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    Registered User Cat_n_the_Hat's Avatar
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    Default Roughing the kicker?

    Was wondering if anyone could post the rule for roughing the kicker? When are you allowed to hit the punter as far as rugby style? Is there a point he loses his protection? Thanks...

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    Premium Member Clyde's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cat_n_the_Hat View Post
    Was wondering if anyone could post the rule for roughing the kicker? When are you allowed to hit the punter as far as rugby style? Is there a point he loses his protection? Thanks...
    I'm pretty sure that there is no point in high school where a kicker loses his protection. He can tuck the ball and run and then at the very last second pull up and punt. He's not allowed to be hit at all.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Clyde View Post
    I'm pretty sure that there is no point in high school where a kicker loses his protection. He can tuck the ball and run and then at the very last second pull up and punt. He's not allowed to be hit at all.

    Correct.

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    First, it's very important to remember the definition of "kicker": A player is not a kicker until the ball is actually kicked. (So if the player muffs the ball or just gets tackled with the ball, he is a "runner" and is afforded no special protection). Since a "rugby style kick" occurs outside the normal alignment of the tackle, the player became a runner long before he became a kicker.

    So, the defense is given a little more leeway than on a normal scrimmage kick occurring between the tackles: "A defensive player shall neither run into the kicker, nor block, tackle or charge into the kicker other than when...Contact is unavoidable because it is not reasonably certain that a kick will be made.

    So, the short answer is that the rugby style punter still has protection against roughing the kicker (if he kicks it!). But if he holds it too long and the defender has initiated a charge to tackle him before he kicks it, there will be no foul. This is not a free shot for the defender; it's more of a mitigating factor in the favor of the defense.

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    I thought once the punter had kicked the ball and re-established himself ( both feet on the ground) you could hit him. At what point can you block the punter after a punt? Does anyone have the actual rule or know where I could find it online?

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    Rule 9-4
    ART. 5 . . . Running into or roughing the kicker or holder. A defensive player
    shall neither run into the kicker nor holder, which is contact that displaces the kicker or holder without roughing; nor block, tackle or charge into the kicker of a scrimmage kick, or the place-kick holder, other than when:
    a. Contact is unavoidable because it is not reasonably certain that a kick will
    be made.
    b. The defense touches the kick near the kicker and contact is unavoidable.
    c. Contact is slight and is partially caused by movement of the kicker.
    d. Contact is caused by R being blocked into the kicker or holder by K.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cat_n_the_Hat View Post
    I thought once the punter had kicked the ball and re-established himself ( both feet on the ground) you could hit him. At what point can you block the punter after a punt? Does anyone have the actual rule or know where I could find it online?
    2-32-8...A kicker is any player who legally punts, drop kicks or place kicks. A player becomes a kicker when his knee, lower leg or foot makes contact with the ball. He continues to be the kicker until he has had reasonable opportunity to regain his balance or until after a free kick, he has advanced 5 yards beyond his free-kick line or the kick has touched the ground or any other player.

    Kickers can be legally blocked if they're in the play. But "targeting a defenseless player" is still illegal.

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    Quote Originally Posted by duke42 View Post
    First, it's very important to remember the definition of "kicker": A player is not a kicker until the ball is actually kicked. (So if the player muffs the ball or just gets tackled with the ball, he is a "runner" and is afforded no special protection). Since a "rugby style kick" occurs outside the normal alignment of the tackle, the player became a runner long before he became a kicker.

    So, the defense is given a little more leeway than on a normal scrimmage kick occurring between the tackles: "A defensive player shall neither run into the kicker, nor block, tackle or charge into the kicker other than when...Contact is unavoidable because it is not reasonably certain that a kick will be made.

    So, the short answer is that the rugby style punter still has protection against roughing the kicker (if he kicks it!). But if he holds it too long and the defender has initiated a charge to tackle him before he kicks it, there will be no foul. This is not a free shot for the defender; it's more of a mitigating factor in the favor of the defense.
    Be careful. This isn't totally true. There is absolutely no difference in the leeway allowed by rule. Officials aren't allowed to cop out dealing with the style of punt. They only have to ask "was he a kicker?". If so, then its a foul to hit him.

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    Quote Originally Posted by kissinger View Post
    Be careful. This isn't totally true. There is absolutely no difference in the leeway allowed by rule. Officials aren't allowed to cop out dealing with the style of punt. They only have to ask "was he a kicker?". If so, then its a foul to hit him.
    It really depends how the kicker kicks it as far as any leeway. I have seen rugby where the guy takes 3 or 4 steps to the right and kicks it. That is normal kicking motion full protection. But I have also seen where the kicker runs to the right as in a sweep deciding to run or kick. At that point there is more than "was he a kicker" there is also question of "reasonable uncertainity that he is going to kick it"

    Does that make sense?

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    Quote Originally Posted by zebraman View Post
    It really depends how the kicker kicks it as far as any leeway. I have seen rugby where the guy takes 3 or 4 steps to the right and kicks it. That is normal kicking motion full protection. But I have also seen where the kicker runs to the right as in a sweep deciding to run or kick. At that point there is more than "was he a kicker" there is also question of "reasonable uncertainity that he is going to kick it"

    Does that make sense?
    That makes sense, but I've never seen it called that way up here in NKY. I have seen numerous occassions where the punter will run around until his coverage is down the field and a defender is in his face. At the last second, he'll punt it, which by that time the defender has already committed to hitting the kid. Holmes used to do this to perfection, and would draw numerous roughing the kicker calls. IMO, as soon as the punter gets outside the tackles, he shouldn't get any protection.

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    Quote Originally Posted by nees1212 View Post
    That makes sense, but I've never seen it called that way up here in NKY. I have seen numerous occassions where the punter will run around until his coverage is down the field and a defender is in his face. At the last second, he'll punt it, which by that time the defender has already committed to hitting the kid. Holmes used to do this to perfection, and would draw numerous roughing the kicker calls. IMO, as soon as the punter gets outside the tackles, he shouldn't get any protection.
    This came into play in the Cov Cath / LaSalle game a few weeks back. Cov Cath was running a try-for-yards, then rugy punt if it doesn't work type play, and the kicker had swept out of the the pocket in a ball-running posture. LaSalle had two guys on him, and when they closed in, he kicked the ball on the run.

    I think at least one of the two was diving at him before he un-tucked the ball to kick, but regardless, they both got into the kicker pretty well on the play. Penalty went against LaSalle, but I really felt it was a poor call in all honesty. As quickly as it went from running play to punt, I don't think the two defenders had a reasonable amount of time to pull off of their attempt at the "ball runner".

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    Quote Originally Posted by duke42 View Post
    First, it's very important to remember the definition of "kicker": A player is not a kicker until the ball is actually kicked. (So if the player muffs the ball or just gets tackled with the ball, he is a "runner" and is afforded no special protection). Since a "rugby style kick" occurs outside the normal alignment of the tackle, the player became a runner long before he became a kicker.

    So, the defense is given a little more leeway than on a normal scrimmage kick occurring between the tackles: "A defensive player shall neither run into the kicker, nor block, tackle or charge into the kicker other than when...Contact is unavoidable because it is not reasonably certain that a kick will be made.

    So, the short answer is that the rugby style punter still has protection against roughing the kicker (if he kicks it!). But if he holds it too long and the defender has initiated a charge to tackle him before he kicks it, there will be no foul. This is not a free shot for the defender; it's more of a mitigating factor in the favor of the defense.
    I apologize to duke42, I provided this wrong answer for him. This answer is specific to NCAA football. I looked in the wrong rulebook.

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    I would think that a roughing the kicker penalty would apply if the kicker is hit while in a vulnerable position or hit after the kick has been executed. That applies to those players trying to block the kick but fail to touch it. If the defender doesn't have the body control to either block the kick or avoid contacting the kicker then they get penalized. Its not that easy to punt a ball while on a dead run so it is unlikely the kick blocker/tackler wouldn't be able to figure out whether it was going to continue to be a run or whether the guy was preparing to kick it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by hockentucky View Post
    I would think that a roughing the kicker penalty would apply if the kicker is hit while in a vulnerable position or hit after the kick has been executed. That applies to those players trying to block the kick but fail to touch it. If the defender doesn't have the body control to either block the kick or avoid contacting the kicker then they get penalized. Its not that easy to punt a ball while on a dead run so it is unlikely the kick blocker/tackler wouldn't be able to figure out whether it was going to continue to be a run or whether the guy was preparing to kick it.
    Casebook 9-4-5..."The defensive player will not be penalized if he has made an honest endeavor to block the kick and has either succeeded, or nearly succeeded that he touched the ball and in so doing finds himself in a position where he cannot avoid contacting the kicker/holder as a result of his effort."

    But if in doubt, it's roughing the kicker.

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    Quote Originally Posted by hockentucky View Post
    I would think that a roughing the kicker penalty would apply if the kicker is hit while in a vulnerable position or hit after the kick has been executed. That applies to those players trying to block the kick but fail to touch it. If the defender doesn't have the body control to either block the kick or avoid contacting the kicker then they get penalized. Its not that easy to punt a ball while on a dead run so it is unlikely the kick blocker/tackler wouldn't be able to figure out whether it was going to continue to be a run or whether the guy was preparing to kick it.
    It's much easier than you think. Many teams aren't looking for a booming punt in these types of situations. They're reading the defense to see if they can run, and if not, just to kick a low liner that's going to give you a favorable bounce that your coverage team is waiting for. IMO, with all the new rugby style kicks going on, this rule needs to be looked at. I'm all for protecting the punter, but there has to be a definitive rule where the punter becomes a runner. Unfortunately, the way it is now, that basically doesn't occur until he crosses the line of scrimmage.