E. When a foul has been committed and a signal to that effect has been given by the umpire or linesman, each acting within the limit of his authority as given under Duties of Officials, the referee shall call the ball back to the spot where the foul was committed and from that point exact the penalty as prescribed above.
When a foul has been declared the ball may not be again put in play until the penalty has been exacted or declined. (See next provision.)
The offended side may decline to accept the penalty, in which case play is resumed exactly as if no foul occurred.
Suggestion. - The last paragraph makes it possible for the offended side to refuse any penalty. If they do, they can have the advantage of anything that resulted from the play on which the penalty was given.
F. Whenever a distance penalty has been given the ball shall be put in play by a scrimmage unless otherwise specifically provided for by the rules. This scrimmage shall be counted as first down if the offense was committed by the side not in possession of the ball. In case the side in possession of the ball was the offender the down and point to be gained for first down shall remain the same as they were at the beginning of the scrimmage during which the foul occurred.
EXCEPTION - If the foul was committed after a gain of such length that after the exaction of the distance penalty the ball is still in advance of the point necessary for first down when he ball was last put in play, the ensuing down shall be counted the first down, with five yards to gain for the next first down.
In case neither side was in possession of the ball when the foul was committed - for example, if the ball was in the air or free upon the ground after a kick, fumble or poor pass - it shall go to the offended side as first down at the spot where the foul occurred.
Under this head would come the following:
3. If ball not in possession is batted forward (Rule 19).
4. In case of tripping, the distance penalty shall be given in addition.
G. If a player who has an opportunity of making a fair catch (Rule 7) is unlawfully obstructed by an opponent who is off-side and thus prevented from catching the ball, or if a player who has heeled a fair catch is thrown to the ground (unless he has advanced beyond his mark) his side shall have the choice of two penalties, viz.: -
1. They may receive 15 yards, in which case they must put the ball in play by a scrimmage; or,
H. In any case of free-kick (Rule 2, f, and 15, b) if the kicker advances beyond his mark before kicking the ball, no matter whether he then kicks it or not, the opponents shall be allowed to line up 5 yards nearer the kicker's mark, and the kick shall then be made from some point back of the first mark and at the same distance from the side line.
This shall also apply when the side having a free-kick allows the ball to touch the ground (Rule 15, b; Rule 25, b) and then fails to kick it (kick-off and try-at-goal after touchdown excepted). The same ruling shall be given in case any player of the side making a free-kick is ahead of the ball when it is kicked (Rule 14, a).
I. In the case of a free-kick, if the opponents charge before the ball is put in play (Rule 13, d) they shall be put back 5 yards for every such offense and the ball shall be put in play again by a kick from a point which may be 5 yards nearer the opponents' goal if the kicking side so desire.
NOTE - In case a team is penalized under this rule at or near their goal line, e. g., in case of illegal charging during a try-for-goal after touchdown or throwing the catcher of a punt-out, the regular penalty shall be exacted even though it results in placing them behind their own goal line. A second offense here shall be penalised exactly as if it had occurred outside the goal line.
I. Whenever the rules provide for a distance penalty, if the distance prescribed would carry the ball nearer to the goal line than the 5-yard line, the ball shall be down on the 5-yard line. If, however, the foul was committed inside the 10-yard line, half the distance to the goal line shall be given.
K. If a team on the defense commits fouls so near their own goal that these fouls are punishable only by halving of the distance to the line, the object being, in the opinion of the referce, to delay the game, the offending side shall be regarded as refusing to allow the game to proceed. The referee shall in such cases warn the offending side once and if the offense is repeated, he shall declare the game forfeited to the opponents.
L. In case the game is interfered with by some act palpably unsportsmanlike and not elsewhere provided for in these rules, the umpire shall have the power to award 5 yards to the offended side, the number of the down and the point to be gained for first down being determined as provided for in "F."
Pulling the runner along for extra yards.