When in Doubt…

– the player has not touched rather than touched the ball
– the ball has been muffed rather than caught
– the original force has not been expended
– the catch, recovery, or interception is not completed 2-2-7-e
– the ball has not been touched on a kick or forward pass 2-10-4

– a Team A player has a reasonable opportunity to move toward, catch or bat a pass (NFHS only)
– the pass is incomplete rather than a fumble
– the passer has thrown the ball rather than fumbled it
– the passer has not intentionally grounded the ball
– the pass was released in or behind the neutral zone rather than beyond it
– the defensive back has legally initiated contact (in passing situations)
– as to “caught or trapped” the pass is incomplete
– the pass is backward rather than forward beyond the neutral zone or when there is no neutral zone
– it is a forward pass rather than a backward pass when thrown in or behind the neutral zone 2-19-2-a
– the ball is a forward pass and not fumbled during an attempted forward pass 2-19-2-c
– a legal forward pass is catchable 2-19-4 and 7-3-8-c
– a Team A player has a reasonable opportunity to catch a pass 7-3-2-f

– R’s path to the ball has been obstructed (NFHS only)
– a fair catch signal is valid rather than invalid
– it is roughing rather than running into the kicker/holder 9-1-3-a-8
– a ball is accidentally touched rather than intentionally kicked 2-15-1
– it is a contact foul (Interference with the opportunity to catch) 6-4-1-e

– contact is at the knees or below (for chop block) (NFHS only)
– it is a block at the side rather than at the back (for block in the back)
– as to disintegration of the clipping zone, assume it is intact
– it is legal use of the hands rather than holding or illegal use of the hands (NCAA only)
– it is twisting, turning or pulling the facemask 9-1-2-s-Penalty
– the contact is below the waist (for blocking below the waist and block in the back) 2-3-2-a and 2-3-4-a
– the contact is at the thigh or below (for chop block) 2-3-3-a

– the run has ended rather than a fumble (Forward progress stopped)
– it is a fumble (runner loses possession and it is unknown when the ball became loose)
– the ball is dead (Runner so held that forward progress is stopped) 4-1-3-a

– it is a touchback rather than the ball belonging to Team B near the goal under original momentum rules
– the ball is dead in the field of play rather than a touchdown
– it is a touchback not a safety 8-5-1-a

Out of Bounds
– a player is inbounds rather than out of bounds
– the ball is dead in the field of play rather than out of bounds
– a receiver would have come down inbounds
– a player has been forced out of bounds by an opponent

– the one-second pause has been violated
– offensive players are legally on the line
– offensive players are legally in the backfield
– defensive signals are legal
– players are legally moving rather than in illegal motion
– defensive signals are legal

– don’t throw the flag
– don’t blow the whistle
– the referee will not honor a crowd noise request
– a team A player has been within 15 yds of the ball
– a team A player has met the nine yard mark requirements (NCAA only)
– the clock shall be stopped for an injured player 3-3-5-b

Unsportmanlike Conduct
– a player has attempted to focus attention upon himself by a delayed, excessive or prolonged act

– a departing player has left the field prior to the snap