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College Football/One foot in-bounds on reception on sideline


If a receiver catches a football on the sideline and his tow touches in-bounds but his heel (of that foot) lands out-of-bounds along with his other foot landing out-of-bounds, is this considered a reception, or an in-complete pass?  I.E., must the receiver come down with one foot totally in-bounds for it to be considered a completed pass? (This question pertains only to American College Football).....

Thanks for your question.  These are tough usually bang bang type plays . The NCAA rulebook states that If one foot first lands inbounds and the receiver has possession and firm control of the ball, it is a catch or interception even though a subsequent step or fall takes the receiver out of bounds.  Also if the receiver with firm control of the ball drags his toe  or touched the tips of two toes in bounds it is a completed catch.  The NCAA Bulletins and Replay Rule book/casebook offers a play situation that helps explain the rule a little more:  When a receiver with his back to the sidelines who controls a pass and his right foot comes down first with his toes hitting in bounds, then in the normal motion of taking a step backwards, his heel hits out of bounds - The ruling is an incomplete pass (See ).    From my 2007 notes the Heel - Toe philosophy was described "The toe-heel if one continous motion at the endline or sideline will be ruled incomplete. If the receiver tries to remain on the toes and a slight pause then to go the heel (non-continous motion) it will be ruled a catch"

Here is a video Mike Pereria  did last night on Fox to explain the heel toe catch process I think this will illustrate it clearly for you.

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Vic Winnek


Liability Issues (Legal & Insurance) arising from coaching, playing, refereeing, product liability; Football injury cases.


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