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Old Mon Sep 06, 2021, 10:05am
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Punt behind neutral zone

K-1’s punt is short and a strong wind pushes it back behind the neutral zone. R1 in the area signals for a fair catch. K-3 pushes R1 out of the way, catches the kick and advances it for a 1st down. What is the clock status and ruling on this play?
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Old Mon Sep 06, 2021, 10:39am
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I have a question. Was R in position to catch the ball? That part matters first.

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Old Mon Sep 06, 2021, 11:12am
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Yes
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Old Mon Sep 06, 2021, 02:25pm
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Well for the record, a fair catch is not valid unless it is beyond the neutral zone. So we have a conflict here. They could not be in a position to give a signal or receive protection if the ball is behind the LOS they do not get protection to catch the ball. No one does. So there are several things that would have to be ironed out first. Clock status is the least of your worries on this play.

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Old Mon Sep 06, 2021, 05:39pm
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Kick Catch Interference on scrimmage kicks only applies beyond the neutral zone.

ART. 6 . . .While any free kick is in flight in or beyond the neutral zone to the receiver’s goal line or any scrimmage kick is in flight beyond the neutral zone to the receiver’s goal line, K shall not:
a. Touch the ball or R, unless blocked into the ball or R, or to ward.....
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Old Tue Sep 07, 2021, 10:24am
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While the ball is behind the neutral zone, if the kick was still in flight at least Fed and NCAA codes agree on this. Opposing players going for the ball may use contact -- including the hands, as long as not holding -- to knock each other out of the way in a personal attempt to get at the ball. The fair catch is off, no matter where it was signaled, but there's no penalty for having signaled ineffectually, so players of either team on gaining possession of the ball may advance it. The clock status is the same as it would have been on any other play where team A leaves the ball beyond the line to gain.

I think NFL may have a different ruling wherein the kick penetrates the plane of the receiving team's neutral zone even temporarily and in the air.

In Canadian football it's possession to the receiving team where K3 recovered if K3 was offside, but no penalty for "no yards" if the ball was behind the line of scrimmage. If officials saw the collision likely to develop between a receiving player and an offside player, they'd blow the play dead with the ball still in the air, spotting it at the point where the ball came down, possession to the receiving team. If K3 was onside, the rulings would agree with Fed and NCAA.

Last edited by Robert Goodman; Tue Sep 07, 2021 at 10:33am.
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Old Tue Sep 07, 2021, 10:30am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JRutledge View Post
I have a question. Was R in position to catch the ball? That part matters first.
How so? I don't see that it matters at all.
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