In addition to all the penalty signs, there are other signs that the officials use to communicate things like scoring, the clock and everything else that occurs on the field.
First Down: Each team gets a set of four downs, or four chances, to move the ball forward 10 yards. The first down is the first of those four attempts.
Touchdown: A touchdown is when 6 points are given for a player carrying the ball into the end zone. The officials will use the same sign for scoring a field goal, two point conversion and extra point.
Penalty Declined: The team that did not get the penalty has the opportunity to decide whether or not they want to enforce the loss of yards that go along with that penalty. Sometimes it is to their advantage to have the other team lose yards but if they gained more yards on the play than the other team would lose, they might decide to decline the penalty.
Loss of Down: If a penalty is against the offense, there is a chance, depending on what the penalty is, that they may lose a down in addition to the yards lost.
Stop the Clock: When the official feels it’s necessary to stop the clock for any reason. Especially when a play is over.
Safety: When the defense makes a tackle of the ball carrier in the offense’s end zone the defense will score two points.
Touchback: Often referred to as, “taking a knee“, this is when the ball is kicked or punted into the other team’s end zone or behind the end zone. If a player catches the ball in the end zone and kneels down the play is over and they will get the ball on the 20 yard line. If no one catches it the receiving team will still get the ball on the 20 yard line.
Timeout: A player or coach will call for a timeout in which play stops for a period of time.
Official Timeout: An official will call for a timeout in which play stops to review a play or perhaps there is an injured player on the field.
TV Timeout: If a game is a televised event, like a live-action game, an official will call for a 1 or 2 minute break for a television commercial to be shown.
Wow, I can’t believe we are coming to the end of our series. Makes me kind of sad but also glad to have been able to provide a comprehensive reference for those who want a better understanding of football. I hope you have enjoyed the series and have gotten an opportunity to really learn something and perhaps develop a greater appreciation for America’s greatest passion.
Tomorrow we are going to take a look at some of the guys that make football possible with their expertise, leadership and tough training………the coaches!
**As always, if you would like a downloadable copy of the penalty card at the top of this post, just click on the image and download it for your reference.