What Is The Line Of Scrimmage In Football?

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What Is The Line Of Scrimmage?

The line of scrimmage (LOS) is an imaginary line that marks the beginning and end points for each play in American football. This line divides the offense from the defense and runs across the field’s width from sideline to sideline. To start a play, all players must be behind this line before they are allowed to move forward or backward.

What’s The Purpose of the Line of Scrimmage?

The LOS essentially serves as a barrier that keeps offense players from going beyond their side and into opposing territory by creating two distinct areas on either side.

This is why it’s so important for teams to know where their LOS is during any given game situation; otherwise, they risk getting penalized for being offside or encroaching upon another team’s territory.

What Its Used For

The LOS can also be used as a point of reference when setting up plays. For example, if a player wants to throw a pass to someone else on their team, they need to know how far away that person is from the LOS so they can accurately estimate how long it will take them to get there and catch the ball.

Similarly, defensive players need to know their LOS in relation to offensive players so they can plan where they should go to make plays or disrupt passes.


Understanding what the line of scrimmage is in football can help you gain an edge on your opponents during games by allowing you to properly strategize against them both offensively and defensively.

Knowing where your LOS is at all times will enable you to accurately measure distances between yourself and other players on your team or opposing teams to set up successful plays or defend against one set up by others.