I have asked for 60 years or more

and never got a good answer other than “it’s traditional”’

My question is, when the kickoff occurs the ball is in play immediately, but the clock does not start until a receiver touches the ball. It takes a few seconds for a long kick to go out of the playing field but zero time is consumed. Why?

I contend the clock should start the second the toe meets ball as that is the start of the game, How many last second scores would that have prevented?.

To me, it’s no different than an inbounds pass in basketball. The clock doesn’t start until the ball touches a player. I’ve never questioned it.

I think you answered it in your first sentence. It is the way it has always been done. You are right at least to me. The game starts when the ball is kicked, but for whatever reason they never started the clock until the ball is touched in play. Just one of those things I guess.

Yeah, it’s no big deal but always aggravated me.

Didn’t they actually do it that way a few years ago in a effort to speed up the game??? Maybe I am crazy (well, that is a given, but anyway) but I swear I remember they did it that way for a year or two a few years ago, and then went back the the traditional way.

Got to tell this on me. At least 100 years ago I was a basketball official for a short while. I enjoyed it, but my job would not allow me to be able to tell a coach ahead that I could be there on a given date. I started doing a lot of the games at the UofA between dorms etc. I worked my way to the top of that where I met some real officials with whom I worked finals, etc. I had my card, lowest level, so they took me under their wings and I started working some Jr High games and JV games etc. My first “real” Jr. High game I had a throw in on my end. All went well until the guy had made a couple of dribbles when my lead official called time out and went to the scorers table. Then he can to me and told me I did not start the clock. I thought, “What do you mean, Start the clock?” I had not given the down arm signal when the ball was touched inbounds. Hence, they never started the clock even though play had started. It was quickly explained to me. I never forgot that one again!

It is football. If your foot kicks the ball, the clock should start, both on a kickoff and an extra point. It is part of the actual game, so why does no time elapse? Odd, for sure.

I’d suggest that’s the way Naismith decided it should be and possibly football rules fed off of that.

I’d argue that if I won the coin toss and get the first possession of the game, the game can’t start until I possess the football.

It would be unfair to win the coin toss to start the game and the other team does something to affect the time I’ve been awarded via the coin toss.

However, if you onside kick it and steal my possession, since it is a live ball, you can start the game and preserve your time when you possess the ball.

It keeps a kick out of the end zone from running out the clock.

I realize the rule is set, but I have never understood it. But Niasmith’s peach basket is no longer used.

If you are playing at Alabama or Auburn the clock can start before, during or upon receiving the kick depending on the situation.

The SEC has reviewed this many times and has not found any issues with this.

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Actually I foresee a time when the kickoff is eliminated. The injury factor is making changes. I foresee a time soon when there will be no kickoff, just place the ball on the 25 and go from there.

I’m shocked that has not already happened!

Yes, in 2006. It reduced the number of plays by an average of 14 per game and the coaches lobbied to have it changed back. They said it took away from the opportunity to mount a comeback.

I do, too. It isn’t used in lower levels of football. I watch a seventh grade team each week and after touchdowns the ball is placed at the 30. I’ve gotten so used to it that I don’t even think about there not being a kickoff.

Thank you! I was really doubting myself! :slight_smile:

I’ve thought about that too, but eliminating the chance of an onside kick would drastically reduce the drama at the end of games. It would lead to a lot of boring endings with teams with a lead just running clock.

It would also put a stop to what happened (or failed to happen) late in the Auburn-Ole Miss Game. I can see a ruling coming from the SEC stating that there would be no kickoff unless certain teams need it to secure a win for the chosen teams.

I’m not in favor or changing the way it currently is…but there is an alternative that has been proposed and discussed for several years now.

Instead of the onside kick. the team would get the ball at their own 25, 4th and 15. If they convert, they keep the ball and play on. If they don’t, their opponent takes over at the spot after 4th down.