Monday, February 13, 2012

A Great Comeback on an Obscure Rule

Miami Northwestern is probably still wondering what happened this past season, when they fell 36-28 to lowly ol' Belen Jesuit High School.  Hats off to the Belen coach for knowing his rulebook and using the good ol' free kick after a fair catch on a punt.  The 49 yard free kick is counted as a field goal, and capped off a stunning upset of one of Dade County's finest football programs.  The interception at the end was simply the "icing on the cake", but it's very nice to see a coach who knows his stuff.  Here is the rule from the NHFS rulebook (which governs Florida football):

ART. 3 . . . A free kick is any legal kick which puts the ball in play to start a freekick

down. After the ready-for-play signal and before the kick, each player other

than the kicker and holder for a place kick must be behind his free-kick line. A free

kick is used for a kickoff, for a kick following a safety, and is used if a free kick is

chosen following a fair catch or awarded fair catch.
The Miami Northwestern coach argued that the kicker cannot use a kicking tee, and this is clearly invalid, as seen in Article five of the same section:

ART. 5 . . . A kickoff is a free kick which puts the ball in play at the beginning

of each half of the game, after a successful field goal and after any try. A place

kick or a drop kick shall be used for the kickoff.
Again, it helps to know the rules of the game!  Here's the video of the game, the comeback and the final kick to win the game for Belen Jesuit.

So, keep your rule book handy, and ready at all times, you never know when you may need some obscure rule such as the free kick rule!