For the next 12 weeks, The End Zone will be advice from the "Next Level" series in Referee Magazine. I hope you all take advantage. There is some great advice here. This is a great way to enhance your off-season training. Whether you're a grizzled veteran or a just getting started, this is information we can all use. Enjoy!
WEEK 11: KICKING
1. When determining the penalty for hitting a kicker, the leg makes a difference.
Punters in the act of kicking and who have just completed the kick are unable to protect themselves. The rules offer protection in the form of two fouls — roughing and running into the kicker. The punter’s non-kicking leg is vulnerable, whether or not it is planted on the ground. When the defender contacts that leg, there should be no question that roughing the kicker is the call. The lesser foul is usually appropriate for contact on the kicking leg, including when the defender rolls under the kicker. Remember, however, that a rusher who touches the ball and then unavoidably contacts the kicker is excused. When in question, the foul is roughing, not running into.
2. Beanbags are important implements on kick plays.
Beanbags are used to mark non-penalty spots. Two of those occasions involve the spot where a scrimmage kick ends and the spot where the kicking team touched the ball.
Due to post-scrimmage kick penalty enforcement, the spot where the kick ends (a kick ends when a player gains possession or when the ball becomes dead by rule, such as going out of bounds) is vital. The covering official must drop his beanbag on the appropriate yardline in case it becomes a spot of penalty enforcement.
When the kicking team is first to touch a kick, the spot at which that touching occurs is important. Depending on the outcome of the play, the receiving team may choose that spot for its new series.