RULE 5 — KICKING

SECTION 4 — KICK FROM SCRIMMAGE AND OPEN-FIELD KICK

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.

PENALTY: L5 PLS

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.

PENALTY: L5 PLS

Contacting the kicker when in the act of kicking from scrimmage, subject to the following conditions:

  1. If prior to kicking the ball, the kicker had recovered a loose ball on the ground or made a motion to pass the ball or run with the ball, there shall be no protection under this Article.
  2. An opponent who blocks or touches the ball shall not be penalized for contacting the kicker.
  3. An opponent shall not be penalized when a blocker of the kicker’s team causes contact with the kicker.
  4. If, in the Referee’s opinion, a defensive player attempting to block the kick makes slight and incidental contact which does not affect the play, there shall be no penalty.
  5. This section does not apply to a quick kick or to an open-field kick.
  6. The act of kicking shall begin when the kicker’s kicking foot leaves the ground and shall terminate when the foot returns to the ground after kicking, or attempting to kick, the ball.

PENALTY: L10 PLS

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.

PENALTY: L10

  1. 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.

    PENALTY: L15 PBH or PPG or PBD

  2. 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.

    PENALTY: L10 PLS

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.

PENALTY: L15 PBH or PPG or PBD

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.

PENALTY: L10 PLS

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.

PENALTY: L10 PLS or PPG

(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:

  1. if the player first touches, or is touched by, the ball:

    PENALTY - in field of play - L15 from PBT (point ball touched)

    - 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.

  2. 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:

    PENALTY - in field of play - L15 from PBT

    - in goal area - L15, penalty applied at 10-yard line

  3. if the player does not allow 5 yards and the ball struck the ground before being touched by the receiving team:

    PENALTY - in field of play - L5 from PBT or PBD

    - in goal area - L5, penalty applied at 10-yard line or PBD

  4. 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.

  5. 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

  6. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

PENALTY: L10 PLS or PBD

  1. If the ball, after being kicked, should strike the opposing team's goal post assembly in flight, the ball shall be declared dead immediately and awarded to the receiving team as first down at its 25 yard line.
  2. A kicked ball striking the goal post assembly after having touched an official, the ground or a player, shall remain in play.
  3. A kicked ball striking the kicking team's goal post assembly shall remain in play.
  4. If the kicked ball on a field goal or convert attempt should strike the goal post assembly in flight, and then proceed through the uprights above the crossbar, the score shall count.

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.

PENALTY: L15 PBH or PBD

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.

THE OFFICIAL PLAYING RULES FOR THE CANADIAN FOOTBALL LEAGUE 2021

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 2021 version of the rulebook. Other available versions of this page are:

Credits

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 2021 Canadian Football League

Publication Credits

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 dhackwood@cfl.ca. Any inquiries regarding CFL Statistical Scoring Rules may be directed to Jeff Krever, Head, CFL Player and Game Statistics at jkrever@cfl.ca.