d. The most forward point of the ball when declared out of bounds between the goal lines is the point of forward progress.
Approved Ruling 8-2-1 I. Ball carrier A1, while attempting to score, strikes the pylon located on the right intersection of the goal line and sideline with his foot. He is carrying the ball in his right arm, which is extended over the sideline. RULING: Whether or not a touchdown is scored depends on the forward progress of the ball as related to the goal line when the ball becomes dead by rule (Rules 4-2-4d and 5-1-3a).
Approved Ruling 8-5-1 VII. A36 intends to punt from behind its goal line, but he muffs the ball. After A36 recovers the ball, he runs into the pylon at the intersection of the sideline and goal line. RULING: Safety, unless the entire ball is beyond the goal line as the ball carrier contacts the sideline or pylon. The ball is dead at its most forward point when A36 contacts the pylon or sideline (Rules 2-31-3 and 4-2-4d).
(Exception:When a ball carrier is airborne as they cross the sideline (including a striding runner), forward progress is determined by the position of the ball as it crosses the sideline.
Approved Ruling 8-2-1 II. Ball carrier A1, advancing in the field of play, becomes airborne at the two-yard line. His first contact with the ground is out of bounds three yards beyond the goal line. The ball, in possession of the ball carrier, passes over the pylon. RULING: Touchdown (Rule 4-2-4d).
Approved Ruling 8-2-1 III. The ball, in possession of airborne ball carrier A21, crosses the sideline above the one-yard line, continues beyond the pylon and is then declared dead out of bounds in possession of A21. RULING: Ball is declared out of bounds at the one-yard line (Rules 2-12-1 and 4-2-4d).
Approved Ruling 8-2-1 V. Ball carrier A22 dives for the goal line at the B-1. The ball in his possession (a) touches the pylon; (b) goes over the top of the pylon; (c) crosses the goal line inside the pylon. A22 then first contacts the ground out of bounds three yards beyond the goal line. RULING: (a), (b) and (c) Touchdown in all three. The ball in A22’s possession has broken the plane of the goal line in all three scenarios.
Approved Ruling 8-2-1 VI. Ball carrier A22 heads for the right-hand pylon at the goal line. At the B-2 he dives or is blocked into the air by an opponent. The ball in A22’s right hand crosses the sideline at the B-1 and passes outside the pylon, and then A22 (a) touches the pylon with his foot or left hand; (b) first touches the ground out of bounds three yards beyond the goal line. RULING: (a) Touchdown. The goal-line plane is extended since A22 touches the pylon. (b) Not a touchdown. The goal-line plane is not extended because A22 did not touch either the pylon or the ground in the end zone. The ball is ruled out of bounds at the B-1.
Approved Ruling 8-2-1 VII. Ball carrier A22 heads for the right-hand pylon at the goal line. The ball in his right hand crosses the extension of the goal line outside (i.e., to the right of) the pylon, and then A22 steps (a) on the goal line; (b) on the sideline inches short of the goal line. RULING: (a) Touchdown. The goal-line plane is extended because A22 touches the ground in the end zone. (b) Not a touchdown. The goal-line plane is not extended. The ball is ruled out of bounds at the crossing point.
Approved Ruling 8-2-1 VIII. Ball carrier A22 heads for the right-hand pylon at the goal line. The ball is in his right hand. His foot hits the pylon just before the ball crosses (a) the pylon or (b) the extension of the goal line just to the right (outside) of the pylon. RULING: (a) and (b) No touchdown in either case. Because the pylon is out of bounds the ball is dead when A22’s foot hits it. Thus in both cases the ball is dead before it crosses the goal line.
Approved Ruling 8-2-1 IX. Ball carrier A1 is hit and his forward progress stopped inbounds near the goal line at the sideline to his right. When he is stopped he has the ball in his right hand extended beyond the goal line (a) inside the pylon; (b) outside the pylon. RULING: (a) Touchdown. The ball became dead when he extended it beyond the goal-line plane. (b) Not a touchdown, because no part of his body touches either the pylon or the end zone. In this case the goal-line plane is not extended.