No Yards rule

Can someone explain the No Yards rule? It seems like it's called with almost every punt. It's kind of annoying.

Ya gotta give 5 yards....Its a 5 yard penalty if the ball bounces....15 Yards if it doesn't

OK, so if I have this correct, the opposing team has to give the kick receiver 5 yards to catch the ball?

And why is the penalty more harsh if the player catches the ball?

Less chance of injury if the ball bounces than if it is caught on the fly, I guess.

Now that I think of it, It used to be always 15 yards but they changed it years ago. If the ball bounces backwards there is no way to give 5 yards.

I think that if the offending player(s) makes no attempt to avoid the no yards, the receiving team should get the ball at the previous line of scrimmage. This to deter deliberate no yards to keep the gain to 15.

I also think, that in order to take out the guesstimate on the part of the refs, that it should not be a circle for the no yards. Instead it should simply be that if the reciever catches the ball on his own 35, then noone on the opposite team should be allowed to be past the 40 at that moment, no matter how far to the side.

I suppose that makes sense. Thanks for answering.

FYB, in your scenario, if no one can pass the 40, wouldn't that increase the number of No Yards calls?

its probable, in the beginning anyhow. Stupid players just cant get it through there thick heads to watch where the ball is going and maintain proper distance.

OTOH, another amendment I would like to see is no no-yards once the ball hits the ground. I think that once the ball hits the ground 10 yrds past the line of scrimmage, it should be anyones ball. People against that bring up unjuries, however, if it can be ok on kickoffs and fumbles, then there is no reason for it to be any different on punts. This would reduce the number of penalties andor force the receiving team to actually catch the ball more often.

The number of no yards penalties in the CFL compared to amateur football (CIS and CJFL, and even high school for that matter) is very high. IMHO I think it has to do with the special teams guys getting paid by the tackle. These guys get an extra $250 per special teams tackle. I wonder if they get docked money for no yards penalties. The CFL players are much less disciplined that elite amateur players. There are A LOT of avoidable fouls (procedure, offside)

I can't agree with the "anyone's ball" theory but I will point out that the only reason it is "anyone's ball" on a kick-off is because they are all onside.
If a punt is blocked(and perhaps shanked?), and does not pass the line of scrimmage, I believe it is a free ball, however the kicking team must still gain the necessary yards for a first down.

No no-yards if the ball bounces just makes it open season on returners and reduces one of the best aspects of CFL football--the punt return.
What I would like to see on a bounce, however, is if, in the refs opinion, the players are backing out of, or actively attempting to refrain from the 5-yard zone, no penalty. The opposite is already true--if in the refs opinion a player has deliberately infringed the zone, even if the ball has bounced, a 15 yard penalty can still be applied.
A player can actually receive a 25 yard penalty and be ejected if they are thought to have deliberately ignored the 5-yard zone and hit a player.
And I think someone covered this, but to make it clear, the 15 yard rule is in place to A) insure the abilty to make a return, and B) protect the returner.
Without the no-yards rule, a player could literally be killed.
In the NFL, the protection comes from the fair-catch or let it bounce aspects.
Our rules make the punt a much more exciting aspect of the game.