On plays in which Team A punts the ball, the offensive line must be balanced. That is, there must be two ineligible line players on each side of the Centre (aka the Long Snapper) and one eligible receiver at each end.
When the Team A Long Snapper is on the field, the Long Snapper and the two players immediately on each side of the Long Snapper and/or the ball can wear any number.
These players are ineligible receivers for that play regardless of which number they wear.
Prior to the game each team will provide the number of their Long Snapper to the Referee. Should a team wish to use a different Long Snapper during the game they must first inform the Referee of the number of the new Long Snapper.
It is illegal to line up directly over the Long Snapper. A defensive player within 2 yards of the line of scrimmage must have their entire body outside the shoulder pads of the Long Snapper when the ball is snapped.
Contacting the kicker when in the act of kicking from scrimmage, subject to the following conditions:
Using the body of another player or the goal post assembly in any way to gain or maintain elevation or jump over the line in an attempt to block a field goal or a convert attempt.
A player of the receiving team may interfere with any player of the kicking team who has crossed the line of scrimmage, provided that contact is made only above the waist. Such interference shall be permitted from the instant the ball is snapped.
The kicker or an onside player may not be contacted until reaching the line of scrimmage or until the receiving team has touched the ball.
A player of the team receiving an open-field kick may commence interfering with an opponent at the instant the ball is kicked, provided that such contact is made only above the waist of the opponent.
On a play from scrimmage in which the ball is kicked across the line of scrimmage, a player of the kicking team may interfere with an opponent up to one yard in advance of the line of scrimmage. After the ball is kicked, the player may use hands and arms to ward off a blocker interfering with the approach to the ball carrier.
On a play from scrimmage in which Team A punts the ball a player of the kicking team who is one of the interior block of five ineligible Line Players may not advance beyond the Scrimmage Zone (one yard in advance of the Line of Scrimmage) until the ball is kicked.
(This article does not apply to a "dribbled ball".)
When on a kick from scrimmage (punt, field goal or kicked convert when ball crosses the line of scrimmage), or on an open-field kick, a player who is offside in relation to the kicker:
if the player first touches, or is touched by, the ball:
- in goal area - L15, penalty applied at 10-yard line
If the offside Team A player is inadvertently touched first by the ball, which has previously hit the ground, and has made no attempt to “play” the ball in any way, the penalty will be L5 from PBT or PBD.
if the player does not allow 5 yards to an opponent attempting to gain possession of the kicked ball. The 5-yard zone is determined by a circle with a 5-yard radius; with the centre point being the ball at the instant it is first touched. If the kicked ball is first touched by the receiving team in the air prior to having touched the ground:
- in goal area - L15, penalty applied at 10-yard line
if the player does not allow 5 yards and the ball struck the ground before being touched by the receiving team:
if a kicking team player is making no attempt to withdraw from the 5-yard zone, and is hovering over the ball or the receiving team player about to take possession of the ball, a 15-yard penalty will apply regardless whether the ball bounced.
if a kicking team player interferes with a receiving team player attempting to gain possession of the kicked ball, with or without contact:
PENALTY - L15 from normal point of application
if a kicking team player invades the 5-yard zone, and contacts in an unnecessarily rough manner a receiving team player who is attempting to play the ball, the kicking team player will be subject to an additional 15 yard UR or 25-yard RP disqualification penalty, regardless of whether the ball had struck the ground.
The kicker or an onside player may enter the restraining zone and legally recover the kicked ball, but shall not interfere with an opponent attempting to recover the ball.
PENALTY: Ball awarded to receiving team at point of foul or at its 25-yard line, if the foul occurred in the receiving team's Goal Area. If the kicker or onside player and a Team B player simultaneously recover the ball, possession shall be awarded to the receiving team at the point the ball was touched.
If the kicked ball has not yet been touched and a player of the receiving team fakes an attempt to recover the ball, that player may be tackled without penalty. If an offside player touches the ball, there shall be no penalty and the ball shall be awarded to the receiving team.
If the kicked ball has not yet been touched and, in the judgment of the official, no effort is being made by either team to recover the ball, the ball may be declared dead and possession awarded to the receiving team.
It shall be illegal for a kick from scrimmage to go out of bounds in flight from 20 yard line to 20 yard line. This does not apply if the kick is deflected by the receiving team and then goes out of bounds in flight.
The kicker or an onside player may recover the kick across the line of scrimmage, in which case the ensuing down shall be first down whether or not the original yardage has been gained.
Following such recovery by the kicker or an onside player, a player of the kicking team may interfere with an opponent provided that contact is made only above the waist of the opponent.
When a ball kicked from scrimmage fails to cross the line of scrimmage and is recovered by an onside player of the kicking team, the series of downs shall not be interrupted unless after recovery, the yardage required for a first down is gained.
If touched by offside player:
PENALTY: Ball awarded to opponent at point ball touched, or option.
If touched by offside player in own Goal Area:
PENALTY: Ball awarded to opponent at 10-yard line, or option.
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Content compiled and written by Jeff Harbin et (sic) 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 email@example.com. Any inquiries regarding CFL Statistical Scoring Rules may be directed to Jeff Krever, Head, CFL Player and Game Statistics at firstname.lastname@example.org.