# When there is a review... How wide is the Line of Scrimmage?

If we remember from math class, a line has no width.

When measuring for 1st down, the chains go exactly 10 yards with no fudge factor.

Last night there appeared to be a legitimate difference of opinion whether or not Adam’s was over the line when he threw for a TD.

So, while I can’t imagine it’s written anywhere, how much of a fudge factor is there/should there be on calls like this because visual measurement is bound to be imprecise?

Don’t quote me but I believe recently the league redefined the illegal forward pass rule to be judged in relation to the thrower’s feet as opposed to the ball as was previously the case.

This was to simplify the call as judging both the ball position and release point on the fly is harder to do than spotting where the feet were.

Irrespective of the reference item (feet or ball), it’s still tricky and imprecise to call visually. Video review offers some help but also suffers from parallax error unless the camera is positioned directly on the LOS.

I’m sure officials are told to call a penalty only if the player is clearly over the line. Since there are officials on the line of scrimmage, they have the best view to make that determination.

It’s up to the coach to challenge if he believes there should have been a penalty on a close call.

Last night was an eye-in-the-sky auto challenge…and I thought he was over the LOS

No fudge factor … “…The passer needs at least one foot on or behind the line of scrimmage when the ball is released to be considered behind the line of scrimmage …” … Rule6, Article 3

So, a forward pass is legal even if the legal passer has 99.9% of his 2 feet past the line of scrimmage when he releases the pass.

You can’t SEE the line of scrimmage. At least, I can’t.

Only the back foot matters … if it touches the “line” then its OK … foot position is easier to determine than body/ball.

In the picture you can see the sideline marker and that extends out across the field … and if you have an issue then it would apply to whatever standard is used (foot, body or ball)

That just agrees with what I just wrote. Copycat!

Not disagreeing … just adding clarity/precision for the “uninformed”

That’s fact, but I can often see where it is.

Or at least envision it based on the sideline markers … again … added precision

lol, not saying you disagreed. Not agreeing that you were more precise either. lol You can’t see nor touch an imaginary line.

Sorry, no added precision. I don’t need to envision what I can see. lol

To see it the line would have to be drawn on the field … TSN superimposes an estimated Line but it is often off … unless the line of scrimmage is a 5/10 yard line it is envisioned.

I didn’t say that I can see the line of scrimmage. I know it is only imaginary, and reaches into the sky. I did say that I could see where it is, when it’s there, without the help of TSNs superimposed drawing. If one looks hard enough when watching a game on TV, the location of the line of scrimmage can be seen between both scrimmage zones before the snap of the ball.

So, GHT, will you agree with me now that a QB cannot step on the line of scrimmage and still make a legal forward pass? But he can complete a legal pass after having stepped across it! lol

Nice try … any part of either foot on or behind the line of scrimmage and it is legal.

lol I prefer to say… if any part of either foot is not beyond the line of scrimmage the pass can be considered legal.

That is indeed correct. A line has no width. No fudge factors allowed on pain of your math teacher smacking you over the head with a pointer. Or worse yet a yardstick.