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Question
If a runner's forward progress is stopped near the sidelines and is pushed backwards out of bounds does the clock stop or continue running?

Answer
John,

By rule, if the runner's forward progress is stopped, the clock would continue to run.  There are some caveats, however.  If it is a first down, the clock would stop for the chains, and then start again.  In the last moments of the half or game, if the player is trying to get out of bounds, and is not pushed back significantly (more than a yard), officials will typically rule that the player is out of bounds.  If he gives himself up to get out of bounds, they'll typically allow him to be out of bounds.  Again, that only applies if he actually does get out of bounds, and if he isn't pushed back by the defender significantly.

I hope that helps.

Bill Robers

Football Instruction

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William J. Robers

Expertise

Any questions related to football rules and mechanics, as well as safety. Extensive experience in football officiating, including training, evaluating, discipline, and mechanics of football officials.

Experience

Consulting and Expert Witness Analysis: Football-related issues of player safety, including liability cases; standard of care and negligence claims of players, coaches, schools, and game officials; mechanisms for on-field injuries; subrogation claims; playing rules; sportsmanship; true sport; committees' points of emphasis for game rules; and mechanics of the game and game officials. - Media education and analysis - Officiating instruction, qualifications, mechanics, and standards - Coaches' education - Film evaluation, analysis, and grading - Insurance coverage, risks, liabilities, investigations, subrogation - Legal education, objective analysis, discovery plans, trial and cross-examination preparation - 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 players, and causes for discipline - Analysis of hazardous playing conditions - General education on the rules and mechanics for players, coaches, schools, and game officials

Organizations
Big Sky Conference Football Officials Association Colorado Springs Basketball Officials Association Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference Football Officials Rotary International Sports Lawyers Association American Bar Association Section on Sports Law

Education/Credentials
JURIS DOCTOR, cum laude 2001 University of Minnesota Law School, Minneapolis, Minnesota President, Entertainment and Sports Law Students Association Associate Editor, Minnesota Law Review MASTERS OF BUSINESS ADMINISTRATION, with honors 2001 University of Minnesota Carlson School of Management, Minneapolis, Minnesota Double Concentration: Marketing and Finance Beta Gamma Sigma (national honor society) BACHELOR OF SCIENCE, cum laude 1997 Marquette University, Milwaukee, Wisconsin Double major: Business Marketing and Business Finance Minor: Political Science Beta Gamma Sigma and Alpha Sigma Nu (national honor societies) Extensive training in football rules and officiating mechanics.

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