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Old Mon Nov 16, 2009, 01:17pm
Bullycon Bullycon is offline
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Join Date: Aug 2008
Posts: 88
It's important to recognize that these are two distinct rules for each of these two plays. In the first play, the question is, "Is the ball live or dead?"

Rule 4-2-2 lists the events which cause a live ball to become dead. Among these are:
a. When a runner goes out of bounds, is held so his forward progress is stopped or allows any part of his person other than hand or foot to touch the ground.
h. When any score occurs.

Rule 8-2-1a: "It is a touchdown when a runner advances from the field of play so that the ball penetrates the vertical plane of the opponent's goal line."

A player with possession of the ball is a runner. The ball penetrated the plane of the goal line during the somersault. Touchdown. Per 4-2-2h, the bal is dead. Say he mistimed his jump and came down at the 2-yard line. When he touched the ground with possession of the ball, the ball is dead per 4-2-2a. The fact that the ball comes out immediately afterwards is irrelevant.

For your second play, the question is, "Did the receiver catch the ball?"

Rule 2-4-1 has been quoted here. Since the receiver did not maintain possession after going to the ground, he did not complete the catch. Without a catch, there is no possession and therefore no runner. Therefore, 4-2-2a, 4-2-2h and 8-2-1a do not apply. When the ball touches the ground, it is an incomplete pass.

I wish they would change 2-4-1 to reflect the difference between control and possession. While the receiver controlled the ball in the air, he did not officially have possession until he landed on the ground while keeping control.
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