Rule for giving receiver space - on side kick after 15 yards

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Rule for giving receiver space - on side kick after 15 yards

Postby diesing » Sun Oct 06, 2019 8:02 pm

Last Friday we kicked an onside which first contacted the ground at about 5 yards, dribbled, and then popped up coming down at about 17 yards. A player from the other team fielded the ball and was immediately hit by our player. The timing was close. The receiving team was able to hold on to the ball.

We got a penalty for not allowing the receiver of the ball room to make the catch. Which seemed like a punt thing, but not kick off thing since the ball is live at that point. There was no fair catch signal given.

Questions.

1. Can you even make a fair catch if the ball hits the ground first?
2. Was this a correct penalty assuming the ball arrived before our player hit the other player?
3. Was this a correct penalty assuming the ball arrived after our player hit the other player?
4. Was this a correct penalty assuming the ball and our player arrived simultaneously?
diesing
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Re: Rule for giving receiver space - on side kick after 15 y

Postby JasonTX » Tue Oct 08, 2019 12:11 am

Without seeing the play I will offer some rules information regarding kickoffs. There is a myth that the kickoff is live after it goes 15 yards and it's true, but that doesn't mean the return player doesn't have protection because he does. Protection on a kickoff is the same as a punt. No fair catch signal is required to receive protection. Below are two scenarios that may cover your play.

1. A kicker may kick the ball directly into the ground once and it immediately pops up the receiving team must be giving an unimpeded opportunity to catch the kick. No fair catch signal is required to receive the protection.

2. If the ball hits the ground multiple times or was not kicked into the ground immediately then there is no protection with regards to Kick Catch Interference but one other rule that may be in effect is the kicking team is not allowed to block until they are eligible to touch the ball. That doesn't happen until the ball goes 15 yards or is touched by a receiving team player.

For your specific questions based upon your explanation there would be no kick catch interference protection since the ball hit the ground multiple times. If that player does call fair catch after it hits the ground the ball will become dead if he recovers it, but he isn't afforded any extra protection that the fair catch rules provide. He's protected from late hits and other personal fouls.
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Re: Rule for giving receiver space - on side kick after 15 y

Postby diesing » Wed Oct 09, 2019 10:31 am

That is very helpful. Thanks. So my interpretation of what you said is that it was not a foul because the ball hit the ground multiple times. (Given the obvious caveat that you weren't there to actually see the play.)

I got one more piece of information. My defensive coordinator asked the HL why he threw the flag and I did not hear this information until practice the following Tuesday.

The official said the receiving player jumped up to get the ball and that he was hit in the air.

Does that make any difference?

And thanks again for the excellent information.
diesing
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Re: Rule for giving receiver space - on side kick after 15 y

Postby JasonTX » Wed Oct 09, 2019 1:27 pm

diesing wrote:That is very helpful. Thanks. So my interpretation of what you said is that it was not a foul because the ball hit the ground multiple times. (Given the obvious caveat that you weren't there to actually see the play.)

I got one more piece of information. My defensive coordinator asked the HL why he threw the flag and I did not hear this information until practice the following Tuesday.

The official said the receiving player jumped up to get the ball and that he was hit in the air.

Does that make any difference?

And thanks again for the excellent information.


You are correct. Kick Catch Interference is off due to the ball hitting the ground multiple times and "early blocking" is off due to the ball being beyond 15 yards.
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