Rules Question: Returning from Out of Bounds Covering a Punt

saluno22

Defensive Coordinator
Mar 1, 2006
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If it doesn't jump to the point right away, it's at about 1:56:00...

Looks in the replay Ricky Thenarse went out of bounds and was the first to touch the ball. No idea if he was forced out of bounds, the Field Judge is still wearing his hat, so he likely either didn't see Thenarse go out of bounds or it doesn't matter on punts.

Should this have been a penalty if he wasn't forced out of bounds?

Anyway, on the ensuing possession, Oklahoma drove it 99 yards for a touchdown. Sick
 

jedihusker

Senior
Aug 17, 2003
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There is a rule; Rule 6-3-12 to be exact. If a player on Team A (kicking team) goes out of bounds, they can't return to play unless they were forced out. Penalty is 5 yards, either added to end of play, or from previous spot and re-kick. Presumably, Oklahoma would have gone for re-kick in that situation. Like you said, it's hard to see if anyone forced him out, though not likely.

I'm assuming one of two things: A)the ref didn't see it (most likely) B)the ref decided to go with the spirit of the rule instead of the letter (less likely). The spirit of that rule is to prevent gunners or really anyone on the punting team, from running out of bounds to avoid a blocker; not to ding someone for incidentally stepping out while waiting to down a punt. I wish there were more situations where refs would apply rules as they were intended when put in, and not extreme letter of the law adherence. My biggest one is false starts. Penalty flags thrown because someone's shoulder muscle twitched or hand twitched, that no one but the ref even saw, are ridiculous and annoying. I wish they would stick to only throwing flags on actual "false starts".
 
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saluno22

Defensive Coordinator
Mar 1, 2006
7,444
3,245
113
There is a rule; Rule 6-3-12 to be exact. If a player on Team A (kicking team) goes out of bounds, they can't return to play unless they were forced out. Penalty is 5 yards, either added to end of play, or from previous spot and re-kick. Presumably, Oklahoma would have gone for re-kick in that situation. Like you said, it's hard to see if anyone forced him out, though not likely.

I'm assuming one of two things: A)the ref didn't see it (most likely) B)the ref decided to go with the spirit of the rule instead of the letter (less likely). The spirit of that rule is to prevent gunners or really anyone on the punting team, from running out of bounds to avoid a blocker; not to ding someone for incidentally stepping out while waiting to down a punt. I wish there were more situations where refs would apply rules as they were intended when put in, and not extreme letter of the law adherence. My biggest one is false starts. Penalty flags thrown because someone's shoulder muscle twitched or hand twitched, that no one but the ref even saw, are ridiculous and annoying. I wish they would stick to only throwing flags on actual "false starts".
Thanks!