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Old Thu Oct 01, 2009, 08:10am
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Free kick after a fair catch?

OK, so I was studying last night and I came across this rule about getting a free kick after a fair catch (or an awarded fair catch). I've read it several times, but I can't ever wrap my mind around what they're trying to say. Can somone explain it to me and/or give me an example of when this has happened to them? Or why any team would want to do that?

I think there was a case where R received a fair catch at the 50 yard line, ran a play (incomplete pass) and there was a fifteen yard penalty (roughing the passer maybe?), so on the next play the captain of A (previously R) requested a free kick since they were now on B's 35 yard line. How does that work?
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Old Thu Oct 01, 2009, 08:46am
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Originally Posted by stegenref View Post
OK, so I was studying last night and I came across this rule about getting a free kick after a fair catch (or an awarded fair catch). I've read it several times, but I can't ever wrap my mind around what they're trying to say. Can somone explain it to me and/or give me an example of when this has happened to them? Or why any team would want to do that?

I think there was a case where R received a fair catch at the 50 yard line, ran a play (incomplete pass) and there was a fifteen yard penalty (roughing the passer maybe?), so on the next play the captain of A (previously R) requested a free kick since they were now on B's 35 yard line. How does that work?
This is kind of an obscure rule but has become more well known due to recent events (AZ doing it in the playoffs for example).

A team may have a free kick (like a kickoff, I believe with a tee, someone will confirm) after a fair catch or an awarded fair catch. The situation in HS that is very feasible is: punt by K from their own 10 with 8 seconds remaining and K leading by 1 point. The punt is high and short and R1 makes a fair catch at the K 20 with 2 seconds remaining. A (the old R) may elect to take a free kick from the fair catch spot. B would have to be 10 yards back from the spot of the kick.

Two videos I know of this situation:

colorado 67 yard field goal - Google Videos

YouTube - Neil Rackers Free-Kick Field Goal
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Old Thu Oct 01, 2009, 08:58am
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Extremely rare..and yes, it is legal and "bbcof83" has posted good examples. I wonder how many coaches even know of this ruling.

This discussion actually won me a bottle of Crown Royal between me and 2 others on my crew that insisted you cannot kick a free kick thru the goal posts for points and/or that you can't kick a field goal from a tee. If I'm not mistaken, this is only allowed in NFHS and NFL...not NCAA. And in the NFL, a tee is not allowed to be used.

8-4-1:
A field goal is scored as follows:
a. The field goal attempt shall be a place kick or a drop kick from scrimmage, or from a free kick following a fair catch, or an awarded fair catch.

Last edited by Canned Heat; Thu Oct 01, 2009 at 09:07am.
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Old Thu Oct 01, 2009, 09:19am
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Originally Posted by Canned Heat View Post
Extremely rare..and yes, it is legal and "bbcof83" has posted good examples. I wonder how many coaches even know of this ruling.

This discussion actually won me a bottle of Crown Royal between me and 2 others on my crew that insisted you cannot kick a free kick thru the goal posts for points and/or that you can't kick a field goal from a tee. If I'm not mistaken, this is only allowed in NFHS and NFL...not NCAA. And in the NFL, a tee is not allowed to be used.

8-4-1:
A field goal is scored as follows:
a. The field goal attempt shall be a place kick or a drop kick from scrimmage, or from a free kick following a fair catch, or an awarded fair catch.
The weird thing in the NFL is not being able to use a tee after a safety or a fair catch (free kick). It's most certainly not a rule in HS, although a coach wanted to argue this with me when a team chose to "kickoff" following a safety a few years ago.
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Old Thu Oct 01, 2009, 09:22am
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Also, if there is an accepted penalty, (or other situation warranting a replay of the down) on the play after the FC is awarded, then the free kick may then be used.
Example:
R makes FC on the 50. On A's next play there is roughing the passer against B. Lets say the pass was completed at B's 40. Additional 15 yards tacked on for the roughing and now A has the ball at B's 25. Becasue the penalty was accepted on the play followng a FC or awarded FC, A once again has the option of the free kick for 3 points.(from a tee, with the opponent lined up 10 yards back)....Try explaining that to B's coach!

I think they should eliminate the follow up opportunity. Once the ball is snapped after the FC I think that should end the opportunity for free kick..in my humble opinion
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Old Thu Oct 01, 2009, 10:12am
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Originally Posted by whitehat View Post
Also, if there is an accepted penalty, (or other situation warranting a replay of the down) on the play after the FC is awarded, then the free kick may then be used.
Citation? (I believe you -- I just want to look it up.)
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Old Thu Oct 01, 2009, 10:38am
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Originally Posted by whitehat View Post
I think they should eliminate the follow up opportunity. Once the ball is snapped after the FC I think that should end the opportunity for free kick..in my humble opinion
That rule, although rare in application, has been on the books since leather helmets, changing a rule solely because some coaches don't understand it, is a journey that would produce an entirely new game.
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Old Thu Oct 01, 2009, 10:42am
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Originally Posted by mbyron View Post
citation? (i believe you -- i just want to look it up.)

6-5-4
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Old Thu Oct 01, 2009, 10:42am
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This is probably the best free kick field goal simply because of the announcers. Classic!

YouTube - Confusion in the Pressbox
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Old Thu Oct 01, 2009, 10:55am
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Originally Posted by whitehat View Post
Try explaining that to B's coach!

I think they should eliminate the follow up opportunity. Once the ball is snapped after the FC I think that should end the opportunity for free kick..in my humble opinion
Yes, this to me makes absolutely NO sense. Anyone disagree?
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Old Thu Oct 01, 2009, 11:00am
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Originally Posted by bossman72 View Post
This is probably the best free kick field goal simply because of the announcers. Classic!

YouTube - Confusion in the Pressbox
HAHAHA, "are we playing hockey? Or soccer or something like that? What in the world!?!"

Good stuff.
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Old Thu Oct 01, 2009, 04:59pm
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Originally Posted by ajmc View Post
That rule, although rare in application, has been on the books since leather helmets,
Actually since waaay before any helmets.

Quote:
changing a rule solely because some coaches don't understand it, is a journey that would produce an entirely new game.
NCAA managed to abolish it in 1950 -- but only by abolishing the fair catch entirely, as Canadian football recently had. They restored the fair catch in 1951, minus the kick option.

The reason a tee is allowed for this type of kick in Fed is that Fed had undertaken a process of harmonizing the rules for all forms of free kicks. They diverged a little since then, however, but not on this detail. They also diverged in allowing a punt to be used on the free kicks after a safety and a fair catch; at the apogee of the harmoniz'n process, only a place or drop kick could be used for any free kick, and the only difference between them was that a kickoff was not allowed to score a field goal. (Yes, a free kick from a safety could score a goal.)

Speaking of harmoniz'n, it was only a few years ago that the NFL classified the kickoff as a form of free kick; previously they'd followed the old rule of treating a kickoff separately, even though the rules were mostly redundant. It was the NCAA in the 1930s that consolidated these as part of a process of reducing the number of "rules" in the book. NFL already had its own rules, Fed didn't yet.

Until Canadian football abolished its fair catch, the player who made the free kick had to be the same one who'd made the fair catch, as in rugby. I don't remember whether the free kick was mandatory or they could choose to scrimmage.
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Old Thu Oct 01, 2009, 07:25pm
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Old Thu Oct 01, 2009, 07:48pm
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Originally Posted by Robert Goodman View Post
Actually since waaay before any helmets.
He's right. Back when the English were inventing football, any player could call for a "fair catch" and immediately take a free kick from the spot of the catch.
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Old Thu Oct 01, 2009, 08:00pm
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Originally Posted by bbcof83 View Post
Yes, this to me makes absolutely NO sense. Anyone disagree?

I disagree. Of course it makes sense. If there's an accepted penalty against the defense on the first play after the FC, then the play never occurred. So the offense once again has the option.
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