The "No yards" penalty

Hi. I live in Florida. I used to watch CFL football a lot when it was on the cable sports networks like ESPN but ESPN stopped carrying CFL football about 15 years ago or so. I haven't been able to watch any CFL until just recently when a local cable sports station carried the CBC feed of the Divisional Playoffs and the Grey Cup. I noticed a penalty I haven't seen before called the "no yards" penalty. Can someone explain that one to me?

Basically, the receiving player has a five-yard boundary around them that cannot be broken until he has touched the ball. If this plane is broken, the kicking team receives a five-yard penalty or fifteen-yard penalty, depending on whether the infraction occurred when the ball had already touched the ground (generally five yards) or was still in the air or had been touched by the kicking team first (generally fifteen yards).

On a punt the kicking team must be 5 yards away from the punt returned when he catches the ball. failure to so so is a 15 yrd penality.
However if the punt touches the ground before the returned touches it it is only a 5 yard penalty

ok. Thanks. I thought maybe that was what it was but I was not sure.

The NFL equivalent would be the Fair Catch (i.e. I promise not to run if you promise not to hit me).

the kicker and any of his team mates behind him can get the ball though.

That's how it's done on the all kicking plays.

Good point - I've seen a couple of instances in the past where people are watching the ball bounce around as the coverage team tries to stay at least five yards away, then the kicker flies in there and recovers the ball.

I've also seen games in extreme wind where the punting team will line up a fast guy (receiver or DB) beside the punter, so he can recover the punt in case the ball only goes 10 yards past scrimmage.

That's a good strategy that more teams should do, have one speedy player behind the kicker when he kicks the ball, have him run down the field and nail the receiver.

the FC is a lot more cleaner than No yards in that you will not see guys runnig away from a loose ball in the CFL.

but the FC is a lot more sissy in that the receiver just catches the ball and doesn't run, unlike the No Yards that makes the guy pick up the ball, run and get hit.

I like to think that the No Yards rule is a decedent of a rule that was used in the WFL.

Another thing I don't like about the FC is when everyone stand around watch it roll.

I never understood why after the ball bounces everyone tries give the 5 yards. Its only a 5 yard penalty then, give up the 5 and stop the return.

Seeing how the CFL is older, the WFL rule would be a descendant of the CFL

An old rugby play lost in the annals of that game due to the limitations of the mark! ESPN did a short segment on this nearly-lost play (like drop-kicking is nearly least until I break into the NFL), where you can kick an uncontested field goal off of the ground (no tee, sorry) for a standard 3 points if you take a fair catch. Very difficult without the goalposts on the goal line, and you have to be the reciever of a very short punt (or Jonny Wilkenson, who once made a 79-yard field goal in an NFL Europe promo - it was also uncontested and the fair-catch kick would seem rather ideal for him). Teams don't do this because of the massive distance of the kick (including the goalposts not being on the goal line), the rarity of taking a fair catch inside kicking range, and the preference of taking 4 downs to go 10 yards.

Tennessee tried this once this season and failed. They did so because the half was about to expire, probably the only completely sane reason to take the fair catch kick other than suffering through a scoreless (or safety-heavy) defensive struggle against a team who has a knack for blocking your field goal attempts.

As far as I know the NFL does not have this rule but the CFL does. It is currently in play in all levels and forms of rugby.

The No-Yards rule only applies to 'offsides' players on a kick. Offsides players may not play the ball or affect play until the recieving team has touched the ball.

Onsides players may actually catch the punt if they wish. Calvillo's prayer-kick at the end of the GC was shaggable by most of the Alouettes on the field because they were behind him when he kicked it.

To be onsides you must be one of the following:

  • The kicker.
  • A player behind the kicker at the time of the kick.
  • An offsides player ending up behind an onsides player after the ball is kicked.

Imagine if one really fast player just sprinted downfield to put everyone onsides and turn the punt into a free ball. That is usually what occurs in rugby union.

Im not sure you have the proper understanding of the dropkick(because you mentioned the tee)
I dropkick is a PUNT but you must kick it after it bounces to get the 3 ponts.
It is not set up like a fieldgoal without the tee

I actually saw a drop kick for 3 points. My grandsons team-mate played Rugby at school. They had a messed up Field goal attempt, so the holder pitched the ball to the kid and he did a perfect drop kick. The four referee's were in shock, huddled, and awarded my Grandsons team the field goal based on a drop kick. It was a beauty to see.

ro1313: blasphemy. I can dropkick gridiron balls. You can't. 3 points (1 point in rugby league).

I mentioned the tee because you can't use a tee to kick a field goal in American football. You can kick it off of the ground only.

And actually, I'm not sure that it's AFTER it bounces...I think it's actually the moment that it is touching the ground. Sounds difficult, but after some practice you learn it's just a timing issue and it's really not.

Sportsmen: I'm actually very surprised by that. First that they were astonished that he performed a perfect drop goal - it's honestly not too hard and you're supposed to have a couple people on your team who can do it.

Secondly that there were four referees. There's only supposed to be one referee and two linesmen. They shouldn't have to huddle and decide on a dropgoal. It's in the fucking book after all.

In fact, there are no holders in field goal attempts anymore (at least not that many). Are you sure you weren't watching a game of gridiron?

Easy steve
I meant no offence.
However I do appreciate YOU telling ME what I am able to do. I dont know what I would do with out you.
I really dont know about American football but in Canadian football there is a tee used in fieldgoals.

When I was editing I almost added "(at least I don't think you can)" to that, but I had a review for a final, sorry :frowning:
American football does not allow field goals to be scored off of a tee (at least I don't believe it does). Canadian football and rugby union and rugby league do, but I believe that Canadian football is the only of the four codes to not allow uncontested kicks at goal. I'm not certain though.

Sorry for taking offense...I've been playing for a couple of years and took basic refereeing for rugby union. Drop kicking is something I've been practicing.

No problem :wink:

I've been reading the '95 Facts Figures and Records book, to try and learn some history behind Canadian Football ... I'll have to double-check this when I get home, but I remember them mentioning "3-yard punt returns instituted" or something similar (this is back in the early 1900s). Anyway, the first thing I thought of was, the team receiving the kick automatically gets to return the ball at least 3 yards ... It's not too much of a leap to suggest this could give way to the current 5-yard "halo" required around the receiving player (theoretically, the kicking team has to allow the receiving player 5 yards to run with the ball, although we all know it doesn't work that way in a game situation). I'll double-check and let you know what I come up with ...

Also, steve-o, I think the guy telling the story about his grandson's drop-goal WAS talking about "Canadian Football" (aka gridiron). Hence the 4 refs, and the disbelief at a drop-goal. Although I do recall being told, while playing high school rugby, that anyone who made a successful drop-goal during a game would be given a steak dinner by the coach ... As well, aren't "field goals" in rugby actually referred to as penalty kicks?

Ro, are you talking abou the FC or No yards? it sounds like you are talking abou No Yards.

if your talking abou No Yards:

I think they want to let the ball roll deeper in to the opponents territory, that way the 5 yard penalty isn't so bad

they also might be trying to stop the receiving team from getting the ball and allowing the kicker to get to it for the frist down.

Whatever is fact, the rule that the WFL adopted though sucks unlike it's CFL ancestor

See Rule # 5 (Note rules 2 and 3, this is where I got the idea for the AP)