Penalty: For a safety kick out of bounds: The receiving team may elect to take possession of the ball 30 yards from the spot of the kick or at the out-of-bounds spot. A foul for interference with the opportunity to make a catch is enforced from the spot of the foul. Delayed Spike. The foul for a wedge block occurs at that point; actual contact with an opponent is not necessary. An official must blow his whistle immediately to stop play. An offensive player is permitted to block an opponent by contacting him with his head, shoulders, hands, and/or outer surface of the forearm, or with any other part of his body that is not prohibited by another rule. See 5-3-1 for reporting a change of position. Future Hall of Fame kicker Adam Vinatieri lobbied for it in interviews last off-season. The following blocking rules apply during a scrimmage kick down: During a scrimmage kick that crosses the line of scrimmage, and prior to the end of the kick, it is a foul if a kicking team player goes out of bounds voluntarily (without being contacted by a receiving team player) to avoid a block by a receiving team player. Runner Inbounds. ); an illegal forward pass thrown from beyond the line of scrimmage; spiking or throwing the ball in the field of play after a down has ended, except after a touchdown; or. running, diving into, or throwing the body against or on any player on the ground either before or after the ball is dead; throwing the runner to the ground after the ball is dead; unnecessarily running, diving into, cutting, or throwing the body against or on a player who (1) is out of the play or (2) should not have reasonably anticipated such contact by an opponent, before or after the ball is dead; a kicker/punter, who is standing still or fading backward after the ball has been kicked, is out of the play and must not be unnecessarily contacted by the receiving team through the end of the down or until he assumes a distinctly defensive position. Items to celebrate anniversaries or memorable events, or to honor or commemorate individuals, such as helmet decals, and arm bands and jersey patches on players’ uniforms, are prohibited unless approved in advance by the League office. Legal Catch or Recovery. Either or both team attendants and their helpers may enter the field to attend their team during a team timeout by either team. Field2. See. This applies throughout the entire game. The proposal that was eventually set forth by the competition committee -- … In addition, within each bench area, a yellow line 6 feet behind the solid white border will delineate a special area for coaches, behind which all players, except one player charting the game, must remain. If it has not yet struck the ground, a Loose Ball is In Flight. If a foul by the defense prevents the attempt of a Try, the offensive team has the option to have the distance penalty assessed on the next Try or on the ensuing kickoff. With the running clock, I think we will see a much more fast paced game as offenses try to get plays off. If a fumble or backward pass by any player goes out of bounds, the game clock starts on the Referee’s signal that a ball has been returned to the field of play. Laying a hand on an opponent that does not restrict him in an attempt to make a play on the ball. Kickers, however, have become so proficient that the long-term impact has been minimal. The Back Judge times the two-minute intermissions and shall signal visibly (and sound the whistle if necessary) after one minute and 50 seconds. Stopping Clock. A play negated by penalty prior to the snap or during the play counts as a missed play. The Spot of a Change of Possession: The spot at which possession is gained by or awarded to the opponent. When the spot of the backward pass or fumble is beyond the line of scrimmage, or when there is not a line of scrimmage, and there is a foul during the backward pass or fumble, the Basic Spot is the spot of the backward pass or the spot of the fumble. Opaque tape either black or white on shoes is permitted, provided it is black or white to match the selected dominant shoe choice of the Club, and provided it does not carry up into the stocking area. Item 2. "You look and you say, ‘Well, the [Competition] Committee is all powerful.’ Not true. (Rick Osentoski / Associated Press) The initial down in each series is the First Down. These balls are to be specially marked by the Referee and used exclusively for the kicking game. Whether for fairness, safety or entertainment, the NFL remains open to change. If the ball has not been touched by a player of the receiving team beyond the line of scrimmage, it is dead immediately, and the result of the play is a touchback, when: it touches the ground on or behind the receiver’s goal line, it touches a player of the kicking team who is touching the ground on or behind the receiver’s goal line, it touches a player of the kicking team who has touched the ground on or behind the receiver’s goal line and has not re- established himself in the field of play. The 1972 change did help the running game — the number of 1,000-yard runners doubled that year, from five to 10, and rushing yards per game climbed. Item 2. The evolution of the league’s kickoff rules shows the process at work. Prior to the ball being touched by the receiving team or the end of the kick, it is a foul if a kicking team player voluntarily goes out of bounds (without being contacted by a receiving team player) to avoid a block. A combination penalty involving both distance and loss of down is enforced for the following fouls: If a loss-of-down penalty is enforced prior to fourth down, the number of the ensuing down is one greater than that of the previous down. The game shall be played upon a rectangular field, 360 feet in length and 160 feet in width. Players may not wear undergarments with an exposed hood hanging outside the collar of the jersey. A player of either team may block (obstruct or impede) an opponent at any time, provided that the act is not: Penalty: For illegal use of hands, arms, or body by the offense: Loss of 10 yards. If the spot of its foul is in the field of play, the penalty is enforced from either the spot of the foul or the touchback spot (20 or 25), whichever is least beneficial to Team B, regardless of whether Team B attempts to advance the ball. Exceptions for fouls committed by the offense: Exception for fouls committed by the defense: (1) When the Basic Spot is behind the line of scrimmage, and the defense has committed a foul either behind or beyond the line of scrimmage, the penalty is enforced from the previous spot. The three-and-one method of enforcement is used (see Section 3, Article 6). The Sidelines separate the Field of Play from the area that is out of bounds. When this occurs, intentional grounding rules do not apply. As the No. The upstart league sought to attract fans with rules that were friendlier to the offense than the NFL’s. If a player of the receiving team catches or recovers the ball, he may advance. Ball Touching a Foreign Object. The holder is never counted as one of the required two players between the inbounds line and the top (inside) of the numbers, regardless of where he is positioned. If he is not the snapper, no part of his body is permitted to be in the neutral zone at the snap, and his helmet must break a vertical plane that passes through the beltline of the snapper. A1, an offensive lineman, chops a defensive player after the defensive player has been engaged by A2 (high or low). The playing field will be rimmed by a solid white border six feet wide along the end lines and sidelines. It's our responsibility to strengthen the sport. The game shall be played under the supervision of seven officials: the Referee, Umpire, Down Judge, Line Judge, Field Judge, Side Judge, and Back Judge. There shall be no unsportsmanlike conduct by a substitute, coach, attendant, or any other non-player (entitled to sit on a team’s bench) during any period or timeout (including between halves). The 4-inch wide yard lines are to be extended 4 inches beyond the white 6-foot border along the sidelines. Player Under Center. Pants. A ruling that a runner was out of bounds is reviewable only to determine: (a) the spot of the ball in relation to the line to gain or the goal line at the spot where the runner was ruled to have touched out of bounds; (b) if the runner fumbled the ball before taking two additional steps beyond the spot where he was ruled out of bounds; or (c) if the ball broke the plane of the goal line in the runner’s possession before taking two additional steps beyond the spot where he was ruled out of bounds. Penalty: For illegal batting or punching the ball: Loss of 10 yards. If a player of the team which intercepts, catches, or recovers the ball commits a live-ball foul in the end zone, it is a safety. Using acts or words by the defensive team that are designed to disconcert an offensive team at the snap. Penalty: For running into the kicker: Loss of five yards. When there is a 10-second runoff, the game clock starts when the Referee signals that the ball is ready for play. Using entering substitutes, legally returning players, substitutes on sidelines, or withdrawn players to confuse opponents, including lingering by players leaving the field after being replaced by a substitute. © 2021 National Football League. Item 2. These are to be 2 yards in length. The Commissioner’s powers under this Section 2 include the imposition of monetary fines and draft-choice forfeitures, suspension of persons involved in unfair acts, and, if appropriate, the reversal of a game’s result or the rescheduling of a game, either from the beginning or from the point at which the extraordinary act occurred. Normal touching rules by the kicking team apply. Exception: If a runner intentionally fumbles forward, it is a forward pass (3-22). Until the ball is kicked, all receiving team (Team B) players must be inbounds and behind their restraining line, and at least eight players must be positioned between their restraining line and a spot 15 yards behind their restraining line (the “setup zone”). Any touching of the ball behind the line of scrimmage by a kicking team player is legal, even if the ball has crossed the line and returns behind the line. Where the word “illegal” appears in this rule book, it is an institutional term of art pertaining strictly to actions that violate NFL playing rules. The free substitution concept proved too popular, though, and it was brought back in 1949. If a kick from behind the line is touched by the receiving team behind the line, such touching does not make the kicking team eligible to catch or recover the kick beyond the line. A player under center is permitted to stop the game clock legally to save time if, immediately upon receiving the snap, he begins a continuous throwing motion and throws the ball directly into the ground. Timeouts shall be 30 seconds in length when the designated number of television commercials have been exhausted in a quarter, if it is a second charged team timeout in the same dead-ball period, or when the Referee so indicates. when there is an injury to an official or member of the chain crew; while repairing or replacing game equipment, except player equipment. Contact by Team B Player. (The officials shall blow their whistles immediately.) Receiver Out of Bounds. Invalid Fair-Catch Signal. This will apply to field goal or Try attempts. Runner Out of Bounds. If the foul is by the defense, it is also an automatic first down. More recently, in the first two weeks of the 2014 preseason, the NFL tested moving the line of scrimmage for extra-point attempts to the 15-yard line from the 2-yard line to make the success of those attempts less predictable. Any garments under jerseys that are exposed at the neck or sleeve area and that carry an exposed logo or commercial name/identification must be licensed and approved by the League office for wear on the field. Team B. In line with the Inbound Lines there shall be marks at 1-yard intervals between each distance of 5 yards for the full length of the field. When a defensive player is held by an offensive player during the following situations, Offensive Holding will not be called: if the runner is being tackled simultaneously by another defensive player; if the runner simultaneously goes out of bounds; if the action clearly occurs after a forward pass has been thrown to a receiver beyond the line of scrimmage; if the action occurs away from the point of attack and not within close line play; if a scrimmage kick simultaneously becomes a touchback; if the action is part of a double-team block, unless the defender splits the double team, gets to the outside of either blocker, or is taken to the ground; or. Players, Substitutes, Equipment, General Rules6. In a chop block, an offensive lineman blocks a defensive lineman high while another offensive player comes in and blocks him low. Item 1. If a player of the team which intercepts, catches, or recovers the ball commits a foul in the field of play, and the ball becomes dead in the end zone, the basic spot is the spot of the change of possession. If an eligible receiver who is on the line of scrimmage moves backward immediately prior to the snap and does not come to a complete stop before the snap, it is a False Start. The number of concussions on kickoffs dropped by 40 percent during the 2011 season, and the return rate fell from 80 to nearly 50 percent. Clubs must make numerals available to adhere to the rule, even if it requires returning to circulation a numeral that has been retired or withheld for other reasons. A fair-catch signal is valid if it is made while the kick is in flight by a player who fully extends one arm above his helmet and waves it from side to side. No visible identification of a manufacturer’s name or logo on the exterior of a helmet or on any attachment to a helmet is permitted unless provided for under a commercial arrangement between the League and manufacturer; in no event is identification of any helmet manufacturer permitted on the visible surface of a rear cervical pad. Item 1. No player may deliberately kick a loose ball or a ball that is in a player’s possession. A passer, after delaying his passing action for strategic purposes, is prohibited from throwing the ball to the ground in front of him, even though he is under no pressure from defensive rusher(s). Stickum was a popular adhesive that receivers and defensive backs applied to their hands to help them catch the ball. It is also used to indicate pertinent references to other rules. If a fair-catch kick is chosen after a fair catch, 10-2-1 and 11-4-3 apply. For fouls committed during a backward pass or fumble, the Basic Spot is the spot of the backward pass or the spot of the fumble. (Unsportsmanlike Conduct.) The areas bounded by goal lines and lines parallel to, and 70 feet 9 inches inbounds, from each sideline, are known as the Side Zones. If the intercepting team subsequently loses possession, the penalty is enforced from the spot of the interception, and the intercepting team retains possession. After the two-minute warning of either half, if there is a violation of the substitution rule while the ball is dead and time is in, in addition to the applicable yardage penalty for illegal substitution, there will be a 10-second runoff pursuant to Article 1 above, unless it is obvious that the offensive team is not attempting to conserve time. If the spot of the kick was inside the receivers’ 20-yard line, it is the receivers’ ball at the 20-yard line or. The game is played by two teams of 11 players each. A Player is a participant of either team who is in the game. However, the period may be extended for an untimed down, upon the request of the defense, if the offensive team’s foul is for: a personal foul or unsportsmanlike conduct foul committed during a down prior to a safety, an interception of a forward pass, the recovery of a backward pass or fumble, or the offensive team failing to reach the line to gain on fourth down; or. Blocks an opponent (from behind) in the back above the opponent’s waist, or uses his hands or arms to push an opponent from behind in a manner that affects his movement, except in close-line play. For a player to be on the field, both feet or a body part must touch the ground in the field of play. A Fair Catch Kick is a drop kick or placekick without a tee from the spot of a Fair Catch in an attempt to score a Field Goal. No player shall grasp and control, twist, turn, push, or pull the facemask or helmet opening of an opponent in any direction. when any legal or illegal kick is caught or recovered by the kickers, except a scrimmage kick that is kicked from behind the line and is recovered behind the line (not a Try kick). See 11-5-1-Exc. Improper Tape. If the interference is also a personal foul (12-2), the 15-yard penalty for such a foul is also enforced, either from the spot of the foul (for interference), or from the end of the run if the foul for pass interference is declined. If it is impossible to schedule the game within two days after its original date, the Commissioner will attempt to schedule it on the Tuesday of the next calendar week in which the two involved clubs play other clubs (or each other). If there is a Dead Ball Foul by Team A after a down in which Team A has made a first down, after enforcement of the penalty it will be first-and-10 for Team A. A Loose Ball has crossed the line of scrimmage when, as the result of a fumble, pass, or legal kick by a Team A player, it touches the ground or any player or official beyond the neutral zone. A pump is to be furnished by the home club, and the balls shall remain under the supervision of the Referee until they are delivered to the ball attendant just prior to the start of the game. Attempt to Draw Offside. Penalty: For Unsportsmanlike Conduct: Loss of 15 yards from the succeeding spot. A safety kick is made if requested by the receivers. Whenever a team is in possession (3-2-7) of the ball, it is the Offense, and its opponent is the Defense. are permitted, provided that the acts do not constitute defensive holding. All members of the same team who wear approved undergarments with exposed necks or sleeves must wear the same color on a given day, which color must be white or a solid color that is an official team color (solid means that sleeves must not carry stripes, designs, or team names). Intentional grounding is a loss of down at the spot of the foul, or a loss of down and a 10-yard penalty from the previous spot, whichever is less beneficial for the offense. At the election of the opponent, a period may be extended for one untimed down, if any of the following occurs during a down during which time in the period expires, or during which the period had been extended pursuant to this Article: If the first or third period is extended for any reason, or if a touchdown occurs during the last play of such a period, any additional play, including a Try attempt, shall be completed before the teams change goals. If the ball has returned behind the line after being touched by the receiving team beyond the line, and the kicking team catches or recovers the ball, by rule there has been a change of possession, and the kicking team will be awarded a new series of downs. If his knees are buckled by the action, it is a foul, even if the runner is not pulled completely to the ground. For a legal recovery of a fumble, see 3-2-7. After Team B establishes possession, a running play begins, and fouls that occur thereafter are enforced from the dead-ball spot or the spot of the foul (three-and-one method). The restraining line for the receiving team shall be the yard line 10 yards in advance of the kicking team’s restraining line. when a touchdown, touchback, safety, field goal, or Try has been made. snap from the spot of the catch (or the succeeding spot after enforcement of any applicable penalties). Item 2. The ball remains dead if it is snapped or kicked before it is made ready for play. Note: If a team forfeits a game, the opponent will be declared the winner by a score of 2-0, but the points will not be added to the winning team’s record for purposes of offensive production or tie-breakers. Item 4. See 13-1-1 for fouls by non- players between halves. The game clock operator shall start and stop the clock upon the signal of any official in accordance with the rules. The Referee, after consulting with the crew, shall make such ruling as he/she considers equitable (19-1-3). It is a Touchback if the ball is dead on or behind the goal line a team is defending, provided that the impetus comes from an opponent, and that it is not a touchdown or an incomplete pass. Game Timing5. It must be made from any point on the kicking team’s restraining line and between the inbounds lines. For return of a disqualified player: Loss of 15 yards from the previous spot if discovery is made while the ball is in play, or 15 yards from the succeeding spot if discovered between downs, in which case the ball remains dead, and, in either case, exclusion from the playing field enclosure. Conical cleats with concave sides or points which measure less than ⅜-inch in diameter at the tips, or cleats with oblong ends which measure less than ¼ by ¾-inch at the end tips are also prohibited. When a foul occurs during a running play, and the run in which the foul occurs is followed by a change of possession, the Basic Spot is the spot where possession is lost. Item 5. However, if the play results in a touchback, the penalty is enforced from the 20-yard line, or from the 25-yard line if the impetus was from a free kick. A Scrimmage Kick is a punt, drop kick, or placekick from on or behind the line of scrimmage. If the official has not seen the entire action that sends a defender to the ground, Offensive Holding will not be called. For running into the kicker: Loss of five yards from the previous spot (not a personal foul). There is not an automatic first down. If Team B fouls before the first change of possession, the Try shall be repeated. It is recommended that all players wear hip pads designed to reasonably avoid the risk of injury. After a warning, subsequent violations of this rule shall be penalized for unsportsmanlike conduct. The ball is not considered to have left that area if the player who takes the snap, either from a shotgun position or from under center, retreats in the pocket immediately or with a slight delay, and hands the ball to another player, or runs with the ball himself. If he does not come to a complete stop prior to the snap, it is a False Start. An Approved Ruling (A.R.) That change provided a big lift to the passing attack, which boosted scoring and differentiated NFL play from the college game. The ball will next be put in play by a snap by the receiving team at the dead-ball spot (or at the succeeding spot after enforcement of any applicable penalties). A foul against an official, regardless of when it occurs, is always treated as a Foul Between Downs. when a forward pass (legal or illegal) is incomplete. Running forward and leaping across the line of scrimmage in an obvious attempt to block a field goal or Try Kick, or apparent kick, unless the leaping player was in a stationary position within one yard of the line of scrimmage when the ball was snapped. The player may be disqualified if the action is flagrant. It is a Safety if the spot of enforcement for a foul by the offense is behind its own goal line, or if the ball is dead in possession of a team on or behind its own goal line when the impetus (3-17) comes from the team defending that goal line. They also moved the hash mark to 10 yards from the sidelines. Care must be exercised in any end zone marking, decoration, or club identification at the 50-yard line, that said marks or decorations do not in any way cause confusion as to delineation of goal lines, sidelines, and end lines. If the spot of the kick was from the receivers’ 20-yard line or beyond the receivers’ 20-yard line, it is the receivers’ ball at the spot of the kick. Item 6. If it is intentional, a fumbled ball that goes forward is a forward pass (8-1-1), and a muff is a bat (12-5-1). (See 7-4-1). Photographers and other personnel accredited for field-level work must not be permitted in the end zones or any other part of the official playing field while play is in progress. For a substitute entering the field during a live ball: Loss of five yards. Defenders ran with receivers without contact until the 1960s, when they began using the “bump and run” technique to move receivers off their routes. A receiver is permitted to legally raise his hand(s) to his helmet to shield his eyes from the sun, but is not permitted to raise them above his helmet except to signal for a fair catch. An ineligible player is not illegally downfield if, after initiating contact with an opponent within one yard of the line of scrimmage during his initial charge: Item 2. If communications are restored during the review, the League office will review the play as normal. Intentional grounding should not be called if: Item 3. The Succeeding Spot: The spot at which the ball will next be put in play (i.e., the spot of the ball after enforcement for a foul, or, if there has been no foul, the spot at which the ball became dead). Whether any part of the ball broke the plane of the goal line while in player possession and before the ball should have been declared dead. Intentional Muff. Each of these lines shall be intersected at right angles by short lines 70 feet, 9 inches long (23 yards, 1 foot, 9 inches) in from each side to indicate inbound lines. if a player is making a personal attempt to recover a loose ball; if the opponent turns away from the blocker when contact is imminent; if both of the blocker’s hands are on the opponent’s side. Contact by a player who is not playing the ball that restricts the opponent’s opportunity to make the catch; Playing through the back of an opponent in an attempt to make a play on the ball; Grabbing an opponent’s arm(s) in such a manner that restricts his opportunity to catch a pass; Extending an arm across the body of an opponent, thus restricting his ability to catch a pass, and regardless of whether the player committing such act is playing the ball; Cutting off the path of an opponent by making contact with him, without playing the ball; Hooking an opponent in an attempt to get to the ball in such a manner that it causes the opponent’s body to turn prior to the ball arriving; or. Live-ball fouls that occurred on the challenged play may be enforced if they occurred before the ball should have been declared dead. Penalty: For pass interference by the offense: Loss of 10 yards from the previous spot. A Running Play begins when a player of Team B establishes possession. It is a foul for roughing the kicker if a defensive player: Item 2. A player of the kicking team, who has been out of bounds, may not touch or recover a scrimmage kick beyond the line of scrimmage until it has been touched by a kicking team player who has not been out of bounds, or until it has been touched by a player of the receiving team beyond the line. 2 for enforcement when the scoring team commits a dead ball foul after a score. For fouls committed during a running play which is followed by a change of possession, the Basic Spot is the spot where possession is lost. Such a movement is a pass even if the ball does not leave his hand or hands, provided a teammate takes it (hand-to-hand pass). The play is dead immediately. Penalty: For illegal touching of a free kick by the kicking team: Loss of five yards, or the receiving team takes possession of the ball at the spot of the illegal touch. 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