Football Instruction/Rule 4-1-3


Does this or any rule address a simulated kneel down on behalf of the quarterback,i.e The Dan Marino Play.  Is theis type play illegal at the college ranks.  There is a game that shows this type of play and it is clear the quarterback's knee did not touch the ground, but he did simulate it and the ref called deadball.  Was that the right call?


I am not sure what you mean by the Dan Marino play [ i would need to see a video clip of that play to address it specifically].   Rule 4-1-3 is the NCAA Football that provides when a live ball becomes dead, when the official shall sound his whistle or declare it dead.  You are asking about simulated kneel down plays.  In that situation the ball is declared dead.  It is addressed in subsection "o" and "b".

Rule 4-1-3 states:

Ball Declared Dead

ARTICLE 3. A live ball becomes dead and an official shall sound his whistle or declare it dead:

a. When it goes out of bounds other than a kick that scores a field goal after touching the uprights or crossbar, when a ball carrier is out of bounds,
or when a ball carrier is so held that his forward progress is stopped. When in question, the ball is dead (A.R. 4.2.1-II).

b. When any part of the ball carrier's body, except his hand or foot, touches the ground or when the ball carrier is tackled or otherwise falls and loses possession of the ball as he contacts the ground with any part of his body, except his hand or foot [Exception: The ball remains alive when an offensive player has simulated a kick or at the snap is in position to kick the ball held for a place kick by a teammate. The ball may be kicked, passed or advanced by rule] (A.R. 4.1.3-I).

c. When a touchdown, touchback, safety, field goal or successful try occurs; or when an unsuccessful field-goal attempt that has crossed the neutral zone and is then untouched by Team B lands in Team B's end zone or out of bounds (A.R. 6.3.9-I).

d. When, during a try, a dead-ball rule applies (Rule 8-3-2-d-5).

e. When a player of the kicking team catches or recovers any free kick or a scrimmage kick that has crossed the neutral zone.

f. When a free kick, scrimmage kick or any other loose ball comes to rest and no player attempts to secure it.

g. When a scrimmage kick beyond the neutral zone or a free kick is caught or recovered by any player after a valid or invalid fair-catch signal; or when an invalid fair-catch signal is made after a catch or recovery by Team B (Rules 2-8-1, 2-8-2, 2-8-3).

h. When a return kick or scrimmage kick beyond the neutral zone is made.

i. When a forward pass is ruled incomplete.

j. When, before a change of team possession on fourth down or a try, a Team A fumble is caught or recovered by a Team A player other than the fumbler (Rules 7-2-2-a and -b and 8-3-2-d-5).

k. When a live ball not in player possession touches anything inbounds other than a player, a player's equipment, an official, an official's equip-ment or the ground (inadvertent-whistle provisions apply).

l. When a simultaneous catch or recovery of a live ball occurs.

m. When the ball becomes illegal while in play (inadvertent-whistle provisions apply).

n. When a live ball is in possession of an official (inadvertent-whistle provisions apply).

o. When a ball carrier simulates placing his knee on the ground.

p. When an airborne pass receiver of either team is held so that he is prevented from immediately returning to the ground (A.R. 7.3.6-III).

q. When a ball carrier's helmet comes completely off.

The reason  for declaring the ball dead is so there is no trickery in this situation or immediately after the snapper QB exchange which could cause injury.  It is based on fortifying player safety and sportsmanship.  

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Victor Winnek


Serve as an Consultant and Expert Witness in Football Litigation Matters. Issues of liability arising from injuries, workers compensation, discrimination of officials, Player Safety, Standard of Care of players, coaches, officials. -Officiating: Instruction, Mechanics, application of rules and Philosophies; Setting up Instructional programs and clinics for: Officials, coaches and media. -Coaching and Playing Mechanics. -Liability Issues: (Legal & Insurance matters) arising from coaching, playing, refereeing, product liability; Player safety; Standard of Care for Officials, Coaches, Players, Assigners, Officiating associations, conferences, board of directors, subrogation matters, workers compensation matters. Consulting: -Media education -Officiating instruction, organization structure, qualifications and standards, -Coaches education -Film evaluation, analysis and grading -Insurance coverage, risks, liabilities, workers compensation, investigations, subrogation -Vocational feasibility for Coaches and Officials -Legal education, objective analysis, discovery plans, trial and cross examination prep, -Injury analysis, cause, prevention and involvement of officials coaches and players -Expert witness evaluation and testimony -Remedial measure to minimize future risks -Fact checking and analysis for authors and media -Disciplining officials and causes for discipline


Issues of liability arising from injuries, workers compensation, discrimination of officials, Player Safety, Standard of Care; Experience: I have been on a football field in one capacity or another for the past 4 decades as a player, coach, athletic trainer or official. I hail from 4 generations of college football players, coaches and or officials. I consult: in liability and workers compensation cases related to - football; mechanism of injury matters; whether causes of action exists for on field injuries; subrogation, standard of care & negligence claims. I consult on football safety issues involving players, coaches and officials. Independent Objective Analysis - 26 years officiating High School & College football, NCAA Referee, Umpire, Head Linesman, Back Judge, Field Judge, Side Judge & Line Judge - 2 years Arena Football-substitution official - 20 years Instructor of NCAA & Federation Officials - 12 years Instructional Consultant to CFOA Executive Council - Played prep and college football - 5 years Coach High School football and Athletic trainer - 26 years receiving instruction in Officiating: classes, camps, conferences & clinics - Fox NFL Command Center, analyst with Mike Pereira Officiating Experience: 26 years of Federation (All 5 Positions) 12 years NCAA Div. 1 FCS (6 Positions, primary positions Umpire, Line Judge) 16 years NCAA Div. III, NAIA (All 7 Positions) 22 years Jr. College (All 7 Positions) Camps & Clinics: West Coast Alliance Football Officials' Clinic (PAC 10, WAC, WCFOA, NIFOA) 2010 Hawaii Officials Aloha Clinic, 2009, 2010, 2012 Big 12 Mini Clinic, Colorado Springs 2007, 2008 Western Collegiate Football Officials Association Clinic Clinician Line Judges 1999-2009 Reno Football Officials Camp 2000, 2002, 2003 Personal Touch Football Officials Camp 1995-1999

Affiliations: National Association of Sports Officials Big Sky Conference Great West Football Conference Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference Western Collegiate Football Officials Association West Coast Alliance of Football Officials California Football Officials Association Southern California Collegiate Football Officials Association American Indoor Football League President California Football Officials Association 2000-2002 President- CFOA South Bay Unit 1998-2002, Board of Directors 1991-2002; CFOA Long Beach Unit 2004-2011 Chairman Officiating Ethics Committee 1991-2011 Instructor: NCAA 1995-2003 & Federation 1992-Present Executive Council Instructional Consultant CFOA

National Association of Sports Officials California Football Officials' Training Manuals Western Collegiate Football Officials Umpire Manual Western Collegiate Football Officials Line Judge/Head Linesman Manual

BA USC 1987
JD UWLA School of Law 1996

Awards and Honors
2012 Oregon Sports Hall of Fame - 1984 Linfield College Football Team, 1984 National Championship Football Team Post Season Honors 2011 NCAA Div. III Quarter-Final, Umpire 2010 NCAA Div. III Semi-Final, Umpire 2010 Southern California Community College Championship, Umpire 2010 CIF State Championship nominee, Umpire 2009 Southern California Community College Semi-Final, Umpire 2009 CIF Southern Section Championship, Umpire 2008 Southern California Community College Championship Umpire 2008 Southern California Community College Bowl, Umpire 2007 Southern California Community College Semi-Final, HL 2007 CIF State Championship Final Div. 1; CIF 2006 Southern California Community College Championship LJ 2005 Pioneer Football League Championship NCAA Div. 1AA LJ 10 Junior college Bowl Games 8 CIF Southern Section Finals & CIF Play-offs (1st, 2nd and 3rd Rounds) 1989-2010

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