1. Welcome to SportsJournalists.com, a friendly forum for discussing all things sports and journalism.

    Your voice is missing! You will need to register for a free account to get access to the following site features:
    • Reply to discussions and create your own threads.
    • Access to private conversations with other members.
    • Fewer ads.

    We hope to see you as a part of our community soon!

Counting first downs...

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by EStreetJoe, Sep 20, 2008.

  1. EStreetJoe

    EStreetJoe Well-Known Member

    Little argument in the office on how to count first downs.

    Two say that if it's a 2nd-and-goal from the 7 and the guy runs for a TD, that it gets counted as a first down. One says it doesn't.

    One person says that a 40-yard TD run on a 3rd-and-6 play counts as two first downs (one for going the 6 yards to get the first, a second for going more than 10 yards for the TD). Two say that it's just one first down - one play, one first down.

    What say the rules and SportsJournalists.com nation?
  2. Johnny Dangerously

    Johnny Dangerously Well-Known Member

    The former: No first down.
    The latter: One first down.
  3. Cosmo

    Cosmo Well-Known Member

    1st and goal is 1st and goal because you cannot get a first down. So, no, not a first down if you score from there.
  4. Big Buckin' agate_monkey

    Big Buckin' agate_monkey Active Member

    At my shop, we'd count one first down in each case.
  5. Tom Petty

    Tom Petty Guest

  6. You should probably starting hanging around smarter people. The rule isn't complicated - you get one first down every time you pass the first-down marker. On first-and-goal situations, they drop the first-down marker, so there are no more first downs to get. You pass the first-down marker once, you get one first down. It's that simple.
  7. Here's one I can never remember, and I'm embarrassed to admit it: Team completes a pass for a first down at the 35. Dead-ball foul. First-and-10 at midfield. First down passing, another first down by penalty?
  8. pseudo

    pseudo Well-Known Member

    Two first downs on the same play? That's crazy talk ...

    ... except for the situation Comma Chameleon describes. From the NFHS stats manual:
    For example, a fifteen-yard run with a fifteen-yard facemask tacked on at the end. I'm sure I've been screwing that up. (Just got the manual this week.)

    Same rulebook: the forward stake has to be in the field of play (between the goal lines) to record a first down. The way I read that, the answer (for 11-man HS football, anyway) is no first down on goal-to-go TDs.

    NCAA rules are the same: 2008 NCAA Football Statisticians' Manual (.pdf file)
  9. It depends on the level of football. In Texas, it's a first down every time you score -- even if it's first-and-goal from the 1.
  10. occasionally

    occasionally Member

    In the NFL, a touchdown is a first down, whether it's goal-to-go or not. In college (and presumably high school as well), a touchdown on goal-to-go is NOT a first down.
    And Comma, that is two first downs, and the one situation you can get two first downs on one play.
  11. InTheSkeller

    InTheSkeller Member

    So, in baseball, if a guy hits a home run, does his team get one run for the homer and another because he scored? I always have trouble with that one. ???
  12. Barsuk

    Barsuk Active Member

    Not necessarily true. If you lose a fumble after passing the first-down marker, no first down is credited.
Draft saved Draft deleted

Share This Page