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  #1 (permalink)  
Old Mon Oct 15, 2012, 05:53pm
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Enforcement Options for Illegal Forward Pass

Quote:
NFHS Rule 7-5-3:
(emphasis mine)

... If the penalty for an illegal forward pass is accepted, measurement is from the spot of such forward pass. If the offended team declines the distance penalty, it has the choice of having the down counted at the spot of the illegal incomplete forward pass or (if the illegal forward pass is caught or intercepted) of having the ball put in play as determined by the action which followed the catch.
I've read and re-read this section of the rulebook a few times, and I can't think of any reason why the offended team would want to decline the penalty for an illegal forward pass that was incomplete. Given the option of having the down counted at the spot of the pass versus having the down counted at the spot of the pass with a 5-yard penalty tacked on, why would it ever be advantageous to pick the former?

Can anyone else think of a reason the offended team might want to decline the distance penalty of an illegal incomplete forward pass? (Other than sheer kindness...or pity.) Is there a potential situation that I'm overlooking?

I've also considered the possibility that this text was added simply to clarify where the ball would be next put in play following an illegal incomplete forward pass when the penalty was declined. Instead of going back to the previous spot as is done on legal incomplete forward passes, the ball is put into play at the spot of the illegal forward pass.

What are your thoughts? Would this ever be a viable option for the offended team, or is this just meant to clarify the location of the succeeding spot?
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Old Mon Oct 15, 2012, 08:32pm
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A second foul by Team A after the illegal incomplete forward pass.
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Old Tue Oct 16, 2012, 12:14am
ODJ ODJ is offline
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1- the distance part of the penalty can always be declined.

2- nevermind.

Last edited by ODJ; Tue Oct 16, 2012 at 11:55pm.
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Old Tue Oct 16, 2012, 10:55am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BktBallRef View Post
A second foul by Team A after the illegal incomplete forward pass.
An illegal forward pass is considered a running play for penalty enforcement purposes, and the spot of the illegal forward pass is the end of the run. If the penalty for the second foul by Team A were accepted, it would be enforced from the spot of the illegal forward pass (not the previous spot).

Does this mean that if Team B declined the penalty for the illegal forward pass and accepted the penalty for the second foul by Team A then the loss of down aspect of the IFP penalty could still be enforced?
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Old Tue Oct 16, 2012, 11:01am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ODJ View Post
2- an incomplete and illegal FP more than 5 yards past the LOS on 4th down.
I still don't see how this would benefit Team B.

Assuming that Team A didn't make the line-to-gain on 4th down, wouldn't Team B want the extra 5 yards before they take over on downs?
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Old Tue Oct 16, 2012, 11:08am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PocketSidewalk View Post
An illegal forward pass is considered a running play for penalty enforcement purposes, and the spot of the illegal forward pass is the end of the run. If the penalty for the second foul by Team A were accepted, it would be enforced from the spot of the illegal forward pass (not the previous spot).
Not necessarily, unless I'm missing something.
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Old Tue Oct 16, 2012, 11:38am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PocketSidewalk View Post
Can anyone else think of a reason the offended team might want to decline the distance penalty of an illegal incomplete forward pass? (Other than sheer kindness...or pity.) Is there a potential situation that I'm overlooking?
How about this:

4/10 @ A10, 15 seconds to play, B is losing by a point. QB runs to the A11 near the sideline and throws a pass complete to A88 @ A25, 3 seconds remain on the clock.

B should (1) accept the IFP but might (2) decline the yardage penalty. Why decline it? The spot of the foul will put the ball on a hash mark, and the angle for their kicker might be improved by kicking it from the 11 rather than the 6.
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Old Tue Oct 16, 2012, 12:38pm
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I can't determine this with any document I can access right now, but I strongly suspect this is legacy language. Either it was put in (1) before there was a more general provision allowing the distance (portion of a) penalty to be declined for any foul, or (2) at a time when certain cases of batting the ball would've been classified as illegal passes and hence the pass could be occurring from some point other than the end of a run. In the case of 1, it would've been there to complete coverage of cases, because the rules state how to proceed after an incomplete legal forward pass but not an illegal one (other than via penalty).

Last edited by Robert Goodman; Tue Oct 16, 2012 at 12:40pm.
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Old Tue Oct 16, 2012, 01:15pm
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My first thought is it is clarifying what would happen in the unlikely event the penalty was declined. Some might think "incomplete pass" and go to the previous spot.

This might also go with the premise that an illegal forward pass in the end zone would result in a safety regardless of what the defense chooses.

Let's say it's 4th and 10 at the A5 and A is punting with a 4-point lead and 20 seconds left on the clock. The punter bobbles the snap and rather than trying to kick it he attempts to throw it before he's tackled. But there is no eligible receiver in the area so the R drops a flag for IG. Without this language, B might decline the foul thinking they'll get the ball at the A5 with a chance for a TD. But since declining the penalty gives A the ball at the spot of the illegal pass, it would be safety either way.
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Old Tue Oct 16, 2012, 02:58pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bisonlj View Post
My first thought is it is clarifying what would happen in the unlikely event the penalty was declined. Some might think "incomplete pass" and go to the previous spot.

This might also go with the premise that an illegal forward pass in the end zone would result in a safety regardless of what the defense chooses.

Let's say it's 4th and 10 at the A5 and A is punting with a 4-point lead and 20 seconds left on the clock. The punter bobbles the snap and rather than trying to kick it he attempts to throw it before he's tackled. But there is no eligible receiver in the area so the R drops a flag for IG. Without this language, B might decline the foul thinking they'll get the ball at the A5 with a chance for a TD. But since declining the penalty gives A the ball at the spot of the illegal pass, it would be safety either way.
IG and IFP are two different things. Declining IG would, in fact, give B the ball at the A5.
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Old Tue Oct 16, 2012, 03:04pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MD Longhorn View Post
IG and IFP are two different things.
Not in Fed. In NCAA they can decline and take the ball at the previous spot. In Fed, it will be a safety either way.
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Old Tue Oct 16, 2012, 03:05pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MD Longhorn View Post
IG and IFP are two different things. Declining IG would, in fact, give B the ball at the A5.
That is not correct. Intentional grounding is a type of illegal forward pass. 7-5-3 applies to all forms of illegal forward pass including those covered in 7-5-2d and 7-5-2e.
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Old Tue Oct 16, 2012, 03:09pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MD Longhorn View Post
IG and IFP are two different things. Declining IG would, in fact, give B the ball at the A5.
I've always considered IG to be a type of IFP. Rules 7-5-2(d) & (e) and Table 7-5-2 both seem to support that idea.

I realize that IG has a different signal than other other forms of an IFP, but otherwise the rules seem to classify it as an IFP.
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Old Tue Oct 16, 2012, 08:49pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PocketSidewalk View Post
I've always considered IG to be a type of IFP. Rules 7-5-2(d) & (e) and Table 7-5-2 both seem to support that idea.

I realize that IG has a different signal than other other forms of an IFP, but otherwise the rules seem to classify it as an IFP.
He's in Texas and they use NCAA rules. What he said is correct under NCAA rules.
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Old Tue Oct 16, 2012, 11:03pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PocketSidewalk View Post
An illegal forward pass is considered a running play for penalty enforcement purposes, and the spot of the illegal forward pass is the end of the run. If the penalty for the second foul by Team A were accepted, it would be enforced from the spot of the illegal forward pass (not the previous spot).
Who said anything about previous spot?

What if the second penalty was for a foul behind the end of the run?

Can you say "All But One?"
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Last edited by BktBallRef; Tue Oct 16, 2012 at 11:06pm.
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