Author Topic: Backwards Pass and 4th Down Fumble Rule  (Read 362 times)

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Offline ilyazhito

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Backwards Pass and 4th Down Fumble Rule
« on: June 13, 2019, 05:17:03 PM »
New college official here. I received my 1st preseason quiz, and one of the questions on it was about a quarterback throwing a backwards pass to a back who muffed the ball. The ball was recovered by another player beyond the line to gain. I answered that the ruling would be a 1st down to A, because a muff of a backwards pass is not a fumble. Is that line of reasoning correct?

Here is the actual question text, with my answer: 3.   A 4/2 @ B-37.  Quarterback A7 takes the snap and pitches the ball backwards to A34 who muffs the ball.  In the scramble for the ball it is forced across the neutral zone and is recovered by A79 at the B-32. 
RULING: A 1/10 @ B-32. This is not a fumble, this is a backwards pass being muffed. Therefore, the recovery by A79 was legal, even though it was 4th down. Game clock restarts on the ready-for-play signal, play clock is set to 40 seconds following the clock being stopped for the 1st down. 

Offline Legacy Zebra

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Re: Backwards Pass and 4th Down Fumble Rule
« Reply #1 on: June 13, 2019, 05:50:48 PM »
Correct. A pass is a pass and a fumble is a fumble. The muff does not change the status, nor does the ball touching the ground. A pass remains a pass until it is caught, recovered, or dead by rule.

Offline bossman72

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Re: Backwards Pass and 4th Down Fumble Rule
« Reply #2 on: June 13, 2019, 09:18:28 PM »
Correct.  Backward passes and fumbles are two different things.