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Rarely used rules 
Posted on January 31, 2009 at 07:40 PM.
Most people know most of the rules of their favourite sport, but there are always one or two things that don't get used too often. This post celebrates those rules that aren't used that often.

The back pass rule - Soccer

Most people probably don't even know this exists, it's a fairly obscure rule, but it's the reason I made this post, it was used in an EPL game today between Aston Villa and Wigan. From wikipedia, "These clauses prohibit the goalkeeper from intentionally handling the ball when a team-mate uses his/her feet to intentionally pass them the ball, or from intentionally handling the ball when receiving directly from a throw-in. The goalkeeper is still permitted to use his feet and other body parts to redirect the ball. Conversely, if an outfield player passes the ball back using any part of the body besides the feet, the keeper may pick up the ball." If this happens it is an indirect free kick (you can't score directly from it). It happens pretty rarely, and is one of the few, if any, reasons the attacking team can get an indirect free kick in the opponents penalty area.

Helping the runner - Football

I really couldn't find a great deal of information about this, that's how rare it is, I personally have never known it be called in the time I've watched football, about 12 years. If anyone ever sees this called at any level, please pm me. Just for the record, it's a 10 yard penalty.

Fair catch kick - Football

There have been 20 of these in the NFL since 1933, 2 of them in 2008. Only 4 have been made. The reason it's rare is because the chance of getting a fair catch in a reasonable kicking position (because it's a free kick, that has been as long as 74 yards) and there not being enough time to make it reasonable to throw a hail mary, and a team only needing a field goal. It's more common at the end of the first half, because at the end of the game a team would rather attepmt a Trinity - Milsaps style lateral fest. The Cardinals once lined up to try a 77 yard fair catch kick, but their opponents accepted a penalty on the punt before it could be kicked. This means that Sebastian Janikowski's 76 yard scrimmage kick attempt is the longest FG attempt ever as far as anyone can tell.
Comments
# 1 Shinyhubcaps @ Feb 1
What is the longest (of the 4 made) free kicks in the NFL? Also, Mason Crosby attempted a 69-yarder against the Lions in Week 17 this year. If he had made it, would it rank above the record for a held field goal of 63 yards, or would it not because of different circumstances?
 
# 2 Cryolemon @ Feb 1
The longest made was 52. I'm guessing it would count though because it's recorded in the play by play as a field goal attempt.
 
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