1. Any kick from scrimmage must be made from behind the line to be
2. Any punt or missed field goal that touches a goal post is dead.
3. During a kick from scrimmage, only the end men, as eligible receivers
on the line of scrimmage at the time of the snap, are permitted to
go beyond the line before the ball is kicked.
Exception: An eligible receiver who, at the snap, is aligned or in
motion behind the line and more than one yard outside the end man
on his side of the line, clearly making him the outside receiver,
replaces that end man as the player eligible to go downfield after
the snap. All other members of the kicking team must remain at the
line of scrimmage until the ball has been kicked.
4. Any punt that is blocked and does not cross the line of scrimmage
can be recovered and advanced by either team. However, if offensive
team recovers it must make the yardage necessary for its first down
to retain possession if punt was on fourth down.
5. The kicking team may never advance its own kick even though legal
recovery is made beyond the line of scrimmage. Possession only.
6. A member of the receiving team may not run into or rough a kicker
who kicks from behind his line unless contact is:
(a) Incidental to and after he had touched ball in flight.
(b) Caused by kicker’s own motions.
(c) Occurs during a quick kick, or a kick made after a run behind
the line, or after kicker recovers a loose ball on the ground. Ball
is loose when kicker muffs snap or snap hits ground.
(d) Defender is blocked into kicker.
The penalty for running into the kicker is 5 yards. For roughing the
kicker: 15 yards, an automatic first down and disqualification if
7. If a member of the kicking team attempting to down the ball on
or inside opponent’s 5-yard line carries the ball into the end
zone, it is a touchback.
8. Fouls during a punt are enforced from the previous spot (line of
Exception: Illegal touching, fair-catch interference,
invalid fair-catch signal, or personal foul (blocking after a fair-catch
9. While the ball is in the air or rolling on the ground following
a punt or field-goal attempt and receiving team commits a foul only
before or after gaining possession, receiving team will retain possession
and will be penalized for its foul.
10. It will be illegal for a defensive player to jump or stand on
any player, or be picked up by a teammate or to use a hand or hands
on a teammate to gain additional height in an attempt to block a kick
(Penalty: 15 yards, unsportsmanlike conduct).
11. A punted ball remains a kicked ball until it is declared dead
or in possession of either team.
12. Any member of the punting team may down the ball anywhere in the
field of play. However, it is illegal touching (Official’s time
out and receiver’s ball at spot of illegal touching). This foul
does not offset any foul by receivers during the down.
13. Defensive team may advance all kicks from scrimmage (including
unsuccessful field goal) whether or not ball crosses defensive team’s
goal line. Rules pertaining to kicks from scrimmage apply until defensive
team gains possession.
14. When a team presents a punt formation, defensive pass interference
is not to be called for actions on the widest player eligible to go
beyond line. Defensive holding may be called.
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