Question on Safety Touch

While at the Rider Game there was a play we all thought was a safety...a time I wish I had been watching on TV as they likely clarified. The Riders had punted, and the Esks player clearly touched it. The ball then went into the endzone. he then recovered the ball and was tackled. there were no points awarded, and they got the ball on the 5. Should this not be a Safety? Perhaps we missed a penalty or something, or is there a rule on the safeties on punts?

I don't know. But if you have fast enough internet, you watch the game at watch.tsn.ca under Video Library and hear them explain it (if they did).

I think Edmonton got called for a penalty for an illegal block on the play. The Riders took the penalty which put the Eskimos on their 5 yard line rather that take the two. It was never explained by the commentators so I am guessing. The game was not only poorly played it was poorly reffed and poorly broadcast. A perfect storm of poor.

ahh...that makes sense, but strange call by the riders...would have put them up by a major, and they get the ball back.

I think their decision was based on how well the D was playing and probably thought they would get the ball back with even better field positon should they hold. You are right and I also think that 2 points and getting the ball back would definitely seem to be the better option.

At first I thought it was a safety, too. But, upon reflection, it would not have been a safety even without the penalty. In order for it to be a safety, the kick returner would have to have had control of the ball outside of the endzone and went into his own endzone without having lost control throughout.

By only touching the ball outside the endzone and then gaining control for the first time in the endzone, at best it would have been a rouge.

The effect of taking the penalty was that the Riders gave up that one point (rouge) in exchange for the Esks starting with worse field position.

Based on the CFL's rules, the play would not have resulted in a safety, but in a single point. If a punt goes into the end zone and the player takes a knee, it's a single, not a safety. The same thing applies to a player who fumbles the ball outside the end zone and picks it up in the end zone. Therefore, the Riders made the correct call because they would not have gotten the ball back. Because of how everything played out, the Riders had the choice to accept the penalty and place the Eskimos on the five or take the single and let Edmonton scrimmage from the 35.

Thanks for the clarification - makes much more sense now.

YES Possession is needed in order to have a Safety touch.

interesting...thanks all. I did not realize that control was required. That obviously makes a lot more sense to take the penalty than a single. We were all kinda asking each other in the stands, and nobody was 100% sure, though someone said they thought they had to have control but that they were not sure. Not sure I have ever seen that scenario before.

Agreed. The returner never had possession. Him touching it is what is called a muff in the NFL. Not sure if that term is used here but the rule is effectively the same. The muff merely makes it a live ball. If the receiving team still recovers there is no fumble. However if the returning team establishes possession, THEN the muff becomes a fumble and fumble lost.

For the purposes of the safety touch, the muff does not count as possession by the receiving team, so Sask punted the ball into the endzone (even though it was touched outside the endzone). The rouge rule still applies in this case.

The penalty was separate. The Edmonton penalty is applied to the point at which the Eskimos established possession, but since possession was established in the endzone, the penalty is applied to the Esks 10, and in this case half the distance to the goalline.