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Old Wed Oct 28, 2009, 01:52pm
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Illegal forward pass?

Disclaimer: I am not a football official nor do I play one on tv. I did not stay at a holiday inn express last night...etc

I help out an officiating colleague every winter with his college intramural program at the University with basketball. I get out and officiate with the college students and try to get them interested in doing middle/high school officiating the following year. It's be a pretty sucessful partnership, if you ask me.

Well, this fall I decided I would try my hand at flag football although it had been a good 5-6 years since I last did a game in college. It's been an interesting learning curve to re-learn everything that I tried to forget since college, this wasn't my favorite sport in college intramurals. We had the following situation the other night:

QB A1 is flushed out of the pocket by the defenders. A1 crosses the line of scrimmage during his scramble and then retreats behind the LOS to avoid another defender. QB then completes a forward pass with both feet clearly behind the LOS.

It must be noted that this play is LEGAL in flag football. As long as this is the first forward pass of the down, this play is absolutely, by rule, a legal forward pass. No infractions have been committed.

While talking with my colleague, he was unsure of the legality of this play in "real" football. He believes that this is illegal in all football levels (NFHS, NCAA, NFL) but I wanted to check with you all. Thanks for humoring my post

-Josh
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Old Wed Oct 28, 2009, 02:01pm
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NCAA Rule 7-3-2 e:

ARTICLE 2. A forward pass is illegal:
e. If thrown from in or behind the neutral zone after a ball carrier in possession of the ball has gone beyond the neutral zone
Penalty: 5 yard penalty from spot of foul and loss of down

NFL Rule 8-1-2 Item 1 (c):

Any other forward pass by either team is illegal and is a foul by the passing team, including the following:
(c) A forward pass thrown after the ball has crossed the line of scrimmage and has returned behind it
Penalty: Loss of five yards


I'm not sure about NFHS, so I'm sure someone will come along and give you the proper ruling.

Last edited by APG; Wed Oct 28, 2009 at 02:04pm.
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Old Wed Oct 28, 2009, 02:16pm
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Legal under NFHS rules.
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Old Wed Oct 28, 2009, 02:19pm
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NFHS 7-5 "forward Pass Classification"

7-5-1: It is a legal forward pass, if during a scrimmage down and before team possession has changed, a player of Athrows the ball with both feetof the passer in or behind the neutral zone when the ball is released. Only one forward pass may be thrown during the down.

7-5-2: Al illegal forward pass is a foul. The illegal forward passes are:

a. A pass after teal possession has changed during the down.
b. A pass from beyond the Neutral zone.
c. Apass intentionally thrown into an area not occupied by an eligible offensive receiver.
d. A pass intentionall thrown incomplete to save loss of yardage or to conserve time. (Exception: It is legal to conserve time by intentionally throwing the ball forward to the ground immediately after receiving a direct hand-t0-hand snap)
e. a second or subsequent forward pass thrown during the down.

7-5-3: If the penalty for an illegal forward pass is accepted, measurement is from the spot of the pass. If the offended team declines the distance penalty, it has the choice of having the down counted at the spot of the illegal forward pass or (if the illegal forward pass is caught or intercepted) of having the the ball put in play as determined by the action which followed the catch.
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Old Wed Oct 28, 2009, 04:23pm
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So, JdMara, in high school such a pass would be legal. Passer could go beyond the LOS, retreat back behind it and then throw the pass. As long as all rules cited by AJMC were kept.

My opionion is the NF rule writers did not consider this scenario, otherwise they would have made it clearer (at least in a footnote, sub paragraph or paranthetical)
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Old Wed Oct 28, 2009, 04:42pm
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neutral zone

Man, I'm going to have to start bringing my rules book to work!!!

ajmc, I'll have to check on this but I thought I remembered some rule where the neutral zone only exists as long as the ball remains behind it. If there is such a rule then this would be illegal. Someone please correct me if I'm wrong!!!
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Old Wed Oct 28, 2009, 04:49pm
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Very interesting....Thanks gentleman, I knew you wouldn't let me down

-Josh
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Old Wed Oct 28, 2009, 05:54pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JRod37 View Post
ajmc, I'll have to check on this but I thought I remembered some rule where the neutral zone only exists as long as the ball remains behind it. If there is such a rule then this would be illegal. Someone please correct me if I'm wrong!!!
There is nothing in Federation rules with that statement. Could you be thinking about the free blocking zone and it only existing as long as the ball is in the zone?
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Old Wed Oct 28, 2009, 07:17pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by whitehat View Post
My opionion is the NF rule writers did not consider this scenario, otherwise they would have made it clearer (at least in a footnote, sub paragraph or paranthetical)
No, I'm certain they considered it and they wrote the rule quite clearly to cover it. It's the NFL whose writing included a superfluous phrase, "and has returned behind it".
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Old Wed Oct 28, 2009, 11:48pm
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Re: Welpe

You're right, there is no rule like that. The way things have been going for my crew this season I'm almost positive we'll see it Saturday in our playoff game. Lord, help us!
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Old Thu Oct 29, 2009, 03:34am
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Lightbulb Canadian Ruling

Quote:
Originally Posted by jdmara View Post
Disclaimer: I am not a football official nor do I play one on tv. I did not stay at a holiday inn express last night...etc

I help out an officiating colleague every winter with his college intramural program at the University with basketball. I get out and officiate with the college students and try to get them interested in doing middle/high school officiating the following year. It's be a pretty sucessful partnership, if you ask me.

Well, this fall I decided I would try my hand at flag football although it had been a good 5-6 years since I last did a game in college. It's been an interesting learning curve to re-learn everything that I tried to forget since college, this wasn't my favorite sport in college intramurals. We had the following situation the other night:

QB A1 is flushed out of the pocket by the defenders. A1 crosses the line of scrimmage during his scramble and then retreats behind the LOS to avoid another defender. QB then completes a forward pass with both feet clearly behind the LOS.

It must be noted that this play is LEGAL in flag football. As long as this is the first forward pass of the down, this play is absolutely, by rule, a legal forward pass. No infractions have been committed.

While talking with my colleague, he was unsure of the legality of this play in "real" football. He believes that this is illegal in all football levels (NFHS, NCAA, NFL) but I wanted to check with you all. Thanks for humoring my post

-Josh
CANADIAN RULING:

Legal.
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Old Thu Oct 29, 2009, 09:53am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JRod37 View Post
ajmc, I'll have to check on this but I thought I remembered some rule where the neutral zone only exists as long as the ball remains behind it. If there is such a rule then this would be illegal. Someone please correct me if I'm wrong!!!
You are probably thinking of Case Book 6.2.6 Situation. "The zone disintegrates immediately when the kick has crossed the expanded zone or when the trajectory is such that it cannot be touched until it comes down." This is only in regard to the touching of low scrimmage kicks per 6-2-6.
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Old Thu Oct 29, 2009, 10:00am
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RE: Bully

Yup, that's the one. Thanks for setting me straight. It was driving me crazy.
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Old Thu Oct 29, 2009, 10:06am
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And that is in reference to the expanded neutral zone.
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