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Referee Signals for Defense in American Football
4 NFL Rule Changes for 2013

American Football Game-Play Referee Signals

Personal foul.

The referee raises his arms above his head and strikes one wrist with the edge of his other hand to signify a personal foul. If the personal foul signal is followed by the referee swinging one of his legs in a kicking motion, it means roughing the kicker. If the signal is followed by the referee simulating a throwing motion, it means roughing the passer. Finally, if the signal is followed by the referee pretending to grab an imaginary face mask, it’s a major face mask penalty, which is worth 15 yards.

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