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Old Thu Aug 10, 2006, 07:37am
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Illegal Forward Pass

NFS Rule 7-5-3 states ..."If offended team declines the distance penalty, it has the choice of having the down counted at the spot of the illegal incomplete forward pass or..."

Can someone help a simple minded Ump understand in what circumstance would B just want the down counted, and NOT the 5 yds, AND the down counted?

J
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Old Thu Aug 10, 2006, 08:06am
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You never know when you are dealing with some of these coaches. Some may have some odd strategy which no one else can figure out.

But seriously a coach may have some simpathy for the other team and since an illegal pass is the end of a running play and thus the spot of the pass is the end of the run the rules book must specifically tell us what to do in that odd situation even though it may have never actually happen. It is a free 5 yards. However, if it is a half-the-distance thing a coach may actually cut the U a break and not have him try to divide some short amount of yardage in half.
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Old Thu Aug 10, 2006, 08:30am
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At first thought the only time I can think of this being declined is when time expired in either half and they don't want to give team A an untimed down. Another situation came to mind. We have several teams in this area that are a pass only team. Those teams are much more successful being from the 10 yard line and out. It gives them a wider range a pass plays. A play could happen where the ill fwd. pass was on or inside the 5, so team B could decline the penalty and force team A inside the 5, an area that they may not be too comfortable with since they are limited on some pass plays.

Last edited by JasonTX; Thu Aug 10, 2006 at 08:34am.
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Old Thu Aug 10, 2006, 10:50am
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My confusion lies within the statement that "B" could decline the distance penalty, and take the loss of down from the spot of the illegal pass...not declining the penalty all together. I had never come across a case where an offended team could decline part of a penalty. Found it odd.
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Old Thu Aug 10, 2006, 11:12am
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2006 Football fundamentals on p. 77, X. (1.) "The distance penalty for any foul may be declined."

Again, not sure when and why a coach/captain may ask for this for an IFP, but nevertheless it is allowed by rule.
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Old Thu Aug 10, 2006, 12:56pm
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If you would decline an IFP the ball would be placed at the spot of the pass and it would be the next down. The run preceeding an IFP is not part of a loose-ball play and the run ends at the spot of the pass. This is where the spot of the foul and the end of the run are the same. But declining this penalty at the end of the half used to possibly have some importance but now with the new rule that we can't extend the period due to the loss-of-down issue I don't think that this penalty will ever be declined again. It is free yardage with no negative side.
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Old Thu Aug 10, 2006, 03:32pm
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Good info gentlemen...thanks
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Old Thu Aug 10, 2006, 04:02pm
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REPLY: Another possibility might be if the IFP came from the sidezone deep in B's red zone and the next down is 4th. Rather than move them back and give a better angle for a FG attempt, B might choose to leave them at the spot of the pass and give the kicker a tougher angle. Warren!! Why didn't you think of this one??
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Old Fri Aug 11, 2006, 07:50am
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Angles never bothered me. Straight on was hard enough. Oh wait, I am forgetting some game at Oklahoma in 1992. I was a bit upset with that official that day. Now I know that it was the correct call but that didn't help my helmet that day. It is said that there were two people in the entire stadium that day that thought the kick was no good, an official and Gary Gibbs. The next year the NCAA narrowed the in-bounds marks by about 2 yards and automatically reduced the angle possible. You can also see who thinks they can "intimidate" a call out of an official by who is using the short goal posts. It is not a cost issue to a major college football team to have short uprights as opposed to tall uprights but it does provide more room for judgement by an official if they are short. Oklahoma, and others, had short uprights for many years when most other teams had tall uprights.
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