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 down.
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
(a) Incidental to and after he had touched ball in
(b) Caused by kickerís 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 opponentís 5-yard line carries the
ball into the end zone, it is a touchback.
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,
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 (Officialís time out and receiverís 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 teamís goal line. Rules pertaining to
kicks from scrimmage apply until defensive team gains
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.