Author Topic: Touchback after K recovers punt  (Read 1085 times)

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Offline ncwingman

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Touchback after K recovers punt
« on: January 10, 2021, 03:25:24 PM »
I'm 99% sure I'm not missing something here, but inspired by a play in the Washington/Tampa game.

K punts the ball. The ball lands at the R8 and is then recovered by K30 at the R6 in full stride. K30 then keeps jogging into the end zone with the ball.

In NFL rules, there's a quirk that makes this play a touchback. However, (and this is where I'm 99% sure on this) that quirk doesn't apply in Fed, correct?

Under Fed rules, the ball is dead as soon as K30 possesses the kick at the R6, and any action after that is irrelevant. It will be 1st and 10 for R at the 6.

Offline dammitbobby

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Re: Touchback after K recovers punt
« Reply #1 on: January 10, 2021, 03:34:12 PM »
Not sure about Fed but this would be correct for NCAA.  Rule 6-3-6a.

Here's the explanation for the NFL scenario.

http://refs.ws/20tbwas

edit:  can't get a link to the specific section so here's the verbiage:

Slow walking a touchback
The Washington Football Team is the first to touch their punt at the 8-yard line. Safety Troy Apke catches the ball and then trots off into the end zone. Conventional wisdom says that this is downed at the 8, but hold on.

Let's say this is a play at the goal line. If the ball is caught at the 1 by the kicking team and the player remains outside of the end zone, it is downed there. But in the same situation, if that player's momentum takes him into the end zone, it's a touchback. Basically, if you are going to make that touchback-saving catch, you have to put a period on the sentence and keep the ball out of the end zone.NBC rules analyst Terry McAulay said common sense should prevail, but this play is specifically called out in the NFL casebook, a supplement to the rulebook with sample plays for interpretation.

There is no wiggle room in here for not ruling a touchback, and frankly there should not. Players on the kicking team should know the rules on downing punts, so why put an exception in there for something like this that doesn't also open the door for other plays that it should exclude?

And if this feels like déjà vu, this did happen in 2017 in a game on NBC. And Washington slow walked the touchback in that game. The referee that day? Terry McAulay.


« Last Edit: January 10, 2021, 03:36:40 PM by dammitbobby »

Offline Curious

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Re: Touchback after K recovers punt
« Reply #2 on: January 11, 2021, 12:29:16 PM »
I'm 99% sure I'm not missing something here, but inspired by a play in the Washington/Tampa game.

K punts the ball. The ball lands at the R8 and is then recovered by K30 at the R6 in full stride. K30 then keeps jogging into the end zone with the ball.

In NFL rules, there's a quirk that makes this play a touchback. However, (and this is where I'm 99% sure on this) that quirk doesn't apply in Fed, correct?

Under Fed rules, the ball is dead as soon as K30 possesses the kick at the R6, and any action after that is irrelevant. It will be 1st and 10 for R at the 6.

Correct under FED (rule 6-2-4), the ball becomes dead in this scenario.  However, if this were a kick (think blocked FG attempt or blocked punt) fielded behind the NZ, it could be advanced by K. (6-2-3)

Offline Ralph Damren

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Re: Touchback after K recovers punt
« Reply #3 on: January 14, 2021, 10:06:29 AM »
IMHO, the key to this post is possession. If K was juggling the kick as  he carried it into the end zone it would be a TB.

Offline AlUpstateNY

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Re: Touchback after K recovers punt
« Reply #4 on: January 14, 2021, 11:30:31 AM »
IMHO, the key to this post is possession. If K was juggling the kick as  he carried it into the end zone it would be a TB.

One of the most significant factors relating to NFHS "kicks" is that ONLY 2 things END a kick:  Being blown dead, and either team gaining POSSESSION of the ball.  Touching, batting, (even by multiple players in multiple directions) DO NOT END a kick.  Another basic is that a kick, no matter what happened to it (other than being POSSESSED by EITHER team) is still a kick and is a TB the instant it crosses the goal line (in the air or on the ground).

Offline CalhounLJ

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Re: Touchback after K recovers punt
« Reply #5 on: January 14, 2021, 01:21:05 PM »
Actually, there are several things that end a kick in addition to the ones you mentioned. a kick ends when the ball breaks the plane of the goal line, goes oob, or when the ball becomes stationary inbounds with no player trying to recover it. 

Offline AlUpstateNY

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Re: Touchback after K recovers punt
« Reply #6 on: January 14, 2021, 05:19:19 PM »
Actually, there are several things that end a kick in addition to the ones you mentioned. a kick ends when the ball breaks the plane of the goal line, goes oob, or when the ball becomes stationary inbounds with no player trying to recover it.

Shouldn't each of those be included by "being blown dead"?
« Last Edit: January 14, 2021, 05:22:42 PM by AlUpstateNY »

Offline CalhounLJ

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Re: Touchback after K recovers punt
« Reply #7 on: January 14, 2021, 06:17:58 PM »
Shouldn't each of those be included by "being blown dead"?
No. The whistle NEVER makes the play dead except in the Case of an inadvertent whistle. In all other cases, the play becomes dead by rule.  When/if the covering (or any other) official blows his whistle, he is not blowing it dead, he is indicating that the ball has already become dead. 


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Offline AlUpstateNY

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Re: Touchback after K recovers punt
« Reply #8 on: January 14, 2021, 06:29:53 PM »
No. The whistle NEVER makes the play dead except in the Case of an inadvertent whistle. In all other cases, the play becomes dead by rule.  When/if the covering (or any other) official blows his whistle, he is not blowing it dead, he is indicating that the ball has already become dead.
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Are you familiar with the word, "pettifogger", it's an interesting definition.

Offline CalhounLJ

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Re: Touchback after K recovers punt
« Reply #9 on: January 14, 2021, 06:31:46 PM »
Are you familiar with the word, "pettifogger", it's an interesting definition.
I’m familiar with the words concise and accurate.


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Offline CalhounLJ

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Re: Touchback after K recovers punt
« Reply #10 on: January 14, 2021, 07:05:51 PM »
Football fundamentals:

c. DEAD BALL

1. A game official’s whistle seldom kills the ball. It is already dead by rule.

Except for an inadvertent whistle, it’s impossible to “blow it dead.”


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