Football, Officials

Be the Referee: Illegal Football Kick

October 22, 2020

This week, MHSAA officials coordinator Sam Davis presents a "You Make the Call" on the legality of a kicking scenario.

Be The Referee is a series of short messages designed to help educate people on the rules of different sports, to help them better understand the art of officiating, and to recruit officials.

Below is this week's segment - You Make the Call: Illegal Kick - Listen

Here’s a you-make-the-call situation today. It’s fourth down and a field goal is being attempted – but the holder muffs the snap. With the loose ball rolling around, the kicker swings his leg at it and boots it through the uprights. You make the call – is this legal?

There are only two ways a ball can be legally kicked for points on a play which starts with a snap from center. One is a place kick being held by another player – the other is the rarely seen drop kick.

Had the kicker picked up the ball, dropped it to the ground and kicked it on the bounce through the uprights, the result of the play would have been a field goal. In this instance, though, a 10-yard penalty is assessed from the line of scrimmage for illegal kicking, and the opposing team takes over from that spot.

Past editions

10/15: Toe the Line on Penalty Kicks - Listen
10/8: Disconcerting Acts - Listen
10/1: Ball Hits Soccer Referee - Listen
9/24: Clocking the Ball from the Shotgun - Listen