An illegal bat is a penalty in football that is called on a team when a player purposely swats the ball when it is loose in any direction out of the end zone. If performed by a player on the defense, the ball is returned to the offense and the ball is spotted on the 1-yard line of the opponent's end zone. If performed by the offense, it is a touchback and the ball is awarded to the opposing team.
A bat may be performed as a tactic to keep the ball from the other team, but results in a penalty. However, an accidental bat while attempting to gain control of the ball is legal, so players may fake trying to get the ball while actually knocking it out of bounds.