1. On any play terminated by a fumble, the yards gained or lost to the point of recovery are credited or charged to the player who fumbled, regardless of which team recovers the ball.


    1. Player A carries the ball for five yards, is tackled and then fumbles. The ball goes forward for another three yards and is recovered by the opposition. A is credited with an eight-yard gain and charged with a fumble lost.
    2. Same play but ball goes backward three yards and is recovered by a player of A's team. A is credited with a two-yard gain and charged with a fumble recovered.
  2. A player generally should not be charged with a fumble if that player recovers his own fumble. However, if it is a flagrant fumble and opposing players have an opportunity to recover it, a fumble should be charged.
  3. The act of merely touching the ball is not necessarily possession. On the greased-pig type of scrambling for a fumbled ball, charge the original player for the fumble and credit the eventual recovery to the player who winds up with the ball. Ignore all momentary touching in between.
  4. The player who fumbles a ball Out of Bounds is to be charged with a fumble and an own team fumble recovery. This includes a player who laterals a ball Out of Bounds.
  5. Yards gained by a player subsequent to recovery of a team mate's fumble will remain as part of the play giving rise to the fumble and will be regarded in the nature of a gain after a lateral pass, See Section 7. However, the player recovering such fumble will also be credited under Own Fumbles Recovered on the statistics report form.
  6. Yards gained by a player subsequent to recovery of an opposition fumble are covered under Fumble Returns, See Section 12.
  7. When a player fumbles the ball and it is recovered by another player of the same team, the continuing action shall be regarded as part of the same play leading up to the fumble.


    1. Team A running back carries the ball for 10 yards, fumbles and it is recovered by a Team A lineman, who then carries the ball for seven more yards before the play is stopped.

      NOTE — This was a 17-yard rushing play. The running back is charged with one carry for 10 yards while the lineman is not charged with a carry but is given credit for seven yards rushing.

    2. Team A has the ball on Team B's 30-yard line. Team A quarterback throws a pass to the Team A receiver, who carries the ball to the Team B five-yard line and fumbles. The ball continues on into the Team B End Zone where it is fallen on by a Team A player.

      NOTE — Team A quarterback is credited with a completed TD pass for 30 yards. The receiver is credited with a catch for 30 yards but no TD. The Team A player who recovered the ball is credited with a TD receiving but with no catch or yards.

    3. Team A punts to Team B on third down. The Team B player returns the ball for 10 yards, fumbles and the ball is picked up by another Team B player who carries it for 15 more yards.

      NOTE — The Team B punt return is 25 yards. The first Team B player is credited with a return and 10 yards. The second Team B player is not credited with a return but is credited with 15 yards.


In searchable permalink form

Tips on Linking to the Rulebook
Table of Contents

CFLdb is in need of a copy of the CFL 2012 and 2014 Rulebook. If you can loan/provide an electronic copy/help, please reach out.

You are reading the 2013 version of the rulebook. Other available versions of this page are:

Please report any issues with the converted rulebook.


Converted to the web by CFLdb. An Adobe Acrobat PDF of the current version is available.

The original source of the version presently being viewed is © Copyright 2013 Canadian Football League

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, @