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Old 11-16-2013, 11:47 PM   #1
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Default What's the rule on a safety for a kick off?

With around 14:00 left in the second we kicked off and Florida's guy touched the ball at the one. He muffed the catch and the ball rolled into the end zone so he ran back and picked it up and took a knee. Wasn't the ball a live ball after he touched it? Why wasn't that a safety?
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Old 11-16-2013, 11:48 PM   #2
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Default Re: What's the rule on a safety for a kick off?

I was thinking the same thing, actually. Looked like he touched it in the field of play.
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Old 11-16-2013, 11:48 PM   #3
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Default Re: What's the rule on a safety for a kick off?

in this instance a player hasnt established possession yet so he can let the ball roll into the endzone for a touchback. it may be different on punts but im not sure.
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Old 11-16-2013, 11:50 PM   #4
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in this instance a player hasnt established possession yet so he can let the ball roll into the endzone for a touchback.
That can't be true. If he touched it at the 1 and it rolled in to the end zone it is def not a touchback.
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Old 11-16-2013, 11:54 PM   #5
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Default Re: What's the rule on a safety for a kick off?

i'll try and look it up but heres a high school site with a ncaa reference.

Play 2: R1, on his five yardline, touches (muffs) a kickoff as it bounds past him. The ball bounces into team R’s end zone, where (a) K4 recovers after the ball hits the ground in the end zone, (b) K4 recovers before the ball hits the ground in the end zone, or (c) prone R2 recovers after the ball hits the ground in the end zone or before it can hit the ground in the end zone. Ruling 2: That is a touchback in each case in NFHS; the ball is dead as soon as it breaks the goalline plane. For NCAA, K4 scores a touchdown in (a) and (b). In (c), it’s a touchback when prone R2 recovers.
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Old 11-16-2013, 11:59 PM   #6
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Default Re: What's the rule on a safety for a kick off?

essentially a muff is a live ball but on kicks where the ball rolls into the endzone it can be downed for a touchback.
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Old 11-16-2013, 11:59 PM   #7
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Default Re: What's the rule on a safety for a kick off?

That just seems ridiculous to me. There's no reason for that to not just be a normal live ball.
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Old 11-17-2013, 12:04 AM   #8
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Default Re: What's the rule on a safety for a kick off?

ARTICLE 1. It is a touchback when:
a. The ball becomes dead out of bounds behind a goal line, except from an incomplete forward pass, or becomes dead in the possession of a player on, above or behind his own goal line and the attacking team is responsible for the ball being there (Rules 7-2-4-a and b) (A.R. 6-3-9-IV, A.R. 7-2-4-I, A.R. 8-6-1-I and II, and A.R. 10-2-2-XXV).

b. A kick becomes dead by rule behind the defending team’s goal line and the attacking team is responsible for the ball being there (Exception: Rule 8-4-2-b) (A.R. 6-3-4-IV).

And now, the interpretation (emphasis in italics is mine):
Team A punts. The ball is touched by Team B (no impetus added) and crosses Team B’s goal line. Then Team B falls on the ball or the ball goes out of bounds from the end zone. RULING: Touchback. The same ruling applies if a kick in flight strikes Team B or merely is deflected by an attempted catch. Team B may recover and advance, and it is a touchback if a Team B player is downed in the end zone or goes out of bounds behind the goal line (Rule 8-6-1-a).
Fumble
ARTICLE 1. A fumble is any act other than passing, kicking or successful handing that results in loss of player possession (A.R. 2-19-2-I, A.R. 4-1-3-I and A.R. 7-2-2-I).

Muff
ARTICLE 2. A muff is an unsuccessful attempt to catch or recover a ball that is touched in the attempt.
So the idea of the muff is that while there is contact with the ball, possession is not modified. However, IMO, there should be a differentiation when a muff is made in the act of attempting to catch a ball (which is what happened here). The punt was sailing over the receiver's head, and the receiver had the option to let the ball go, or attempt a catch. I think that if you choose to attempt the catch, then you are imparting your own impetus if the ball goes off of your fingers, and you're now subject to this interpretation:
Any kick by Team A strikes the ground and a Team B player bats the ball across Team B’s goal line, where Team B recovers it while grounded or it goes out of bounds. RULING: New impetus is given by Team B. Safety, two points for Team A. Batting the kick is considered to have destroyed the impetus of the kick and imparted a new impetus. However, merely touching or deflecting the kick, or being struck by it, does not destroy the impetus of the kick (Rule 8-5-1-a).

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Old 11-17-2013, 12:06 AM   #9
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Default Re: What's the rule on a safety for a kick off?

^thats copy and pasted from another site with a guy with a similar opinion as yours. i'll bold his points which like yours make sense, but the ruling was correct. the 2nd post with the rulings is from the ncaa rulebook.
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Old 11-17-2013, 12:08 AM   #10
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Default Re: What's the rule on a safety for a kick off?

I second guessed it live myself and brought it up in CockyChat. Now, it appears the call on the field was correct, however ridiculous the rule may be.
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