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Kicks From Scrimmage
1. Any kick from scrimmage must be made from behind
the line to be legal.
2. Any punt or missed field goal that touches a
goal post is dead.
3. During a kick from scrimmage, only the end men,
as eligible receivers on the line of scrimmage at
the time of the snap, are permitted to go beyond
the line before the ball is kicked.
Exception: An eligible receiver who, at the snap,
is aligned or in motion behind the line and more
than one yard outside the end man on his side of
the line, clearly making him the outside receiver,
replaces that end man as the player eligible to
go downfield after the snap. All other members of
the kicking team must remain at the line of scrimmage
until the ball has been kicked.
4. Any punt that is blocked and does not cross
the line of scrimmage can be recovered and advanced
by either team. However, if offensive team recovers
it must make the yardage necessary for its first
down to retain possession if punt was on fourth
5. The kicking team may never advance its own kick
even though legal recovery is made beyond the line
of scrimmage. Possession only.
6. A member of the receiving team may not run into
or rough a kicker who kicks from behind his line
unless contact is:
(a) Incidental to and after he had touched ball
(b) Caused by kicker’s own motions.
(c) Occurs during a quick kick, or a kick made
after a run behind the line, or after kicker recovers
a loose ball on the ground. Ball is loose when kicker
muffs snap or snap hits ground.
(d) Defender is blocked into kicker.
The penalty for running into the kicker is 5 yards.
For roughing the kicker: 15 yards, an automatic
first down and disqualification if flagrant.
7. If a member of the kicking team attempting to
down the ball on or inside opponent’s 5-yard
line carries the ball into the end zone, it is a
8. Fouls during a punt are enforced from the previous
spot (line of scrimmage).
Exception: Illegal touching, fair-catch interference,
invalid fair-catch signal, or personal foul (blocking
after a fair-catch signal).
9. While the ball is in the air or rolling on the
ground following a punt or field-goal attempt and
receiving team commits a foul only before or after
gaining possession, receiving team will retain possession
and will be penalized for its foul.
10. It will be illegal for a defensive player to
jump or stand on any player, or be picked up by
a teammate or to use a hand or hands on a teammate
to gain additional height in an attempt to block
a kick (Penalty: 15 yards, unsportsmanlike conduct).
11. A punted ball remains a kicked ball until it
is declared dead or in possession of either team.
12. Any member of the punting team may down the
ball anywhere in the field of play. However, it
is illegal touching (Official’s time out and
receiver’s ball at spot of illegal touching).
This foul does not offset any foul by receivers
during the down.
13. Defensive team may advance all kicks from scrimmage
(including unsuccessful field goal) whether or not
ball crosses defensive team’s goal line. Rules
pertaining to kicks from scrimmage apply until defensive
team gains possession.
14. When a team presents a punt formation, defensive
pass interference is not to be called for actions
on the widest player eligible to go beyond line.
Defensive holding may be called.