Rule 4- Ball in Play, Dead Ball, and Out of Bounds
Section 3- Out of Bounds and Inbounds Spot
- Art. 1- When a loose ball goes out of bounds, the out of bounds spot is fixed by the yard line where the foremost point of the ball crossed the sideline. When the ball becomes dead in the field of play because of touching a person who is out of bounds the out of bounds spot is fixed by the yard line through the foremost part of the ball.
- Art. 2- When the out of bounds spot is between goal lines the ball shall be put in play at the inbounds spot unless a forward pass is involved. If the out of bounds spot is behind the goal line it is a safety, field goal, or touchback. If the ball touches a pylon, it is out of bounds behind the goal line.
- Art. 3- When a runner goes out of bounds, the inbounds spot is fixed by the yard line through the foremost point of the ball at the time the runner crosses the plane of the sideline.
- Art. 4- When the ball becomes dead between the inbounds lines, play is resumed at the dead ball spot unless it is a legal forward pass incompletion in which case the ball is returned to the previous spot.
- Art. 5- When the ball becomes dead is a side zone or is awarded to a team there or is left by a penalty, play is resumed at the inbounds spot. This does not apply to
- A legal forward pass incompletion
- A replay due to an inadvertent whistle
- A replayed try
- A free-kick or snap which follows a fair catch or an awarded fair catch in a side zone.
- In the first and second one the ball is returned to the previous spot
- Art. 6- Before the ready for play signal. A may designate the spot from which the ball is put in play anywhere between the inbounds lines.
- For a try
- For a kickoff
- Following a safety
- Following a fair catch or an awarded fair catch
- Following a touchback
- For the start of each series using an overtime procedure
Art. 7- When a team may designate the spot along the proper yard line from which the ball is to be put in play, it shall have the same privilege if the down is to be replayed or a dead ball foul occurs.