ARTICLE 5. The defensive team requirements are as follows:
a. Each of the following (1-5) is a dead ball foul. Officials should blow the whistle and not allow the play to continue. After the ball is ready for play and before the ball is snapped:
2. No player may enter the neutral zone causing an offensive lineman to react immediately or commit any other dead-ball offside foul (Rules 2-18-2 and 7-1-2b-3 Exception).
Approved Ruling 7-1-3 V. A66, a restricted lineman between the snapper and the player on the end of the line, or A72, a restricted player on the end of the line of scrimmage:
1. Lifts a hand or hands from the ground immediately when threatened by B1, who is in the neutral zone. RULING: Blow the whistle immediately. Team B dead-ball foul, offside. Penalty—Five yards from the succeeding spot.
2. Lifts a hand or hands from the ground upon initial charge by B1, who (a) does not enter the neutral zone or (b) enters the neutral zone but does not threaten the position of A66 or A72. RULING: In both (a) and (b), blow the whistle immediately. Team A dead ball foul, false start. Penalty—Five yards from the succeeding spot.
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.
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.
PENALTY [1-3]—Dead-ball foul, offside. Five yards from the succeeding spot [S18].