Author Topic: NCAA rules - penalties on a punt return  (Read 2223 times)

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Offline jrk5150

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NCAA rules - penalties on a punt return
« on: October 18, 2016, 04:08:31 PM »
Was watching a youth game this weekend (MA - NCAA rules):

Punt return that went to the house, about 60 yards.

During a collision on the sideline, the ball carrier almost got face-masked, but he didn't. That's important because that's what got me thinking after the play.

On about the 10 yard line, the returning team had a holding penalty. So instead of a TD, the ball was put at the 20 yard line.

Question - what would have happened had there been a flag on the kicking team, say for that face-mask.  Would it have been offsetting penalties and redo the down?  Does the receiving team get the option to decline the face-mask and then get penalized for the holding, which left them still in great field position?

Offline Bob Goodman

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Re: NCAA rules - penalties on a punt return
« Reply #1 on: October 18, 2016, 09:17:09 PM »
Question - what would have happened had there been a flag on the kicking team, say for that face-mask.  Would it have been offsetting penalties and redo the down?  Does the receiving team get the option to decline the face-mask and then get penalized for the holding, which left them still in great field position?
Depends on the timing of the fouls:
Quote
When there is a change of team possession during a down, and the team last gaining possession had not fouled before last gaining possession,
it may refuse offsetting fouls and thereby retain possession after completion of the penalty for its foul
(10-1-4 Exception 1)

Offline jrk5150

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Re: NCAA rules - penalties on a punt return
« Reply #2 on: October 19, 2016, 07:16:04 AM »
Both happened on the return, after possession changed.

So the returning team can elect to decline the penalty (would have been a face-mask) on the kicking team, which means the holding penalty gets walked off 10 yards from spot of foul and R takes possession there as if the face-mask didn't happen?

Which makes sense to me...

Offline spidermac

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Re: NCAA rules - penalties on a punt return
« Reply #3 on: October 19, 2016, 09:38:04 AM »
Saw something interesting as well at a HS game last weekend....

Punting team was in this weird spread out punt formation...and they brought in fast guys to play on the line...so my son was aligned over top of a wide receiver about 5 to 7 yards from the Long Snapper. The first time they punted, the WR/G ran right past him as he tried to block him for the return.

Next punt...he aligned with inside leverage, on the snap, he locked onto the breast plate, drove him for a couple of yards and after the ball was punted, he picked him up and threw him (by the breast plate). Flag came out, holding...they marked off 10 yards and the punting team kept possession with a new set of downs.

I asked a ref buddy about it, he said it was the "takedown", if he had not have thrown him he would have been fine. I'm still confused about them retaining possession, unless they decided that the action of the hold started before the ball was punted, even though the takedown was not until it was punted?

As an aside, they took my son off the punt return team, unless the block is on :)
None of them suck, they just haven't found what the kid is good at yet.

Offline Bob Goodman

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Re: NCAA rules - penalties on a punt return
« Reply #4 on: October 19, 2016, 10:21:52 AM »
Both happened on the return, after possession changed.
But which happened 1st?

Strangely enough, at least as I read them, options that the receiving team might've had following a foul during the kick are not always there if the foul(s) were after the ball came into player possession.  Seems to me the post-scrimmage-kick provisions could've been written to extend to that interval, or even written more generally to cover other changes of possession.  As it stands, if the 1st foul was by the team that was last in possession, it's mandatory offsetting penalties, replaying the down from the previous spot.  Previous spot enforcement, offsetting, seems to make more sense in the absence of, or before, a change in possession, but when both fouls occur after a change in possession, going back to the previous spot & down seems a little funny; it'd seem to make more sense to use the spot where possession was gained, and you'd think that these days, when they're looking for excuses not to have the players take those long open-field runs, they'd jump at the chance to not replay a kicking situation.

Offline Bob Goodman

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Re: NCAA rules - penalties on a punt return
« Reply #5 on: October 19, 2016, 10:27:38 AM »
Saw something interesting as well at a HS game last weekend....

Punting team was in this weird spread out punt formation...and they brought in fast guys to play on the line...so my son was aligned over top of a wide receiver about 5 to 7 yards from the Long Snapper. The first time they punted, the WR/G ran right past him as he tried to block him for the return.

Next punt...he aligned with inside leverage, on the snap, he locked onto the breast plate, drove him for a couple of yards and after the ball was punted, he picked him up and threw him (by the breast plate). Flag came out, holding...they marked off 10 yards and the punting team kept possession with a new set of downs.

I asked a ref buddy about it, he said it was the "takedown", if he had not have thrown him he would have been fine. I'm still confused about them retaining possession, unless they decided that the action of the hold started before the ball was punted, even though the takedown was not until it was punted?
It's about the somewhat counterintuitive provision about team possession of the ball.  A loose ball of any kind is deemed to be in possession of the last team whose player had possession (or who free-kicked it).  So even though a scrimmage kick that's on the receiving team's side of the neutral zone is normally going to result in possession by the receiving team, technically it's still in the kicking team's possession, which is important if as in this case a foul occurs.

Offline jrk5150

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Re: NCAA rules - penalties on a punt return
« Reply #6 on: October 19, 2016, 12:10:32 PM »
But which happened 1st?


Okay, let's stay with it.

Let's look at both scenarios.  K and R teams.

K punts to R.

DURING THE RETURN (meaning after the kick was caught and he started running):

Scenario one, which is what I was originally asking -

K commits a penalty - face-mask - against the returner at the 40 yard line of K, but he doesn't go down and keeps running. AFTER that, R commits a holding penalty at K's 20.

Offsetting replay down, or does R have the ability to decline the face mask, and have the holding assessed against them from the spot of foul so it's 1st down on K's 30?

Scenario two - reverse it.  R commits a hold on K's 40, then R gets face-masked on the tackle at K's 20. Does it change anything?

Oh, for sh*ts and giggles, let's go scenario 3 - add a fumble that changes possession AFTER the two penalties. Does order of penalty matter?

I realize we can do this all day, I just got interested in this particular situation after I saw it almost happen on Sunday.

Offline Bob Goodman

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Re: NCAA rules - penalties on a punt return
« Reply #7 on: October 19, 2016, 08:14:15 PM »
K punts to R.

DURING THE RETURN (meaning after the kick was caught and he started running):

Scenario one, which is what I was originally asking -

K commits a penalty - face-mask - against the returner at the 40 yard line of K, but he doesn't go down and keeps running. AFTER that, R commits a holding penalty at K's 20.

Offsetting replay down, or does R have the ability to decline the face mask, and have the holding assessed against them from the spot of foul so it's 1st down on K's 30?
Team R captain has that option.
Quote
Scenario two - reverse it.  R commits a hold on K's 40, then R gets face-masked on the tackle at K's 20. Does it change anything?[/quote[
Mandatory replay of the down from the previous spot.
Quote
Oh, for sh*ts and giggles, let's go scenario 3 - add a fumble that changes possession AFTER the two penalties. Does order of penalty matter?
Funny thing: Reverse the above situations because it's all about the order of the fouls relative to the team last in possession.  But it makes sense when you think about it.