Rule 5 – Section 1 – Article 1 – When to Award Series
a. A series (Rule 2-24-1) of up to four consecutive scrimmage downs shall be awarded to the team that is next to put the ball in play by a snap after a free kick, touchback, fair catch or change in team possession, or to the offensive team in overtime.
b. A new series shall be awarded to Team A if it is in legal possession of the ball on or beyond its line to gain when the ball is declared dead.
c. A new series shall be awarded to Team B if, after fourth down, Team A has failed to earn a first down. (A.R. 10-1-5:I)
d. A new series shall be awarded to Team B if Team A’s scrimmage kick goes out of bounds or comes to rest and no player attempts to secure it (Exception: Rule 8-5-1-a).
e. A new series shall be awarded to the team in legal possession when the ball is declared dead:
- If a change of team possession occurs during the down.
- If a scrimmage kick crosses the neutral zone (Exceptions: (1) When the down is repeated; (2) Rule 6-3-7).
- If an accepted penalty awards the ball to the offended team.
- If an accepted penalty mandates a first down.
f. A new series shall be awarded to Team B whenever Team B, after a scrimmage kick, elects to take the ball at a spot of illegal touching (Exception: When the down is repeated) (Rules 6-3-2-a and 6-3-2-b).