Author Topic: Blocked Punt - Safety or Touchback  (Read 3185 times)

Offline FLAHL

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Blocked Punt - Safety or Touchback
« on: January 31, 2018, 09:42:40 AM »
K1 is standing on his 10 yard line, in punt formation.  R50 blocks the punt, the ball hits the ground, and is rolling forward (away from K's EZ).  R60 muffs the ball all the way back into K's EZ, and K1 falls on it.  Touchback or Safety?

Offline Ump33

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Re: Blocked Punt - Safety or Touchback
« Reply #1 on: January 31, 2018, 12:42:19 PM »
Touchback ... the "muff" by R60 is the Force that put the grounded kick across the GL. (2-13-1, 2, 3 & 4).

Offline FLAHL

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Re: Blocked Punt - Safety or Touchback
« Reply #2 on: January 31, 2018, 01:07:51 PM »
Thanks Ump.  Our study group went round and round and round some more on this one.

Offline Kalle

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Re: Blocked Punt - Safety or Touchback
« Reply #3 on: January 31, 2018, 01:42:33 PM »
Don't confuse Saturday rules where the outcome is different.

Offline AlUpstateNY

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Re: Blocked Punt - Safety or Touchback
« Reply #4 on: January 31, 2018, 03:35:44 PM »
Touchback ... the "muff" by R60 is the Force that put the grounded kick across the GL. (2-13-1, 2, 3 & 4).

CAUTION:  NFHS 2-13-1, "after a fumble, kick or backwards pass has been grounded, a new force MAY result from a bat, an illegal kick or a muff."

Offline Ump33

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Re: Blocked Punt - Safety or Touchback
« Reply #5 on: January 31, 2018, 03:39:16 PM »
Thanks Ump.  Our study group went round and round and round some more on this one.
Your welcome. Also, Case Book 8.5.2C and 8.5.3A provide good information for your next study group,

Offline Ump33

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Re: Blocked Punt - Safety or Touchback
« Reply #6 on: January 31, 2018, 03:43:16 PM »
CAUTION:  NFHS 2-13-1, "after a fumble, kick or backwards pass has been grounded, a new force MAY result from a bat, an illegal kick or a muff."
Good point but since the OP stated "...  the ball hits the ground, and is rolling forward (away from K's EZ) ... " I think most officials would rule a new force was applied to the ball.

Offline Magician

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Re: Blocked Punt - Safety or Touchback
« Reply #7 on: January 31, 2018, 04:15:58 PM »
Unless the ball was laying motionless before R started muffing it, I would likely not consider that a new force. Don't bail out the kicking team who did nothing right on this play with a touchback and the ball. They were giving up the ball by kicking it and then got that kick blocked.

Offline ChicagoZebra

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Re: Blocked Punt - Safety or Touchback
« Reply #8 on: January 31, 2018, 04:55:52 PM »
Unless the ball was laying motionless before R started muffing it, I would likely not consider that a new force. Don't bail out the kicking team who did nothing right on this play with a touchback and the ball. They were giving up the ball by kicking it and then got that kick blocked.

This x1000. The play originally described is a safety all day.

A true bat, intentional by definition, would be a different story (and a foul as well in NFHS, regardless of direction). But, a muff of a moving ball would not be considered a new force by practical interpretation.

Offline bama_stripes

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Re: Blocked Punt - Safety or Touchback
« Reply #9 on: February 01, 2018, 06:32:25 AM »
The play originally described is a safety all day.

You may not like the concept of "bailing out the offense", but the NFHS rulesmakers have made it plain that this is a touchback.  (Although I suspect that nobody would object if the covering official "forgot" the rule and awarded a safety.)

Offline SCHSref

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Re: Blocked Punt - Safety or Touchback
« Reply #10 on: February 01, 2018, 07:33:50 AM »
Well, it's still a kick, so I have a safety
If you didn't see it, you can't call it

Offline TampaSteve

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Re: Blocked Punt - Safety or Touchback
« Reply #11 on: February 01, 2018, 08:27:27 AM »
ask yourself: what force caused it to go towards the EZ?

Offline bossman72

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Re: Blocked Punt - Safety or Touchback
« Reply #12 on: February 01, 2018, 08:30:41 AM »
I'd have to see the play, but by practical application I'd go with safety.

Offline FLAHL

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Re: Blocked Punt - Safety or Touchback
« Reply #13 on: February 01, 2018, 08:51:44 AM »
You may not like the concept of "bailing out the offense", but the NFHS rulesmakers have made it plain that this is a touchback.  (Although I suspect that nobody would object if the covering official "forgot" the rule and awarded a safety.)

You're all bringing up the same discussion that we had in our group.  On the subject of force, a new force cannot be added to a kick that goes into R's end zone, but it can be added to a kick that goes into K's end zone.  As Bama noted, the rule book is clear.  According to 8-5-3b, It is a touchback when “b. Any scrimmage kick or free kick becomes dead on or behind K’s goal line with the ball in possession of K (including when the ball is declared dead with no ­player in possession) and the new force is R’s muff or bat of the kick after it has touched the ground”

I've never seen this play actually happen, but it's certainly one that could occur.

Offline refjeff

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Re: Blocked Punt - Safety or Touchback
« Reply #14 on: February 01, 2018, 09:26:41 AM »
Touchback.  Rule Book p. 68, 8.5.3.b.  Case Book p. 70, 8.5.3 Situation A. 

Offline Magician

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Re: Blocked Punt - Safety or Touchback
« Reply #15 on: February 01, 2018, 09:31:43 AM »
You're all bringing up the same discussion that we had in our group.  On the subject of force, a new force cannot be added to a kick that goes into R's end zone, but it can be added to a kick that goes into K's end zone.  As Bama noted, the rule book is clear.  According to 8-5-3b, It is a touchback when “b. Any scrimmage kick or free kick becomes dead on or behind K’s goal line with the ball in possession of K (including when the ball is declared dead with no ­player in possession) and the new force is R’s muff or bat of the kick after it has touched the ground”

I've never seen this play actually happen, but it's certainly one that could occur.

The difference here is determining if a new force is actually applied. That is an entirely philosophy discussion. You can't have a new force if the ball is still airborne, but once it's grounded you MAY have a new force. The point many are making here is the ball had better be at rest or very nearly at rest (as the case book plays say) to consider it a new force. In very rare instances will a blocked punt that is still a kick result in a touchback for K.

Offline Ralph Damren

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Re: Blocked Punt - Safety or Touchback
« Reply #16 on: February 01, 2018, 11:00:56 AM »
I instruct our guys..
 (1) a football isn't round;
 (2) things that aren't round don't have true bounces;
 (3) a ball bouncing away from K's goal line, and muffed back into EZ by R where downed by K = touchback;
 (4) a ball at rest near K's goal line ,and muffed back into EZ by R where downed by K =touchback;
 (5) a ball bouncing toward K's goal line and muffed by R back into K's EZ where recovered and downed by K =.....
 (a) IF R's new force caused the ball to go into EZ = touchback;
 (b) IF the ball would have made it to the EZ WITHOUT R's HELP =safety.

 #5 = is a judgment call, when in doubt, don't give K a break for getting their punt blocked =b.

AND REMEMBER THAT A BLOCKED KICK CANNOT HAVE A NEW FORCE ADDED UNTIL IT'S GROUNDED.

 
« Last Edit: February 01, 2018, 11:02:32 AM by Ralph Damren »

Offline ncwingman

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Re: Blocked Punt - Safety or Touchback
« Reply #17 on: February 01, 2018, 12:27:57 PM »
Common thinking around these parts is that, while it is technically possible for a grounded, moving, loose ball to have a new force applied, it is also technically possible that I could win the Powerball jackpot.

Offline prab

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Re: Blocked Punt - Safety or Touchback
« Reply #18 on: February 01, 2018, 01:02:44 PM »
I recall a fairly recent discussion regarding assisting the runner which seemed to have a similar under current to this touchback/safety discussion.  In the assisting the runner discussion, it seemed that most posters knew what the rule was but decided not to enforce it for philosophical reasons.  In the touchback/safety discussion, most seem to admit that the rule book would call the OP a touchback, however they have decided not to enforce the rule, again for philosophical reasons. 

I am aware of the "holding away from the play" scenario, but do not believe that it germane to either the assisting the runner or the touchback/safety discussions.

Offline ncwingman

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Re: Blocked Punt - Safety or Touchback
« Reply #19 on: February 01, 2018, 02:46:58 PM »
I recall a fairly recent discussion regarding assisting the runner which seemed to have a similar under current to this touchback/safety discussion.  In the assisting the runner discussion, it seemed that most posters knew what the rule was but decided not to enforce it for philosophical reasons.  In the touchback/safety discussion, most seem to admit that the rule book would call the OP a touchback, however they have decided not to enforce the rule, again for philosophical reasons. 

I am aware of the "holding away from the play" scenario, but do not believe that it germane to either the assisting the runner or the touchback/safety discussions.

There is a serious philosophical argument of "When is it a new force?" Just because it CAN be a new force doesn't mean it is. I would absolutely rule a touchback if I know, as a matter of indisputable fact, that B/R put a new force on the ball.

Ump earlier cited Case Book plays 8.5.2C and 8.5.3A. In 8.5.3A, the fact that R1's muff put a new force on the ball is stipulated, so that doesn't help the philosophical argument of when it becomes a new force. However, in 8.5.2C, there is a question as to whether or not the muff resulted in a new force:

Quote
Ruling: The covering official will have to judge whether or not a new force resulted from R1's touch. [...] If the covering official has doubt, he will rule that the force was supplied by the kick, thus resulting in a safety.

This is the key philosophical point. In case of doubt, it is NOT a new force.

Offline prab

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Re: Blocked Punt - Safety or Touchback
« Reply #20 on: February 01, 2018, 03:40:58 PM »
There is a serious philosophical argument of "When is it a new force?" Just because it CAN be a new force doesn't mean it is. I would absolutely rule a touchback if I know, as a matter of indisputable fact, that B/R put a new force on the ball.

Please give an example of what you would consider to be an indisputable fact that R put a new force on the ball in the OP. 

Offline ncwingman

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Re: Blocked Punt - Safety or Touchback
« Reply #21 on: February 01, 2018, 04:02:19 PM »
Please give an example of what you would consider to be an indisputable fact that R put a new force on the ball in the OP.

I'd have to see it, which is why these internet arguments are kind of silly at times. If a ball is at rest (or pretty much stopped), then I could see a new force argument, depending on exactly how the ball gets muffed -- if only R players are involved and the muff is clearly in the direction of the end zone (instead of a belly flop that causes the ball to bounce at a weird angle).

Offline ChicagoZebra

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Re: Blocked Punt - Safety or Touchback
« Reply #22 on: February 01, 2018, 05:07:29 PM »
I'd have to see it, which is why these internet arguments are kind of silly at times. If a ball is at rest (or pretty much stopped), then I could see a new force argument, depending on exactly how the ball gets muffed -- if only R players are involved and the muff is clearly in the direction of the end zone (instead of a belly flop that causes the ball to bounce at a weird angle).

Well said!

Offline Kalle

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Re: Blocked Punt - Safety or Touchback
« Reply #23 on: February 02, 2018, 03:04:14 AM »
Out of curiosity, what is the reasoning behind having this rule difference to NCAA? In NCAA things are a bit simpler, only an intentional action (bat or kick) can add new force (impetus). You can pretty easily figure out if an action is a muff or a bat, although there is some grey area there, too.

Offline AlUpstateNY

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Re: Blocked Punt - Safety or Touchback
« Reply #24 on: February 02, 2018, 09:55:10 AM »
The difference here is determining if a new force is actually applied. That is an entirely philosophy discussion. You can't have a new force if the ball is still airborne, but once it's grounded you MAY have a new force. The point many are making here is the ball had better be at rest or very nearly at rest (as the case book plays say) to consider it a new force. In very rare instances will a blocked punt that is still a kick result in a touchback for K.

Well stated, and the key issue.  Determining whether action creates a "New force, or direction" is a uniqueJUDGMENT CALL based on what YOU are observing. Whether, "A new force MAY RESULT from a bat, an illegal kick or a muff" is NOT AUTOMATIC, it's determined by YOUR JUDGMENT of the specific action YOU'RE observing.