AR 4-1-2 / Live Ball becomes Dead
I. A runner stumbles and, in order to regain their balance, places their hand on the ground or
pushes off the ground using the ball, whilst maintaining possession of it. They then continue
RULING: The play continues, none of the requirements from R 4-1-2 to make the ball dead are
NOTE: If the runner loses control of the ball on contact with the ground, it will be a fumble and the ball is dead. (R 4-1-2-e)
II. A receiver loses one flag at the start of the play, continues their route, completes the catch and
make some more yards before a defender is able to pull the remaining flag.
RULING: The pass is complete, but the ball is dead with the catch. (R 4-1-2-g) The yards after the
catch will not count and the defense does not need to pull any flag. It will be the same ruling if
the receiver loses both flags before the catch.
NOTE: There is no difference in the ruling if the receiver loses one flag by accident alone or if the
flag is illegally pulled by a defender. The ball is dead when caught by a player who doesn’t
have both flags. If the receiver is able to pick up the flag and attach it compliant to the rule
before the pass is completed, the ball remains alive and play continues.