A neutral zone infraction is a penalty in Football that is called on a team when a defensive player illegally enters the neutral zone around the line of scrimmage prior to the snap, which causes an offensive player to false start. The neutral zone is another term for the line of scrimmage. It is the area, about the size of the football, that extends from sideline to sideline at the spot of the ball. A neutral zone infraction is very similar to encroachment and a false start as they all involve crossing the line of scrimmage, but each have determining factors as to which penalty should be called. This penalty results in a 5 yard loss against the defense.