The ball is Out of Bounds when it touches a Sideline, Sideline in Goal, Dead Line or the ground or any other object on or beyond these lines. The ball is Out of Bounds when a player in possession of the ball touches a Sideline, Sideline in Goal, Dead Line or the ground or any other object on or beyond these lines.
NOTE: The ball shall remain in play when it is knocked or batted back into the Field of Play by a player who is off the ground and who has not touched the ground or any object Out of Bounds, see Rule 1, Section 9, Article 3.
NOTE: If a player gains possession of the ball while off the ground in bounds and is contacted by an opponent and lands Out of Bounds in possession of the ball, such player shall retain possession.
NOTE: A player who gains possession of the ball near the Sideline and touches the ground in bounds with the first step shall retain possession even if the next step is Out of Bounds.
When the ball is kicked Out of Bounds in the Field of Play, it shall belong to the opposite team, subject to the penalty applicable on a kickoff.
When, on any play, the ball is fumbled Out of Bounds, or touches a player in the Field of Play and then goes Out of Bounds, it shall belong to the team that last touched the ball in the Field of Play.
A team shall be entitled to possession when a player of the team, while off the ground, knocks or bats the ball directly Out of Bounds, provided he lands in bounds.
The ball shall next be scrimmaged:
When a player directs the ball, other than by kicking, from the Field of Play over the opponent's Goal Line and hence Out of Bounds in the Goal Area without the ball touching an opponent, it shall be ruled as a fumble Out of Bounds in the Field of Play, with the ball declared dead at the point where it was last touched in the Field of Play.
When a player fumbles or directs the ball from the Field of Play into his own Goal Area, where the ball goes Out of Bounds without possession being gained by either team, a Safety Touch score shall be awarded.
When a player directs the ball other than by kicking, from the Field of Play over the opponent's Goal Line where it is recovered by an opponent, or is touched by an opponent before going Out of Bounds in the Goal Area, there shall be no score and the ball shall be awarded to the opponent's team at its 25-yard line. If in attempting to run the ball out of the Goal Area, the opponent's team commits an infraction the penalty shall be applied from the 25-yard line.
When a team in its own Goal Area fumbles or directs the ball, other than by kicking, across the Goal Line and Out of Bounds in the Field of Play without touching an opponent, the non-offending team may:
A player of either team, who goes Out of Bounds, except as a result of bodily contact, must remain out of that play.
NOTE: If a player goes out of bounds, as a result of bodily contact with an opponent, he is not required to remain out of the continuing play. However, in order to participate further, he must re-establish himself in the field of play with at least one foot in bounds and no contact with out of bounds.
If a player goes out of bounds, as a result of bodily contact with a teammate, which was not initiated by an opponent, he must remain out of that play.
If such player reaches back into or re-enters the field of play and touches or recovers a loose ball:
A player who loses his helmet shall not be allowed to continue to participate in the play.
When a team in its own Goal Area kicks the ball Out of Bounds in its own Goal Area, the ball shall be deemed to have become dead in the Goal Area and the opponent shall be awarded:
If the team in its own Goal Area had gained possession through interception of a forward pass or recovery of an opponent's fumble, there shall be no score and the team shall take possession at its 25-yard line.
If, under similar circumstances, a team should kick the ball Out of Bounds in the opponent's Goal Area without gaining possession, the play shall be ruled as though the opponent had kicked the ball out of its own Goal Area.
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