ARTICLE 2. After the ball is ready for play, offside occurs (Rule 7-1-5) when a defensive player:
a. Is in or beyond the neutral zone when the ball is legally snapped; or
b. Contacts an opponent beyond the neutral zone before the ball is snapped; or
c. Contacts the ball before it is snapped; or
d. Threatens an offensive lineman, causing an immediate reaction, before the ball is snapped (Rule 7-1-2b-3 Exception); or
Approved Ruling 7-1-3 V Note: Before the snap, a Team B player who enters the neutral zone may threaten a maximum of three Team A linemen. If the Team B player enters the neutral zone directly toward a Team A lineman, then that Team A player and the two adjacent linemen are considered to be threatened. If the Team B player enters the neutral zone toward a gap between two Team A linemen, then only those two Team A players are considered to be threatened.
e. Crosses the neutral zone and charges toward a Team A back; or
Approved Ruling 7-1-5 III. Before the snap, a Team B player crosses the neutral zone and, without making contact, continues his charge behind a Team A lineman and directly toward the quarterback or kicker. RULING: A Team B player who is on Team A’s side of the neutral zone and is moving in a direct path toward the quarterback or kicker while he is behind an offensive lineman is considered to be interfering with Team A’s formation. Penalty—Team B dead-ball foul, offside. Five yards from the succeeding spot.
f. Is not behind their restraining line when the ball is legally free-kicked (Rule 6-1-2). Offside occurs when one or more players of the kicking team are not behind their restraining line when the ball is legally free-kicked. (Exception: The kicker and holder are not offside when they are beyond their restraining line.)