RULE 10 Penalty Enforcement

SECTION 1. Penalties Completed

How and When Completed

ARTICLE 1. a. A penalty is completed when it is accepted, declined or cancelled according to rule, or when the choice is obvious to the referee.

b. Any penalty may be declined, but a disqualified player must leave the game.

c. When a foul is committed, the penalty shall be completed before the ball is declared ready for play for any ensuing down.

d. Penalties as stated are not enforced if in conflict with other rules. (A.R. 9-4-1:XI) (A.R. 10-1-1:I)

Approved Ruling 10-1-1

  1. B1 blocks below the waist while the ball is in the air during a free kick. RULING: Penalty - 15 yards from the previous spot. The penalty does not include a first down for Team B's foul since by rule Team A will kick again after the yardage enforcement. [Cited by 10-1-1-d]

Simultaneous with Snap

ARTICLE 2. A foul that occurs simultaneously with a snap or free kick is considered as occurring during that down (Exception: Rule 3-5-2-e) .

Live-Ball Fouls by the Same Team

ARTICLE 3. When two or more live-ball fouls by the same team are reported to the referee, the referee shall explain the alternative penalties to the field captain of the offended team, who may then elect only one of these penalties [Exception: When a foul(s) for unsportsmanlike conduct (noncontact fouls) occurs, the penalty(ies) is administered from the succeeding spot as established by the acceptance or declination of the penalty for any other foul) (A.R. 10-1-3:I)

Approved Ruling 10-1-3

  1. Team A commits two or more live-ball fouls during a down. RULING: Team B may choose one of the penalties or decline all of them (Exception: Live-ball fouls penalized as dead-ball fouls may be penalized separately). [Cited by 10-1-3]

Offsetting Fouls

ARTICLE 4. If live-ball fouls by both teams are reported to the referee, each such foul is an offsetting foul, the penalties cancel each other, and the down is replayed (A.R. 10-1-4:II, IX and X)

Exceptions:

1. When there is a change of team possession during a down or at the end of a down by rule, the team last gaining possession may decline offsetting fouls and thereby retain possession after completion of the penalty for its infraction if it had not fouled before last gaining possession (A.R. 10-1-4:I-VIII)

2. When Team B's foul is postscrimmage kick enforcement, Team B may decline offsetting fouls and accept postscrimmage kick enforcement.

3. When a live-ball foul is administered as a dead-ball foul, it does not offset and is enforced in order of occurrence.

4. Rules 8-3-4-c and 3-1-3-g-3 (during a try or extra period after Team B possession).

Approved Ruling 10-1-4

  1. Team A punts and is illegally in motion at the snap. The untouched ball goes out of bounds between the goal lines, after which Team B commits a personal foul. RULING: If Team B elects to replay the down, Team A will be penalized five yards at the previous spot followed by a 15-yard penalty against Team B. Team B's foul shall award an automatic first down. The clock starts on the snap. Team B could refuse the Team A illegal motion and receive the ball first and 10 after a 15-yard penalty at the out-of-bounds spot. Team B could also accept the penalty of five yards enforced at the out of bounds spot followed by the 15-yard penalty against Team B ( 7-1-3-b). The clock starts on the snap. [Cited by 10-1-4-Exception-1]
  2. On a Team A kickoff, Team B fouls before the untouched ball goes out of bounds between the goal lines. RULING: Offsetting fouls. [Cited by 10-1-4-Exception-1, 10-1-4, 5-2-8]
  3. On a Team A kickoff from its 30-yard line, Team B fouls after the untouched ball goes out of bounds between the goal lines. RULING: Team B may elect a replay with Team A free-kicking at Team A's 40-yard line. If Team B retains the ball, it will be at its 20-yard line, after the 15-yard penalty from its 35-yard line, or 15 yards behind the spot where the five-yard penalty against Team A left the ball (Rule 10-1-6). [Cited by 10-1-4-Exception-1, 5-2-8]
  4. A1's forward pass is intercepted by B1, who advances and fumbles. B2 picks up the ball and advances five more yards. Team A fouls during or after the down and Team B fouls during the advance by B1. RULING: If Team A's foul was a live-ball foul, Team B may select offsetting fouls and replay the down or select an option to retain the ball with Team B's foul enforced. If the Team A foul was a dead-ball foul, Team B must retain the ball after enforcement of both penalties. [Cited by 10-1-4-Exception-1, 5-2-8]
  5. A1's forward pass is intercepted by B1, who advances and fumbles. B2 picks up the ball and advances five more yards. Team A fouls during or after the down, and Team B fouls during the fumble while the ball is loose. RULING: If Team A's foul was a live-ball foul, Team B may select offsetting fouls and replay the down or select an option to retain the ball with Team B's foul enforced. If the Team A foul was a dead-ball foul, Team B must retain the ball after enforcement of both penalties. [Cited by 10-1-4-Exception-1, 5-2-8]
  6. A1's forward pass is intercepted by B1, who advances and fumbles. B2 picks up the ball and advances five more yards. Team A fouls during or after the down, and Team B fouls during the advance by B2. RULING: If Team A's foul was a live-ball foul, Team B may select offsetting fouls and replay the down or select an option to retain the ball with Team B's foul enforced. If the Team A foul was a dead-ball foul, Team B must retain the ball after enforcement of both penalties. [Cited by 10-1-4-Exception-1, 5-2-8]
  7. During a fourth down, a Team A player is in motion illegally, and immediately after the ball is declared dead short of the distance to be gained for a first down, a Team B player fouls. RULING: If Team B declines the penalty for Team A's foul, it will be Team B's ball first and 10 after enforcement of the penalty for Team B's foul. If Team B accepts the penalty for Team A's foul, Team A would be penalized five yards, then Team B's foul would be penalized. Team B's foul results in a first down for Team A if it was a personal foul. [Cited by 10-1-4-Exception-1, 5-2-8]
  8. Team A punts and commits a touching violation. B1 clips during the runback of the punt, which is fumbled by B2. A1 recovers the fumble and A2 fouls after the ball is dead. RULING: Team A is the team last in possession and had not fouled before the change of possession. If Team A does not accept Team B's foul, Team B would have the ball at the point of the violation,along with the option of accepting enforcement of Team A's dead-ball foul. If Team A accepts the Team B foul, the ball will belong to Team B after enforcement of the live-ball foul followed by the dead-ball foul. [Cited by 10-1-4-Exception-1, 5-2-8, 6-3-2-b]
  9. B1 holds eligible A1 beyond the neutral zone before or during the flight of Team A's legal forward pass. During the down, eligible A2 voluntarily goes out of bounds but returns and is the first inbounds player to touch the pass. RULING: Offsetting fouls. [Cited by 10-1-4, 5-2-8]
  10. A1 receives the snap in his end zone. Team B was offside, and A1 stepped on the end line before the snap and received the ball when out of bounds. RULING: Team A's foul, out of bounds at the snap, offsets Team B's offside, and the down is repeated. [Note: If Team B had not been offside, Team B could elect the penalty for Team A's foul or a safety (Rule 8-5-1-a)]. [Cited by 10-1-4, 5-2-8]

Dead-Ball Fouls

ARTICLE 5. Penalties for dead-ball fouls are administered separately and in order of occurrence (A.R. 10-1-5:I-VIII) [Exception: When unsportsmanlike or dead-ball personal fouls by both teams are reported to the referee and before any of the penalties have been completed or the order of occurrence cannot be determined, the fouls offset, the number or type of down established before the fouls occurred is unaffected, and the penalties are cancelled, except that any disqualified player must leave the game (Rules 5-2-6 and 10-2-2-a)].

Approved Ruling 10-1-5

  1. A1 is downed beyond the line to gain. B1 piles on. The referee checks for other fouls, and when he has completed the penalty, A2 slugs B2. RULING: Disqualify A2 for fighting. A2's foul does not offset B1's foul. Unless one enforcement is within 30 yards of a goal and toward that goal, the ball will be at the same point it would have been if the fouls had cancelled each other. First and 10 for Team A (Rule 9-1-2-g). [Cited by 10-1-5, 5-2-6]
  2. Fair-catcher B1 is tackled by A1 after B1 has taken more than two steps, and A2 piles on B1. RULING: Penalize Team B five yards at the spot of the catch and then Team A 15 yards in the opposite direction. First and 10 for Team B (Rule 6-5-2). [Cited by 10-1-5, 5-2-6, 6-5-2]
  3. With fourth and eight, Team A gains four yards and the ball is declared dead, after which B1 is called for piling on. RULING: Team B personal foul. Penalty - 15 yards from the succeeding spot. First and 10 for Team B (Rule 5-1-1-c). The clock starts on the snap. [Cited by 10-1-5, 5-1-1-c, 5-2-6]
  4. A1 is tackled on third down behind the neutral zone by B1. After the ball is dead, B2 piles on A1. RULING: Team B personal foul. Penalty - 15 yards from the succeeding spot. First and 10 for Team A (Rule 9-1-2-g). [Cited by 10-1-5, 5-2-6]
  5. On third down, A1 gains 20 yards, is downed, then deliberately continues to advance, and B1 piles on him. RULING: Penalize the Team A five yards from the dead-ball spot, followed by a 15-yard penalty against Team B. First and 10 for Team A (Rule 9-1-2-g). [Cited by 10-1-5, 5-2-6]
  6. A personal or disqualifying personal foul occurs during action after a snap that was made before the ball was declared ready. RULING: Every effort should be made to prevent any such premature snap and resulting action; but if such a foul does occur, it is between downs. If by Team A, both dead-ball fouls will be enforced. If the second foul was by Team B, both fouls will be enforced with a probable net of 10 yards for Team A. Team B's foul would be an automatic first down. [Cited by 10-1-5, 5-2-6]
  7. Second and goal at the three-yard line. Runner A14 is downed at the one-yard line and then B67 piles on. A14 retaliates by slugging B67. RULING: The penalties cancel since neither has been completed. A14 is disqualified for fighting. Third and goal (Rule 10-1-1). [Cited by 10-1-5]
  8. Runner B17 taunts pursuing A55 prior to scoring a touchdown on an intercepted pass. After B17 crosses the goal line, he is tackled by A55 five yards into the end zone. RULING: The penalties cancel since neither has been completed. The try will be at the three-yard line (Rule 10-1-1). [Cited by 10-1-5]

Live-Ball - Dead-Ball Fouls

ARTICLE 6. When a live-ball foul by one team is followed by one or more dead-ball fouls (including live-ball fouls penalized as dead-ball fouls) by an opponent or by the same team, the penalties are administered separately and in the order of occurrence (A.R. 10-1-6:I-VII)

Approved Ruling 10-1-6

  1. Team A fouls during a down and after the down ends. RULING: Team B may choose both penalties, choose one penalty or decline both. [Cited by 10-1-6]
  2. On fourth and two, A1 is illegally in motion at the snap, and runner A2 gains one yard and then deliberately continues to advance. RULING: If Team B accepts both penalties, it will be fourth and 12 for Team A. If Team B accepts only the delay penalty, it will be first and 10 for Team B since Team A failed in its bid for a first down (Rule 5-1-4-f). [Cited by 10-1-6, 5-1-4-f]
  3. With second and five, Team A is illegally in motion at the snap. After the ball becomes dead, a Team B player is disqualified for fighting after striking an opponent. RULING: It is Team A's ball after a five yard penalty against Team A from the previous spot and a 15-yard penalty against Team B from the succeeding spot. Team A will have a first down because of the disqualifying contact foul for fighting. [Cited by 10-1-6]
  4. B1 fouls during a down before B2 intercepts a legal forward pass. After the ball is declared dead, A1 piles on. RULING: Team A retains the ball after penalising Team B. Team A then will be penalized for the dead-ball foul (Rule 5-2-3). [Cited by 10-1-6, 5-2-3]
  5. Offsetting fouls have been reported, and the ball is being taken to the spot of the ensuing down when a player fouls. RULING: Penalties for the offsetting fouls cancelled each other when reported to the referee and were completed at that time (Rules 10-1-1 and 10-1-4). The subsequent foul is considered separately as in the case of any other single foul between downs (Rule 5-2-3). [Cited by 10-1-6]
  6. Team B is offside on the snap at its three-yard line (not a try) and Team A throws a legal forward pass into Team B's end zone. Team B intercepts and runs 101 yards to Team A's end zone, after which Team A clips. RULING: Repeat the down with Team A putting the ball in play at the Team B 16-yard line. [Cited by 10-1-6]
  7. No fouls have occurred when Team B intercepts Team A's legal forward pass. On the runback, a Team B player clips. When the ball becomes dead, a Team A player piles on. RULING: Penalize Team B's clipping foul, followed by a penalty for Team A's piling foul. The yardages will cancel unless one enforcement spot was inside the 30-yard line and enforcement was toward that goal. [Cited by 10-1-6]

Interval Fouls

ARTICLE 7. Fouls that occur between the end of the fourth period and the start of the extra period for overtime are enforced from the 25-yard line, the spot of the first series (Exception: Rule 10-2-2-g) (A.R. 10-1-7:I and IV-XVIII)

Approved Ruling 10-1-7

    Fouls during a touchdown or field goal by Team A:

  1. Team B clips after the snap in the field of play or the end zone. RULING: Team A has the option of penalising Team B on the try or the succeeding kickoff, if the foul occurs during the down ending in a touchdown (Rule 10-2-2-g). [Cited by 10-1-7]
  2. Team A commits a contact foul in the field of play. RULING: No score. Penalize Team A according to rule.
  3. Team A fouls in the end zone during the run. RULING: No score. Penalize Team A from the goal line (basic spot).
  4. Team B commits a personal foul during a down when Team A scores a touchdown, and then Team A fouls after the score and before the ready-for-play signal on the try. RULING: Allow the score. Team A has the option of penalising Team B on the try or on the succeeding kickoff. Team B then also has the option of penalising Team A on the try or the succeeding kickoff. The yardage assessed for the live-ball/dead-ball fouls may offset (Rule 10-2-2-g). [Cited by 10-1-7]
  5. Team B holds during Team A's touchdown run. Team A fouls after the score. RULING: Allow the score. Team B has the option of penalising Team A on the try or the succeeding kickoff (Rule 10-2-2-g). [Cited by 10-1-7]
  6. A Team B player slugs an opponent during or after Team A's touchdown run. Team B is offside on the successful try. RULING: Allow the touchdown. Disqualify the Team B player for fighting. Team A has the option of penalising Team B on the try or on the succeeding kickoff. After the successful try, Team A has the option of repeating the try with the offside penalty enforced on the try ( 10-2-2-g-1 and 3). [Cited by 10-1-7]
  7. Team B commits a 15-yard face-mask foul during or after Team A's touchdown pass. Team B fouls on Team A's successful try. Team B fouls after the try. RULING: Allow the touchdown. Team A has the option of penalising Team B on the try or on the succeeding kickoff. After the successful try, Team A has the option of repeating the try with the penalty enforced on the try. Personal fouls may be enforced on the subsequent kickoff or at the succeeding spot in extra periods. For Team B's foul after the try, the penalty may be enforced on the kickoff, unless the try is repeated, in which case it must be enforced on the repeated try (Rules 8-3-5, 10-1-6 and 10-2-2-g). [Cited by 10-1-7]
  8. Team B fouls against the passer during a completed touchdown pass play. RULING: Allow the touchdown. Team A has the option of penalising Team B on the try or on the succeeding kickoff. [Cited by 10-1-7]
  9. Team B is offside during a successful field goal down. RULING: Team A has the option of declining the field goal with the penalty from the previous spot or accepting the points. [Cited by 10-1-7]

    Fouls after a touchdown by Team A:

  10. Team A fouls after it scores a touchdown, and Team B fouls on the successful try. RULING: Allow the touchdown. Team B has the option of penalising Team A on the try or the succeeding kickoff. Team A then has the option of penalising Team B on a replay of the try. Team B personal fouls may be enforced on the subsequent kickoff or at the succeeding spot in extra periods. Yardages assessed on the succeeding kickoff may offset. [Cited by 10-1-7]
  11. Team A fouls after it scores a touchdown, and Team B fouls after a successful try. RULING: Allow the score. Team B has the option of penalising Team A on the try or the succeeding kickoff. For the foul after the try, Team B is penalized on the kickoff or at the succeeding spot in extra periods. [Cited by 10-1-7]

    Fouls during a try with no change of team possession (this does not include live-ball fouls enforced as dead-ball fouls or loss-of-down fouls):

  12. Team A fouls during a successful try. RULING: The penalty is enforced, and the try is repeated (Rule 8-3-3). [Cited by 10-1-7, 8-3-1]
  13. Team A fouls during an unsuccessful try. RULING: The penalty is obviously declined (Rule 8-3-3). [Cited by 10-1-7, 8-3-1]
  14. Team B fouls during an unsuccessful try. RULING: Team B is penalized, and the try is repeated. The PAT is exempt from Rule 10-2-2-e Exception 3. [Cited by 10-1-7, 8-3-1, 8-3-3-b-1]
  15. Team B fouls during a successful try. RULING: Replay the down after enforcement or the penalty is declined by rule. Personal fouls may be enforced on the subsequent kickoff (Rule 8-3-3) or at the succeeding spot in extra periods. [Cited by 10-1-7, 8-3-1, 8-3-3-b-1]
  16. Both Team A and Team B foul during a try. RULING: The try is repeated at the previous spot (Rule 8-3-3). [Cited by 10-1-7, 8-3-1, 8-3-3-a]
  17. During a successful kick try from the three-yard line, Team B is offside. After the ball is dead, Team B commits a personal foul. RULING: Team A has the option of replaying the try with the Team B penalties enforced or declining the offside penalty and accepting the point (Rule 10-1-6). Team B's dead-ball foul is then penalized on the kickoff or at the succeeding spot in extra periods. [Cited by 10-1-7, 8-3-1, 8-3-3-b-1]
  18. During an unsuccessful kick try from the three-yard line, Team A commits an illegal motion foul. After the ball becomes dead, Team B fouls. RULING: Team B obviously will refuse the penalty for the Team A foul. Team B is penalized on the kickoff or at the succeeding spot in extra periods. [Cited by 10-1-7, 8-3-1]

    Fouls after a try and before the succeeding kickoff:

  19. Either team fouls. RULING: Enforce penalty on the kickoff unless the try is the last down of the game. [Cited by 8-3-1, 8-3-5]
  20. Both teams foul before either foul is completed. RULING: The fouls cancel. [Cited by 8-3-1, 8-3-5]
  21. The penalty for Team B's foul after a successful try is accepted and will be enforced on the free kick; then:

    1.
    Team A fouls after the try. RULING: Penalize the fouls in the order of their occurrence on the kickoff.
    2.
    Team B fouls after the try. RULING: Penalize both Team B fouls in the order of their occurrence on the kickoff.
    3.
    Both teams foul before either foul is completed. RULING: These fouls cancel. Team B's original foul is penalized on the kickoff. [Cited by 8-3-1]

SECTION 2. Enforcement Procedures

Spots

ARTICLE 1. The enforcement spots are: the previous spot, the spot of the foul, the succeeding spot and the spot where the run or scrimmage kick ends.

Procedures

ARTICLE 2. The following procedures apply:

a. Dead-ball - The enforcement spot for a foul committed when the ball is dead is the succeeding spot (A.R. 10-2-2:XI, XV, XVII and XXVI.)

b. Snap or free kick - The enforcement spot for fouls occurring simultaneously with a snap or free kick is the previous spot (Rules 6-1-2-a, 7-1-3-b and 7-1-4-b). (A.R. 10-2-2:I)

c. Running plays - The basic enforcement spots for fouls that occur during running plays in the field of play or end zone are as follows (A.R. 10-2-2:V-VII and XXXIV)

1. When the run ends beyond the neutral zone, the basic enforcement spot is the end of the related run (Exceptions: Offensive team facemask, illegal use of hands, holding, illegal block and personal fouls, behind the neutral zone, are enforced from the previous spot. Safety if the foul occurs behind Team As goal line) (Rules 2-25-10-a and 2-30-4) (A.R. 10-2-2:XVI, XXVIII, XXIX, XXXI and XXXII.)

2. When the run ends behind the neutral zone before a change of team possession, the basic enforcement spot is the previous spot (Exceptions: Offensive team facemask, illegal use of hands, holding, illegal block and personal fouls, behind the neutral zone, are enforced from the previous spot. Safety if the foul occurs behind Team As goal line) (Rules 2-25-10-b and 2-30-4) (A.R. 10-2-2:XXVII)

3. When there is no neutral zone, the basic enforcement spot is the end of the related run (Exception: Rule 8-5-1 Exceptions) (Rules 2-25-10-c, 2-30-2, 2-30-3 and 2-30-4). (A.R. 10-2-2:X, XII and XXXVI.)

d. Pass plays - The basic enforcement spot for fouls during a legal forward pass play is the previous spot (Rules 2-25-10-d and 2-30-1).

Exceptions:

1. Team B pass interference spot fouls.

2. Roughing-the-passer enforcement on a completed forward pass from the end of the last run when that run ends beyond the neutral zone and there is no change of team possession during the down (A.R. 10-2-2:XXXIII and XXXV)

3. Illegal touching.

4. Enforce facemask, illegal use of hands, holding, illegal block and personal fouls, occurring behind the neutral zone by the offensive team from the previous spot (Exception: Safety if the foul occurs behind Team A's goal line).

e. Kick plays - The basic enforcement spot for fouls that occur during a legal free or scrimmage kick play before possession is gained or regained or the ball is declared dead by rule is the previous spot (Rules 2-25-10-e, 2-30-2 and 2-30-3). (A.R. 6-1-2:V and VI) (A.R. 8-7-2:VII) and (A.R. 10-2-2:II, III, VIII, XIII, XIV and XIX-XXI)

Exceptions:

1. Interference with the opportunity to make a catch - spot foul (Rule 6-4-1).

2. A block or foul after a valid or invalid signal for a fair catch by a Team B player who signalled for a fair catch during a free kick and had not touched the ball - spot foul (Rule 6-5-4).

3. Postscrimmage kick enforcement: The postscrimmage kick spot is the spot where the kick ends when Team B fouls occur (Rule 2-25-11):

(a) During scrimmage kick plays other than a try or a successful field goal, and during extra periods.

(b) During a scrimmage kick play in which the ball crosses the neutral zone.

(c) Three yards or more beyond the neutral zone.

(d) Before the end of the kick (A.R. 10-2-2:IX, XXII and XXV)

(e) When Team A does not have possession of the ball when the down ends.

Team B fouls behind the postscrimmage kick spot are spot fouls.

4. Offensive team facemask, illegal use of hands, holding, illegal block and personal fouls, occuring behind the neutral zone, are enforced from the previous spot. Safety if the foul occurs behind Team A's goal line.

5. Offside by Team A on a free kick with Team B in possession may be enforced from the previous spot or the subsequent dead-ball spot.

6. For live-ball fouls occurring when the snap starts during scrimmage kick plays: Five yards from the previous spot or five yards from the spot where the subsequent dead ball belongs to Team B (Rules 7-1-3-b and 7-1-4-b).

7. For live-ball fouls by Team A occurring between the snap and dead-ball spots with Team B in possession, enforcement may be at the previous spot or subsequent dead-ball spot (Rules 9-1-2 and 9-3-3).

f. Behind the goal line:

1. The enforcement spot is the goal line for fouls by the opponents of the team in possession after a change of team possession (not on a try) in the field of play when the run ends behind the goal line (Exception: Rule 8-5-1 Exceptions).

2. The basic enforcement spot is the 20-yard line for fouls that occur after a change of team possession (not on a try) in the end zone and the ball remains in the end zone where it is declared dead (A.R. 10-2-2:XXXVIII-XL)

3. The enforcement spot is the goal line for fouls by the opponents of the team in possession after change of team possession in the end zone (not on a try) when the run ends behind the goal line and any subsequent loose ball is recovered in the field of play. (A.R. 10-2-2:XLI)

g. Fouls during or after a touchdown, field goal or try:

1. Personal-foul penalties for fouls by opponents of the scoring team during a down that ends in a touchdown are penalized on the try or the succeeding kickoff. The captain of the offended team has the choice (A.R. 10-2-2:XLIII)

2. Defensive pass interference fouls on a try from the three-yard line are penalized one-half the distance to the goal or, if the try is successful, the penalty is declined.

3. When a foul(s) occurs after a touchdown and before the ball is ready for play on the try or there was a live-ball foul penalized as a dead-ball foul on the touchdown play, enforcement is on the try or the succeeding kickoff. The captain of the offended team has the choice. (A.R. 3-2-3:VI)

4. Penalties for live-ball fouls during field goal plays are administered by rule. To accept points on a successful field goal, Team A must decline Team B live-ball fouls. By accepting the penalty for a Team B live-ball foul, Team A elects to cancel the score and have the penalty enforced at the previous spot. Penalties for live-ball fouls treated as dead-ball fouls and those for dead-ball fouls after a field goal down are enforced at the succeeding spot. (A.R. 10-2-2:XXIV)

5. Fouls during and after a try down are penalized under Rules 8-3-3, 8-3-4 and 8-3-5 (A.R. 3-2-3:VII-VIII)

h. Distance penalties for fouls by the receiving team may not extend the receiving team's restraining line behind its 5-yard line. Penalties that place the restraining line of the receiving team behind its 5-yard line are enforced from the next succeeding spot.

Approved Ruling 10-2-2

  1. Team A's ball on Team B's three-yard line, fourth down, the line to gain is the one-half-yard line. Team A gains two yards, and Team B was offside. RULING: Fourth down for Team A on the 1 yard line. Team A loses part of its advance but salvages the down. [Cited by 10-2-2-b]
  2. On a free kick that does not go out of bounds, either team commits a personal foul before the ball is legally touched. RULING: Penalty - 15 yards from the previous spot, repeat the kick. [Cited by 10-2-2-e]
  3. A kickoff untouched by Team B goes out of bounds after illegal touching by Team A. Team A commits a personal or holding foul during the kick. RULING: Team B has these options: It may snap the ball at the spot of the illegal touching; accept a five-, 10- or 15-yard penalty from the previous spot with Team A re-kicking; snap the ball five, 10 or 15 yards beyond the spot where the ball went out of bounds; or snap the ball 35 yards beyond Team A's restraining line. [Cited by 10-2-2-e]
  4. A fumble or backward pass is loose in Team A's end zone, where the ball is kicked or batted illegally by Team A. RULING: Penalty - A safety if accepted (Rule 8-5-1-b). [Cited by 5-2-9, 9-4-1-c]
  5. A Team A player clips behind Team B's goal line when a fumbled ball is in the end zone. RULING: Penalty - 15 yards from the basic spot. [Cited by 10-2-2-c, 5-2-9]
  6. A Team A player commits an illegal block in the back behind Team B's goal line when a fumbled ball is in the field of play. RULING: Penalty - 10 yards from the basic spot. [Cited by 10-2-2-c, 5-2-9]
  7. A Team A player clips behind Team B's goal line before a fumbled ball in the field of play goes out of bounds between the goal lines. RULING: Penalty - 15 yards from the basic spot. [Cited by 10-2-2-c, 5-2-9]
  8. A Team A player clips behind Team B's goal line when a Team A scrimmage kick has touched a Team B player in the field of play and is not in possession or dead. RULING: Penalty - 15 yards from the basic-spot. [Cited by 10-2-2-e, 5-2-9]
  9. Either team fouls after the ball has been touched and before possession beyond the neutral zone during a scrimmage kick. The foul is more than three yards beyond the neutral zone, and Team A does not have possession when the down ends. RULING: Enforcement for Team B's foul will be at the postscrimmage kick enforcement spot. Team B's ball first and 10. Enforcement of the penalty for Team A's foul is either from the previous spot or from the spot where the subsequent dead ball belongs to Team B. [Cited by 10-2-2-e-3-d, 5-2-3, 5-2-9]
  10. Team A's punt from its end zone is returned to Team A's 30-yard line. Team A clips Team B at a spot behind Team A's goal line while the punt receiver of Team B is still a runner. RULING: Penalty - 15 yards from the basic spot (Team A's 30-yard line). [Cited by 10-2-2-c-3]
  11. Team A's punt from its end zone is returned to Team A's 30-yard line. Team A clips Team B at a spot behind Team A's goal line after the ball has become dead in Team B's possession. RULING: Penalty - 15 yards from the succeeding spot. [Cited by 10-2-2-a]
  12. Team A's punt from its end zone is returned to Team A's 30-yard line. Team A clips Team B at a spot behind Team A's goal line after Team B has fumbled and the ball is loose. RULING: Penalty - 15 yards from the basic spot (the spot of the fumble), Team B's ball. [Cited by 10-2-2-c-3]
  13. Team A's untouched punt from its end zone goes out of bounds at Team A's 40-yard line. A2, in his end zone, clips Team B before the ball is kicked. RULING: Penalty - Safety (Rule 9-1-2 penalty) or Team B may snap the ball at the Team A 25-yard line after enforcement of the penalty from where the ball went out of bounds. [Cited by 10-2-2-e, 8-5-1-b]
  14. Team A's untouched punt from its end zone goes out of bounds at Team A's 40-yard line. A2, in his end zone, clips Team B during the kick. RULING: Penalty - Safety (Rule 9-1-2 penalty) or Team B may snap the ball at the Team A 25-yard line after enforcement of the penalty from where the ball went out of bounds. [Cited by 10-2-2-e, 8-5-1-b]
  15. Team A's untouched punt from its end zone goes out of bounds at Team A's 40-yard line. A2, in his end zone, clips Team B after the ball is out of bounds. RULING: Penalty - 15 yards from the succeeding spot. First and 10 for Team B on Team A's 25-yard line. [Cited by 10-2-2-a]
  16. Team A snaps at its one-yard line, and A1 advances and is downed on his five-yard line. Team B commits a personal foul in the end zone while the ball is in play. RULING: Penalty - 15 yards from the basic spot (five-yard line). [Cited by 10-2-2-c-1]
  17. Team A snaps at its one-yard line, and A1 advances and is downed on his five-yard line. Team B fouls in the end zone after the ball is dead. RULING: Penalty - 15 yards from the succeeding spot. [Cited by 10-2-2-a]
  18. A1, on his 40-yard line, punts from behind the neutral zone. B1 holds A2 behind the neutral zone before the kick has been made. RULING: Penalty - 10 yards from the previous spot.
  19. A1, on his 40-yard line, punts from behind the neutral zone. B1 holds A2 behind the neutral zone after the kick crosses the neutral zone and before it has touched Team B. RULING: Penalty - 10 yards from the previous spot. Team A's ball. [Cited by 10-2-2-e]
  20. A1, on his 40-yard line, punts from behind the neutral zone. B1 holds A2 behind the neutral zone after the kick has been touched by Team B beyond the neutral zone and is still loose. RULING: Penalty - 10 yards from the previous spot. Team A's ball. [Cited by 10-2-2-e]
  21. After Team A's free kick, the ball remains inbounds and Team B holds. RULING: Penalty - 10 yards from the previous spot, and Team A repeats the free kick. [Cited by 10-2-2-e]
  22. Team A's kick from behind the neutral zone crosses the neutral zone (untouched by Team B after the ball is blocked or touched on or behind the line) and rebounds behind the neutral zone before clipping or holding by Team B occurs. The ball is loose at the time of the foul. RULING: If the holding or clipping occurred more than three yards beyond the neutral zone, Team B has possession when the down ends and the foul is accepted, enforcement will be at the postscrimmage kick enforcement spot with a first and 10 for Team B. If the holding or clipping occurred less than three yards beyond the neutral zone, Team A retains the ball after the penalty from the previous spot. [Cited by 10-2-2-e-3-d]
  23. Team A's kick from behind its line is blocked behind the neutral zone before clipping or holding by Team B occurs beyond the neutral zone. The ball never crosses the neutral zone during the play. RULING: Rule 10-2-2-e Exception 3 applies only to a scrimmage kick that crosses the neutral zone. Team A's ball after the penalty from the previous spot.
  24. Team A's successful field goal attempt is snapped from Team B's 30-yard line, and a Team B player fouls at the 20-yard line during the kick. RULING: The kick is successful. Team A may decline the penalty and accept the score or void the score and Team B will be penalised at the previous spot. [Cited by 10-2-2-g-4]
  25. Team A's untouched, unsuccessful field goal attempt is snapped from Team B's 30-yard line, and a Team B player fouls at the 15-yard line during the kick. RULING: Team B's ball. The post-scrimmage kick spot is at the 30-yard line and the enforcement is from the 15-yard line, the spot of the foul, with no possible replay (Rules 2-25-9 Exception 2 and 8-4-2-b). [Cited by 10-2-2-e-3-d, 2-25-9-Exception-2, 8-4-2-b]
  26. Second and goal. After A1 is downed on the three-yard line, a Team B player slugs a Team A player at a spot behind Team B's goal line. RULING: First down for Team A on Team B's 1-yard line. The Team B player is disqualified for fighting. [Cited by 10-2-2-a]
  27. Fourth and goal. B1 fouls eligible A3 in Team B's end zone while A1 attempts to locate a receiver, and A1 is then downed behind his line. RULING: Not interference since the ball was not thrown. Penalize B1's foul from the basic spot. [Cited by 10-2-2-c-2]
  28. While A1 advances the ball 30 yards beyond the neutral zone, a Team B player fouls 10 yards beyond the neutral zone. A1, after advancing 30 yards, fumbles the ball and it is recovered by a Team B player, who runs the ball across Team A's goal line. RULING: Penalize Team B from the basic spot, which is the spot of the fumble. Team A retains possession of the ball. [Cited by 10-2-2-c-1]
  29. Team A puts the ball in play on Team A's 40-yard line, first and 10. A1 advances the ball to Team B's 40-yard line, where he is downed. On the advance by A1, B1 clips on Team A's 45-yard line. RULING: Penalty - Team A's ball, first and 10, on Team B's 25-yard line. [Cited by 10-2-2-c-1]
  30. Team A puts the ball in play on Team A's 40-yard line, first and 10. A1 runs the ball across Team B's goal line. On the advance by A1, B1 clips on Team B's 30-yard line. RULING: Penalty - Half the distance to the goal line on the try, or the 15-yard penalty on the succeeding kickoff.
  31. On first and 10 from Team A's 40-yard line, A1 advances to Team B's 40-yard line, where he fumbles. B1 recovers and returns the ball across Team A's goal line. During A1's run from scrimmage, B2 commits a personal foul on the 50-yard line. RULING: Penalty - 15 yards from the basic spot (end of the related run, Team B's 40-yard line) and first down for Team A. [Cited by 10-2-2-c-1]
  32. Team A puts the ball in play on Team A's 40-yard line, first and 10. A1 advances the ball to Team B's 40-yard line, where he is downed. On the advance of A1, B1 clips on Team A's 30-yard line. RULING: Penalty - Team A's ball, first and 10, on Team B's 25-yard line. [Cited by 10-2-2-c-1]
  33. A legal forward pass is completed behind the neutral zone, and the receiver avoids tacklers for a considerable time but is finally downed beyond the neutral zone. The player who passed the ball is roughed behind the neutral zone while the pass is in flight. RULING: Penalty - 15 yards from the end of the run and a first down (Rule 2-27-5). [Cited by 10-2-2-d-2, 2-27-5, 9-1-2-o]
  34. After a scrimmage kick, during the runback B40 blocks A80 in the back above the waist at Team B's 25-yard line. Team B's runner is downed with the ball in his possession at Team B's 40-yard line. RULING: Team B foul, illegal block in the back. Penalty - 10 yards from the spot of the foul. Team B's ball, first and 10, from its 15-yard line. [Cited by 10-2-2-c, 2-3-4-a, 9-3-3-c]
  35. Team B intercepts, and the player who threw the legal forward pass is fouled before the interception. RULING: Team A's ball, first down after the penalty from the previous spot (Rules 2-27-5 and 9-1-2-o). [Cited by 10-2-2-d-2, 9-1-2-o]
  36. Team B intercepts, and the player who threw the legal foward pass is fouled while Team B is advancing. RULING: Team B's ball, first down, after the penalty from the basic spot (Rules 2-27-5 and 9-1-2). [Cited by 10-2-2-c-3, 9-1-2-o]
  37. On a legal forward pass behind the neutral zone, eligible A1 "has position" on B1 and is about to touch the pass when B1 pushes A1 and the pass is incomplete. RULING: Legal. Interference rules do not apply behind the neutral zone (Rules 7-3-9-d, 9-1-2-d Exception 4 and 9-3-3-c Exception 5). [Cited by 7-3-9-d]
  38. B1 intercepts a legal forward pass (not a try) deep in his end zone and advances but does not get out of the end zone, where he is downed. During the run, B2 clips A1 on the 14-yard line. RULING: The 20-yard line is the basic spot. Penalize Team B from the 14-yard line to the seven-yard line. First and 10 (Rule 8-6-1-a). [Cited by 10-2-2-f-2]
  39. B1 intercepts a legal forward pass (not a try) deep in his end zone and advances but does not get out of the end zone, where he is downed. During the run, B2 clips A1 on the 25-yard line. RULING: The 20-yard line is the basic spot. Penalize Team B from the 20-yard line to the 10-yard line. First and 10 (Rule 8-6-1-a). [Cited by 10-2-2-f-2, 8-6-1-a]
  40. B1 intercepts a legal forward pass (not a try) deep in his end zone and advances but does not get out of the end zone, where he is downed. During the run, B2 clips A1 in the end zone. RULING: The 20-yard line is the basic spot-Safety. [Cited by 10-2-2-f-2]
  41. B17 intercepts a legal forward pass (not a try) deep in the end zone and, as he attempts to run the ball out of the end zone, A19 clips in the end zone. After the foul and before B17 leaves the end zone, B17 fumbles with A26 recovering on the two-yard line. RULING: Penalize from the goal line with Team B retaining possession of the ball. [Cited by 10-2-2-f-3]
  42. After a safety, Team A punts the ball at Team A's 20-yard line. The ball goes out of bounds untouched by Team B. RULING: Team B captain has the choice of Team A kicking again from Team A's 15-yard line or of putting the ball in play at the 50-yard line on the inbounds line or at the inbounds spot.
  43. During A27s touchdown run, B19 incidentally grasps A27's facemask. RULING: The try will be from the three-yard line since "incidental grasping" does not qualify as a personal foul. [Cited by 10-2-2-g-1]
  44. Team A punts the ball and commits a touching violation as A2 recovers the ball. While the kick is in the air, B1 clips more than 3 yards beyond the neutral zone. RULING: Team A's possession at the end of the down is not legal. If Team A accepts the penalty it will be B's ball 15 yards from the post-scrimmage kick enforcement spot (where A2 recovers the ball). If Team A does not accept the penalty, B can take the ball at the spot of illegal touching.

Half-Distance Enforcement Procedures

ARTICLE 3. No distance penalty, including tries from on or inside the three-yard line, shall exceed half the distance from the enforcement spot to the offending teams goal line [Exceptions: (1) Scrimmage downs, other than tries, under Rule 7-3-8 Penalty for Team B interference; and (2) on tries, defensive pass interference when the ball is snapped from outside the three-yard line].


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Editor: Jim Briggs, BAFA/BAFRA Rules Committee
rules@britishamericanfootball.org