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Old Sun May 03, 2020, 08:57pm
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Pass attempt breaks the plane

Team A has ball on (or inside) team B's 1 yard line. The passer stands close to (or on) the LOS. He attempts to pass into the end zone. If, while his arm moves forward, the ball "breaks the plane" before leaving the passer's hand, is it a TD? Or do we have a legal or illegal forward pass?
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Old Sun May 03, 2020, 11:10pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bsaucer View Post
Team A has ball on (or inside) team B's 1 yard line. The passer stands close to (or on) the LOS. He attempts to pass into the end zone. If, while his arm moves forward, the ball "breaks the plane" before leaving the passer's hand, is it a TD? Or do we have a legal or illegal forward pass?
Which rule-set?
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Old Mon May 04, 2020, 08:34am
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NFHS 8-2-ART. 1 . . . Possession of a live ball in the opponent's end zone is always a touchdown.

a. 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.
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Old Mon May 04, 2020, 01:12pm
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Originally Posted by GA Umpire 07 View Post
Which rule-set?
No matter. Anyone in any rule set is going to rule the runner in possession until the ball leaves his hand. No indication that he was juggling the ball before it broke the plane, right?
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Old Mon May 04, 2020, 08:37pm
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So it's not considered a pass until the ball leaves his hand?
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Old Tue May 05, 2020, 09:08am
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Originally Posted by bsaucer View Post
So it's not considered a pass until the ball leaves his hand?
There are situations in which a forward pass is ruled retroactively to have begun with a forward motion of even part of the arm that has a hand with a ball in it. This is not one of those situations because the ball never became loose, at least according to the initial description. The ball was dead while still in a player's possession.
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Old Tue May 05, 2020, 05:36pm
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A ball is either in player possession or its not.


2-32-ART. 1 . . . Passing the ball is throwing a ball that is in player possession. In a pass, the ball travels in flight.

The act of passing and a pass are different things.
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Old Thu May 07, 2020, 09:11pm
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Originally Posted by Robert Goodman View Post
There are situations in which a forward pass is ruled retroactively to have begun with a forward motion of even part of the arm that has a hand with a ball in it. This is not one of those situations because the ball never became loose, at least according to the initial description. The ball was dead while still in a player's possession.
Assuming the ball left the hand after crossing the plane, would that change things?
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Old Thu May 07, 2020, 09:39pm
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Once the ball crosses the plane in player possession its a TD and the ball is dead.
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Old Fri May 08, 2020, 09:56am
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Originally Posted by Matt View Post
Assuming the ball left the hand after crossing the plane, would that change things?
Lots of things can happen on the field after the ball becomes dead, but the only ones of concern to officials as officials would be personal and non-contact fouls. Then it's a matter of enforcements for fouls that occur between the scoring of a touchdown and the readying of the ball for a try -- and I fortunately as a non-official don't have to keep up with the latest from the various codes on when the try begins and what the penalty options are!

I might as well amplify on the reason the answer is "no". When a live ball becomes loose, it can be ruled retroactively to have been a forward pass based on motion of the extremity holding the ball before it became loose. That's it -- ruling on a loose ball as to whether it was a forward pass, as opposed to a backward pass or fumble. If the ball wasn't live and loose, the prior motion of the ball while it was still held has no bearing on anything. The intention of the player to make a forward pass has no bearing on anything.

I don't see why this should require so much thought. You wouldn't have a problem if the runner's knee touched the ground before he got a pass away, would you? Or if his foot touched a sideline, right? The ball's touching the vertical plane of the opposing goal line while in a player's possession is a case of the same thing. It could happen because a player looking for a receiver can't always be expected to know where the goal line is. In Federation rules, a player with a long reach might even have a foot in a place from which he could throw a legal forward pass when the ball touches that plane.

Last edited by Robert Goodman; Sat May 09, 2020 at 04:07pm.
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Old Sat May 09, 2020, 09:11pm
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Here is a situation where I could see this happening. QB is rolling out and thinks he is going to be hit as he approaches the goal line. He sees a receiver wide open in the back corner of the end zone and attempts a shovel pass to the receiver. As he is diving, but before the ball leaves his hands, the ball breaks the plane of the goal line. In this situation the player will have scored a touchdown, and most likely still would have had a portion of his body on or behind the LOS when the pass was released.

I can see the argument if you make a call for a TD and the receiver were to drop the ball though.
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Old Mon May 11, 2020, 03:47pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bsaucer View Post
Team A has ball on (or inside) team B's 1 yard line. The passer stands close to (or on) the LOS. He attempts to pass into the end zone. If, while his arm moves forward, the ball "breaks the plane" before leaving the passer's hand, is it a TD? Or do we have a legal or illegal forward pass?
NFHS 7-5-1 clearly states, "it is a legal forward pass.....a player of A throws the ball with both feet of the passer in or behind the neutral zone when the ball is released..." If that pass is subsequently "caught" (satisfying NFHS:2-4-1 beyond the opponent's goal line, it is a TD.
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Old Mon May 11, 2020, 07:08pm
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If, while his arm moves forward, the ball "breaks the plane" before leaving the passer's hand
Fundamental I 8. Possession of a live ball in the opponentís end zone is always a touchdown.
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Old Fri May 22, 2020, 10:43pm
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NCAA: If ANY part of the passer's body is behind the neutral zone, it is a legal forward pass (other things notwithstanding). Sorry I don't have an immediate rule reference. So, there's clearly no foul. Its just a matter of how the wing or covering official rules on the ball in the QB's hand breaking the plane. By the way it is stated, that would be a TD.
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Old Sun May 24, 2020, 07:27pm
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Yes, it's a TD and the wings better sell it, especially if it falls incomplete.
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