1. A lateral pass is always a component part of the play during which it occurs. The only laterals that are recorded are those that occur:
    1. After a forward pass has been completed,
    2. After the ball has crossed the line of scrimmage on a rushing play,
    3. On returns or run backs of punts, kickoffs, pass interceptions and fumbles.
  2. Pitchouts, handoffs and other laterals behind the line of scrimmage are not recorded.
  3. Examples showing how laterals are recorded:
    1. Player A1 catches a forward pass for a gain of 10 yards then laterals to A2 who goes for five more. A1 is credited with a pass caught and 10 yards gained. A2 is not credited with a catch but is credited with five yards gained. The passer is credited with a completed pass and 15 yards gained.
    2. A1 takes a lateral from the quarterback and crosses the line of scrimmage for a gain of 10 yards, then laterals to A2 who gains another five. Player A1 is charged with a carry and credited with 10 yards gained rushing. A2 is not charged with a carry but is credited with five yards.

      NOTE — The gain made by A2 starts only when reaching the line where A1 made the pass. If in Example 2 above, A1 made 10 yards then passed backward to A2 who was only able to advance within one yard of A1, the net gain would be nine yards all of which should be credited to A1. A2 will not be charged with a one-yard loss.

    3. A1 catches a punt and returns it 10 yards before lateralling to A2, who goes for another five. A1 is charged with a punt return and credited with 10 yards. A2 is not charged with a punt return but is credited with five yards.
  4. Incomplete lateral passes are scored as fumbles and yards lost are charged against the player who, in the statistician's opinion, was responsible for the failure of the pass, subject to the provision of Section 5. This includes a player who laterals a ball Out of Bounds.
  5. Intercepted lateral passes are scored as fumbles and the passer is charged with a fumble lost.


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The CFL Official Rule Book is published annually by the Canadian Football League. Any inquiries regarding the CFL Official Playing Rules may be directed to George Black at