Spiking the Ball in Football

Spiking the ball, simply put, is the action of throwing the football directly into the ground. Spiking is done both purposefully during gameplay and sometimes after a play in celebration. Here is a little more about spiking in football.

Is it Legal to Spike the Ball?

There are two ways a football can be spiked. One way is in a situation when there is not a lot of time left on the clock, the quarterback will sometimes spike the ball directly after the ball is snapped. This technically counts as an incomplete pass, which stops the clock and conserves time for them to continue their offensive drive. 

Another time players spike the ball is out of celebration after a big play. This famous and well-loved celebration is a classic, and many players have their own famous take on the move.

Different leagues and levels of football have differing rules regarding spiking the football ball

Spiking the ball to stop the clock is legal at every level of football. This common clock management tactic is a key skill for an offensive unit to possess and can often be a key deciding factor in the outcome of a game.

A celebratory spike of the football often happens during the course of a game but is only legal at the professional level. In college and high school football, spiking the ball to celebrate after a play is considered unsportsmanlike conduct, and a penalty will be enforced on the offending player. 

Hopefully, this helped you learn about when, how, and why a football is spiked.


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