College: 2-16-7

SECTION 16. Kicks; Kicking the Ball

Scrimmage Kick


a. A scrimmage kick is a punt, drop kick, or field goal place kick. It is a legal kick if it is made by Team A in or behind the neutral zone during a scrimmage down before team possession changes.

b. A scrimmage kick has crossed the neutral zone when it touches the ground, a player, an official or anything beyond the neutral zone (Exception: Rule 6-3-1b).

Approved Ruling 6-3-1 I. After a punt travels five yards beyond the neutral zone, B33 touches the ball. It then rebounds behind the zone, where A33 recovers it in the field of play. RULING: The ball is dead when recovered and may not be advanced. First down for Team A (Rules 6-3-3 and 6-3-6a). Clock starts on the snap following a legal kick down.

Approved Ruling 6-3-1 II. Team A’s untouched punt or field goal attempt goes beyond the neutral zone in flight, is blown back by the wind and first touches the ground, a player or an official behind the neutral zone. RULING: By rule, the kick is not considered to have crossed the neutral zone until it has touched the ground, a player, an official or anything beyond that zone. Any scrimmage kick may be advanced after catch or recovery by Team B, or after catch or recovery by Team A in or behind the neutral zone if the kick had not crossed the neutral zone (Rule 2-16-7).

Approved Ruling 6-3-1 III. A1 interferes with B1’s opportunity to catch a kick when a scrimmage kick fails to cross the neutral zone. RULING: Interference with the opportunity to catch a kick does not apply (Rule 6-4-1), and all players are eligible to touch, recover and advance the ball. Therefore, any player legally may push an opponent in an actual attempt to get at the ball (Rule 9-3-4b); but no player may hold an opponent to prevent his reaching the ball or in an attempt to permit a teammate to reach it (Rules 9-1-5 Exception 3).

Approved Ruling 6-3-1 IV. Team A’s punt from behind its own goal line crosses the neutral zone into the field of play, strikes a Team B player and rebounds back across Team A’s goal line, where A32 recovers. RULING: Safety (Rules 6-3-3, 6-3-6a and 8-5-1a).

c. A scrimmage kick made when the kicker’s entire body is beyond the neutral zone is an illegal kick and a live-ball foul that causes the ball to become dead (Rule 6-3-10c).