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Old Tue Sep 09, 2008, 10:24am
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Force Question- NFHS only

This is for NFHS only please:
As ball around their own 5, QB fumbles in the field of play, B70 tries to jump on the ball and the ball rolls into the end zone, where A recovers.
A friend asked me about this play and wanted to verify that my logic is correct. I believe there might be a part or two left out of the question to answer it accurately, but I wanted to see what you all thought.
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Old Tue Sep 09, 2008, 10:43am
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It's the missing parts that tell the correct story. A fumbled the ball and is responsible for the loose ball. Whether, in the judgment of the covering official, the action by B constituted a new force, and therefore the responsibility for forcing the ball into A's EZ will be the deciding factor between the result beinga safety or a touchback.
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Old Tue Sep 09, 2008, 10:51am
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Grant, it depends on whether B70 is judged to have added a new force to the ball. If the ball is at rest or nearly at rest a new force is deemed to have been added to put the ball in the end zone.

Rule 8-5-1 Responsibility for forcing the ball from the field of play across a goal line is attributed to the player who carries, snaps, passes, fumbles or kicks the ball, unless a new force is applied to a grounded backward pass, kick or fumble. The muffing or batting of a pass, kick or fumble in flight is not considered a new force.

This case play uses a try as an example so the ball is dead when B gains possession, but the relevant explanation about a new force is still valid. Some of the rules cited in the explanation refer to a try.

Case Play 8.3.3 During a try, a fumble by A1 is nearly at rest on the 3-yard line when a muff by B1 is judged to be a new force causing the ball to go into B’s end zone where B2 recovers and: (a) downs the ball in the end zone; or (b) advances to his 10-yard line. RULING: The try ends and the ball becomes dead when B2 recovers. In any ordinary down, such a dead ball in the end zone would be a safety, therefore, one point is scored for A in both (a) and (b). B cannot score during a try down. (4-2-2i; 8-1; 8-5-2b)
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Last edited by waltjp; Tue Sep 09, 2008 at 10:54am.
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