NFL Question

Discussion in 'Sports' started by MrJim, Dec 31, 2007.

  1. MrJim

    MrJim
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    I've not watched football in about 3 years but the other night I hooked up the "rabbit ears" to watch the Pats game, and then watched the first half of the Colts/Titans game.

    One thing I noticed is that none of the special teams receivers called for a "fair catch" on kick-offs. Did this rule get canned or did it maybe just not happen when I was watching?
     
  2. Tom Bryant

    Tom Bryant
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    I don't know I've ever seen a fair catch on a kick off. Seen it on punts and it is still legal and practiced.
     
  3. ccrobinson

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    There is no rule that states a player can't fair catch a kickoff.

    You don't see anybody fair catch a kickoff because the coverage team is never down the field quickly enough to force one. The hang time on a kickoff just doesn't allow that to happen.
     
  4. PastorSBC1303

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    I have never seen a fair catch on a kickoff, and not sure why anyone would ever do it.

    Now punt returns get fair caught all the time.
     
  5. webdog

    webdog
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    What are rabbit ears? Is that some kind of Michael Vick rabbit fighting slang term?
     
  6. EdSutton

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    Not sure about that.

    In American football, a kickoff is a live, free ball for either team, after traveling ten yards, or being touched by the 'receiving' team, before covering ten yards. A punt (except the 'free-kick' after a safety, or perhaps a 'free kick' after a fair catch of a punt) is not a free ball for the punting team, regardless of how far it travels, until it is touched by the 'receiving' team, from what little I know.

    Ed
     
  7. Rippon

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    'Antennas' for the young folks among us .:laugh:
     
  8. TomVols

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    Kickoffs can be fair caught. If you muff them, they're live. The catcher cannot be interfered with. It is done more in CFB than NFL because you have more pooch kicks on kickoffs in the college game.
     
  9. EdSutton

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    I was a bit misinformed, apparently. A kickoff (and an on-side 'punt' after a safety) is 'live' after traveling ten yards. However if the kick has hit the ground first, it cannot be "fair caught", but only fielded, and by either team after the ten yard travel. If it fails to travel more than ten yards, only the recieving team can recover it. Hence, an on-side kick that traveled less than ten yards before rolling 'dead' and is not touched, would apparently be awarded the receiving team at that spot, were that to happen. FTR, I do recall seeing the Miami Dolphins recover an 'on-side' punt, after a safety, a few years ago.

    So, apparently, an on-side kick deliberately kicked into the ground, even if, say, bounding straight forward and very high, and traveling, say, fifteen yards, cannot be fair-caught, even if the signal is given, for it would be null. Is that how you understand the rules, as well??

    Ed
     
  10. KenH

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    Question: Can a "fair catch" be called on an on-side kick? I know the ball can't hit the ground first, but how about an on-side kick that is popped up in the air?

    Answer: Yes, a fair catch can be called on any kick. And even if a fair catch signal is not given the receiver must not be interfered with before he catches the ball. That is why on an on-side kick the kicker almost always kicks the ball into the ground first. That removes the possibility for interference.

    - http://homepages.cae.wisc.edu/~dwilson/rfsc/intro/johnson.shtml
     
  11. MrJim

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    Yeah, I've seen them on exceptionally high kicks...

    Guess there just wasn't any on the couple games I saw~thanks for the info GO STEELERS
     
  12. Jimmy C

    Jimmy C
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    I have seen a fair catch called on an onside kick - the ball did not hit the ground first. I believe you all are correct, if theball hits the ground first then the receiving team cannot call a fair catch. I have also seen them on pooch kicks - esp when the individual receiving the kick was not one who would ordinarily handle a ball - linebacker etc.
     
  13. Alcott

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    Because if it's a relatively short kick with some height, calling a fair catch can force the kicking team to allow the receiver to catch it and not be creamed that same second, possibly fumbling... essentially the same reason as the much more common FC's on punts.

    One kick return play I've thought of,especially for a punt, is to have double safeties [returners] and the one who will not make the catch calls for a fair catch to draw the kicking team's attention, then the other guy takes the kick and returns it; probably half the kicking team would be suckered toward the fair catcher. It would be a penalty if he (the fair catch signaler) were to throw any block, but he could probably 'take out' several players at once with that ploy anyway.
     
  14. EdSutton

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    I suspect, but do not know, that that is a rules infraction, else we would see it at times, and I never have, that I can recall.

    Ed
     
  15. Alcott

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    If there is no rule against that type of play, there probably would be after it was done successfully. But one source for NFL rules indicates it is not an infraction:

    Fair Catch


    1. The member of the receiving team must raise one arm a full length above his head and wave it from side to side while kick is in flight. (Failure to give proper sign: receivers’ ball five yards behind spot of signal.) Note: It is legal for the receiver to shield his eyes from the sun by raising one hand no higher than the helmet.
    2. No opponent may interfere with the fair catcher, the ball, or his path to the ball. Penalty: 15 yards from spot of foul and fair catch is awarded.
    3. A player who signals for a fair catch is not required to catch the ball. However, if a player signals for a fair catch, he may not block or initiate contact with any player on the kicking team until the ball touches a player. Penalty: snap 15 yards.
    4. If ball hits ground or is touched by member of kicking team in flight, fair catch signal is off and all rules for a kicked ball apply.
    5. Any undue advance by a fair catch receiver is delay of game. No specific distance is specified for undue advance as ball is dead at spot of catch. If player comes to a reasonable stop, no penalty. For penalty, five yards. 6. If time expires while ball is in play and a fair catch is awarded, receiving team may choose to extend the period with one fair catch kick down. However, placekicker may not use tee.

    http://football.calsci.com/TheRules10.html

    ed.: Note the wording of #3. This indicates such a play is legal as long the fair catch signaler does not block an opponent until the other returner touches the ball.
     
    #15 Alcott, Jan 2, 2008
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 2, 2008
  16. Alcott

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    Has anyone ever seen or heard a referee assess a penalty for a "palpably unfair act?" I was looking at penalties on http://football.calsci.com/TheRules3.html and wondering if the kick return ploy I thought of might come under that rule, which is 15 yards and 'disqualification if flagrant.' If the kicking ploy does not, then what does come under that rule? because I can't remember seeing it enforced.
     

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