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Rule change questions

Posted by Doug on December 8, 2006

This was going to be a rule change proposal, but it's so obvious that I feel like I must be missing something.

If a receiver makes a catch near the sideline, but doesn't come down in bounds, but would have come down in bounds (in the judgement of the officials) had he not been shoved out, then it's a catch. Why? Why is pushing a guy out of bounds not considered legitimate defense in that situation when it is considered legitimate defense in every other situation? That's never made sense to me.

In my mind, if a rule introduces the need for a speculative judgement (whether he would have landed in bounds), there had better be a good reason to have that rule in place. What is the reason for this rule? Why is it needed? Are people worried that Brian Urlacher is going to pick up Steve Smith at the hash mark after he catches a slant, carry him to the sideline, and deposit him out of bounds?

I was delivering this rant to a friend of mine, and he started a rant about his own personal sideline-catch-related rule. Why is it that two feet are required to establish possession? I evidently hadn't ever given it much thought, because I was unable to give him an answer. The more I think about it, the more I think he's got a point. The difference between zero feet and one foot is about a million times more significant than the difference between one foot and two. Why draw the line between one and two instead of between zero and one?

This entry was posted on Friday, December 8th, 2006 at 5:30 am and is filed under Rule Change Proposals. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.