Author Topic: Pass Interference Clarifications  (Read 5571 times)

myarro

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Pass Interference Clarifications
« on: March 30, 2011, 04:05:05 PM »
Hello all,

I am trying to wrap my head around passing rules and had a few questions. I hoping someone out there can help clarify these issues:

1). If a receiver or running back is behind the line of scrimmage, can a defensive back step across the line of scrimmage to attack the player? Can the db tackle them, push them to the ground, hold them up indefinitely? For example, a RB swings out on a screeen pass and is still behind the line of scrimmage. Does the defensive player need to allow him to touch the ball before he makes contact, or can he immediately collide with the RB, regardless of whether the ball has been thrown or not? Does it matter if the ball is thrown forward of the QB or behind the QB?

2). If a db is looking at the ball/making a play for the ball and collides into the receiver, is that a penalty? Once the ball is in the air, don't both players have equal claim to the ball? And as long as they are actually making a play for the ball, isn't all contact fair play? Or is there an issue with position, as in if one player has a better position to catch the ball, then any contact from a second player would be a penalty?

3). Can a receiver make contact with a defender if he is running a pass route, or does that qualify as an illegal receiver down field? In other words, how long should a DB allow a receiver to "block him" before he can safely think that the receiver is blocking and it is a run play?

Thanks for all your help in advance.

Offline HLinNC

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Re: Pass Interference Clarifications
« Reply #1 on: March 30, 2011, 05:46:10 PM »
1) 7-5-7 There can be no PI behind the NZ .  There can be holding, illegal use of hands, and other illegal contact fouls.

2) 7-5-11a- if you judge the contact to be simultaneous and both players are making a bona fide attempt to catch, bat, or move toward the pass then its nothing.  However if one player gains advantage over the opponent with the contact, you should have PI.  In your scenario, if B's contact inhibited the A player from catching, batting, or moving to the pass, you should have PI on the B player.

3) 7-5-11b- A can contact a B lineman in the ENZ but not beyond.  B can contact A until it is apparent he is no longer a blocker- such as reached the same yard line as B and/or is moving away from B.  If A blocks B beyond the ENZ and the forward pass crosses NZ, it would be pass interference on A.  There is no such foul as "illegal receiver".

Offline VALJ

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Re: Pass Interference Clarifications
« Reply #2 on: March 31, 2011, 12:37:02 AM »
Also, regarding part 3 - pass interference restrictions for A start at the snap.  If an eligible A receiver makes contact with a defender, even before the pass is thrown, they can be flagged for PI.

Offline RickKY

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Re: Pass Interference Clarifications
« Reply #3 on: March 31, 2011, 01:55:06 PM »
Hello all,

I am trying to wrap my head around passing rules and had a few questions. I hoping someone out there can help clarify these issues:

1). If a receiver or running back is behind the line of scrimmage, can a defensive back step across the line of scrimmage to attack the player? Can the db tackle them, push them to the ground, hold them up indefinitely? For example, a RB swings out on a screeen pass and is still behind the line of scrimmage. Does the defensive player need to allow him to touch the ball before he makes contact, or can he immediately collide with the RB, regardless of whether the ball has been thrown or not? Does it matter if the ball is thrown forward of the QB or behind the QB?

The contact would be legal if it is not a foul of another kind, such as clipping, BIB, Holding or a personal foul.  You cannot have PI behind the NZ.
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2). If a db is looking at the ball/making a play for the ball and collides into the receiver, is that a penalty? Once the ball is in the air, don't both players have equal claim to the ball? And as long as they are actually making a play for the ball, isn't all contact fair play? Or is there an issue with position, as in if one player has a better position to catch the ball, then any contact from a second player would be a penalty?

Yes, any B or eligible A player has a right to make a play on the ball.  While all contact is not a foul, there are some actions which will get a PI foul call, such as playing through an opponent, the arm bar, face guarding, and possibly others..  If both receiver and defender are making a play on the ball and there is incidental contact, such contact is not PI.
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3). Can a receiver make contact with a defender if he is running a pass route, or does that qualify as an illegal receiver down field? In other words, how long should a DB allow a receiver to "block him" before he can safely think that the receiver is blocking and it is a run play?


A defender may not contact an receiver once he no longer a potential blocker.  Basically, once the receiver makes it known by his actions that he is a receiver and not a blocker, the defender cannot contact him.  This would be illegal use of hands, 10 yards.  If the pass has been thrown it could be DPI.  There is no time limit on these restrictions.  In theory a defender could block a receiver at the line, and as long as he can maintain that block at the line, there will not be a foul called.  But if the A player tries to avoid the block, makes a cut or gets beyond the defender, he is off limits to B.
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Thanks for all your help in advance.

Rick
Don't park in the spaces marked, "Reserved for Umpires."  ~John McSherry

myarro

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Re: Pass Interference Clarifications
« Reply #4 on: March 31, 2011, 03:05:29 PM »
The contact would be legal if it is not a foul of another kind, such as clipping, BIB, Holding or a personal foul.  You cannot have PI behind the NZ.

From the defender's stand point, I can understand a personal foul, face mask or horse collar--but the defender couldn't be called for a clip or BIB (Block in Back?). And what about holding, if the offensive player is behind the line of scrimmage, can a hold still be called on the defensive player, who for example, might try to hold the offensive player in the back field an not allow him to move down field. Or is it holding because the defender is physically grabbing the player, and could only keep that player in the back field by using legal blocking  techniques?

Offline HLinNC

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Re: Pass Interference Clarifications
« Reply #5 on: March 31, 2011, 03:25:26 PM »
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but the defender couldn't be called for a clip or BIB

Why not?  Look at Rule 2-5-1, -2.

Many will suggest reading Rule 2 and then re-reading Rule 2 and then reading it again.  Rule 2 is the definitions of the game.  If you are struggling with understanding some of the rules, it will be of benefit to get a grasp of the definitions.  
« Last Edit: March 31, 2011, 03:29:20 PM by HLinNC »

Mike L

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Re: Pass Interference Clarifications
« Reply #6 on: March 31, 2011, 05:52:56 PM »
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but the defender couldn't be called for a clip or BIB

Why not? 

Aaaahhhh, the memories of one of the most HI-larious "discussions" ever my umpire drug me into with a coach.

Coach: (very unhappy with the call).... "but Bob, the defense can't clip"
U: (so very cheerfully).... "that's right coach, that's why I threw the flag"
Coach: "what the HECK? BOB! The...defense....CAN'T.....clip!!!"
U: "Yep, you got it coach" as he walks off the 15 yds.
Coach looks to: "Mike, is he nuts or what?"
Me: (trying really hard not to fall down laughing).... "he isn't nuts, just a little odd" and then the explanation begins.

Offline VALJ

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Re: Pass Interference Clarifications
« Reply #7 on: April 06, 2011, 04:47:50 PM »
A defender may not contact an receiver once he no longer a potential blocker.  Basically, once the receiver makes it known by his actions that he is a receiver and not a blocker, the defender cannot contact him.  This would be illegal use of hands, 10 yards.  If the pass has been thrown it could be DPI.  There is no time limit on these restrictions.  In theory a defender could block a receiver at the line, and as long as he can maintain that block at the line, there will not be a foul called.  But if the A player tries to avoid the block, makes a cut or gets beyond the defender, he is off limits to B.

The question about part 3 involved the A player initiating the contact -
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3). Can a receiver make contact with a defender if he is running a pass route, or does that qualify as an illegal receiver down field?

The answer to that questions is a qualified "no".  Pass interference restrictions for A start at the snap, so - assuming that a pass is thrown during the down - you could easily have OPI for the receiver initiating contact at the start of the play.  That said, I'm still not going to flag an OPI on the left side of the field when the ball is thrown to the right side  I wouldn't do that on B (by rule), and so I'm not going to throw that on A, either.