the study of the kicking components within sports

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Continental Kickers

Similar, indeed very similar, to last week's look at the UIFL, this week we take a look at the CIFL (Continental Indoor Football League). We again begin with a summary of the rules that impact the kicking game:
  • Goal posts are 12 feet from the floor to the crossbar. The crossbar is 10 feet in width. Anything used to hang the goalpost is considered a part of the upright.
  • Scoring – 6 points for TD, 2 points for run or pass conversion, or drop kick PAT, 1 point for place kick PAT, 2 points for defensive conversion following TD, 2 points for safety. 3 points for a field goal, 4 points for a drop kick field goal.
  • If a kickoff leaves the field of play on the fly, the ball comes out to the 25-yard line. The sideline walls and end zone walls are not out of bounds, and balls can be played off of them. If a kickoff leaves the field of play after making contact with the field or a player on either team, the ball comes out to the 5-yard line, or the point in which it leaves the field of play, whichever is closest to the kicking team’s goal line.
  • Offense – No punting. Offense must attempt to gain a first down or touchdown, or may attempt a field goal (by placement or drop kick).
  • Overtime is played with NCAA-style rules (each team gets one possession), but each possession is started with a kickoff rather than at the 25-yard line. Teams must go for a two point conversion (by scrimmage play) starting with the third overtime session.
  • The league does not utilize a rebound net, but otherwise, its rules are nearly identical to those of the Arena Football League.
Who are the continental kickers?
Special thanks to Brandon Yingling and Rasko Apostolovski, who answered a few questions for us. We also spoke with the Enforcers' Scott Duvall, but we'll save that for our upcoming feature on drop kicks, which happens to be his area of expertise.

How did you come across the CIFL (or how did they find you)?
  • Brandon: "I actually got contacted by coach Billy Back. He asked if I would be interested in kicking for the Commandos and I said yes. I had a tryout and got signed shortly after the tryout."
  • Rasko: "The Port Huron Predators found me from one of my old coaches, Jason Lovelock, who is now the offensive coordinator for the Predators. He coached me in semi-pro for the Detroit Seminoles, one of the most winning-est programs in semi-pro history, winning three national championships while I was with them. Plus I had a great repertoire kicking in semi-pro football. I had built a name for myself through all the hard work and my ability to be able to kick the ball."
What kicking adjustments, if any, have you made for the indoor game?
  • Brandon: "I have had to adjust to keep the ball down. The ceilings really force me to do so. That's really the biggest adjustment I have had to make."  
  • Rasko: "The Only real adjustments that needed to be made was from kicking thru uprights that were 18 feet wide and 10 feet high to much smaller uprights. Going to 9 feet wide and 15 feet high gave you less margin for error. It's where your accuracy really kicks in and is a big important part of the game, along with being able to incorporate the drop kick which is worth four points."
Looking back over your entire career, does a particular field goal come to mind as your biggest kick?
  • Brandon: "I didn't get a lot playing experience at UC when I was there. The biggest field goal in my career was in high school. I made a 53 yd field goal against Anderson my senior year, and I feel that's what got me on the map to get recruited to play in college."  
  • Rasko: "I've had many great kicks throughout my career with my longest being 56 yards. But out of all my kicks it would have to be, believe or not, a simple extra point which gave me my 800th point milestone for my career.  It ranked me 4th all-time scoring in semi-pro football history, which is a great feat and accomplishment for my career, which I just hit this past football season. I currently have 807 career points to go along with my seven All-American selections."

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