A penalty in which a player has punched a player on the opposing team. Striking an opponent is considered a personal foul and results in a 15-yard penalty against the offending player's team. The player may be ejected for striking an opponent. This penalty is usually only called when it occurs after the play is over, since differentiating between a punch and general football play is exceedingly difficult. If both teams are called for the penalty on the same play, the penalties offset each other, although both players may still be ejected.
Striking an opponent is most often a dead ball personal foul that is called when a player throws an obvious punch well after a play has ended and the whistle has been blown. For the penalty to be called, the violation usually has to be quite obvious, since there is often a great deal of pushing and shoving after an average football play. If the punch was egregious, the player can be tossed out.