NCAA Rule 8 – Scoring

SECTION 3. Try Down


ARTICLE 1. How Scored


The point or points shall be scored according to the point values in Rule 8-1-1 if the try results in what would be a touchdown, safety or field goal under rules governing play at other times. (A.R. 8-3-1:I-II) (A.R. 8-3-2:I-III and VI) (A.R. 10-2-5:X-XV)

Approved ruling 8-3-1


  1. During a try, after having obtained possession, Team B fumbles and Team A recovers in the Team B end zone. RULING: Team B can fumble after intercepting a pass, catching or recovering a fumble or recovering a backward pass. Touchdown. Award Team A two points (Rule 8-3-2-d-1). [Cited by 8-3-1]
  2. B19 is the first player beyond the neutral zone to touch Team A’s blocked PAT kick when he muffs the kick in the end zone. A66 recovers in the end zone. RULING: Award Team A two points. [Cited by 8-3-1]

ARTICLE 2. Opportunity to Score


A try is an opportunity for either team to score one or two points while the game clock is stopped after a touchdown. It is a special interval in the game which, for purposes of penalty enforcement only, includes both a down and the “ready” period that precedes it.

  1. The ball shall be put in play by the team that scored a six-point touchdown. If a touchdown is scored during a down in which time in the fourth period expires, the try shall not be attempted unless the point(s) would affect the outcome of the game. [Exception: If the scoring team is ahead by one or two points, they have the option to forego the try.)

  2. The try, which is a scrimmage down, begins when the ball is declared ready for play.

  3. The snap will be midway between the hash marks on the opponent’s three-yard line or from any other point on or between the hash marks on or behind the opponent’s three-yard line if the position of the ball is selected by the team designated to put the ball in play before the play clock is at 25 seconds or before any subsequent ready-for-play signal. The ball may be relocated after a Team B foul or a charged timeout to either team unless the timeout is preceded by a Team A foul or offsetting penalties (Rules 8-3-3-a and 8-3-3-c-1).

  4. The try ends when:

    1. Either team scores.

    2. The ball is dead by rule. (A.R. 8-3-2:IV and VI)

    3. An accepted penalty results in a score.

    4. A Team A loss-of-down penalty is accepted (Rule 8-3-3-c-2).

    5. Before a change of team possession, a Team A player fumbles and the ball is caught or recovered by any Team A player other than the fumbler. There is no Team A score. (A.R. 8-3-2:VIII)

Approved ruling 8-3-2


  1. On a try attempt, B2 adds new impetus to a Team A fumble that is recovered in the Team B end zone by Team B. RULING: Safety, award Team A one point (Rules 8-3-1 and 8-5-1). [Cited by 8-3-1]
  2. On a try attempt, B2 kicks a Team A fumble into the Team B end zone where Team B recovers while grounded. RULING: Safety, one point for Team A, or Team A may accept the penalty for illegally kicking the ball (Rules 8-3-1 and 8-3-3-b-1) and repeat the down. [Cited by 8-3-1, 8-3-3-b-1]
  3. On a one-point try attempt, B2 blocks A1’s kick. The ball, which does not cross the neutral zone, is picked up by A2, and he advances the ball across Team B’s goal line. RULING: Award Team A two points (Rule 8-3-1). [Cited by 8-3-1]
  4. On a one-point try attempt, Team A’s kick is blocked. A2 picks up the ball beyond the neutral zone in the field of play. RULING: The ball is dead where picked up by A2. The try is ended. [Cited by 8-3-2-d-2]
  5. On a one-point try attempt, Team A’s kick is blocked. The ball, untouched beyond the neutral zone, (a) is recovered by B3 on his one-yard line or (b) hits the ground in Team B’s end zone. RULING: (a) B3 may advance the ball. (b) The ball is dead, the try is ended (Rule 8-3-1).
  6. On a one-point try attempt, Team A’s kick is blocked. The ball is recovered by B3 and advanced across Team A’s goal line. During B3’s run, B4 clips. RULING: No score, the try is ended, and the penalty is declined by rule (Rule 10-2-7-b). [Cited by 8-3-1, 8-3-2-d-2]
  7. On a try attempt, B1 intercepts Team A’s legal forward pass in his end zone. He runs the ball across Team A’s goal line, and (a) there are no fouls during the run, (b) B3 clips during the run or (c) A2 fouls during the run. RULING: (a) Award Team B two points. (b) No score, the try is ended, and the penalty is declined by rule. (c) Award Team B two points, and the penalty is declined by rule. (Rules 8-3-1, 10-2-7-a and 10-2-7-b). [Cited by 10-2-7-b]
  8. On a try attempt, A1 muffs the hand-to-hand snap from the snapper and it is recovered by A2, who runs it into the opponent’s end zone. RULING: Award Team A two points (Rule 2-11-2). [Cited by 8-3-2-d-5]
  9. On a one-point try attempt, Team A’s kick is blocked and B75 recovers at the two-yard line. As B75 attempts to advance, he fumbles and the ball rolls into the end zone, where B61 recovers and is downed. RULING: Safety. Award Team A one point (Rule 8-1-1).

ARTICLE 3. Fouls During a Try Before a Change of Team Possession




  1. Offsetting fouls: If both teams foul during the down and Team B fouls before the change of possession, the fouls offset and the down is repeated, even if additional fouls occur after the change of possession. Any repeat of the down after offsetting fouls must be from the previous spot. (A.R. 8-3-3:II)

  2. Fouls by Team B on a try:

    1. When the try is successful, Team A shall have the option of declining the score and repeating the try after enforcement, or declining the penalty(ies) and accepting the score. Team A may accept the score with penalties for personal fouls and unsportsmanlike conduct fouls enforced on the succeeding kickoff or from the succeeding spot in extra periods. (A.R. 3-2-3:VI) (A.R. 8-3-2:II) (A.R. 8-3-3:I) (A.R. 10-2-5:IX-XI)

    2. A repeat of the down after a penalty against Team B may be from any point on or between the hash marks on or behind the yard line where the penalty leaves the ball. (A.R. 8-3-3:III)

  3. Fouls by Team A on a try:

    1. After a foul by Team A on a successful try, the ball shall be put in play at the spot where the penalty leaves it. (A.R. 8-3-3:I)

    2. If Team A commits a foul for which the penalty includes loss of down, the try is over, and the score is cancelled, and no yardage penalty is assessed on the succeeding kickoff.

    3. If before a change of team possession Team A commits a foul that is not offset, and during the down there is neither another change of team possession nor a score, the penalty is declined by rule.

  4. Dead-ball enforcement:

    1. Penalties for fouls occurring after the ball is ready for play and before the snap are enforced before the next snap.

    2. Penalties for live-ball fouls treated as dead-ball fouls occurring during the try down are enforced on the succeeding kickoff or from the succeeding spot in extra periods. If the try is repeated, these penalties are enforced on the repeat (Rule 10-1-6) (A.R. 3-2-3:VII)

  5. Roughing or running into kicker or holder: Roughing or running into the kicker or holder is a live-ball foul.

  6. Kick catch interference: The penalty for interference with a kick catch is declined by rule. Any score by Team A is cancelled.

Approved ruling 8-3-3


  1. During a try attempt, Team A’s legal kick, untouched and in the air, has crossed the neutral zone when a foul occurs. RULING: If the foul is by Team A and the try is unsuccessful, and Team B does not gain possession, the try ends. If the foul is by Team A and the try is successful, the penalty is at the previous spot. If the foul is by Team B and the try is successful, score the point unless Team A chooses to accept the penalty and attempt a two-point play. The try is exempt from postscrimmage kick enforcement. Penalties for Team B personal fouls on a successful try may be enforced on the subsequent kickoff or at the succeeding spot in extra periods. If the try is unsuccessful, Team A may accept the penalty and the down will be repeated. [Cited by 8-3-3-b-1, 8-3-3-c-1]
  2. Both teams foul during a try after playing time has expired, and Team B had not gained possession. RULING: Repeat the down at the previous spot. [Cited by 8-3-3-a]
  3. Lined up for the try at the middle of the B-3, Team A commits a false start and is penalized to the B-8. The kick attempt is blocked, but B77 was in the neutral zone at the snap. The penalty takes the ball to the B-4 for the repeat of the down. Team A requests that the ball be placed at the right hash mark. RULING: The officials grant the request and the ball is made ready for play at the B-4 on the right hash mark. [Cited by 8-3-3-b-2]
  4. During a try, both teams foul before Team B intercepts a forward pass. On the return, (a) B23 clips or (b) A18 tackles the ball carrier by twisting his face mask. RULING: (a) and (b) The fouls offset and the down is repeated.
  5. During a try, B79 is in the neutral zone at the snap. B20 intercepts a forward pass and A55 tackles him by pulling the face mask. RULING: The fouls offset and the down is repeated.

ARTICLE 4. Fouls During a Try After a Change of Team Possession

  1. Penalties against either team are declined by rule (Exception: Penalties for flagrant personal fouls, unsportsmanlike conduct fouls, dead-ball personal fouls and live-ball fouls treated as dead-ball fouls are enforced on the succeeding kickoff or at the succeeding spot in extra periods. See Rule 8-3-5.) (A.R. 8-3-4-I and II).
  2. A score by a team committing a foul during the down is canceled (A.R. 8-3-2-VII). (Exception: Live-ball foul treated as a dead-ball foul)
  3. If both teams foul during the down and Team B had not fouled before the change of possession, the fouls cancel, the down is not repeated, and the try is over.

Approved ruling 8-3-4


  1. B15 intercepts Team A’s legal forward pass and is running at midfield when tackled by A19, who grasps and pulls B15’s face mask. RULING: The try is ended, and the penalty is declined by rule. [Cited by 8-3-4]
  2. B1 intercepts Team A’s legal forward pass and runs it to midfield. During the run of the interception, B2 clips in Team B’s end zone. RULING: The penalty is declined by rule. [Cited by 8-3-4]
  3. During a two-point try attempt, Team A is flagged for an illegal shift. B21 recovers a fumble and on the return, B45 clips and A80 slugs an opponent. B21 carries the ball across the goal line. RULING: A80 is disqualified. The score does not count, the fouls offset, the down is not repeated and the try is ended.
  4. During a two-point try attempt, Team A is flagged for an illegal shift. B21 recovers a fumble and on the return, A80 slugs an opponent. B21 carries the ball across the goal line. RULING: The score counts and the penalty for A80’s flagrant foul is enforced on the succeeding kickoff or at the succeeding spot in extra periods. A80 is disqualified.

ARTICLE 5. Fouls After a Try


Penalties for fouls occuring after a try are enforced on the succeeding kickoff or from the succeeding spot in extra periods. However, if the try is repeated, these penalties are enforced before the repeat (Rule 10-1-6).
(A.R. 10-2-5:XIII-XV) (A.R. 3-2-3:VII)

ARTICLE 6. Next Play


After a try, the ball shall be put in play by a kickoff or at the succeeding spot in extra periods. The team scoring the six-point touchdown shall kick off.