Football Trivia (General)/1 point safety


QUESTION: Darrell,
Like many people I learned something new in the K-State/Oregon game, but I was left with a couple of questions.
If that had been a 2-point try, would the same actions by the defense (say, after a fumble), have resulted in a 2-point safety for the offense?
Also, I assumed that this would not apply to the NFL, since the defense cannot score on a try, so I checked the NFL digest of rules available online, where it confirmed that the defense cannot score on a try, and if they gain possession, the play is immediately over.
But under the rules for a try, it says "The successful conversion counts one point by kick; two points for a successful conversion by touchdown; or one point for a safety."
How can the offense score a 1-point safety in the NFL.
I hope you can answer these questions for me.
Thanks, Paul

ANSWER: It would have been the same if it were for a 2 point try as well.

It is my understanding that the NFL safety on the try could only be registered by the defense and not by the offense.

For example, let's say the offense was going for a try and something went incredibly wrong and they lost about 97 yards in the process of trying to score the try. If they ended up causing themselves a safety, then it would be a 1-point safety registered to the defense. I have never heard of this happening, and chances are, we'll probably never see it.

I hope that helps.


---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

Thanks for the reply.
So, in college, a defensive safety on a 2-point try results in 1 point for the offence?

ANSWER: That is correct

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

Thanks for the info on NCAA rules, but I'm confused on the NFL rule.

The NFL digest of rules says this:


1. After a touchdown, the scoring team is allowed a try during one scrimmage down. The ball may be spotted anywhere between the inbounds lines, two or more yards from the goal line. The successful conversion counts one point by kick; two points for a successful conversion by touchdown; or one point for a safety.

2. The defensive team never can score on a try. As soon as defense gets possession or the kick is blocked or a touchdown is not scored, the try is over.

3. Any distance penalty for fouls committed by the defense that prevent the try from being attempted can be enforced on the succeeding try or succeeding kickoff. Any foul committed on a successful try will result in a distance penalty being assessed on the ensuing kickoff.

4. Only the fumbling player can recover and advance a fumble during a try."

That says the defense cannot score on a try.
It also says that a successful conversion (I take that to mean by the offense) includes a 1-point safety.

I think we're both still missing something here.
Respectfully, Paul

I spoke with a guy who is our rules interpreter for our semi-pro football officials group (We use NFL rules) While neither of us have ever heard of this happening, here is the one instance we believe this could possibly happen.

During a try if a player from A fumbles the ball and while the ball is grounded, a player from B bats it backwards into his end zone and B recovers in the end zone, we would have a safety.

This was the only way we thought the 1 point safety was possible, however we are checking with our cohorts who work at the NFL to verify. If something changes, I will let you know.

Thanks for the thought provoking question.

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I can answer most general NFL questions, don't know much about the college game. I can help with any kind of rules questions, federation, college, or pro.


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