Definition of Kick Catch Interference?

Submitted by Wolverine Incognito on November 28th, 2009 at 8:55 PM

Good evening MGoBloggers. I am watching the Utah BYU game right now. It is a dandy. If you have CBS College Sports Channel, I would highly recommend turning to it now. But I just saw a kick catch interference penalty against Utah, and it reminded of two incidients against Michigan that made me livid at the officials.

Now, the one tonight was definitely a penalty. The Utah player pushed the BYU player before he had a chance to catch it. But there were two times this season against Michigan, one against OSU, and I believe the other was against Purdue, where the PR caught the punt, but then there was contact* by the opposing team AFTER the Michigan PR caught and secured it. I always thought that if you touch the PR after he makes a fair catch, then this was regarded as kick catch interference, but neither of the times this happened to Michigan a penalty was called. Can some one clear this up for me?

*by contact, I mean that they didn't hit him, but there was more contact than I would like. I believe against Purdue, the opposing player fell on the PR, and against OSU, he was kinda pushed.

P.S. My apologies if this is a repost.



November 28th, 2009 at 9:27 PM ^

From the NCAA Football 2009-2010 Rules & Interpretations:

SECTION 4. Opportunity To Catch a Kick
Interference With Opportunity
ARTICLE 1. A player of the receiving team within the boundary lines attempting to catch a kick, and so located that he could have caught a free kick or a scrimmage kick that is beyond the neutral zone, must be given an unimpeded opportunity to catch the kick (A.R. 6-3-1-III, A.R. 6-4-1-V and A.R. 6-4-1-X).

Seems to me that this means you can interfere without contact (as happened in that purdue game - the purdue player was standing right where the ball was to land, and our receiver wasn't able to catch it).

I think on your second point, if the player makes the catch then they weren't considered to be interfered with - or at least the officials don't call it unless the catch is muffed.


November 28th, 2009 at 11:40 PM ^

I would add rule 6-5-5, about the Fair Catch:

"No player of the kicking team shall tackle or block an opponent who has completed a fair catch. Only the player making a fair catch signal has this protection."

Since they say "tackle or block," I assume this means that some incidental contact is permitted, as long as it does not reach the level of a "tackle" or a "block." Of course the ball becomes dead the instant it is fair caught, so the ordinary late hit rules would apply as well.