the study of the kicking components within sports

Friday, September 27, 2013

NFL Week Four: Free Kickin' Phil Dawson

With four seconds remaining in the first half of last night's NFL game, which San Francisco won 35-11 over St. Louis, the 49ers fair caught a Ram punt at their 39 yard line. Instead of running a play on offense, they opted to make a Fair-Catch Kick, which as kicker Phil Dawson noted:
"It's a little, unknown rule that a lot of people aren't familiar with. Our sideline definitely was prepared for it and we thought we'd give it a try."
Had the kick gone through the uprights it would have scored as a 71 yard field goal. It came up short and wide left, the Rams returned it to the nine yard line, and the half ended.



NFL Rule 10, Section 2, Article 4:
After a fair catch is made, or is awarded as the result of fair catch interference, the receiving team has the option of putting the ball in play by either:
(a) a fair-catch kick (drop kick or placekick without a tee) from the spot of the catch (or the succeeding spot after enforcement of any applicable penalties) (3-9-1 and 11-4-3), or
(b) a snap from the spot of the catch (or the succeeding spot after enforcement of any applicable penalties).


NFL Rule 11, Section 4, Article 3:
Fair-Catch Kick. The rules for a field-goal attempt from scrimmage apply to a field-goal attempt following a Fair Catch (a Fair Catch Kick).
Exceptions:
(a) The fair-catch kick line for the kicking team is the yard line through the most forward point from which the ball is kicked.
(b) The fair-catch kick line for the receiving team is the yard line 10 yards in advance of the kicking team’s fair-catch kick line.
Note: A fair-catch kick is not a free kick. The kicking team cannot get the ball unless it has first been touched or possessed by the receivers.
A.R. 11.16 On a fair-catch kick from the B45, kicker A1 touches and falls on the ball on the B33 without any receiver touching the ball. Ruling: B’s ball first-and-10 on the B45 (the previous spot). The clock is started when the ball is kicked.
A.R. 11.17 On a fair-catch kick from the B45, the ball goes out of bounds on the B10:
a) without touching any player. Ruling: B’s ball first-and-10 on the B45. The clock starts when the ball is kicked.
b) after touching any kicking team player. Ruling: B’s ball first-and-10 on the B45. The clock starts when the ball is kicked.

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