Some pre-snap motion results in penalties, but it appears there’s nothing in the rulebook that outright bans backflips.
One Rhode Island team took full advantage of this loophole (is it a loophole?) to put together a distracting trick play for its opponent.
As seen in a video tweeted by WPRI reporter Rosie Langello, Johnston High School (R.I.) wide receiver Joey Accicardo went into motion. But, instead of getting to a spot on the line, he did a series of backflips in an apparent effort to get the attention of the Pilgram (Warwick, R.I.) defenders.
See the action in the highlight clip below:
I've never seen this in a high school football game…@JHSRI_Panthers WR Joe Accicardo does multiple backflips to distract the other team and it works! Panthers score the touchdown.
Incredible. @wpri12 @RyClifton pic.twitter.com/vwYPlVpDLY
— Rosie Langello (@RosieLangello) November 25, 2021
Whether or not the flipping had a direct effect, the play achieved its desired result: touchdown Panthers. Johnston went on to win 29-12.
It was the last game of the season, and likely they had been sitting on that play for quite some time. Accicardo, a trained dancer who has been on stage with Justin Bieber, clearly had the moves to pull it off.
So on Thanksgiving weekend — fitting, as he has also performed in the Macy’s Day Parade, according to the Providence Journal — the senior got a chance on the final game of the regular season.
We certainly give it a 10.