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Lateral Passes
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Author:  diplodink [ Wed Sep 17, 2008 5:54 pm ]
Post subject:  Lateral Passes

I have a question that sort of relates to the Chargers\Broncos call (real quick - Ed you're a great referee. I'm a lawyer too! My wife and I call you "super-buff ref" because of your huge biceps, but seriously, you're one of the great ones, you get one free pass, at least)

Here's my question. My understanding of the rule as it was several years ago was this:

The quarterback makes a throwing motion, his arm coming forward. The ball comes out irregularly before his arm is fully forward, and the ball launches out forward. This is an incomplete pass. I am not speaking of what would be clearly fumbles if they left the hand of the quarterback before his arm started coming forward.

If instead, however, in the same circumstance, the ball leaves the quarterback's hand after his hand has started moving forward, but the ball flies backward (without any defender involved) that, BY RULE, as they say, it's an incomplete pass, notwithstanding that if it was a "planned" lateral, it would be a live ball\fumble.

Do I understand the previous rule correctly? And is that still the rule in the NFL? Further, can you give any insight as to why this is the rule (assuming I got it right)? It seems to me the better rule would simply be 1.) Did the ball leave the quarterback's hand before or after his arm began a forward motion and 2.) Did the ball travel forward or backward (a music city miracle review). If after, but backwards, it should be a lateral which is recoverable by the defense.

Author:  BackJudge [ Wed Sep 17, 2008 10:42 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Lateral Passes

the hand going forward without the ball would be the "empty hand rule". The result of the play would be a fumble, recoverable by either team.

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