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Thread: Punt return....Fair Catch

  1. #1
    I just heard on the NFL Network, that there is a new rule this year in the NFL

    If a punt returner signals for a fair catch and doesn't catch the ball. The ball will be dead where it hits down.

    That totally changes the retun thought process for around the goal-line.

    No more fair catch signal to freeze the coverage team and then no throwing the block for the touch back.

    I feel like someone on the Rules Committe is watching the Canadian Football League.


    Has anyone else heard of this?

  2. #2
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    As a safety issue, it prevents punks like Brian Mitchell from calling a fair catch then blind siding the gunner who has pulled up, thinking there won't be contact. Mitchell hurt at least one gunner last season doing that, and I doubt he's the only one pulling that stunt.

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    Soooo, if i'm playing shallow and the punter punts the ball 20 yards over my head to where i cant catch up to the ball......I could just call a fair catch from 20 yards away and have the ball where it lands, and not where it rolls to.

    Maybe i'm not understanding the rule, or it could be i've had too many tonight...

  4. #4
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    Originally posted by Vinny025@Aug 29 2004, 12:42 AM


    Maybe i'm not understanding the rule, or it could be i've had too many tonight...
    You're not the only one. Maybe that's why you didn't show up for my draft this afternoon. :lol:

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    hell no, there was no draft this afternoon was there?

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    dam, i just went to the page and saw we drafted. Sorry about that bro, I had too much to do today anyway and wouldnt have made it. But, I still got a pretty good team. LOL at your picks!!!

  7. #7
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    Originally posted by Vinny025@Aug 29 2004, 01:07 AM
    dam, i just went to the page and saw we drafted. Sorry about that bro, I had too much to do today anyway and wouldnt have made it. But, I still got a pretty good team. LOL at your picks!!!
    Yeah my picks are the result of me saying F-it and closing the league. I blocked everyone so they can't make any changes to their rosters. This league is dead. Who knows, maybe we'll get another one up and running.

  8. #8
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    I didn't hear of this new rule and it doesn't sound right to me because it takes away from the excitement of the possibilty for the kick-off return guy fumbling the ball, especially if the team whose kicking off is behind in the game with maybe two minutes left to the game, trailing by less then seven points.

  9. #9
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    I haven't heard that at all.

    If thats the new rule it makes no sense for a punt returner to ever attempt to actually catch the ball when he signals fair catch. Why chance muffing the punt?

    I've heard of two new rules:

    I've heard that once the ball touches the end zone its dead, so there will be no more running it out while the kicking team falls asleep on the play.

    I've also heard that once a member of the kicking team touches the ball its dead. Before this rule the return team could grab the ball after the kicking team touched it and try to run with it, if he fumbled the ball, or just touched it without gaining possession the ball would go back to the spot where the kicking team first touched it and the returning team would still have possession.

  10. #10
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    I did a little research on NFL.com to clear this up....the ball isn't dead where it hits the ground but its a 15 yard penalty if the player signaling a fair catch hits player on the kicking team before the ball is touched.

    Fair Catch Rules


    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: receiversí 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.

  11. #11
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    Originally posted by IndianaJet@Aug 29 2004, 10:30 AM


    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.
    what does this mean? am i just missing something? cause it doesn't make any sense to me...will someone who understands it please explain...

  12. #12
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    no one knows what this means? im really interested damnit...anyone have any idea...

  13. #13
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    Originally posted by yourworstmemory@Aug 29 2004, 11:54 AM
    no one knows what this means? im really interested damnit...anyone have any idea...
    It's a free kick and the rule has been in place for years. Basically if a team punts the ball at the end of the first half or end of the game and time expires during the punt the recieving can call for a fair catch and get a "free kick"

    My understanding is that they get what amounts to a free field goal attempt from the spot the ball was caught. My understanding is that it is uncontested so that the only players on the field are the holder and the kicker.

    So basically you need someone to punt from deep within their own territory with only a few seconds left to play for this rule to ever be a factor. I did some more searching and found this story from a 1999 game where the opportunity was there but the coach didn't know the rule.

    Seattle v. Dallas 1999

  14. #14
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    weird...very interesting rule, never heard of such a thing...

  15. #15
    Originally posted by IndianaJet+Aug 29 2004, 12:57 PM--></div><table border='0' align='center' width='95%' cellpadding='3' cellspacing='1'><tr><td>QUOTE (IndianaJet @ Aug 29 2004, 12:57 PM)</td></tr><tr><td id='QUOTE'> <!--QuoteBegin-yourworstmemory@Aug 29 2004, 11:54 AM
    no one knows what this means? im really interested damnit...anyone have any idea...
    It&#39;s a free kick and the rule has been in place for years. Basically if a team punts the ball at the end of the first half or end of the game and time expires during the punt the recieving can call for a fair catch and get a "free kick"

    My understanding is that they get what amounts to a free field goal attempt from the spot the ball was caught. My understanding is that it is uncontested so that the only players on the field are the holder and the kicker.

    So basically you need someone to punt from deep within their own territory with only a few seconds left to play for this rule to ever be a factor. I did some more searching and found this story from a 1999 game where the opportunity was there but the coach didn&#39;t know the rule.

    Seattle v. Dallas 1999 [/b][/quote]
    Thanks for the all the info regarding the new fair catch rule.

    As for the free kick rule, as a High School Coach my taam used it twice since 1992.

    Once we tried a 51 yarder and wound up short...The other time we kicked a 46 yarder and went into half time winning...I don&#39;t think made a difference in the games we were playing.

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