The fine line: Intentional yes, safety maybe? *Updated
UPDATE, Tuesday, 1:15 p.m. Just got word from a longtime referee, Randy Morris, president of the Big Island Football Officials Association.
“It’s not where your feet last touched the ground. It’s where the ball is released from,” said Morris, whose son, Domonic, is a wide receiver for Konawaena. “It was the right call.”
Not surprised here, but it’s good to get an understanding of the rule. Tough job. Tough call. Thank you, Randy.
Tuesday, 1 a.m. The experts on high school football rules can answer this one.
Here’s the shot of Konawaena quarterback Kahoali‘i Karratti throwing the ball near the goal line late in the game against Nanakuli. The situation: Konawaena ball deep in its own territory with the score tied at 23-all in the opening round of the First Hawaiian Bank/HHSAA Division II State Football Championships at Konawaena’s Julian Yates Field on Saturday.
Karratti was flagged for intentional grounding on this play. But the safety was called because he was determined to be in the end zone on the throw. My question: Is the location of the intentional grounding based on where the QB’s feet are or where the ball is?
If it’s the feet, clearly he jumped from the 1-yard line backwards as he threw. If it’s where the ball is, then the ball is clearly behind the goal line as he released it. Tough call either way. Sad that a state-tourney game came down to this, a bizarre play in the final 2 minutes. These two outstanding Division II teams deserved a chance to win outright in overtime, but rules are rules. Anybody know? I’ll be calling an official in the morning anyway.
Regardless of what the actual ruling should’ve been, the game’s over and this observation is moot. But I always enjoy an opportunity to learn more about this great sport.
Mahalo to Thane Milhoan and his Sportz Viz network for providing the video footage. You can see the game highlights here. This particular play took place at 1:01:45 on the video.
Paul Honda, Star-Advertiser