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Old Wed Aug 08, 2007, 11:36pm
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Punt Formation

I'm curious why the HL stays at the LOS on punts to note that the punt did travel past the LOS.

Why is this important?

Thanks in advance.
HLC
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Old Wed Aug 08, 2007, 11:42pm
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I think there are two reasons...first being to help with the Referee if their is a bad snap, but the most important one is to make sure that the scrimmage kick passes the line. If the kick passes the LOS it can only be advanced by R, but if the kick does not pass the line of scrimmage, aka blocked kick, etc., the ball can be advanced by either K or R. So the HL needs to know if it passed the line.
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Old Wed Aug 08, 2007, 11:49pm
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What if...

Thanks, Boboman.

What if it travels just past the LOS but while it's still in the air, it blows back behind the LOS and is recovered by K? R never touches it. Is it K's ball or R's?

Anyone that can help, it would be greatly appreciated. If you know the rule citing, that's a bonus too.

HLC
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Old Thu Aug 09, 2007, 07:51am
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There are a few reasons we need to know where the ball is relative to lines.

Fair catch
6-5-2 It is a fair catch and the ball is dead if any receiver gives a valid fair-catch signal, as in Article 1, and he catches a free-kick in or beyond the neutral zone to Rís goal line, or a scrimmage kick beyond the neutral zone to Rís goal line.

K gaining possession of a scrimmage kick and advancing
6-2-3 Any K player may catch or recover a scrimmage kick while it is in or behind the neutral zone and advance, unless it is during a try.

PSK fouls
2-16-2h2 During a scrimmage kick play in which the ball crosses the expanded neutral zone.

Touching of low scrimmage kicks
6-2-6 The touching of a low scrimmage kick by any player is ignored if the touching is in or behind the expanded neutral zone. The neutral zone shall not be expanded into the end zone.

K gaining possession of a scrimmage kick anywhere
6-2-4 Any K player may catch or recover a scrimmage kick while it is beyond the neutral zone or the neutral zone expanded, provided such kick has been touched by a receiver who was clearly beyond the neutral zone at the time of touching. Such touching is ignored if it is caused by K pushing or blocking R into contact with the ball or it is caused by K legally batting or muffing the ball into R. Such catch or recovery by K beyond the neutral zone causes the ball to become dead. (See 6-5-6 Exception)

So there are a lot of reasons to keep someone on the sideline at the line-of-scrimmage who can watch where the ball goes and who touches it.
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Old Thu Aug 09, 2007, 08:04am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HL Clippenchain
What if it travels just past the LOS but while it's still in the air, it blows back behind the LOS and is recovered by K? R never touches it. Is it K's ball or R's?
In all codes, the fact that the ball was in the air or on the ground beyond the neutral zone is irrelevant if while it was there it didn't touch and wasn't touched by a player of K (before or without being touched by R). In all USAn codes in that case, with K's recovery on K's side of the neutral zone, K's team possession continues, and the series of downs continues; this has been the case since 1930. In Canadian football, the right to the ball depends whether the recovering player was onside or offside, but the series of downs ends if the ball touched the ground on R's side of the LOS.

Robert
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Old Thu Aug 09, 2007, 08:56am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Robert Goodman
In Canadian football, the right to the ball depends whether the recovering player was onside or offside, but the series of downs ends if the ball touched the ground on R's side of the LOS.
Hmmm.... mind if I look that one up?
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Old Thu Aug 09, 2007, 09:03am
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Lightbulb Canadian Mechanic

Quote:
Originally Posted by HL Clippenchain
I'm curious why the HL stays at the LOS on punts to note that the punt did travel past the LOS.

Why is this important?

Thanks in advance.
HLC
CANADIAN MECHANIC:

The two side guys (HL only in 3-man I guess) hold the LS during a kick from scrimmage. Once the ball crosses the LS, the kick is now a punt, the side guys go downfield, and a 5 yard restraining zone by offside-relative-to-the-punter K players must be given to allow for a safe recovery of the ball. This is our No Yards foul.

Depending on the level, the R will either go with the kicking leg or the wide side (in some rare cases the shrot side). The side guy facing the R will help on bad snaps, so as to maintain the inside-outside coverage.

If the scrimmage kick doesn't cross the LS, the kick is not a punt, and no restraining zone exists.
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Last edited by JugglingReferee; Thu Aug 09, 2007 at 09:36am.
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Old Fri Aug 10, 2007, 12:57pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JugglingReferee
Hmmm.... mind if I look that one up?
I don't know where it is now, but the amateur rule book used to have redundant coverage of this, listing it under "continuity of downs...interrupted" and also under kicking rules, while the CFL book just had it in one place. The ball had to be kicked across the LOS, which I think was ruled to occur only if it touched the ground or a person beyond the line, so in the case we're discussing now it would have to have been the ground. So you could just tap a punt across the line and fall on it (anywhere) for a 1st down.

A much older provision, which was verbatim in Canadian & USAn rules, had downs restart if a team by kicking the ball gave the other team "fair and equal" opp'ty to recover the ball, irrespective of other conditions of the kick.

Robert
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Old Fri Aug 10, 2007, 02:11pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Robert Goodman
So you could just tap a punt across the line and fall on it (anywhere) for a 1st down.
I understand. This is not the case anymore, thankfully.

I love collecting old rule books. I have CFL books going back to the 60s. Quietly, I'm trying to snag old amateur books as well.
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Old Sat Aug 11, 2007, 09:40am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JugglingReferee
I understand. [The cheap 1st down] is not the case anymore, thankfully.
Thanks. How long ago? I was wondering when they'd finally take a look at that thing.

The rule did have the virtue, or drawback, depending on your taste, of making the defense cover anybody wide fairly closely, no matter how long the yardage situation. But the requirement that the ball cross the LOS and the incentive to keep the kick very short meant a difficult call visualizing the LOS, the point of kick, and (usually) the point of recovery.

Can I take it that now the continuity of downs is interrupted by a kick only if R touches or is touched by the kick on their side of the LOS?

Robert
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Old Sat Aug 11, 2007, 10:53am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Robert Goodman
Thanks. How long ago? I was wondering when they'd finally take a look at that thing.

The rule did have the virtue, or drawback, depending on your taste, of making the defense cover anybody wide fairly closely, no matter how long the yardage situation. But the requirement that the ball cross the LOS and the incentive to keep the kick very short meant a difficult call visualizing the LOS, the point of kick, and (usually) the point of recovery.

Can I take it that now the continuity of downs is interrupted by a kick only if R touches or is touched by the kick on their side of the LOS?

Robert
Not sure. I started football in 96, but waited a few years until I really got into the book. I don't remember anything like you describe, and although football was my second sport (now my first), I knew enough to be a sponge.

My bold emphases that may be of interest.


Article 2 Ė Continuity Interrupted
The continuity of downs is interrupted:

When Team A gains the required distance for first down.

When Team A fails on 3rd down to gain the required distance for 1st down.

When Team B obtains possession of the ball Ė by recovering a fumble, intercepting a pass, by any other legal play, or by penalty (touching the ball is not possession).

When there is a loose ball on a play from scrimmage, (e.g., fumble, blocked kick, etc.) and Team B dribbles the ball, 1st down is awarded to the team which ultimately recovers the ball after the B dribble.

When the ball is punted, dropped kicked or place kicked over the line of scrimmage. A ball dribbled over the line of scrimmage by A does NOT interrupt the continuity of downs.

When the ball is kicked (but NOT dribbled) by Team A over the line of scrimmage and is legally recovered by Team A, before the ball has been touched by team B across the line of scrimmage, 1st down is awarded to Team A only if the required distance for a first down is gained.

When the ball is kicked out of bounds, strikes the opponentís goal post assembly in flight on a kick from scrimmage, is blocked directly out of bounds by Team B, or is last touched by Team B before going out of bounds.

When a score is made.
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Old Sun Aug 12, 2007, 03:52pm
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Thanks for the update, I was way behind. I note the typical lack of economy of words in (but not limited to) Canadian football rule books, taking twice or more as many words as they need to say it. Mind if I indulge in a little editing?

Quote:
Originally Posted by JugglingReferee
Article 2 – Continuity Interrupted
The continuity of downs is interrupted:

When Team A gains the required distance for first down.
OK.

Quote:
When Team A fails on 3rd down to gain the required distance for 1st down.
That was always unnecessary or misleading wording. That's not interruption, that's completion of a series of downs.

Quote:
When Team B obtains possession of the ball– by recovering a fumble, intercepting a pass, by any other legal play, or by penalty (touching the ball is not possession).
Only the part I bolded is necessary.

Quote:
When there is a loose ball on a play from scrimmage, (e.g., fumble, blocked kick, etc.) and Team B dribbles the ball, 1st down is awarded to the team which ultimately recovers the ball after the B dribble.
Likewise. I think they added all that extra wording because way back, there was some over-specificity and vagueness referring to when the defense "breaks through" and dribbles. But the clause after the last comma messes up the parallel construction, which is supposed to be, "Continuity of downs is interrupted when blah blah...."

Quote:
When the ball is punted, dropped kicked or place kicked over the line of scrimmage. A ball dribbled over the line of scrimmage by A does NOT interrupt the continuity of downs.

When the ball is kicked (but NOT dribbled) by Team A over the line of scrimmage and is [not] legally recovered by Team A, before the ball has been touched by team B across the line of scrimmage, 1st down is awarded to Team A only if the required distance for a first down is gained.
Similarly, with the "not" economically positioned. Seems they like to add a paragraph in preference to editing to change existing language. Again they interrupt the parallel construction.

Quote:
When the ball is kicked out of bounds, strikes the opponent’s goal post assembly in flight on a kick from scrimmage, is blocked directly out of bounds by Team B, or is last touched by Team B before going out of bounds.

When a score is made.
And arguably they could shorten or eliminate the above by consolidating or considering with some provisions elsewhere with which it's redundant.

But all this ain't nuthin'. You should've seen the first rule book of the Independent Women's Football League. It was unusable. Literally, the officials ignored it, with good reason.

Robert
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Old Sun Aug 12, 2007, 07:53pm
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I'm confused, are you guys quoting from the Canadian rule books?

Here's my interpretation of the rule from the NFHS case book that I'm looking at for this situation.

Quote:
Originally Posted by HL Clippenchain
Thanks, Boboman.

What if it travels just past the LOS but while it's still in the air, it blows back behind the LOS and is recovered by K? R never touches it. Is it K's ball or R's?

Anyone that can help, it would be greatly appreciated. If you know the rule citing, that's a bonus too.

HLC
6.2.6...The [expanded neutral] zone disintegrates immediately when the kick has crossed the expanded zone or when the trajectory is such that it cannot be touched until it comes down. Once the zone disintegrates, touching of the kick by K in flight beyond the neutral zone is kick-catching interference if an R player is in position to catch the ball.

6.1.6 SITUATION B: The ball is free kicked from K's 40-yard line and in flight, it crosses the 50-yard line before a strong wind blows it back to K's 45 where it: (a) is touched in flight by K1, or (b) touches the ground and is recovered by K2. RULING: Kick-catching interference in (a), first and 10 for K in (b).

I realize that second one is about a kickoff, but as I see the rule the expanded neutral zone on kicks(scrimmage or free) is a plane and once it's breeched, even if the ball is blown backwards, it's considered to have passed it. So, on a punt(or FG, i.e. a scrimmage kick)...if the ball is beyond the expanded neutral zone and K catches the ball with an R player in the area then it's kick-catching interference. If K touches the ball after it hits the ground or catches it in the air with no R player around that would have been able to catch it, then it's first touching.

Comments?

Last edited by ForensicRef; Sun Aug 12, 2007 at 07:56pm.
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Old Sun Aug 12, 2007, 10:58pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ForensicRef
I'm confused, are you guys quoting from the Canadian rule books?
Yes. Robert is one of the few people here who have experience with both rule sets. (My guess.) I live in Southern Ontario and obviously do Canadian ball.
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Old Mon Aug 13, 2007, 09:45am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ForensicRef
Here's my interpretation of the rule from the NFHS case book that I'm looking at for this situation.

6.1.6 SITUATION B: The ball is free kicked from K's 40-yard line and in flight, it crosses the 50-yard line before a strong wind blows it back to K's 45 where it: (a) is touched in flight by K1, or (b) touches the ground and is recovered by K2. RULING: Kick-catching interference in (a), first and 10 for K in (b).
That used to be a difference between Fed & NCAA. For a long time it was as above in NCAA, but in Fed the ball had to have touched the ground on or behind R's line. Oddly, the free kick lines were treated as lines by Fed and planes by NCAA, while the goals (for scoring purposes) were treated as planes by Fed and lines by NCAA.

Robert
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