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Old Sun Feb 24, 2008, 02:12pm
BillyMac BillyMac is offline
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Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Connecticut
Posts: 18,461
Punch Ball, Round Two ...

I posted this last month:

"Boys prep school varsity game. Team A had throwin on the endline after a field goal by Team B. No back court pressure from Team B. A1's throw in pass goes to A2, who "punches" the ball back to A1 who is now in bounds.

Why? I'm not sure, but I blew the whistle. Somehow this rule came to me from the deep recesses of my brain. It was a reaction call. After the whistle, I got kind of flustered. I don't think that I gave the stop the clock signal. I tried to make up a signal by punching my two fists together. I did call out the correct color, and pointed to the designated spot.

After the game, we, that is my partner, and the two officials who followed us as part of this boy-girl, varsity doubleheader, discussed the call, and decided that the call probably should not have been made. OK. I understand the spirit and intent of the rules, and the advantage, disadvantage, philosophy, and I agree, I probably shouldn't have made that call. I don't know if this is important, but Team A won the game easily.

After my game, I stayed around to watch the girls game. The athletic director, and A2, the offender, politely approached me and asked, "Why" is it illegal to punch the ball, the key word here is "Why"? I responded that I didn't know "Why", but that is was a real rule, and I took out my rule book, and showed them the rule, which includes the more commonly called intentional kick violation. The athletic director advised the young man, who will be playing for UMASS next year, to keep this rule in mind when he plays in college next year, to which I replied, that I'm not an NCAA official, and it may, or may not, be an NCAA rule.

My question: According to the spirit and intent of the rules, and the advantage, disadvantage, philosophy, if I was mistaken in calling this violation, then under what conditions would this violation be called correctly, again, according to the spirit and intent of the rules, and the advantage, disadvantage, philosophy. In other words, why is this rule in the rule book, if it's never, or almost never, called?"

After reading several responses from Forum members, and after talking to my board's interpreter, it seems that this violation should be called under the following circumstances:

1) When the ball is punched while players are crowded around the ball. In this case it's a safety issue.

2) When the punch causes a team to gain an advantage, i.e., when a player who is about to receive a pass is trapped, and he, or she, punches the ball to avoid the trap.

In my case, only one player involved, no real advantage gained, by the spirit and intent of the rules, I shouldn't have called the violation.

In ca_rumperee's situation, more than one player, possible safety issue, advantage gained by defense, I believe it's a "classic" fist punch violation, if there really is such a thing as a "classic" violation of this nature.
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