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Football Kickoff Out Of Bounds Penalty

Football Kickoff Out Of Bounds Penalty

A kickoff out of bounds penalty is called on the kicking team when the ball goes out of bounds before touching a player on the opposing team during a kickoff. The receiving team gets the ball on their own 35 yard line when the kicking team is penalized for this.


A kickoff out of bounds is a rarely called penalty in football that occurs when a team kicks off and the ball goes out of bounds between the goal lines. When this happens, the receiving team gets to choose whether they want the ball in the location it went out of bounds or thirty yards from where the kickoff occurred which would be the thirty five yard line.

A kickoff out of bounds is called any time the ball goes directly out of bounds on its own or when a player on the receiving team establishes part of his body out of bounds and touches the ball. When this occurs, a flag is thrown and the receiving team is able to advance the ball to the thirty five yard line.

The kickoff out of bounds is usually pretty straightforward for a referee to call but on special occasions a player knowing the rulebook helps them. In a 2016 game, Ty Montgomery established himself out of bounds while a kickoff was still in play. He then laid down with his feet out of bounds and body in bounds and touched the ball. This was ruled a kickoff out of bounds and a few other teams have performed the same move in the years since.


If a kickoff out of bounds penalty is called, the team is able to choose the ball being placed at the location of it going out of bounds or 30 yards away from the spot of kickoff in the NFL, NCAA, and CFL, and 25 yards in high school.

Kickoff Out Of Bounds30 Yards or location out of bounds30 Yards, at location out of bounds, or 5 yards and a rekick25 Yards or location out of bounds30 Yards or location out of boundsN/A

Penalty Signal

football penalty signal kickoff out of bounds

When a kick falls out of bounds, the referee immediately throws the flag and signals for the clock to stop. This indicates that the ball has left the playing field illegally and that the penalty will be called.


  • The ball is kicked off and it goes out of bounds without anyone touching it.
  • The ball is kicked near the sideline and a player on the receiving team touches the ball while they have a part of their body out of bounds.

Similar Penalties To Kickoff Out Of Bounds