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Old Tue Jan 20, 2009, 04:34pm
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Stupid Question - Illegal Touching

Hey guys -

I always here announcers say that a player can't leave the field voluntarily and be the first to touch the ball. Not that I put any weight in what announcers say, but I'm pretty sure this is true.

That being said, what happens if a WR runs out of bounds, returns to the field, and the QB is still holding the ball? Can the WR catch the ball, since the QB is still touching the ball? Or is there something else going on here?

I wouldn't even know where to start looking in the NCAA pdf rulebook, so I figured a quick answer here would suffice. I'm sure it will get cleared up quick - thanks guys.
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Old Tue Jan 20, 2009, 04:58pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TussAgee11 View Post
Hey guys -

I always here announcers say that a player can't leave the field voluntarily and be the first to touch the ball. Not that I put any weight in what announcers say, but I'm pretty sure this is true.

That being said, what happens if a WR runs out of bounds, returns to the field, and the QB is still holding the ball? Can the WR catch the ball, since the QB is still touching the ball? Or is there something else going on here?

I wouldn't even know where to start looking in the NCAA pdf rulebook, so I figured a quick answer here would suffice. I'm sure it will get cleared up quick - thanks guys.
The answer depends on the rule set being used. I believe in the NFL the receiver can come back in and catch the ball as long as he's established himself again but I'm not 100%. In HS, no offensive player (A or K) can step out of bounds and return at all and he must return immediately if he is pushed out of bounds. No defensive player (B or R) can INTENTIONALLY step out of bounds (they are given a little more leeway). If any of these happen it is illegal participation, 15 yards from the spot where he returned to the field. He steps out of bounds and stays out of bounds...no foul. I'm not sure the college rule is but I would guess it's closer to the NFL rule than the HS rule.
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Old Tue Jan 20, 2009, 05:04pm
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Can't help with the NCAA rule, but for High School football (other than Texas & Mass. who use the NCAA code), no player of the offense (A), or kicking team (K), can go out of bounds, unless blocked out of bounds by an opponent. If that polayer is blocked out of bounds by an opponent, and returns inbounds he must do it at the first opportunity.

Additionally, during a down, NO player shall INTENTIONALLY go out of bounds and return.

The penalty, for either situation, is Illegal Participation, which occurs when he comes back in bounds after having gone out of bounds in a prohibited manner.
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Old Tue Jan 20, 2009, 07:28pm
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I have the 2007 rulebook...

not sure if anything changed last season:

Quote:
Eligibility Lost by Going Out of Bounds
ARTICLE 4. No eligible offensive receiver who goes out of bounds during
a down shall touch a legal forward pass in the field of play or end zones or
while airborne until it has been touched by an opponent or official (A.R.
7-3-4-I-III).
Exception: This does not apply to an eligible offensive player who
attempts to return inbounds immediately after being blocked out of bounds
by an opponent (A.R. 7-3-4-IV).
PENALTYŚLoss of down at the previous spot [S16 and S9].
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Old Wed Jan 21, 2009, 12:46am
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HLin NC nailed it for NCAA Rules. If the guy goes out of his own accord (or doesn't come back in after being blocked out) then he loses his eligibility to touch the pass until the D or an official touches it.

Mechanics?
Some will drop their hat at the spot he goes out (sometimes called the "Honig mechanic", the thought being Honig's get to sell more hats that way to replace ones that get trodden into the mud ). Others will beanbag the spot.
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Old Wed Jan 21, 2009, 10:27am
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OK, so it sounds like the "first to touch thing" is a fabrication of the color announcers (shocking...).

Simply put, in order to touch it again in NCAA, WR needs to be reestablished and the ball needs to touch an opponent or official first.

Thanks guys for the help.
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Old Wed Jan 21, 2009, 02:51pm
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In my book, "Illegal Touching" took place a couple of weeks ago when that umpire grabbed the Cardinal player "down under"....let's not let THAT happen again....
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Old Wed Jan 21, 2009, 02:57pm
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REPLY: Also, for Federation, note that even though that WR has fouled by inadvertently going OOB and returning, he does NOT lose his eligibility. That means that if he returns and a pass is thrown to him, and he is pushed by B before the pass gets there, you're going to have a double foul: IP against the offense and DPI against the defense.
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Old Wed Jan 21, 2009, 03:07pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TussAgee11 View Post
OK, so it sounds like the "first to touch thing" is a fabrication of the color announcers (shocking...).

Simply put, in order to touch it again in NCAA, WR needs to be reestablished and the ball needs to touch an opponent or official first.

Thanks guys for the help.
This is not a stupid question at all.
ncaa: As you have just read, those announcers do have it correct.
I don't know what you are driving at with your statement "to touch it again". A receiver does not have to reestablish anything.

example: A80 while running is route down-field steps OOB either before or after the pass is in flight.. B23 tips the ball in his attempt to intercept. A80, while still OOB, leaps into the air, secures possession and comes down in-bounds and is downed.

What do you have? Nothing other then a completed forward pass because a team-B player touched the ball before the team-A player did. note that the team-A player did not have to first come back in-bounds as I think you are suggesting.
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Old Wed Jan 21, 2009, 05:30pm
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Originally Posted by Theisey View Post
note that the team-A player did not have to first come back in-bounds as I think you are suggesting.
I did suggest that, because I ***-u-med it would be similar to basketball.

Thanks for the info guys.
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