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. kicking or throwing an official’s flag,
  4. baiting or taunting an opponent by act or word,
  5. embellishing contact by an opponent in an attempt to draw a penalty,
  6. a quarterback or punter or kicker faking giving them self up by faking a slide,
  7. 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,
  8. avoidable physical contact with an official,
  9. 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 2, 3, 4 and 5 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

Content compiled and written 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, Associate Vice-President of Officiating at Any inquiries regarding CFL Statistical Scoring Rules may be directed to Jeff Krever, Head, CFL Player and Game Statistics at