# CFL Rule question for the forum

I'm trying to avoid having to read through the CFL Rule book so if anyone can provide the correct answer I'd appreciate it and it would save me a lot of time.

I know the normal penalty for a major foul is 15 yards. Here's my question:

I was watching the Montreal/Edmonton game the other day. The ball was punted and went out of bounds at around the opposing team's 12 yard line. A player on the receiving team committed a major foul. The ball was taken half the distance to the goal line. That put the ball on the 6 yard line. [these figures may not be exact but you will understand what I'm getting at].

Since the ball ended up on the 6 yard line the team that committed the infraction was only penalized 6 yards for a major foul. If a 15 yard penalty cannot be meted out because the team was on the 12 yard why not move the back to the 1 yard line thus maximizing the penalty? An 11 yard loss is worse than a 6 yard loss and more fair to the team that was violated.

I'm not up to speed on the half the distance to the goal line rule. Are there occasions when half the distance for a 15 yard penalty could result in the ball being moved back more than 15 yards? If there is such an instance then the rule balances out and I'm okay with it.

I have long been in agreement with this. Every time a penalty can not be marked off fully, it should go to the one yard line

get this. 15 yard penalty on the 14 yard line goes to the 7 yard line, but a 15 yard penalty on the 16 yard line goes to the 1 yard line. Just plane dumb to me.

I've always thought that the other team (non penalized) should be given the option to push them back half the distance or make it 1st and 15 or 20 or something. Not 1st and 25 though...that would be pretty crazy. Or perhaps half the distance to the goal + the yardage added to the 1st down marker...in the given scenario the LOS would move from the 12 to the 6 and it would be 1st and 19.

I personally like that it is not moved to the 1 as it handcuffs the O so much, and we don't need to see Os struggle more than they already do at times.

[b]RULE 8 – APPLICATION OF PENALTIES SECTION 4 – RESTRICTIONS NEAR A GOAL LINE[/b] [b]Article 1 – Within 30 Yards Before Goal Line[/b] If a distance penalty is applied within 30 yards of the offending team’s Goal Line, it shall not exceed one half the distance between the point from where the penalty is applied and said Goal Line. In no case shall the ball be scrimmaged within the one-yard line.
So a 15 yard penalty at the 30 moves the ball back to the 15, at the 20 moves it back to the 10, at the 10 moves it back to the 5, etc..

That's not how it works. A 15 yard penalty at the 16 takes it back to the 8 yard line.

but what if the penalty is applied on the 2 yard line?

interesting, didn't know about the 30 yard aspect. makes it better but I would still like the full yardage when possible and on the 1 yard line when not.

Any penalty inside the 2 yard line ends up on the 1 yard line.

Thanks CatsFaninOttawa. I'd like to see that rule changed. If the ball is on the 16,15,14,13,12 etc. it should be moved back to the one rather half the distance to the goal line. A major foul is a major foul and the offending team should feel the full impact of the penalty. The team that was victimized should get the full benefit of the penalty.

In the case of the offence occurring on the 2 yard line, it is ridiculous [in my opinion] that the ball goes back only a single yard to the one. Teams can pretty much commit any major foul with almost no consequence with that rule in place.

I have no trouble with a team being penalized on their 14 having the ball go to their one. If it happens on their 2 or 3 yard line maybe they can go back to the one with a loss of a down. If it happens on the 2nd down then they don't lose the 3rd down because this would mean giving up the ball. Instead they punt the ball [if they choose to] and the 15 yards is awarded to the team returning the ball. I'm just brainstorming.

I'm all for the application of the full yardage on major fouls. Major fouls are just that, major as they are almost all serious player safety issues and teams should suffer as much as possible when the commit them. For regular penalties, keep it the same.

Just don't complain when you see coaches taking more Safety Touches as a result.

At the CFL level, Major Fouls are "restricted penalties" which results in the "half the distance" applications. Strangely, the rule was changed at the amateur level about five years ago which "unrestricted" major fouls, eliminating the "half the distance" applications. Since 2009 (or 2008, can't remember), a 15 yard (or 25 yard) major foul is applied as much as possible back to the 1 yard line.

The reason for the change was exactly the sediment expresses here which was to maximize the pain of a UR...

Very interesting. It is time for a change!