Why the "PAT" should be kept

The point after/convert after a touchdown should be kept the same because:

-it's a scoring play
-it allows for the same start point to be used on either a 1-point or a 2-point convert
-About starting from the same start point - it would allow for a fake on a convert (line up for a FG but go for a TD, though admittedly I've never seen this happen)
-it doesn't take any time off the clock anyway
-it's not a guaranteed point, even if kicked from only 12 yards back
-it's not that boring, and even if it is, so what? It's still a football play!

I like the PAT as is also. Its routine but it affords the not so routine option of going for 2 in dire situations. Making the 1-point conversion more difficult will trivialize the 2 point attempt as it exists. Also the CFL/NCAA take on the convert allows the defense to score if the ball is turned over and returned to the other end zone.

I think the present rationale behind the conversion rules are sound.

I agree with most of your logic. But, the outcome of the play is the same 99.5% of the time.

Some changes that could be made:

Go back to the rugby-like rule, where the ball is snapped from where it crossed the goal line. Strange angles or longer snaps would provide more of a challenge.

The player that scored the TD would have to touch the ball after the snap for the PAT to count. He could hold, kick, pass, catch, or run the ball. Having a different player hold or kick would make it less routine.

Both these changes do not alter your reasons for why it should be kept.

As a scoring play, there should be some challenge associated with that score. That is the argument for why a change would be warrented.

The league is considering possibly moving the ball back 5 yards for the PAT. While this would probably change the 99.5% success ratio to something like 95% therefore making it a LITTLE more interesting, it would completely screw up 2 point converstions. There would be virtually no threat of a run with the ball another 5 yards back which would take out the guessing game and give the defence a bigger advantage. Plus teams would be hard-pressed to ever try a trick play to run it in for 2. It's definitely not worth screwing with things just to tweak a minor annoyance. Maybe what the game needs is more special teams coaches willing to surprise the other team by running trick plays more often?

Football evolved from rugby.

http://www.rl1908.com/Rugby-Rules.htm
Rugby Rules explained. Early point scoring was limited to the kicking of conversions. Under the rugby rules at the time, these could only be taken after the ball had successfully been grounded over the opponents line, which were called touchdowns, but no points were awarded for this in the first versions of the Rules of Rugby.

All the 'Rugby Rules' entitled the attacking side to do was to attempt the conversion. The spectators, in their enthusiasm, would take up the shout ‘‘Try, Try'', meaning an attempt should be made at kicking the goal. From this term ‘‘Try for goal'' came the term we know today for points scored.

The rugby rules required a conversion process in itself that was more complicated then what we know today and must have been comical to watch.

The player who had made the touchdown had to kick the ball from that point to his kicker, who was charged by the opposing side. If the kicker could catch the ball before the opponents reached him then the kick was allowed and he was entitled to place the ball for the kick at goal. When he took the kick his own team also charged for if he was unsuccessful, they would try to gain another touchdown.

Whether the try was converted or not the kick off took place from between the goal posts.

It was fourteen years later that the Rugby Rules were were changed in that in the event of no goals being scored, the side which scored most tries won. Obviously this caused dissatisfaction for within one year three tries were given equal status to one goal. In 1890 a further rule change was made to rugby in that a try now counted one point, and a goal three, and any other goal four points including a field goal, which was defined in the laws as ‘‘any ball kicked through" the goal posts after, for example, a dribbling rush, the only proviso being that nobody touched it.


The touchdown evolved to be the entire challenge to scoring. The "convert" has evolved from meaning everything to meaning nothing. Going back to complicated and comical would not be a change for the better. Involving the player who scored the touchdown in the convert would be an improvement.

I'm now thinking that the player that scored the touchdown should have to kick the ball back onto the field. That would become the point where the convert was attempted from, as well as the point where the kickoff took place.

A couple of things. First, except for the final 3 minutes of each half, it does in fact take time off the clock. It is all but a guaranteed point. It is boring. Personally, I think it is a good time to get a beer...
Of the 3 rule changes proposed, this is the only one worth considering. But as it really doesn't matter, then what is the point? Moving it back would make the kick more interesting, but by such a marginal amount as to not be worth it. If THAT is all it takes to make the game perfect, then we are mighty close now...
I think you would still need to let a two pointer line-up at the 5. Of course the elimination of the fake from ten might be an issue, but I can almost see teams faking more often, because the fake is used to catch the other team napping. at the 5, you need to always think they might go for two. More surprise value from the ten. It might be worth the effort.
I'd say get rid of the single and just go for two, except then when will I have such a great opportunity to replenish my beverage?

A hitback to the pitcher in Baseball is all but a guarenteed out but he still has to throw it to first.
A two in putt in golf is all but guarenteed, but you still have to putt.
A free throw in Basketball is all but guarenteed(at least a very high percentage) but you still have to make the throw.

The team that scored gets a choice: Kick (or fake) from the fifteen, or go for two from the ten. One of the reasons that kicking from the fifteen would be harder is that the lower angle of the kick would give the defence a better chance at a block.

I'd be just as happy if it didn't change, but the above scenario would be interesting.

Why complicate the rules needlessly by changing the starting yardline based on whether the team is going for one or two? Not to mention any FG under 25 yards is successful probably 98% of the time. Kickers still miss 0.5% of the converts out there, and that can affect the game. Not to mention that the choice between a single point vs a two point convert late in the game can be pretty dramatic in its own right. So what if the play is "boring"? It's just one play. Moving a kicked convert back to the 10 will make little to no difference, and removing the convert altogether removes the dilemma of going for 1 or 2. And making the same player who scored the TD kick the convert is just hokey ...

Instead of using the American "point after" why not a down from scrimage where the Offence team that just scored a touch down . Attempt to score a Rouge!!! put ball in play from the 20 yd line.! :stuck_out_tongue:

just leave it the way it is, t's worked fine for the last 400 yrs or so so just friggin leave it alone. Having said that and at some risk of flaming how about just moving the ball back so it's not just a chip shot? :smiley:

I think the problem they all see is the logistics of the two-point convert. They couldn't agree on a method of making the kick more difficult, while still maintaining the 2-point option. If they seperate the two, then they have to add a new section of rules in regards to penalties on the convert. If they moved it back to the 20 -- but you could go for the 2-point from the 5. What happens if you score but there's a holding penalty? Can you kick one from the 30? Or do you HAVE to try for two from the 15?

(Listen to the Higgins interview)

The option of "Keep it simple" and leave it alone won at the end of the day. The rules committee sat for two days and a total of about 18 hours. The sheer volume of fan ideas got the best of them this year.

I noticed that.....to me this is a recent change, no? I thought a PAT used to always be an untimed down.

Anyway, the statements about splitting the scrimmage line for the 1 and 2 point converts and the complications that brings are fair comments. There are bigger issues in the game than what to do with the PAT. If we ever get to a point where THAT becomes the pressing issue of the day, we will have one heck of a sport.

a good read http://users.bestweb.net/~robgood/football/try.txt