While kicking situations are a small part of a high school football game, they can be where rules and rules exceptions come into play. Officials must be alert to make the right call. Here are some kickoff situations to test your rules knowledge.
Play One: On the opening kickoff, the kicker sends the ball high and deep. As the ball is coming down inside the 5-yard line, the receiver (1) lets the ball land and roll untouched into the end zone or (2) signals for a fair catch and completes the catch at the 5-yard line. What are the results?
Answer: On a kickoff, (1) if the ball hits untouched in or rolls untouched into the end zone, the ball is dead. The result is a touchback and the football is placed at the 25-yard line. In (2) if the receiver signals for a fair catch and completes the catch, the result is a touchback and the football is placed first and 10 at the 25-yard line.
Play Two: On a high, deep kickoff, No. 22 signals for a fair catch while standing inside the 10-yard line. His teammate, No.18, catches the kicked football at the 8-yard line. What is the result of this play?
Answer: Since a different receiver caught the football than the one who signaled for the fair catch, the football is dead at the spot of the catch. It is first-and-10 at the 8-yard line.
Play Three: On a kickoff, the receiver muffs the catch at the 5-yard line. The loose football rolls into the end zone where the receiver picks it up and attempts to run the football out. He is tackled in the end zone. What is the result of this play?
Answer: When the kickoff is muffed in the field of play and the football rolls into the end zone it is a live ball and can be recovered by either team. While the receiver picked up the football and was tackled as he attempted to run it out of the end zone, the kick is what put the ball in the end zone. The result of the play is a touchback. It will be first-and-10 at the 25-yard line.
Play Four: The high kickoff is coming down near the sideline when the receiver steps on the sideline with one foot while his other foot is in the field of play. He makes the catch at the 15-yard line. What is the result of this play?
Answer: This is a kickoff out of bounds. In Texas high school football, the receiving team can take the ball at the out-of-bounds spot with a 5-yard penalty added on, putting the football at the 20-yard line; take the ball 30 yards from the spot of the kick, giving them the football at the 30-yard line; or re-kick after a 5-yard penalty.