SECTION 8. Fair Catch

Fair Catch


  1. A fair catch of a scrimmage kick is a catch beyond the neutral zone by a Team B player who has made a valid signal during a scrimmage kick that is untouched beyond the neutral zone.

  2. AfaircatchofafreekickisacatchbyaplayerofTeamBwhohasmade a valid signal during an untouched free kick.

  3. A valid or invalid fair catch signal deprives the receiving team of the opportunity to advance the ball. The ball is declared dead at the spot of the catch or recovery or at the spot of the signal if the catch precedes the signal.

  4. If the receiver shades his eyes from the sun without waving his hand(s), the ball is live and may be advanced.

Valid Signal


A valid signal is a signal given by a player of Team B who has obviously signaled his intention by extending one hand only clearly above his head and waving that hand from side to side of his body more than once.

Invalid Signal


An invalid signal is any waving signal by a player of Team B:

  1. That does not meet the requirements of Article 2 (above); or

  2. That is given after a scrimmage kick is caught beyond the neutral zone, strikes the ground or touches another player beyond the neutral zone (A.R. 6-5-3-III-V); or

  3. That is given after a free kick is caught, strikes the ground or touches another player. [Exception: Rule 6-4-1-f]

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