Focus on the Rules


It is often said that Rule 2 is the most important rule in the book. An official must know Rule 2 to enforce the other nine rules. Test your knowledge of the Federation rules by answering the following True/False questions. The answer key includes the questions, the answers, and the rule citation (e.g., 2-27-1).

Note: These questions were based on the 2001 Federation Rules. If you believe there is a discrepancy with the current rules, please report it.

1. The neutral zone is the space between the two scrimmage lines during a scrimmage down.

2. The field of play is the area within the boundary lines other than the end zones.

3. The kicker continues to be the kicker and has special protection until he has had reasonable opportunity to regain his balance after the kick.

4. A kicker continues to be a kicker until the kick ends.

5. In a scrimmage kick formation, the snapper has special protection only until the ball has clearly been released in a legal snap.

6. During a scrimmage down, the unexpanded neutral zone is as wide as the length of the football.

7. A fair catch of a scrimmage kick can be made anywhere beyond the neutral zone and to R's goal line.

8. An accidental kick is a muff.

9. A loose ball is out of bounds if it touches anything including a player or game official who is out of bounds.

10. Initial force results from a carry, fumble, kick, pass, snap, or muff.

11. A loose ball is a pass, fumble, or kick.

12. The spot of a player foul is where the foul occurs.

13. A defensive player is on the line of scrimmage when he is within one yard of his line of scrimmage at the snap.

14. A player who is attempting to pass is a runner until he gives up possession of the ball by passing.

15. The snapper cannot be an eligible pass receiver.

16. Illegal participation can be a nonplayer foul.

17. The line of scrimmage is determined when the ball is marked ready for play.

18. If a loose ball touches a game official who is straddling the sideline, the ball is not out of bounds.

19. A free kick may be made after a fair catch.

20. If R1 blocks K's kick on K's 8 and the ball rebounds into K's end zone, the change of direction is a new force and when K2 recovers it there, it is a touchback.

21. It is illegal participation if a team member, who is entering to fill a player vacancy, is on the opponent's side of the neutral zone at the snap and touches the ball.

22. Butt blocking is illegal in the open field, but is permitted in close line play.

23. If receiver A1 controls the ball in B's end zone, but prior to touching the ground inbound, A1 brushes the upright, it is a touchdown.

24. The down must be replayed if there is first touching of a scrimmage kick beyond the neutral zone by K1 and thereafter while the ball is still rolling loose an official sounds his whistle.

25. If B1 intercepts and is downed and then A1 and A2 both pile on, it is a multiple foul.

Answer Key

Last Modified: Tuesday, 20-Feb-2007 22:52 ET