New penalty option for fouls by the kicking team

Rule 6-1-9b indicates that R has the following options when K kicks a free kick OOB untouched by R:

a. Accept 5 yd pen and K rekicks

b. Accept 5 yd pen from succeeding spot

c. Put the ball in play 25 yds beyond the previous spot

d. Decline the penalty and put the ball in play at the inbounds spot.

Question 1: in C, since 25 yards beyond the previous spot is the succeeding spot, would R also get an additional 5 yds? The way the rule book reads, and the casebook presents examples, this is not the way it is done.

Answer: The 35 is not the succeeding spot. The succeeding spot by definition (pg 38 NFHS Rules) is “the spot where the ball would next be snapped or free kicked is a foul had not occurred.” The 35 is an enforcement option, not a succeeding spot.

Question 2: If that is accurate, taking it one step further, if the free kick by K goes OOB at the R 36 yd line, then R would take the ball at that spot plus they would get a 5 yd penalty tacked on. First and 10 from the R 41. However, if the free kick goes OOB at the R 31 yd line, the R would be better to choose the option to take the ball at the R 31 and then tack on an additional 5 yds. First and 10 from the R 36.

Answer: You are correct on these.

Question 3: Why would R ever choose D? By doing so, they are foregoing an additional 5 yds.

Answer: They never would, but D’s spot is the succeeding spot.