American Football Database

Dead ball is a phenomenon in many ball sports in which the ball is deemed temporarily not playable, and no movement may be made with it or the players from their respective positions of significance. Depending on the sport, this event may be quite routine, and often occurs between individual plays of the game.

Gridiron football

In Gridiron football, a dead ball is a condition that occurs between football plays, after the player with the ball has run out of bounds or after the ball is downed either by the possessing player being tackled to the ground or an incomplete pass hitting the ground, and before the ball is snapped to begin the next play. During the time in which a ball is dead, a team may not attempt to advance it and no change of possession can take place.

The clock may or may not be stopped during this time, depending on the circumstances.

Association football

In association football, the term "dead ball" refers to a situation when the ball is not in play, e.g. when play has not been restarted after the ball has gone out of bounds or a foul has been committed. It also applies before each kick-off, either at the start of each half or after a goal has been scored. In a dead ball situation, players can position the ball with their hands prior to restarting play. Furthermore, even though the ball is not in play, the referee may still issue cautions or ejections (yellow or red cards) for any incident that occurs off the ball. Fouls, on the other hand, can occur only while the ball is in play.

National Basketball Association

In the National Basketball Association (NBA) in North America, most or any time play is stopped the ball is considered dead. Player substitutions may then be made. See section IV of the NBA rule book,[1] See also[2] or.[3]

Flag Football

Times when it can be a dead ball:

  • anytime the ball hits the ground (also called a fumble)
  • the ball is blocked, not caught, by usually the defender. If the ball is caught, the defender can make a run for touchdown.
  • the ball carrier's flag is pulled or somehow falls to the ground.
  • the ball carrier falls to the ground. If any other part of the body of the ball carrier, other than the hands and feet, touch the ground, it is a dead ball.

See more information in Flag Football

Other sports

Other sports in which the ball may be deemed a "dead ball" include rugby football.

See also

  • Set piece (football)