A few more Rare Play Interpretations . . .

By Ray Dunlap

Q – RP18, Result 2: Punter slips in act of punting, dribbles punt which rolls dead 5 yds behind line.

A – This is actually credited as one punt for -5 yards.  This happened to Sean Landetta of the Giants in a playoff game in 1985!


Q – RP 18, Result 10: Snap sails over punter’s head, he recovers ball for 36 yd loss.

A – Score this as one rushing attempt by the punter for zero yards.  The center actually gets charged with a fumble and all other yardage is incidental.


Q – RP19, Result 2: Punter drops snap, then tries to kick ball on the run, he misses it completely, recovered by d1 15 yds behind line.

A – This is a fumble.  The punter gets charged with one run for zero yards.  All other yardage is incidental.


Q – RP 19, Result 11: Blocked punt rebounds to punter, who gains 9 yds.

A – When a punt or a field goal attempt is blocked and recovered by the offensive team behind the line of scrimmage, any running advance is treated as miscellaneous yardage, not rushing yardage.


Q – RP 19, Result 12: High, wobbling punt sails out of bounds 7 yds behind line.

A – This is scored as one punt for -7 yards.


Q – RP20, Result 5: Punt is partially blocked and rolls dead 12 yds beyond line.

A – If a “blocked” kick crosses the original line of scrimmage, it is not scored as a blocked kick.  In this case, this would be scored as one punt for 12 yards.


2 thoughts on “A few more Rare Play Interpretations . . .

  1. Ray,

    On RP 18, results 10 wouldn’t the snap over the head of the punter be considered a fumnle by the center?

    Thanks MZ

    • Mark,

      They changed this rule a few years ago. This is now considered an “Aborted Play, ” but I still got it wrong on the post (which I will correct immediately!). Here is the new rule:

      Aborted Plays
      An aborted play is a play from scrimmage during which there is not a pass or a kick, which falls into one of the following categories:

      A. the ball is clearly centered improperly, meaning that the ball does not reach the intended receiver of the snap within the frame of his body or arm-span;
      B. the intended ball-handler fumbles the snap from center;
      C. a backward pass (hand-off, lateral, reverse, etc.) behind the line of scrimmage is mishandled, or not handled, resulting in a fumble (the ball touches the ground or is caught in flight by another player.)
      D. a punter who has received the snap from the center correctly but in the process to punt the ball, the ball is dropped (unforced fumble).

      In each of these cases, charge a rush for 0 yards. In A, B, and D, the rush is charged to the player who receives, or intended to receive the snap from center. In C the rush is charged to the player who attempts the backward pass.

      Thanks for pointing out my error! Best to try and get these things correct immediately!!

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