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College Football/College football holder down rule

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Question
You have answered this question in part before but I'm still puzzled. This week LSU faked s field goal and the holder threw a pass to the kicker for a TD. I understand the holder isn't down while in the kick formation by rule. However the holder in this case threw a pass to the kicker. Once the kicker was no longer in position to kick the ball (he is out receiving the pass) wouldn't the holder be called down if his knee was down?

Thanks!!

Answer
Glenn thank you for your question but as you know I have answered this before.  Most have trouble with the concept that the holder is not down per rule.  Your question is very good!  It requires knowledge of who is eligible to receive or touch a forward pass and the definitions of a back and kicker. Who is eligible to touch or catch a legal forward pass: All team B players are eligible; Eligible Team A players at the snap are are those non-resticted linemen, or linemen on the end of the line [ends] numbered 1-49, 80-99 as well as all Backs wearing numbers other than 50-79.
A Back is any Team A player who is not a "lineman" or whose head or shoulders do not break the plane of the nearest lineman's waist.  So a person "lined up as a Kicker" is a Back and not a line man.  He is not a kicker until he actually kicks the ball.  Another way to look at this player is - he is a Back lined up in a position to kick the ball but remains a back until he actually kicks the ball.

The key to understanding this play and initial eligibility is by considering the positions of the players at the snap.  So at the snap they are in a scrimmage kick formation and the exception for the holder being down is invoked.

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Vic Winnek

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