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Old Fri Nov 06, 2009, 04:02pm
Robert Goodman Robert Goodman is offline
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Join Date: Feb 2007
Posts: 2,841
For a while, Fed followed the rule that since players are safest when the ball is dead (i.e. when they're not playing), use any excuse to make the ball dead. They've trimmed a little of their excess in that regard; K is now allowed to advance their own scrimmage kick recovered in or behind the neutral zone, which only Fed of all the major codes used to prohibit.

More interesting was a period of some years ending in the early 1970s in NCAA when a scrimmage kick that touched the ground in R's end zone untouched by players was not dead. Made for some interesting backspin plays! Used to see R fielding punts in the shallow part of their end zone so they could make a fair catch or kneel and guarantee a touchback, rather than taking a chance on the ball's bouncing back into the field of play. I guess they changed that because they considered such bounces to be flukes unworthy of reward, but I don't see why that's any more the case than a ball's bouncing out of bounds.
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