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  1. american football
  2. penalties
  3. illegal bats

Football Illegal Bat

Table of Contents

What is an Illegal Bat Penalty in Football?

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.

Illegal Bat Strategies

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.


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