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Old Mon Sep 10, 2001, 11:20am
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Question

In a freshman FB game I had the following play.

Team A in punt formation...Team B has two receivers back, one forward (R1) and one deep (R2)...A punts and the airborne punt is coming down between the 2 receivers...They are converging toward each other as the punt comes down...R2, intent on catching the ball over his shoulder, signals for a fair catch...After that R1 makes the catch and advances upfield...I immediately blew the play dead and flagged the spot...Our Referee said there should be a penalty for delay of game at the spot of the foul.

Our varsity crew in discussing the play decided that blowing the play dead right away was correct but there should not have been any flag...The delay call was an old rule that was in place back in the day the clock started immediately after a change of possesion and not at the subsequent snap as it is today.

Opinions please.
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Old Mon Sep 10, 2001, 01:15pm
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Wink it depends

Cam,

Without seeing how far the receiver went with the ball after catching it, it is hard to say whether or not a flag should have been dropped. If he only went a couple of steps before shutting it down, then there should not have been a flag. However, if he took off with a full head of steam, then delay of game was the correct call. This is the NCAA interpretation. I have no idea what the NF rule says concerning this play.

It is the responsibility of the man receiving the ball to know if any of his teammates made a fair catch signal, whether it be valid or invalid, legal or illegal. How he is supposed to know a player 10 yards behind him or way over to the side gave the signal while he is looking up and concetrating on the flight of the ball is another story entirely.
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Old Mon Sep 10, 2001, 09:01pm
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Quote:
Originally posted by camaulds
In a freshman FB game I had the following play.

Team A in punt formation...Team B has two receivers back, one forward (R1) and one deep (R2)...A punts and the airborne punt is coming down between the 2 receivers...They are converging toward each other as the punt comes down...R2, intent on catching the ball over his shoulder, signals for a fair catch...After that R1 makes the catch and advances upfield...I immediately blew the play dead and flagged the spot...Our Referee said there should be a penalty for delay of game at the spot of the foul.

Our varsity crew in discussing the play decided that blowing the play dead right away was correct but there should not have been any flag...The delay call was an old rule that was in place back in the day the clock started immediately after a change of possesion and not at the subsequent snap as it is today.
Sounds like your JV crew is smarter than your varsity crew. The rule has not changed.

NF 6-5-5
No receiver may advance the ball after a valid or invalid fair-catch signal has been given by any member of the receiving team.
PENALTY: delay of game (Art. 5) – (S21)
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Old Mon Sep 10, 2001, 10:38pm
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Smile Was it truly a delay?

Quote:
Originally posted by camaulds
In a freshman FB game I had the following play.

Team A in punt formation...Team B has two receivers back, one forward (R1) and one deep (R2)...A punts and the airborne punt is coming down between the 2 receivers...They are converging toward each other as the punt comes down...R2, intent on catching the ball over his shoulder, signals for a fair catch...After that R1 makes the catch and advances upfield...I immediately blew the play dead and flagged the spot...Our Referee said there should be a penalty for delay of game at the spot of the foul.
In your play above, how far did the R1 proceed? Did he stop when you blew your whistle? Did he run all the way to the end zone?

Common sense should play a part of your decision. Although R1 may not have known R2 gave a fair catch signal, there must be some latitude given to R1. If R1 stops when you blew your whistle, no harm no foul. Give him the benefit of the doubt. If he continues to proceed for several yards, consideration could be given to a flag for delay. But, common sense again would make sure itis necessary. THESE ARE FRESHMAN! Certainly, not versed in the rules of the game.

In this situation, I would find a way to stop the play, explain it to R1 (and possibly to the rest of his team mates (and coach)), spot the ball, 1st and 10 and let's go!

zeb
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