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  #1  
Old 12-14-2005, 03:10 PM
CapnPitt CapnPitt is offline
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NFL Rule: "football move" for fumble

Partially inspired by this thread infinite goal line

As I understand it, in order for a receiver to have possession in the field of play, he has to not be bobbling the ball and make a "football move" in order to be considered to have possession. If these criteria aren't met and the ball falls to the ground, it can't be a completion, therefore there can be no fumble.

My question is: Why isn't this applied to the end zone? Sure it's a TD as soon as the ball crosses the plane and an offensive player has possession. But in order to have possession, he's got to make a "football move," right? It seems to me that this "football move" stuff is all a bunch of hooey that Jerry Markbreit insists on "staying the course" with.

As somebody mentioned in the other thread, I guess I'm looking for internally consistent rules and that's unlikely to happen.
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  #2  
Old 12-14-2005, 03:24 PM
panamajack panamajack is offline
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I'm not up on the rules, but from what you say it seems consistent to me. The 'football move' establishes possession of a received pass, and possession + ball breaking the plane = touchdown. If no football move is made, then there was no possession, right?
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  #3  
Old 12-14-2005, 03:32 PM
CapnPitt CapnPitt is offline
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No, you often have the situation where just catching the ball = possession in the endzone, no football move necessary. Particularly falling out of bounds. Unless the act of falling is considered a football move, which I don't think it should be (and I can guarantee you that in the field of play, it's not).
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  #4  
Old 12-14-2005, 04:38 PM
Quercus Quercus is offline
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IANA referee, coach or anyone else who would have a reason to know football rules.

But I think Panama seems to have it. Possession + in end zone + ball across line = touchdown. You need a "football move" to establish possession, but you can do that before entering the end zone.

For catching in the end zone, I think in this case, a "football move" includes the pretty much any act of firmly establishing possession, such as clamping your hands down on it in anticipation of hitting the ground.

I believe the idea behind the rule is to essentially require that possession be conscious, so that, for instance, if an unconscious player lying on the ground has a pass land on their stomach and not roll off, it's not a catch.
Or if in some bizarre bounce, a thrown ball gets caught in a player's pads for a full second while moves down the field unaware of it, it should not be a catch because, while he had control of the ball, he didn't make a "football move" with it.
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  #5  
Old 12-14-2005, 05:21 PM
aktep aktep is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CapnPitt
No, you often have the situation where just catching the ball = possession in the endzone, no football move necessary. Particularly falling out of bounds. Unless the act of falling is considered a football move, which I don't think it should be (and I can guarantee you that in the field of play, it's not).

If it's a catch in the endzone as you fall out of bounds, it'll be a catch at the 43. You have to meet the requirments of two feet in bounds and control of the ball. You don't have to make any "football moves" before you fall down, but you will need to hold on to the ball when you hit the ground ( this is true in the endzone as much as anywhere else).

The "football move" hooey that the NFL uses is really for those catch-get pummeled by a DB-drop the ball plays where it is difficult to determine if you have a catch-fumble or no catch. In the endzone it shouldn't be applied differently than anywhere else (but the NFL rulebook is not available online so I don't know what the exact definition of football move is)
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  #6  
Old 12-14-2005, 05:43 PM
CapnPitt CapnPitt is offline
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Just to clear it up a little, I was only referring to catching the ball in the endzone. Catching and running in makes perfect sense.

I don't have a problem with the way it's applied in the endzone. I think that's the way it should be applied everywhere. You catch it, well, then you catch it. The football move hooey should be eliminated entirely. So it would lead to more fumbles, what's the big deal with that. Should open up the scoring which the NFL loves everywhere else.
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  #7  
Old 12-14-2005, 10:38 PM
aktep aktep is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CapnPitt
J The football move hooey should be eliminated entirely. So it would lead to more fumbles, what's the big deal with that.
If you get rid of the football move hooey, then you end up with what we do in NCAA: call more incomplete passes.
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  #8  
Old 09-22-2014, 08:08 AM
Saint Cad Saint Cad is offline
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And apparently given the Seahawks-Broncos game last night, turning with the football with both feet on the ground is NOT a football move because you do not take a step.
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  #9  
Old 09-22-2014, 08:10 AM
engineer_comp_geek engineer_comp_geek is online now
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Moving thread from General Questions to the Game Room (which didn't exist when this thread was started).
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  #10  
Old 09-22-2014, 09:00 AM
D_Odds D_Odds is offline
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Originally Posted by Saint Cad View Post
And apparently given the Seahawks-Broncos game last night, turning with the football with both feet on the ground is NOT a football move because you do not take a step.
If I remember the play correctly (and I may not) he was turning before he had full possession. Turning while bobbling the ball is not possession, as the receiver does not have control. At live speed, it looked like a fumble, but on review and in slow motion, it looked like an incomplete pass.

Back to the OP, should he still be around and reading these threads, falling while in possession of the football and retaining possession through the ground is a football move, both on the field and in the endzone.
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  #11  
Old 09-22-2014, 11:41 AM
John DiFool John DiFool is offline
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Originally Posted by CapnPitt View Post
No, you often have the situation where just catching the ball = possession in the endzone, no football move necessary. Particularly falling out of bounds. Unless the act of falling is considered a football move, which I don't think it should be (and I can guarantee you that in the field of play, it's not).
I recall that play from a few years ago, where a receiver caught it in the end zone, fell down, rolled over (did I say that at this point he was on the ground?), only then losing possession. After a review, they called it incomplete, quoting rule and verse as the ref pontificated on the rationale involved. Even in normal speed looked to me like he had possession for half an (football) eternity...
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  #12  
Old 09-22-2014, 12:15 PM
enalzi enalzi is offline
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Originally Posted by John DiFool View Post
I recall that play from a few years ago, where a receiver caught it in the end zone, fell down, rolled over (did I say that at this point he was on the ground?), only then losing possession. After a review, they called it incomplete, quoting rule and verse as the ref pontificated on the rationale involved. Even in normal speed looked to me like he had possession for half an (football) eternity...
That was Megatron vs. the Bears. I seem to remember they did some clarification on the rule after that game.
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  #13  
Old 09-22-2014, 02:15 PM
Intergalactic Gladiator Intergalactic Gladiator is offline
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Originally Posted by enalzi View Post
That was Megatron vs. the Bears. I seem to remember they did some clarification on the rule after that game.
That's the one I thought of immediately. Megatron caught the ball in the endzone and immediately put the ball on the ground and ran out of the endzone to celebrate. The ref called it an incomplete because of his motion when he put the ball down.
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  #14  
Old 09-23-2014, 09:43 AM
Saint Cad Saint Cad is offline
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Originally Posted by D_Odds View Post
If I remember the play correctly (and I may not) he was turning before he had full possession.
You are remembering incorrectly and the referee was pedantic but ultimately correct that he did not make a football move although both feet were down and he had control of the ball - it is the rule that sucks. The definition of a football move is to take a step or dive for the sideline or a first down and so theoretically a receiver could catch a pass on the 1 yard line and stand there letting the clock wind down. No matter how long he stands there, if a defenseman hits him and the ball pops loose under the rules it is an incomplete pass.
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  #15  
Old 09-23-2014, 09:57 AM
Saint Cad Saint Cad is offline
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And to answer the OP, the rationale is a football move is an attempt to move the ball, whether to advance it by running (taking a step) or diving OR to move the ball to the sideline (which stops the clock). Once the ball is in the endzone, there is no need to advance the ball and one could argue it is impossible to move the ball. It's contradictions like that and like I pointed out (twisting your body is not an attempt to advance the ball?) that tells me the rule should be 2 feet down with control. I know the change was to avoid the bang-bang play where the ball pops out so maybe we can just add "tuck ball away with control" and for the OP "down the ball to the ground in the endzone"* to football moves.


*A "touchdown" comes from the old rule that you had to actually touch the ball down on the ground for the score to count. If you couldn't then the score didn't count. That is what the spike in the endzone represents.
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  #16  
Old 09-27-2014, 08:43 PM
OldGuy OldGuy is offline
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Originally Posted by Saint Cad View Post
*A "touchdown" comes from the old rule that you had to actually touch the ball down on the ground for the score to count. If you couldn't then the score didn't count. That is what the spike in the endzone represents.
That is where the word touchdown comes from, but the spike is not at all related to that. You never had to touch the ball down during my life of watching football (and that goes back to the 50s). Spiking was one of the first types of end zone celebration and didn't come about until much later.
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  #17  
Old 01-11-2015, 09:40 PM
joedrumma joedrumma is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Saint Cad View Post
The definition of a football move is to take a step or dive for the sideline or a first down and so theoretically a receiver could catch a pass on the 1 yard line and stand there letting the clock wind down. No matter how long he stands there, if a defenseman hits him and the ball pops loose under the rules it is an incomplete pass.
It's also a football move if you maintain control of the ball long enough to make a football move, even if you don't make one. The 2013 Official Playing Rules of the NFL, 8.1.3 covers the rules on a completed pass:

"Note 1: It is not necessary that he commit such an act, provided that he maintains control of the ball long enough to do so."

Your scenario is incorrect.
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  #18  
Old 01-11-2015, 09:50 PM
RaftPeople RaftPeople is offline
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My question is: Why isn't this applied to the end zone?
When I've looked into the rules it's pretty much the same.

Why do you think the rules for a catch are different in the end zone?
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  #19  
Old 01-11-2015, 09:55 PM
joedrumma joedrumma is offline
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Here's the entire rule, which somewhat defines a "football move":

COMPLETED OR INTERCEPTED PASS

Article 3 Completed or Intercepted Pass. A player who makes a catch may advance the ball. A forward pass is complete (by the offense) or intercepted (by the defense) if a player, who is inbounds:

(a) secures control of the ball in his hands or arms prior to the ball touching the ground; and

(b) touches the ground inbounds with both feet or with any part of his body other than his hands; and

(c) maintains control of the ball long enough, after (a) and (b) have been fulfilled, to enable him to perform any act common to the game (i.e., maintaining control long enough to pitch it, pass it, advance with it, or avoid or ward off an opponent, etc.).

Note 1: It is not necessary that he commit such an act, provided that he maintains control of the ball long enough to do so.

Note 2: If a player has control of the ball, a slight movement of the ball will not be considered a loss of possession. He must lose control of the ball in order to rule that there has been a loss of possession.
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  #20  
Old 01-13-2015, 05:21 AM
What the .... ?!?! What the .... ?!?! is offline
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I'm not the biggest NFL fan but I am a Lions fan so the whole thing has been somewhat on my radar screen for a few years.

I had never heard the term "football move" until two days ago. Have I been missing something or did somebody pull it out of his ass recently?

Prior to this recent controversy it seemed that it boiled down to "completing the process".
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  #21  
Old 01-13-2015, 05:29 AM
pulykamell pulykamell is offline
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I'm not the most dedicated NFL watcher either, but I've heard the term for a few years now. The date of the OP suggests at least nine years. Im not entirely sure what its origin is, since it does not appear in the rules, as far as I know,
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  #22  
Old 01-13-2015, 06:26 AM
Telemark Telemark is offline
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The rules use the term "act common to the game" but in common speak that has become "football move". It's been around since the rule was put in place.
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  #23  
Old 01-13-2015, 08:03 AM
Ike Witt Ike Witt is offline
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Originally Posted by OldGuy View Post
That is where the word touchdown comes from, but the spike is not at all related to that. You never had to touch the ball down during my life of watching football (and that goes back to the 50s). Spiking was one of the first types of end zone celebration and didn't come about until much later.
In rugby, to score a try, you have to touch the ball to the ground in the endzone.
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  #24  
Old 01-15-2015, 06:50 AM
What the .... ?!?! What the .... ?!?! is offline
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Originally Posted by pulykamell View Post
I'm not the most dedicated NFL watcher either, but I've heard the term for a few years now. The date of the OP suggests at least nine years. Im not entirely sure what its origin is, since it does not appear in the rules, as far as I know,
Good point...I didn't notice that the thread was nine years old.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Telemark View Post
The rules use the term "act common to the game" but in common speak that has become "football move". It's been around since the rule was put in place.
Are we talking about fumbles as the OP suggests or possession relative to Calvin Johnson and the call this past Sunday? I'm more curious about the latter.
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  #25  
Old 01-15-2015, 07:12 AM
lieu lieu is offline
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In post #19 joedrumma kindly lists the rule definition, but from what I understand about that given the added emphasis from the Dallas/GB divisional championship game this past weekend there's an additional component to it as well. In my estimation Dez Bryant fulfilled the 'act common to the game' or 'football move' component when he caught the ball over his right shoulder with two hands, and subsequently shifted it to his left side and a single hand and began his stretch to the nearby endzone in the brief time before his body and forward motion impacted the ground and he was down. But the explanations I've heard since mention that those motions don't constitute a football move since they happened while he was on his way down and that, combined with the ball moving, even though he maintained possession, negate the catch. Or did I misunderstand that?

Last edited by lieu; 01-15-2015 at 07:14 AM..
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  #26  
Old 01-15-2015, 12:39 PM
Quercus Quercus is offline
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Originally Posted by lieu View Post
But the explanations I've heard since mention that those motions don't constitute a football move since they happened while he was on his way down and that, combined with the ball moving, even though he maintained possession, negate the catch. Or did I misunderstand that?
I think you may have misunderstood. The rules (listed in the other thread on this) make it clear the receiver needs to both possess long enough for a football move AND maintain control after going to the ground (the ball may touch the ground, but only if possession is maintained throughout). Everyone agrees that Dez met the first part (again it doesn't matter whether he actually made a football move, just that he held on to it long enough that he could have). But, when he fell, the ball hit the ground and popped up out of his possession. That means he didn't meet the second part, and so it was an incomplete pass.
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  #27  
Old 01-20-2015, 08:20 AM
What the .... ?!?! What the .... ?!?! is offline
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Why did the NFL decide they had to make the rule so complicated and subjective...what's a "football move"; when does the "whatever rolling around is" stop?

Why isn't clear posession while/plus in the field of play adequate?
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  #28  
Old 01-20-2015, 02:24 PM
storyteller0910 storyteller0910 is offline
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Originally Posted by What the .... ?!?! View Post
Why did the NFL decide they had to make the rule so complicated and subjective...what's a "football move"; when does the "whatever rolling around is" stop?

Why isn't clear posession while/plus in the field of play adequate?
Because "clear possession" as a basis for the rules is even more subjective than the rule as it now stands. What constitutes "clear possession?" If you're going to offer a definition, then you're creating a rule that - while it may or may not be different from the current one, is no less complicated and subjective. if you're not going to offer a definition, then you're basically just saying, "it's a catch if the ref decides it's a catch," which is unsatisfying and creates even more problems.

The issue, I think, is that any time you're trying to make a rule that covers literally hundreds of thousands of possible variations, no matter how you draw your lines there will be some variations that appear to be at odds with common sense. Change the rules because of the Dez Bryant catch, and eventually there will be a catch that common sense appears to say is incomplete that must be ruled complete according to your revised rule. There is no way to make a perfect rule that will consistently result in an outcome that seems "correct" to everyone. Unless you're willing to simply leave it completely subjective and up to the discretion of the ref... but can you imagine what a mess that would be?
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  #29  
Old 01-21-2015, 07:28 AM
What the .... ?!?! What the .... ?!?! is offline
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NM dup post.

Last edited by What the .... ?!?!; 01-21-2015 at 07:30 AM..
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  #30  
Old 01-21-2015, 07:29 AM
What the .... ?!?! What the .... ?!?! is offline
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Originally Posted by storyteller0910 View Post
Because "clear possession" as a basis for the rules is even more subjective than the rule as it now stands. What constitutes "clear possession?"
I disagree (strongly)...."possession" is already a factor. It's just a matter of how long. Why extend the time period from that required to be ruled in bounds to......whatever the hell it is now?
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