By Referee – July 22, 2021
nder NFHS rule 6-5-6, team R has three options if team K commits kick catching interference: the result of the play, an awarded fair catch after enforcement of a 15-yard penalty from the spot of the foul, or a 15-yard penalty from the previous spot and a replay of the down (as seen in the MechaniGram).
The first option would only be chosen if team R advanced the ball farther than the penalty. The second serves as a remedy for a short return or a muff or fumble recovered by team K. It also allows for team R to attempt a free kick if the penalty moves the ball close enough to team K’s goalline for a field goal attempt.
Why would team R choose the latter enforcement? If team K is punting from deep in its own territory, team R may put on a heavy rush in an attempt to block the kick or hope for a bad snap resulting in a loose ball it could recover. There is also the possibility of a shanked kick that would improve team R’s field position.
In NCAA rules, the only enforcement is 15 yards from the spot of the foul (6-4-1 Pen.)