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Old Thu Aug 23, 2018, 11:10pm
RogerRef
 
Join Date: Sep 2013
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Free kick touchback

On a free kick after a score, the ball bounces off of R1s chest, and goes into the end zone. I understand since R never gained possession of the ball, the kick has not ended, which is why this is a touchback. But if the ball bounced off of R and stopped at the 5 yard line, it would be a live ball, able to be recovered by either team. It seems the application of "touchback once it breaks the plane of the end zone" rule here is rather arbitrary and inconsistent. Can anyone clarify why the rule is this way?
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Old Fri Aug 24, 2018, 01:16am
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In NFHS rules, any time that a kick goes into the end zone it is a touchback, and a kick only ends when it is possessed. The only exception to the rule is the momentum exception (a kick or interception possessed inside the 5 yard line and carried into the end zone returns to the spot where the ball was possessed if the ball carrier is tackled or loses possession out of bounds in the end zone).

If a kick is touched by the receiving team in the field of play, whether a scrimmage kick (punt or field goal) or a free kick (kickoff, safety kick, or the rare fair catch kick), either team can gain possession of the ball. The only difference is that K can possess the ball if it has travelled 10 yards beyond the spot that it was kicked from (the distance between the K and R restraining lines) and hit the ground, in either order on a free kick. K cannot re-possess the ball on a scrimmage kick unless R touches the ball.
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Old Fri Aug 24, 2018, 06:37am
CT1 CT1 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Coachwith??? View Post
On a free kick after a score, the ball bounces off of R1s chest, and goes into the end zone. I understand since R never gained possession of the ball, the kick has not ended, which is why this is a touchback. But if the ball bounced off of R and stopped at the 5 yard line, it would be a live ball, able to be recovered by either team. It seems the application of "touchback once it breaks the plane of the end zone" rule here is rather arbitrary and inconsistent. Can anyone clarify why the rule is this way?
Under FED rules, itís a touchback when ANY kick (kickoff, punt, unsuccessful FG attempt) breaks the plane of Rís goal line. It doesnít matter how many times itís been touched, or by whom.

Most FED rules differences have to do with either safety (these rules are used by players as young as 12 years old), or balance between offense and defense. Iím not sure about this one, but itís been in effect for an awfully long time without any realistic effort to change it.
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Old Fri Aug 24, 2018, 07:04am
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A kick is a kick is a kick......
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Old Fri Aug 24, 2018, 11:08am
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Rule 2-13 (Article 4) is your friend.
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Old Sat Aug 25, 2018, 09:00pm
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This is one of the earliest rules Fed adopted to distinguish their football rules from those of NCAA. A desire to make the ball dead early and often for safety reasons was one motiv'n. Another was that it was adopted at a time when it was rare for a kickoff in interscholastic football to reach the opposing goal line w/o the assistance of the other team, and an automatic dead ball had the advantage of removing judgment of whether new impetus had been provided to a ball whose momentum from the kick had been spent.
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