A question about no yards rule

I've been lurking for a while and decided to just join. I really enjoy this forum, thanks. Anyway, I'm an American in SC, (although I used to have an apartment in Guelph briefly) and I've seen almost every game on tv this year. CFL is on a lot of regional channels and I have the sports package with dish network so I've seen most of the games.

Here's my question, last week in the Calgary game, I forget who they were playing,the punter took the snap and rolled to his right. The announcers called a fake, the defense yelled out, "pass" but ultimately no one was open and he kicked the ball. Well, obviously since it was going to be a fake the defenders ran down field to cover the receivers. The punter wound up kicking the ball and a no yards penalty was called. How is this fair? I mean, couldn't this be done on every punt as a way of getting a cheap 5 yards? Thanks

Hmm, your post kind of confused me, but I'll give it a whirl.

No yards is when someone is within 5 yards of the returner when he touches or catches the ball. It is then, of course, a 5 yard penalty.

It is not something that teams usually shoot for, because the defender can be 10 yards back from the returner and still stop him for a one or two yard gain.
Meanwhile, usually the returner will get more than 5 yards on a return if he makes a good effort of it, so he won't want people near him to tackle him the moment he gets it.

I hope that cleared something up . . .

Thank you pyre for your response, but me question was specific to this very incident. The punter was going to throw the ball so of course the defenders went and covered the receivers however when the punter saw that no one was open he kicked it and a no yards penalty was called against the defense. my question is, how is this fair? In other words what were they suppose to do, not cover the receiver because the punter might change his mind and punt it after all?

I'm sorry if I'm not doing a good job at articulating myself, the rules are new to me so I'm trying to word it correctly.

Welcome Shyspy. No yards is called against the kicking team not the receiving team. So there were no receivers to cover since they were on offence while faking/punting.

I can see why you think in this situation that it is unfair that no yards was called. This is of course a very rare situation, when a punter fakes then kicks anyway, but still it's generally much easier to give five yards than it appears. Sometimes players do get caught within the five yard zone because of a bad bounce or a situation like you described, but generally with some discipline it can be avoided. Keep in mind that other rules are in play as well. For example, the punter can recover his own kick (or any onside player for that matter, which in the case of a punt is nearly always only the kicker) so the receiving team can't just stand around the ball or the punter will get to it. So really both sides are under pressure. The kicking team (except the punter) must let the reveiving team field the ball by giving them space to do it, and the receiving team must field the ball quickly or risk losing it.

Sometimes players get caught, and in this case it's a five yard penalty. If the ball doesn't hit the ground first (ie. it is caught without bouncing) it is a 15 yard penalty.

It can also happen on a quick kick by the way. If a player boots it out of the end zone for example, it's quite possible that players not paying attention to where the ball is will get called for no yards.

So the point is you must be aware of where the ball is at all times. Otherwise, it could cost you. A fake punt punt is no excuse since the receiving team probably would get at least five yards if you had let them field the ball anyway.

The object is to allow the team to cleanly field and return the ball since there is no such thing as a "fair catch" (and probably never will be).

It's a drag for the punting team in this case that they got caught, but they did try to gain an advantage by faking then kicking. It backfired and cost them. Remember that it wasn't the punting team that had to cover down field receivers of a fake punt/pass, so they had no other responsibility than to let the other side field the ball.

really there is nothing unfair in this situtation. The piunting team faked the punt and it was the punting team who was penilized.

No yards applies anytime the ball is kicked except for a kickoff. It doesnt matter if the punter faked it, or even rolled out of the pocket, even on a blocked field goal the kicking team must give the returning team a 5 yard buffer.

The penality is 5 yards if the ball bounces before the reciever touches it. 15 yards if if he catches in the air.

well i haven't written anything in this forum for quite some time but thought i would add something here. ro is mostly right but i would add that no yards only applies to those players on the kicking team that are not onside (those onside are behind the ball when it is kicked) and this rule applies to all kicks but it just so happens that it is a rule that all players on the kicking team must be onside for kickoffs. any player can kick the ball at any time but only players onside (from the kicking team) can be within the five yard zone from the receiving team. hope that helps!

Thanks for all of the responses guys. I realized after I turned off the computer that I had it backwards. I guess my only gripe, slight as it is is that when the punter decided not to pass he kind of screwed his own teammates who had gone down field to receive the fake thus incurring a no yards.

Also ,I just thought of this: if the punt returner sees that it's a fake he naturally is going to run up and cover a receiver turning into a defender so how would their not be a no yards call then? The punt returner, became a defensive back on the fake and gets a free call when the punter saw that no one was open and kicked the ball. Yeah,come to think of it, as rare as it is, I think this is a stupid rule and discretion has to come into play here. I changed my mind twice in my own post. :smiley:

You are forgetting one thing here.
The offence knows that it is going to be a fake so they "should" not be completely caught off guard. Even if they are, a 5 yard penalty is better than a 20 yard return, or turning over the ball at the original line of scrimmage.

This question is a little confusing to me. I think that there is one important consideration here, rule codes apply ONLY to actual outcomes, not intended ones. When the punter rolls out of the "pocket" he may intend to throw the ball or run for a first down, if if he punts, then that's all that counts, and the appropriate rules governing the kicking game are the ones that apply. Same hold true for the receiving team, just because an individual is the "designated" punt returner, it does not mean that he will field all the punts. He may need to become a blocker if the kick goes short or something unexpected occurs. And as posted above, situational awareness is the most crucial element to avoiding penalties like no-yards.