Football Officiating > NCAA Discussion

Moving the Ball

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Team A set the ball on the tee at Position 1 for the free kick.  The referee makes the ball ready for play.  A90 relocates the ball with the tee, to Position 2.  The coaches begin yelling at him telling him he can't move it.  He then takes the ball back to Position 1 and then kicks the ball.  Ruling?

Considering that relocating the ball is a dead-ball foul, I'd say that the foul happens when the ball and the tee are moved. I would not be hugely surprised, though, if the actual ruling is that the foul happens only when the relocated ball is kicked with the ball remaining dead.

AR 6-1-2-VIII is not absolutely clear, but 1) the fact that the ball gets kicked in this AR, and 2) Team A should always have the opportunity to buy themselves out of this foul by requesting a team timeout, it is my considered opinion that the ball must get kicked, but then the covering officials will sound their whistles, throw their flag(s), and stop all action, and complete the penalty as a dead-ball foul. No different than if the kicker does a ‘bounce kick,” which we know follows this protocol.

I agree that the ball has to be kicked before it's a foul, since the foul is an illegal kick.  Flag and Whistle.  But, in my play, would we flag it if he "corrected" his error by moving the ball back to the original position?

On the conclusion that relocating the kick spot is not a foul unless the ball is actually kicked, I would say - without authority, mind you - that there is no foul, if the ball is eventually kicked from the original kick spot.

IMHO, the only advantage Team A could gain by 'appearing' to relocate the kick spot is to confuse B, and get them to shift their receivers, or catch them off-guard and not 'settled' when they quickly move the ball back to the original kick point, and quickly kick the ball.  But, if Team B knows the rules (ha!), then they should know that Team A may not relocate the kick point, and they should just 'stay put,' secure in the knowledge that Team A won't be able to get away with kicking the ball from an alternate kick point. By staying put, they will be in good positions when Team A moves the ball back to the original kick point, and kicks the ball.  No advantage gained. But , then, if WE know the rules, we'll stop this action at the kick, and Team A does not get an advantage, anyway.

Let's count the number of coaches that know this rule. Let's see...uh,, not him.  Uh...uh...uh................


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