What is a Backward Pass in Football?
A backward pass in Football is when the ball is tossed backwards to another player, sometimes called a lateral or lateral pass. Unlike a forward pass, if a backward pass falls to the ground, the ball is still alive and is considered a fumble. A backward pass may occur as many times during a play as possible, unlike a forward pass which may only occur once per play. After a backward pass, the ball may then be thrown forward to another player. After a forward pass occurs, the ball may then be thrown backward as many times as possible until the play is called dead. Any player may catch a backward pass, whereas only certain players may catch a forward pass.
A backward pass that falls out of bounds is considered a fumble and the ball is placed back at the spot of the fumble. If the ball is fumbled as a result of a backward pass and a defensive player recovers the ball, the play is dead. If the defensive player intercepts the backward pass, the play is still live and the defensive player may return the ball. If the backward pass goes through the back of , it is a touchback and the opposing team's ball.