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Explanation of 'Leaping' Rule


With 3:57 remaining in overtime of Monday Night's game between the Indianapolis Colts and Tampa Bay Buccaneers, the Colts attempted a game-winning 40-yard field goal.

The attempt missed, but Buccaneers defensive end Simeon Rice was assessed an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty on the play for leaping.

Rule 12, Section 3, Article 2 of the 2003 Official Playing Rules of the National Football League (page 86) defines the unsportsmanlike conduct/leaping penalty as follows:

"Clearly running forward and leaping in an obvious attempt to block a field goal, or try-kick after touchdown and landing on players, unless the leaping player was originally lined up within one yard of the line of scrimmage when the ball was snapped."

Rice lined up approximately four yards behind the line of scrimmage, ran forward, leaped in an attempt to block the kick, and illegally landed on a teammate.

Following the penalty, the ball was spotted half the distance to the goal line, giving Indianapolis a first-and-10 from the Tampa Bay 11 yard-line.

Indianapolis kicker Mike Vanderjagt then connected on a 29-yard field goal to give the Colts a 38-35 victory.

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