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Old Fri May 08, 2020, 09:56am
Robert Goodman Robert Goodman is offline
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Join Date: Feb 2007
Posts: 2,762
Originally Posted by Matt View Post
Assuming the ball left the hand after crossing the plane, would that change things?
Lots of things can happen on the field after the ball becomes dead, but the only ones of concern to officials as officials would be personal and non-contact fouls. Then it's a matter of enforcements for fouls that occur between the scoring of a touchdown and the readying of the ball for a try -- and I fortunately as a non-official don't have to keep up with the latest from the various codes on when the try begins and what the penalty options are!

I might as well amplify on the reason the answer is "no". When a live ball becomes loose, it can be ruled retroactively to have been a forward pass based on motion of the extremity holding the ball before it became loose. That's it -- ruling on a loose ball as to whether it was a forward pass, as opposed to a backward pass or fumble. If the ball wasn't live and loose, the prior motion of the ball while it was still held has no bearing on anything. The intention of the player to make a forward pass has no bearing on anything.

I don't see why this should require so much thought. You wouldn't have a problem if the runner's knee touched the ground before he got a pass away, would you? Or if his foot touched a sideline, right? The ball's touching the vertical plane of the opposing goal line while in a player's possession is a case of the same thing. It could happen because a player looking for a receiver can't always be expected to know where the goal line is. In Federation rules, a player with a long reach might even have a foot in a place from which he could throw a legal forward pass when the ball touches that plane.

Last edited by Robert Goodman; Sat May 09, 2020 at 04:07pm.
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