Western Final Fumble Ruling

Published on November 21, 2010 10:34 PM by dbo.

In Sunday’s Western Final, a pivotal play was the fumble of a punt return by Saskatchewan’s Ryan Grice-Mullen which was ultimately propelled by Calgary into the Roughrider end zone and recovered by Saskatchewan. The ruling was no points awarded, Saskatchewan ball at their 25-yard line per Rule 1, Section 9, Article 6 – Ball Touched In Goal Area.

However, those reading the rule “When a player directs the ball other than by kicking…” call foul. When Calgary’s Wes Lysak struck the ball sending it into the end zone, it appears it strikes his foot, not his hand. Does that not disqualify this rule from applying then? Is this a dribbled ball and therefore a kick?

I don’t think so. My interpretation of the rule is that is disqualifies normal kicks. A dribbled ball is not a normal kick and counts as an act of propulsion. Since none of the rules surrounding a dribbled ball applied, the correct rule was used.

This occurred in the last three minutes of the second half and therefore was eligible to be reviewed by the league office. It was not. This indicates to me that the correct call was made, the league felt there was no wrong interpretation made. Others will challenge this assumption. It will be interesting to see if the league addresses the ruling this week.


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Western Final Fumble Ruling was published on November 21, 2010 10:34 PM by dbo.

223 words.

This article is categorized under Game and tagged with ball-in-goal and dribbled-ball.

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Four Responses to “Western Final Fumble Ruling”

  1. Rather than make an interpretation, let's look at the rulebook:

    Article 1 – Kicked Ball A kicked ball is one struck by a player’s foot or leg below the knee.

    Thus, this should've been a single, but I am still struggling with this. Does this mean that if the Riders had the ball on the 10 yard line, and they had fumbled and it was kicked into the endzone by the Stamps then it would've only been a single?

    By Ron on November 22, 2010 6:04 AM

  2. Let me clarify my hypothetical scenario:

    If the Riders had possession of the ball on their 10 yard line, and ran a play where they fumbled and Calgary kicked the ball into the Rider endzone where the Riders recovered it, would it have been a single or safety? If so, why?

    By Ron on November 22, 2010 6:06 AM

  3. @Ron

    Let's not just look at one definition

    A dribbled ball occurs when the ball is kicked while not in possession or control of a player, i.e. a loose ball following a fumble, a blocked kick, a kickoff or a kick from scrimmage.

    And Rule 5, Section 4, Article 1

    (This article does not apply to a "dribbled ball".)

    So my interpretation is it doesn't matter how Calgary put the ball into the end zone. If a dribbled ball, none of the rules of a dribbled ball come into effect as Calgary did not recover. It is definitely not a kicked ball (punt) where 5-yards has to be given.

    As for your scenario, same ruling applies. No point scored, Saskatchewan ball on their 25-yard line. If Saskatchewan advances (devances?) the ball into the end-zone, safety. If onside Calgary player recovers, touchdown. In the case of Sunday's game, if it is a kick as you say, and single point, then no-yards is called on Calgary (which can only happen if it is not a dribbled ball), Roughriders take the 5-yard penalty applied at the 10-yard line.

    Let us know what George Black and Tom Higgins say.

    By dbo on November 22, 2010 12:49 PM

  4. Okay, that's a good point about the dribbled ball. I didn't see that section. I guess perhaps the refs got it right.

    It is interesting that there seems to be a specific section to cover blocked kicks or punts (I included it below).

    Article 4 — Blocked Into Goal Area

    When a kick is blocked in the Field of Play or Goal Area, and is declared dead in the Goal Area in possession of the kicking team, or goes Out of Bounds in the Goal Area without either team taking possession, a safety touch score shall be awarded to the non-kicking team. No Option.

    By Ron on November 25, 2010 7:42 PM