What is meant by “ineligible receiver downfield?”


To answer your question(s):

The penalty is assessed if the ineligible player is more than 1 yard down field on a forward pass play unless he is blocking a player that initiated within the 1 yard buffer zone.

If the defensive player breaks the contact with the ineligible player, the player must stop. He may not continue down field until the pass in completed.

Once a pass is complete all players may advance at their own discretion.

In the NFL there is no "screen pass exception", this is a NCAA rule where a player can be down field if the pass in completed behind the line of scrimmage.

NFL - Eligible Receiver

In order to catch a forward pass, a player must be an eligible receiver:

They can line up in the backfield (ie running back, quarterback, or receiver) They can be on either end of the line of scrimmage (ie a tight end or split end)

Also in the NFL an eligible receiver cannot wear a number of 50-79 or 90-99 with more...

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In gridiron football, ineligible receiver downfield is a penalty that is called when a forward pass is thrown and an ineligible receiver is beyond the line of scrimmage without blocking an opponent at the time of the pass. An exception is on screen plays where the ineligible player is allowed to cross the line of scrimmage to go out and block because the ball is still being caught behind the line of scrimmage. This exception, however, does not apply to the NFL. A member of the offensive team considered an eligible receiver by the rules of the game, in most leagues, are the running backs, wide receivers, and tight ends. Ineligible receivers include the center, offensive guards, and offensive...

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By Jobe Lewis

One penalty that you'll hear called at times in football games is the ineligible receiver downfield penalty. What is this rule and what is it all about?

In any offensive formation, there are 5 eligible receivers. Technically, the quarterback is also an eligible receiver, though we normally don't see him going out for passes very often, unless it's a trick play. If one of the 5 linemen heads across the neutral zone, and a forward pass is thrown downfield, this is a penalty. Once the ball is caught by an eligible receiver, then the linemen can head downfield to block.

This is one of the reasons linemen need to have specific jersey numbers. It makes it easier for the officiating crew to determine who is an eligible receiver and who is not, once the play is initiated. Here is a chart that explains more about the numbering system for football jerseys. Numbering System...

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For the second straight year, a controversial proposed football rules change has been tabled.

The NCAA Playing Rules Oversight Panel (PROP) has tabled a rule that would have adjusted the ineligible receiver downfield rule from 3 yards to 1 yard. The proposal from the NCAA Football Rules Committee was met with some public backlash by high-profile coaches who expressed concern that the creativity of football was being attacked again.

In a news release, the NCAA said PROP felt more discussion about the rule should occur before a final decision is made. The rule will remain 3 yards for the 2015 season.

Last year, college football faced blowback when it attempted to make offenses not snap the ball until 10 seconds had elapsed on the play clock. Tabling this latest proposal signaled continuing problems within college football over how rules are created and whether enough coaches have a say in the process.

“Additionally, the panel was concerned about the lack...

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What is a family? Is it a mother, a brother, or a sister? What about cousins, aunts, or uncles? Is a family relationship merely just a blood relationship? Or is family truly not any of those things at all? In my own life I have learned that the meaning of family has little to do with blood relatives and titles. To me, family is a matter of the heart and it has everything to do with emotional attachment. My family is not just who I see on the holidays or those who share my last name. My family consists of the people I would lay down my life for. It is the people who have impacted me as a person, who have helped mold me and pushed me to a better place. And in the simplest terms family is who you love and who loves you back.
When I was growing up, my family was never defined by blood relatives. My father’s best friends have always been considered to be my aunt and uncles. For instance my Uncle Mike always sent birthday cards and took me to do things when he...

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Football boots evolution from 1930 to 2002.

Football boots, called cleats or soccer shoes in North America, are an item of footwear worn when playing football. Those designed for grass pitches have studs on the outsole to aid grip. From simple and humble beginnings football boots have come a long way and today find themselves subject to much research, development, sponsorship and marketing at the heart of a multi-national global industry. Modern "boots" are not truly boots in that they do not cover the ankle.

1800s: During the 19th century football became extremely popular in Britain. People who played would wear their heavy and hard work boots to play. These were the first ever boots with the steel toe cap at the front, long laces and ankle support. These boots also had metal studs or tacks put in the sole the bottom so the players would have more stability on the pitch. In the later part of the 19th century the first ever football-specific boot was designed, made...

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A down marker showing first down along the sideline of a collegiate game

A down is a period in which a play transpires in American and Canadian football. The down is a distinguishing characteristic of the game compared to other codes of football, but is synonymous with a "tackle" in rugby league. The team in possession of the football has a limited number of downs (four downs in American football, three downs in Canadian football) to advance ten yards or more towards their opponent's goal line. If they fail to advance that far, possession of the ball is turned over to the other team. In most situations, if a team reaches their final down they will punt to their opponent, which forces them to begin their drive from further down the field; if they are in range, they might also attempt to score a field goal.


A down begins with a snap or free kick (such as a kickoff or safety kick), and ends when the ball or the player in possession of it is...

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