Rule question Re: Winnipeg/Ottawa game

I just wanted to clarify a ruling on the field. With about 5 minutes left in the third quarter Harris was hit while in the pocket and the ball flew to the ground before Harris was down by contact. The play was immediately blown dead as Harris was in the throwing motion and the Redblacks were able to go back to original line of scrimmage and kick a field goal.

My question stems from the fact that the ball ended up behind where Harris released the ball from. It is close, but you can see on TSN’s second replay that the ball gets released as Harris’ arm is coming back towards his body, meaning it could only be travelling backwards. Even though this was not a fumble due to Harris being in the throwing motion, would it not still be considered a lateral since the ball first touched the turf behind the release point and subsequently be a live ball?

Does the act of being hit in the throwing motion affect the rulings when it comes to a lateral pass?

Ball absolutely went backwards and I believe it was a fumble/lateral.

No mention of it on the broadcast. No review/challenge or eye in the sky.

Does that really surprise you ? No mention from the broadcast crew ? Black and Ford enough said .
No review/challenge or eye in the sky ? Double scotches from the mini bar all around enough said .

I believe it was completely missed and that’s what infuriates me about this league. Sometimes big and key things just get missed, so many examples of clocks running when they shouldn’t, game changing calls that magically disappear etc. No chance something like that gets missed by everyone involved in the US.

This sort of thing could easily happen in the NFL as well. Easily. What infuriates me is that some people don’t recognize this.

Anyways, I’d have to see it as I don’t even remember it, maybe I was gone for pee break or a fridge break.

You want proof? Check out this horrid call in an NFL game. The commentator is annoying just to warn you. :wink:

Posted the video above.
I don’t have a problem with missed calls - what makes me upset is how the broadcast crew, spotters, bombers bench, eye in the sky and all officials seemed to miss the fact that it even happened. If Winnipeg had of argued it and had no challenges and the command centre didn’t feel it was a reviewable play from the eye - id be fine with it.

I remember that play, and I thought the same thing. I’ve seen that numerous times over the years. They rule on the field that his arm is in the throwing motion, ergo it is not a fumble, but an incomplete pass. They completely miss the fact that the pass is in fact a lateral pass, and that it is therefore an incomplete lateral, a.k.a. a fumble.
Once the ruling is made, and the whistle blows, in order for a challenge or eye-in-the-sky review to award the turnover, a defensive player must make an “immediate” recovery. I don’t remember if that happened yesterday, but “immediate” is a judgement call.
The league needs to point this out to the officials, and if an incomplete pass is close to being a lateral, they should hold off on blowing the whistle until they see whether or not the pass was a forward one.

Good well thought out and constructive read Big Dave. Nicely done!

happened last weekend.

There have been some fricken brutal calls in the NFL this year. There is one official that has made several, and is likely being canned

I was thinking the same thing, but after watching it a few times, it looked like the arm motion started forward, but contact made the arm and ball turn to make the ball go backwards.

The ruling is, or at least should be, based on what was happening prior to contact. In this case, the arm was starting to move forward, so the ruling was an incomplete forward pass, even though the ball ended up going backwards. (Unlike the Mitchell overturned fumble a couple of weeks back, where the forward motion of the arm was actually caused by the contact.)

I’d love the league to clarify that is Infact a rule. Cause then it’s a dumb rule not a missed call.

Winnipeg definitely recovered it immediately. So I thought the command centre should have reviewed.

No question that was a fumble. And if it WAS ruled an incomplete pass, a) it went backwards & is thus a lateral, or b) it should have been a grounding call since the ball didn’t cross the line of scrimmage.

Way to apply your own rules correctly, CFL! :o

lateral yes, grounding no

What’s to clarify? If the arm is moving forward it is a forward pass attempt. There would be piles of calls ruled turnovers otherwise. This has been in place for ages. Where the ball lands has never been a consideration, because the motion is interrupted and because it was moving forward one can assume that the intent was forward…not where the impact redirected it…which is the whole point in not calling it a fumble.

The question is, does the forward motion need to be before the contact? Does the forward motion have to be voluntary?

In the case of Mitchell a couple of weeks ago (vs. Ticats), there was forward motion, but only upon contact. In fact, it appeared that the only reason the arm came forward was because of the contact - Mitchell was hit hard in the throwing shoulder, driving his entire body backward, all except the arm, which came forward. Personally, I feel that should have been ruled a fumble for this reason. It was not a throwing motion. It was simply physics.

Reminds me of the famous “tuck rule” no longer in existence in the NFL. NFL fans may remember the Brady incident 2001-01 AFC divisional playoff agains’t the Raiders:

Harris’ arm was going forward IMHO therefore it isn’t a fumble.

From wiki:

Unlike a forward pass, if a backward pass hits the ground or an official, play continues and, as with a [url=https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fumble]fumble[/url], a backward pass that has hit the ground may be recovered and advanced by either team.
It does look like a backward pass. Officials missed this, agree. Unless since the arm was going forward it's automatically an incomplete pass regardless. Don't know how this is interpreted.
[b]RULE 6 - PASSING[/b] [b]SECTION 4 – FORWARD PASS[/b] [b]Article 6 – Incomplete Forward Pass[/b] (d) when the passer [u]has commenced[/u] with a forward passing motion with the ball moving forward and, as a result of contact with an opponent, the ball leaves the passer’s hand and strikes the ground,
The rule talks about forward passing motion prior to contact. It doesn't say anything about where the ball lands.

That supports the Harris ruling. But not the Mitchell ruling.

So personally I don’t think the QB should be protected from both the forward arm movement and the landing of the ball.

This doesn’t ''happen all the time". Most of the time the ball goes forward. If the ball clearly goes backwards it should be considered a lateral IMO.

Where the QB “intended” to throw the ball shouldn’t matter. If a QB is hit while facing sideways throwing a screen does the official have to determine whether or not the QB was at all facing “forward” while sideways?