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18 Forward Progress

Forward Progress – Inbounds Plays

Chapter 18. Forward Progress
Pg. 86

Inbounds Plays
The first scenario that requires
judgment is when the runner is
swarmed upright by several defensive
players. When the runner’s voluntary
movement appears to be stopped
and the ball is in his possession, the
covering official should hesitate briefly
to ensure the runner has indeed been
stopped and blow his whistle. The play
ended when forward movement was
stopped and not where the ball was
when the whistle was blown
Do not allow a “cheap turnover” after
progress has stopped. Unless the ball
became loose on the initial contact that
stopped progress, the correct ruling
is “no fumble.” If the covering official
has any doubt when the ball became
loose, the ruling should be that the play
ended before the fumble.
The greatest degree of judgment is
required when the runner is knocked
backwards and continues to drive
his legs. The runner may be able to
move forward while in control of an
opponent or he may actually free
himself of the opponent’s grasp. If the
runner momentarily frees himself from
the tacklers the progress spot is not
automatically erased, the official should
hesitate before whistling the play dead to
ensure the runner’s forward progress has
been stopped.