A penalty assessed if an offensive team has more than eleven players in the huddle prior to the beginning of an offensive play. The penalty is marked of five yards from the line of scrimmage, and the down is replayed. Offensive players have to be aware of who is substituting into the game on a given play to make sure that the proper player leaves the huddle before the incoming player reaches it.
Too many men in the huddle is a relatively rare play, and is usually cause by inattention on the part of the offensive players. Since a huddle cannot form with more than eleven players, players tend to avoid entering the huddle until substitutions have completed for that particular play. The quarterback can help keep the penalty from being called by standing away from the huddle until he is sure the right players are on the field. If twelve people are in the huddle, the referee can make the call immediately, and play stops.