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Old Mon Oct 19, 2009, 10:34am
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Snap Infraction or not

Last Friday night we had a situation where the quarterback was in shotgun formation. The center attempted to snap the ball, but it dribbled back about a foot or two behind him. Is this a snap infraction or not. Also wondering if the same situation occured with the qb under center if you would have a snap infraction ??

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Old Mon Oct 19, 2009, 10:57am
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It is hard to say from your description. The snap itself has to be quick and continuous. If the ball is caught on the turf and the snap becomes stilted, then you have a snap infraction. If the snap itself is smooth, but the ball comes out of the snapper's hand wrong, then you have a legal snap.
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Old Mon Oct 19, 2009, 11:19am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by REFANDUMP View Post
Last Friday night we had a situation where the quarterback was in shotgun formation. The center attempted to snap the ball, but it dribbled back about a foot or two behind him. Is this a snap infraction or not. Also wondering if the same situation occured with the qb under center if you would have a snap infraction ?? Thanks
A snap infraction is referenced to NF-7-1, 2 3. and is not intended to protect a team from snapping the ball poorly, which is what your situation sounds like. If the snapper screws up on his own, that's on him.
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Old Mon Oct 19, 2009, 02:29pm
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I talked to some area officials and got mixed answers. We ruled a snap infraction, but it just so happened that we had an area supervisor watching the game and he said it was not. I too, thought the snap had to be a quick, direct motion to the quarterback, but it appears I am wrong. I hate it when that happens.
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Old Mon Oct 19, 2009, 07:03pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by REFANDUMP View Post
I talked to some area officials and got mixed answers. We ruled a snap infraction, but it just so happened that we had an area supervisor watching the game and he said it was not. I too, thought the snap had to be a quick, direct motion to the quarterback, but it appears I am wrong. I hate it when that happens.
Forget the "to the quarterback" part if the ball leaves the snapper's hands and goes to nobody. If the snap does get to somebody, but it's a player who is ineligible by positioning to receive a snap, that's illegal, but not failure to get the ball to anybody. They can legally snap the ball untouched thru their end zone if they want to produce a safety, for instance.
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Old Tue Oct 20, 2009, 08:37am
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snap infraction

JV game the other night...the center was hiking the ball relatively slowly (compared to most centers I've seen). The opposing coach asked me, "Isn't that a snap infraction?" I told him no, as long as he kept the ball moving, I wasn't going to call it. I told him if the center stopped mid-snap and tried to put the ball back down, then that would be a snap infraction. Sound right?
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Old Tue Oct 20, 2009, 05:12pm
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Originally Posted by stegenref View Post
JV game the other night...the center was hiking the ball relatively slowly (compared to most centers I've seen). The opposing coach asked me, "Isn't that a snap infraction?" I told him no, as long as he kept the ball moving, I wasn't going to call it. I told him if the center stopped mid-snap and tried to put the ball back down, then that would be a snap infraction. Sound right?
Yes. The purpose of the "quick" in "quick and continuous" was to avoid a situation in which the snapper held onto the ball long enough to create a whole class of play with the ball kept "in scrimmage", which would necessitate more rules and rulings. We've already had arguments here about whether to flag, and whom and for what, in either Fed or NCAA if an opponent managed to get a hand on the ball after the snapper started moving it but before it left the snapper's hand(s).

In rugby when the ball stays in scrummage, the offside lines, similar to the restraining lines, remain in effect and can even move, and there are different rules regarding playing the ball depending whether it's in or out. The requirement of a snap that gets the ball out of scrimmage quickly and smoothly allows North American football to dissolve its restraining lines at that instant and not have to have different rules to keep play interesting during that interval.

Was the snapper in that game just trying to deliver a slow, soft snap, or did it look like he was deliberately retaining the ball longer than necessary? That's what I think you have to rule on for the "quick" requirement. The "continuous" part is pretty self explanatory, although at one time I thought it might prohibit certain around-the-bend movement of the hands and ball and require the motion to be in a straight line; it doesn't, it just prohibits hesitations, recocking, putting the ball back down as you suggest, etc.
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