7-1-6 Encroachment restrictions are not in effect for those in the neutral zone as the snapper has not placed a hand(s) on the ball. The players who are in the neutral zone may move and be out of the neutral zone before the snapper puts his hand(s) on the ball. Before the snapper places his hand(s) on the ball it is encroachment for any other player to touch the ball or an opponent or be in the zone to give defensive signals. All other encroachment restrictions begin after the ready for play when the snapper places his hand(s) on the ball.
7-1-6 After the ready-for-play signal and after the snapper is in contact with the ball, it is encroachment if a defensive player contacts the ball or the snapper’s arms or hands until the snap is completed (Rule 2-40).