Football Fair Catch Interference
What is a Fair Catch Interference Penalty in Football?
Fair catch interference is a penalty in Football that is called on the kicking team during punts and kickoffs when a player on the kicking interferes with the returner attempting to catch the ball after having called for a fair catch. Once a returner calls for a fair catch, they cannot be touched or interfered with until the ball is caught, in which the ball is called dead. Any form of major distraction is cause for a fair catch interference penalty. Any contact made with the football by the kicking team before the returner catches the ball after calling for a fair catch is also grounds for a fair catch interference penalty. This penalty results in a 15 yard penalty against the kicking team.
A player on the receiving team cannot be called for fair catch interference for bumping into the returner. However, if a player on the kicking team pushes a receiving team player into the returner, the penalty may be called.