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1. The distinction between a fumble and a muff
should be kept in mind in considering rules about
fumbles. A fumble is the loss of player possession
of the ball. A muff is the touching of a loose ball
by a player in an unsuccessful attempt to obtain
2. A fumble may be advanced by any player on either
team regardless of whether recovered before or after
ball hits the ground.
3. A fumble that goes forward and out of bounds
will return to the fumbling team at the spot of
the fumble unless the ball goes out of bounds in
the opponent’s end zone. In this case, it
is a touchback.
4. On a play from scrimmage, if an offensive player
fumbles anywhere on the field during fourth down,
only the fumbling player is permitted to recover
and/or advance the ball. If any player fumbles after
the two-minute warning in a half, only the fumbling
player is permitted to recover and/or advance the
ball. If recovered by any other offensive player,
the ball is dead at the spot of the fumble unless
it is recovered behind the spot of the fumble. In
that case, the ball is dead at the spot of recovery.
Any defensive player may recover and/or advance
any fumble at any time.
5. A muffed hand-to-hand snap from center is treated
as a fumble.