Forced Fumble & Recovery Innovation

I was first introduced to the “Forced Fumble and Recovery” innovation in Howard Ahlskog’s “Factoring Team Fumble Takeaway/Giveaways in APBA Football” article in the July 1991 APBA Journal. Since then, Mark Zarb has fine tuned this innovation by adding dice roll “13” rule.  I’ve used this innovation for several years now and absolutely love the results. I would like to share the Forced Fumble and Recovery Charts for the following seasons:





Whenever play results 13 and 14 (half fumble numbers) or 33 and 34 (full fumble numbers) come up you need to consult the TEAM DEFENSE FORCED FUMBLES chart to determine if a fumble actually occurs. Consult the chart even if the half-fumble board result says a fumble has not occurred. (Treat results 31 and 32 as half fumble numbers BUT only consult the forced fumbles chart if the play result is a fumble). If a fumble occurs on a half fumble number, but the board result says no fumble, use play result 33. If no fumble occurs on a full fumble number use the gain listed on the board result.

The Chart is divided into three columns. The first two columns are sub-divided into 2 additional columns, No Fumble and Fumble. When a potential fumble occurs, re-roll the dice, find the defensive team in the chart and then find the result which corresponds to the dice roll immediately to the right, under either the heading No Fumble or Fumble.

 The third column of the chart has the heading Dice Roll “13” Fumble. Whenever, dice roll 13 comes up a fumble may occur even if the player in question does not have a fumble on his card. Re-roll the dice, find the defensive team in question and then check the result under the Dice Roll “13” Fumble heading. If the roll is in range then a fumble has occurred. Use play result 33. If no fumble, use the actual card result.

Once it is determined that a fumble has occurred, you have to determine who recovers the fumble. For this you consult the RECOVERY TABLES.  Each team is rated for its ability to recover fumbles while on offense or defense against every other team in its league (the system does not work for cross league play). Re-roll, find the two teams in question and then find the result under the appropriate column heading, this is the team that recovers.