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  #1 (permalink)  
Old Sat Aug 26, 2006, 05:13pm
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Talking Just for kicks

I posted this highly contrived play on the NFHS forum, but it was near the bottom of a 100-post thread, so it didn't get much attention. I put it here for your amusement.

NFHS Rules
PLAY: 3/10 @ midfield. A27's legal forward pass crosses B's sideline in flight. B73, a substitute properly in his team box, is facing away from the field at the B40, jumping up and down to excite his teammates on the punt return unit. The ball strikes B73 in the back of his helmet while he's airborne, and rebounds over the field of play where (a) eligible A99 catches the pass in flight at the B35 and is downed there, or (b) safety B44 alertly grabs the ball in flight and takes it to the house. Ruling?
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  #2 (permalink)  
Old Sat Aug 26, 2006, 07:22pm
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Incomplete pass in both situations.

2-30-4: A forward pass ends when it is caught, touches the ground or is out of bounds.

2-28-3: A loose ball is out of bounds when it touches anything, including a player or game official, who is out of bounds.

2-28-1: A player or other person is out of bounds when any part of the person is touching anything, other than another player or game official, who is on or outside the sideline or endline.
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  #3 (permalink)  
Old Sat Aug 26, 2006, 08:19pm
MJT MJT is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The Roamin' Umpire
I posted this highly contrived play on the NFHS forum, but it was near the bottom of a 100-post thread, so it didn't get much attention. I put it here for your amusement.

NFHS Rules
PLAY: 3/10 @ midfield. A27's legal forward pass crosses B's sideline in flight. B73, a substitute properly in his team box, is facing away from the field at the B40, jumping up and down to excite his teammates on the punt return unit. The ball strikes B73 in the back of his helmet while he's airborne, and rebounds over the field of play where (a) eligible A99 catches the pass in flight at the B35 and is downed there, or (b) safety B44 alertly grabs the ball in flight and takes it to the house. Ruling?
TRUmpire, I know where you are going with this, and it is scary!!! I'm going to let it go and see what others have to say. I'll chip in a lot later. This will be fun!
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Old Sat Aug 26, 2006, 08:30pm
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Uh oh. Have I completely missed something? Don't leave me hanging.
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Old Sat Aug 26, 2006, 08:48pm
MJT MJT is offline
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You will see, and if no one else gets in on it, I'll let you in on what the problem seems to be later on 2nt or tom. Just think of your definitions, and how they may not "literally apply" to the situation.
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Old Sat Aug 26, 2006, 09:12pm
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Roamin' Umpire made a point of stating that B73 was in the air when the ball made contact with his helmet. If you take 2-28-1 literally, the ball was not out-of-bounds when it hit B73's helmet. It would be interesting to see how many officials would have a strict interpretation of that definition, yet give themselves a mile of wiggle room regarding other rules (spirit vs. letter of the rules).
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Old Sat Aug 26, 2006, 09:21pm
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If we're going down the path of football not having the same requirements of how a person is established as being in bounds and out of bounds as basketball does, than I assume we're looking at Illegal Participation, 9-6-3? My response would be that it doesn't meet any of 9-6-4-a through f. There's nothing in this year's Case Book about this type of situation, either, that I can find.
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Old Sat Aug 26, 2006, 09:32pm
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and it begins...
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  #9 (permalink)  
Old Sun Aug 27, 2006, 09:24pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HawkeyeCubP
If we're going down the path of football not having the same requirements of how a person is established as being in bounds and out of bounds as basketball does
I'm going to be harsh here for a moment - I apologize, but I want to make this point as strongly as possible.

No set of football rules (that I'm aware of) has the concept of "establishing" oneself in bounds or out of bounds.

Please, let's avoid bringing up this idea for the rest of the thread.

I will post my thoughts on this play when I get back from Austin on Tuesday (tomorrow will be mostly spent in transit back to Albany).
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Old Mon Aug 28, 2006, 02:29am
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Thumbs up

Here's my guess... go easy on me!

2-31-15 says a Substitute becomes a player when he..."participates in a play". My guess is that it could be illegal substitution on B? If I'm correct (which I doubt), that'd be a great gadget play!!
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Old Mon Aug 28, 2006, 06:00am
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My initial reaction is a completed pass in both since the B73 wasn't "out of bounds". There is no establishing position in football.

Does he "participate" in this play? I say no because the ball hit him and he didn't make any attempt to touch or play the ball.

I'm not going to think too much on this one. Completed pass on both accounts. Will look forward to your response. Or I guess I can just read the other post on the other forum....
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Old Mon Aug 28, 2006, 04:06pm
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There are really two questions here that I see:

1. Was the ball dead and pass incomplete when it hit the jumping B73? If you go the techinical, letter-of-the-law approach, the answer is no (2-28-3) since B73 was not really OOB since he was not touching the ground, and he does not have to "establish" himself inbound to no longer be OOB. Now I would have to go with the spirit of the rules on this one and say this pass is incomplete when B73 touches it since this is really outside the scope of what you expect to see in football and outside the scope of fairness.

2. If, however, you rule the ball not to be dead, this leads to the second question:is B73 guilty of a foul? I've gone all over the rule book on this one (defintion of substitute, definition of participation, illegal participation in rule 9). I really cannot find anything that clearly defines this as a foul. Which would lead me back to my opinion on #1--the ball is dead when it hits the player (who is at least 2 yards) OOB.
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Old Mon Aug 28, 2006, 04:42pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by grantsrc
My initial reaction is a completed pass in both since the B73 wasn't "out of bounds". There is no establishing position in football.
2004 9.6.D agrees with that - it would be nice if it were still in the Case Book.

"9.6.1 SITUATION D: Wide receiver A1 runs a pass route along the sideline. He takes two steps out of bounds and goes airborne. While in the air he: (a) bats the ball to A2 who catches the ball; or (b) catches the ball and lands inbounds; or (c) catches the ball and lands out of bounds. RULING: In (a) and (b), the ball remains live and the catch is legal. A1 was not out of bounds when he touched the pass; however, he is guilty of illegal participation in both (a) and (b). In (c), the ball is dead and there is no catch or foul. (2-4-1; 2-28; 4-3)"

Quote:
Originally Posted by grantsrc
Does he "participate" in this play? I say no because the ball hit him and he didn't make any attempt to touch or play the ball.
2-29 states that "Participation is any act of action by a player or non-player that has an influence on the play." This is certainly participation of some sort.

Reading the NFHS thread gave me a headache. It was useful, but it hurts my head.

My real-time decision on this, on my sideline (I'm a wing) is incomplete pass. I'm simply selling to whoever is buying that some part of that kid was touching some part of a blade of turf or some fabric of a nearby substitute's jersey who is on the ground when the ball contacted his helmet. If I'm pushed by a coach wanting it ruled something else, it's going to be the incomplete pass I just ruled, or illegal participation (9-6-3), because he's not one of the 11 players who started that play and he's "touching the ball, influencing the play, and otherwise participating." Let them send the tape to the state and then national office, if they want to, showing that the kid was 4 feet in the air - I'll take the fall for this one to gain clarification for the country.

The ambiguity in reverse-defining "in bounds" is where this mess starts from. This could be taken way to far, and no good could come of it.

Is the player "outside the team box" then, as well, as he's not touching the ground inside the team box? If so, that's a foul. (9-8-k)

Is he "outside the team box, but not on the field"? If so, that's a foul. (9-8-3)

Did this kid "enter" the field of play by leaving the ground out of bounds? If so, that's a foul.

This can get ridiculous.

If this isn't 9-6-3 illegal participation, then it's 9-9-1 unfair act, until some sort of clarification is given by NFHS or my association.

Last edited by HawkeyeCubP; Tue Aug 29, 2006 at 05:17pm.
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Old Mon Aug 28, 2006, 04:51pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PSU213
... illegal participation in rule 9). I really cannot find anything that clearly defines this as a foul. Which would lead me back to my opinion on #1--the ball is dead when it hits the player (who is at least 2 yards) OOB.
9-6-3 "No replaced player or substitute shall hinder an opponent, touch the ball, influence the play or otherwise participate."

He meets the definition of a substitute (2-31-15), and he meets this requirement of illegal participation.

But as I said, unless he's using a trampoline or being tossed by the cheer squad when it hits him, I'm ruling incomplete.
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Old Mon Aug 28, 2006, 10:17pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HawkeyeCubP
9-6-3 "No replaced player or substitute shall hinder an opponent, touch the ball, influence the play or otherwise participate."

He meets the definition of a substitute (2-31-15), and he meets this requirement of illegal participation.
Does he really meet the definition of a substitute? I can break down 2-31-15 two different ways (I am leaving parts of the rule out, and how it is interpreted depends on how one reads the rule as a whole):

First would be "a substitute becomes a player when he enters the field and...participates in the play." In which case he would not qualify as a sub in this play since he never did enter the field.

The other way would be "a substitute becomes a player when...he participates in the play." Here the B player is a sub since he cleary has an influence on the play.

The bottom line is that we will save ourselves a whole world of confusion and trouble if we just rule the pass incomplete. Now, I'm not an advocate of making a particular call just to "save trouble," but here I really doubt anyone will do a bunch of complaining if you kill it when the jumping team member deflects the ball.
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