay of game is a penalty in football that is called on the offensive team when a play is not started after a set amount of time has passed, usually when the play clock expires. A delay of game penalty results in a five-yard loss.
The delay of game penalty can be used strategically, such as when a punter is in an odd position of the field for a punt. The offensive team can allow a delay of game to occur to give the punter more room to kick. However, most teams tend to avoid the delay of game penalty by calling a timeout before the play clock expires.