A player shall be penalized for any act of objectionable conduct, including but not limited to:

  1. verbal abuse or objectionable gesture directed at an opponent, official or spectator,
  2. throwing the ball at an opponent, official or occupant of the team bench area,
  3. interfering with the placement of the official's flag marking the spot for a penalty,
  4. baiting or taunting an opponent by act or word,
  5. voluntarily removing his helmet after a play while on the field, except during a timeout, or throwing it to the ground, or using it in an intimidating manner against an opponent, official or spectator,
  6. unnecessary physical contact with an official,
  7. if a player is in possession of a foreign or extraneous object that is not part of the uniform or equipment, during a game, either on the field or on the Sideline, he will be subject to an Objectionable Conduct penalty. If the object is deemed a safety hazard by the Referee, the player will also be disqualified.


If a team continues with objectionable conduct after a penalty has been applied, a further penalty may be assessed.


For physical abuse of an official in any manner whatsoever:

PENALTY: L25 plus disqualification of the offending player.

NOTE: An official must see the entire action for the player to be disqualified.

Spitting at an opponent, official or occupant of the team bench area:

PENALTY: L25 plus disqualification of the offending player.

NOTE: If a person authorized to occupy a team bench area during a game should commit any infraction pursuant to Section 4 above, the team shall be subject to penalty as though the offending person was a player.

NOTE: A penalty under Section 3 and 4 shall be applied in addition to:

  1. any other penalty for any other foul and,
  2. any yards lost or gained and,
  3. any score made, in which event the penalty will be applied on the subsequent play.


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Publication Credits

Cover Design by Barnstorm Creative

Cover Photo by Pater McCabe

Content compiled and entered by Darren Hackwood, Glen Johnson and Andre Proulx

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 Glen Johnson, Officiating Technical Advisor, @