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Old Wed Sep 06, 2006, 08:07pm
U_of_I_Blue U_of_I_Blue is offline
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Join Date: Jun 2004
Posts: 156
Touchback on Kickoff

Hello all. Football is definately not my specialty, I'm a baseball and softball umpire. I have 2 quick questions for you guys.

1) My friend and I are arguing about a touchback on a kickoff. He says that once the ball crosses the goal line (before the receiving team has touched it), it is automatically a touchback unless the receiving team attempts to run the ball back, just like it is on a punt. I on the other hand, feel that a kickoff is a live ball and can be recovered by the kicking team on any portion of the field if the receiving team has not touched it, including in the end zone. Here's the scenario he drew up:

Kickoff is long and lands 4 yards into the endzone. The ball takes a bounce backwards from the point of contact and sits on the 1 yard line. The kicking team recovers the ball before the receiving team can get to it. Is it a touchback (his view) or kicking team's ball at the receiver's 1-yard line?

2) Is there a copy of the nfl rulebook out there somewhere on the internet like there is for baseball? I would have loved to have trudged through the book to find the answer but all I can find is the digest on the NFL website.

Thanks and sorry for the long post!
Joshua E. Allen

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