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MarkCalaway

Fumble or Not?

Question

Hoping to get an answer about what is and is not a fumble. 

Our running back was tackled, and when he hit the ground the ball popped out on Friday.  We thought that the ball should be dead once he hit the ground.  When our head coach questioned the head official we were given this response.

      "Coach, when he hit the ground the ball came out." 

 

The defense was awarded possession of the ball.  I am not an expert on the rules, so I am hoping to learn from you guys. 

 

Thanks

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Depends on which part of him hit the ground when the ball came out... If it was his hand, then the ball, that's a fumble.  Anything else, it should probably be a dead ball....

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You hear the TV guys say “the ground can’t cause a fumble.” Basically, they have it right for once.

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42 minutes ago, Bobref said:

You hear the TV guys say “the ground can’t cause a fumble.” Basically, they have it right for once.

Generally true but it's not that the ground can't cause the fumble (it can as pointed out by SoIndRef), it's that the runner is down when anything but his hand or foot is touching the ground. You can't fumble a dead ball. I wonder if the ball was coming loose before he hit the ground and it popped away from him when he hit the ground. Or the official was just blatantly wrong. I'm definitely thinking he shouldn't use those words. He should be more specific because generally if what he said happened did happen the runner would have been down. If it was the correct call it's likely one of the two scenarios mentioned above. That's what he should have told the coach.

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