Wide receivers deserve to regularly be checked out pointing at the sideline after the huddle and also before they gain set in their position. Why are they pointing toward the sideline?

Wide receivers point to the sideline wbelow the referee lets them recognize they are on the line of a scrimmage or off the line of scrimmage. This helps the referee make sure tright here are sufficient players (7) on the line of scrimmage so the offense deserve to protect against penalty.

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In this write-up, we’re going to present you why wide receivers allude at the sideline.

Pointing To The Referee

Although it may look favor the wide receiver is pointing at the opposing (or same) sideline, they are actually pointing at the referee. The communication in between the referee, which we generally can’t hear on a live broadactors, is the receiver telling the referee he is “on” or “off.”

The referee that the player is pointing at is recognized as the side judge, or oftentimes they will have “S” on their unidevelop. The side judge is responsible for ensuring sufficient players are on the line of scrimmage and also searching for any pre-snap penalties.

This referee position is crucial bereason he essentially controls the line of scrimmage and makes certain tbelow are no ineligible formations.

When he tells the referee that he’s “on,” he’s ssuggest stating that he will certainly be lining up on the line of scrimmage. This suggests among his hands or feet will be lined up on the line of scrimmage, and he’s unable to make it in motion; he should be stationary.

On the flip side, if you check out a large receiver pointing at the referee and swinging your arm backward, it’s often signifying to the referee that he’s “off.” Being off the line of scrimmage frequently implies that you’re 1 yard off the line of scrimmage, and also you have actually the ability to go in activity.

Eligible Formations

To understand why the wide receiver is pointing towards the referee, you have to initially understand eligible formations. Here is a break down of eligible formations and how to line them up as necessary.


In short, there’s a couple of rules that every offense should abide by, no issue if you’re running a power offense or a spreview offense.

Tright here have to be 7 players on the line of scrimmage at all times.Players that are ON the line of scrimmage, inside of an additional player that is on the line of scrimmage, are taken into consideration “covered up”, and may not go out for a pass.If tright here aren’t 7 players on the line of scrimmage, the referee will certainly throw a flag and also it will be referred to as an “ineligible formation”Players that are thought about “on” the line of scrimmage, might not relocate. Once they set their feet, they no much longer deserve to go in motion. The just time they’re able to move is the quarterback shifts the whole formation

This is vital to understand, especially as a wide receiver, bereason if a big play pops off and also you weren’t lined up appropriately, you’ll get a flag, and the play will be erased.

This is a large part of why coaches will have the wide receivers, once they break the huddle, jog over to their landmark and suggest to the referee, that is situated on the sideline.

The referee will then shake his head yes (and also possibly point to a spot) wright here the receiver on the line of scrimmage have the right to line up. The referee then knows that (including the lineman) has actually 6 people on the line of scrimmage. He will then signal to the referee throughout the field to make sure that he likewise has a player on the line of scrimmage. This provides 7 players on the line of scrimmage.

However before, if the widest receiver tells the referee he is “off” the line of scrimmage, he will certainly wave his hand also backward. The referee then hregarding discover the next closest receiver on the scrimmage line, then signal to the referee throughout the area.

For high-flying uptempo offenses, this have the right to be most a referee to attempt to decipher that is on and also who is off the line of scrimmage.

Helping The Referee

Why carry out teams perform this? It helps the referee in clarifying how many kind of eligible receivers tbelow are. Both referees signal to each various other, letting them know they have enough guys on the line of scrimmage.

They usage hand also signals to communicate through each various other to ease the process of seeing 7 guys lining on the line of scrimmage.

Generally, 5 linemales are always on the line of scrimmage, so the referees look for one wide receiver on each side. In a perfect world, this renders it straightforward on a referee.

However, groups have actually been known to usage a swinging gate or polecat development where linemales have currently lined up as wide receivers, and it’s a entirety mess of confusion. Not just execute these formations confusage defenses, but likewise referees.

This renders it harder for the referee to identify that is on the line of scrimmage and also that is off the line of scrimmage.

Keep Learning

Pointing to the referee deserve to be watched at all levels of footround. If you’re a team coach who likes to flex out the wide receivers, you have to teach them this tactic to avoid penalties.

As a coach, there’s nothing worse than ripping off a huge play than having it come earlier because a wide receiver couldn’t line up an additional yard up on the line of scrimmage.

Teach this tactic by having the player break the huddle and suggest the referee as he’s running toward the line of scrimmage. We encourage you not to teach the player to ask if he’s great as soon as he’s set.

We want to grab the referee’s attention best before you hit the line of scrimmage. Waiting till your collection, the referee currently has actually his eyes on the line of scrimmage trying to find a pre-snap penalty. Be the first point he checks, not the last point to prevent penalty.

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