Q:

What are some of the most commonly used football referee signals?

A:

Quick Answer

Football referees use signals throughout the game to signal every facet of the game from penalties to scoring. Some of the most commonly used referee signals represent first down, touchdown, holding, false start and personal fouls, including unnecessary roughness.

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Full Answer

When signaling a first down, the referee points his right arm towards the defensive team’s goal post. This signal occurred 10,255 times during the 2014 NFL season.

The touchdown signal is shown by the referee extending both arms above his head. This signal occurred 1,187 times during the 2014 NFL season.

Referees signaled holding 845 times during the 2014 NFL season. Both offensive and defensive holding are represented by the holding signal. Offensive holding was called 629 times during the 2014 NFL season. The referee signals this penalty by grasping one wrist, the fist clenched, in front of chest.

False start was called 588 times during the 2014 NFL season. The referee signals this penalty by rotating forearms over one another in front of his body.

The referees signals a personal foul by striking one wrist against another above his head. Personal foul signals are used for roughing the kicker, roughing the passer, unnecessary roughness and major face mask penalties. Unnecessary roughness was called 208 times during the 2014 NFL season. The referee signals this penalty by rotating his forearms over one another in front of his body.

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