I have never had this happen to me but I imagine that when a football kicker has their kicked blocked, many things run through their mind and it’s usually not good. For one thing, the ball is live so you’re probably going to get creamed by people way bigger than you and if the feeling that you didn’t score points for your team hurts enough, that will hurt just as badly.

Amazingly, kicker Tyler Hopkins from D-III Texas Lutheran University in Seguin, TX used quick thinking when his 18-yard field goal was blocked and improvised a play into three points.

The play was great and it got three points but it probably shouldn’t have counted. Thanks to Deadspin’s Tim Burke who pointed out this rule in the NCAA rulebook.

ARTICLE 4. A player shall not kick a loose ball, a forward pass or a ball being held for a place kick by an opponent. These illegal acts do not change the status of the loose ball or forward pass; but if the player holding the ball for a place kick loses possession during a scrimmage down, it is a fumble and a loose ball; if during a free kick, the ball remains dead (A.R. 8-7-2-IV and A. R. 9-4-1-XI).

Essentially, since a blocked kick was considered a loose ball, it cannot be kicked so the play should have been illegal and the field goal not awarded. Now, considering referees miss easier calls than this, it’s a bit tough to hammer these officials on not remembering an obscure rule that usually never needs to be enforced. Granted, it is their job to remember the rule book but they’re human so it’s unrealistic to expect them to remember everything.

Thankfully, the Bulldogs won 37-0 so it’s not like this field goal was a game changing play or anything. If you talk to Hopkins, it’s not really his fault if referees gave him credit despite it being an illegal play. He’s got a point.



About Phillip Bupp

Producer/editor of the Awful Announcing Podcast and Short and to the Point. News editor for The Comeback and Awful Announcing. Highlight consultant for Major League Soccer as well as a freelance writer for hire. Opinions are my own but feel free to agree with them.

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