Rule 12 Section 2 Article 12
ROUGHING/RUNNING INTO THE KICKER
No defensive player may run into or rough a kicker who kicks from behind the line unless such contact:
- is incidental to and occurs after the defender has touched the kick in flight
- is caused by the kicker’s own motions
- occurs during a quick kick or a rugby-style kick
- occurs during or after a run behind the line
- occurs after the kicker recovers a loose ball on the ground
- occurs because a defender is pushed or blocked (causing a change of direction) into the kicker
- is the result of a foul by an opponent
Item 1. Roughing the kicker. It is a foul for roughing the kicker if a defensive player:
- contacts the plant leg of the kicker while his kicking leg is still in the air
- slides into or contacts the kicker when both of the kicker’s feet are on the ground. It is not a foul if the contact is not severe, or if the kicker returns both feet to the ground prior to the contact and falls over a defender on the ground
Note: When in doubt, it is a foul for roughing the kicker.
Item 2. Running into the Kicker. It is a foul for running into the kicker if a defensive player:
- contacts the kicking foot of the kicker, even if the kicker is airborne when the contact occurs
- slides under the kicker, preventing him from returning both feet to the ground
- For roughing the kicker: Loss of 15 yards from the previous spot (personal foul) and an automatic first down. The player may be disqualified if the action is flagrant.
- For running into the kicker: Loss of five yards from the previous spot (not a personal foul). There is not an automatic first down.