Replay

BDog72

New member
I have waited until the end of the season to ask this question so that no one can accuse me of sour grapes or the like.

Earlier this year I was at a game where the following situation came about.

Team A had just scored to close within 8 points of Team B. There was about 1:30 left in the game and Team A had no timeouts. Obviously, Team A was going to try an onside kick.

Team A lines up for the onside kick and executes it to perfection recovering the ball on Team B's 32 yard line. The officials on the line for the receiving team both signaled Team A's ball. Team A sends out their offense. Meanwhile Team B's coach is throwing a fit on his sidelines. A discussion with the coach ensues followed by a meeting of officials (there were 5 for this game). After several minutes, the officials inform Team A's coach that they would have to re-kick. Those of us in the stands were left wondering why. The second kick was unsuccessful and Team B ran out the clock.

Later we learned that the Team B coach contended and eventually the officials decided that Team A had kicked off from the 35 yard line instead of the 30. How they could tell that AFTER they play, I'm not sure. Full disclosure: I have been told that the video shows that they did kick from the 35 after the official handed the kicker the ball on the 35. Even after the first kick, I am told that the official again walked to the 35 for the second kick and waited for the kicker!

I am in no way saying that this is why Team A lost the game -- they made many mistakes that cost them the game. However, to end the game in this fashion does leave a sour taste in your mouth and give credence to all kinds of conspiracy talk.

My question for the refs is when is it acceptable to replay a completed play when there is not a flag, whistle or anything like that. Only after the play was fully completed and the other coach complained did they decide there was a problem.

Thanks in advance.
 

JasonTX

Member
There should not have been a replay. Sure, the officials messed up by kicking from the 35, but the ball traveled the required 15 yards for the kicking team to legally recover it. Perhaps they could have moved the ball back 5 yards after the recovery to make up the difference in where it was kicked from. Nothing in the rules that allows that, but perhaps a common sense move. No way should we re-kick because that is an error by the officials.
 

BDog72

New member
Jason,

Thanks for the reply. However, I think one of the issues that may have caused problems was the fact that the ball did not travel the required 15 yards. Remember, they kicked from the 35 and recovered the kick on the other team's 32 so the ball only traveled 13 yards.

And the solution is only "common sense" if you aren't hurt by the decision!
 

JasonTX

Member
BDog72":3uvozvtg said:
Jason,

Thanks for the reply. However, I think one of the issues that may have caused problems was the fact that the ball did not travel the required 15 yards. Remember, they kicked from the 35 and recovered the kick on the other team's 32 so the ball only traveled 13 yards.

And the solution is only "common sense" if you aren't hurt by the decision!

Ah, I wasn't even looking at the math. I assumed it went 15 yards without reading into it. I can now see how this got screwed up. They didn't realize they kicked from the 35. When the ball was recovered, it would have been a legal recovery had the ball been actually kicked from the 30. If we determined and then ruled that the ball was kicked from the 35, then by rule the ball was not legally recovered as it only went 13 yards. The ball will belong to the receiving team at the 32. There would be no re-kick. Now that I think about it, I don't think I would move the ball 5 yards as previously posted. No reason to screw up twice. Set the ball up for the receiving team and move on.
 

oldergoat

New member
Just to add another thought. Where was the receiving team lined up for the kickoff?
If the covering official (Official on the Receiving Teams restraining line) was on the 35 (10 yards for kicking team restraining line) he would have moved back (from 35 to 32) to cover the recovery of the kick. He may have thought that since he moved back the ball had actually traveled the required distance. If he was actually on the 30 (15 yards from the spot of the kick) he would have moved forward. Should have been clear that the ball had not traveled the required 15 yards and was touched by kicking team therefore the ball belongs to receivers.

Now if the receiving team was lined up only 10 yards from the kicking team then they have a clear advantage even though they did not recover the kick. In that situation I think you would have to give some consideration to a replay of the kickoff. If the ball has gone past the front line of the receiving team the kicking team would think that the ball had traveled at least 15 yards and could be recovered. But before I would make that call (re-kick) I would have to know without any doubt that we, the officials, had made some major mistakes on that kick off. You have to wonder if the officials had been doing this the entire game.

If everyone was correctly lined up for the kick off, with the exception of kicking from the 35 then I would probably make the 5 yard adjustment and spot the ball at the 37 yard line for the next play.
 

BDog72

New member
Thanks for the responses.

Now, back to my original question: What rule allows officials to order a replay when there was no penalty and the play was completed?

A couple of other questions and observations. Both of you have indicated that "if" you determined that the ball was kicked from the 35 instead of the 30 you would penalize the kicking team. First, how do you determine that the ball was kicked from the 35 when the play is completed and the kicking team's offense is now on the field? The only thing I can think of is one of the officials admits he lined the kicking team up on the 35. So why penalize the kicking team for his mistake? And then back to my original question, how can you determine to replay the kick?

My recollection is that the receiving team and two officials had lined up on the 35 yard line, so they did have the opportunity to field the kick before it was recovered. Again, I believe I saw the official move back to the 32.

Absent any rule that allows high school officials a replay because of their mistake, I don't understand how the officials could justify what they did in this situation.

So, until someone shows me the rule that allows this, I will maintain that the officials compounded their initial mistake of allowing the kicking team to kick from the 35 without penalty by then ordering a re-kick.

Persuade me differently!
 

rickref72

New member
JasonTX":3qzecj7n said:
BDog72":3qzecj7n said:
Jason,

Thanks for the reply. However, I think one of the issues that may have caused problems was the fact that the ball did not travel the required 15 yards. Remember, they kicked from the 35 and recovered the kick on the other team's 32 so the ball only traveled 13 yards.

And the solution is only "common sense" if you aren't hurt by the decision!

Ah, I wasn't even looking at the math. I assumed it went 15 yards without reading into it. I can now see how this got screwed up. They didn't realize they kicked from the 35. When the ball was recovered, it would have been a legal recovery had the ball been actually kicked from the 30. If we determined and then ruled that the ball was kicked from the 35, then by rule the ball was not legally recovered as it only went 13 yards. The ball will belong to the receiving team at the 32. There would be no re-kick. Now that I think about it, I don't think I would move the ball 5 yards as previously posted. No reason to screw up twice. Set the ball up for the receiving team and move on.


You also have offsides then by B. They are not lined up on the proper restraining line and in fact are over it. Well thats the arguement I would make if I was Team A and did not recover it. Since ball is placed for kick at 35 you should move B back. See we have a real mess. Someone gets hurt here because the officiaiting crew failed to line up em up right to begin with. I have no issues with a replay being done here. No one rule says you can or cannnot. Generally the book is about what you can not do. Overall it is a tough situation for all involved.

Crew messed up and there is no doubt about it. I am suprised no one on team B coaching staff caught this before ready for play as well.

Back when I first got started 12 years ago we did this. We messed up and allowed a kick off from 35. It was the opening kick off and it went deep. No harm no foul.


Rule Decisions Final
ARTICLE 9. No rule decision may be changed after the ball is next legally
snapped, legally free-kicked or the second or fourth periods have ended (Rules
3-2-1-a, 3-3-4-e-2 and 11-1-1).

Also you could make the arguement that officials lined up the kick off unfairly and invoke this section of the rules. In this case 3-D.

Unfair Acts
ARTICLE 3. The following are unfair acts:
a. While the ball is in play any person other than a player or an official
interferes in any way with the ball, player or an official.
b. A team refuses to play within two minutes after ordered to do so by the
referee.
c. A team repeatedly commits fouls for which penalties can be enforced only
by halving the distance to its goal line.
d. An obviously unfair act not specifically covered by the rules occurs during
the game (A.R. 4-2-1-II).
PENALTY—The referee may take any action he considers equitable,
which includes directing that the down be repeated, including
assessing a 15-yard penalty, awarding a score, or suspending or
forfeiting the game [S27].
 

JasonTX

Member
Here is a different way of looking at it.

On the opening kickoff it goes into the end zone for a touchback. The officials erred and placed the ball on the 25 instead of the 20. The first play Team A scores a TD. After the TD the officials realize the error of not starting on the 20. What do you do? I would admit my mistake but there isn't anything we can do. We allowed them to start on the 25.

The same is true on the original play in this thread. We put them on the 35 to kick, the receiving teams restraining line is established 15 yards from the spot the ball is kicked from. Both teams were on the line that we put them on. We just have to make sure we get it right on the next kick.
 

rickref72

New member
Jaosn, if the restraining line was 15 yards away from the K 35 on the first play then NO replay. If they did 35-35 then I have an issue and thats the only way I advocate a replay. Else...go with how it played out.
 

BDog72

New member
Thanks for the comments guys.

It does look like the Unfair Acts rule may apply here which would allow the play to be replayed. Looking through the NCAA rule book, it looks like the language allowing the replay is fairly new to this rule.

However, I still have a problem with applying that rule. The problem is with the word "obviously." I think that before this play was run, it was blatantly obvious that they were kicking from the 35. However, after the play while their offense is standing on the field I don't think it is obvious anymore. Some of my friends said that maybe the kicking tee was still there. Nope, it had already been taken away. And, unlike Jason's example where the chains may still be in place indicating the ball was originally spotted on the 25, there is no such evidence in this case. So how do you guys suggest it was determined they kicked from the 35? Remember, this is something that would not have been noticed if Team A had not recovered the ball and Team B's coach complained. And they didn't have the benefit of the video. Had they been kicking from the 35 all night? I don't know the answer to that. Why didn't Team B's coach complain before the kick? I guess he figured that he would wait until it mattered.

Thanks guys for your participation in this discussion.
 

JasonTX

Member
Unfair acts would not apply in this play. This rule is reserved for actions committed by the players. This was an officiating error and neither team should be penalized for our actions. We allowed the kickoff from the 35 so the play should stand since that is how we allowed it to begin. I would simply apologize to the other coach for my error and we'd make sure we didn't allow a kickoff from the 35 again.

For Rick, I would be real surprised if the receiving team wasn't 15 yards from where the kick was made from. I think most officials automatically ensure that they are 15 yards from the ball. They may not have been aware they were kicking from the 35 but I would think they at least had the receiving team line up 15 yards from the ball.
 
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