Rule 6 – Section 1 – Article 2 – Free Kick Formation
a. A ball from a free kick formation must be kicked legally and from some point on Team A’s restraining line (Exception: Rule 6-1-2-c-4) and on or between the hash marks. The referee will declare the ball ready for play when the officials are in position after the kicker has received the ball. After the ready-for-play signal, the ball may only be relocated after a charged team timeout and before a subsequent kick. After the ball is ready for play and for any reason it falls from the tee, Team A shall not kick the ball and an official shall sound his whistle immediately.
b. After the ball has been made ready for play:
- All players on the kicking team, except the kicker, must be no more than five yards behind their restraining line. A player satisfies this rule when one foot is on or beyond the line five yards behind the restraining line. If one player is more than five yards behind the restraining line and any other player kicks the ball, it is a foul for an illegal formation [S19: IFK]. (A.R. 6-1-2:VII)
- All players on the kicking team, except the kicker in his kicking motion and the holder for the purposes of holding the ball, must remain behind their restraining line [S18: OFK].
- If a Team A player attempts to kick the ball but misses it (intentionally or accidentally), it is a dead-ball foul for illegal procedure [S19: IFK].
c. When the ball is kicked (A.R. 6-1-2:I-IV):
- Each Team A player, except the holder and kicker of a place kick, must be behind the ball [S18: OFK]. (A.R. 6-1-2:V)
- All Team A players must be inbounds [S19: IFK].
- At least four Team A players must be on each side of the kicker [S19: IFK]. (A.R. 6-1-2:II-IV)
- After a safety, when a punt or drop kick is used, the ball may be kicked from behind the kicking team’s restraining line. If a yardage penalty for a live-ball foul is enforced from the previous spot, administration is from the 20-yard line, unless the kicking team’s restraining line has been relocated by a previous penalty [S18 or appropriate signal].
- All players of Team A must have been between the nine-yard marks after the ready- for-play signal [S19: IFK].
PENALTY − [b3] Dead-ball foul. Five yards from the succeeding spot. [S19: IFK].
[a-c5 except b3] Live-ball foul. Five yards from the previous spot, or five yards from the spot where the subsequent dead ball belongs to Team B, or from the spot where the ball is placed after a touchback [S18 or S19: IFK/OFK]. (A.R. 6-1-2:VI)
- All Team B players must be inbounds [S19: IFK].
- All Team B players must be behind their restraining line [S18: OFK].
PENALTY − [c6-c7] Live-ball foul. Five yards from the previous spot [S18 or S19: IFK/OFK].