A) Player from the punting team swats the ball back from the 5 yard line back to the 20 yard line, where his teammates “down” the ball.
B) Player from the punting team swats the ball back from the 5 yard line back to the 20 yard line, where it goes out of bounds.
C) Player from the punting team swats the ball forward from the 5 yard line and it rolls out of the end zone.
Where is the ball spotted?
(Being on the SDMB, I should clarify things. The ball never goes out of bounds before the player swats it. The ball was always heading towards the proper end zone and didn’t enter the end zone and return. No other player has touched the ball after it was punted. There are no penalties in affect before the ball is swatted.)
I think that is true, they made a rule about that after the Stabler touchdown in a Super Bowl years ago. But let’s say the “swat” is just an honest mistake, the player is indeed trying to field the ball.
Actually there is an illegal touching penalty at the 5, which the recieving team has the option of taking, or the eventual downing of the ball at the 20(or touchback) which they also have the option of taking. In all cases it is obviously to their benefit to take it at the 20 but it is an option to take it at the 5.
Or was that a Bradshaw fumble in the playoffs? I can’t remember. But the offense fumbled the ball and the quarterback “swatted” the ball into the end zone where the offense recovered the ball for a touchdown. After the rule change, I believe it is so harsh that the offense cannot advance the ball after a fumble.
Yeah, but I have seen punting team players fly through the air and swat the ball back from the end zone, before it hits the gound in the end zone, and the ball gets spotted where the punting team evntually downs it.
I believe these are all examples of “muffed” punts, where the receiving team touches the ball without gaining possession. In this case, the ball can be recovered by either team, although the kicking team cannot advance the ball past the point of possession.
One of the problems with answering this kind of question is that the rules for special teams vary greatly from high school to college to the pros, and even then they vary significantly from year to year.
It isn’t really a fumble because the receiver never had possession of the ball. From here :
So, in the case of a fumble out of bounds, the ball comes back to the spot of the fumble because that is the last point where the receiver had possession. In the case of a muff out of bounds, however, the receiver never had possession in the first place so the ball is spotted at the point where it went out of bounds. And if the muffed ball stays in bounds, the receiving team can recover and advance the ball, just as it can recover and advance its own fumble.
In the case of C and E, these might or not be safeties. If the officials think that the receivers deliberately batted the ball backwards, then they would be safeties because the receivers created the impetus that sent the ball into the end zone.
But if the officials think that the receivers just muffed the balls (i.e., they just didn’t catch them and the balls went back into the end zone), it’s a touchback. That’s because a muff doesn’t change which team is responsible for the impetus of the ball.
In other words, your team could punt the ball and then it bounces off my receiver’s hands and then off another receiver’s hands and into the end zone and the impetus is still from the kicking team.
I always thought once a punt is touched, in any way, by the receiving team, the ball becomes “live”. That is, I have seen receiving team players down field accidentally have the ball hit them while they were blocking, and the punting team then pounce on the live ball to regain possession.
Bizarrely, A) happened on Sunday. the Atlanta (I think) special teams swatted a ball they had punted, stopping it going into the endzone. They then downed it on the 8 yard line (IIRC). The receiving team took over on the 8, even though the ball travelled to the 1 yd line.
One major difference between punts in the NFL and college football is that in the NFL punts that roll into the end zone are still live until they stop rolling and the official blows the play dead. But in college football, once they roll in to the end zone, the play is dead and it’s a touchback. Unless the ball was fumbled into the end zone by the receivers.