Harbaughs free kick last night

Submitted by micheal honcho on September 27th, 2013 at 2:44 PM

Admitting some personal stupidity(or amnesia) I have to ask did anyone see the attempted free kick in last nights SF game? if so kindly remind me what the rules are for when you can attempt that, and does anyone recall one being made?? What was it worth? 3pts??



September 27th, 2013 at 4:02 PM ^

generates some tangental answers. "I once saw a game where...", "...years ago it was more common" and other interesting info.

I think the easy option to posting worn out "just Google it" answers would be to quietly move on to the next OP. No need to blast a post, especially an interesting one like this (but thats just the MO for wolverines Dominate).

I hope to come back and read more interesting info! Thanks Yeoman, yoyo, and ama11.


September 27th, 2013 at 2:52 PM ^

If you fair catch after a punt (only on punts) then you have the option of a free kick field goal.  The other team can return it if it is short.


September 27th, 2013 at 2:55 PM ^

You always have the option to a free kick after a fair catch, but depending on the leg of your kicker you have to decide whether you want to take it. A lot of times, people will take it if theres only a few seconds left in the half/game and you're within kicking distance. I coach HS ball and I witnessed this for the first time this season. They missed...Pretty cool to finally see this old rule used.

It is worth a Field Goal (3 points)

Fuzzy Dunlop

September 27th, 2013 at 4:13 PM ^

Don't blame ESPN - people can control the settings of their own fantasy league.  If a league has a stupid rule, its not the fault of the service provider that gives them the option of having a stupid rule.

I've never been in a league that docks points for missed field goals -- extra points yes, but not field goals.


September 27th, 2013 at 5:26 PM ^

...is that it's reminder of the common origins of all the games called "football". In American and Canadian football the rule's still on the books but it almost never happens. In rugby a free kick after a mark isn't uncommon. In Australian football it's the fundamental basis of the whole sport and it happens 150-200 times a game. And in soccer you aren't allowed to catch the ball so never mind.

[Ed.: derp.

Free catches aren't allowed in Canada.]


September 27th, 2013 at 4:19 PM ^

I like Harbaugh's decision to use the free kick last night. There was 4 seconds left and you may as well try to get 3 uncontested points than throw a prayer into a big mob of people. And there really isn't much to worry about when the other team fields the kick and runs it back because you can cover it like a kickoff. 

Dawson's effort was a heck of a lot better than Racker's free kick in 2008.


September 27th, 2013 at 4:26 PM ^

Idk about the rule but because he missed the kick it resulted in a negative fantasy point for my kicker. I'm going to be extremely pissed if I lose because of a missed 71 yard kick

micheal honcho

September 27th, 2013 at 4:31 PM ^

I'm aware that I could google it, I just thought might spark some interesting stories and provoke conversation here during a bye week. My apologies for wasting precious board space on these limited internets.

I liked how when Harbaugh called it,  Jeff Fischer was looking around like what the hell is he doing? Same with his players. Funny how a lot of players who may have logged literally thousands of plays of football at various levels might have never participated in a free kick.

This was the 1st one I can recall seeing myself and I'm not exactly a youngster myself.



September 27th, 2013 at 11:13 PM ^

The play was highly unusual and very interesting. The kicker gets a full running start, so the 71-yarder was about equivalent to an NFL kickoff to the middle of the endzone or a college kickoff out of the endzone.

But if you think about it, the situation in which you'd use it is fairly rare.  You're giving up any plays, so it pretty much has to be a fair catch with only a few seconds left in the half/game.


September 27th, 2013 at 5:15 PM ^

It led ME to google this and then to google the Canadian rules and the difference between the Canadian, NCAA, NFL and high school.  I had no idea that the free catch kick is not allowed in the NCAA, I did not know that if you get a denfensive safety on a conversion attempt it is only worth one point.  That means a game could end 6-1 and that if the D picks up the ball and it causes a safety one point is given to the kicking team.   

Prince Lover

September 28th, 2013 at 12:26 AM ^

I couldn't watch the game so I was following it on a gamecast on line. I saw the missed fg at 71 yds. Without this thread, I would have just figured Harbaugh lost a marble or two and decided to try a long fg.