Rule 8 – Section 2 – Out of Bounds
ARTICLE 1. Player Out of Bounds
a. A player is out of bounds when any part of his person touches anything, other than another player or game official, on or outside a boundary line (Rule 2-27-15). (A.R. 4-2-1:I and II)
b. An out-of-bounds player who becomes airborne remains out of bounds until he touches the ground in bounds without simultaneously being out of bounds.
c. A player who touches a pylon is out of bounds.
ARTICLE 2. Held Ball Out of Bounds
A ball in player possession is out of bounds when either the ball or any part of the ball carrier touches the ground or anything else that is out of bounds, or that is on or outside a boundary line, except another player or game official.
ARTICLE 3. Loose Ball Out of Bounds
a. A ball not in player control, other than a kick that scores a field goal, is out of bounds when it touches the ground, a player, a game official or anything else that is out of bounds, or that is on or outside a boundary line.
b. A ball that touches a pylon is out of bounds behind the goal line.
c. If a live ball not in player possession crosses a boundary line and then is declared out of bounds, it is out of bounds at the crossing point.
ARTICLE 4. Out of Bounds at Forward Point
a. If a live ball is declared out of bounds and the ball does not cross a boundary line, it is out of bounds at the ball’s most forward point when it was declared dead. (A.R. 4-2-4:I) (Exception: Rule 8-5-1-a, (A.R. 8-5-1:I).)
b. A touchdown is scored if the ball is inbounds and has broken the plane of the goal line (Rule 2-12-2) before or simultaneous with the ball carrier going out of bounds.
c. A receiver who is in the opponent’s end zone and contacting the ground is credited with a completion if he reaches over the sideline or end line and catches a legal pass.
d. The most forward point of the ball when declared out of bounds between the goal lines is the point of forward progress. (A.R. 8-2-1:I) (A.R. 8-5-1:VII) (Exception: When a ball carrier is airborne as he crosses the sideline (including a striding runner) forward progress is determined by the position of the ball as it crosses the sideline. (A.R. 8-2-1:II-III and V-IX))