Kickoffs: Rule Interpretations for the New Rule – 6-1-3

By Bruce Maurer

  1. Play: During Kickoffs some teams huddle near the ball situated on a tee, then break from their huddle & fake or kick off. Known in some states as the “Starburst” formation, will this be legal in 2014 due to the KO Rules Changes? Ruling: There must be at least 4 KT players on each side of the Kicker from the time interval that the R marks the ball RFP until the ball is kicked. Obviously, the kicker will have to be in the middle of the huddle or near the middle of the huddle. In addition, all KT members will have to be within the “5 Yard Belt” (usually between the – 40 YL & – 35 YL) from the RFP until the Kick. The BJ (5 man) will need to know the Kicker’s Number.
  2. Play: Members of the KT change positions prior to the KO by “looping” or changing positions to distract the RT. Is this legal in 2014? Ruling: Yes, if the KT maintains 4 KT players on each side of the Kicker from the RFP until the Kick, plus stay within the 5 Yard Belt. Remember the only player exempted from the 5 Yard Belt is the Kicker as long as he kicks the ball.

Comment: Both of these fouls are Dead Ball & the penalty is Encroachment.