ATE: Catchin' the Ball

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ATE: Catchin' the Ball

Postby Justice Hog » Mon Mar 29, 2004 9:42 pm

In years past I would see players catch a ball, have possession (even for a split second) and fall to the ground with the ball bouncing free. Back in "the day" the refs would call it a reception with a fumble caused by the ground (i.e., no fumble).

Last year, a lot of times I would see the same thing and each time the pass was ruled "incomplete". Did the rules change last year or the year before on this?
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Postby Texas Hog » Tue Mar 30, 2004 9:20 am

Yes, the rules states something about either making a football "move" once you've made the reception or retaining possession after you've has hit the ground.

The "ground can not cause a fumble" rule only applies, once possession has been established.

That's the way I understand it anyhow.
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Postby Irn-Bru » Wed Mar 31, 2004 9:18 am

Coles attempted to catch the ball near the end of that Patriots game this past year (remember that?), yet even though he held it solidly and the ball caused him to drop it once he went out of bounds, it was ruled incomplete. Is that one of the plays that you were thinking of, Justice Hog?

They ruled it that Coles did not "complete" the catch by bringing the ball into his body, but by in my opinion if the guy has solid control + 2 steps it should be considered a catch. Had they ruled by my idea, we would have won that game without all the heartache/close calls at the end.

And who knows? Perhaps that momentum would have helped us win a few more games, and Spurrier would be considered a reasonable success, and then we would have never gone for Gibbs. . . . . . .

Come to think of it, they can leave that rule be, for all I care.
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Postby Justice Hog » Wed Mar 31, 2004 12:06 pm

FanFromAnnapolis asks:
Is that one of the plays that you were thinking of, Justice Hog?


That is a great example and illustrates my point. Back in "the day", because Coles had control of the ball, I think it would have been ruled a completion. Now...it seems like the refs are calling it "incomplete" and I dunno why!
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Postby joebagadonuts » Sat Apr 03, 2004 10:01 pm

recently (i can't remember exactly when) they changed the rule to say that the receiver must exhibit 'control' (very important word) of the football until the play is over. included in that play is when the player hits the ground. so, for example, if coles makes a catch on the sidelines, gets two feet inbounds, but drops the ball as he hits the ground, it is incomplete because he did not have control of the ball the entire time. note that the 'ground cannot cause a fumble' only applies if the receiver has exhibited control of the ball, which does not apply in our above coles example. he is still trying to establish control.

i think they changed this because of difficulties the refs were having in deciding whether or not the player had control of the ball. now, if the receiver must have control until the very end, it's easier to determine if its a catch or not.

this is just one example of how the game has changed over the years. if you watch some older games, if a back is running upfield, and a defender hits his shoestring with his pinky, and the back stumbles 4 or 5 steps and then goes down, he would still be 'live'. nowadays, he'd be 'down by contact'. i guess it's all about protecting the players, and making the game easier to officiate, given the increase in speed of the game.
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