Rule 8 - Scoring
SECTION 1. Value of Scores
Article 1 - Scoring Plays
The point value of scoring plays shall be:
Touchdown 6 points
Field Goal 3 points
Safety (points awarded to opponent) 2 points
Touchdown during try 2 points
Field Goal during try 1 point
Safety during try (point awarded to opponent) 1 point
Article 2 - Forfeited Games
SECTION 2. Touchdown
Article 1 - How Scored
A touchdown shall be scored when:
a. A ball carrier advancing from the field of play has possession of a live ball when it penetrates the plane of the opponent’s goal line. This plane extends beyond the pylons only for a player who touches the ground in the end zone or a pylon. (A.R. 2-23-1:I) (A.R. 8-2-1:I-IX)
b. A player catches a forward pass in the opponent’s end zone. (A.R. 5-1-3:I-II)
c. A fumble or backward pass is recovered, caught, intercepted, or awarded in the opponent’s end zone (Exceptions: Rules 7-2-2-a Exception 2 and 8-3-2-d-5). (A.R. 8-2-1:X)
d. A free kick or scrimmage kick is legally caught or recovered in the opponent’s end zone. (A.R. 6-3-9:III)
e. The referee awards a touchdown under the provisions of Rule 9-2-3 Penalty.
SECTION 3. Try Down
Article 1 - How Scored
Article 2 - Opportunity to Score
A try is an opportunity for either team to score one or two points while the game clock is stopped after a touchdown. It is a special interval in the game which, for purposes of penalty enforcement only, includes both a down and the ‘‘ready’’ period that precedes it.
a. The ball shall be put in play by the team that scored a six-point touchdown. If a touchdown is scored during a down in which time in the fourth period expires, the try shall not be attempted unless the point(s) would affect the outcome of the game.
1. If the scoring team is ahead by one or two points, they have the option to forego the try.
2. The try shall not be attempted if the fourth period ends due to a running clock before the ball is snapped.
b. The try, which is a scrimmage down, begins when the ball is declared ready for play.
c. The snap will be midway between the hash marks on the opponent’s three-yard line or from any other point on or between the hash marks on or behind the opponent’s three- yard line if the position of the ball is selected by the team designated to put the ball in play before the play clock is at 25 seconds or before any subsequent ready-for-play signal. The ball may be relocated after a Team B foul or a charged timeout to either team unless the timeout is preceded by a Team A foul or offsetting fouls (Rules 8-3-3-a and
d. The try ends when:
1. Either team scores.
2. The ball is dead by rule. (A.R. 8-3-2:IV and VI)
3. An accepted penalty results in a score.
4. A Team A loss-of-down penalty is accepted (Rule 8-3-3-c-2).
5. Before a change of team possession, a Team A player fumbles and the ball is caught or recovered by any Team A player other than the fumbler. There is no Team A score. (A.R. 8-3-2:VIII)
Article 3 - Fouls During a Try Before a Change of Team Possession
a. Offsetting fouls: If both teams foul during the down and Team B fouls before the change of possession, the fouls offset and the down is repeated, even if additional fouls occur after the change of possession. Any repeat of the down after offsetting fouls must be from the previous spot. (A.R. 8-3-3:II)
b. Fouls by Team B on a try:
1. When the try is successful, Team A shall have the option of declining the score and repeating the try after enforcement, or declining the penalty(ies) and accepting the score. Team A may accept the score with penalties for personal fouls and unsportsmanlike conduct fouls enforced on the succeeding kickoff or from the succeeding spot in extra periods. (A.R. 3-2-3:VI) (A.R. 8-3-2:II) (A.R. 8-3-3:I) (A.R. 10-2-5:IX-XI)
2. A repeat of the down after a penalty against Team B may be from any point on or between the hash marks on or behind the yard line where the penalty leaves the ball. (A.R. 8-3-3:III)
c. Fouls by Team A on a try:
1. After a foul by Team A on a successful try, the ball shall be put in play at the spot where the penalty leaves it. (A.R. 8-3-3:I)
2. If Team A commits a foul for which the penalty includes loss of down, the try is over, and the score is cancelled, and no yardage penalty is assessed on the succeeding kickoff.
3. If before a change of team possession Team A commits a foul that is not offset, and during the down there is neither another change of team possession nor a score, the penalty is declined by rule.
d. Dead-ball enforcement:
1. Penalties for fouls occurring after the ball is ready for play and before the snap are enforced before the next snap.
2. Penalties for live-ball fouls treated as dead-ball fouls occurring during the try down are enforced on the succeeding kickoff or from the succeeding spot in extra periods. If the try is repeated, these penalties are enforced on the repeat (Rule 10-1-6) (A.R. 3-2-3:VII)
e. Roughing or running into kicker or holder: Roughing or running into the kicker or holder is a live-ball foul.
f. Kick catch interference: The penalty for interference with a kick catch is declined by rule. Any score by Team A is cancelled.
Article 4 - Fouls During a Try After a Change of Team Possession
Article 5 - Fouls After a Try
Article 6 - Next Play
SECTION 4. Field Goal
Article 1 - How Scored
a. A field goal shall be scored if a scrimmage kick, which may be a drop kick or place kick, passes over the crossbar between the uprights of the receiving team’s goal before it touches a player of the kicking team or the ground.
b. If a legal field goal attempt passes over the crossbar between the uprights and is dead beyond the end line or is blown back but does not return over the crossbar and is dead anywhere, it shall score a field goal. The crossbar and uprights are treated as a line, not a plane, in determining forward progress of the ball.
Article 2 - Next Play
a. Successful field goal. After a field goal is scored, the ball shall be put in play by a kickoff or at the succeeding spot in extra periods. The team scoring the field goal shall kick off.
b. Unsuccessful field goal attempt.
1. When the ball is declared dead and is untouched by Team B beyond the neutral zone, it belongs to Team B. Except in an extra period, Team B will snap the ball at either the previous spot, the 20-yard line or the dead ball spot (whichever is most advantageous to Team B).
(a) The 20-yard-line snap shall be from midway between the hash marks unless Team B selects a different location on or between the hash marks before the ready-for- play signal.
(b) After the ready-for-play signal, the ball may be relocated after a charged team timeout, unless preceded by a Team A foul or offsetting fouls.
2. If the ball does not cross the neutral zone, or if Team B touches the ball after it crosses the neutral zone, all rules pertaining to scrimmage kicks apply.
(A.R. 6-3-4:II) (A.R. 8-4-2:I-VI) (A.R. 10-2-3:V)
SECTION 5. Safety
Article 1 - How Scored
It is a safety when:
a. The ball becomes dead out of bounds behind a goal line, except from an incomplete forward pass, or becomes dead in the possession of a player on, above or behind his own goal line, or becomes dead by rule, and the defending team is responsible for the ball being there. (A.R. 6-3-1:IV) (A.R. 7-2-4:I) (A.R. 8-5-1:I-II, IV and VI-X) (A.R. 8-7-2:II) (A.R. 9-4-1:VIII)
When in question, it is a touchback, not a safety.
Exception: It is not a safety if a player between his five-yard line and his goal line:
(a) intercepts a pass or fumble; or recovers an opponent’s fumble or backward pass; or catches or recovers an opponent’s kick; and
(b) his original momentum carries him into his own end zone; and
(c) the ball remains behind his goal line and is declared dead in his team’s possession there. This includes a fumble that goes from the end zone into the field of play and out of bounds (Rule 7-2-4-b-1).
If conditions (a)-(c) are satisfied above, the ball belongs to this player’s team at the spot where he gained possession.
b. An accepted penalty for a foul leaves the ball on or behind the offending team’s goal line. (Exception: Rules 10-2-7-c and 10-2-7-a). (A.R. 8-5-1:III) (A.R. 10-2-2:VI)
Article 2 - Kick After Safety
After a safety is scored, the ball belongs to the defending team at its own
20-yard line, and that team shall put the ball in play on or between the hash marks by a free kick that may be a punt, drop kick or place kick (Exception: Extra-period and try rules).
SECTION 6. Touchback
Article 1 - When Declared
It is a touchback when:
a. The ball becomes dead out of bounds behind a goal line, except from an incomplete forward pass, or becomes dead in the possession of a player on, above, or behind his own goal line and the attacking team is responsible for the ball being there (Rule 7-2-4-c) (A.R. 7-2-4:I) (A.R. 8-6-1:I-III)
b. A kick becomes dead by rule behind the defending team’s goal line and the attacking team is responsible for the ball being there (Exception: Rule 8-4-2-b). (A.R. 6-3-4:III)
Article 2 - Snap After a Touchback
SECTION 7. Responsibility and Impetus
Article 1 - Responsibility
Article 2 - Initial Impetus
a. The impetus imparted by a player who kicks, passes, snaps or fumbles the ball shall be considered responsible for the ball’s progress in any direction even though its course is deflected or reversed after striking the ground or after touching an official or a player of either team. (A.R. 6-3-4:III) (A.R. 8-5-1:II, VI and VIII) (A.R. 8-7-2:I-IV)
b. Initial impetus is considered expended and the responsibility for the ball’s progress is charged to a player:
1. If he kicks a ball not in player possession or bats a loose ball after it strikes the ground.
2. If the ball comes to rest and he gives it new impetus by any contact with it, other than through forced touching (Rule 2-11-4-c).
c. A loose ball retains its original status when there is new impetus.