As we all have read the following excerpt from Section I. Basic Instructions, paragraph H.2. “Extra point attempts do not count at all in timing the game. The following are timed as half-plays: incomplete passes, touchdowns, field goals, safeties, and all plays on which the ball changes team possession or goes out of bounds, or which involve penalties or injuries. ALL OTHER PLAYS ARE FULL PLAYS.”
Well, what about touchbacks? There are several different types of touchbacks ranging from punts, blocked punt goes back into the end zone and the defensive team intentionally bats or kicks the ball out the back of the end zone, fumble goes out of bounds in opponents end zone, defensive player intercepts a pass in own end zone or on kickoffs. It’s hard to believe that I have treated all touchbacks as a “change of possession” and timed it as a half-play. To prevent others from repeating my stupidity, I specifically want to clarify how to treat a touchback resulting from a kick off.
First, the rulebook states “If any APBA rules conflict with official league rules, the league rules apply.” Anyone whoever has watched a professional football game is aware of the fact that on kickoffs the clock is started when a member of the receiving team touches the ball, or, if the member of the receiving team touches the ball in their end zone, carries the ball out of the end zone. The clock is stopped when that player is tackled or goes out of bounds. The clock never starts if the receiving team downs the ball in their own end zone for a touchback.
Secondly, the receiving team on a kickoff is listed as the offensive team (i.e., primary returner is o9) so there is no “change of possession”.
Finally, if touchbacks were recorded as half-play, the first half or game could end with a touchback and that doesn’t make any sense.
My recommendation would be to re-word the first sentence of Section I. paragraph H.2. to read “Extra point attempts and touchbacks resulting from a kickoff do not count at all in timing the game.” All other “Touchback” situations are treated as “half-plays” because these are “change of possession” plays.