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Canoe Fest Charlie

Spiking the football

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Just now, Canoe Fest Charlie said:

What if a QB spikes the FB and it lands on the other side of the LOS? Is this a foul? 

No. The only limitations on spiking the ball are that it comes from a direct hand-to-hand snap, not shotgun. That it comes immediately after the snap. And that it goes directly to the ground and doesn’t touch anything else first.

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If the spike happens to hit the foot/heel of the center, is this a foul?

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3 hours ago, Von2Rov said:

If the spike happens to hit the foot/heel of the center, is this a foul?

Yes, I think it'd be illegal touch, correct?  

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37 minutes ago, Canoe Fest Charlie said:

Yes, I think it'd be illegal touch, correct?  

I would think so, but since intentional grounding is out the window, maybe this is too...

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If a "spike" touches a lineman before it hits the ground, it's not illegal touching, which is an intentional act by an ineligible receiver. However, it is intentional grounding, since one of the conditions of the exemption from intentional grounding for a spike is that the pass go directly to the ground without touching anything. Be aware that because the intentional grounding occurred in an effort to stop the clock, after enforcement of the penalty the referee can start the game clock on the ready for play signal, instead of waiting until the ball is next snapped.

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Thanks Bob. I've always been confused by the rule. I knew there was a penalty for it hitting a linemen. 

So Bob, if a spike did hit an OL before hitting the ground, not only would the clock start on the referee's command AND enforcement of the penalty, it would be loss of down too, correct?

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3 minutes ago, Canoe Fest Charlie said:

Thanks Bob. I've always been confused by the rule. I knew there was a penalty for it hitting a linemen. 

So Bob, if a spike did hit an OL before hitting the ground, not only would the clock start on the referee's command AND enforcement of the penalty, it would be loss of down too, correct?

Yes, since it would be an intentional grounding foul.

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22 hours ago, Canoe Fest Charlie said:

Thanks Bob. I've always been confused by the rule. I knew there was a penalty for it hitting a linemen. 

So Bob, if a spike did hit an OL before hitting the ground, not only would the clock start on the referee's command AND enforcement of the penalty, it would be loss of down too, correct?

Well I know Bob is a great rules guy, maybe the best and a lawyer but I don't see/read the rule in the same or see a case book play as he is saying.  I also don't know 1 official that would ever throw any sort of a foul on this. So for you to say you knew it was a foul I think is still wrong.  Also and this is just knit picking but I think if it was a foul it would be for illegal forward pass not intentional grounding, same as if you spiked if from the shotgun. 

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1 hour ago, Huge football fan said:

Well I know Bob is a great rules guy, maybe the best and a lawyer but I don't see/read the rule in the same or see a case book play as he is saying.  I also don't know 1 official that would ever throw any sort of a foul on this. So for you to say you knew it was a foul I think is still wrong.  Also and this is just knit picking but I think if it was a foul it would be for illegal forward pass not intentional grounding, same as if you spiked if from the shotgun. 

Intentional grounding is just one type of illegal forward pass. If you'll look at the Penalty section of the rule book, it describes a violation of Rule 7-5-2(e) "a pass intentionally thrown incomplete to save loss of yardage or to conserve time" as intentional grounding. There is an Exception to 7-5-2(e) which is the "spike" rule, providing that it is not intentional grounding "to conserve time by intentionally throwing the ball forward to the ground immediately after receiving a direct hand-to-hand snap." (emphasis supplied) The exception doesn't apply, and thus, it's intentional grounding, if the pass is not immediate, or not after a direct hand-to-hand snap, or not to the ground. If it hits another player, it's not thrown to the ground. So, unless there's a casebook play to the contrary, I'm going to stand by my original answer that "spiking" the ball into a lineman's leg before it hits the ground is outside the exception and, thus, intentional grounding. As for not knowing any official who would call this foul, I have to ask how many times you've seen it happen. Because I've never seen it, and I worked the referee position for 30 years.

EDIT:  Take a look at Casebook Play 7.5.2 Situation B (b). "A1 receives the snap, but his spike hits snapper A2's leg and ricochets into the air. A1 catches the ball and immediately spikes it forward."  RULING:  Illegal forward pass. "Once the ball touches the ground, a player or a spike attempt is unsuccessful, it may not be grounded legally thereafter using this exception." It's not precisely this situation. But it's close enough for me.

Edited by bobref

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1 hour ago, bobref said:

Intentional grounding is just one type of illegal forward pass. If you'll look at the Penalty section of the rule book, it describes a violation of Rule 7-5-2(e) "a pass intentionally thrown incomplete to save loss of yardage or to conserve time" as intentional grounding. There is an Exception to 7-5-2(e) which is the "spike" rule, providing that it is not intentional grounding "to conserve time by intentionally throwing the ball forward to the ground immediately after receiving a direct hand-to-hand snap." (emphasis supplied) The exception doesn't apply, and thus, it's intentional grounding, if the pass is not immediate, or not after a direct hand-to-hand snap, or not to the ground. If it hits another player, it's not thrown to the ground. So, unless there's a casebook play to the contrary, I'm going to stand by my original answer that "spiking" the ball into a lineman's leg before it hits the ground is outside the exception and, thus, intentional grounding. As for not knowing any official who would call this foul, I have to ask how many times you've seen it happen. Because I've never seen it, and I worked the referee position for 30 years.

EDIT:  Take a look at Casebook Play 7.5.2 Situation B (b). "A1 receives the snap, but his spike hits snapper A2's leg and ricochets into the air. A1 catches the ball and immediately spikes it forward."  RULING:  Illegal forward pass. "Once the ball touches the ground, a player or a spike attempt is unsuccessful, it may not be grounded legally thereafter using this exception." It's not precisely this situation. But it's close enough for me.

I've seen it happen a few times and I still disagree with you. I would never come on here and argue with you if I didn't think it needed to be talked about. This guy may see it 4 years from now where it hits a linemans ankle and no one calls anything and he's gonna go crazy and say "that's a foul I know it's a foul you guys don't know the rules". I've read the case book and I've searched around and the disagreement comes in what is throwing it to the ground. Ball tips/hits the linesman leg and goes to the ground is not a foul the ball hits the ground. Does not say it has to go directly to the ground. Also in the case book play you quoted which again says illegal pass not intentional grounding it doesn't mention anything about if the pass was dropped or falls incomplete. I would think it would give 2 senerios of the ball beinf thrown a second time or dropping. 

Point being I don't see where this is intentional grounding and I don't see where anyone is EVER calling this. 

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54 minutes ago, Huge football fan said:

I've seen it happen a few times and I still disagree with you. I would never come on here and argue with you if I didn't think it needed to be talked about. This guy may see it 4 years from now where it hits a linemans ankle and no one calls anything and he's gonna go crazy and say "that's a foul I know it's a foul you guys don't know the rules". I've read the case book and I've searched around and the disagreement comes in what is throwing it to the ground. Ball tips/hits the linesman leg and goes to the ground is not a foul the ball hits the ground. Does not say it has to go directly to the ground. Also in the case book play you quoted which again says illegal pass not intentional grounding it doesn't mention anything about if the pass was dropped or falls incomplete. I would think it would give 2 senerios of the ball beinf thrown a second time or dropping. 

Point being I don't see where this is intentional grounding and I don't see where anyone is EVER calling this. 

After further review ... and subject to checking George Demetriou’s publication, which I consider “the Bible,” I’m going to reverse my decision. I’ve given a lot of thought to the purpose of the rule’s Exception, and I don’t think a spike thrown toward the ground that accidentally strikes a player is inconsistent with the philosophy of the exception. Glad I’ve never had to call it. Who says you can’t teach an old dog new tricks?

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In all honesty if the ball touches a lineman's foot or ankle, is anyone really going to see that? In a hurry up situation you're focused on making sure everyone is set, then making sure the clock gets stopped. QB by rule has to be under center and throw the ball forward. Has anyone ever actually watched the ball all the way in flight to the ground?

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13 hours ago, Impartial_Observer said:

In all honesty if the ball touches a lineman's foot or ankle, is anyone really going to see that? In a hurry up situation you're focused on making sure everyone is set, then making sure the clock gets stopped. QB by rule has to be under center and throw the ball forward. Has anyone ever actually watched the ball all the way in flight to the ground?

I always assumed most officials looked for all players to be set and that the QB didn't spike it behind him. 

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14 hours ago, Impartial_Observer said:

In all honesty if the ball touches a lineman's foot or ankle, is anyone really going to see that? In a hurry up situation you're focused on making sure everyone is set, then making sure the clock gets stopped. QB by rule has to be under center and throw the ball forward. Has anyone ever actually watched the ball all the way in flight to the ground?

The R is the only one in position to see that.

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