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Intentional Grounding Rule in American Football Explained for You

Intentional Grounding Rule in Football Explained
American football is also known as Gridiron football. It has many rules, most of which have been created by Walter Camp. Intentional grounding is considered to be a violation of the rules, but only under specific conditions.
Anup Patwardhan
Last Updated: Feb 28, 2018
American football has its origins in English sports like soccer and rugby. It achieved its fame on college campuses in the late 19th century. European or Association football is known as soccer in America, whereas American football is like rugby in the United Kingdom.
American football is one of the most famous sports in the United States today. Its popularity has even soared ahead of Major League Baseball and NBA (Basketball). The Canadian version of Gridiron football is also quite famous in the Great White North.

The Super Bowl in the football calendar has achieved the status of an undeclared holiday in the United States. The food consumption on this day is the highest of the year, second only to Thanksgiving.

Here is an overview of the various aspects of the Intentional Grounding rule in football.
Intentional Grounding Rule in Football
When a passer makes a pass without any realistic way of completing it, then it is known as intentional grounding. This violation is most likely to take place when the quarterback of the offense is tackled and about to be sacked by the defense. In such cases, the quarterback throws or passes the ball in the area where there is no one to receive the pass. These proceedings, however, must occur when the quarterback is inside the tackle box for the violation to be called. If he is outside, then he can 'spike' the ball. When in the framework of rules of the game, a ball touching the ground will stop the clock. This strategy can be helpful when a team has run out of time-outs.
Reason for Intentional Grounding Rule
As mentioned before, one of the reasons for intentionally grounding the ball is to stop the clock. This can be a result of the resistance put up by the defense. This defensive resistance can result in loss of yardage for the offense. This was the major reason for creating the intentional grounding rule. In absence of this rule, any passer, especially a quarterback, who is under immense defensive pressure, could convert a defensive tackle into an incomplete pass. Such an incomplete pass would result in the ball advancing to the line of scrimmage.
When Intentional Grounding is Allowed
  • When the quarterback is outside the tackle box
  • The pass, originally intended for a player, was deflected by the defense.
  • The ability of a passer to make a pass is severely affected by the defensive interference, and the ball lands before the line of scrimmage.

These exceptions to the violation of rules do not hold ground in high school football. Here, the pass must be made to be received by a receiver, or it is considered intentional grounding
  • The team will lose a 'down'.
  • The offense will have to back up by 10 yards or to the spot from where the pass was made, depending on which is farther away.
  • If such a pass was made from the half of the offensive team, then the defensive side is awarded two points of safety play.

If this rule is violated with less than a minute left in the half, then time on the clock is decreased by ten seconds. In case the time left in the half is ten seconds or less, then the end of the half is signaled. This is done for clock management, and also so that the offense does not deliberately commit a penalty.
This is, however, not considered to be a violation of the rules in the Pro Bowl games, irrespective of the circumstances. This measure has been taken to assure the safety of the players.
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