A Few More Football Scoring Questions

By Ray Dunlap

Phil asks the following questions:

“OK, I’m going to work through all the RP results that, over the years, I was never that sure on how to record them statistically! I’ll start with RP1.”


Result 3: QB mishandles snap, ball pops loose and, after mad scramble, he recovers it for 33 yd loss

Because the QB never had control of the ball, it is scored as one rushing attempt for the QB for zero yards and a TEAM fumble.  All other lost yardage is incidental.

Result 4: Loose fumbled handoff is picked up by o6 (o6 attempts pass etc)

Because the QB had control of the ball and the running-back did not, the QB is given one rushing attempt for zero yards and a fumble.  The fumble yardage is incidental. 

Result 8: QB slips and falls while attempting handoff, loses 3 yds

QB is charged with one rushing attempt for -3 yards.

Result 9: Broken play, QB collides with another back and fumbles, d3 recovers 8 yds behind line

This is a judgment call for the official scorer.  If he believes that the quarterback’s intention was to hand the ball off to a running-back, then the QB is charged with one rushing attempt for zero yards and a fumble.   If, however, the scored believed the QB was the intended runner and inadvertently collided with another player, then the QB would be charged with a rushing attempt for whatever yardage was lost at the spot of the fumble.  All other yardage is incidental, and not accounted for.


NOTE:  The player who last had clear possession of the ball is always credited with a fumble.  This is why quarterbacks routinely lead the league in fumbles, and, with the exception of the Rare Plays, APBA really has no efficient way to replicate this.  They give extra fumble numbers to the QB in his Run column, which isn’t really fair.  Because, if a QB takes a snap, controls the ball, and then pitches it to another player who fails to maintain control and fumbles it, it is the quarterback who gets credited with the fumble!

3 thoughts on “A Few More Football Scoring Questions

  1. are punt returns where a fair catch is made counted as a punt return? ex………..Bob Hayes fields 4 punts……..2 are FC’s and 2 he actually returns for 20 yards……..does he have 4 returns for 20 yds or 2 returns for 20 yds?

  2. Art – Fair Catches do NOT count as Punt Returns. Only actual returns and muffs. If a player “muffs” the ball (it hits him but he does not catch it, even if attempting a fair catch), he is given one return for zero yards. All other yardage is incidental and not accounted for in the player’s punt return stats.

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