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Football Roughing The Holder Penalty

Football Roughing The Holder Penalty

A roughing the holder penalty in football is when a team is attempting a field goal and a defensive player makes unnecessary contact with the holder. The holder in football is the person that receives the snap and then holds the ball in a place for the kicker to kick it and attempt to make a field goal. The result of this penalty is a gain of 15 yards for the offense as well as an automatic first down.


This penalty is when a defensive player runs into the holder on a field goal attempt after the ball is kicked, if the contact is deemed unnecessary and excessive, or if the defensive player makes contact with the holder and it results in the kick being blocked. The defensive player can be disqualified from the game if the referees deem the contact causing the penalty to be flagrant and extreme. Roughing the holder has always been a penalty and is a penalty in order to prevent injuries to players.

A roughing the holder penalty is extremely similar to roughing the kicker, roughing the passer, and running into the kicker penalties. All of these penalties excluding running into the kicker are considered to be personal fouls and result in a 15 yard gain for the offensive team and an automatic first down. An automatic first down means that the offensive team will get a first down even if they are more than 15 yards away from getting a first down.


Roughing The Holder15 Yards, Automatic 1st Down15 Yards, Automatic 1st Down15 Yards, Automatic 1st Down15 Yards, Automatic 1st DownN/A

Roughing the holder penalty results in 15 yards for the offense and an automatic first down at every level of football.

Penalty Signal

football penalty signal roughing the holder

When roughing the holder is called the referee must do two different signals. First, the referee must indicate a personal foul penalty in which the referee extends one arm and moves the other hand onto the top of the extended arm. The referee then kicks one leg out to indicate that the personal foul is roughing the holder. This is the same signal for roughing the kicker.


  • A defensive player is attempting to block the kick and gets there after the ball has been kicked and he makes contact with the holder.
  • A defensive player attempts to block the kick but makes excessive and unnecessary contact with the holder while he still has the ball.
  • A defensive player makes contact with the holder, but the kicker is still able to kick the ball. However, the kick is blocked as a result of the holder being hit.