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 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."

Definitions of scrimmage

n (American football) practice play between a football team's squads

Type of:
drill, exercise, practice, practice session, recitation
systematic training by multiple repetitions

n a noisy riotous fight

battle royal, melee
Type of:
the act of disturbing something or someone; setting something in motion

v practice playing (a sport)

Type of:
practice, practise, rehearse
engage in a rehearsal (of)

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