Author Topic: "Kicking Ball"  (Read 6566 times)

Offline SCHSref

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"Kicking Ball"
« on: January 07, 2015, 07:11:30 AM »
Anyone ever had an issue with something of this nature.  A team wants a certain ball for punts and kickoffs but refuses to use it for other plays in the series?  Just curious here....how did you handle it?
If you didn't see it, you can't call it

Offline Atlanta Blue

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Re: "Kicking Ball"
« Reply #1 on: January 07, 2015, 07:45:26 AM »
For kickoffs, no problem.  They can use any legal ball you approve (1-3-2: "Each team may use any referee-approved ball of its choice to free kick or start a new series of downs").  Since it's not part of a continuing series, they can bring in a new ball.  Nothing says they then have to bring it in for scrimmage plays.

For punts, FGs and tries, you use the ball that's in the game.

That being said:  In this area, balls are typically rotated on every play.  My ball boys know exactly which ball the punter likes to use.  If it's 4th down, we just make sure that's the ball he hands to the official to rotate in.  Nothing illegal about it, it's a ball that the officials approved before the game.

What's the difference?  QBS and receivers want a ball that is underinflated.  It's easier to grip, and far easier to catch.  Punters (and to some degree, kickers) want a ball that's inflated to the limit.  Part of the distance on a kick is the trampoline effect of the ball compressing when kicked, then expanding after it leaves the foot.  Kicking an underinflated ball is like kicking a sponge, it isn't going to go anywhere.

Most "kicking balls" are actually inflated legally.  Many "scrimmage" balls are below the legal inflation limits, but no one complains about those.  If you can compress the ball more than a 1/4" along a seam by pressing with your thumbs, either you're Superman, or the ball is under 12 lbs of pressure.  I've had numerous officials tell me "kicking balls" aren't legal, but in 16 years, I've had ONE crew tell me the scrimmage balls were underinflated.

If a punter is trying to sneak in a "pumpkin" (the name we give an old ball that is slick, over inflated, the stripes are worn, and the ball looks more round than "prolate spheroid"), that ball should never have been approved before the game.

Offline Rulesman

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Re: "Kicking Ball"
« Reply #2 on: January 07, 2015, 07:56:53 AM »
+1 AB. Probably the best explanation I've seen on the issue.

Bottom line, except in the NFL, there is no such thing as a "kicking" ball. If it's a ball that was approved for use prior to the game, it's good enough to use on any down. See Fed rules 1-3-2 and 1-3-3.
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Offline Jim D.

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Re: "Kicking Ball"
« Reply #3 on: January 07, 2015, 08:18:46 AM »
Kickoffs aren't a problem - the kicking team provides whatever ball they want for the down. 

On 4th down, they use the ball that's in the game at the time.  We do not rotate balls in - unless it's weather related, there is no reason to and most teams don't have the people to handle a good rotation so we just don't do it.

It's really not an issue in my area.  Teams don't expect it or ask for it, and we don't allow for it.

Offline bossman72

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Re: "Kicking Ball"
« Reply #4 on: January 07, 2015, 08:39:57 AM »

Most "kicking balls" are actually inflated legally.  Many "scrimmage" balls are below the legal inflation limits, but no one complains about those.  If you can compress the ball more than a 1/4" along a seam by pressing with your thumbs, either you're Superman, or the ball is under 12 lbs of pressure.  I've had numerous officials tell me "kicking balls" aren't legal, but in 16 years, I've had ONE crew tell me the scrimmage balls were underinflated.

To add to this:  the QB's usually liked the newer footballs right out of the package.  Those are hard as a rock and terrible to kick!  This is why the kicking ball tries to get snuck in.

Offline VALJ

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Re: "Kicking Ball"
« Reply #5 on: January 07, 2015, 09:08:25 AM »
One time I had a ball submitted that I wasn't going to approve, and I got a bit of grief about it.  I asked that team's quarterback if he'd be willing to throw that ball on 3rd down.  He said no.  They gave me a better football then.

Offline Atlanta Blue

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Re: "Kicking Ball"
« Reply #6 on: January 07, 2015, 09:15:02 AM »
To add to this:  the QB's usually liked the newer footballs right out of the package.  Those are hard as a rock and terrible to kick!  This is why the kicking ball tries to get snuck in.
No one wants a leather ball right out of the box.  They are slick as a back road in Maine in February (tossed that in there for Ralph).  They need to be brushed (best way is with a horse hair shoe brush, which is what the NFL does).  We had a former NFL QB as a coach, and he used to toss new balls in the dryer with a towel for a few minutes.  Currently, we pull them out on Thursday and use them for walk through and Friday warmups to get that slickness off of them.

But to your point, kickers want the seams "cracked", in order to improve that trampoline effect.  When I was the Research Director for the company that owned Spalding, we worked on a "precracked" seam, as well as a three panel ball so that kickers weren't even kicking a seam.  The first was too expensive for the general market, the second wasn't approved by the NFHS or the NCAA (although I think we could have worked on that if the company hadn't been sold).

Interesting point along the same lines.  A ball used in an NBA game is usually 6 months old, not new.  New leather balls are slick as glass, they need to have the leather "broken in".  Each team receives a shipment of new balls each year (used to be 60, don't know if that has changed), but those are tossed into the practice gym.  It isn't until they have been used there for about 6 months before they get put on the rack of "game balls".

The NBA is the only league still using real leather.  Everyone else, (including the NCAA) has gone to synthetics, which can be used the day they arrive.  We made a synthetic ball for the NBA, proved it was a better ball, and players hated it.  Paul Pierce even told us: "Don't take leather balls out of the NBA.  Playing with a leather ball says, 'You've arrived, you're in the show now."  Dwayne Wade claimed the synthetic ball "cut his hands".  Shaq went on TV complaining about it.  I kept the one I had, it's now a collectors item!

Offline TampaSteve

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Re: "Kicking Ball"
« Reply #7 on: January 07, 2015, 09:17:16 AM »
So all in all, when balls are approved, the old dingy ball (aka "kicking ball) with no grip and the stripe has worn away probably should not be approved to begin with.

Offline Ralph Damren

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Re: "Kicking Ball"
« Reply #8 on: January 07, 2015, 09:35:08 AM »
Several years ago, there was a proposal to remove the limitation of 4 seams per football.

It was experimented with in one state.

A manufacturer showed up at our meeting with an 8 seamed football.

Our ques : " How do the players like them?"

Response : "QBs love 'em...kickers hate 'em - but they can always 'smuggle in' their old ball."

Proposal failed.

Offline FLAHL

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Re: "Kicking Ball"
« Reply #9 on: January 07, 2015, 10:12:33 AM »
If you can compress the ball more than a 1/4" along a seam by pressing with your thumbs, either you're Superman, or the ball is under 12 lbs of pressure. 

Our association provides chain crew and ball "boys" for the local Arena League team.  I worked a few games over the years, and I was absolutely shocked at how hard the balls were.  It gave me a whole new level of appreciation for the circus catches we see out there.
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Offline Rulesman

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Re: "Kicking Ball"
« Reply #10 on: January 07, 2015, 10:42:26 AM »
No one wants a leather ball right out of the box.
I know of one former HS coach who now the head man at an FBS school who might debate that issue.

True story. Before the days of everyone having turf, I worked a playoff game for him one very cold, very rainy, and very muddy November night. He brought 40 brand new balls so his QB had something decent to throw. For that school, money was not a factor. And believe me when I say 40 balls right out of the box didn't bother them a bit.
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Offline Atlanta Blue

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Re: "Kicking Ball"
« Reply #11 on: January 07, 2015, 11:07:32 AM »
I know of one former HS coach who now the head man at an FBS school who might debate that issue.

True story. Before the days of everyone having turf, I worked a playoff game for him one very cold, very rainy, and very muddy November night. He brought 40 brand new balls so his QB had something decent to throw. For that school, money was not a factor. And believe me when I say 40 balls right out of the box didn't bother them a bit.
We order 24 new game balls a year, and bring out 2 per week (private school with a good, but not unlimited budget).  If we didn't break them in a little on Thursday, no receiver would ever make a catch away from his body.
We also buy 3 "kicking balls" (kickers prefer a different brand of ball).  Have to crack the seam on those, but those 3 will last all year, often a couple of years.

On game night, we present 7 balls to the officials before the game: the two new ones from that week, the 4 from the previous 2 weeks as backups, and the "kicking ball".  Some officials pick up every ball, check them carefully, then initial them.  Some officials look at them lined up on the bench and say, "They're fine", never touching the balls.

In practice, it'a a running joke as to the hierarchy of practice balls.  QBs get the 6 best balls (the pearls).  DBs get 4-6 good ones (the head coach coaches DBs).  Wide receivers get 6-8 decent ones, running backs get 4-6 that are OK.  Linebackers get 2 that are pretty bad, kickers get everything left over.  We start the year with 20, usually end with about a dozen.  The kickers have gotten to be very good scavengers, stealing a few good balls from everyone but the QBs.

Offline Tom.OH

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Re: "Kicking Ball"
« Reply #12 on: January 07, 2015, 11:58:01 AM »
One time I had a ball submitted that I wasn't going to approve, and I got a bit of grief about it.  I asked that team's quarterback if he'd be willing to throw that ball on 3rd down.  He said no.  They gave me a better football then.

Many years ago I subbed on a crew with a veteran R. Home team gave us the game balls to ok. They wanted us to ok their kicking ball. It looked to be "very used" and the R would not ok it. Head coach said it was ok last week so the R asked the QB if he would use that ball for the first 2 series and he said NO. R looked at the coach and said if he won't us it neither will we. Never saw that ball during the game.
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Offline Atlanta Blue

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Re: "Kicking Ball"
« Reply #13 on: January 07, 2015, 12:09:59 PM »
Many years ago I subbed on a crew with a veteran R. Home team gave us the game balls to ok. They wanted us to ok their kicking ball. It looked to be "very used" and the R would not ok it. Head coach said it was ok last week so the R asked the QB if he would use that ball for the first 2 series and he said NO. R looked at the coach and said if he won't us it neither will we. Never saw that ball during the game.
So if the QB had said, "Sure", does that mean the R would let it in?  If so, we just need our QB to take one for the team in order to get  "pumpkin" into the game!  If you are a running team and aren't going to throw the ball anyway, give me the pumpkin!

Offline Rulesman

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Re: "Kicking Ball"
« Reply #14 on: January 07, 2015, 01:10:01 PM »
Got to be careful with the questions. They could come back to bite you.  hEaDbAnG
"Gentlemen, we are going to relentlessly chase perfection, knowing full well we will not catch it, because nothing is perfect. But we are going to relentlessly chase it, because in the process we will catch excellence. I am not remotely interested in just being good."
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Offline dch

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Re: "Kicking Ball"
« Reply #15 on: January 07, 2015, 01:24:17 PM »
Thanks for your initial reply in this thread AB.  I agree with Rulesman - great explanation re "kicking ball".

I will file it away for the basis of a class discussion for next season.

 tiphat:

Offline VALJ

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Re: "Kicking Ball"
« Reply #16 on: January 07, 2015, 02:05:44 PM »
Many years ago I subbed on a crew with a veteran R. Home team gave us the game balls to ok. They wanted us to ok their kicking ball. It looked to be "very used" and the R would not ok it. Head coach said it was ok last week so the R asked the QB if he would use that ball for the first 2 series and he said NO. R looked at the coach and said if he won't us it neither will we. Never saw that ball during the game.

So if the QB had said, "Sure", does that mean the R would let it in?  If so, we just need our QB to take one for the team in order to get  "pumpkin" into the game!  If you are a running team and aren't going to throw the ball anyway, give me the pumpkin!

Aye, there's the rub.  I probably wouldn't have taken the chance on a varsity game. 

I've held the idea in reserve of asking the coach if he'd want his QB throwing that ball with the game on the line, though.  Just another arrow in my metaphorical quiver...

Offline HLinNC

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Re: "Kicking Ball"
« Reply #17 on: January 07, 2015, 02:53:02 PM »
I love it when the assistant coach looks at us crosseyed when we say "There's no such thing coach."

My first round playoff game had a charter school from out of the area playing on a high seed home team from our region.  They went apoplecitic on a FG attempt in the first half when I wouldn't take the "kicking ball" in from the ball boy (who had not done his job the whole game to that point but that's another story).  They end up taking a delay of game and think, "now we can change balls".  No, you can't.

End story- they get beat 88 to 40-something, three assistants get USC's with about 9:00 to go in the 4th, including one sent to the bus.  HC was a nice guy but he had no control over his staff. 

Offline AlUpstateNY

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Re: "Kicking Ball"
« Reply #18 on: January 07, 2015, 02:56:25 PM »
So if the QB had said, "Sure", does that mean the R would let it in?  If so, we just need our QB to take one for the team in order to get  "pumpkin" into the game!  If you are a running team and aren't going to throw the ball anyway, give me the pumpkin!

Just because a player answers a question (loaded or not) wrong, doesn't mean you're stuck with his answer.

Offline prab

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Re: "Kicking Ball"
« Reply #19 on: January 07, 2015, 04:04:30 PM »
HC was a nice guy but he had no control over his staff.

If there is justice in the universe, these assistants should now be referred to as his "former staff'.

Offline HLinNC

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Re: "Kicking Ball"
« Reply #20 on: January 07, 2015, 05:06:17 PM »
Quote
If there is justice in the universe, these assistants should now be referred to as his "former staff'.

Hard to say.  Charter schools, particularly one big enough to play football, are a recent phenomenon in NC.
The founding coach for this one left after 3 years and I think the new guy was promoted up last spring.
My guess is many of the AC's were probably volunteers, maybe even dads who saw a chance to start out with junior on the ground floor of the program, as I would expect better out of paid, professional teachers.  These cats acted pretty much like youth league coaches in their behavior/verbiage.

Offline NorCalMike

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Re: "Kicking Ball"
« Reply #21 on: January 07, 2015, 07:41:33 PM »
In our area, most QB's like old balls. I'm not sure why. As the U, I find them slick but I guess that's not my problem. Big problem comes in the playoff where Wilson is one of the sponsor. CIF requires us only to approve only new or nearly new Wilson footballs with an NFHS stamp. Each school in the playoffs received new balls from free but didn't get the balls until 1 day before first playoff games. So all year long the schools can use whatever ball they want as long as it meets the rules and suddenly when the big game comes they want to change the rules. The coaches were not happy. My crew wasn't real strict on what constitutes nearly new.

Offline Atlanta Blue

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Re: "Kicking Ball"
« Reply #22 on: January 07, 2015, 08:03:10 PM »
Big problem comes in the playoff where Wilson is one of the sponsor. CIF requires us only to approve only new or nearly new Wilson footballs with an NFHS stamp. Each school in the playoffs received new balls from free but didn't get the balls until 1 day before first playoff games. So all year long the schools can use whatever ball they want as long as it meets the rules and suddenly when the big game comes they want to change the rules.
Same in Georgia, as it in many states.  The fact that we have to use Wilson balls for the playoffs is the reason our OC wants to use them all year - he doesn't want the QBs to have to get used to a new ball for the playoffs.  And it's the reason the ball companies pay the state associations to be the "official ball".

Offline bama_stripes

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Re: "Kicking Ball"
« Reply #23 on: January 08, 2015, 07:22:20 AM »
Same in Georgia, as it in many states. 
And here.  The vast majority use Wilson throughout the season, although I've noticed a few Nikes here and there.  And, FWIW, I rarely see a Diamond baseball anymore, for the same reason.

Offline VALJ

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Re: "Kicking Ball"
« Reply #24 on: January 08, 2015, 07:27:52 AM »
And here.  The vast majority use Wilson throughout the season, although I've noticed a few Nikes here and there.  And, FWIW, I rarely see a Diamond baseball anymore, for the same reason.

Here too.  The only time I may have seen a ball other the Wilson in the last three years is the private schools, but I think even most of them are using the same ball, too.