Author Topic: Fair Catch kick without informing officials  (Read 2120 times)

Offline bbeagle

  • *
  • Posts: 406
  • FAN REACTION: +5/-27
Fair Catch kick without informing officials
« on: September 06, 2017, 03:31:05 PM »
Receiver catches a punt on the K35 with a fair catch.  Whistle. Team K says nothing to the officials, substitutes players for next play.

Ball placed. Down markers set up, first down called, offense huddles, defense in formation. Nothing out of the ordinary, seems typical for a change-of-possession, 1st down on offense.

Referee blows the RFP...

Out of the huddle, the offense spreads in a line, runs up to the ball, and the center person of the formation kicks the ball into the defensive player right in front of the ball. (Team A is attempting a fieldgoal on a free kick, but never told the official)

Where in the book does it state that the offense must tell the official that their choice is to go for a field goal? It doesn't say in the rulebook that they must say they're taking a scrimmage play either!  :)

What's the call?


Offline ChicagoZebra

  • *
  • Posts: 109
  • FAN REACTION: +2/-1
  • Without officials... it is only recess.
Re: Fair Catch kick without informing officials
« Reply #1 on: September 06, 2017, 03:34:53 PM »
Fun one! The defensive player would also be retroactively guilty of ENC once the RFP was blown?  :sTiR:

Offline ncwingman

  • *
  • Posts: 494
  • FAN REACTION: +28/-2
  • Without officials... it is only recess.
Re: Fair Catch kick without informing officials
« Reply #2 on: September 06, 2017, 04:05:31 PM »
I think you can have rule evidence to suggest this is not legal.

4-1-2: A free kick shall also put the ball in play: c) When a free kick is chosen following a fair catch [etc...]

4-1-3: A snap shall, if elected, put the ball in play when a free kick is not specified

The "if elected" part in 4-1-3 is bothering me a bit, but the rest of the rules suggest that the free kick must be deliberately chosen and specified, otherwise it defaults to a snap.

I'm also thinking that attempting to free kick a ball that should be put in play by a snap is a snap infraction... maybe it's a false start by the kicker? Fundamentally the snapper/holder didn't commit a foul if he never moves...

Fun one! The defensive player would also be retroactively guilty of ENC once the RFP was blown?  :sTiR:

I'm not 100% certain, but I think you could get sufficient rule justification that you don't have retroactive encroachment -- for encroachment purposes, a substitute is only a player once he's on the correct side of the neutral zone -- therefore, if the defensive line is within the 10 yard belt at the RFP, they are still "substitutes" and therefore not encroaching.

Now, they must be on their side of the neutral zone at the snap (or free kick), so this becomes a live ball foul for illegal substitution at the kick -- but not at the RFP.

The catch that I'm not sure of -- if one (or more) of the defensive lineman was also on special teams, and therefore played the previous down... can you be an illegal substitute without ever having left the field? The rule is for an entering substitute, but you wouldn't flag encroachment for a slow moving D-lineman during a hurry-up offense...

Offline Rulesman

  • The Keeper of the Keys
  • Administrator
  • ***
  • Posts: 3835
  • FAN REACTION: +310/-238
  • Live like tomorrow never comes.
Re: Fair Catch kick without informing officials
« Reply #3 on: September 06, 2017, 05:08:34 PM »
Did you consider illegally kicking the ball? Also remember free kick lines must be established (6-1)
"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."
- Vince Lombardi

Offline CalhounLJ

  • *
  • Posts: 406
  • FAN REACTION: +11/-16
  • Without officials... it is only recess.
Fair Catch kick without informing officials
« Reply #4 on: September 06, 2017, 08:48:03 PM »
Did you consider illegally kicking the ball? Also remember free kick lines must be established (6-1)
I thought about illegal kicking but I'm not sure you can call a foul for illegal kicking in this situation. Maybe something like delay of game. Maybe I'm wrong though. If the defense came up and kicked it before the snapper placed his hands on it I'd have delay of game. 


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

Offline prab

  • *
  • Posts: 530
  • FAN REACTION: +33/-35
  • Wherever you go, there you are!
Re: Fair Catch kick without informing officials
« Reply #5 on: September 06, 2017, 09:35:14 PM »
In the OP, the RFP whistle sounded before K broke its huddle.  Therefore, all but the eventual kicker must have huddled between the K-40 and K-35.

I realize that this doesn't address the question of whether K has to notify the officials of its intent to attempt a free kick FG, but it does give the officials a reason to stop the play if applicable.

Offline Rulesman

  • The Keeper of the Keys
  • Administrator
  • ***
  • Posts: 3835
  • FAN REACTION: +310/-238
  • Live like tomorrow never comes.
Re: Fair Catch kick without informing officials
« Reply #6 on: September 06, 2017, 11:56:52 PM »
I thought about illegal kicking but I'm not sure you can call a foul for illegal kicking in this situation. Maybe something like delay of game. Maybe I'm wrong though. If the defense came up and kicked it before the snapper placed his hands on it I'd have delay of game. 


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
DOG would work. That ran through my mind too. I mean, how are you to know to set up for a free kick with the 10 yard NZ unless they tell you. How was the ball kicked? Place kick or drop kick?
"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."
- Vince Lombardi

Offline Stinterp

  • *
  • Posts: 79
  • FAN REACTION: +3/-5
Re: Fair Catch kick without informing officials
« Reply #7 on: September 07, 2017, 06:56:45 AM »
Why not just shut it down when you see Team A lining up for a free kick.  This is such an unusual play, I would just have them line up correctly if that is what team A chooses to do. No harm, no foul.

Offline Ralph Damren

  • *
  • Posts: 2469
  • FAN REACTION: +294/-27
  • Without officials... it is only recess.
Re: Fair Catch kick without informing officials
« Reply #8 on: September 07, 2017, 07:22:45 AM »
I vote for delay of game, as it certainly would.

I would NOT vote for K/A's coach as Coach of the Year, as what was this supposed to accomplish  :o ??? ::) :!# ???

Offline AlUpstateNY

  • *
  • Posts: 3270
  • FAN REACTION: +252/-472
Re: Fair Catch kick without informing officials
« Reply #9 on: September 07, 2017, 09:07:22 AM »




If ever there was a clusterxxxx getting ready to happen, this sounds like it.  You can choose to allow it to unfold and then wade through a deep mud puddle of possible sins and theoretical cures, or stop it COLD, verify what is going on and assist in getting the train back on it's tracks.

This might also serve as a teaching opportunity regarding appropriate communication protocol FROM the sideline.
« Last Edit: September 07, 2017, 09:09:52 AM by AlUpstateNY »

Offline bbeagle

  • *
  • Posts: 406
  • FAN REACTION: +5/-27
Re: Fair Catch kick without informing officials
« Reply #10 on: September 07, 2017, 10:02:58 AM »
If ever there was a clusterxxxx getting ready to happen, this sounds like it.

Agreed.

But if something like this occurred, in the 2 seconds this unfolded (not knowing the ball was going to be kicked until the last moment), and the ball was kicked into the defensive player, you might be stunned by what happened.

Now, you'd kill the play... but what would you do after?

1) 'Hold on, hold on guys. This is ridiculous'.... and just TALK to the coaches, and treat it as a mulligan / do-over?
2) Delay of game?
3) Unsportsmanlike conduct?
4) Field goal no-good - give the ball to Team B at the spot of recovery. All HECK breaks loose on Team A's sideline.
5) Team B gets a 5 yard off-sides penalty, Team A can choose to kick 5 yards closer. All HECK breaks loose on Team B's sideline.

Nothing in the rule book, that I can find, says WHEN Team A/K must state their choice to free kick. Maybe the ACT of kicking the ball signals their choice?


Offline VALJ

  • *
  • Posts: 2191
  • FAN REACTION: +79/-10
Re: Fair Catch kick without informing officials
« Reply #11 on: September 07, 2017, 10:25:07 AM »
One could argue this is an "unusual play" that the officials should have been informed of.  Considering I've seen a free kick after a fair catch once in 15 seasons, that qualifies as unusual!

 :sTiR:

Offline ncwingman

  • *
  • Posts: 494
  • FAN REACTION: +28/-2
  • Without officials... it is only recess.
Re: Fair Catch kick without informing officials
« Reply #12 on: September 07, 2017, 10:28:30 AM »
Why not just shut it down when you see Team A lining up for a free kick.  This is such an unusual play, I would just have them line up correctly if that is what team A chooses to do. No harm, no foul.

From a practical perspective, I think this is the correct response.

You can't flag B for encroachment if there's no expectation that they could possibly know where the neutral zone actually is until it's too late. If A lines up for a free kick unexpectedly, you take an official's timeout to figure out what is going on and make sure both teams/coaches know what is going on.

If A's coach told the white hat in pregame "Hey, we got this new trick play...", he should probably be told not to surprise the officials with that and B has to be afforded the opportunity to know where to line up correctly -- and if he does it anyway, then DOG.

Offline Ralph Damren

  • *
  • Posts: 2469
  • FAN REACTION: +294/-27
  • Without officials... it is only recess.
Re: Fair Catch kick without informing officials
« Reply #13 on: September 07, 2017, 10:48:54 AM »
I'm still trying to figure out what A/K/whatever was trying to accomplish. They had the ball with a new series @ their opponent's 35 - within FG range from a free kick. Why then kick it into a crowd  ??? ??? ?  IMHO, the easiest/fairest way out of this is the DOG ^flag. Now at the 40, they could still choose to free kick (6-1-8a).

Offline ncwingman

  • *
  • Posts: 494
  • FAN REACTION: +28/-2
  • Without officials... it is only recess.
Re: Fair Catch kick without informing officials
« Reply #14 on: September 07, 2017, 10:57:02 AM »
I'm still trying to figure out what A/K/whatever was trying to accomplish.

If we always knew the answer to this, we wouldn't have fun stories to share at the bar after the game.

I'm guessing they're banking on the encroachment foul to move it up 5 yards and try again. It was a 45 yard FG, and maybe that's outside of the high school kicker's range? It's also likely a complete hypothetical situation, so we're guessing at the motivations of fictional characters.

Offline sir55

  • *
  • Posts: 161
  • FAN REACTION: +10/-3
Re: Fair Catch kick without informing officials
« Reply #15 on: September 07, 2017, 02:05:56 PM »
If the team is going to put the ball in play by a free kick after a fair catch, they must inform the R of their choice, otherwise, R cannot whistle the RFP for a free kick and insure that all of the requirements for a free kick are in place. When the team just huddles and then goes in the spread, this is nothing more than the beginning of a scrimmage down. When the "center person" kicks the ball from the ground, it is an illegal kick. A place kick during a scrimmage down must be on a tee or held in position by the holder. If the "center person" intentionally kicks the ball into the B player, that would be a flagrant USC foul. I would enforce all the fouls and back A up 45 yards. I would also disqualify the "center person" for his intentional kick into B. If B recovered the illegal kick, it would be their ball (it would be treated as a fumble) and then enforce the USC fouls against A.

Offline VA Official

  • Refstripes Hero
  • *****
  • Posts: 151
  • FAN REACTION: +4/-5
  • Without officials... it is only recess.
Re: Fair Catch kick without informing officials
« Reply #16 on: September 07, 2017, 02:21:35 PM »
If the team is going to put the ball in play by a free kick after a fair catch, they must inform the R of their choice, otherwise, R cannot whistle the RFP for a free kick and insure that all of the requirements for a free kick are in place. When the team just huddles and then goes in the spread, this is nothing more than the beginning of a scrimmage down. When the "center person" kicks the ball from the ground, it is an illegal kick. A place kick during a scrimmage down must be on a tee or held in position by the holder. If the "center person" intentionally kicks the ball into the B player, that would be a flagrant USC foul. I would enforce all the fouls and back A up 45 yards. I would also disqualify the "center person" for his intentional kick into B. If B recovered the illegal kick, it would be their ball (it would be treated as a fumble) and then enforce the USC fouls against A.

If you deem the kick illegal, it's a dead ball foul and the down never began. Therefore, the ball is not live and B cannot recover.

Offline bbeagle

  • *
  • Posts: 406
  • FAN REACTION: +5/-27
Re: Fair Catch kick without informing officials
« Reply #17 on: September 07, 2017, 03:11:25 PM »
A place kick during a scrimmage down must be on a tee or held in position by the holder. If the "center person" intentionally kicks the ball into the B player, that would be a flagrant USC foul.

But this is not a place kick during a scrimmage down. It's a FREE kick. Which, as far as I understand, may be made without a tee or a holder. The ball can just be placed on the ground and kicked off the ground.

Rule 2-24-7 A place kick is a legal kick made while the ball is in a fixed position on the ground or on a kicking tee. ..... A place kick may be used for a scrimmage kick, a kickoff, a free kick following a safety or a free kick following a fair catch or awarded fair catch.
« Last Edit: September 07, 2017, 03:16:08 PM by bbeagle »

Offline bbeagle

  • *
  • Posts: 406
  • FAN REACTION: +5/-27
Re: Fair Catch kick without informing officials
« Reply #18 on: September 07, 2017, 03:25:18 PM »
If we always knew the answer to this, we wouldn't have fun stories to share at the bar after the game.

I'm guessing they're banking on the encroachment foul to move it up 5 yards and try again. It was a 45 yard FG, and maybe that's outside of the high school kicker's range? It's also likely a complete hypothetical situation, so we're guessing at the motivations of fictional characters.

Yes, it's a hypothetical situation, but couldn't this scenario happen after ANY fair catch by an insane coach?

The new Team A is simply trying to get another 'free' 5 yards when the defense is in the 10-yard neutral zone on the kick. This turns their 1st and 10 into a 1st and 5 to start the series.

Can Team A just tell the referee after the RFP, and just after they break the muddle-huddle (all within 5 yards of the ball), 'We're using the kick after fair catch'. Then run up and kick it?

The rules don't specify the time where this option must be used (before or after RFP or at any time), or even that the referee must stop the game, explain the situation, get players in position and issue a second RFP.

If a coach asks this pre-game:
Coach: We have a trick play: After every fair catch, we will decide AFTER the RFP what we will do, kick or do a scrimmage down. And run that play without the defense knowing.
Referee: We must be notified prior to the RFP.
Coach: Where does it say that in the rules book?

Offline AlUpstateNY

  • *
  • Posts: 3270
  • FAN REACTION: +252/-472
Re: Fair Catch kick without informing officials
« Reply #19 on: September 07, 2017, 04:43:53 PM »
Agreed.

But if something like this occurred, in the 2 seconds this unfolded (not knowing the ball was going to be kicked until the last moment), and the ball was kicked into the defensive player, you might be stunned by what happened.

Now, you'd kill the play... but what would you do after?

Well, what you might do after some semblance of sanity was restored, was visit the coach of A, to determine whether;
a. this was actually a planned action
b. this was some sort of a youthful clusterxxxx dreamed up by a misguided Captain
c. the coach you're talking to is a complete imbecile.

Presuming nobody was maliciously and deliberately seriously hurt, I might be inclined to handle the aftermath under the auspices of NFHS 1-1-6, and if options a or c applied, I would disqualify the coach of A, and recommend he receive serious medical review and assistance, as being, "in the spirit of good sportsmanship" and player safety.

If option b applied, I would presume the coach I was speaking to would be appalled and embarrassed, and I would let him deal with his Captain, and resume play, at the point this clusterxxxx happened.

At some I would expect to be severely remanded, or at least questioned about what happened to my attention span and that of each of my crew mates.  Our focus should be more on preventing obvious clusterxxxxs, than conjuring ideas on how to enforce them. 

Offline Rulesman

  • The Keeper of the Keys
  • Administrator
  • ***
  • Posts: 3835
  • FAN REACTION: +310/-238
  • Live like tomorrow never comes.
Re: Fair Catch kick without informing officials
« Reply #20 on: September 07, 2017, 04:59:22 PM »
Yes, it's a hypothetical situation, but couldn't this scenario happen after ANY fair catch by an insane coach?
You have way too much time on your hands.
"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."
- Vince Lombardi

Offline The Roamin' Umpire

  • *
  • Posts: 347
  • FAN REACTION: +30/-16
Re: Fair Catch kick without informing officials
« Reply #21 on: September 09, 2017, 01:16:52 PM »
Why not just shut it down when you see Team A lining up for a free kick.  This is such an unusual play, I would just have them line up correctly if that is what team A chooses to do. No harm, no foul.

Precisely this. It's not a situation best handled with flags.

Offline KWH

  • *
  • Posts: 285
  • FAN REACTION: +57/-37
Re: Fair Catch kick without informing officials
« Reply #22 on: September 09, 2017, 09:01:13 PM »
Yes, it's a hypothetical situation, but couldn't this scenario happen after ANY fair catch by an insane coach?

The new Team A is simply trying to get another 'free' 5 yards when the defense is in the 10-yard neutral zone on the kick. This turns their 1st and 10 into a 1st and 5 to start the series.

Can Team A just tell the referee after the RFP, and just after they break the muddle-huddle (all within 5 yards of the ball), 'We're using the kick after fair catch'. Then run up and kick it?

The rules don't specify the time where this option must be used (before or after RFP or at any time), or even that the referee must stop the game, explain the situation, get players in position and issue a second RFP.

If a coach asks this pre-game:
Coach: We have a trick play: After every fair catch, we will decide AFTER the RFP what we will do, kick or do a scrimmage down. And run that play without the defense knowing.
Referee: We must be notified prior to the RFP.
Coach: Where does it say that in the rules book?
Referee: Table 6-4 along with Rule 6-5-4 Coach.
Coach: But neither of those specify we must choose snap or Free Kick prior to the RFP!
Referee: You are most certainly correct coach. However, Rule 1-1-6 authorizes me to advise you, that when you fair catch the ball, you must choose prior to the RFP.  However, in the spirit of sportsmanship, I will ask your captain his intentions after any Fair Catches are made by your team.
 
« Last Edit: September 09, 2017, 09:09:10 PM by KWH »

Offline Rulesman

  • The Keeper of the Keys
  • Administrator
  • ***
  • Posts: 3835
  • FAN REACTION: +310/-238
  • Live like tomorrow never comes.
Re: Fair Catch kick without informing officials
« Reply #23 on: September 09, 2017, 10:22:27 PM »
However, Rule 1-1-6 authorizes me to advise you, that when you fair catch the ball, you must choose prior to the RFP.
Where in 1-1-6 does it say that? ???
"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."
- Vince Lombardi

Offline AlUpstateNY

  • *
  • Posts: 3270
  • FAN REACTION: +252/-472
Re: Fair Catch kick without informing officials
« Reply #24 on: September 10, 2017, 11:29:47 AM »
Where in 1-1-6 does it say that? ???

Throughout, "1-1-6: The referee has authority to RULE promptly, and in the spirit of good sportsmanship, on ANY SITUATION NOT SPECIFICALLY covered in the rules.  The referee's decisions ARE FINAL IN ALL MATTERS PERTAINING TO THE GAME ."  Judiciously broad in scope, designed to be rarely applied and reserved for only serious situations where legitimate concern and difference of understanding exist, and require adjudication.

This rule can be effective when confronting rare, legitimate matters that may fall outside of rule guidance, relying on the common sense, understanding of the overall purpose of the competition, impartiality and "spirit of good sportsmanship" required of Referees, to determine an equitable solution.

However, this rule can also be applicable in dispatching purely silly positions based on some truly unique interpretations of the language used, or omitted, in NFHS rules.


























'
« Last Edit: September 10, 2017, 11:35:45 AM by AlUpstateNY »