POINT OF FACT

A football quiz to test the ingenuity and add to the knowledge of both the casual fan and the armchair expert
December 05, 1960

? As the ballcarrier cuts around end he stumbles, touches the turf on the 20-yard line withone hand, regains his balance and continues to the 30. At the 30 he is hit by atackier and knocked to his knees, only to rise again and keep running untilbrought down on the 40. Where should the ball be declared dead?

•It ispermissible for the hands to be in contact with the ground, but when any otherportion of the body touches, play ceases. In this instance, play wouldterminate at the 30-yard line, where the runner's knees touched. Professionalrules, however, permit the ball carrier to continue running unless a defensiveplayer has made contact with him.

? Is there anydifference in the number of free time-outs allotted in college and professionalfootball?

•Yes. Collegeteams are allowed five a half, professionals just three.

?What should therulings be in these closely related cases?: Team A's fullback fumbles, and theball is recovered in the opponent's end zone by 1) a player from Team B, 2) ateammate or 3) a player from Team B who tries to run with ball but is tackledbefore he can gel out of the end zone.

•1) Touchback. 2)Touchdown. 3) Safety.

?What are themajor differences between the T formation and the split-T?

•Linemen in thesplit-T are spaced farther apart than in the T, creating wider avenues for therunners. Blocking, because of the wider line spacing, is simpler. Linemen mustmerely keep open for the runners the holes that already exist. The Tquarterback, after taking the snap from center, spins around to pitch out, handoff or drop back to pass. The quarterback in the split-T, by contrast, slidesalong behind his linemen, trying to force his opponents to commit themselvesbefore exercising his options. The split-T is a more volatile offense than theT, and its trademarks include the pass-run option, running pitchouts andrunning passes.

?Opposing clubsare not allowed to wear the same color jerseys. Which team would be obliged tochange if both intended to wear the same color?

•The visitingteam would be required to change.

? At the bottomof a stack of players are two who are in primary contention for possession ofthe ball. One player from the offensive squad is lying on top of the ball,which is clutched by a defensive player who has both hands on it. Who would beawarded possession?

•Possession isgenerally interpreted to mean that a player has such control of the ball thathe would be able to pass, kick or run with it. In cases of doubt such as this,the official will usually favor the man who has his hands on the ball. A lotwould depend on the action just prior to the ball being declared dead. If theball was dead before the defensive player got his hands on it he would not beawarded possession.

? A pass iscaught by both a defensive player and an eligible receiver from the offensiveclub. Is it an interception or a completion?

•The ball becomesdead when caught simultaneously, but it would be ruled a completed pass for theoffensive side.

?What are thedifferences between a flat pass and a safety-valve pass?

•A flat pass is ashort forward pass, generally thrown to a receiver who has not gone deep butwho usually is near the sideline. This play is of special value when a team istrying to conserve time, for the receiver often can step out of bounds and stopthe clock. The safetyvalve pass is an alternative outlet for a passer in dangerof being thrown for a loss. To avoid this loss he will throw to a receiverstationed just behind or across the line.

? What is adiamond defense?

•It is labeled asa 7-1-2-1 alignment, with seven men on the line. The diamond refers to thepositioning of the four men behind the line. The linebacker, who plays close tothe line, and the safety, who is stationed deep, are in line with each other atthe north and south extremities of the diamond. Forming the two other pointsare the halfbacks, who are flanked to the sides midway between the linebackerand safety. The diamond defense is effective against running plays, slightlyvulnerable to quick passes.

?The captain ofthe defensive team notices that the offensive guards have locked legs withtheir center. Should he notify an official?

•No. It is legalfor these players to lock legs, although this privilege is not extended toother offensive linemen.

? Under whatcircumstances can a man who has signaled for a fair catch legally run with theball?

•He would bepermitted to run with the ball if it 1) touched the ground before reaching himor 2) touched an opponent first.

? In the finalseconds of the game Team B leads 3-0. On the final play Team A's quarterbacktries to sneak over for the touchdown, is apparently halted just short of theend zone, but then—with the help of a shove by his fullback—manages to crossthe goal line. Who won?

•Team B would bethe winner, for the fullback's action would constitute illegal use of the handsand the penalty would nullify the apparent touchdown.

? What is abootleg?

•This is a bit oftrickery used by the quarterback. He will first fake a hand-off or pitchout andthen carry the ball himself, clutching it in one hand and hiding it behind theside of his body away from the line.

ILLUSTRATION

HOLE YARDS PAR R1 R2 R3 R4
OUT
HOLE YARDS PAR R1 R2 R3 R4
IN
Eagle (-2)
Birdie (-1)
Bogey (+1)
Double Bogey (+2)