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Different Rules for the End Zone

Discussion in 'PatsFans.com - Patriots Fan Forum' started by brdmaverick, Feb 14, 2006.

  1. brdmaverick

    brdmaverick Rookie

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    #32 Jersey

    Since there has been much discussion about the officiating in this year's playoffs, there was a huge call made that not many are talking about. I don't know if they made the right call or not, because I guess I am just not up to speed with the rules of the end zone.

    Oh, the call I am talking about is the potential Chris Simms TD pass late in the WAS-TB playoff game that was ruled incomplete because the ball jarred loose from the recevier upon hitting the ground.

    I thought it would be ruled a catch because it was in the endzone and once he had possession in the endzone it would be ruled TD regardless of whether or it later came out.

    I think about how that was ruled incomplete, but in the regular season game with the Giants were at the the Seahawks, Giants TE Shockey was creditted with a questionable endzone TD. If you recall, Shockey caught the ball at the highest point of his jump, one foot came down on the ground and then he got walloped by a DB. The hit caused Shockey's other leg to swing towards the ground. You can't actually tell if it hits or not, but the ref ruled that it did so I will also for the sake of this discussion. The ball also popped loose. I have no doubt in my mind that if this play had happened at the 40 yard line it would have been ruled an incompletion, but it was ruled a TD because of the rules of the endzone (only needing possession for an instance to be considered a TD).

    The two rulings seem to contradict each other, don't they. If not please explain the difference that I am not seeing.

    Also in regards to the endzone, how come the endzone boundary extends to infinite but a regular sideline doesn't. For instance, Corey Dillon had a big rush attempt on third down in our first game against the Jets this year where he reached the ball over the third down marker as he was falling out of bounds. His body was still in but the ball was out as he was reaching. The officials marked him short, the Pats challenged and lost because the refs ruled that the ball was short when it crossed the imaginary sideline boundary even though he was still in. If he had been reaching for the endzone, however, he would have been given the TD right?

    Many times when I see a player jump across the endzone while flirting with the sideline, I always see them try to reach the ball inside the pylon, but technically they don't need to do this right(because the goalline extends to infinite)?

    I'm confusing myself even more

    someone help clear this up for me
  2. spacecrime

    spacecrime Rookie

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    Not a contradiction in the rules at all.

    In order for a pass to be termed a completion,the player must hold onto it when he hits the ground. If he does not hold onto the ball, he is ruled to never have had possession. That applies everywhere.

    A touchdown occurs when a player has possession of the ball in the endzone.

    So, If Shockey caught a pass, held it, and had two feet down, it was a touchdown. It didn't matter if theball was knocked free because the play was over when he caught the ball. This is similar to RBs having the ball stripped AFTER the cross the goal line.

    The difference between the two is having possession. Had Shockey fallen down and dropped the ball, NO touchdown.

    Before people say, "That doesn't make sense because..." let me remind you we are talking about interpreting existing rules,not debating if the tuck rule, offensive PI arm-extendedrule or any rule makes sense,only if it was called as written.
  3. Murphys95

    Murphys95 Rookie

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    SpaceCrime is right, the difference is how each receiver "came down" with the ball (hit by defender vs own accord). I agree both plays were very similar.

    Frankly I thought they were both incomplete. :)
  4. Fanfrom1960

    Fanfrom1960 Rookie

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    Like Spacecrime says, same rules for the endzones as for the 100 yards in between them. That Tampa Bay play has a precedence, and it might have even been Tampa Bay involved before as well, playoffs too. A receiver made a great catch, say chest high, stretching his body out to the max., then went to the ground from his momentum, no choice. He had complete control of the ball all the way down, but the ball hit the ground first, then all the rest of him. No fumble. I think, at the time, it was ruled a catch, but the rule was changed such that the receiver has to cradle the ball underneath with his hands or arms and not let it hit the ground first. Whew! Anybody remember that (rule changing) play?
  5. Murphys95

    Murphys95 Rookie

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    I think you are referring to the NFC Championship game of '99 (?). Bucs/Rams. I might be wrong but I thought is was Bert Emanuel who caught a clutch first down, had complete control of the ball, but the nose of the ball touched the ground before he had two feet down - it was then ruled incomplete. The league changed the rule the next year to allow that to be a catch.
  6. brdmaverick

    brdmaverick Rookie

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    #32 Jersey


    if this is the play that he is referring to, I do remember it as well. At the time if the ball hit the ground it was incomplete. Afterwards the rule was changed that the ball can hit the ground as long as the receiver has full control of the ball.
  7. Fanfrom1960

    Fanfrom1960 Rookie

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    I think that is the catch I was thinking of.
  8. Fanfrom1960

    Fanfrom1960 Rookie

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    I think it's the opposite. The receiver has to have hands or an arm under the ball when he goes to the ground. If the ball touches the ground first, even if he has complete control, no catch.
  9. AdamJT13

    AdamJT13 Rookie

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    No, if the receiver catches the ball and has control of it, it's now OK for the ball to touch the ground after that, as long as the player maintains complete control of the ball (no bobble or shifting because it touched the ground). If it touches the ground before the player catches it or when he's in the process of catching it, then it's incomplete.
  10. Fanfrom1960

    Fanfrom1960 Rookie

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    Hmmm. I still disagree but can't find an explanation of the rule doing Google searches. I could be wrong though.
  11. AdamJT13

    AdamJT13 Rookie

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    http://chicagosports.chicagotribune...54929.story?coll=cs-bears-asktheref-headlines

    From Jerry Markbreit, the former NFL head official --

    "A catch is made when a player secures possession of a pass in flight. If, in the process of making this catch, a player secures control of the ball prior to the ball touching the ground and control of the ball is maintained after hitting the ground, a successful catch is ruled."

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