College Football/Kickoff


In college football if on a kickoff the receiver touches the ball in any way while on the 5 yard line, loose ball then goes into end zone, receiver then recovers ball, receiver then takes a knee. Is this a touchback or a safety?


The rules provide that it is a touchback when a kick becomes dead by rule behind the defending team's goal line and the attacking team is responsible for the ball being there.  A receiver touching the ball does not mean he is responsible for the ball being in the end zone. The kick remains the reason the ball is in the end zone.  If the receiving team batted a rolling ball into the end zone, he has given it a new impetus.  However, just muffing a ball in the field of play with the ball ending up in the end zone in the receiver's position, results in a touchback.  

I hope that helps.

Bill Robers  

College Football

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William Robers


I can answer rules questions and officiating questions (including training, mechanics, and general questions).


College Football Official since 2005; assist in training newer officials.

Big Sky Conference Officials Association Sports Lawyers Association Rotary International

Law Degree from University of Minnesota Law School, 2001 MBA from Carlson School of Management at the U. of Minnesota, 2001 B.S. in Business Administration from Marquette University, 1997

Awards and Honors
Post-Season official in 2012 and 2013.

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