What is the Pass Interference Rule?
A penalty occurs if a defender makes contact with an eligible receiver before he’s able to get his hands on the football. It includes holding, pulling, tripping, putting hands in the face, or cutting in front of an eligible receiver.
Â The rules specifically allow incidental contact during pass interference. It specifically does not require that it be committed by an offensive player. Â It specifically notes that the contact is not by the offensive player making the reception (except if he touches the ball before he jumps up) and that the contact could be a shove or a bump.
Offensive Pass Interference
Defensive Pass Interference
The quarterback can legally be penalized for throwing an illegal pass if: (1) the pass was thrown outside the pocket, (2) the pass was intercepted by the defender, and (3) the pass was not completed to a covered receiver by a teammate.
Defensive players may not contact a ball carrier unless the ball carrier initiates the contact. A player is penalized regardless of whether an offensive player is in the back field when the contact occurs.
What is the Penalty for Pass Interference?
If the pass interference is on the offense, the pass interference is an automatic first down. This is not in the case of pass interference on the defense. If the pass interference is on the defense, the pass interference is a spot foul and the defense is down one down. If the pass interference is within the last 5 yards of the end zone, the pass interference is an automatic first down.
NCAA college football pass interference is a 15-yard penalty if the offense’s pass interference occurs within 15 yards of the line of scrimmage. If the pass interference involves more than 15 yards of field, the penalty range is from the spot the pass interference occurred. The penalty also includes an automatic first down.
The Controversy around Pass Interference
The controversial pass interference rule can be blamed for many a game ending in a tie, but it also can make the games more exciting to watch. It is difficult to accurately determine if a receiver was interfered with or not, and this makes it even more exciting to see a pass thrown just before a receiver is hit.
One Giant Missed Interference Call in the Playoff
The play in question happened during the NFC Championship game between the New Orleans Saints and the Los Angeles Rams in the fourth quarter. In the fourth quarter, Rams cornerback Nickell Robey-Coleman caused an uncalled defensive pass interference on Saints receiver Tommylee Lewis with only 1:49 left in the fourth quarter. The play happened on third down with 10 yards to go. Since the penalty wasn’t issued, it caused the Saints to kick a field goal. With 1:41 remaining in the game, the Rams scored a touchdown, which sent the game into overtime.
In their opening drive, the Seattle Seahawks failed to score on their opening drive. When the San Francisco 49ers received the ball, they could march down the field and kick a field goal, winning the game and earning a trip to the Super Bowl.
The missed defensive call was so controversial that the NFL made pass interference eligible for the coach’s challenge in 2019. That year, coaches challenged the call 81 times but only got it overturned 16 times. At the end of the year, the league opted not to renew pass interference as a challengeable penalty.
The United States national soccer team was once called “The ‘F.C.’ Team” by the Boston Globe after its performance in the 1994 FIFA World Cup.
Conclusion Regarding Pass Interference in Football
A catch is what a quarterback grabs after a pass has been thrown. The catch must fall before the catch point. Usually, a receiver only has a few yards to run down the field. The catch point is where the pass is placed. If the pass is caught at this point, it is called a complete pass. When a quarterback throws a pass, he has to release it at a certain speed. When a pass is incomplete, it doesn’t count, and a fumble can occur.