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Old Thu Sep 12, 2013, 11:09am
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FED: Protecting the punter

FED Football officials:

To what degree do you protect the punter while in punting formation begins to run laterally (either left or right) and then kicks the football?

Is he (the punter) afforded the same protection if he does or doesn't move laterally?

If I need to clarify any point of my question to get a better answer please let me know.
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Old Thu Sep 12, 2013, 11:17am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by johnnyg08 View Post
FED Football officials:

To what degree do you protect the punter while in punting formation begins to run laterally (either left or right) and then kicks the football?

Is he (the punter) afforded the same protection if he does or doesn't move laterally?

If I need to clarify any point of my question to get a better answer please let me know.
He has no protection before he kicks the ball (whether he moves nor not). Once he kicks the ball, he is protected (whether he moves or not) until he has reestablished himself. No difference at all here.
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Old Thu Sep 12, 2013, 11:19am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by johnnyg08 View Post
FED Football officials:

To what degree do you protect the punter while in punting formation begins to run laterally (either left or right) and then kicks the football?

Is he (the punter) afforded the same protection if he does or doesn't move laterally?

If I need to clarify any point of my question to get a better answer please let me know.
It's a two part thought process.

If the defender is not reasonably certain that a kick would be made due to the lateral movement AND the defender could not avoid the contact once the kick was made, then you have no foul.

If either of those test fail, it's still RTK.


9.4.5 SITUATION B: K1 in scrimmage-kick formation, muffs the snap, but quickly recovers and begins to run. However, K1 changes his mind and: (a) punts on the run; or (b) abruptly stops and punts. R1 is unable to stop his charge and forcibly contacts K1. R1 did not touch the kick. RULING: No foul in either (a) or (b) because it was not reasonably certain K1 was going to punt the ball. COMMENT: It is always roughing the kicker if the contact could have been avoided regardless of whether or not it was apparent a kick would be made. Only unavoidable contact is ignored if it is not reasonably certain a kick will be made.
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Old Thu Sep 12, 2013, 01:58pm
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A good philosophy I've heard is if the action by the defender is someone trying to tackle a runner you let it go. If the action is someone trying to block a kick you have roughing/running into the kicker. The latter would be a foul if the defender could have avoided the contact, but we are generally talking about pretty immediate action in these cases.
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Old Thu Sep 12, 2013, 03:34pm
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Originally Posted by bisonlj View Post
A good philosophy I've heard is if the action by the defender is someone trying to tackle a runner you let it go. If the action is someone trying to block a kick you have roughing/running into the kicker. The latter would be a foul if the defender could have avoided the contact, but we are generally talking about pretty immediate action in these cases.
I agree with that philosophy and would write it into the rules (in place of what they have now) if I could. The player who's acting like he's blocking a kick reveals he expected a kick, and therefore has the burden of avoiding contact. The player who looks like he's making a tackle should be judged only by the criteria of unnecessary roughness, in the form of contacting a player who's out of play.
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Old Thu Sep 12, 2013, 10:25pm
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I give a "running punter" the same type of protection I give a passing QB. If there is doubt that a punt will be made I am going to allow contact after he punts to the same degree i would allow contact on a QB after he passes. We seem to have more and more of those running rugby punts recently.
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Old Fri Sep 13, 2013, 10:10am
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I've been a white hat for over 30 years. I think when the punter takes off running, you have to give the defense a little more rope, especially if it is uncertain if the punter is going to run or kick.

If the contact occurs just as he kicks, I will likely not make a call provided the contact is not excessive.

Now if the punter does it numerous times, the defense should be aware and careful of what goes on.
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Old Fri Sep 13, 2013, 10:26am
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Originally Posted by whitehat View Post
I give a "running punter" the same type of protection I give a passing QB. If there is doubt that a punt will be made I am going to allow contact after he punts to the same degree i would allow contact on a QB after he passes. We seem to have more and more of those running rugby punts recently.
This is exactly what I tell a coach with a rugby punter who asks me that question. This is also what I tell the coach of the opponent when he asks me that question.

Frequently, I end up answering the question twice within 5 minutes.
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Old Fri Sep 13, 2013, 10:28am
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Originally Posted by SE Minnestoa Re View Post
I've been a white hat for over 30 years. I think when the punter takes off running, you have to give the defense a little more rope, especially if it is uncertain if the punter is going to run or kick.

If the contact occurs just as he kicks, I will likely not make a call provided the contact is not excessive.

Now if the punter does it numerous times, the defense should be aware and careful of what goes on.
I don't think they can be careful and I don't think the punter necessarily deserves it -- let's face it, the punter is (at times) evaluating whether or not he can continue to run and make the line-to-gain. I don't want to put the defense in a position where they don't pursue the runner because they are afraid they'll pick up a foul -- and then the running punter continues on for a first down.

Everyone expects that this rugby punter is going to get hit from time to time.
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Old Fri Sep 13, 2013, 10:53pm
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Originally Posted by whitehat View Post
We seem to have more and more of those running rugby punts recently.
What's strange is that the upsurge began after NCAA prohibited kicking from beyond the neutral zone. It's as if the rule change publicized possibilities.
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Old Sun Sep 15, 2013, 12:47am
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Originally Posted by johnnyg08 View Post
FED Football officials:

To what degree do you protect the punter while in punting formation begins to run laterally (either left or right) and then kicks the football?
Here's how I look at it.

If this was a passer, would you have called roughing the passer?

The standard is the same: Was the contact avoidable? If not, I've got nothing. If it was avoidable, the defender could have pulled up and didn't.
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