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Old 10-30-2011, 09:41 PM   #1
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Default Troy’s Ball Punch: Legal? Why?

I know the basic rules of the game and when I saw Troy Polamalu dive under the legs of the Patriots player and punch the ball back out towards the end zone resulting in a safety, I thought it might have been illegal.

Clearly, there was no flag and the ref’s even reviewed the play to see if it was a touchdown instead of a safety (so if was illegal, they would have pointed it out then). And, there was no mention of it being illegal with the commentators so I am sure it was just a great play by Troy.

On offense, a player cannot push/punch/kick the ball forward to advance it. And I know about the weird “ball-through-the end-zone” fumble that gives the ball to the other team at the 20 yard line. But I have never seen a play where the defensive player purposely punches the ball backwards, at least not from the 20 yard line! Polamalu is a genius!

So what is the rule to punching/pushing the ball during a live play?
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Old 10-30-2011, 09:44 PM   #2
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Default Re: Troy’s Ball Punch: Legal? Why?

I don't think that you can and I think what Troy did was illegal but not caught be the refs during the play since it happened so fast.

I don't think he hit it for it to go out of the end zone causing a safety, I think he was just trying to get it back away from the lineman that were there at the ball as well.
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Old 10-30-2011, 09:47 PM   #3
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Default Re: Troy’s Ball Punch: Legal? Why?

It was illegal, however it was not flagged during the play. It was mentioned quite a bit by the commentators as well.

Basically, Simms said that you can't review a play and then add on a penalty to it. The review was only for the Safety (score), itself, not anything else that happened on the play. Since it was not flagged on the play, it cannot be part of the scoring review.
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Old 10-30-2011, 09:51 PM   #4
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Default Re: Troy’s Ball Punch: Legal? Why?

That's right... now I remember Simms saying that. Thanks.
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Old 10-30-2011, 09:52 PM   #5
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Default Re: Troy’s Ball Punch: Legal? Why?

I thought it was a great play by Troy. Might have been illegal, but he dove for it so quickly that the officials had no chance of calling it on him. Heads up play because he was trying to both keep the ball away from the Pats and tack on more yards for them to drive had they recovered the fumble.
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Old 10-30-2011, 09:53 PM   #6
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Default Re: Troy’s Ball Punch: Legal? Why?

Thanks google:

A player may not bat or punch:

(a) A loose ball (in field of play) toward his opponent’s goal line or in any direction in either end zone.

(b) A ball in player possession.
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Old 10-30-2011, 09:54 PM   #7
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Default Re: Troy’s Ball Punch: Legal? Why?

happened so quick, I think the refs just thought the ball shot out when the guys dove for it. Troy definately took a swipe at it, which is illegal. I believe if flagged the pats would have gotten the ball at the spot of the foul plus 15 yards and probably 10 seconds or so. The fumble was pretty much the end of the game no matter who recovered it if there is no penalty as the Pats had no timeouts.
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Old 10-30-2011, 09:54 PM   #8
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Default Re: Troy’s Ball Punch: Legal? Why?

Ok, now part B is weird because I see players punching at the ball all the time. Maybe I need to go back to the rule book and read all of it, and not just these few lines.
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Old 10-30-2011, 10:04 PM   #9
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Default Re: Troy’s Ball Punch: Legal? Why?

even if the Pats recovered the ball wouldn't time ran out....weren't they out of time outs at that point?
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Old 10-30-2011, 10:30 PM   #10
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Default Re: Troy’s Ball Punch: Legal? Why?

actually by rule if the rule that neither team can progress the ball toward their end zone is penal to defense

Because if the the ball was allowed to stay in the playing field the Pats would have run out of time, if the rule was enforced which it wasnt the pats would have been afforded two more plays at least for fumbling

I think the rule needs revised to apply to offensive plays only
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