Author Topic: Rule 7-2-2-a-2 (4th down fumble rule) in combo with Rule 3-4-3 (snap vs ready)  (Read 677 times)

Offline #92

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Once again, my question originated from a play of one of Romís quizzes:

Quote from: http://www.romgilbert.us/q-1613q.htm: 2016 quiz #13 question #7
PLAY: 4th/goal B14. The score is A25-B28. A88 catches a legal forward pass, advances and fumbles on B's 4. A55 recovers the ball in Team B's end zone. B96 roughs the passer. Two seconds remain in the fourth quarter. Game clock?

Quote from: http://www.romgilbert.us/q-1613a.htm: 2016 quiz #13 answer #7
RULING: A 1/goal B2; Snap. The ball is returned to the spot of the fourth down fumble, B's 4. The result of the play is not a touchdown as the ball is returned to the spot of the fourth down fumble. Therefore, the clock was stopped only to complete the penalty. Team B is ahead in the score (or the game is tied) and Team A will elect to have the clock started on the snap per 3-4-3. If Team A earned a first down on B's 4, then there was another reason to stop the clock and the clock would start on the ready. That's the interpretation of the crew at World Headquarters. There was no change of team possession during the down. Therefore, the 15-yard penalty for B96's roughing the passer foul is enforced half the distance from the end of A88's run, B's 4.

Rom states the clock only stopped to complete the penalty. But since itís 4th down, the clock stopped the moment A55 picked up the fumble, as per Rule Rule 7-2-2-a-2.

Quote from: Rule 7-2-2-a-2
On fourth down before a change of team possession, when a Team A fumble is caught or recovered by a Team A player other than the fumbler, the ball is dead. If the catch or recovery is beyond the spot of the fumble, the ball is returned to the spot of the fumble. If the catch or recovery is behind the spot of the fumble, the ball remains at the spot of the catch or recovery

In fact, on 4th down, the clock stops no matter what happens during the play. So if thereís a foul (that doesnít qualify for ZAP-10) on 4th down, the clock is always stopped for at least 2 reasons. How does that relate to Rule 3-4-3?

Quote from: Rule 3-4-3
The referee has broad authority in the timing of the game. He shall order the game clock or play clock started or stopped whenever either team conserves or consumes playing time by tactics obviously unfair. This includes starting the game clock on the snap if the foul is by the team ahead in the score. If the game clock is stopped only to complete a penalty for a foul by the team ahead in the score inside the last two minutes of a half, it will start on the snap, at the option of the offended team. The game clock will start on the ready-for-play signal after Team A throws an illegal forward or backward pass to conserve time (Rule 3-3-2-e-14) (A.R. 3-4-3-I-V).

Offline Bwest

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On 4th down, the clock stops no matter what, but one of those reasons may be only due to penalty. Take the following case:

A 4/10 @ A-40. A12's forward pass is caught at the A-48 where he is downed. B78 was in the neutral zone at the snap.

In this case, we aren't stopping the clock to award a first down to either team, so the only reason is to enforce the foul. Rom's play is similar. The ball is treated as if it had become dead at the 4 yard line due to the 4th down fumble rule. A did not earn a first down and B will not next snap the ball, so the only reason for stopping the clock was to administer the foul.


Offline #92

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On 4th down, the clock stops no matter what, but one of those reasons may be only due to penalty. Take the following case:

A 4/10 @ A-40. A12's forward pass is caught at the A-48 where he is downed. B78 was in the neutral zone at the snap.

In this case, we aren't stopping the clock to award a first down to either team, so the only reason is to enforce the foul. Rom's play is similar. The ball is treated as if it had become dead at the 4 yard line due to the 4th down fumble rule. A did not earn a first down and B will not next snap the ball, so the only reason for stopping the clock was to administer the foul.
I see your point... I was incorrect about Rule 7-2-2-a-2 stopping the clock. It only states "the ball is dead", which of course doesn't necessarily have an impact on the game clock. hEaDbAnG

In your play, if A12 would be downed at B-45, I suppose that would stop the clock for two reasons (Rule 3-3-e-1 AND Rule 3-3-e-4). Or should we still treat this as ONLY per Rule 3-3-e-4 and again give the offended team the option as per Rule 3-4-3 (provided they're not leading)?
« Last Edit: August 10, 2017, 11:17:13 AM by #92 »

Online Kalle

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I think you can deduce this by looking closely at A.R's 3-3-2-I-III. In the first two no mention is made about the clock stopping to award team B a first down but in the third there is.

Offline ElvisLives

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It might be helpful to think a completely different way.  Don't get hung up on what stopped the clock.  Think about what will happen next, i.e, when will the clock next start, and why.  As others have said, Team B will not next snap the ball, and Team A hasn't earned a new series.  So, those things don't govern.  So, what else is there?  Ah. Completion of the roughing the passer penalty. After completion of the penalty, the clock would 'normally' start on the referee's signal.  But, in this case, i.e., inside 2 minutes in the half, the clock is to start on the snap (unless A elects otherwise, which they won't do, in this case).

In the absence of the roughing foul, Team B would next snap the ball; so the clock would start on the snap.

Had this been 4/10, B-14, and no roughing foul, Team A would be awarded a new series, so the clock would start on the referee's signal.

Just another way to think of things.

Robert
 

Online Kalle

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It might be helpful to think a completely different way.  Don't get hung up on what stopped the clock.  Think about what will happen next, i.e, when will the clock next start, and why.  As others have said, Team B will not next snap the ball, and Team A hasn't earned a new series.  So, those things don't govern.  So, what else is there?  Ah. Completion of the roughing the passer penalty. After completion of the penalty, the clock would 'normally' start on the referee's signal.  But, in this case, i.e., inside 2 minutes in the half, the clock is to start on the snap (unless A elects otherwise, which they won't do, in this case).

This happens to work on this instance, but I don't think it is a general rule so applying it would not be a good choice. A.R. 3-4-3-VI-b is an immediate counter-example, as there the clock is first apparently stopped both for team A 1st down and penalty, but the 1st down then disappears after penalty enforcement. There is no option for team B, as the clock is stopped for two reasons.

Offline ElvisLives

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Kale, it is just another way to look at clock management.  Rather than "why the clock stopped," look at what ultimately happened after the clock stopped, and what the rules say about starting the clock.

In "a", the clock will start on the ready for play, because 3-2-3-e-4 says to start the clock on the R's signal following completion of a penalty.  Yes, there is an exception that allows the offended team to elect to have the clock started on the snap, with less than 2 minutes in the 2nd or 4th periods.  But the basic rule is that the clock starts on the ready after completing a penalty (and there is no other superseding reason to start it on the snap). 
In "b", there is still no superseding reason to start the clock on the snap, so 3-2-3-e-4 still governs, and the clock starts on the ready.

But, let's say A scores an apparent TD on the play.  Completion of the penalty and the apparent score both stop the clock.  But, the apparent score supersedes the completion of the penalty, with respect to starting the clock, so the clock would start on the snap.
Or, the BC goes OB.  The clock stopped both for the OB and to complete the penalty, but the rules governing when the clock starts take over.  If inside 2 mins in the half, the clock starts on the snap, which would also supersede completion of the penalty, and it starts on the snap.

In your AR example, the clock stopped both for the OB and to complete the penalty, but the rules governing when the clock starts take over. 

As a Referee, I don't care what stopped the clock.  I only care about when, by rule, I am to start the clock.  There may be multiple apparent reasons to stop the clock, but ultimately, there is a single governing reason to start the clock.

Offline Morningrise

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I'm reading through this thread a few weeks later and I'm confused by Rom's reasoning.

I can't figure out why there's a difference between "The clock stopped only to complete a penalty" and "The clock would not have stopped in the absence of a flag."

The original quiz question describes a down where, even if there are no fouls, the covering official still kills the clock via signal S3. A flag here is not turning a running-clock situation into a stopped-clock situation.

So how does the condition "the game clock is stopped only to complete a penalty" (3-4-3) hold?

And if I'm truly supposed to invoke 3-4-3 in this situation, then what should I use as a memory aid? I used to say "would the clock have stopped anyway?" but that doesn't seem accurate from what I'm reading.

Maybe the rule should read "If the game clock is stopped only to complete a penalty (or to award a first down to Team B which is nullified by a penalty)" - is that accurate now? Is that what I should try to memorize?

Offline #92

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Maybe the rule should read "If the game clock is stopped only to complete a penalty (or to award a first down to Team B which is nullified by a penalty)" - is that accurate now? Is that what I should try to memorize?
That's indeed what I took from this discussion. And since Rule 3-3-2-d-3 explicitly includes "and will next snap the ball", it's not all that illogical...