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Momentum Rule Exception question


8-5-1-a Exception verbiage: 
It is not a safety if a player between his five-yard line and his goal line:
(a) intercepts a pass or fumble; or recovers an opponentís fumble or backward pass; or catches or recovers a kick; and
(b) his original momentum carries him into his own end zone; and
(c) the ball remains behind his goal line and is declared dead in his teamís possession there. This includes a fumble that goes from the end zone into the field of play and out of bounds (Rule 7-2-4-b-1).

Does A mean can recover their own teammate's fumble?

A2/6@B-25 B44 intercepts a pass at the B-1 and advances to the B-5 where he is hit and fumbles. The fumble is recovered by B55 at the B-2 and his momentum brings him into the EZ where he is tackled. (from a study group)

I'm confused over how this is worded - 'intercepts a pass or fumble' implies to me that it's referring to a fumble that is COP, but the next clause, 'an opponent's fumble or backwards pass' clearly differentiates between the two, which means that 'intercepting a fumble' refers to an fumble that is not COP, i.e., a teammate's fumble. I'm struggling with the intent of the rule - if it's ANY recovery of any type, why not just say so?  Since it doesn't say that, does that mean teammate fumbles that are recovered, are eligible for momentum rule?

That said, my guess on an answer:

No fouls, so interception strands.  B44's run ended at the B5 when he fumbled.  B55's run begins at B-2 but momentum rule cannot be applied, because 8-5-1-a stipulates that the defending team must be responsible for the ball ultimately winding up in the EZ.  Since the interception run ended at the B5, and we have a new run at that point, momentum rule cannot be applied, end result is a safety.

Legacy Zebra:
To qualify for momentum, the pass or fumble must be from an opponent. If itís your own teamís pass to fumble, momentum doesnít apply. The reason it specifies recovering an opponentís pass or fumble is because the word intercept by definition means to catch an opponentís pass or fumble. We donít have a word that specifically means recovering an opponentís catch or fumble to differentiate from recovering one from a teammate, so the rule has to explicitly state that.

Interestingly, the rule doesnít specify that a kick must be from an opponent. So hereís a play for you.

A, 4/10 @ A-15. A11ís punt is blocked and is rolling at the A-3 where A77 recovers the ball. His momentum carries him into the end zone where he is tackled. The spirit of the rules would say this should probably be a safety, but the letter of the rule says momentum applies. The ball belongs to Team A at the A-3. Since they have not made the line to gain, it will be Team Bís ball at that spot, 1st and goal.

When in doubt, check rule 2. Rule 2-4-3-e: An interception is a catch of an opponent's pass or fumble.

I think the rule is unambiguous apart from the interesting kick language.


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