Football is a sport of many terms that aren’t as known to recreational fans as passionate fans or experienced players. One of these terms is spiking the ball, and I have seen a lot of confusion about its meaning and the rules. So, what is spiking, and why can’t the players spike the ball in football?
Spiking the ball means an incomplete pass intentionally played to stop the clock. In the NFL, spiking is considered legal if it is not spiked against a player from the opponent team.
Spiking the ball results in the halt of a clock and does not benefit the yardage. Players spike a ball when the team runs short of time in a half. However, this approach predominantly affects players’ attitudes in handling the ball against time.
If we look at the history of ball spikes, NFL seems to have changed its policies and positions. For instance, each play legalized spiking the ball, but players were identified to apply it after each big play. It was also used to celebrate the achievement of a touchdown. Contrarily, some players slammed it hard and then moved away from the place. On the other hand, several other players spent more time on celebrations. This method ruined the time of the league. NFL changed its stand in 2007.
If you have not seen a ball spike as a part of the celebration, here is an interesting tweet with a video embedded in it:
While the video extends to a couple of minutes, the reality is that it takes more time and extends the play duration. This is a serious issue as it goes beyond proposed regulations. It also leaves the audience and other stakeholders waiting until the players return to the game.
Spiking the ball was not encouraged during the end zone as it can cost five yards to the team involved. The new stand of the NFL gave better clarity to players and cut down their celebration times to a great extent at the end of a touchdown.
After initiating the new stand, NFL identified that this could avoid clock stoppage and regulate play durations as planned.
The NFL considers spiking as throwing the ball away and falls under intentional grounding. In this case, the player throws the ball several yards away, and it can easily hit the other team. In such cases, the regulator looks for pieces of evidence. This approach proves the intention based on which the decision is made.
There is an exception to this case. Throwing the ball is considered legal if it escapes the pocket. In this case, there is sufficient space between offensive tackles, and the player can claim on legal grounds after throwing the ball away. In either case, it is always recommended to avoid spiking the ball since it can extend the duration and question players’ intentions.
Related: What Is Shaving Points In The NFL?
Do the NFL Fine Players for Spiking the Ball?
NFL fines players on the grounds of excessive celebration or intentional attacks that represent a lack of sportsmanship. When the ball is hurled into the stands, NFL penalizes the instance as an offense and charges $7,210.
NFL fines players based on their intention during the league. While it is encouraged to celebrate the touchdown, excessive consumption of time can affect the quality of the game. In that case, NFL collects fines and then donates the amount to the NFL Foundation, where needy players get the benefit.
NFL highlights that over 4 million USD is donated to guide former players each year.
When Did the NFL Allow Spiking the Ball to Stop the Clock?
Spiking the ball to stop the clock was legal in the early 1990s, but the NFL changed policies in 2007 and then revised further in 2011. The new law highlighted that spiking the ball except in the end zone is legal.
During the early 1990s, NFL permitted spiking the ball legally when it was not fumbled. However, the control the ball misses after some point and the ball touches the ground and spikes on someone else with or without a relevant intention. Hence, NFL identified the need to alter the rules to permit a ball spike for a specific duration.
Can You Spike the Ball In High School Football?
Spiking the ball in high school football is illegal and is punishable on the grounds of 15 yards as a penalty. The NCAA football recommends the scoring player either return or leave the ball.
It is common for players to celebrate after a touchdown and then spike the ball in high school football leagues. Collegiate and high school leagues consider spiking the ball unsportsmanlike behavior and strongly penalize such players.
Neal Colzie, during a Rose Bowl play at Southern California, hit the 9-yard line when he was celebrating the spiking of the ball. After a thorough analysis of the act as per the rules enacted under Ohio State, the player was penalized on the ground of “unsportsmanlike conduct.” The yard marker justified this act as first down and then 24.
Can You Spike the Ball Backward?
An intentional spiking is illegal and considered a batted ball (12-1-8). As long as the ball leaves rules unaffected and non-intentional, the backward spike of a ball is permitted.
In general, several players carry backward passes in the form of a pitch or a toss, and there is no upper limit to this approach, unlike a forward pass. However, intentional spiking is strictly prohibited irrespective of the direction of the pass. This intentional spiking is unsportsmanlike conduct that can potentially affect players’ behavior during the game and change the conduct over time.
Can You Spike the Ball Under 3 Seconds?
According to the NCAA rule change of 2013, at least 3 seconds would be needed to spike the ball and stop the clock.
Section 7 under the rules of the NFL prohibits conserving time by spiking the ball or committing backward pass or intentional grounding. In all these cases, the player’s safety is at risk, and the NCAA playing rules oversight panel will penalize the team.
My Favorite Football Equipment
Thanks for reading this article. I hope it brought you great value you can implement in your life. Finally, below you can find my favorite football equipment that I think would serve you well on the field!
- Football: I like to get quality things at once, so I don’t need to replace everything after a short while. And for that reason, Wilson “The Duke” Football is the only choice for that. You can get this authentic NFL football as an official game ball or a cheaper metallic edition version. Whichever you might choose, The Duke is the only official football in the league’s history, making it the best choice.
- Cleats: Cleats play an important role in football as they are the traction between you and the field. There is no better than the Nike Vapor Edge Pro 360, and for a good reason. The cleats feature a lightweight, short upper, supporting lacing system and a wide stud layout for fast speed and reliable traction. Oh, and all the various designs are beyond stunning!
- Gloves: No matter whether you throw or receive the ball, you can say goodbye to your performance if you don’t have proper gloves. Enter Seibetron Receiver Gloves equipped with various benefits, such as excellent grip on the fingers and palms, great durability, and a green light for machine washing!
- Fan Equipment: If you’re a fan more than a player, you don’t want to miss Fan Equipment by Fanatics. You can find items from various sports that bear your favorite team’s logo, such as jerseys, gift ideas, or other surprising things.