As we all have read the following excerpt from Section I. Basic Instructions, paragraph H.2. “Extra point attempts do not count at all in timing the game. The following are timed as half-plays: incomplete passes, touchdowns, field goals, safeties, and all plays on which the ball changes team possession or goes out of bounds, or which involve penalties or injuries. ALL OTHER PLAYS ARE FULL PLAYS.”
Well, what about touchbacks? There are several different types of touchbacks ranging from punts, blocked punt goes back into the end zone and the defensive team intentionally bats or kicks the ball out the back of the end zone, fumble goes out of bounds in opponents end zone, defensive player intercepts a pass in own end zone or on kickoffs. I specifically want to clarify how to treat a touchback resulting from a kick off.
Pre-2002 season. Prior to the 2002 season, the clock started on the kickoff unless it was within the last two minutes of the half. If touchback occurred outside of the “Two-Minute” warning, the touchback will be recorded as a half-play. If touchback occured inside the “Two-Minute” warning, do not record as half play (ignore) because the clock only starts when the ball was put into play by the receiving team.
Post-2002. Starting in 2002 the clock only starts when put into play by the receiving team and the two minute rule was eliminated. All touchbacks will not be recorded as a half-play.
“Put into play” is defined as: When a member of the receiving team touches the ball, or, if the member of the receiving team touches the ball in their end zone, carries the ball out of the end zone. The clock is stopped when that player is tackled or goes out of bounds. The clock never starts if the receiving team downs the ball in their own end zone for a touchback.