An unofficial game between two teams, or five-on-five play between team members in a practice situation.

A scrimmage is a practice — not an official game — in American football, hockey, and in other team sports.

You might think of football when you hear the word scrimmage, because the ball is placed on the "line of scrimmage" at the start of a play.

A scrimmage is also a practice between two squads. You can also use scrimmage as a verb for other types of practicing.

A basketball  (external link) player might scrimmage by shooting one hundred free throws, for example.

Originally, scrimmage was a variation on the word skirmish, and meant "a confused struggle between players."

Full Definition of SCRIMMAGE

1 ~ a : a minor battle : skirmish
......b : a confused fight : scuffle

2 ~ a : the interplay between two football teams that begins with the snap of the ball and continues until the ball is dead
......b : practice play (as in football or basketball) between two squads

Examples of SCRIMMAGE

The first play from scrimmage netted them a touchdown.
( the two players got into a scrimmage off the court and got suspended )


Middle English scrymmage, alteration of skyrmissh skirmish
First Known Use: 15th century


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