In football, a double foul occurs when both teams have committed a penalty on the same play. When two teams commit a foul on the same down, there are a few different ways that the situation can be handled. In most cases, the penalties become offsetting penalties and effectively cancel each other out. However, if the penalties are of different magnitude or occur before or after a change of possession, then there may be consequences for one or both teams.
The double foul penalty has a range of definitions and uses. These situations include no change of possession, offsetting penalties, 15 versus 5, change of possession, before change of possession, and after change of possession.
If the double foul is committed when there is no change of possession, then in most scenarios the penalties will offset. However, there are a few exceptions outside of the offsetting penalties scenario:
In a double foul scenario in which there is a change of possession, or a "clean hands" situation, the team that wins possession keeps it and then is penalized, given it was after the change of possession. However, there are a few exceptions given some specifics.
|Double Foul||0-15 yards||0-15 yards||0-15 yards||0-15 yards||0-15 yards|
Double fouls are treated the same across all leagues, and only differ in terms of the differences between the individual fouls that may be involved in the double foul. The end result of a double foul could be anywhere from 0 to 15 yards, or even more if spotted at the spot of the leading major foul.
In the event of a double foul in which both penalties offset and neither is enforced, the referee moves his arms from an arms-crossed position to an arms-out wide T-shaped form. This is only if the penalties have canceled each other out. If one penalty is enforced over the other, the referee will then make the corresponding hand signal for that penalty.