Footballs!


  • Pitcrew

    Let's assume there is nothing in a "Fan Code of Conduct" at a football game that explicitly refers to the following situation:

    You're sitting in the stands, and a team misses a field goal. And misses net that's usually behind the uprights (a really bad kick). You catch that thing. Hey, a football!

    Are you under any obligation to throw it back, do you think? Can the team/stadium staff make you return it to the field staff?



  • I would think this would default to they own it. Taking it, even if it is out of their control, is theft, especially as every has seen the events occur. This is not a salvage operation.


  • Pitcrew

    So, what I know from hockey/baseball games is that generally a member of the stadium staff will find you and give you an equatable ball/puck for the one that you caught (since those are specially weighted/tested pre-game and may be needed).

    That's pro level sports. I dunno about high school / college.


  • Coder

    @dontpanda

    Of course they can make you give it back. It's their ball.


  • Pitcrew

    I am confused as to how this is even a question.


  • Pitcrew

    @Sunny said in Footballs!:

    I am confused as to how this is even a question.

    My guess is perhaps urban legend / argument with friend type stuff? Y'know how it goes.

    'Yes, they make you give it back.'
    'NUH-UH! My brother's friend's cousin totally got to keep the ball he caught!'

    :P


  • Pitcrew

    They can make you give it back, though in 90 percent of cases they do not. I have never heard of that happening at a major college or pro level.
    It does happen on occasion at lower college and high school levels due to budget issues.
    So while most of the time you get to keep it that is a gift from the team not a mandatory situation.
    Edit: In pro sports there is a collectors market for special homerun balls and the like and the fans that catch can make millions and the MLB allows it. Also some football teams make it a practice of handing touchdown balls to fans even if they do not go into the stands in the course of play. So while in a lot of cases it is the default the fan keeps things it is not a guarantee.



  • @ThatGuyThere said in Footballs!:

    They can make you give it back, though in 90 percent of cases they do not. I have never heard of that happening at a major college or pro level.
    It does happen on occasion at lower college and high school levels due to budget issues.
    So while most of the time you get to keep it that is a gift from the team not a mandatory situation.
    Edit: In pro sports there is a collectors market for special homerun balls and the like and the fans that catch can make millions and the MLB allows it. Also some football teams make it a practice of handing touchdown balls to fans even if they do not go into the stands in the course of play. So while in a lot of cases it is the default the fan keeps things it is not a guarantee.

    For years and years, the NFL had requested the ball back when inadvertently ends up in the stands. When given one by a player, the player is charged. At least this used to be the case. There could have been a change. In soccer, at all levels, this is also the case.

    At the high school level, we usually check in 4 to 6 balls a game, so we wouldn't be able to lose any of them, especially on a wet night.


  • Pitcrew

    The reason this is even a question is simple: I've watched guys not give the ball back when the FG has missed.

    This is especially possible in the CFL, since the uprights are at the front of the endzones and therefore there's more room to miss the net, even on a FG that's made, depending on the angle.

    Back in the day, I recall a young guy - 11? - sitting in the next section got a souvenir ball, which had been autographed by the home team, for giving up the game ball. I thought that was a pretty nice gesture on the part of the team, honestly.

    So, that's why I'm asking. Do they count losing a ball as the "cost of doing business," or can they force a fan to return a ball that went into the stands?


  • Politics

    @dontpanda said in Footballs!:

    So, that's why I'm asking. Do they count losing a ball as the "cost of doing business," or can they force a fan to return a ball that went into the stands?

    If I'm playing ball with my kid and he makes an errant throw at you, you don't have any legal right to the ball if you happen to catch it.

    Does that make more sense?


  • Pitcrew

    @dontpanda said in Footballs!:

    So, that's why I'm asking. Do they count losing a ball as the "cost of doing business," or can they force a fan to return a ball that went into the stands?

    I don't see that those two options are necessarily mutually exclusive. Just because they could potentially compel fans to return balls, they might still opt not to if they thought it might generate sufficient bad publicity to outweigh the cost of letting fans keep them.


  • Pitcrew

    I think a lot of it comes down to the culture of the sport and the fans of it.
    No one keeps an NBA ball that bounces into the crowd and that happens pretty regularly given the closeness of court side seat to the action.
    In baseball both at the minor league and major league level it is pretty much given a ball that goes into the stands will become property of the person that gets it, even to the point of certain collectors balls that get auctions off for millions, and there are numerous instances of players wanting a home run ball for personal reasons and working out a deal to get it back from the fan who ends up with it.



  • Baseballs are also prone to distortion from being hit, and from landing on a hard surface.


  • Coder

    MLS (Major League Soccer, aka second-tier football in any other nation) games begin with two key announcements. 1) You can't keep the balls. 2) Don't throw things onto the field.

    Ahh, soccer.


  • Politics

    @Thenomain said in Footballs!:

    MLS (Major League Soccer, aka second-tier football in any other nation) games begin with two key announcements. 1) You can't keep the balls. 2) Don't throw things onto the field.

    And they wonder why it isn't as popular in the United States as it is around the world.


  • Coder

    @Ganymede said in Footballs!:

    @Thenomain said in Footballs!:

    MLS (Major League Soccer, aka second-tier football in any other nation) games begin with two key announcements. 1) You can't keep the balls. 2) Don't throw things onto the field.

    And they wonder why it isn't as popular in the United States as it is around the world.

    Upside: Less murder of players and coaches.


  • Politics

    @Thenomain said in Footballs!:

    Upside: Less murder of players and coaches.

    Blood Bowl history suggests that this is not an upside.


  • Pitcrew

    The team owns the ball. Or the stadium. Or somebody. Taking something that belongs to someone else is stealing.


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