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Lesser-Known Rules in Football

Table of Contents


Hiking or Snapping

Centers cannot hike the ball to offensive linemen, but rather only to the quarterback. If the quarterback misses the ball on the snap, no other offensive player can touch before the quarterback. Breaking this rule will result in a false start penalty and a loss of 5 yards.


Unsportsmanlike Conduct

Teams can get touchdowns revoked for unsportsmanlike conduct, which most commonly happens from excessive celebration in the endzone after a touchdown. Additionally, if a coach tries to call two consecutive timeouts, they will be charged with unsportsmanlike conduct. The resulting penalty is a loss of 15 yards.


Quarterback Passing

The offensive team and quarterback can only throw one forward pass from behind the line of scrimmage on each down, or else they risk a 5 yard penalty. Lateral and backward passes are permitted, but once the ball crosses the line of scrimmage, forward passes are prohibited.


Drop Kick

A drop kick is a tactic rarely used in modern football. It is similar to a punt, however, the ball must hit the ground first before being kicked. In today's times, this almost never happens because of the football's shape, but drop kicks can be used in punting situations and quarterbacks are even allowed to move the ball forward by drop kicking it.


One-Point Safety

Normally, a safety is worth two points in football. However, there is a rare situation in which a safety can be worth one point. The one point safety happens when a safety occurs during an extra point or two-point conversion attempt. The one point safety is so uncommon that it has only happened a few times in college football and has never happened in an NFL game.


Fair Catch Kick

After receiving a fair catch off a punt, teams can elect to attempt a free kick instead of running a play. A free kick is extremely rare and is another way for a team to score 3 points instead of the typical field goal. The kick must be either a drop kick or a place kick. On the fair catch kick, if the ball passes through the goal posts the team will earn three points just like a field goal.



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