Kicking Rule (merged w/ CFL admits mistake)

Okay, this is not my attempt to complain or wine. I am just asking for some clarification on a rule. Yesterday in the Rider game, the TSN turning point was that terrible bobble on the punt that led to a BC touchdown. What I am wondering is that when the BC player kicked the ball, and it appeared to be kicked clean of the Rider diving for it, did the first Lion to touch the ball not need to be an onside player when he does so? Or is there a different rule for kicking it off the ground? The announcer mentioned something about dribbling, but I wasn't sure what that meant. The same thing happened a few weeks ago when a Rider punt was blocked and Borham managed to soccer kick it to another Rider who picked it up and ran with it. It seemed like had he made the appropriate yardage it would have been first down Riders, but to me it seemed like it should have been no yards and a dead ball. So if anyone can clear this up for me that would be stupendous. Either way, congrats to BC on the win and better luck against Hamilton to the boys in Green.

Go Riders!!

The over riding difference between last nights game and the Riders game in which the punt was blocked is that last nights game was a result of a fumble on the play. The Sask punt returner fumbled the ball so it becomes a free for all in trying to recover the ball. Had the BC player kicked the ball out of bounds while trying to recover it, then it would have been Sask ball. But since it was kicked into the field of play, the ball is still live to be recovered by anybody.

When Boreham had his punt blocked and it was kicked again to another Rider, that player would have had to be onside to recover the ball, I doubt the Rider player was onside. Otherwise, Sask can get a first down by getting the ball after the punt block and advancing it past the first down marker (without kicking it), or they recover it after the opponent had established possession and then fumbled it.

Im not so sure.

This was posted in the gameday thead

Based on that rule, it should have been SSK’s ball and no touchdown.

Thank you... that is what I thought the rule was (or at least should be). I mentioned it to my dad during the borham kick and I screamed about it last night. It is one of those rules that should seriously be mentioned and covered, because it seems that no one, the refs, the announcers, or anyone even gave it a second thought. Just labelled it the turning point and one hell of a highlight. Thanks for the info!! Once again, congrats to BC and GO RIDERS!!!

is it not possible that # 88 was behind the guy who kicked the ball?

It is, but #88 is irrelevant. It is who touched it first after the kick. It was touched at least once before Wilson.

IF it was a BC player, the above rule says that player has to be onside. I don't remember the play well enough to say what happened. It would be kind of a shame if it was a blown call....

Check out Article 6 - Onside & Offside

An offside player becomes an onside player when the ball, after being kicked towards the opponent's Dead Line, touches or is touched by an opponent, the kicker or another onside player.

Here is the full rule:

Article 5 – Dribbled Ball

A dribbled ball occurs when the ball is kicked while not in possession or control of a player, i.e. a loose ball following a fumble, a blocked kick, a kickoff or a kick from scrimmage. Such a dribbled ball may be touched by the kicker or an onside player without penalty.

If touched by an offside player:

PENALTY: Ball awarded to opponent at point ball touched, or option.
If touched by an offside player in the opponent’s Goal Area:

PENALTY: Ball awarded to opponent at its 25-yard line, or option.
If touched by an offside player in own Goal Area:

PENALTY: Ball awarded to opponent at 10-yard line, or option.

NOTE: If the touching by an offside player occurs on the last play of a half, the opponent may elect to extend the period for an additional play.

NOTE: A ball dribbled by Team A across the line of scrimmage does not interrupt the continuity of downs.

NOTE: A dribbled ball that strikes a goal post shall remain in play.-

It should have been Saskatchewan ball, and no TD.

Yes, Sask ball where Arakgi touched it. He was definitely not onside. The PVR doesn't lie.

I also want to correct something I wrote. It's technically not "no yards". There's no 5 yard restraining zone on the play. The players from the kicking/dribbling team can be close to their opponents who are trying to recover the ball, they just can't touch it unless they were onside. And there's no yardage penalty, just awarding the ball at the point of the touch.

I never got a real look at the play, just a glance off of sportscenter. Is it conceivable that when the Lion kicked the ball, that it touched a rider player making it a free for all?

Well there must be some conceivable explanation for the call being legal.

I also noticed thta the CFL.CA website took away the ability to email Tom Higgins of the Officials.

You must be talking about the dribbled ball? A no yards penalty should have been called in the first place as the BC was clearly within 5 yards when the Rider first touched the ball.


things were fine! The guy was close. but he certainly was at the 5 yds and beyond…

Here you go.......

[url=] ... Vol1-5.pdf[/url]

I'd like to see it again, I remember thinking there were within 5 yards when I was watching it live, and not worrying about the TD thinking it would be called back. Does anyone have it taped and if so what do you think?

After seeing the replays last night I don't believe B.C. was within the 5 yards when Walker muffed the punt.

However the dribbled ball rule still applies on a loose ball following a fumble. The ball was kicked and touched first by an offside B.C player (without touching a Rider before hand).

That's a lot of rules for a play that happens once every blue moon.....

Who can legally recover a dribbled ball?

A dribbled ball in an offside direction may be recovered by the kicker or any
teammate who is onside when the ball is kicked
. A teammate is not put onside
by the kicker passing the team mate.

It'll be interesting to see if Higgins makes a response to this one, but the first Lion to touch the ball after the kick/dribble was not onside. I haven't had time to to take a close look, but I think the refs missed one.
There was no "no-yards" infraction to be called on the initial punt reception that was fumbled.

Comparison to the Boreham play is not practical, if I am recalling the right play, because in that case, the Riders still needed to make the first down yardage. So completely different circumstances.

Oh, this is interesting...


  1. This category deals with the recovery and returns of opposition fumbles including these situations:
    1. Yards gained following recovery of a blocked punt or field goal attempt.
    2. Yards gained following interception of a lateral pass.
  2. Fumble returns are measured from the point of recovery to the point the play becomes dead or possession is lost on a subsequent fumble.
    3. Dribbling a loose ball downfield will be considered a fumble return.
[i][b]The Dribbled Ball[/b]

A dribbled ball or flying kick, is made by kicking the ball when it is loose, not in
possession of any player. (Rule 5-1-e page 35).

Confusion of the Dribbled Ball

The confusion with dealing with a dribbled ball lies in the fact that it is treated
simultaneously as a kick and a pass (offside pass).

A dribbled ball by the offense-Team A- is considered to be an offside pass, while a
dribbled ball by the defense-Team B- is considered a kicked ball.

The significance of this lies in the continuity of downs.

The continuity of downs is NOT broken for TEAM A on a dribbled ball unless

Team A legally gains the yardage required for a first down.
A loose ball dribbled on a play from scrimmage by Team B, breaks the
continuity of downs and a first down is awarded to the team which ultimately
recovers the dribbled ball.
(Rule 9-4-2-d and e)

Who can legally recover a dribbled ball?

A dribbled ball in an offside direction may be recovered by the kicker or any
teammate who is onside when the ball is kicked. A teammate is not put onside
by the kicker passing the team mate.

Any opponent may legally recover a dribbled ball.
(Rule 6-3-5-3 page 45)

How is a dribbled ball different from a punt?

The manner in which the ball is kicked changes the rules applied. Since a dribbled
ball is not considered a punt but rather an offside pass, there is no restraining zone
and hence no foul for no yards.[/i]

there you go..

so the play is legal and there's no more controversy.

Except that the first Lion who touched the ball was not onside. So the play was not legal. Controversy back on.