A dribbled ball occurs when the ball is intentionally kicked along the ground while not in the normal possession or control of a player, i.e. a loose ball following a fumble, a blocked kick, a kickoff or a kick from scrimmage. Such a dribbled ball may be legally touched or recovered by the kicker or an onside player. Net yards gained or lost, or points scored will be recorded in the same manner as the play in which the dribbling occurred. Some examples:

  1. Team A attempts a field goal and it is blocked. Team A player then kicks the ball along the ground (a dribble) across the line of scrimmage downfield. Credit the Team A player with an own team fumble recovery (as a dribble is considered to be possession due to the intentional directing of the ball downfield), and a rushing gain to the point of recovery by either Team A or Team B. If Team B recovers the ball, charge the Team A player with a subsequent fumble and credit the Team B player with a fumble recovery and return.
  2. Team A player runs the ball across the line of scrimmage and fumbles 10 yards downfield. He then kicks the ball along the ground (a dribble) and recovers it 10 yards further downfield and is tackled by Team B. Credit the Team A player with a 20-yard rush, a fumble and an own team recovery.
  3. Team A starts a rushing play at their own 20-yard line, and their player fumbles at the 27-yard line. Team B player gets to the ball first at the Team A 35-yard line but rather than pick it up he only kicks the ball downfield. The ball is recovered by a Team B player at the Team A 5-yard line and runs it into the end zone. TREATMENT: Credit Team A player with a 15-yard rush and a fumble. Credit the Team B player making the dribble with a fumble recovery and return of 35 yards. If however, another Team B player recovers the dribbled ball, credit that player with fumble return yardage but no fumble recovery i.e. shared fumble return yardage with the original dribbler of the ball.


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 2019 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 2019 Canadian Football League

Publication Credits

Content compiled and entered by Jeff Harbin 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 Darren Hackwood, Senior Director of Officiating at Any inquiries regarding CFL Statistical Scoring Rules may be directed to Steve Daniel, Senior Director of Game Information and Statistics at