Is this still a rule in the NFL?

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Bob78164
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Is this still a rule in the NFL?

#1 Post by Bob78164 » Sun Jun 02, 2019 9:35 pm

My son surprised me today. He showed me clips from NFL kickoffs where a player on the receiving team deliberately steps out of bounds and then reaches back in bounds to field a ball that might otherwise have come to rest in the field of play. Apparently, by rule that makes the kickoff out of bounds so the receiving team gets the ball at the 40-yard line.

This seems wrong to me. In other contexts a player who deliberately steps out of bounds isn't allowed to be the first player who touches the ball. That seems like the appropriate rule for this context as well. I don't know how recent the clips my son showed me were, so I'm wondering whether anyone knows whether this trick still works. --Bob
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Re: Is this still a rule in the NFL?

#2 Post by silverscreenselect » Mon Jun 03, 2019 8:13 am

I don't know if it's a rule or not, but in order to come into play, the ball would already have to be very close to the sideline and, left to its own devices might well roll out of bounds. I have seen players field the ball inside the five yard line and wind up stepping out of bounds right away, putting their team in a big hole.
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Re: Is this still a rule in the NFL?

#3 Post by BackInTex » Mon Jun 03, 2019 8:47 am

From 2016- Packers take advantage of ridiculous NFL rule to magically make kickoff go out of bounds
Because even though the ball was in bounds, Montgomery’s feet being out of bounds meant that, by rule, the kickoff itself is considered to have gone out of bounds. So instead of Packers ball on their own 3, the ball came out to the 40 like an ordinary kickoff that squibs out of bounds.

Brilliant.
I did not know this. It is an obvious flaw in the rules.
The writer agrees
The rule is idiotic. If Montgomery had caught the ball in the end zone, brought it out for a return and put his feet in the exact same spot, the ball would have been downed right there. What difference does it make that the ball was floating freely with neither team having possession?
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Re: Is this still a rule in the NFL?

#4 Post by littlebeast13 » Mon Jun 03, 2019 9:02 am

If rules like this existed in baseball, it'd be nearly impossible to bunt for a single up either baseline....

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Re: Is this still a rule in the NFL?

#5 Post by triviawayne » Mon Jun 03, 2019 9:54 am

BackInTex wrote:From 2016- Packers take advantage of ridiculous NFL rule to magically make kickoff go out of bounds
Because even though the ball was in bounds, Montgomery’s feet being out of bounds meant that, by rule, the kickoff itself is considered to have gone out of bounds. So instead of Packers ball on their own 3, the ball came out to the 40 like an ordinary kickoff that squibs out of bounds.

Brilliant.
I did not know this. It is an obvious flaw in the rules.
The writer agrees
The rule is idiotic. If Montgomery had caught the ball in the end zone, brought it out for a return and put his feet in the exact same spot, the ball would have been downed right there. What difference does it make that the ball was floating freely with neither team having possession?
I'll start with I don't watch football.

wouldn't this rule be in place to keep kickers from trying to get the ball to go out of bounds inside the 10 yard line, effectively forcing a team to start deep in their own territory?

Is there something I'm missing?

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Re: Is this still a rule in the NFL?

#6 Post by silverscreenselect » Mon Jun 03, 2019 10:00 am

triviawayne wrote: I'll start with I don't watch football.

wouldn't this rule be in place to keep kickers from trying to get the ball to go out of bounds inside the 10 yard line, effectively forcing a team to start deep in their own territory?

Is there something I'm missing?
That is the point of the general rule. However, if the ball stays in bounds, the kicking team can recover it even if the receiving team hasn't touched it. So, the receiving team has to try to field a ball in bounds that's bouncing around the five yard line, and that usually doesn't turn out well for them. However, under this rule, they touch the ball while they are out of bounds and the kick is considered to be out of bounds and the receiving team gets the ball at the 40
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Re: Is this still a rule in the NFL?

#7 Post by Bob78164 » Mon Jun 03, 2019 10:05 am

triviawayne wrote:
BackInTex wrote:From 2016- Packers take advantage of ridiculous NFL rule to magically make kickoff go out of bounds
Because even though the ball was in bounds, Montgomery’s feet being out of bounds meant that, by rule, the kickoff itself is considered to have gone out of bounds. So instead of Packers ball on their own 3, the ball came out to the 40 like an ordinary kickoff that squibs out of bounds.

Brilliant.
I did not know this. It is an obvious flaw in the rules.
The writer agrees
The rule is idiotic. If Montgomery had caught the ball in the end zone, brought it out for a return and put his feet in the exact same spot, the ball would have been downed right there. What difference does it make that the ball was floating freely with neither team having possession?
I'll start with I don't watch football.

wouldn't this rule be in place to keep kickers from trying to get the ball to go out of bounds inside the 10 yard line, effectively forcing a team to start deep in their own territory?

Is there something I'm missing?
I think so. The point is that the receiving team can deliberately create a situation where a ball that wasn't heading out of bounds is deemed to be out of bounds, and the receiving team then gets the advantage of the resulting penalty. --Bob
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Re: Is this still a rule in the NFL?

#8 Post by SpacemanSpiff » Mon Jun 03, 2019 10:12 am

It's a rule. I've seen it done several times with at the college level over the years. Player with one foot out of bounds touching the kickoff = kickoff out of bounds.

In other words, kickers kicking the ball that close to the sideline do so at their own peril.
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Re: Is this still a rule in the NFL?

#9 Post by BackInTex » Mon Jun 03, 2019 10:12 am

silverscreenselect wrote:
triviawayne wrote: I'll start with I don't watch football.

wouldn't this rule be in place to keep kickers from trying to get the ball to go out of bounds inside the 10 yard line, effectively forcing a team to start deep in their own territory?

Is there something I'm missing?
That is the point of the general rule. However, if the ball stays in bounds, the kicking team can recover it even if the receiving team hasn't touched it. So, the receiving team has to try to field a ball in bounds that's bouncing around the five yard line, and that usually doesn't turn out well for them. However, under this rule, they touch the ball while they are out of bounds and the kick is considered to be out of bounds and the receiving team gets the ball at the 40
The rule allows the receiving team to force a ball to be out of bounds (giving them the ball on the 40) that may have gone into the end zone for a touch back (giving the the ball on the 25) or a ball they would need to recover (say on the 5) and try to return.

Think about tennis. If a player is standing out of bounds when he/she strikes the ball, the other player's hit would be ruled as being out of bounds. That would be completely crazy.

The ball (on a kick) being in or out of bounds prior to possession should be based on where the ball is.
In the end, they will all pretty much taste the same.

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Re: Is this still a rule in the NFL?

#10 Post by jarnon » Mon Jun 03, 2019 11:31 am

The rule is like that in basketball, leading to awesome feats of athleticism as a player leaps out of bounds and knocks the ball back onto the court before his feet hit the ground (or sometimes his butt hits the front row of seats). The difference is that catching the ball while out of bounds is bad in basketball.

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Re: Is this still a rule in the NFL?

#11 Post by Bob78164 » Mon Jun 03, 2019 11:41 am

jarnon wrote:The rule is like that in basketball, leading to awesome feats of athleticism as a player leaps out of bounds and knocks the ball back onto the court before his feet hit the ground (or sometimes his butt hits the front row of seats). The difference is that catching the ball while out of bounds is bad in basketball.
A player who voluntarily goes out of bounds isn't allowed to be the first person to catch a pass -- doing so is a penalty on the receiving team. A similar rule for kickoffs would end this practice. Whether that's good or bad is a separate issue, which I'll leave for those who care more than I do about the NFL. --Bob
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