Ask the official: Repeated offside penalties on an onside kick

By Adam Wire | Posted 9/27/2017

Welcome to Ask the Official, a weekly blog series from USA Football. We’ve teamed up with Bill LeMonnier, USA Football rules editor, who’s served as a college football referee and also works with ESPN as a rules analyst. Look for LeMonnier’s blog every week during football season as we take reader-submitted questions or revisit a controversial play that took place the previous weekend. See below for information on how to submit your questions. Here’s today’s topic:

Q: Is there a limit to the number of times a team can be penalized for going offside on an onside kick before there are further repercussions, beyond the standard five-yard penalty?

A: "Technically, there is no limit. But remember this: In the NFL and NCAA, it's a live-ball foul. By National Federation of State High School Associations and in youth sports, it's a dead-ball foul. The officials can, at their discretion, issue a 15-yard unsportsmanlike conduct penalty if the repeated offsides penalties become blatant."

USA Football Rules Editor Bill LeMonnier is a former college referee who currently serves as an ESPN NCAA rules analyst. Click here to ask Bill a question. Make sure to put “Ask the Official” in the subject line.

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