AOS Football Play of the Week

Play: Fourth and 15 for A from its own 8-yard-line. A1 is in punt formation and receives the snap in his own end zone, but fumbles the ball. A1 quickly recovers and throws a forward pass to ineligible A2, who is also in the end zone. A2 muffs the ball and it falls incomplete.

RULING: If B accepts the penalty for A2’s illegal touching, it results in a safety. If B declines the penalty for the foul by A2, the result is B’s ball first and goal from A’s 8-yard line. (5-1-3c, 7-5-13 PENALTY, 8-5-2c, 10-5-6)


Play: K1 in scrimmage-kick formation, muffs the snap, but quickly recovers and begins to run. However, K1 changes his mind and (a) punts on the run; or (b) abruptly stops and punts. R1 is unable to stop his charge and forcibly contacts K1. R1 did not touch the kick.

RULING: No foul in either (a) or (b) because it was not reasonably certain Kl was going to punt the ball.

COMMENT: It is always roughing the kicker if the contact could have been avoided regardless of whether or not it was apparent a kick would be made. Only unavoidable contact is ignored if it is not reasonably certain a kick will be made.


Play: K1 kicks off to start the second half. The ball is rolling on R’s 7-yard line when R1 (a) accidentally, or (b) intentionally kicks the ball into his own end zone where R2 recovers. Is the kick by R1 in either (a) or (b) a new force? If the action is a foul, where is it penalized from?

RULING: It is not a new force in either (a) or (b), as force is not a consideration on kicks going into R’s end zone. Even though the ball was kicked by R1, the kick had not ended. The contact in (a) is ignored, because it was not an intentional act In (b) the kick is illegal and if the penalty is accepted, it is enforced from the previous spot. If the penalty is declined, it is a touch back by rule. In both (a) and (b) the ball becomes dead when the kick breaks the plane of R’s goal line. (2-13-4, 9-7-1, 10-6)


Play:  It is third and 3 on A’s 30 and Al is downed short of the line to gain on his 28. Specialized kicker A12 enters the field to replace A when the whistle is sounded, but prior to the referee signaling a time-out, because he had detected holding by Bl. The captain of A accepts the penalty which results in a first and 10 for A from its 38. Realizing the change of status: (a) A12 returns to his team box and is replaced by A3; or (b) A4 requests and is granted a charged time-out during which A12 returns to the team box.

RULING: In (a), A12 may return as a penalty has been accepted for a foul which occurred during the down. In (b), Al2 may be replaced without penalty because the substitution was made during a charged time-out.


Play:  Following a third-down play, the game officials do not measure as the referee the line to gain clearly has not been reached. Al lines up in punt formation. Just before assuming his set position, the captain of A requests a measurement.

RULING: The request is denied for two reasons. The captain must make a request for measurement before the ball is marked ready for play and no measurement is made if it is obvious the line to gain has not been reached.

COMMENT: In any situation where there is doubt, game officials should measure. Following measurement in a side zone, the chain should be used to place the ball at the hash mark. (5-3-2 NOTE)


Play:  At the snap, A1 is in a position which is neither on the line of scrimmage nor clearly in the backfield. A1 is not on the line because neither his head nor his foot is breaking the plane through the waist of the snapper, and he is not a back because he is penetrating the plane through the waist of his nearest teammate, end A2, who is on the line. The position of Al is inside that of end A2, who is clearly on the line of scrimmage. When the ball is snapped, both Al and A2 go downfield and Al catches a pass.

RULING: The position of Al is illegal when the ball is snapped. Al is an ineligible receiver because he is not clearly a back. His advance beyond the neutral zone is illegal and when he touches the pass, it is illegal touching. This is a multiple foul and B has choice of which penalty to accept. (7-5-6a, 7-5-13)



Play: Ineligible receiver A2 is behind, in or beyond his neutral zone and has committed no act against a defender that could be ruled pass interference when a forward pass by A1: (a) accidentally strikes him in the back; or (b) is muffed by him; or (c) is caught by him.

7.5.13 RULING: In (a), there is no foul for illegal touching. In (b) and (c), it is illegal touching. The acts in both (b) and (c) are intentional and not accidental as in (a).

COMMENT: Game officials should be very clear in explaining penalty options if the same act constitutes more than one foul as listed above, as each of the fouls has a different penalty.



Play: From R’s 24 yard line, in scrimmage kick formation, K commits an illegal shift during its unsuccessful field goal attempt which results in a touchback for R.

What are R’s options to where the ball will next be put into play?

1. Team R can decline the penalty and take the ball at the R20 following the touchback;

2. Team can accept the penalty and have K re-kick from the R29;

3. Team R can have the penalty enforced from the succeeding spot. 1st and 10 for R at the R25.

~ Redding Study Guide, Example 11-41, p. 148