View Full Version : Glossary: G-I

03-05-2009, 08:19 AM

a surface in space marked by a structure of two upright posts 18 feet 6 inches apart extending above a horizontal crossbar whose top edge is 10 feet off the ground. The goal is the surface above the bar and between the lines of the inner edges of the posts, extending infinitely upward, centered above each end line in American, and each goal line in Canadian football.
goal area
the end zone in Canadian professional football.
goal line
the front of the end zone.
either (a) the field of play; a football field; or (b) the game itself, now often used to distinguish among football (soccer), rugby union, rugby league, and American football

The word derives from the same root as griddle, meaning a "lattice." The original field was marked in a grid of crisscrossed lines; the ball would be snapped in the grid in which it was downed on the previous play. In modern usage, a gridiron—whether in cooking or football—is considered a surface with parallel lines. See also Gridiron football

OG one of two player positions on offense — see linemen.
Term for a quarterback who plays with an aggressive and decisive manner by throwing deep, risky passes. These quarterbacks usually possess the strong arm needed to throw deep effectively.
The widest player on the line in a punting formation.


Hail Mary
a long pass play, thrown towards a group of receivers near the end zone in hope of a touchdown. Used by a team as a last resort as time is running out in either of two halves (usually by a team trailing in the second half). Refers to the Catholic prayer.
halfback (HB)
a player position on offense. Also known as a tailback.
halfback option play
a trick play in which the halfback has the option to throw a pass or run
halo violation
From 1983 until the end of the 2002 season, in the NCAA (college football) the halo rule was a foul for interference with the opportunity to catch a kick. The so called halo rule stated that no player of the kicking team may be within two yards of a receiving team player positioned to catch a punt or kickoff (before that person has touched the ball). The rule was abolished beginning in the 2003 season.
(also known as backward pass) a player's handing of a live ball to another player. The hand-off goes either backwards or laterally, as opposed to a forward pass. Sometimes called a "switch" in touch football. (Note different usage of term from its rugby meaning.)
hands team
A group of players, mostly wide receivers, that are responsible for recovering an onside kick. They line up as close as possible to the ten-yard neutral zone and their goal is to recover the ball immediately after, but only if, the ball crosses out of the neutral zone.
hard count
a strategy used by offenses to convert on fourth down and less than five yards to go. An offense will take the full time on the play clock with the quarterback utilizing an irregular, accented (thus, the term "hard") cadence for the snap count in the hope that the defense will jump offside, giving the offense the five yards needed to convert the first down. However, if the defense does not go offside, the offense will take a five-yard penalty for delay of game and punt the ball away
hash marks
lines between which the ball begins each play. The lines are parallel to and a distance in from the side lines and marked as broken lines. If a play is blown dead while the ball is between the hash marks, the ball is spotted where it is blown dead for the following play. If the play ends outside the hash marks, the ball is spotted at the nearer hash mark.
a player listed in a roster or depth chart as a fullback but with better athletic / pass-catching abilities and playing as a hybrid of a fullback and a tight end
a term used by the Penn State football team to refer to the strong safety.
synonym of "snap" - the handoff or pass from the center that begins a play from scrimmage.
a player who holds the ball upright for a place kick. Often backup quarterbacks are used for their superior ball-handling ability and in the event of a bad snap requiring a pass play, or punters for their ability to catch long snaps.
there are two kinds of holding: offensive holding, illegally blocking a player from the opposing team by grabbing and holding his uniform or body; and defensive holding, called against defensive players who hold offensive players, but who are not actively making an attempt to catch the ball (if the defensive player were to impede an offensive player in the act of catching the ball, that would be the more severe foul of pass interference)
Home and away
a method of scheduling opponents, such that the two teams play one game at each team's home stadium. In college football, conferences such as the Big12, where a team does not play all the other teams each year, use a "home and away" schedule to play an opponent two years in a row and then rotate to another opponent. Teams also use this method to schedule non-conference opponents of roughly equal skill so that ticket revenue is split evenly. When scheduling teams of a lower calibre, the higher-rated team usually plays at home and provides a cash payout to the other team.
hook and lateral (hook and ladder)
a trick play in which a receiver (usually a wide receiver) runs a hook pattern (i.e., moving toward the line of scrimmage to make a catch), and then laterals the ball to a second player (generally another receiver or a running back) going in a different direction. One of the most famous uses of this play was by Boise State in its epic 2007 Fiesta Bowl win over Oklahoma.
an on-field gathering of members of a team in order to secretly communicate instructions for the upcoming play.
Hurry-Up Offense
An offensive strategy designed to gain as much yardage as possible while running as little time off the clock as possible. Often involves making plays without a huddle. This technique can also be used to keep the defensive team off-balance.


I formation
A formation that includes a fullback and tailback lined up with the fullback directly in front of the tailback. If a third back is in line, this is referred to as a “full house I” or “Maryland I.” If the third back is lined up along side the fullback, it is referred to as a “Power I.”
illegal formation
On offense, there must be exactly seven players lined up on the line of scrimmage for at least one count before the ball is snapped. If not, then it is an illegal formation.
illegal motion
On offense, a player may be in motion but cannot be going forward at the time of the snap (except in Arena football where one player is allowed to do so), and a lineman must be set for one second before the snap. Otherwise it is an illegal motion.
illegal shift
On offense, only one person is allowed to be in motion at the snap. If not, it is an illegal shift.
incomplete pass
a forward pass of the ball which no player legally caught.
inbounds lines
the hash marks.
indirect snap
a play in which the ball is handed to the quarterback rather than thrown directly to the ballcarrier by the center as in a direct snap play. So named because the quarterback acts as an intermediary in relaying the ball to the ballcarrier. Also used to refer to formations that use such a snap, as most modern formations do. Indirect snap formations exploded in popularity after World War II.
ineligible receiver
Certain players on the offense are not allowed to catch passes. For example, in most situations offensive linemen cannot be receivers and they may cause their team to be penalized if they catch the ball. An exception is if the ball has already been tipped by a different player. In six-man football all players are eligible receivers.

1. of a player's path: relatively close (in reference to the sides of the field) to where the ball was snapped from. Thus, a ballcarrier's path in crossing the neutral zone may be said to be "inside" of an opponent, or an "inside run" in general, and a rushing defensive player may be said to put on an "inside move" or "inside rush".
2. of the movement of the ball between players: directed toward a player who cuts between a player in the backfield who throws or hands the ball and the place from which it was snapped. Thus, an "inside pass" or "inside handoff". An "inside reverse" (sometimes called a scissors play) is a reverse play via an inside handoff.

intentional grounding
A type of illegal forward pass; thrown without an intended receiver and no chance of completion to any offensive player, for the sole purpose of conserving time or loss of yardage. This foul costs the offense a loss of down and 10 yards. If it occurs 10 yards behind the line of scrimmage, then the 10 yards is taken from the spot of the foul. If the foul is committed in the end zone the penalty is a safety. Intentional grounding is not called in the case of a spike after a hand to hand snap or if under NFL or NCAA rules, the quarterback was outside the tackle box, (the imaginary area between each tackle) at the time of the pass, provided that the ball travels at least to the line of scrimmage. The Tackle Box is also known as the Pocket. nfl rules
the legal catching of a forward pass thrown by an opposing player.