Author Topic: 'Trick' plays involving punts  (Read 359 times)

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Offline ElvisLives

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'Trick' plays involving punts
« on: April 02, 2024, 04:31:44 PM »
https://twitter.com/i/status/1774487979500691879

Copy/paste the address above to see a recent UFL play. Of course, they have very different rules, so it is worth reviewing NCAA rules to be sure we understand how to officiate the same type of plays, should we see them.

In the example, by NCAA rules, Team A started in a Scrimmage Kick Formation (SKF), with a holder within 7 yards of the Team A's line of scrimmage, and a player in position to ostensibly kick the ball, and nobody in position to receive a hand-to-hand snap. At that moment, had they snapped from that formation, they would have been allowed numbering exceptions. However, they did not have any numbering exceptions. Here is the formation (47 is the snapper):

Initial formation (SKF)
      55 67 75 47 71 79 88
     91                          45


                       4

                  19

Shift and motion, then snap
              55 67 75 47 71 79 88
            19                           45
91----------------------------------->


                             4

Team A has 5 linemen number 50-79, so no numbering exceptions.
Number 4 is only 7 yards behind the NZ, so NOT a SKF.

This is now just a somewhat 'normal' formation. Just that 55 is NOT eligible, even though he is the left end. Number 47 (snapper) is not eligible, since he is an interior lineman.
So, for NCAA, we'd have illegal touching. 5 yards from the previous spot, plus LOD.
55 didn't impede/restrict any defensive player trying to catch the pass, so no OPI.

Some NCAA coach will see this UFL play and think they can do this, too. No, Coach. You can't.





   
 

Offline ElvisLives

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Another 'trick' play involving a possible punt
« Reply #1 on: April 03, 2024, 03:03:23 PM »
See:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A0Phz26BGxI

(But don't pay any attention to the audio.)

OK, this is actually an NFHS contest, but this is worthy of discussion for NCAA. This is not a question of formation or eligibility, but, rather a possible violation of 7-3-8-c-4 (a pass thrown to simulate a kick, for either a completion, or, more likely, to induce a defensive pass interference foul). And maybe some other situations, as well.

On 4th/6, A-47, 6:03 (2), Team A snaps from a scrimmage kick formation. Almost immediately after receiving the snap, apparent punter A30 takes one step forward while changing to a throwing posture, and then takes a second step as he throws the ball downfield, toward A25 (who had run straight downfield from his backfield position at the snap). The pass has a clear ‘arcing’ trajectory, and is intercepted by B24 well downfield. A fraction of a second after the pass was released by A30, A25 was blocked to the ground by B2, beyond the NZ.

The issue is whether or not this constituted a 7-3-8-c-4 condition, which provides an exception to defensive pass interference rules, when Team A deceives Team B by making a pass that simulates a scrimmage kick, in hopes of either completing the pass for a first down, OR, more likely, inducing a defensive pass interference foul. In this case, the ball was clearly thrown with an arcing trajectory, more so than a routine pass.  Running directly down the field, A25 was not running a ‘pattern,’ to move to a clear area of the field.

We could argue that B2 saw the passer moving into a passing posture, and then saw A25 running downfield, and ‘read’ pass and ‘chose’ to block A25, to take him out of the play. On the other hand, one could argue that Team A purposely attempted to deceive Team B with a pass that appeared to be a kick.

The big problem is that we don’t have a really good idea from the rules, or the Rules Committee, as to what constitutes “…high and deep…” for this rule. Does the pass need to be at least as high above the ground as the distance it travels downfield? (How would we measure that?) Does it need to travel at least 40 yards downfield?

My opinion, for what it is worth, is that Team A wasn’t necessarily trying to complete this pass, even though the pass was not thrown really high. I believe the pass would have been well overthrown, had A25 not been blocked to the ground. I believe Team A was consciously attempting to draw a DPI foul. I would support a no-call for DPI. And then I would look a little more closely at the block by B2 on A25 as being a blind-side block.  And, I would look more closely at the block by B13 on A51 during the return; right hand clearly in the middle of the number, and the force of the block pushed A51 right by the BC as he was going by.

Discussion?

Offline dammitbobby

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Re: 'Trick' plays involving punts
« Reply #2 on: April 04, 2024, 09:27:39 AM »
I definitely would support a BIB call by B13 on A51, he clearly got him from the back and knocked him right out of the play.

I don't love a foul on B2 on A25 for BSB. I understand it's a safety rule (and I also recognize that I'm probably wrong in the strictest interpretation of the rule) but B has the right to the same space as A, and shouldn't be solely responsible for any contact between the two... and if A is running downfield, IMO he has some responsibility to be aware of his surroundings, and we shouldn't bail him out for not seeing what is almost directly in front of him, and almost stationary. A similar play was shared on a FB group a while back, and I was also in the minority there, but I think the spirit of the rule isn't to give A a free pass from contact just because they elect to turn their head.

Offline bossman72

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Re: 'Trick' plays involving punts
« Reply #3 on: April 04, 2024, 09:50:48 PM »
The big problem is that we don’t have a really good idea from the rules, or the Rules Committee, as to what constitutes “…high and deep…” for this rule.

This has been interpreted several different ways by several different supervisors.  We've never gotten clear information about it.

I wish we knew the play that created this rule change.  I think teams used to run a fake punt where the punter would throw the ball "high and deep" straight at the returner so it looks like a kick.  The returner would camp under it and the gunner would cut in front and catch it to the bewilderment of the returner.  That's probably the play they wanted to eliminate, but I'd love to see the year it came into the book and any unusual fake punts from the year or two before.

I'm not totally sure if they wanted to eliminate the deep pass down the sideline to the gunner where the return team person covering him is pressing him the whole way down field while the ball is in the air to draw a cheap DPI.

Offline ElvisLives

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Re: 'Trick' plays involving punts
« Reply #4 on: April 05, 2024, 08:39:19 AM »
This has been interpreted several different ways by several different supervisors.  We've never gotten clear information about it.

I wish we knew the play that created this rule change.  I think teams used to run a fake punt where the punter would throw the ball "high and deep" straight at the returner so it looks like a kick.  The returner would camp under it and the gunner would cut in front and catch it to the bewilderment of the returner.  That's probably the play they wanted to eliminate, but I'd love to see the year it came into the book and any unusual fake punts from the year or two before.

I'm not totally sure if they wanted to eliminate the deep pass down the sideline to the gunner where the return team person covering him is pressing him the whole way down field while the ball is in the air to draw a cheap DPI.

This evening, I will find the year this rule was put in place. But, as I recall, there was, in fact an incident where Team A actually threw the ball truly high into the air, and well downfield, and the trajectory of the ball was similar to a punted ball. Team B players, believing the ball to have been punted, blocked Team A players who were attempting to catch the ball, which drew a pass interference call. The rules committee decided this was not in the spirit of sportsmanship they desire for the game, and put this rule into place. It must have worked, because I have not seen or heard of any further incidences of this in NCAA football. But, as with so many 'obscure' rules, when it happens anywhere, you can expect to see it show up in other levels, until the message gets out that it is illegal.

Offline Kalle

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Re: 'Trick' plays involving punts
« Reply #5 on: April 05, 2024, 09:30:14 AM »
This evening, I will find the year this rule was put in place.

This was a 2004 change, so something probably happened during the 2003 season.

Offline ElvisLives

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Re: 'Trick' plays involving punts
« Reply #6 on: April 05, 2024, 09:41:04 AM »
This was a 2004 change, so something probably happened during the 2003 season.

Thanks, Kalle! Now I don’t have to look for it tonight.
It would still be nice to get some direction as to what constitutes, “…high and deep…”

Offline Etref

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Re: 'Trick' plays involving punts
« Reply #7 on: April 05, 2024, 11:13:17 AM »
It is like pornography, you’re supposed to know it when you see it
" I don't make the rules coach!"