Question or two about Field Goal attempts

In 1969 the NFL made it illegal for a player standing behind the goal crossbar from batting the ball down before it crossed over the cross bar. Is it the same in the CFL? Has this rule changed since 1969 in the NFL or is it still in the rule book? I think it is called goal tending.

You would think that as long as the player did not use the goal structure for assistance in any way that if he somehow blocked the ball from crossing over the crossbar either by batting it down before it got over the crossbar or caught/batted it down while standing in front of the goal then it would be a legitimate play. I've seen some players kick incredibly long field goals where the ball barely made it over the cross bar.

Is there a rule that says a receiving player must stand in the end zone while the kick is being made and cannot interfere with the ball progressing between the uprights?

Players are getting bigger and taller these days. Put a guy who was tall enough and who had a great vertical jump to stand in front of the goal's crossbar and he'd have a chance of preventing it from going through. I remember McCallum [Lions] kicking a 50+ yard field goal in B.C Place while playing against Calgary. The ball jussssst cleared the crossbar. Had a guy with great vertical jump put his hands up high into air the ball wouldn't have made it. Had that player been standing in front of the goal, like on the one yard line or closer to the goal he might have even caught it and taken off with it. I'm just curious about this.

I think due to the fact that most of the time the ball is way too high in the air for the player to really have a shot at it, they pretty much don't try.

I have never heard of any such rule.

And I couldn't find anything about it in the 2011 rule book.

Agreed that it would be extremely rare for a player to have the chance to do it, but sometimes those kicks look like they barely make it over. As I mentioned in another thread, I remember seeing Chris Williams dunk a football over the crossbar - the guy has an amazing 39" vertical, given his height - and I'm sure I've seen other do it as well. But could anyone actually get high enough to punch away a ball that's dropping, so it's probably still a foot or so above the bar, before it gets to the goal posts. And even if they did, would they have the angle to punch it back, or would they just end up helping it over the bar?

Interesting question for the future, though, with players getting taller and more athletic every year, it seems.

They wouldn't have to punch it back CatsFaninOttawa....just block it with their hands. I've seen kicks from not that far out actually hit the crossbar. Some went in, others didn't. In such cases the ball was not a foot or so above the bar. I was also wondering if there is specific rule that states that on a FG attempt the receiving player must be behind the goal line. If there is no such rule then a team could put its tallest player who has the highest vertical jump a few feet in front of the goal's crossbar to keep the ball from going any further. It seems it would make sense on those very long FG attempts.

There is no such rule. A field goal is a play from scrimmage like any other. There is no requirement for a Team B (team not putting the ball into play) to line up a player in the goal area.

I am not aware of any rule that requires players to be anyplace in particular in a FG try except on their side of the neutral zone. If a player could jump up and knock it down before it crossed the bar (as once it crosses the bar its good regardless of what happens to it after that) then the FG would be no good.

BUT, as it's a kick from scrimmage it would become a live ball (probably bouncing back towards the line of scrimmage) and the players from the kicking team who were hustling down to the goal line to cover could recover the ball without giving the five yards. If they recover and have made yards, it's a first down...or worse for the defense they could grab the ball and run it in for a TD. That, and the fact that it would be almost impossible to knock down a FG try, even if it was just above the bar, make that a play none of us will likely ever see....but an interesting scenario no doubt.

actually, it's not a Live ball.

if the kicking team misses a field goal, it is then like a punt.

you need to give 5 yards.

so the kicking team running down the field can't just jump on the ball, only the kicker or if there's a player onside behind the kicker, could jump on the ball.

The NFL doesn't need this rule anymore since they moved the goal posts back in 1974. Which means you CAN'T possibly stand behind the crossbar and still be in the field of play and a player not standing in the field of play at the snap is not eligible to participate in the play.

There is no rule in the CFL - the ball is live but I do believe you can't use equipment or another player to boost yourself into position on a field goal block.

It is still a "live ball". A "dead ball" means the play is over.

But you are correct about yards required to be given to the receiving players by any but onside players, which is usually only the kicker on a FG.

yes, live ball but not for everyone.

just for the return team and the kicker.

But in the scenario given where the tall player with the huge vertical jump keeps the ball from going over the cross bar, but doesn't actually catch the ball (just knocks it down), it would be a live ball for everyone providing the rest of the players on the kicking team were not within the 5 yards when the tall guy touched the ball.

There is no rule in the CFL - the ball is live but I do believe you can't use equipment or another player to boost yourself into position on a field goal block.
I've always wanted a player on the D-line to not stand up and a line backer vault up off of them to get up high enough to block a kick. I guess I haven't seen it because you can't do that? :D

But the ball is dropping towards the crossbar, so a foot out, it's probably six inches or more above the crossbar. Two feet away, and it's a foot or more above. I guess it depends on how far in front of the endzone the player stands, or how far through he can reach.

How much of the ball needs to cross the plane before it's called a successful field goal? If it's knocked back halfway through, is the a field goal or not? On a touchdown, any part of the ball has to just cross the plane. Is it the same for field goals? A ball that hits the crossbar on a field goal attempt but bounces back is not a field goal even though a part of it may have broken the plane. How would a batted ball be treated? I wonder if they've ever considered this.

Very good point. But it would be worth trying in the case of a last second field goal to win the game, like the Lions-Riders game this past weekend. I wonder if the returner was trying to do that that play. (Which is, I think, what started this discussion.)

Also, if the kicking team recovers a kick (other than a dribble kick) that crosses the line of scrimmage, it's an automatic first down whether they made the first down yardage or not.

The no yards penalty would be waved off as soon as the returner touched the ball. If he just knocked it down, it would be considered a fumble just like if he missed catching it normally.

Good question. I don't think it is explicitly stated whether some or all of the ball has to pass to the plane of the goal line and goal posts to count as a field goal. That said, a ball that strikes the goal post assembly then passes between the uprights counts for 3 points where as a ball that strikes the assembly and bounces not between the uprights is a dead ball.

It is possible for a kicked ball the strike the inside of the goal post with some of the ball having penetrated the plane of goal only to bounce back out and not count for points. So I'd be inclined to believe that the ball has to pass in its entirety through the plane of goal in the case of field goals.

That's kind of inconsistent with other scoring like the touchdown, rouge and safety touch but given the rules with striking the goal posts it seems to be the case for field goals.

Further to the OP’s question with regards to a requirement to have defending team’s player in goal:

Often on short field goals in Canadian football, defences will line up 12 on the line as any unblocked kick is unlikely to be returnable.

"BUT, as it's a kick from scrimmage it would become a live ball (probably bouncing back towards the line of scrimmage) and the players from the kicking team who were hustling down to the goal line to cover could recover the ball without giving the five yards. If they recover and have made yards, it's a first down...or worse for the defense they could grab the ball and run it in for a TD."...by yougottabekidding

Very good points. :thup:

That doesn’t sound right to me. Isn’t the ball live as soon as the guy touches it as in the case of my scenario? It is in the case of a running back dropping the ball after a punt.

no, a Missed field goal is treated like a punt.

you have to give the returner 5 yards if it goes wide or is short.

Sorry Krusaderx I didn't see this before posting my earlier comment. :frowning: I agree with you. If players need to give 5 yards for a FG attempt that would be before the defender in the end zone or elsewhere made contact with the ball.

I guess the biggest risk in standing in front of the goal post/crossbar is if the defender didn't jump high enough and actually assisted the ball in getting through.

That's correct cflisthebest but Yougottabekidding was referring to the defender having already made contact with the ball and preventing it from getting over the crossbar. I agree with him. The ball IS live at that point.