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Old Sat Oct 31, 2009, 01:44pm
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Pile in the endzone & Ball belongs to ...

We had the following situation today:

We had a ball fumbled into the endzone. both teams tried to recover the ball. There was a big pile on the ball. We digged. At the end a player of each team had the ball in their hands. Simultaneously possession of both teams. In my opinoin it should belong to the Offense than and a TD should have been ruled.

The Ump and the LJ both said (after we found out the simultaneously possession) that the Team B had possesion on the ground before the pile developed.

It looked stupid to dig - find a team A and team B player both holding the ball and than enforce a Touchback because the 2 colleagues of mine saw the Team B possession before the pile grew.

What to do in such a situation?

Comments are welcome ...
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Old Sat Oct 31, 2009, 01:49pm
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Well you have to dig on some level. I do not see how you avoid that totally. But if possession was ruled, all the digging would do is confirm that the player that you claim had the ball, actually still has the ball. I would just take our time and make a ruling when it is all sorted out.

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Old Sat Oct 31, 2009, 01:56pm
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Originally Posted by JRutledge View Post
But if possession was ruled, all the digging would do is confirm that the player that you claim had the ball, actually still has the ball.
What's the point? If a player has possession and is down in the EZ, who cares whether he still has the ball after the pile?
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Old Sat Oct 31, 2009, 02:01pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JRutledge View Post
Well you have to dig on some level. I do not see how you avoid that totally. But if possession was ruled, all the digging would do is confirm that the player that you claim had the ball, actually still has the ball. I would just take our time and make a ruling when it is all sorted out.

Peace
What kind of ruling would you make as the HR?
I would have awarded a TD because of the simultaneously possession after digging.
How should I handle a "but before the pile developed team B had the ball in their hands when lying the ground".
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Old Sat Oct 31, 2009, 02:16pm
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Originally Posted by ML99 View Post
What kind of ruling would you make as the HR?
I would have awarded a TD because of the simultaneously possession after digging.
How should I handle a "but before the pile developed team B had the ball in their hands when lying the ground".
Mere "hands on the ball" doesn't provide enough info. If an official saw B possess the ball in their own EZ after a fumble by A (with no new force), that's a touchback.

Simultaneous possession at a later time is irrelevant.
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Old Sat Oct 31, 2009, 02:16pm
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Originally Posted by mbyron View Post
What's the point? If a player has possession and is down in the EZ, who cares whether he still has the ball after the pile?
sorry I maybe didn't describe the situation well. the ball was rolling around in the end zone. Both teams jumped for the ball. and others jumped for the ball ... there was a pile ... all happend in 1-2 seconds. I am not sure if Team B player had the ball completely under control when grabbing for it since the pile immediately was build.

(sorry for my bad English)

What if we would have digged and Team A had the ball in their hands? If B would have controlled the ball when lying on the ground they would still have it after the digging. I mean you dig, because you don't know who has the fumble. If I was totally sure that Team B would have controlled the ball on the ground we'd all have blown our whistle before.
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Old Sat Oct 31, 2009, 02:29pm
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Ask your U and LJ why they did not shut things down if they saw defense in possession on the ground before the pile developed. EVerything after that is immaterial.
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Old Sat Oct 31, 2009, 04:42pm
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That was my thought as well Mike. If the U & LJ saw B with the the ball they should have been signaling TB right away.
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Old Sat Oct 31, 2009, 07:07pm
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I am not ruling a TD or a touch back with a pile where I cannot see the ball. I am going to wait until that pile is untangled. I am not talking about one or two players on top of each other; I am talking about where the ball is completely lost. If that is the case, usually the ball is still loose. I have been burned by ruling one way quickly, only to have another player hand us the ball outside of the pile.

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Old Sat Oct 31, 2009, 08:21pm
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Originally Posted by ML99 View Post
Both teams jumped for the ball. and others jumped for the ball ...
Lack of crowd control?
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Old Sat Oct 31, 2009, 10:45pm
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Quote:
What kind of ruling would you make as the HR?
HR?
What does a home run have to do with football officiating?
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Old Sun Nov 01, 2009, 06:01am
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Head Referee
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Old Sun Nov 01, 2009, 07:52am
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Originally Posted by TXMike View Post
Ask your U and LJ why they did not shut things down if they saw defense in possession on the ground before the pile developed. Everything after that is immaterial.
Agreed...
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Old Sun Nov 01, 2009, 08:35am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ML99 View Post
We had the following situation today:

We had a ball fumbled into the endzone. both teams tried to recover the ball. There was a big pile on the ball. We digged. At the end a player of each team had the ball in their hands. Simultaneously possession of both teams. In my opinoin it should belong to the Offense than and a TD should have been ruled.

The Ump and the LJ both said (after we found out the simultaneously possession) that the Team B had possesion on the ground before the pile developed.

It looked stupid to dig - find a team A and team B player both holding the ball and than enforce a Touchback because the 2 colleagues of mine saw the Team B possession before the pile grew.

What to do in such a situation?

Comments are welcome ...
When there is a pile, and possession is not known, you must dig.

If an official has a ruling that would cause the dig to be immaterial, they must be proactive and voice this ruling, and signal as such.

The officials calling the TB should come in and make their voice heard. If they didn't, it can be said to be an error in mechanics, but this doesn't change the ruling on the field, or who by rule is entitled to the ball.

The right call was made in the end. That's what matters.

All it is is a learning point for all officials: either something new or to enforce what was already known.
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