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Old Tue Sep 21, 2004, 08:47am
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Question

A team is lined up to punt. The snapper attempts to snap the ball to the punter, but the ball slips out of his hands. The ball left the ground and went through the snappers legs, but only 18 to 24 inches. The B team is slow to react and the snapper quickly shuffles back while still in his stance. He graps the ball and snaps it again and this time it makes it to the punter who gets the punt off. B team returns the punt for a touchdown.

Was the first snap legal, making the "2nd snap" a lateral and the play live? Or was it an illegal snap, making it a dead ball? Was there a penalty or not? Obviously since the play happened, I left it live from the wing but threw a flag. We were in a four man crew and this was a JV game. The Umpire and WH left it live also, but threw no flags. I threw a flag with the thought that an A lineman can't be the first to touch the snap and was also thinking fumble at the time, so leave it go, and pick up the flag if you have to. After the play, we talked it over and the feeling at the time was that there definitely was a penaltly, but what was it, and how were we going to explain to A's coaches that it should not have been blown dead. Illegal procedure was called and penalized on the try.

Please help me clear this one up. Most people immediately feel this one should have been blown dead and then say, wait a minute...
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Old Tue Sep 21, 2004, 09:39am
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Legal snap according to NFHS rules if the following conditions were met.

Ball must leave snapper's hand(s).
Must be one quick continuous motion.

COULD have a foul if this was a planned loose ball in the vicinity of the snapper (but from what is described, I don't think this was planned).

No foul for the Team A lineman picking the ball up. Nothing in the rulebook forbids an offensive lineman from advancing a bad snap (except the rule above).

The second "snap" was simply a backwards pass from the lineman to the kicker which was also legal.

I don't see any fouls on this play.



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Old Tue Sep 21, 2004, 10:04am
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The snap has to touch either a back or the ground. It touched the ground.

Looks kooky and it's a lot easier to rule on here on this board than while it's happening.

If you let it go, that's a good job.
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Old Tue Sep 21, 2004, 10:09am
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planned loose ball

Guys, never seen it.....but would love a description/application
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Old Tue Sep 21, 2004, 10:51am
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The old fumblerooski would qualify.
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Old Tue Sep 21, 2004, 11:34am
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I agree with Mikesears and ABoselli. Hobbes, get your nomenclature right as there is no such thing as a lateral. It is a backwards pass. The elements of a legal snap were met. 1) a quick and continuous backward motion, 2)ball immediately leaves the hand(s) of the snapper, and 3) touches a back or the ground before it touches an A lineman.
Therefore, there is no foul causing the ball to remain dead, so no whistle. The snapper can touch the ball because it has touched the ground, therefore, no live ball illegal procedure. The snapper passes the ball backwards to the punter meeting the requirements for a backwards pass, therefore, no foul. Hence, every action up to the kick has been legal.

mcrowder, the old fumblerooski would only qualify if it was a planned loose ball play and the description indicates that the ball slipped from the snappers hands. Hence, it was not a planned loose ball play.
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Old Tue Sep 21, 2004, 12:53pm
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Quote:
Originally posted by ABoselli
The snap has to touch either a back or the ground. It touched the ground.
Thanks! Forgot it had to touch the ground or a back before touching an A lineman. Reading this play will help solidify that in my mind now. Thats another reason I love this board!
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Old Tue Sep 21, 2004, 12:56pm
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SoGa - Chris S asked for a description of a "planned loose ball" ... which is why I referred him to the old fumblerooski. I was not saying that the sitch in the first post was a fumblerooski.
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Old Tue Sep 21, 2004, 04:36pm
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Quote:
Originally posted by hobbes
After the play, we talked it over and the feeling at the time was that there definitely was a penaltly, but what was it, and how were we going to explain to A's coaches that it should not have been blown dead. Illegal procedure was called and penalized on the try.
I agree with the other posters - no foul here, though I can certainly understand flagging it in a game situation.

However, if you do call illegal procedure, B has to decline this penalty to keep the score, since it occured before change of possession. (See casebook 8.2.2B)
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