Definitions for "Fair catch"
Keywords:  punt, unhindered, kick, catch, tackle
A catch made by a player on side who makes a prescribed signal that he will not attempt to advance the ball when caught. He must not then be interfered with.
On a punt, when the receiver wants to catch the ball without being hit, they can do so by raising a hand and waving. The ball is dead at the spot of the catch and the offense starts their drive at this point.
The player catching a kick off can call for a fair catch by waving a hand if it seems that a dangerous tackle during the catch is inevitable. The player can then catch the ball without being tackled, and the offensive turn begins from the point where the ball was caught, instead of a normal kick return. Vapaa kiinniotto (Pinomaa)