THE OFFICIAL PLAYING RULES FOR THE CANADIAN FOOTBALL LEAGUE 2017

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RULE 7 — FOULS & PENALTIES

SECTION 2 — MAJOR FOULS

NOTE: The Rules Committee has declared its total abhorrence of Rough Play and Unnecessary Roughness. Officials are instructed that no tolerance whatsoever is to be given to infractions under this Section.

  1. The penalty for a major foul shall be applied in addition to:
    1. any other penalty for any other foul and,
    2. the advantage of any distance gained or score made.
  2. If the foul occurs during a scrimmage play prior to a first down being gained, the non-offending team may elect to have the penalty applied:
    1. from the point of the last scrimmage with the same down repeated or,
    2. from the point where the ball became dead on the play with the downs continuing.
  3. If the foul occurs during a scrimmage play after a first down has been gained, the non-offending team may elect to have the penalty applied:
    1. from the point where the ball was held when the foul occurred or,
    2. from the point where the ball became dead on the play.
  4. If the foul occurs after a change in possession, the non-offending team may elect to have the penalty applied:
    1. from the point where the ball was held when the foul occurred or,
    2. from the point where the ball became dead on the play.
  5. If the foul occurs when neither team is in possession, the non-offending team may elect to have the penalty applied:
    1. from the point where possession was gained or deemed to have been gained or,
    2. from the point where the ball became dead on the play.
  6. If the foul occurs after the play has been terminated, the penalty shall be applied from the point where the ball became dead on the play.
  7. If the foul occurs after a scoring play, the score shall count and the penalty shall be applied from the point where the ball would normally next be put into play. If the scoring play was a touchdown, the penalty shall be applied on the convert or subsequent kickoff, at the option of the non-offending team. If the foul occurs after a convert attempt, the penalty shall be applied on the subsequent kickoff.
  8. If the foul occurs after the last play in the first or third quarter, the penalty shall be applied from the point where the ball is next put in play in the ensuing quarter.
  9. If the foul occurs after the last play of a half, the penalty shall be applied on the kickoff to start the next half.
  10. If the foul occurs after the last play of the game, there shall be no penalty applied but the Referee shall submit a complete report on the matter to the Commissioner.

A player shall be penalized and subject to disqualification for any act of rough play against an opponent, including but not limited to:

  1. striking an opponent with the fist, hand, knee or elbow in an excessively rough manner,
  2. kicking an opponent or,
  3. any other act of excessive roughness considered by the Referee to warrant disqualification.

PENALTY: L25 and disqualification of offending player

If Team B is the offending team on a play from scrimmage, Team A shall be awarded a first down in addition to the yardage penalty.

When a player has been disqualified, the Referee shall inform the coaches of both teams and the official scorer.

In the event of dual fouls under this Article 2, the offending players shall be disqualified and penalties balanced at the point of application. If the fouls occur on a scrimmage play, Team A shall not be awarded a first down by virtue of the penalty against Team B.

A player shall be penalized for any act of unnecessary roughness against an opponent, including but not limited to:

  1. Piling by a player who, in an unnecessarily rough manner, falls upon the ball carrier after the play has been terminated. Any player in possession of the ball, who falls to the ground without contact and is not attempting to advance the ball, may only be touched down and may not be contacted in any other manner,
  2. Contacting an opponent Out of Bounds in an unnecessarily rough manner,
  3. Contacting the passer in an unnecessarily rough manner (see Rule 7, Section 2, Article 4),
  4. Unnecessary roughness against the punter, kicker or the ball holder on a place kick,
  5. Grasping an opponent's face guard,
  6. Using the helmet as the initial or primary point of contact to butt, ram, spear, or deliver a blow to an opponent who is in a vulnerable position, including but not limited to, a passer, a receiver in the act of catching a pass, a ball carrier in the grasp of another tackler or a ball carrier on the playing surface not attempting to advance,

    NOTE: The expanded definitions of butt, ram and spear are:

    Butt: When a player suddenly and quickly moves their head to strike an opponent with their helmet or face mask.

    Ram: When a player who is in motion and on their feet uses their helmet as the primary point of contact to deliver a blow to an opponent. If the facemask is the initial point of contact on the opponent, it shall not be a penalty under this rule.

    Spear: When a player leaves their feet and launches themselves at an opponent and uses their helmet as the primary point of contact to deliver a blow to an opponent.

  7. All rushing defenders must attempt to avoid forcibly hitting a passer in the pocket, at or below the knees, either if their path to the passer was unrestricted, or if they are coming off a blocker,
  8. Delivering a blow to an opponent in the neck or head including the long snapper on kicks from scrimmage and convert attempts,
  9. It shall be illegal to tackle around the head in the open field or use a straight arm tackle above the shoulders,
  10. Contacting the ball carrier lying motionless on the ground in an unnecessarily rough manner,
  11. Tackling an opponent by grabbing the inside collar of the side or back of the shoulder pads,
  12. Clipping an opponent (see Rule 7, Section 2, Article 5),
  13. Crackback blocking (see Rule 7, Section 2, Article 6),
  14. Chop blocking an opponent (see Rule 7, Section 2, Article 7),
  15. Cut blocking an opponent (see Rule 7, Section 2, Article 8),
  16. Executing a Peel Back Block (see Rule 7, Section 2, Article 9),
  17. Executing a Push Block (see Rule 7, Section 2, Article 10),
  18. Blocking Below the Waist (see Rule 7, Section 2, Article 11)
  19. Unnecessary physical contact, including but not limited to, running into, diving into, cut blocking or throwing the body on a player who is:
    1. out of the play, or
    2. should not have reasonably anticipated such contact by an opponent, before or after the ball is dead, or
    3. throwing a ball carrier to the ground after the ball is dead,
  20. Any other act of roughness or unfair play, provided it is not considered excessive enough to warrant disqualification.

PENALTY: Team A - L15

Team B - L15 and 1D to Team A

If both teams offend, the penalties shall be applied against each other but Team A shall not be awarded a first down by virtue of the penalty to Team B.

Because the act of passing puts the passer in a particularly vulnerable position to injury, special rules against roughing the passer apply. Once the ball is released, defensive players must avoid all unnecessary contact with the passer. A player shall be penalized for any act of Unnecessary Roughness to the passer, including but not limited to:

  1. Contacting the passer in an unnecessary manner, including stuffing him to the ground, violently throwing him to the ground, and landing on him with most of the defender's weight,
  2. Any blow above the passer's shoulder,
  3. All rushing defenders must attempt to avoid forcibly hitting a passer in the pocket, at or below the knees, either if their path to the passer was unrestricted, or if they are coming off a blocker,
  4. Attacking the passer who, after releasing the ball, is either standing still or fading backwards and is obviously out of the play and remains out of the play,
  5. When the quarterback slides feet first, all unnecessary contact must be avoided. The slide must be done in a timely manner to allow the defence to avoid such contact.
  6. Contacting the passer if either the initial source of contact, or primary source of contact, is the defender's helmet.

Clipping means blocking an opponent, other than the ball carrier, from the rear in such a manner that the player charges into the opponent's back or falls across the back of the legs.

When and where it is legal to block an opponent below the waist, the block must be delivered to the front plane of the body of the opponent for it to be legal. When a block is delivered below the waist, the front and back planes of the body shall be defined by a line that passes through the centre of the body.

It shall be illegal (Clipping) to block an opponent in the back plane of the body on all blocks below the waist with the exception of item (a) below.

The application of this penalty is determined by the initial contact, which must be observed by the official, and shall not be called if, in the judgment of the official:

  1. The block occurs in the area between the offensive tackles within two yards of either side of the line of scrimmage and is executed by a Team A player, who at the snap of the ball was positioned within this area or,
  2. The initial contact is made on the side of the opponent if the block is above the waist or,
  3. The opponent could see the blocker approaching and deliberately turned the body in order to be contacted from behind.

A Team A player who, at the snap of the ball:

  1. is positioned more than three yards outside the offensive tackle or,
  2. A Team A Player who moves from a position more than 3 yards outside the offensive tackle towards the ball snap position, on any angle, is not permitted to contact an opponent below the waist in an area up to 5 yards in advance of the line of scrimmage from sideline to sideline.

Chop blocking means contacting an opponent at or below the knees at the time that opponent is already being engaged by another player, with or without actual physical contact.

It shall be illegal to contact an opponent at or below the knees when that opponent is:

  1. in a backfield position blocking for the passer or kicker, or,
  2. blocking for the ball carrier on a kick return play or,
  3. a potential pass receiver on the line of scrimmage.

It shall be illegal for a Team A player that started in the Close Line Play Area to deliver a block below the waist to a Team B player in the offensive backfield while moving towards his own Dead Ball Line on an opponent who he is not currently engaged with (with or without contact).

It shall be illegal for defensive players to push-block a teammate towards the other team’s dead ball line on any play where the offense lines up in a place kick formation including kicked convert attempts and field goal attempts.

It shall be illegal to block an opponent below the waist in the following circumstances:

  1. On a kick off commencing the moment the ball is kicked,
  2. By the receiving team, on a punt, field goal and kicked convert, on any kicking team player who has crossed the line of scrimmage,
  3. By the kicking team on a punt, field goal or kicked convert after the ball has been kicked across the line of scrimmage,
  4. On an open field kick after the ball is kicked,
  5. By the kicking team, after recovering a kick across the line of scrimmage,
  6. After an interception or fumble recovery.