In American football, encroachment is a penalty in which a defensive player is positioned in the neutral zone at the start of a play. (whether contact is made or not in High School)

In the NFL, when, prior to the snap of the football, a defensive player makes contact with an offensive player or has a direct path to the quarterback it is encroachment. The result of this penalty is 5 yards in the NFL and CFL against the defensive team.

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