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26 CFOA Philosophies

Passing Play Philosophies

Chapter 26. CFOA Philosophies
Pg. 108

Passing Situations
When determining if an untouched
pass is beyond the line of scrimmage, the
neutral zone will be expanded two yards.
The quarterback can throw the ball
anywhere if he is not under duress,
except spiking the ball straight down.
The clock is not a factor. Exception: The
quarterback may immediately spike the
ball to stop the clock.
Contact on a blatantly uncatchable
pass shall be deemed to have occurred
after the play ended unless it is a personal
If the passer is contacted after he
starts his passing motion, then it may be
ruled not intentional grounding due to this
If the passer is contacted clearly before
he starts his passing motion, then there
will be a foul for intentional grounding if
there is no eligible receiver in the vicinity.
If an interception is near the goal line
(inside the one yard line) and there is a
question as to whether possession is
gained in the field of play or end zone,
rule a touchback.
When in question:
• On action against the passer, it is
roughing the passer if the defender’s
intent is to punish.
• The passer has not intentionally
grounded the ball.
• The ball is a forward pass and not
fumbled during an attempted forward
• The pass is incomplete rather than a
• As to “caught or trapped” the pass is
• The pass was released in or behind the
neutral zone rather than beyond it.
• The pass is forward rather than a
backward pass when thrown in or
behind the neutral zone.
• The pass is backward rather than
forward when thrown beyond the
neutral zone or when there is no neutral
• The ball has not been touched on a
forward pass.

{Catch is a new section in chapter 26} The new section contains multiple philosophies to define a catch.

To catch a ball means that a player secures control of a live ball in flight with his hands or arms before the ball touches the ground, and touches the ground in bounds with any part of his body, and then maintains control of the ball long enough to enable him to perform an act common to the game. Examples are but not limited to controlling it long enough to pitch or hand the ball, advance it, avoid or ward off an opponent.

If a player goes to the ground in the act of catching a pass (with or without contact by an opponent) he must maintain complete control of the ball throughout the process of contacting the ground, whether in the field of play or in the end zone. This is also required for a player attempting to make a catch at the sideline and going to the ground out of bounds except the control must be continuous.

If he loses control of the ball which then touches the ground before he regains control, it is not a catch. If he regains control inbounds prior to the ball touching the ground it is a catch. If the player loses control of the ball while simultaneously touching the ground with any part of his body, or if there is doubt that the acts were simultaneous, it is not a catch. If a player has control of the ball, a slight movement of the ball, even if it touches the ground, will not be considered loss of possession; he must lose control of the ball in order for there to be a loss of possession.

If the ball touches the ground after the player secures control and continues to maintain control, and the elements above are satisfied, it is a catch.

A catch by any kneeling or prone inbounds player is a completion or interception.

A player recovers a ball if he fulfills the criteria above for catching a ball that is still alive after hitting the ground.

When in question, the catch, recovery or interception is not completed.