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Texas Aggie Tue Sep 05, 2006 11:08pm

Night for illegal kicks!
Had two illegal kicks tonight (jr. high game). As R, I have to confess that I didn't know the signal offhand, but a quick reference to the cheat sheet by my partner clued me in. Good thing, because a quarter later, we had another one.

The first was a kickoff where they punted. I was a little dismayed that neither other official flagged it, but after I threw the flag, they knew what I had. Coach chimes in "we don't have a tee!!" as if that matters. No big deal, as receiving team declined. Coaches don't like kickoffs and I sort of encouraged a declination.

Second play was in the "I've never seen that before" category. On a kick try, Team B has a jailbreak and one of the defensive players kicked the ball while it was being held by the holder. I flagged it then cleaned up the action of chasing down the ball. I started to get another official to see if he saw the same thing (just because it was weird) when a kid from Team B asks, "can he not kick it, ref?" At that point, no reason to get another view, but then the coach for Team B insists its a dead ball foul enforced on the kickoff. Ahh, no, I explain, as that would give the penalized team too much of an advantage. He said he was going to look it up (I told him to look toward the back of Rule 9 -- NCAA), and I said fine and enforced it half the distance, replay the try.

Double checking when I got home, I saw the "kick the ball held by the opposing team" section. I had missed that exact wording before but I knew the kick was illegal due to Rule 6's explicit kicking restrictions.

TXMike Wed Sep 06, 2006 04:19am

Why not some preventive officiating on the KO and stop that before it even happens?

Texas Aggie Wed Sep 06, 2006 12:33pm

I was the R, 50 yards back and didn't realize he was going to punt it. But I agree.

rdfox Wed Sep 06, 2006 10:03pm

Just when you think you've seen it all, something like this comes along. Awesome...

Under NF rules, you first have to let the play proceed since the loose ball is treated the same as a fumble. A could recover the ball and eventually run it into the EZ for a two-point conversion, in which case the penalty could be accepted on the kickoff. Of course, if B recovered the ball, the try is over.

Barring that, however, I assume you would penalize the illegal kick from the previous spot due to the loose-ball play and re-play the try.

The Roamin' Umpire Thu Sep 07, 2006 05:13pm

While flagging the illegal kick and letting the play proceed "feels" like the right thing to do, I suspect it's actually the wrong ruling.

4-1-1 tells us that the ball must be put in play by a kickoff.

2-23-5 tells us that a kickoff is a free kick.

2-23-3 tells us "A free kick is any legal kick which puts the ball in play to start a free-kick down."

Since the kick isn't legal, the ball is never put into play - i.e. it remains dead, just as if there were encroachment.

Can we flag this? I see no reason why not - nothing in the rules specifies that the illegal kicking rules only apply to live balls. But we should shut this down immediately, penalize the 15 yards, and re-kick.

rdfox Thu Sep 07, 2006 08:20pm

I was talking about the illegal kick on the try.

BoBo Thu Sep 07, 2006 11:25pm

Just a refresher if the kicking team illegally kicks the ball BEHIND the neutral zone we have illegal kick penalty 15 yards from the spot of the foul correct.

If it is beyond the neutral zone 15 yards from the spot of the foul.

Correct on both????

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