What is the line of scrimmage in football?
The line of scrimmage in football is the yard line that shows the spot of the ball on the field. Wherever the ball goes, the line of scrimmage follows. The line of scrimmage changes if the offensive team gains ten yards during a down. In fact, if a team is tackled behind the line of scrimmage, the line of scrimmage will then move backward. Also known as the scrimmage line, the line of scrimmage is used to align players at the start of a down. The line of scrimmage can be seen as a blue line on television.
Both teams must remain on their side of the line of scrimmage prior to the ball being snapped. A penalty called a false start will be called if an offensive player crosses the line prior to the snap of the ball. Offside is a penalty against a defensive player that is across the line of scrimmage when the ball is snapped.
Each time players line up on the line of scrimmage, it signals the start of a new down. The goal for each team is to move the ball 10 yards down the field. Wherever the ball is declared dead, that is the new line of scrimmage. The goal is for the team to move the line of scrimmage down the field-move the ball down the field-to score a touchdown.
Line of Scrimmage
You can see the line of scrimmage as a blue line on TV. It may be other colors as well, depending on the broadcaster. You'll notice that the blue line may appear at a different location for the start of every down. That's because the ball is moving on the field.
REMEMBER: The scrimmage line will always show the spot of the ball on the field. It is used to help fans at home visualize how far the offensive team has to go to make the down.
The chain crew is responsible for marking the line of scrimmage after every down. They carry a 10-yard to chain to measure the exact location of the first down marker on the field. They are used to help the players see where their 10 yard goal is and exactly how much longer they have to go.