Author Topic: 'Help' the ball to the endzone  (Read 7214 times)

Offline bbeagle

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'Help' the ball to the endzone
« on: November 13, 2013, 08:02:16 AM »
As far as I can tell this is legal, just haven't seen it before. Not sure why not - it seems like a 'smart' play, not in the spirit of the rules, but smart...

Play: R1 positioned at the 10 yard line to receive a punt, punt kicked to him in the air, instead of catching it, he reaches up, and doesn't catch or bat the ball, but 'cups and pushes' the ball very hard, towards his goal line in one motion. Sort of like a volleyball player would get called for handling the ball. It wasn't a catch and throw, but sort of a 'help' to get this ball into the end zone.

My judgement said this was more of an 'intentional muff', definitely not a 'catch and throw' - there was no possession. And it was all still a kick - a new force can't occur during a kick in flight.

Is this a 'smart' play to get a touch back? What would you call?


Offline HLinNC

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Re: 'Help' the ball to the endzone
« Reply #1 on: November 13, 2013, 08:12:23 AM »
2-2: Batting is intentionally slapping or striking the ball with the arm or hand.

9-7-ART. 2 . . . No player shall bat a loose ball other than a pass or a fumble in flight, or a low scrimmage kick in flight which he is attempting to block in or behind the expanded neutral zone.

So why would you think its legal?




Offline Curious

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Re: 'Help' the ball to the endzone
« Reply #2 on: November 13, 2013, 08:21:26 AM »
Actually an oft-discussed play by our crew - haven't seen it either.  Unless you rule this a "bat" of a loose ball in flight (2-2;9-7-2), the play IS a smart play.  Maybe that's why we haven't seen it "coached"... LOL

But then, I haven't worked a game involving AB's team.  ;D

We mostly see the possibility for this on kick-offs which cannot be handled by the receiving team near the goal line.  By simply "muffing" the ball across the goal line R could save themselves considerable field position. yEs:
 

Offline Ump33

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Re: 'Help' the ball to the endzone
« Reply #3 on: November 13, 2013, 08:26:25 AM »
2-2: Batting is intentionally slapping or striking the ball with the arm or hand.

9-7-ART. 2 . . . No player shall bat a loose ball other than a pass or a fumble in flight, or a low scrimmage kick in flight which he is attempting to block in or behind the expanded neutral zone.

So why would you think its legal?

+1 ...

My judgement said this was more of an 'intentional muff', definitely not a 'catch and throw' - there was no possession. And it was all still a kick - a new force can't occur during a kick in flight.

Is this a 'smart' play to get a touch back? What would you call?

I would call an 'intentional muff' an Illegal Bat

Offline Ralph Damren

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Re: 'Help' the ball to the endzone
« Reply #4 on: November 13, 2013, 08:33:12 AM »
I'm with my North Carolina buddy on this one. ^talk. PSK rules would apply resulting on 1st & 10 @ R's 5. If this was a free kick, it would have previous spot enforcement. Note : A good rule of  :thumbup as to : "was it a catch & fumble or was it a muff ????" is IF you would rule it a catch if it was a forward pass, rule it a catch. IF NOT, rule it a muff.
« Last Edit: November 14, 2013, 07:50:29 AM by Ralph Damren »

Offline Wingmanbp

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Re: 'Help' the ball to the endzone
« Reply #5 on: November 13, 2013, 09:54:02 AM »
No possession= no catch

Offline Ted T

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Re: 'Help' the ball to the endzone
« Reply #6 on: November 13, 2013, 11:09:39 AM »
Before you call this a foul, you'd want to be absolutely sure that it was intentional.  That is, one of those "if you think you have it, you don't" calls.  I wouldn't get myself in a tizzy thinking I missed something, because R has to get this just right to make it work.  A mistake could well result in K's recovery with prime field position.

If I'm coaching K, I'd want them to do this all day long.  There would be the high likelihood of a foul up that would give me great field position.

Offline HLinNC

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Re: 'Help' the ball to the endzone
« Reply #7 on: November 13, 2013, 12:53:46 PM »
R cups his hands and does a volleyball dig, I'm pretty sure it's intentional.

If R does botch it and K recovers, they're going to decline the penalty anyway.

Offline bbeagle

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Re: 'Help' the ball to the endzone
« Reply #8 on: November 13, 2013, 01:02:53 PM »
R cups his hands and does a volleyball dig, I'm pretty sure it's intentional.

Right. But it wasn't a 'bat', more of a 'move this sandbag to the next person in line'. I guess, we should call that a bat? Are we calling something where someone jumps in the air, catches the kick, then underhands it backwards before hitting the ground a bat as well? (It can't be a catch and throw since there is not a foot on the ground to make it a catch, and it can't be a new force, as it's still a kick in flight without possession)


Offline Johnponz

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Re: 'Help' the ball to the endzone
« Reply #9 on: November 13, 2013, 01:42:52 PM »
I would say by definition what you are describing is a bat

Offline jg-me

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Re: 'Help' the ball to the endzone
« Reply #10 on: November 13, 2013, 01:48:06 PM »
It is indeed a bat. Muffing the ball is the result of an accident and/or ineptitude. Batting is not.

Offline maven

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Re: 'Help' the ball to the endzone
« Reply #11 on: November 13, 2013, 01:58:17 PM »
The covering official will have to judge whether R possessed the ball. "Cup and push" might be sufficient to merit possession, but it's a judgment call.

With possession: this is a backward pass, legal, live ball into the EZ will result in either a safety (if it becomes dead there) or a TD (if K recovers it before it is dead).

With no possession: illegal bat, TB once the kick crosses the GL, R 1/10 @ R-10, clock on the snap.
Quality is not an act, it is a habit.
Aristotle

Offline Curious

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Re: 'Help' the ball to the endzone
« Reply #12 on: November 13, 2013, 03:34:51 PM »
It is indeed a bat. Muffing the ball is the result of an accident and/or ineptitude. Batting is not.

Not exactly...2-27 defines a muff as "an unsuccessful attempt to secure possession"; and does not differentiate between intentional or accidental.

As I said earlier, IF you believe an illegal bat occurred, throw the flag and deal with the subsequent mayhem.  If NOT, it's a TB - then deal with the mayhem....  Recommendation: don't over officiate.

Offline zoom

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Re: 'Help' the ball to the endzone
« Reply #13 on: November 13, 2013, 03:47:55 PM »
In the case of pushing the ball (in any direction), we can never consider that a muff, since you would never push away a ball that you are trying to possess.  Likewise, if you grab and then throw a ball before landing, you had clearly had no attempt to possess the ball yourself.  In my opinion, anytime you contact the ball but clearly do not intend to possess it, it is a bat. 

Offline HLinNC

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Re: 'Help' the ball to the endzone
« Reply #14 on: November 13, 2013, 04:12:08 PM »
 
Quote
But it wasn't a 'bat',


Try reading 2-2, again.

Offline bbeagle

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Re: 'Help' the ball to the endzone
« Reply #15 on: November 13, 2013, 07:19:23 PM »
In my opinion, anytime you contact the ball but clearly do not intend to possess it, it is a bat.

Not what the rule says.

Rule 2-2: Batting is intentionally slapping or striking the ball with the arm or hand.

I've always thought about batting as in hitting the ball like a punch or baseball bat. I don't follow that slapping or striking is the same as pushing the ball along or catching it in mid-air and throwing it back.

I guess batting could be interpreted as other things, but I've never thought it was.

Offline zoom

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Re: 'Help' the ball to the endzone
« Reply #16 on: November 13, 2013, 09:19:03 PM »
Not what the rule says.

Rule 2-2: Batting is intentionally slapping or striking the ball with the arm or hand.

I've always thought about batting as in hitting the ball like a punch or baseball bat. I don't follow that slapping or striking is the same as pushing the ball along or catching it in mid-air and throwing it back.

I guess batting could be interpreted as other things, but I've never thought it was.


That is correct, but what I am getting at is more the spirit of the rules.  There is nothing in the rulebook about catching and throwing a forward pass, for example, but I have seen a similar play on a forward pass interpreted as legal and it remains a forward pass.  I thought it was because any eligible receiver can bat a forward pass in any direction.  Even though the catch/throw is not mentioned in the rules. 

For example, consider the following play:

A forward pass and briefly possessed by an eligible airborne A81, who, realizing he will land out of bounds, throws the ball forward into the field of play, where it is caught by eligible A80 who is in bounds when he catches it.

I don't have the case play and interpretation in front of me, but I remember it was legal.  I also think we refs have some discretion on issues not specifically mentioned in the rules.  So, since volleyball setting a punt into your own endzone while airborne as described here is not a fumble, muff, or technically a bat, we have to use discretion. 

I would then go with fair/unfair advantage considerations.  It doesn't pass the fairness smell test that team R players can force a touchback by intentionally not possessing the kick.  So, I would rule it illegal.

And, it is easier to "sell" as an illegal batting call since we have a penalty enforcement already in the book for that one.

Anyway, it is only my opinion.  I only have 1 year as a varsity HS official under my belt, so I'm sure there are more experienced people out there who can chime in on how to utilize ref discretion in this case.



Offline bama_stripes

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Re: 'Help' the ball to the endzone
« Reply #17 on: November 14, 2013, 06:04:11 AM »
I'm adding this to my list of "won't lose sleep over" plays.

If I judge that R is trying to get an undeserved advantage, I'll   ^flag  and let 'em start at the R-10.

Offline HLinNC

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Re: 'Help' the ball to the endzone
« Reply #18 on: November 14, 2013, 07:11:45 AM »
bat = striking the ball with the hand

You can't define a term by using it in the definition so don't tell me it's "not a bat" because of the cupping of the hands.  The play doesn't pass the smell test.  If R wants to dig it, let him go play volleyball.

I'm with Bama. :thumbup

Offline Ralph Damren

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Re: 'Help' the ball to the endzone
« Reply #19 on: November 14, 2013, 07:26:32 AM »
 :thumbup :thumbup :thumbup I'm with all you guys that want an illegal bat - the player is attempting to "game" the system and hopes the back judge is asleep. :!# - FLAG 'EM ^flag. Now that we've settled that, where the foul occurred at R's 10 would this fall under the "all-but-one" principle and bring the ball back to the five ??? ???? I'll be a' sipping my lobster flavored latte and awaiting your answers....

Offline zoom

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Re: 'Help' the ball to the endzone
« Reply #20 on: November 14, 2013, 07:40:11 AM »
Since the kick ended in the end zone, the result of the play is a touchback and the basic spot is the 20 yard line (the succeeding spot).  The spot of the foul is the R 10 yard line, which is behind the basic spot.  Therefore, the penalty will be enforced from the spot of the foul under PSK enforcement, half the distance to the goalline from the 10 yard line.  It will be 1st and 10 for Team R at the R 5 yard line.

« Last Edit: November 14, 2013, 07:41:46 AM by zoom »

Offline VALJ

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Re: 'Help' the ball to the endzone
« Reply #21 on: November 14, 2013, 08:39:23 AM »
I'll be a' sipping my lobster flavored latte and awaiting your answers....

Yuck.

Offline Curious

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Re: 'Help' the ball to the endzone
« Reply #22 on: November 14, 2013, 08:44:56 AM »
So, would you flag a kick which had been grounded and "muffed" into the end zone? For those who can read the mind of the R player  tiphat:, is there - or should there be a difference?  :angel:

Offline HLinNC

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Re: 'Help' the ball to the endzone
« Reply #23 on: November 14, 2013, 09:01:53 AM »
Sticking to the original OP, I think we have a pretty obvious, overt act.  "Muffing" on purpose, maybe not so much.

HTBT

We can what if crap to death.  We can pull wild scenarios out our yazz all day.
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Offline Ralph Damren

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Re: 'Help' the ball to the endzone
« Reply #24 on: November 14, 2013, 09:06:30 AM »
So, would you flag a kick which had been grounded and "muffed" into the end zone? For those who can read the mind of the R player  tiphat:, is there - or should there be a difference?  :angel:
Muffed into the end zone, no; illegally batted into the end zone ,Yes. For those of us that can read minds, we should be in the circus :bOW For those of us that can read actions of intent, being a zebra is a good place to be. P_S