Football Officiating > NCAA Discussion

Illegal Batting

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blindtxzebra:
Team A 4/9 @ A-26. Punter A33 muffs the snap. In the scramble for the ball, B11 bats the loose ball at the A-10 forward into the end zone where a Team B player recovers the ball. Ruling?

ElvisLives:

--- Quote from: blindtxzebra on October 11, 2021, 02:21:31 PM ---Team A 4/9 @ A-26. Punter A33 muffs the snap. In the scramble for the ball, B11 bats the loose ball at the A-10 forward into the end zone where a Team B player recovers the ball. Ruling?

--- End quote ---

A, 1/10, A-36, snap (25).
The natural result of the down is a touchdown for Team B. However, B11's batting of the ball is forward, and illegal. Illegal batting is a "3 & 1" foul, and the basic spot for this foul is the previous spot, since it occurred during Team A's run (ball loose from the snap - a backward pass), and that run ended behind the NZ. Per 3 & 1, the penalty is enforced from the Basic Spot. The penalty is 10 yards, and repeat the down (canceling the score by Team B, and returning the ball to team A). The distance penalty will place the ball at the A-36, yielding a new series for Team A. Because of the apparent touchdown, the game clock will start on the snap. Because of the completion of the penalty, the play clock will be set to 25 seconds, and will start on the referee's signal.   

blindtxzebra:
Wouldn't the result of the play be a touchback since Team B batted the ball? Thinking to Rule 8-7-2-b-1 here.

dammitbobby:
Here's my largely uneducated (compared to other members here) opinion on that: Not a touchback.  As I understand it, 8-7-2-b-1 applies to kicks and bats that are not fouls.  Only legal bats and kicks are considered new impetus.

ElvisLives:

--- Quote from: blindtxzebra on October 11, 2021, 03:06:34 PM ---Wouldn't the result of the play be a touchback since Team B batted the ball? Thinking to Rule 8-7-2-b-1 here.

--- End quote ---

No. Check 8-6-1-a. It is a touchback when the ball is in the possession of the team defending a goal when it becomes dead behind the GL, and the ATTACKING team is responsible for the ball being there. If what you say were to be true, a legal forward pass completed to a teammate in B's end zone would be a touchback (and we know that is not the case). No different, other than forward batting is a foul.

8-2-1-c tells us that a touchdown is scored when a team recovers or catches a backward pass (as is a snap after it leaves the snapper's hand(s)) in the opponent's end zone. There is no exception for the ball being illegally batted. Batting changes impetus (which doesn't really matter, in this instance), but it doesn't change the status of the ball. It is still a ball loose from a backward pass.

Batting, legal or illegal, changes impetus, but impetus truly only becomes an issue when the team defending a goal is in team possession of the ball when it becomes dead behind it own goal line.     

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