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    Question about fair catches on punts

    Could somebody please tell me what the rule is on fair catching a punt, how can a ball hit the ground and still have the fair catch in tack? It happen twice today, once TCU let the ball bounce and then picked it up like a fair catch, and then Iowa State bobbled the ball and it hit the ground, but nobody hit our guy, and acted like it was a fair catch.



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    Re: Question about fair catches on punts

    Quote Originally Posted by cyfreddy View Post
    Could somebody please tell me what the rule is on fair catching a punt, how can a ball hit the ground and still have the fair catch in tack? It happen twice today, once TCU let the ball bounce and then picked it up like a fair catch, and then Iowa State bobbled the ball and it hit the ground, but nobody hit our guy, and acted like it was a fair catch.
    SECTION 5. Fair Catch
    Dead Where Caught
    ARTICLE 1. a. When a Team B player makes a fair catch, the ball becomes
    dead where caught and belongs to Team B at that spot.
    b. When a Team B player makes a valid fair catch signal, the unimpeded
    opportunity to catch a free or scrimmage kick continues if this player muffs
    the kick and still has an opportunity to complete the catch. This protection
    terminates when the kick touches the ground. If the player subsequently
    catches the kick, the ball is placed where he first touched it (A.R. 6-5-1-I-II).
    c. Rules pertaining to a fair catch apply only when a scrimmage kick crosses
    the neutral zone or during free kicks.
    d. The purpose of the fair catch provision is to protect the receiver who, by his
    fair catch signal, agrees he or a teammate will not advance after the catch
    (A.R. 6-5-5-III).
    FR-70 RULE 6 / KICKS
    e. The ball shall be put in play by a snap by the receiving team at the spot of
    the catch if the ball is caught (Exceptions: Rules 6-5-1-b, 7-1-3 and 8-6-1-
    b).
    No Advance
    ARTICLE 2. No Team B player shall carry a caught or recovered ball more than
    two steps in any direction after any Team B player gives a valid or invalid fair
    catch signal (A.R. 6-5-2-I-III).
    PENALTY—Dead-ball foul. Five yards from the succeeding spot [S7 and
    S21].
    Invalid Signals: Catch or Recovery
    ARTICLE 3. a. A catch after an invalid signal is not a fair catch, and the ball is
    dead where caught or recovered. If the signal follows a catch or recovery, the
    ball is dead when the signal is first given (A.R. 6-5-1-I).
    b. Invalid signals beyond the neutral zone apply only to Team B.
    c. An invalid signal beyond the neutral zone is possible only when the ball has
    crossed the neutral zone (Rule 2-16-7) (A.R. 6-5-3-I).
    Illegal Block or Contact
    ARTICLE 4. A player of Team B who has made a valid or invalid signal for a
    fair catch and does not touch the ball shall not block or foul an opponent during
    that down (A.R. 6-5-4-I and II).
    PENALTY—Free kick: Receiving team’s ball 15 yards from the spot of the
    foul [S40]. Scrimmage kick: 15 yards, postscrimmage kick
    enforcement
    [S40].
    No Tackling
    ARTICLE 5. No player of the kicking team shall tackle or block an opponent
    who has completed a fair catch. Only the player making a fair catch signal has
    this protection (A.R. 6-5-5-I and III).
    PENALTY—Dead-ball foul. Receiving team’s ball 15 yards from the
    succeeding spot [S7 and S38].



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    Re: Question about fair catches on punts

    So Gary's fumble should've been able to been picked up and that's a live ball? Also don't you have to catch a fair catch in the air and not off a bounce?
    Quote Originally Posted by IcSyU View Post
    SECTION 5. Fair Catch
    Dead Where Caught
    ARTICLE 1. a. When a Team B player makes a fair catch, the ball becomes
    dead where caught and belongs to Team B at that spot.
    b. When a Team B player makes a valid fair catch signal, the unimpeded
    opportunity to catch a free or scrimmage kick continues if this player muffs
    the kick and still has an opportunity to complete the catch. This protection
    terminates when the kick touches the ground. If the player subsequently
    catches the kick, the ball is placed where he first touched it (A.R. 6-5-1-I-II).
    c. Rules pertaining to a fair catch apply only when a scrimmage kick crosses
    the neutral zone or during free kicks.
    d. The purpose of the fair catch provision is to protect the receiver who, by his
    fair catch signal, agrees he or a teammate will not advance after the catch
    (A.R. 6-5-5-III).
    FR-70 RULE 6 / KICKS
    e. The ball shall be put in play by a snap by the receiving team at the spot of
    the catch if the ball is caught (Exceptions: Rules 6-5-1-b, 7-1-3 and 8-6-1-
    b).
    No Advance
    ARTICLE 2. No Team B player shall carry a caught or recovered ball more than
    two steps in any direction after any Team B player gives a valid or invalid fair
    catch signal (A.R. 6-5-2-I-III).
    PENALTY—Dead-ball foul. Five yards from the succeeding spot [S7 and
    S21].
    Invalid Signals: Catch or Recovery
    ARTICLE 3. a. A catch after an invalid signal is not a fair catch, and the ball is
    dead where caught or recovered. If the signal follows a catch or recovery, the
    ball is dead when the signal is first given (A.R. 6-5-1-I).
    b. Invalid signals beyond the neutral zone apply only to Team B.
    c. An invalid signal beyond the neutral zone is possible only when the ball has
    crossed the neutral zone (Rule 2-16-7) (A.R. 6-5-3-I).
    Illegal Block or Contact
    ARTICLE 4. A player of Team B who has made a valid or invalid signal for a
    fair catch and does not touch the ball shall not block or foul an opponent during
    that down (A.R. 6-5-4-I and II).
    PENALTY—Free kick: Receiving team’s ball 15 yards from the spot of the
    foul [S40]. Scrimmage kick: 15 yards, postscrimmage kick
    enforcement
    [S40].
    No Tackling
    ARTICLE 5. No player of the kicking team shall tackle or block an opponent
    who has completed a fair catch. Only the player making a fair catch signal has
    this protection (A.R. 6-5-5-I and III).
    PENALTY—Dead-ball foul. Receiving team’s ball 15 yards from the
    succeeding spot [S7 and S38].



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    Re: Question about fair catches on punts

    A muffed punt can't be advanced.

    Fair catch protects you from being hit by giving up your ability to advance the ball. Ground only comes into play in the case of a muffed catch...until the ball hits the ground you can't hit the person attempting to catch it.

    Because on a kick you're more or less agreeing to turn over the ball, you can't advance it until the opposing team has taken possession.


    Last edited by IcSyU; 11-09-2013 at 08:56 PM.

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    Re: Question about fair catches on punts

    Quote Originally Posted by cyfreddy View Post
    So Gary's fumble should've been able to been picked up and that's a live ball? Also don't you have to catch a fair catch in the air and not off a bounce?
    I don't believe Gary called a fair catch, he simply let it bounce cause it was a really short punt and then tried to pick it up off the bounce but muffed it (which means TCU can recover but not advance it).

    The TCU guy later in the game signaled a fair catch but let it bounce and then caught it off the bounce which is legal and still a fair catch.



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    Re: Question about fair catches on punts

    Quote Originally Posted by isufbcurt View Post
    I don't believe Gary called a fair catch, he simply let it bounce cause it was a really short punt and then tried to pick it up off the bounce but muffed it (which means TCU can recover but not advance it).

    The TCU guy later in the game signaled a fair catch but let it bounce and then caught it off the bounce which is legal and still a fair catch.
    The second time Gary muffed it (then recovered) he called for a fair catch.



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    Re: Question about fair catches on punts

    Quote Originally Posted by azepp View Post
    The second time Gary muffed it (then recovered) he called for a fair catch.
    yeah but he recovered it



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    Re: Question about fair catches on punts

    Quote Originally Posted by isufbcurt View Post
    yeah but he recovered it
    But he wasn't down and they called the play dead. That's what I assumed the question was about.



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    Re: Question about fair catches on punts

    Quote Originally Posted by azepp View Post
    But he wasn't down and they called the play dead. That's what I assumed the question was about.
    Oh ok. Once you signal a fair catch it's a fair catch whether you catch it, muff it and recover it yourself or let it bounce then pick it up.



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    Re: Question about fair catches on punts

    Based on the rule quoted above:

    1. If the ball hits the ground, the receiving player loses his "special protection" (ie, he can be blocked), BUT
    2. It does not rule out the fact that a fair catch was called; therefore once the receiving team gains possession, the play is dead by rule (they can not advance).

    On the play I saw, the kick bounced and then went right into the arms of the receiver. Therefore, the play is over by rule, and if a kicking team player had tackled him, it probably would have been a late-hit personal foul.

    Whether the Cyclone players specifically knew this or just weren't sure (so didn't do anything), that I don't know.


    If there was a situation where a fair catch was called, it was bouncing around for a few seconds, then it would be perfectly legal for any K team player to block the R team player who called for the fair catch (again, as he loses his "special protection" once the ball hits the ground). If any R team player then gains possession, play over, can't advance.



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