NCAA Rule 8 – Scoring

SECTION 1. Value of Scores


ARTICLE 1. Scoring Plays


The point value of scoring plays shall be:

Touchdown6 points
Field Goal3 points
Safety (points awarded to opponent)2 points
Touchdown during try2 points
Field Goal during try1 point
Safety during try (point awarded to opponent)1 point

ARTICLE 2. Forfeited Games

The score of a forfeited game, or a suspended game that later results in a forfeiture, shall be: Offended Team – 1, Opponent – 0. If the offended team is ahead at the time of forfeit, the score stands (Rules 3-3-3-a, 3-3-3-b, and 9-2-3).

SECTION 2. Touchdown


ARTICLE 1. How Scored


A touchdown shall be scored when:

  1. A ball carrier advancing from the field of play has possession of a live ball when it penetrates the plane of the opponent’s goal line. This plane extends beyond the pylons only for a player who touches the ground in the end zone or a pylon. (A.R. 2-23-1:I) (A.R. 8-2-1:I-IX)

  2. A player catches a forward pass in the opponent’s end zone. (A.R. 5-1-3:I-II)

  3. A fumble or backward pass is recovered, caught, intercepted, or awarded in the opponent’s end zone (Exceptions: Rules 7-2-2-a-2 and 8-3-2-d-5). (A.R. 8-2-1:X)

  4. A free kick or scrimmage kick is legally caught or recovered in the opponent’s end zone. (A.R. 6-3-9:III)

  5. The referee awards a touchdown under the provisions of Rule 9-2-3 Penalty.

Approved ruling 8-2-1


  1. Ball carrier A1, while attempting to score, strikes the pylon located on the right intersection of the goal line and sideline with his foot. He is carrying the ball in his right arm, which is extended over the sideline. RULING: Whether or not a touchdown is scored depends on the forward progress of the ball as related to the goal line when the ball becomes dead by rule (Rules 4-2-4-d and 5-1-3-a).[Cited by 2-9-2, 4-2-4-d, 8-2-1-a]
  2. Ball carrier A1, advancing in the field of play, becomes airborne at the two-yard line. His first contact with the ground is out of bounds three yards beyond the goal line. The ball, in possession of the ball carrier, passed over the pylon. RULING: Touchdown (Rule 4-2-4-d). [Cited by 2-9-2, 4-2-4-d, 8-2-1-a]
  3. The ball, in possession of airborne ball carrier A21, crosses the sideline above the one-yard line, continues beyond the pylon and is then declared dead out of bounds in possession of A21. RULING: Ball is declared out of bounds at the one-yard line (Rules 2-12-1 and 4-2-4-d). [Cited by 2-9-2, 4-2-4-d, 8-2-1-a]
  4. Quarterback A12 completes a forward pass to a teammate who is standing in Team B’s end zone. (a) A12 is beyond the neutral zone when he releases the ball. (b) The receiver is wearing uniform number 73. RULING: In (a) and (b) the result of the play is a touchdown. The penalty is completed according to Team B’s options. [Cited by 2-9-2, 8-2-1-a]
  5. Ball carrier A22 dives for the goal line at the B-1. The ball in his possession (a) touches the pylon; (b) goes over the top of the pylon; (c) crosses the goal line inside the pylon. A22 then first contacts the ground out of bounds three yards beyond the goal line. RULING: (a), (b) and (c) Touchdown in all three. The ball in A22’s possession has broken the plane of the goal line in all three scenarios. [Cited by 2-9-2, 4-2-4-d, 8-2-1-a]
  6. Ball carrier A22 heads for the right-hand pylon at the goal line. At the B-2 he dives or is blocked into the air by an opponent. The ball in A22’s right hand crosses the sideline at the B-1 and passes outside the pylon, and then A22 (a) touches the pylon with his foot or left hand; (b) first touches the ground out of bounds three yards beyond the goal line. RULING:(a) Touchdown. The goal-line plane is extended since A22 touches the pylon. (b) Not a touchdown. The goal-line plane is not extended because A22 did not touch either the pylon or the ground in the end zone. The ball is ruled out of bounds at the B-1. [Cited by 2-9-2, 4-2-4-d, 8-2-1-a]
  7. Ball carrier A22 heads for the right-hand pylon at the goal line. The ball in his right hand crosses the extension of the goal line outside (i.e., to the right of) the pylon, and then A22 steps (a) on the goal line; (b) on the sideline inches short of the goal line. RULING: (a) Touchdown. The goal-line plane is extended because A22 touches the ground in the end zone. (b) Not a touchdown. The goal-line plane is not extended. The ball is ruled out of bounds at the crossing point. [Cited by 2-9-2, 4-2-4-d, 8-2-1-a]
  8. Ball carrier A22 heads for the right-hand pylon at the goal line. The ball is in his right hand. His foot hits the pylon just before the ball crosses (a) the pylon or (b) the extension of the goal line just to the right (outside) of the pylon. RULING: (a) and (b) No touchdown in either case. Because the pylon is out of bounds the ball is dead when A22’s foot hits it. Thus in both cases the ball is dead before it crosses the goal line. [Cited by 2-9-2, 4-2-4-d, 8-2-1-a]
  9. Ball carrier A1 is hit and his forward progress stopped inbounds near the goal line at the sideline to his right. When he is stopped he has the ball in his right hand extended beyond the goal line (a) inside the pylon; (b) outside the pylon. RULING: (a) Touchdown. The ball became dead when he extended it beyond the goal-line plane. (b) Not a touchdown, because no part of his body touches either the pylon or the end zone. In this case the goal-line plane is not extended. [Cited by 2-9-2, 4-2-4-d, 8-2-1-a]
  10. Ball carrier A33 is running toward the Team B goal line. He drops the ball just inside the one-yard line and, thinking he has scored a touchdown, circles through the end zone and runs to his team area. There is no touchdown signal by any official. The fumbled ball hits the ground just outside or just inside the goal line, rolls along the ground in the end zone, and is declared dead there when it comes to rest and no player attempts to recover it. RULING: A’s ball just inside the one-yard line. (Rule 7-2-5) [Cited by 8-2-1-c]