Definitions for fair catch
This page provides all possible meanings and translations of the word fair catch
Random House Webster's College Dictionary
a catch of a kicked football made after the receiving team signals that it will not attempt to advance the ball.
Origin of fair catch:
(American football) a catch of a punt on the fly by a defensive player who has signalled that he will not run and so should not be tackled
A call on a kicking play in which the receiver waves his hand to indicate that he will not run with the ball, assuring that he will not be tackled after catching it.
A fair catch is a feature of American football and several other codes of football, in which a player attempting to catch a ball kicked by the opposing team – either on a kickoff or punt – is entitled to catch the ball without interference from any member of the kicking team. A ball caught in this manner becomes dead once caught, i.e., the player catching the ball is not entitled to run with the ball in an attempt to gain yardage, and the receiving team begins their drive at the spot where the ball was caught. A player wishing to make a fair catch signals his intent by extending one arm above his head and waving it while the kicked ball is in flight. The primary reason for the fair catch rule is to protect the receiver. A receiver directs his attention toward the incoming punt and cannot focus on the defenders running towards him. He is quite vulnerable to injury and is also at risk for fumbling the kick if the punter intentionally makes a high short kick to allow defenders time to hit the receiver. The XFL removed the fair catch rule in an effort to make the game more "extreme." Canadian football and Arena football also do not have fair catch rules, with XFL and CFL preferring a five yard "no-yards" rule instead.
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