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2020 Rules Exchange



1.  During the first possession in the overtime period, A12 throws a forward pass and Team A is flagged for an illegal shift. B25 intercepts the pass and runs for a touchdown.  During B25's return, B38 commits a flagrant personal foul before B25 crosses Team A’s goal line.

B 1/10 at the 40, B38 is disqualified.  There are multiple fouls on this play.  Team A commits a foul for an illegal shift.  Team B commits a foul for a flagrant personal foul.  By rule (3-1-3-g-3) those fouls will cancel and the down is not repeated.  The score by Team B is also cancelled (3-1-3-g-2).  The flagrant personal foul by B38 will be enforced from the succeeding spot and he is disqualified (9-1-1, AR 3-1-3-XII).



2.  A 4/7 at the A34.  A94's punt hits the ground at the B-33, where B22 is blocking A88 to prevent him from downing the ball.  The two players are still engaged when the ball bounces into B22’s leg.  A44 recovers at the B-30.  

A 1/10 at the B-30, snap.  By rule (2-11-4-c, 6-3-4-a, 6-3-4-b) the touching by B22 is not considered to be forced touching as B22 was not blocked into it nor was the ball batted or illegally kicked into him by an opponent.  The clock will start on the snap following the legal kick.  



1.       A 3/10 at the A-30.  A10’s forward pass is tipped by eligible A32 at the A-30.  The pass continues to travel to the A-35 where it is caught by A81 and advanced to the A-45.  Ineligible A64 is downfield at the A-35 when A10’s pass is thrown.  The on-field officials award a 1st down for Team A and make no other announcements.  Replay has indisputable video evidence that the ball was tipped by A32 at the A-31.  

A 1/10 at the A-45, ready.  A legal forward pass has not crossed the neutral zone when it first strikes the ground, a player, an official or anything that is in or behind the neutral zone inbounds (2-19-3-a).  Replay has indisputable video evidence that the ball was first touched by Team A beyond the neutral zone (12-3-2-b), however, without an announcement from the Referee that there is no foul for IDP as the ball was touched behind the neutral zone, then Instant Replay cannot create this foul.  Therefore, there isn’t a foul for IDP (7-3-10) by A64.  The clock will start on the ready following the first down by Team A.  

2.       A 2/3 at the B-30.  A12’s forward pass is intercepted by B12 at the B-1.  B12 returns the interception to the B-4 where he fumbles.  B10 recovers the fumble at the B-2 and his momentum takes him into the end zone.  B10 runs around in his end zone where he is tackled.


Safety, two points for Team A, B SKO at the B-20.  B10 recovered his own team’s fumble and not an opponent’s fumble between his 5-yard line and the goal line and therefore the momentum exception (8-5-1-Exception) is not applicable, thus resulting in a Safety as Team B is responsible for the ball being dead in their own end zone (8-5-1-a).


1. A 1/10 @ A-44. QB #12 receives the snap in a shotgun formation, delays, and runs up the middle on a designed run. Center #63 releases downfield and takes down LB #15 at the B-47 as the QB runs past. The QB then begins his slide @ B-44 and Safety #22 makes contact with his forearm into the runner’s shoulder. The U throws his flag for a late hit to the sliding runner. HL flagged Center #63 for a hold.

A 1/10 at the B-42.  A63 commits a foul for offensive holding (9-3-3) at the B-47.  This foul will be enforced from the B-47.  B22 then commits a dead ball UNR/LTP (9-1-7) for hitting the sliding QB.  By rule the fouls will be enforced separately, as we have a live ball foul followed by a dead ball foul.  The DB UNR/LTP by B22 includes an automatic first down for Team A.  

2. A 2/6 @ A-34. On this attempted screen pass LG #62 releases downfield, makes contact and blocks LB #2 at the A-37. The QB overthrows the RB who is at the A-32 and the ball lands at the A-37, directly to the left of where LG #62 is blocking LB #2. LB #2 could have possibly made a play on the overthrown pass.


A 2/21 at the A-19 (if accepted) or A 3/6 at the A-34 (if declined).  Per the CCA Manual (Not OPI, #2), OPI will not be called on a screen pass when the ball is overthrown behind the LOS but subsequently lands beyond the LOS and linemen are blocking downfield, unless such blocking prevents a defensive player from catching the ball.  A62 is guilty of OPI (7-3-8) as his blocking prevents B2 from making a play on the ball.  The foul will be enforced 15 yards from the previous spot.  Team B could decline that foul and go to 3rd down.  


1. 4th Quarter, 6:04 remaining, Team B leads 42-37.  Team A try from the B-8 after a FST by Team A. QB A5 receives the snap and passes backward to A7 on a reverse.  As A7 approaches the goal line, B24 delivers a crushing hit knocking A7 to the ground at the B-1.  After A7 is on the ground, B2 and B26 stand over and taunt A7.  The try is unsuccessful and the Referee announces that the two UNS penalties will be enforced on the kick-off.  Replay stops the game to review the contact by B24 and confirms Targeting on the play.  Team A wants to replay the try.


A try at the B-1/8th yard line, 0:25 PC, untimed down, DQ B24, B2 and B26 1st UNS of the game.  B24 is guilty of targeting (9-1-3 or 9-1-4) after replay review of the play.  If Team A accepts the yardage penalty for TGT by B24, this would be enforced half the distance to the goal (10-2-6, 10-2-2-d-1-b, 8-3-3-b-2) from the spot of the foul.  In addition, the two UNS fouls (9-2-1) by B2 and B26 can only be enforced from the subsequent spot, half the distance to the goal and not on the kickoff as previously announced.  As a side note, Team A does have the option to decline the yardage penalty for the TGT by B24 and then enforce the two UNS foul on the kickoff, A Kickoff at the B-35.  The DQ of B24 is still in effect.  

2. A FK A-35.  A49 kicks the ball deep between the sideline and position 5.  B2 catches the kick at the B-12.  While the kick was airborne, B6 on the opposite side of the field, lays down in the end zone to avoid being seen by the kicking team.  After B2 catches the kick, B6 rises, and B2 throws a backward pass to B6 at the B-8.  B6 then advances to the 50 yard line.



A FK 50.  B6 1st UNS foul of the game.  B6 commits a UNS foul for laying down in the end zone.  This foul occurred during the kick so the foul is enforced from the previous spot. 


1. After a touchdown by Team A and no time left on the game clock in the 4th Quarter. Team A trails 22-24 and is set for the try after. Going for 2 points in an attempt to tie the game, B25 intercepts the pass and returns it to midfield where he is tackled. After the interception, B63 blocks A21 below the waist in the end zone.

Game Over, Team B wins.  The try is over (8-3-4-a) and the penalty for a BBW (9-1-6-d) is declined by rule.  This is not a safety, as it would be during the regular part of the game, because enforcement of the penalty does not place the succeeding spot in the End zone (8-5-1-b).  Team B will not be next to put the ball in play (AR 8-3-4-II).  

2. A 1/10 at the A-40. Team A leads 24-21 in the fourth quarter. A12 throws a pass to A88 who makes a diving catch inbounds at the A-49. Team B has no timeouts remaining. Instant replay stops the game for a review with 2:03 remaining on the game clock, and :03 on the play clock. After review, instant replay lets the ruling on the field of a diving catch stand. Include clock status.

A 2/1 at the A-49, PC 0:25, game clock SNAP.  The play clock is set to 0:25 and the Referee will invoke Rule 3-4-3 and start the game clock on the snap.  The Referee is given broad authority in the timing of the game, and he can order the game clock started or stopped when appropriate.  The Game Clock Axioms contained in the CCA Manual remind Referees to consider invoking Rule 3-4-3 when the game clock is under 5 minutes of each half.  This play is reviewable (12-3-2-a).  This ruling comes directly from the 2019 Play Interpretation Bulletin #3, on page 2.  


1. A 4/20 at the A-30. A’s punt is rolling at the B-20 when it is first touched by A80. B40 picks up the loose ball and runs to the 50 yard line where he fumbles. A20 picks up the fumble and advances across Team B’s goal line. During B40’s run, B75 held at the B-25.

B 1/10 at the B-15.  The score by Team A doesn’t count.  Five and ten yard penalties are not administered on the try or the succeeding kickoff.  Because of the illegal touching by A80, we now have an enforcement spot for B75’s hold.  That foul is enforced by rule (5-2-4, 10-2-2, 10-2-5-a-2, and AR 6-3-2-IV).

2. A 4/20 at the A-30. B34 is at field position 5 on the B-20 when he successfully completes a fair catch. B55 is in chase mode and gives A17 a slight shove in the back with his right hand at the B-25 at field position 1 as the fair catch is being made. The slight shove causes A17 to lose his balance and fall to the ground face first.

B 1/10 at the B-20.  Per philosophy (CCA Manual, kicking plays #2) an illegal block in the back can be called on fair catches, but not if the illegal block occurs away from the play as the fair catch is being made, or the play results in a touchback and the contact is slight.  Personal foul should always be called, as should forcible contact that involves player safety (6-5-1, 9-3-6).  


1. A 4/4 @ A-8. A7 is in scrimmage kick formation. The ball is snapped and B37 comes around the corner and blocks the punt. The kick bounces at the A-9 and again at the A-5 where B25 bats the ball into the end zone. A7 picks up the ball and returns it to the A-15.


A 1/10 @ A-20, snap, 25.  Rule references:  6-3-6 (Recovery by Kicking Team), The ball went beyond the neutral zone, so the ball is dead when A possesses it.  9-4-1-c (Batting), The bat by B is illegal and creates a new impetus (8-7-2-b-1), so the result of the play is a Touchback.   If the foul for the illegal bat was enforced it would be enforced from the previous spot (10.2.4.a).    Team A would elect to decline the foul and take the result of the play (Touchback) for better yardage.

2. A 4/12 @ B-35. A37 attempts a FG with a stiff wind in his face. DT B50 jumps straight up from the LOS and tips the ball at the B-34 prior to landing on NG B65’s back. The ball bounds down field to the B-5 where B18 in an attempt to recover the ball strikes the ball with his foot and it goes out of bounds at the B-8. B35 held and took down A18 during the kick at the B-25.


B 1/10 @ B-4, snap, 25.  Rule references:  9-3-4 (Holding).  10-2-3 (Post Scrimmage Kick enforcement).  B35 committed a holding foul during an unsuccessful FG kick, which is enforced as a PSK foul.  3-3-2-d-8 (Timing), 3-2-4-c-6 (25 second clock).


1. In a game with replay: A 2/4 at the B-31 with 1:00 in the 2nd quarter. Team B leads 17-10. QB A10 throws a pass to A17 near the team B sideline at the B-12-yard line. As the ball is in flight, defensive back B11 is not playing the ball and makes significant early contact to A17 at the sideline. The field judge rules the receiver stepped OOB with his right foot as a result of the contact just as he touched the pass, therefore the pass was ruled incomplete (did not re-establish). TV replays are inconclusive as to whether A17’s foot touched OOB. However, TV replay does show that the right foot of A17 was off the ground and his left leg was inbounds when A17 first touched the pass and successfully completed the catch at the B-12. Immediately after the play, the team B head coach storms off the sideline 5 yards onto the field, confronts the field judge and demonstratively gestures that A17 pushed off. At the end of the play, the game clock reads 0:55.


A 1/G @ B-6.  Snap/25 (3.4.3, 3.2.4.c.1) Replay will assume the ruling on the field of an incomplete pass is correct.   Even though there is no indisputable video evidence (IVE) that A17 stepped OOB, there is IVE that A17 did successfully re-establish inbounds prior to touching the ball (4.2.1.b, 7.3.4 exception, Replay CB passing #44,45).  The play will be changed to a completed pass at the B-12.  The foul for DPI (7.3.8.c, 7.3.9.f) will be declined (10.1.1.b) and the UNS on the Team B head coach (9.2.1.b.1) will be enforced from the B-12 (10.1.5, 10.2.6).  The clock is at 0:55 and will start on the snap (3.4.3).  Replay may review the process of the catch and whether A17 re-established after being “pushed OOB” by the defender (12.3.1.a, b).


2. Team A leads 14-6 with 8:21 remaining in the 3rd quarter. Team A’s ball 1/10 at the B-12, position 3. QB A12 is under pressure. A12 scrambles and just before stepping OOB at the B-14, throws a pass that lands just beyond the end line OOB near the Back judge. When the pass was released, A75 was at the B-6. No eligible receiver was in the area.


A 1/15 @ B17, position 3 OR 2/10 @ B-12 position 3, snap/25 (3.3.2.d.4, 3.2.4.c).  In this case, the pass is not legally grounded near or beyond the sideline, rather the QB is under duress and throws the ball out of the back of the end zone with ineligibles downfield.  CCA manual page 12 #9.  “If the passer is legally throwing the ball away and it lands near or beyond the sideline, do not penalize the offense for having ineligible players downfield.”  Rule 7.3.10 exception



1. A 3/8 at the B-48. As QB A7 drops back to pass, LT A78 releases downfield in an attempt to get to the second level and block LB B51. When A78 gets to the B-46, B51 tries to avoid the block and blitzes QB A7. A78 makes initial contact with B51, but he loses contact as he runs past him. B51 moves into the offensive backfield and A7 hands the ball to A33 on a delayed draw within the tackle box. A78 recovers and pushes B51 in the back at the B-48 as A33 runs past him and is eventually tackled at the B-39.


A 1/10 at the B-39.  The blocking zone extends 3 yards longitudinally in either direction of the line of scrimmage (2-3-6-a).  A78 never left the blocking zone, the ball has not left the blocking zone and the block by A78 in the back of B51 occurred with in the zone and is therefore legal (9-3-6—Exception 1).  Result of the play is a 1st down for Team A.


2. A 3/5 at the A-35. A7 drops back to the A-30 and sets up to pass in the tackle box. Heavy pressure comes from his backside and he tries to avoid the pressure. Still within the tackle box, the DE wraps him up and begins pulling him down at the A-29. As A7 is going down, he then attempts to throw the ball downfield, but the ball lands at the A-37 with no receiver in the area.


A 4/11 at the A-29.  A7 commits a foul for ING (7-3-2-h).  Per the CCA manual, page 29, Other Passing Situations #7, “if the passer is clearly contacted before he starts his passing motion, there will be a foul for intentional grounding if there is no eligible receiver in the area”.  The foul for ING is loss of down at the spot of the foul.  




1. Q3, 13:29, A 1/10 at the A-46. QB A5 drops back and throws a forward swing pass to A8 who catches the ball at the A-45 and runs to the B-49 where he is contacted by B32 very near the sideline. During the tackle, the ball appears to come loose and is recovered by B32 at the B-47, however, the LJ rules that the runner is down by rule prior to the fumble with 13:19 on the game clock. The clock continues to run as the Referee quickly confirms the ROF with the LJ and then signals second down. At 12:51 and just prior to the snap, replay stops the game and can confirm that the runner did fumble prior to being down by rule, however, the loose ball was briefly touched at the 50 yard line by B10 who was also touching out of bounds prior to B32’s recovery. Also during the fumble, the LJ is contacted by a coach in the restricted area, however, no flag is thrown. Include game and play clock.


A 2/6 at the 50.  Game clock reset to 13:19, RFP.  PC 0:25.  B10, whom is out of bounds touches the ball and therefore a loose ball is considered out of bounds when it touches the ground or a player (4-2-3-a) that is out of bounds.  This play is reviewable as per 12-3-3-h; however, Instant Replay cannot create the UNS / SLI (9-2-5-b).  Printed version of 2019 IR Casebook, PG 75, “Timing” Bullet #1.  


2. Q2, 0:16. A 1/10 at the B-27. Each team has one timeout remaining. QB A14 drops back and throws a forward pass to A21 who catches it at the B-24 and runs it to the B-18 where he is tackled. Immediately after the down ends at 0:07 on the clock, Team A is granted a timeout. As Team A is running their FG unit onto the field, replay pages and indicates that A21’s knee was touching the ground at the B-24 and the game clock was at 0:13 when he caught the pass. Include game clock and team timeout adjustments, if any.


A 2/7 at the B-24.  Snap.  Final timeout for Team A; GC 0:07, PC 0:25.  Game clock is not adjusted, and Team A’s timeout is not restored.  This play is not a possible 10-second subtraction as the initial ruling on the field did not stop the clock (12-3-6-c).   Even though this play is reviewable and making sure the clock is right is part of that review process (12-3-6-b), however, according to the 2019 IR Casebook, PG 75, bullet point 1, “there is no clock adjustment if the reversal creates a situation in which the clock would not have stopped”, which is what we have here.  So therefore the clock will remain at 0:07.  Additionally, in the 2019 IR Casebook, PG 76, bullet point #7, “a team that calls a timeout to preserve time has it’s timeout restored if a reversal creates a stopped clock”.  Again, the review process would not create a stopped clock, therefore Team A does not get its’ timeout back.  



1. A 3/10 at the B-40. A12 drops back to pass and throws a forward pass towards A88 at the B-28. A88 leaps, catches the pass and while still in the air, is grabbed by B24 and is held for a moment before being carried toward the sideline at the B-29. As A88 comes to the ground, he is barely able to touch his toe inbounds when his heel comes down and hits the sideline in a continuous motion. A88 is able to maintain firm control of the ball as he goes to the ground, landing out of bounds. The FJ and LJ come together and after a brief discussion, signal a completed catch by A88 at the B-28.


A 1/10 at the B-28, ready.  This is a completed catch by A88.  He maintains complete control all the way through the process of the catch.  A88’s forward progress is stopped at the B-28 as he was held in a manner that prevented him from immediately returning to the ground, whether or not he lands in or out of bounds.  This was correctly ruled as a completed catch on the field (4-1-3-p, AR 7-3-6-III).  Many of you wanted to involve replay in this, however, with the ruling of forward progress this play is no longer reviewable. 


2. A kickoff from the A-35. During the set up for the return, two Team B players align shoulder to shoulder at the B-8 and move up field in tandem to begin blocking. The ball is caught 7 yards deep in the end zone by B2, who advances near the goal line when all of a sudden decides to take a knee. When B2 goes to the ground, the ball just breaks the plane of the goal line into the field of play, but his body is fully behind the goal line, with the exception of his right foot, which is also just barely in the field of play. When the ball was kicked, A44 was offside


A kickoff at the A-30 or B 1/10 at the B-30, snap.  By philosophy (CCA Manual pg 30, kicking plays #4) this is a touchback.  Kicks into the end zone that are in question, during the return – the ball has not left the end zone.  Officials are encouraged to not be too technical on calling this as being out of the end zone.  The foul for an illegal wedge (6-1-10-a, 6-1-10-d) is ignored as the result of the play is a touchback.  The offside by A44 can either be enforced from the previous spot or enforced from the spot where the subsequent dead ball belongs to Team B, which in this case would be the B-25 (6-1-8).



1. A 4/8 at the B-48. A1’s punt is high and lands at the B-10 where it continues towards B’s goal line. In a panic, scholarship player B24, the punt returner, quickly signals for a fair catch prior to picking up the ball 1/2 a yard deep in his end zone. Not realizing that a signal was given, the BJ passes on this action and begins to officiate the return. During B24’s return, the covering officials rule that there was a block in the back by B36 at the B-7 and a blind side block with targeting by B35 at the B-24 prior to B24 being tackled at the B-30. As the ball is being kicked, gunner A18, is taken to the ground by B23 at the B-45. The HL questions whether there was a fair catch signal given or not. Replay confirms that there was a fair catch signal given and determines that there was no Targeting during the return.


B 1/10 at the B-5, snap.  B24 commits a violation for an invalid fair catch signal when he signals after the ball hits the ground (6-5-3-a).  Because of this invalid signal, the ball is dead as soon as B24 recovers it.  Because the ball is dead in Team B’s end zone, not only does this result in a touchback, but the postscrimmage kick spot now becomes the B-20.  B23’s holding foul, being a PSK foul per 10-2-3-b, is enforced from the B-20.  Because the ball is dead once it is recovered, only the penalties for personal fouls and unsportsmanlike conduct fouls are enforced.  The “common fouls” are deemed to have not even happened.  By rule, replay can review a live ball not ruled dead in possession of a ball carrier (12-3-3-c) as well as all aspects of targeting (12-3-5-a).  Because replay removed the targeting aspect, B35 is allowed to stay in the game and the penalty for the blind side block (personal foul, 9-1-18) is still in play.  After enforcement of the live ball hold and the dead ball blind side block, Team B will next snap the ball 1/10 at the B-5.    


2. A 3/6 at the A-39. QB A11 is unable to find an open receiver, scrambles to his right and heads up field in the side zone. Unaware of his locale, A11 begins to give himself up near the sideline at the A-44 when B50, who is being held, makes a traditional, non-punishing tackle of A11.


A 4/1 at the A-44.  Per the CCA Manual, holds into the tackle and non-punishing contact even if the runner is giving himself up are not deemed to be fouls (Page 29, Blocking #1 and Page 30 Plays at the Sideline #2).  



1. A 1/10 at the 50. 0:50 remain in the 4th quarter. Neither team has any timeouts remaining and the score is A14 - B17. A1 takes the shotgun snap and throws a swing pass to RB A20. A20 catches the pass at the A-48 and runs to the B-43 where he is tackled inbounds with 0:40 remaining on the clock. RT A77 is injured on the play.


A 2/3 at the B-43.  A77 must sit out for one play.  The play clock will be set at 0:25 seconds (3-3-5-f-1) as the injury is to an offensive team player.  Because of A77’s injury, Team B has the option of a 10 second subtraction (3-3-5-f).  Team A does not have a timeout in order to prevent the 10 second subtraction and therefore the clock will be set to 0:30 and will start on the ready for play.


2. A 3/7 at the A-30, position 1. QB A11 takes the snap and runs outside of position 5 to the A32 and then retreats to the A28. While under heavy duress he throws the ball over the head of A81 and the ball lands out of bounds at the A-40. A77 was blocking downfield at the A-35 when the pass was thrown.


A 4/14 at the A-23, position 5.  A11 goes beyond the line of scrimmage, retreats and then throws a forward pass.  This forward pass is an illegal forward pass and is enforced from the spot of the foul with a loss of down (7-3-2-e).  A77 is blocking downfield when the pass is thrown and is also downfield illegally (7-3-8-b and 7-3-10).   A77 is blocking downfield but by rule is unable to commit OPI as the pass by A11 was an illegal forward pass.  Additionally, by philosophy (CCA manual pg 28, Not Offensive Pass Interference #1) if the passer is legally grounding the ball out of bounds, near or beyond the sideline, OPI for blocking downfield will not called.  Again, A11 was not legally grounding the ball as the forward pass was illegal.  IDP is also a potential on A77, however we can only have IDP on a legally thrown forward pass (7-3-10).  A11 is not legally throwing the ball away so the 7-3-10-Exception also does not apply.     



1. A free kick A-35. Airborne B1 leaps from inbounds and is the first player to touch A4’s free kick as he gains control of the ball with both hands. B1 then lands out of bounds with the ball in his possession. The ball crossed the sideline at the B-10. A99 is offside at the kick.

A re-kick A-30 or B 1/10 B-15. B1 is an inbounds player when he touches the free kick (2-27-15-b-2).  There is no foul for a kick out of bounds as the ball was touched in bounds by a player a Team B (6-2-1). The penalty for an offside kicker is enforced at the previous spot or the subsequent dead ball spot where the ball belongs to Team B (6-1-2-c-1).


2. A 4/6 B-26. A39’s field goal attempt is blocked and the ball is rolling in the field of play near the B-15. During the play, A77 and B66 get tangled up and are on the ground near the line of scrimmage. As the ball is coming to a stop at the B-13, B66 makes an open hand push to A77’s helmet and drives it into the ground. The Team A Head Coach sees all this action and runs onto the field, beyond the numbers, yelling about B66.

B 1/10 B-26. When in question whether an unsportsmanlike act is a live-ball or a dead-ball foul, it is a dead-ball foul (CCA Page 31 UNS 1). Assess a UNS counter on both B66 and Team A HC. The yardage penalties for the two dead-ball unsportsmanlike conduct fouls cancel (10-1-5-exception). Team B will next snap the ball at the previous spot as the result of the play was an unsuccessful field goal with the kick going beyond the neutral zone, no touching by Team B after it crossed, and the ball being declared dead beyond (8-4-2-b-1).

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