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18 Forward Progress

Forward Progress – Pylon

Chapter 18. Forward Progress
Pg. 87

Plays at the Pylon
The goal line pylons, that are placed
at the intersection of the goal lines
extended and the sideline, not only
assist in making out of bounds calls,
but also help an official in determining
whether a touchback has occurred, and
most importantly, whether a touchdown
has been scored. Because the goal
line pylons sit on the sideline, they are
entirely out of bounds. The end zone is
entirely inbounds. For practical purposes,
these pylons are considered out of
bounds in the end zone
Whenever a runner is contacted
near a goal line pylon, it requires the
coordination of both the Back Judge and
a wing official to get the play right. For a
runner who is still touching the ground
inbounds, the goal line plane is extended
out of bounds. If the ball is held outside
the sideline plane and breaks the goal
line plane extended, it is a touchdown.
The wing official is responsible for
determining if the runner stayed
inbounds, while the Back Judge (when
in position at the goal line) must rule if
the ball broke the plane of the goal line.
These two officials must communicate
with each other before either makes a
A ball in player possession is out
of bounds when the runner or the ball
touches anything, other than another
player or game official, which is on or
outside the sideline or end line. The spot
where the ball becomes dead is under the
foremost point of the ball in possession
of the runner when he crosses the plane
of the sideline at B’s one yardline. No
touchdown is scored since the runner was
airborne and was not touching inbounds
when the ball broke the plane of the goal
line extended.
Remember that a ball that contacts the
pylon is considered to be in the end zone
• If it is in possession of a runner, it is a
touchdown, touchback or safety.
• If the ball is loose, it is a touchback or
a safety.