This year the NFL changed the way extra points work so that 2-point-conversion attempts are snapped from the 2 yard line as they always were, but extra points are now snapped from the 15. If a team lined up from the 2 yard line (maybe the told the officials they would be going for 2) and kicked an extra point, is there a penalty? What if they attempt a drop-kick after snapping the ball from the 2?

2 Answers 2


There is no explicit penalty or foul in the books for this; that would be listed in Rule 9, section 1, in the 2015 Rulebook.

Rule 11, section 3, states simply that:

The Try begins when the Referee sounds the whistle for play to start. The team that scored the touchdown shall put the ball in play:

anywhere on or between the inbound lines

15 yards from the defensive team's goal line for a Try-kick

two yards from the defensive team’s goal line for a Try by pass or run

Note 1: A team's choice is not final and is subject to change following a team timeout or accepted penalty


Note 4: If the ball has been declared ready for play by the Referee, and the offensive team wants to change the location of the ball, they can do so by calling a timeout.

If it were to happen (that a team lined up on the 2 and then kicked the try), I assume the referees would simply prevent them from lining up to kick the ball. If a drop-kick occurred, it would possibly count as a personal foul - unsportsmanlike conduct (Rule 12):



There shall be no unsportsmanlike conduct. This applies to any act which is contrary to the generally understood principles of sportsmanship.

It is not specifically enumerated in the list of unsportsmanlike actions, although the list is not intended to be exhaustive. I would surmise if this actually were to occur, it might be added to the list the next year.

Alternately, it's possible it would simply not count and they would lose the opportunity to re-try. Personally, that feels like the better option: the rules don't allow for a kick from the 2, so if you want to kick from the two, feel free, you just give up your point.

  • I know this would never happen in a real game, but during normal play there is always the theoretical possibility that if a runner is advancing the ball and realizes that he will not score or pick up a first-down or whatever he can decide to drop-kick the ball. Is that possibility taken away on a two-point conversion?
    – Daniel
    Nov 23, 2015 at 16:37
  • I certainly think the rules intend for that not to be permitted. I'm not sure the rules are written in such a way as to clarify what would happen in that case. And, in a league with Bill Belichick, who knows what might occur in a real game...
    – Joe
    Nov 23, 2015 at 16:38
  • 2
    It wouldn't be the first time Belicheck called for a drop-kick PAT
    – Daniel
    Nov 23, 2015 at 16:40
  • That aside, I can't imagine it being a high percentage play; drop kicks aren't used for a reason (you do give up a blocker after all!). But whether a QB who recognized an impossible coverage situation at the snap (and who was already in shotgun) could step back a few steps and drop kick legally - I don't know, though I think it should be illegal.
    – Joe
    Nov 23, 2015 at 16:42

If a team attempted anything except a run or pass from the 2 yard after a successful touchdown during regulation, such as a placekick, dropkick or punt, then that 2 point conversion attempt would be deemed to have been unsuccessful.

  • 3
    Are you able to add references to support this assertion?
    – Philip Kendall
    Sep 23, 2017 at 13:32
  • This seems like a valid interpretation, since the rules state "...shall put the ball in play: 15 yards from the defensive team's goal line for a Try-kick [or] two yards from the defensive team’s goal line for a Try by pass or run." Since the offense puts the ball in play from the 2, they must be in the try by pass or run. When the ball is snapped, they are committed to that. Since they did not pass or run into the end zone, they were not successful, as the location they snapped from dictates their viable means of scoring according to that rule. Jan 15, 2018 at 21:20

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