For faster navigation, this Iframe is preloading the Wikiwand page for Neutral zone (gridiron football).

Neutral zone (gridiron football)

This article needs additional citations for verification. Please help improve this article by adding citations to reliable sources. Unsourced material may be challenged and removed.Find sources: "Neutral zone" gridiron football – news · newspapers · books · scholar · JSTOR (December 2009) (Learn how and when to remove this message)

In gridiron football, the neutral zone is an area in which no member of either team may be, other than the person holding the ball. The neutral zone only exists in dead ball situations (i.e. when play is not ongoing).

Description

In American football, the neutral zone can be described as the length of the football 11 inches (28 centimeters) from one tip to the other when it is spotted (i.e. placed on a certain spot) on the field prior to the snap of the ball during a scrimmage down. In Canadian football, the neutral zone, formally known in that code as the scrimmage zone,[1] is a full one yard (3 feet or 36 inches) in front of the tip of the ball during a scrimmage down. The snapper (usually the center) is exempt, as he must place his hand on the ball (thus entering the neutral/scrimmage zone) to execute the snap. The one-yard neutral zone is also used in the China Arena Football League[2] and was tested for use in the XFL but eventually rejected.[3]

The neutral zone is much longer for kickoffs, safety kicks and fair catch kicks, where ten yards separates the kicking team from the receiving team. The kicker and, if used, a holder are allowed to enter this neutral zone. In addition to not being allowed to enter the neutral zone before the kick, the kicking team may not recover their own kick until the ball has traveled beyond the neutral zone or has been touched by an opposing player.

Knowing whether the ball has passed beyond the neutral zone or remained in or behind the neutral zone is important during forward pass plays and during scrimmage kicks.

  • "Behind the neutral zone" refers to the "offensive" side of the neutral zone.
  • "In the neutral zone" refers to the actual neutral zone.
  • "Beyond the neutral zone" refers to the "defensive" side of the neutral zone.

In accordance to NFL rules, an additional definition of the neutral zone came into effect after a September 12, 2005, fight between the Philadelphia Eagles' Jeremiah Trotter and the Atlanta Falcons' Kevin Mathis that occurred prior to the opening kickoff. A new rule was instituted that each end of the field from the end zone to the 45-yard line is reserved for one team, and that no player other than a kicker may be between the 45-yard lines prior to the game.

References

  1. ^ Canadian Football League. "Rule 4, Section 1, Article 3: Scrimmage Zone". The Official Playing Rules of the Canadian Football League 2018. The Canadian Football League Database. Retrieved January 15, 2019.
  2. ^ "CAFL 2019 COMPETITION BREAKDOWN! - CAFL – Professional American Indoor Football in China".
  3. ^ Maese, Rick (May 10, 2019). "The XFL doesn't just want to avoid the AAF's fate. It wants to change football". The Washington Post. Retrieved May 10, 2019.


{{bottomLinkPreText}} {{bottomLinkText}}
Neutral zone (gridiron football)
Listen to this article

This browser is not supported by Wikiwand :(
Wikiwand requires a browser with modern capabilities in order to provide you with the best reading experience.
Please download and use one of the following browsers:

This article was just edited, click to reload
This article has been deleted on Wikipedia (Why?)

Back to homepage

Please click Add in the dialog above
Please click Allow in the top-left corner,
then click Install Now in the dialog
Please click Open in the download dialog,
then click Install
Please click the "Downloads" icon in the Safari toolbar, open the first download in the list,
then click Install
{{::$root.activation.text}}

Install Wikiwand

Install on Chrome Install on Firefox
Don't forget to rate us

Tell your friends about Wikiwand!

Gmail Facebook Twitter Link

Enjoying Wikiwand?

Tell your friends and spread the love:
Share on Gmail Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Buffer

Our magic isn't perfect

You can help our automatic cover photo selection by reporting an unsuitable photo.

This photo is visually disturbing This photo is not a good choice

Thank you for helping!


Your input will affect cover photo selection, along with input from other users.

X

Get ready for Wikiwand 2.0 🎉! the new version arrives on September 1st! Don't want to wait?