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Odd NFL rules (and some that are misquoted/misunderstood)

The Evil Genius

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Can someone explain to me how a team can score an extra point on a safety that occurs on a try?

The NFL rule book defines a try (XP,2 pt attempt) as:

1. After a touchdown, the scoring team is allowed a try during one scrimmage down. The ball may be spotted anywhere between the inbounds lines, two or more yards from the goal line. The successful conversion counts one point by kick; two points for a successful conversion by touchdown; or one point for a safety.

2. The defensive team never can score on a try. As soon as defense gets possession or the kick is blocked or a touchdown is not scored, the try is over.

3. Any distance penalty for fouls committed by the defense that prevent the try from being attempted can be enforced on the succeeding try or succeeding kickoff. Any foul committed on a successful try will result in a distance penalty being assessed on the ensuing kickoff.

4. Only the fumbling player can recover and advance a fumble during a try.

Now, if the play is dead when the defense gains control of the ball - how can a safety occur? The only thing I can think of is by running all the way through your own end zone. And since you take the try from anywhere on the field - can you not take it from your own 1 yard line?

Am I misreading the rules here?

Another rule that I hear about on the tv constantly (well each year), is the free kick when a player calls a fair catch and catches the ball. Allegedly, the receiving team can then attempt a field goal without the threat of the defending team.

However, the only mention of this in the rule book that I can find is this:

Under the fair catch section

6. If time expires while ball is in play and a fair catch is awarded, receiving team may choose to extend the period with one fair catch kick down. However, placekicker may not use tee.

So is this free kick rule only good then if time expires? Because no one ever mentions that subtle fact(?) when they speak of it on TV.

Any other odd rules or anyone want to clarify?

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Perhaps the free kick rule isn't in the book any more (which would explain why you can't find it), but I've been assured that it was there.

Supposedly, it's been used twice in NFL history, both times by the Skins. (They got a field goal once.)

(And supposedly, the free kick can be either a place kick or a drop kick, but not a punt. If place kick, the kicker can use a tee or a holder. Supposedly, there's no opposing team on the field, just the kicker (and holder).)

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Now, if the play is dead when the defense gains control of the ball - how can a safety occur?

I know! The Skins score a TD (6 points for the Skins), and then the Skins give the ball to the Bucs on their own 2 yard line. If the Skins get a safety, they get 1 point.

That makes sense, doesn't it?


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Fair Catch Kick:

After a fair catch, the receiving team has the option to put the ball in play by a snap or a fair catch kick (field goal attempt), with fair catch kick lines established ten yards apart. All general rules apply as for a field goal attempt from scrimmage. The clock starts when the ball is kicked. (No tee permitted.)


One Point Try Saftey, I would guess if the offense is attempting a two point try and the ball is fumbled into the end zone and then is kicked or pushed by the defense out of bounds in the end zone. But that is just a guess.


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Last year I saw a college game I think Texas vs Texas A&M where the one point safety was used. A&M was attempting the PAT and I believe the holder dropped the ball and the kicker kicked it on the ground into the endzone. I'm not sure who recovered it but it resulted in a one point safety for Texas.

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The unopposed free-kick attempt can only take place if time expires during the play that resulted in a fair catch. It's essentially a measure to prevent teams from running the clock out during a punt.

Yes, so if there is 5 or less seconds on the play before a punt at the end of a half, and the return guys signals for a fair catch and time runs out, they get a free field goal attempt.

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