Rule clarification

Can someone help me understand the intentional grounding rule? I thought that the rule was that the ball had to be in the vicinity of an eligible receiver or to cross the line of scrimmage. Yet in the Hamilton/Edmonton game Mike Reilly spiked the ball as they do in the NFL to stop the clock. Would this not be intentional grounding if my understanding is correct? I know that there are many of you out there with a much better understanding of the rules. Can one of you please explain why this was not a penalty? Thanks.

There were eligible receivers in the area when he did it iirc.

You are allowed to intentionally spike the ball in order to stop the clock.
you give up a down, losing little clock, and not having anyone risk injury.
It has nothing to do with receivers being in the vicinity.

If you spike the ball it's considered a loss of down where you did it, rather than an incomplete pass (which is loss of down at the line of scrimmiage).

The point of intentional grounding is to prevent a QB from avoiding a loss due to a sack by just barely tossing the ball away, so the penalty is loss of down at where you threw it (as if you got sacked).

Never liked it. Always glad it's extremely rare in the CFL. Should be a rule preventing it, as ro1313 would say it's just giving the offense "a free time out". :wink:

Its not free because it cost you a down and the 20 second clock still applies

As for having an eligible receiver within 5 yards.....
Your running back is eligable and would be withing 5 yards and if they stick in a tight end..He is eligable as well

If the Eskimos wanted to give up a down to try and stop the clock, they were totally welcome to try and do that. :stuck_out_tongue:

I knew ro1313 would bite on the "free time out", but I thought the rest of you would get that it was a joke. :wink: :wink: Eh?

Ah so you admit to trolling? :wink:

Just havin some fun. :smiley:

There is a rule against it - intentional grounding, resulting in loss of down at the point of the pass, with the clock stopped until the snap of the ball. Comes down to the same thing, doesn't it?

Again as long as there is an eligable receiver withing 5 yards there is no intentional grounding

Five yards is probably the rule of thumb used by the officials, but it’s not actually specified in the rule. But yes, the running back and probably the tight end would be in the vicinity of the pass.

Article 7 – Intentional Grounding If a Team A passer deliberately, and [b]in the official’s opinion for the purpose of avoiding loss of yardage[/b], throws the ball behind the line of scrimmage to the ground or Out of Bounds or to an area in which there is not an eligible Team A receiver, the team shall be penalized.
But notice that it has to be an attempt to avoid a loss. Spiking the ball is not an attempt to avoid a loss; it's an attempt to stop the clock. So for that reason as well, it wouldn't be called a penalty. So I retract my previous statement - there is no rule against spiking the ball. Go figure.

You are right that it does not specifically say within 5 yards it just says with in the area but what gets me is the “in the officials opinion” part…

But to avoid a loss could be there because if QB fades back and loses his grip and the ball does not pass the LOS you cant claim intentional grounding

Im surprised to read that intentional grounding in your endzone is ruled a safety but its written that you can decline the score and accept the play…why would I want to do that?

Never called. We see QB's "throw it away" 6 rows deep to avoid a sack every game. They should take it off the books or start calling it, but I can't remember the last time that was called.

Its not a penality if it crosses the LOS and that is what we see

NOTE: Team A shall not be penalized if the passer throws the ball across the line of
scrimmage to an open area or Out of Bounds.

Sorry, I didn't post the entire rule.

[b]Article 7 – Intentional Grounding[/b] If a Team A passer deliberately, and in the official’s opinion for the purpose of avoiding loss of yardage, throws the ball behind the line of scrimmage to the ground or Out of Bounds or to an area in which there is not an eligible Team A receiver, the team shall be penalized.

PENALTY: LD at point from which pass was thrown. If the pass was thrown from the Goal Area, a safety touch score shall be awarded to Team B, subject to the right of Team B to decline the score and accept the play as it terminated.

NOTE: Team A shall not be penalized if the passer throws the ball across the line of scrimmage to an open area or Out of Bounds.


While I have seen it not called a couple of times lately where I thought it should be, throwing it into the stands is not a penalty as long as it crosses the line of scrimmage.

It's a part of the game they need to get rid of. Why not just have the QB stop and blow the whistle just before he's sacked, same result. Throw it in the area of a receiver or take the loss, but throwing it out of bounds should not be allowed.

And we do see situations that should be penalized. If it goes out behind the line of scrimmaged but lands past the line of scrimmage it is still never called. Only seen a call when it was still behind the line when it landed, goes by where it was when it left the field.

I never did like when they changed it to cross the LOS
I honestly do think that often when it doesnt cross the LOS and its not called it because the refs didnt realise as opposed to them just letting it go

Thats because its not out of bounds until it hits the ground...
Another strange rule....fumble or pass is OOB when it hits the ground....punt when it crosses the line
Ill look for the rule