A Canadian high school football team scored what might be the oddest punt return touchdown after the returner punted the ball back toward the original kicking team, creating a free-for-all this his team took advantage of for a touchdown.
The double-punt took place in a game in the Winnipeg High School Football League, and a clip uploaded to YouTube caught the attention of the Yahoo! Sports blog Prep Rally. On the play, the player who received the punt caught the ball, took a step and then immediately booted the ball back downfield where it came from.
Observers of American football would immediately recognize the play as illegal, but as Cameron Smith of Prep Rally points out, it was well within Canadian rules:
“Unlike American football, Canadian football holds that once a punt travels more than 10 yards downfield, the kicking team can recover the free ball and regain possession. In this way, Canadian punts are essentially just like American kickoffs.
“However, in a nod to rugby, Canadian football holds that on scrimmage kicks (i.e., punts and missed field goals), the returning team can respond by immediately punting the ball back to the other team, creating a free-for-all where whichever team gets to the ball first will retain possession.”
Smith noted that the double punt return touchdown is the second bizarre football play from Canada within the week, as earlier in the CFL playoffs a team returned a blocked two-point play.
Scott Allen of USA Today’s High School Sports wonders if one day Canadian football fans will see a triple punt:
“What I would like to know is whether the team that initially punted the ball could have recovered its opponent’s punt, punted it a third time and recovered. In other words, is a punt-punt-punt recovery touchdown possible?”
Here is sideline video of the double punt touchdown: