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  #1 (permalink)  
Old Wed May 01, 2002, 12:38pm
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Question

If the defense hits the punters leg with his shoulder
then hits the ball with his hand is this a blocked punt
or is this roughing. i cant seem to find the rule.
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Old Wed May 01, 2002, 02:34pm
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NF 9-4-4b

Rounning into or roughing the kicker...other than when the defense touches the kick near the kicker and contact is unavoidable.

This does not say which order the touching of ball and kicker must occur. Since the defender touched the kick near the kicker, you only need to judge if the contact was unavoidable or not. Since the contact occurred before the defender touched the kick it would be tough to say unless I saw the play.
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Old Wed May 01, 2002, 05:28pm
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Since the defender's shoulder hit the punter BEFORE the ball was touched, my flag comes out. And the shoulder contact shows me that the the intent was to hit the punter.

Bob
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Old Thu May 02, 2002, 07:22am
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Well it depends on the timing. If the defender gets there soon enough the punter is still a runner holding the ball, and the contact is legal. Once he starts his kicking motion he becomes a protected kicker. Many officials I know would not call the foul if he gets the ball too, because getting the ball puts the defender in a position where the contact is, more often than not, unavoidable.
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Old Mon May 13, 2002, 08:40am
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Defiantly a must see play, but here's my take on this . A player doesn't become a kicker until he's kicked the ball, and his protection begins then . So running into or roughing the kicker can only happen after the balls been kicked .It would seem to me that the deciding factor here would be if the kick had been made at the time of the contact .
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Old Thu May 16, 2002, 08:48pm
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Quote:
Originally posted by James Neil
Defiantly a must see play, but here's my take on this . A player doesn't become a kicker until he's kicked the ball, and his protection begins then . So running into or roughing the kicker can only happen after the balls been kicked .It would seem to me that the deciding factor here would be if the kick had been made at the time of the contact .
Not exactly. A kicker's protection begins when it is apparent he is going to kick the ball and ends when he has regained his balance following the kick or it becomes uncertain he is not going to kick the ball. Assuming the kicker lines up in scrimmage kick formation gives him the initial protection.

As to the play mentioned in the original posting, the fact that the player charged into the kicker is an indication he is not attempting to block the kick. It becomes immaterial the kick is blocked after the player has charged the kicker. Review Case Book 9.4.4 Comment and one phrase stands out "Touching the kicked ball is, in itself, not license to charge the kicker."

Throw the flag.

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Old Fri May 17, 2002, 09:55am
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Ed ,
I must respectfully disagree with you as to when a player who is preparing to kick is protected . 2-30-8: A kicker is any player who legally punts, drop-kicks, or place-kicks .
So again I say , how can we have roughing or running into the kicker when he's not a kicker ? 2-30-13: A runner is a player who is in possession of live ball or is simulating possession of a live ball .
So until the player actually kicks the ball , he's nothing but a runner and is as vulnerable to contact as any other runner, even if he's in a scrimmage kick formation.
Case play 9.4.4 deals with contact AFTER the ball's been kicked .
Can you site me a rule reference that affords a player protection just because he's preparing to kick the ball ?

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Old Fri May 17, 2002, 05:41pm
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Quote:
Originally posted by James Neil
Ed ,
I must respectfully disagree with you as to when a player who is preparing to kick is protected . 2-30-8: A kicker is any player who legally punts, drop-kicks, or place-kicks .
So again I say , how can we have roughing or running into the kicker when he's not a kicker ? 2-30-13: A runner is a player who is in possession of live ball or is simulating possession of a live ball .
So until the player actually kicks the ball , he's nothing but a runner and is as vulnerable to contact as any other runner, even if he's in a scrimmage kick formation.
Case play 9.4.4 deals with contact AFTER the ball's been kicked .
Can you site me a rule reference that affords a player protection just because he's preparing to kick the ball ?

Again, read Casebook 9.4.4 Situation A Comment. The defense is responsible for avoiding contact with the kicker. Casebook 9.4.4 Situation B further clarifies contact and defines the principle of a kick being apparent. Furthermore, a kick is apparent if the offense goes into scrimmage-kick formation. Yes, 2-30-8 does define a kicker and 9-4-4 Illustrated agrees a runner is a kicker until he kicks the ball.

This is a situation where the spirit and intent of the rules needs to be exercised. By that, I mean, officials are charged with the safety of the players. When a kicker's leg is in the air or a holder is sitting prone on the ground the defense is not allowed to charge into them.

In the situation presented initially the defender charged into the kicker striking his leg, then was able to block the punt. Not only was a kick apparent, it was in progress. And, I assume striking the leg occurred before the kicking of the ball.

In the legal profession that is called "fruit of the poisonous tree" because by committing an act of illegal contact -- charging into the kicker -- the defender was able to block the kick. You cannot reward the defense.

After a few years of officiating, I found every rule cannot cover every situation, that is why there is the Casebook and rule interpreters. You have to rely often on the spirit and intent of the rules to officiate.
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Old Thu May 23, 2002, 10:33am
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Ed,
I've given your response and interruption a lot of thought . I'm just a second year official and have much to learn . I've enjoyed your posts here and respect you opinions as you seem to be a very experienced official . But with all due respect , I'm having a hard time agreeing with you on this one , So I ran our discussion on another board and thought you might be interested in the responses this generated . I believe this should give you access to the thread . http://www.gmcgriff.com/refonline/ww...ges/25555.html
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Old Thu May 23, 2002, 02:21pm
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Quote:
Originally posted by James Neil
Ed,
I've given your response and interruption a lot of thought . I'm just a second year official and have much to learn . I've enjoyed your posts here and respect you opinions as you seem to be a very experienced official . But with all due respect , I'm having a hard time agreeing with you on this one , So I ran our discussion on another board and thought you might be interested in the responses this generated . I believe this should give you access to the thread . http://www.gmcgriff.com/refonline/ww...ges/25555.html
James,

One thing about officiating, those of us who have spent years doing it can learn from those who are new to the sport. In fact, your posting sent me deep into the Rule Book and Casebook.

Your posting on McGriff was interesting because my interpretation was the kick was over since the kicker swiped the kick.

Consider, if K3 was still going through the motion there is no reason to contact him. He is not blocking. He is not acting as a runner. In fact, he is in a dangerous position but no threat to the defense.

My suggestion is think about what could happen. Why is R1 contacting K3, if he is trying to block the kick he should not come in contact with the kicker. Also, calling roughing the kicker requires the ultimate sales job since a kick never occurred.

If you think the contact was avoidable and R1 should have known K3 was not kicking you can call unnnecessary roughness. A 15-yard penalty without an automatic first down.

My personal rule of thumb on roughing the kicker. Most defenders trying to block the kick will come from the outside and try to be at the spot where the kicker makes contact with the ball. Correctly executed there will either be a block or no foul as he will miss everything.

When a defender cones straight on through the line his contact with the kicker is unavoidable if he misses the kick and he will be running into or roughing the kicker.

Roughing the kicker is a judgement call based largely upon timing. As a referee back up a get a wide view of the kicker enough to be able to view defender's action and intent before any contact is possible.

Notice, the NFL has given the referee help on scrimmage kicks by moving the umpire in the offensive backfield on the kicker's off foot.
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Old Thu May 23, 2002, 03:47pm
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In another situation, the punter muffs the snap and begins the act of kicking late. If he is hit before getting the kick off, is it roughing or was he a runner? In the games I have seen called, when the punter muffs the snap, he is fair game and becomes a runner. I seem to remember this from when I played as well.

I am not trying to be difficult, but I do want to understand. Please forgive a new official's curiosity. I can certainly see where this could come up in a game situation, and I want to be able to make the correct call.
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Old Thu May 23, 2002, 06:35pm
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Quote:
Originally posted by Sleeper
In another situation, the punter muffs the snap and begins the act of kicking late. If he is hit before getting the kick off, is it roughing or was he a runner? In the games I have seen called, when the punter muffs the snap, he is fair game and becomes a runner. I seem to remember this from when I played as well.

I am not trying to be difficult, but I do want to understand. Please forgive a new official's curiosity. I can certainly see where this could come up in a game situation, and I want to be able to make the correct call.
I had that exact situation last game of last season.

Snapper snaps the ball over the head of the punter who turns and runs back to get the ball. With his back turned he retrieves it and begins to turn around. Just as he lines up and sets to kick a defensive linesman smothers him and he still managed to get the kick off with the defensive player literally hanging off his leg.

K's coach is livid. You cannot touch the punter, he said.

Remember, "if a kick is apparent" and since the punter was running backwards, a kick is no longer apparent. The punter is now a runner and can be tackled. However, as long as he remains behind the line of scrimmage he can still kick, albeit, without protection.

My answer to the coach was your punter lost his protection once he had to retrieve the ball, as it was no longer apparent he was going to kick.

Pressure on kickers and punters requires more than a knowledge of the rulebook. You have to judge intent. When the punter started to run he was thinking about where to run or maybe hide with the ball; but, he still wanted to kick.

The defender saw a chance to make a tackle in the backfield on a scrambling punter.

But, if the defender saw the punter was going to kick -- and in this case that was not true -- the defender has the responsibility to avoid contact.

What is the correct call? It is what you as the referee judged. Each play will be different and you must be prepared and concentrate on the play.
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Old Thu May 23, 2002, 08:22pm
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Ed,

Thanks for the input. I just got through reading the section on roughing/running into and some of the interpretations. In the NCAA interpretations on page 56, number I, it states that "There is no kicker until the ball is actually kicked..." I understand that this is for the given scenario, but does this mean that the definition of a kicker includes having to kick the ball? Number IV talks about the need for it to be "obvious that A1 intends to kick." From an officiating standpoint, can you combine the two and deduce that if it is obvious he intends to kick and has kicked the ball, then he is afforded protection?
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Old Thu May 23, 2002, 08:50pm
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I saw the same phrase in the NFHS book. You have to go to the interpretations, 9.4.4 Situation A Comment (NFHS) or in Interpretations Rule 9-1-3 approved Ruling V (NCAA).

If it is obvious a kick is to be made, the kicker gets protection.

On a lot of these complicated rulings you have to supplement the rule with the interpretation.
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Old Thu May 30, 2002, 02:32pm
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See NF S&I Book, page 81

Ed, check out the S&I book on page 81 for an example of this type of play. The kicker is not a kicker until the ball is actually kicked, hence there can be no roughing of the kicker until the ball is kicked. So, if the contact thought to be roughing occured prior to the kick, it is not roughing. It could be a foul still, but not roughing, or running into the kicker.

The statement about "reasonably certain" a kick will be made is a warning to the defender that he should be prepared for a kick, and should pursue a different path to the ball or lay off. It also means that if it is not reasonably certain a kick will be made, then roughing the kicker should not be called.
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