Ruling on the tackle in the End Zone?

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Virginia Redbird
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Sun Sep 03, 2017 10:58 am

I was curious if anyone had an answer for the call in the End Zone last night that the officials ruled a touchback. It appeared that the Butler player touched the ball off the punt and it bounced into the End Zone. The Butler player was able to grab the ball but was tackled by the Redbirds in the End Zone. It was never really explained during the broadcast and I will confess I did not attempt to look it up. Does anyone out there know why the officials made this call? Did they rule the Butler player never touched the ball? I thought if the player ran back into the End Zone after touching the ball in the field of play it would have been a safety. If he did not touch it then I get the touchback ruling but it sure looked like he touched the ball during the replay. I was surprised with the touchback ruling, as were the game announcers, and I just wanted to know if anyone knew what the basis of the officials ruling was?
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fourthandshort
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Sun Sep 03, 2017 11:11 am

I don't know the rule for certain ... but even if it did not hit his foot in field of play, he never downed it in the end zone, nor took a fair catch. He tried to run it out of the end zone and got tackled. Did officials rule the play was dead ??

What if he ran it back for TD ? What if he got injured being tackled on supposed dead play ?

Like you, I did not get this at all.
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cpacmel
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Sun Sep 03, 2017 11:45 am

If was a bizarre play. Refs said it was a muffed punt. I know if we recovered it we would not be able to return it. Not sure how they got a touchback out of the deal.

RollBirds2002
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Sun Sep 03, 2017 12:00 pm

I believe the rule is that a muffed punt that goes into the end zone without having established possession outside of the end zone is a touchback if the receiving team establishes possession while in the end zone. I think they got this one right.

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Virginia Redbird
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Sun Sep 03, 2017 12:19 pm

RollBirds2002 wrote:
Sun Sep 03, 2017 12:00 pm
I believe the rule is that a muffed punt that goes into the end zone without having established possession outside of the end zone is a touchback if the receiving team establishes possession while in the end zone. I think they got this one right.
That sounds like a good explanation. Thanks, I was scratching my head after the call was made. :clap:
“When you have great players, playing great, well that’s great football!”
John Madden

fourthandshort
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Sun Sep 03, 2017 5:08 pm

RollBirds2002 wrote:
Sun Sep 03, 2017 12:00 pm
I believe the rule is that a muffed punt that goes into the end zone without having established possession outside of the end zone is a touchback if the receiving team establishes possession while in the end zone. I think they got this one right.
That would be fine I guess .. if that meant it was a dead ball as soon as he regained possession ? And if he ran it back for TD, it would have been brought back and ruled touchback ??

But I still don't get this .. they muff the return inside the 10, then they try to return it from end zone, and we bust our tails to tackle them in end zone ... and rule rewards them by placing ball on 20 ? On what planet, does that make any sense ? Why do they gain 10+ yards on the muffed punt ? And if it was muffed punt that was ruled, we could have recovered it in field of play, but not the end zone ? But they could have returned it from end zone if we don't tackle them ?

None of this makes sense. Very glad the play did not impact the game.
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jbird
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Sun Sep 03, 2017 10:12 pm

My guess.......the college rule is that the moment the football contacts the turf in the end zone, it is a touchback; a "muff" with no secure possession In the field of play is the same as if the ball had not been touched (although a muffed punt can result in a turnover if recovered by the punting team outside of the end zone).

My guess is that when the refs conferred, the consensus was that the ball had been "muffed" and then bounced into the end zone, so although the Butler returner tracked the ball down and ran around in the back of the end zone until tackled, by then it was a moot point. The confusion stemmed from the fact that the back judge failed to blow the play dead and signal a touchback the moment that the muffed punt bounced into the end zone; instead, he let things "play out" until the tackle.

Reggie
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Sun Sep 03, 2017 10:48 pm

fourthandshort wrote:
Sun Sep 03, 2017 5:08 pm
RollBirds2002 wrote:
Sun Sep 03, 2017 12:00 pm
I believe the rule is that a muffed punt that goes into the end zone without having established possession outside of the end zone is a touchback if the receiving team establishes possession while in the end zone. I think they got this one right.
That would be fine I guess .. if that meant it was a dead ball as soon as he regained possession ? And if he ran it back for TD, it would have been brought back and ruled touchback ??

But I still don't get this .. they muff the return inside the 10, then they try to return it from end zone, and we bust our tails to tackle them in end zone ... and rule rewards them by placing ball on 20 ? On what planet, does that make any sense ? Why do they gain 10+ yards on the muffed punt ? And if it was muffed punt that was ruled, we could have recovered it in field of play, but not the end zone ? But they could have returned it from end zone if we don't tackle them ?

None of this makes sense. Very glad the play did not impact the game.
RollBirds is correct. Same applies to kickoffs as well. We could have recovered it in the end zone as well, since it was muffed.

salsa
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Mon Sep 11, 2017 1:34 pm

I got this explanation from a friend of mine who is a college official.

Any kick into the end zone is still a kick. That was the force that put it into the end zone so the kicking team is responsible for it being there. If it is touched by the receiving team before going in the ball remains live. If the kicking team recovers it's a TD. If the receiving team recovers and it stays in their possession there until the end of the down it's a touchback. They can also bring it out but they lost the touchback. If the receiving team doesn't touch it before it touches in the end zone, then it is automatically a touchback at that point.

It sounds like they got it right.

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fourthandshort
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Tue Sep 12, 2017 9:32 pm

Thanks for confirming with a college official. And it makes no sense that they can muff a return and then still try to return it our of the end zone with no risk. In fact, they are rewarded for both muffing it and getting tackled in end zone, with a placement at 20 yard line. So understanding the refs made correct call based on rules ... it makes ZERO sense that a team would be rewarded with 20 extra yards of field position for making 2 mistakes. The rule needs to change. Glad game and play did not matter.

Letting return team down it in end zone after muffing the return is generous enough ... right ? But they also get a free return with no risk of safety ?
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Virginia Redbird
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Wed Sep 13, 2017 7:11 am

salsa wrote:
Mon Sep 11, 2017 1:34 pm
I got this explanation from a friend of mine who is a college official.

Any kick into the end zone is still a kick. That was the force that put it into the end zone so the kicking team is responsible for it being there. If it is touched by the receiving team before going in the ball remains live. If the kicking team recovers it's a TD. If the receiving team recovers and it stays in their possession there until the end of the down it's a touchback. They can also bring it out but they lost the touchback. If the receiving team doesn't touch it before it touches in the end zone, then it is automatically a touchback at that point.

It sounds like they got it right.

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Thanks for the information. Strange rule but it looks like the refs were correct with the call. Very glad this did not impact the final result of the game in any manner. It would be tough to live with if this play was critical to winning or losing the game.
“When you have great players, playing great, well that’s great football!”
John Madden

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