Fumble into Endzone


New member
The Play. Runner A20 running close to sideline fumbles around 5 yard line. Player D45 caused the fumble. The ball goes forward into End Zone. Player A20 steps out of bounds after the fumble. Player A20 recovers the loose ball in the EZ. Player A20 was the first player to touch the ball. From the video could not determine if A20 was "forced" out of bounds or not. Would this be a Touchdown or Touchback? Does the ruling change if A20 was forced out of bounds?


This is almost an identical call that caused an Ira Bulldog team a State Title in 2013 to the Crowell Wildcats in Jayton Texas on a cold November evening. It was a touchdown that was ultimately ruled a touchback. Obviously, I am a bit biased being a bulldog but I do feel the call was bogus because he fell into the end zone, and it came loose after the ball crossed the plain and fumbled in a pile of players that the ball carrier ultimately recovered.


There are no restrictions to players stepping out of bounds on a running play. On a pass play a player who steps out on his own cannot touch the pass until it has been touched by the defense or an official. As for the original play in the thread what you explained is a touchdown assuming A20 was inbounds when he recovered the ball.


New member
Jason, thanks for the reply. Knew rule on pass (and Kick plays), just had never encountered on a runner. Could not locate anything in the rule book either.