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Old Sat Oct 13, 2007, 01:26am
sj sj is offline
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Fair catch question

Never seen this before. K1 punts. As the ball starts to come down R1, standing straight up, starts waving both arms parallel to the ground in such a way that it looks like a baseball umpire calling a runner safe and it looks like he wants everybody to get away from the ball. So far I have nothing thinking he's not going to field it and will let the ball go to die. However, instead of running away from the ball he is now heading toward where the ball is going to come down while he is still waving. He stops waving a few feet short of where the ball ultimately lands but is still going in that direction. All of a sudden the ball hits the ground and it bounces right up to him and he fields it and wants to start to run. I blow the play dead and throw a flag for an invalid signal.

Redding talks about an invalid signal being "any waving signal." I've let that signal go all the time but R1 always clears out and never fields the ball. This time the difference was that he fielded it.

What do you guys think? Weak? Good call? Maybe, maybe not?

Last edited by sj; Sat Oct 13, 2007 at 01:37am.
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Old Sat Oct 13, 2007, 02:38am
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From what you describe: good call.

You waited to see if the "signal" by R caused any advantage/disadvantage. Like you said, had he moved away from the ball and allowed K to down it,you've got nothing. But in this situation, it sounds like you got it right. Nice work! Those are tough!
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Old Sat Oct 13, 2007, 01:04pm
MJT MJT is offline
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I think you have nothing. Redding says this about signals. "An invalid signal... such as a chest-high flick of the hand or quick wave off motion like that of an outfielder in baseball, a limp wave, partially extending and waving one hadn in front of the face or chest, or fully extending and laterally waving both hands above the head."

The only mention in Reddings of two hands is when the waving is above the head. I don't think there is anyway K is going to think that is a FC signal, so they are put at no disadvantage when he ends up fielding the ball.
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Old Sat Oct 13, 2007, 01:38pm
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As you can see from the first two responses, you probably had to be there. How did the defense react? How did the receiving team and the receiver react to the whistle/flag (not that this is relevant, I'm just curious).
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Old Sat Oct 13, 2007, 10:21pm
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I've seen this exact play happen many many times in college football games and it is always a "no call." They usually do the "incomplete pass sign" and yell "POISON!" on a bad kick to let the team know to get away.

This is not an invalid fair catch signal. I can't back it up with rules b/c i'm not an official (yet), but i've seen this happen many times at the D1 level and it has always been a "no call."
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Old Sun Oct 14, 2007, 06:19pm
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In NCAA this should be killed if the signal is given while the ball is airborn, see AR 6-5-3 VI. If the "poison" or "get away" signal is given while the ball is in the air, opon catch or recovery the ball should be killed. Also, it is important to note that there is no foul for an invalid signal in NCAA. I tell each punt returner prior to the game that any waving of the arms while the ball is in the air I am going to kill. If the poison signal is given while the ball is grounded, the play continues.

In NFHS, I think you made the right call by the book. I personally am not a fan of the invalid fair catch foul. Why have this foul in place? I am sure there is a reason, just not sure what it is. The signal here is given to his teammates and not the opponents. Although the play should certainly be killed once he starts to advance w/ the ball here.
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Last edited by grantsrc; Sun Oct 14, 2007 at 06:21pm.
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Old Sun Oct 14, 2007, 07:08pm
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I don't do US ball, but from the perspective of a football fan, if I'm K and closing in on the punt receiver, I hope I don't have to worry about what kind of signal R gives that determines if I can proceed to tackle R.

I think blowing it dead with any obvious signal is a good way to go.
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Old Mon Oct 15, 2007, 11:06am
sj sj is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bossman72
I've seen this exact play happen many many times in college football games and it is always a "no call." They usually do the "incomplete pass sign" and yell "POISON!" on a bad kick to let the team know to get away.

This is not an invalid fair catch signal. I can't back it up with rules b/c i'm not an official (yet), but i've seen this happen many times at the D1 level and it has always been a "no call."
Do you mean to say that:

a) you have seen R1 give a get away signal like this, without recovering the ball, many times at the D1 level and it's always been a no-call?

b) you have seen R1 give a get away signal like this, and then recover the ball, many times at the D1 level and it's always been a no-call?
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Old Mon Oct 15, 2007, 12:06pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sj
Do you mean to say that:

a) you have seen R1 give a get away signal like this, without recovering the ball, many times at the D1 level and it's always been a no-call?

b) you have seen R1 give a get away signal like this, and then recover the ball, many times at the D1 level and it's always been a no-call?
It depends on when the signal is given. If the signal is given while the ball is airborn, then the play is blown dead when the ball is caught or recovered. No foul.

If the signal is given after the ball has hit the ground, play continues on, no foul.

This isn't a foul in NCAA, the ball is simply dead. 6-5-3
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Old Tue Oct 16, 2007, 01:33am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sj
Do you mean to say that:

a) you have seen R1 give a get away signal like this, without recovering the ball, many times at the D1 level and it's always been a no-call?

b) you have seen R1 give a get away signal like this, and then recover the ball, many times at the D1 level and it's always been a no-call?

Both: yes.

grant brings up an interesting point though. i can't seem to recall if the ball was in the air or bouncing when the poison call was given. but yes, i've never ever seen a penalty called for this infraction at the D1 level.
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Old Tue Oct 16, 2007, 06:48am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bossman72
but yes, i've never ever seen a penalty called for this infraction at the D1 level.
Because it is not a foul. It is simply a violation for lack of a better term.
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Old Tue Oct 16, 2007, 09:33pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by grantsrc
Because it is not a foul. It is simply a violation for lack of a better term.

Now that i think about it more, i don't think i've ever seen the poison signal given, then have the ball caught in the air. The ball has always been bouncing come to think of it. So, that's why there's no "violation".
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Old Tue Oct 16, 2007, 09:50pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bossman72
Now that i think about it more, i don't think i've ever seen the poison signal given, then have the ball caught in the air. The ball has always been bouncing come to think of it. So, that's why there's no "violation".
What Grant is saying is that an invalid fair catch signal is not a penalty in NCAA like it is in High School.
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Old Thu Oct 18, 2007, 04:08pm
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Reading the original post by jt and then MJT's response in which he included Redding's quote, if you weren't going to flag for invalid fair catch, would you have unsportsmanlike conduct? I'm thinking along the line that the signal would have caused the punt team to freeze and not play the ball, therefore being "suckered" by the returner.
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