SECTION 2. The Ball: Live, Dead, Loose, Ready for Play
a. A loose ball is a live ball not in player possession during:
1. A running play.
2. A scrimmage or free kick before possession is gained or regained or the ball is dead by rule.
3. The interval after a legal forward pass is touched and before it becomes complete, incomplete or intercepted. This interval is during a forward pass play, and any player eligible to touch the ball may bat it in any direction.