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Trin Tragula
Apr 22, 2005
PLEASE DON'T POST

I guess it's one thing less that has to be explained every year!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jp4TeP4rw0s

What a perfect moment that was. Anyway, since I became a football official, it seemed like the GDTs appreciated having someone about who could answer questions like "how come they got the ball back when they didn't get it past the first down line?" Thing is, I often ended up getting caught up in these discussions and missing entire quarters of football while explaining PSK enforcement as it relates to the commentators being full of poo poo (they're always wrong, by the way). It seemed like the discussions were interesting enough to need their own thread, and so they were, and on we went, and now here we are in 2013 and the NCAA still can't write a rule about cut blocks without tying their own shoelaces together.

Unlike the actual rulebooks, the house rules don't change year to year! This is where we talk about why Play X from the big game on Saturday got ruled the way it did, and where I dissect the rules in slightly more detail than anyone needs to know. This is not where we write "DEAR ED 'GUNS' HOCHULI" or whine about being screwed; that is for gameday threads and open letters. If you want useful answers about why something happened, we ideally need to see video, but a good, comprehensive description will do. This isn't one.

An Idiot posted:

Right so it was the end of the big game at the weekend and Joe Penisface fumbled and Dave Hairyballs recovered but they blew it dead and said he was down or some stupid poo poo, I dunno. loving Pac-10 refs!


Most important, the Pac-10 doesn't exist any more. It's the Pac-12, and do remember at all times that being technically correct is the best kind of correct. So anyway, refs don't joke about Pac-12 refs, they joke about SEC refs. This is because a lot of them are still stuck in the mid-80s and a lot of the things they do are absolutely hilarious (for a given value of 'absolutely hilarious') if you know what to look for; also the Pac-12 officiating staff is in the third year of a new regime that wasn't afraid to shitcan some of the idiots that were giving everyone else a bad name, and they're totally better now. They even made Shawn Hochuli (Ed's son) a white hat, and it isn't even like who his daddy is is any more than 75% of the reason why it was him that got the promotion!

Ahem. So, my answer to that question is likely to be "tell Joe Penisface not to carry the ball like a loaf of bread next time", because I enjoy being mean and sarcastic now to make up for all the times out on the field when I want to be mean and sarcastic to players and can't.

This is better:

A Helpful Chappie posted:

Middle of the first quarter, 1st and 10 from Team A's 35. Smith dropped back and threw to Jones on A's 44, and he ran it into the end zone, but there was a flag on A's 38 for OPI. Jones pushed off the defender but it was before the pass. I didn't think you could have pass interference before the pass?

You see, all this information is potentially relevant to the result of the play, and I appreciate the attempt to speak Rulebookese because that means I don't have to translate the play into Rulebookese before I can work out what's going on.

My games are played to NCAA rules, so when I'm explaining things, I will default to explaining the NCAA rule where possible, and then any exceptions or changes that the NFL uses; unless it's strictly an NFL thing. I know the college rulebook much better than I know the NFL one, so it makes it much easier on me if I can work from that where possible. Questions that are about statistics rather than rules are also welcome here, but don't take my word for anything because I'm not a stat man. Do we have anyone who's done stats before? I like stat men. They've saved me from losing a down a few times.

One final thing: do be slightly careful of what the pet retired ref said on the TV when the play happened. He's a retired ref, so he may very well be blind. Something I have noticed is that NFL guys like Mike Pereira are also covering college ball, but they do sometimes forget subtleties and interpretations and mechanics that college officials use, and then they end up giving out a curate's egg of a ruling.

For the past six years these threads have provided useful, quality discussion. Even after That Dropped Calvin Johnson Pass When They Ruled It Incomplete And Everyone Said "Huh?". Let's carry on like that, no? Rule changes analysis will come along shortly.

Textbooks

The new NFL rulebook generally isn't made available to the public until a while into the season; meanwhile, the 2012 book and matter is here: http://www.nfl.com/rulebook

2013 NCAA Football Rules: http://www.ncaapublications.com/p-4...pretations.aspx Yes, the epub and PDF editions are free.

Trin Tragula fucked around with this message at Aug 20, 2013 around 21:41

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Trin Tragula
Apr 22, 2005
PLEASE DON'T POST

DEFINITIONS (IF YOU READ NOTHING ELSE, READ THIS)

Okay, one of the defining features of any football rulebook is, er, the definitions. An absolute shitload of terms are defined, and for the purposes of the rules they become terms of art. Frequently, this means that a word has a different definition in the rulebook than when it's used in normal conversation. The best example of this is the word "block". We all know what a block is, right? Well, the rulebook disagrees. The NCAA book has its definitions in Rule 2...

quote:

Blocking

ARTICLE 1. a. Blocking is obstructing an opponent by contacting him with any part of the blocker's body.

b. Pushing is blocking an opponent with open hands.

And the NFL in Rule 3.

quote:

Blocking

Blocking is the act of obstructing or impeding an opponent by contacting him with a part of the blocker’s body.

When a defender puts his shoulder into the runner and knocks him flat, that's every bit as much a block (by rule) as the gigantic pancake block that the center just put on a linebacker. This sort of thing is why officials tend to be slightly anal about using the correct rulebook terms: if we don't, it leads to ambiguity and can sometimes change the entire meaning of a question.

For instance: an incomplete backward pass that hits the ground (not a lateral) is not the same thing as a fumble. It's very similar to a fumble, but it's not the same thing. This becomes very important at a certain time in the game. Anyone like to take a guess when it is?

Okay, this post is divided into three parts: definitions of important rulebook terms, definitions of officiating jargon, and the names of people who you may not have heard of. They'll be added here when necessary.


Definitions of Rulebook Terms

Approved Ruling
"An approved ruling (A.R.) is an official decision on a given statement of facts. It serves to illustrate the spirit and application of the rules. The relationship between the rules and an approved ruling is analogous to that between statutory law and a decision of the Supreme Court. If there is a conflict between the official rules and approved rulings, the rules take precedence."

Thank you, NCAA book. For the NCAA, the Rules Committee officially makes approved rulings: in practice they originate from Rogers Redding. For the NFL, same deal with Carl Johnson and the Competition Committee. The final sentence was removed from the NCAA book last year, but we're all assuming it holds true unless Rogers Redding (c.f.) issues a bulletin (c.f.) that contradicts it.

Team A and Team B
Team A is the team designated to put the ball in play. Team B is their opponents. Compare this with offense and defense. The offense is the team in possession, the defense is not. Thus, while (for instance) a punt is returned, Team B is on offense and Team A is on defense. These designations remain the same until the Referee declares the ball ready for play after the change of possession.

Team K and Team R
In NFHS rules, when a down has a kick in it, Team A is referred to as "Team K" and Team B is referred to as "Team R". Some people find that this is helpful.

Forward Pass
A forward pass is any pass where the ball is thrown and moves from its original position towards the opposing team's goal line. It is also a forward pass if a player is holding it to pass it forwards, begins the passing motion, and then loses control of the ball. Yes, the NFL tuck rule is dead now.

Backward Pass
A backward pass is any pass that is not forward. There is no such thing as a "lateral".

Batting
NCAA: "Batting the ball is intentionally striking it or intentionally changing its direction with the hands or arms."
NFL: "A Bat or Punch is the intentional striking of the ball with hand, fist, elbow, or forearm."

Foul, Penalty, and Violation
A foul is an infraction of the rules for which a penalty is set; so roughing the passer is a a foul, for which the penalty 15 yards and an automatic first down. A violation is an NCAA term for a rule infraction that is not a foul and does not offset the penalty for a foul, such as illegal equipment or the kicking team illegally touching its own kick. The NFL refers to what would be NCAA violations as "special fouls with special penalty enforcement that does not offset ordinary fouls": exactly the same as a violation except not called "violation" because that would be sensible.

Muff and Fumble
A fumble is "any act other than passing, kicking or successful handing that results in loss of player possession". A muff is "an unsuccessful attempt to catch or recover a ball that is touched in the attempt" (NCAA definitions, the NFL rule is only cosmetically different and comes to exactly the same thing). There's an easy way to remember this: if he never gained possession and control of the ball, it's a muff. If he did have possession and control, it was a fumble. Very important where incompetent punt returners are concerned!

Plays: Running Play, Passing Play, Free Kick Play, Scrimmage Kick Play, Field Goal Play
Note: As far as I can make out, the NFL uses all of these concepts in exactly the same way, but it doesn't put them together neatly anywhere like the college book does. Instead, it leaves them strewn throughout the book like a messy teenager who's too lazy to tidy his magazines away so he can stop tripping over them, which also makes them impossible to find.

quote:

Forward Pass Play
ARTICLE 1. A legal forward pass play is the interval between the snap and when a
legal forward pass is complete, incomplete or intercepted.

Free Kick Play
ARTICLE 2. A free kick play is the interval from the time the ball is legally kicked
until it comes into player possession or is declared dead by rule.

Scrimmage Kick Play
ARTICLE 3. A scrimmage kick play is the interval between the snap and when a
scrimmage kick comes into player possession or the ball is declared dead by rule.

Running Play and Run
ARTICLE 4. a. A running play is any live-ball action other than that during a free
kick play, a scrimmage kick play or a legal forward pass play.

b. A run is that segment of a running play during which a ball carrier has
possession.

c. If a ball carrier loses possession by a fumble, backward pass or illegal forward
pass, the spot where the run ends (Rule 2-25-8) is the yard line where the ball
carrier loses possesion. The running play includes the run and the loose-ball
action before a player gains or regains possession or the ball is declared dead.

d. A new running play begins when a player gains or regains possession.

Note: We've encountered our first example of rulebook code, which is further defined a little way down this post.

Let's examine the implications of all this for a moment. My standard example to illustrate this kind of thinking goes something like:

Every play starts with a running play. Let's say the quarterback drops back and throws a legal forward pass, which is then caught by a reciever who runs for a touchdown. Until the quarterback passed the ball, there was a running play. However, once the pass is thrown, the running play is reclassified as a forward pass play, which ends when the ball is caught, and another running play begins, ending with the touchdown. The important point is this: The word 'play' is not, as far as the rulebook is concerned, a synonym for 'down' (as in 1st down, 2nd down, etc.) There can be more than one play during a down, and plays can be reclassified depending on how they end.

Slightly different example now, just to make sure we've all got it (and to show how brain-bending this can get). The quarterback hands off to a running back, who goes on an apparent sweep and throws a backward pass to a wide reciever, who runs the reverse, then stops and throws a legal forward pass. It is intercepted and run back by the cornerback, who then fumbles, and the ball is finally recovered by the tight end, who steps out of bounds. The sequence of plays:

1. A running play starts with the snap and ends with the QB's handoff to the RB.
2. A running play starts with that handoff and ends when the WR catches the RB's backward pass. There is a seperate "run" during the running play, which ended when the RB threw the backward pass.
3. A running play starts when the WR gains possession. It ends when he throws a legal forward pass. The previous three running plays are then reclassified as one continuous passing play. The passing play ends when the pass is intercepted by the CB.
4. A running play starts with the interception and ends with the TE's fumble recovers. The "run" during the running play ended with the fumble.
5. The final running play starts with the recovery and ends when the ball is dead by the TE stepping out of bounds with it.

Spots (Previous Spot, Succeeding Spot, Dead-Ball Spot, Out-of-Bounds Spot, Inbounds Spot, Spot of Foul, Enforcement Spot, Spot Where Run Ends, Spot Where Kick Ends, Basic Spot, Postscrimmage Kick Spot)
Same "messy teenager" deal with the NFL and NCAA. NCAA Rule 2-25:

quote:

Enforcement Spot
ARTICLE 1. An enforcement spot is the point at which the penalty for a foul
or violation is enforced.

Previous Spot
ARTICLE 2. The previous spot is the point at which the ball was last put in play.

Succeeding Spot
ARTICLE 3. The succeeding spot is the point at which the ball is next to be
put in play.

Dead-Ball Spot
ARTICLE 4. The dead-ball spot is the point at which the ball became dead.

There is a reason to differentiate the dead-ball spot and the succeeding spot; for instance, when there's a touchback, the dead-ball spot is in the end zone and the succeeding spot is at the 20-yard line.

quote:

Spot of the Foul
ARTICLE 5. The spot of the foul is the point at which that foul occurs. If out
of bounds between the goal lines, it shall be the intersection of the nearer hash
mark and the yard line extended through the spot of the foul. If out of bounds
between the goal line and the end line or behind the end line, the foul is in the
end zone.

Out-of-Bounds Spot
ARTICLE 6. The out-of-bounds spot is the point at which, according to the
rule, the ball becomes dead because of going or being declared out of bounds.

Inbounds Spot
ARTICLE 7. The inbounds spot is the intersection of the nearer hash mark line
and the yard line passing through either the dead-ball spot or the spot where a

Spot Where Run Ends
ARTICLE 8. The spot where the run ends is at that point:

a. Where the ball is declared dead in player possession.
b. Where player possession is lost on a fumble.
c. Where handing of the ball occurs.
d. Where an illegal forward pass is thrown.
e. Where a backward pass is thrown.
f. Where an illegal scrimmage kick is made beyond the line of scrimmage.
g. Where a return kick occurs.
h. Where player possession is gained under provisions of the “momentum
rule” (Rule 8-5-1-a Exceptions).

The momentum rule says that if you gain possession of a loose ball near the end zone, and then the momentum from gaining possession causes you to enter the end zone and fall over there, it's not a safety, it's your ball where you gained possession. A return kick is when a player catches a scrimmage kick and then decides to kick it back; anyone familiar with kicking duels from Rugby Union will understand the concept.

quote:

Spot Where Kick Ends
ARTICLE 9. A scrimmage kick that crosses the neutral zone ends at the spot
where it is caught or recovered or where the ball is declared dead by rule (Rule
2-16-1-c).

Basic Spot
ARTICLE 10. The basic spot is a benchmark for locating the enforcement spot
for penalties governed by the Three-and-One Principle (Rule 2-33). Basic spots
for the various categories of plays are given in Rule 10-2-2-d.

Simply put: a few penalties are always enforced from the same place (for example, kick catch interference is always a 15-yard penalty from the spot of the foul and Team B's ball), but for most fouls, the enforcement spot depends on what was going on when the foul committed and where exactly it was. I try to explain Rule 10 properly at least once a year to get it all square in my head, so that'll come along at some point.

quote:

Postscrimmage Kick Spot
ARTICLE 11. The postscrimmage kick spot serves as the basic spot when
postscrimmage kick enforcement applies (Rule 10-2-3).

a. When the kick ends in the field of play, other than in the special cases given
below, the postscrimmage kick spot is the spot where the kick ends.

b. When the kick ends in Team B’s end zone, the postscrimmage kick spot is
Team B’s 20-yard line.

Special cases:
1. On an unsuccessful field goal attempt, if the ball is untouched by Team
B after crossing the neutral zone and is declared dead beyond the neutral
zone, the postscrimmage kick spot is:

(a) The previous spot, if the previous spot is on or outside Team B’s
20-yard line; or

(b) Team B’s 20-yard line, if the previous spot is between Team B’s
20-yard line and its goal line.

2. When Rule 6-3-11 is in effect, the postscrimmage kick spot is Team B’s
20-yard line.

3. When Rule 6-5-1-b is in effect, the postscrimmage kick spot is the spot
where the receiver first touched the kick.

(NFL: Missed field goals are returned to the spot of the kick, not the previous spot.)

Here's another piece of code. "When Rule 6-5-1-b is in effect" refers to the rule that Jeff Fisher doesn't like. "When Rule 6-3-11 is in effect" means that when there is illegal touching in Team B's end zone, it's a touchback - that's what Rule 6-3-11 governs. NFL and NCAA rules on this last point differ somewhat:

NCAA: The ball is in the end zone (but not dead) when it has broken the plane, no exceptions. If the ball is batted out by Team A, it's illegal touching in the end zone and Team B may have a touchback at the end of the play. However, if the ball hasn't broken the plane yet, the position of Team A players doesn't matter: they can stand in the end zone and bat the ball away before it enters, or lie with part of their body in the end zone and down the ball in the field of play.

NFL: The ball is not in the end zone unless it is dead in the end zone. However, the position of Team A players does matter. If they jump from outside the end zone they can bat the ball back across the goal line into the field of play. However, if they are in the end zone and they touch the ball, the ball is dead in the end zone, even if the ball itself isn't physically in the end zone.

Types of Block: Block in the Back, Clipping, Block Below Waist (Cut Block), Chop Block

A block in the back is a block delivered when the force of the initial contact is from behind and above the waist.

Clipping is a block delivered from behind and below the waist.

A block below the waist is a block delivered from in front and below the waist, and is what everyone else calls a cut block.

A chop block is an illegal high/low combination block.

There's another kind of block involving diving low at the outside of someone's knee rather than going in heads-up - it's very dangerous and the NCAA rule about it has just changed for the 25th time. Unfortunately coaching parlance has changed since they started trying to outlaw it, and so these days "crackback block" often means something different to what Dr Z used to refer to as the bastard block.


People who you probably haven't heard of

John Adams - Former NCAA Secretary-Rules Editor, since replaced by Rogers Redding. The NCAA book had a major facelift recently, and some of that is Redding changing interpretations that Adams came up with and Redding doesn't agree with - pretty much the first thing he did when in post was to change an interpretation about what the result was of some ridiculously convoluted approved ruling for a play that involved the ball being fumbled out of the end zone after a change of possession and then going out of bounds somewhere.

Dean Blandino - The NFL Vice-President of Officiating; their supervisor. He doesn't have a great deal of field experience, but he's worked in the officiating department since 1994 and has been instrumental in the development of instant replay over the last fifteen years.

Ron Cherry - Currently the ACC's senior referee, and the poster child for why being able to sell your calls is far more important than actually getting them right; see Ed Hochuli for the yin to Cherry's yang. He's not a bad official, he just has a hard time convincing civilians that he's not a bad official.

Tony Corrente - NFL referee and new Pac-12 supervisor. He seems to be doing a decent job so far.

Bobby Gaston - The SEC supervisor for 18 years and an on-field official for more. Retired in 2006. More than anyone, is the reason why other refs tell SEC jokes instead of Pac-10 jokes. Has hopefully retired to somewhere where it's still 1955; he won't find happiness anywhere else.

Carl Johnson - Another former NFL supervisor; had the entirely unenviable job of trying to follow Mike Pereira, which is kind of like being an Australian in 1950 and trying to follow Bradman. He's now gone back to the field as the NFL office experiments with having some full-time officials; they're working towards having one full-time specialist for each position. Carl Johnson is not to be confused with the other Carl Johnson.

Mike Pereira - Former NFL supervisor, now gainfully employed by Fox. Has been absolutely instrumental in the development of officiating in general within the past ten years, especially by identifying the nine flavours of pass interference and six flavours of holding. Probably the most influential figure in modern football officiating. Recently retired after 10 years as supervisor to rake in Murdoch's sweet, sweet dollars spend more time with his family. (He genuinely has started again working Friday night high school games in his local district and by all accounts is enjoying it very much.)

Rogers Redding - NCAA Secretary-Rules Editor, and is therefore in charge of the rulebook; although the NCAA rules committee tells him (mostly) what to write in it, he's solely responsible for interpretations. Officiated on the field for over 30 years in the SEC, worked three national championship games, many more bowl games and the 1999 SEC Championship Game, before retiring to replace long-time supervisor and notorious Luddite Bobby Gaston. Has been a noted "rules guy" for many years and for most of those years, personally wrote study guidebooks for both NCAA and high school rules (they're now being continued by another author under the Redding name).

Steve Shaw - Former SEC referee, current SEC supervisor, is trying to continue Redding's uphill task to modernise SEC officials, which is kind of like trying to sell iPads to the Amish.


Definitions of Official-Speak and Other poo poo You Could Do With Knowing

Acronyms

DPI: Defensive Pass Interference
OPI: Offensive Pass Interference
KCI: Kick Catch Interference
PSK: Post-Scrimmage Kick
RFP: Ready-For-Play
SKF: Scrimmage Kick Formation
USC: Unsportsmanlike Conduct

Bang-bang play - Any play that involves the ball being caught or recovered, and then the player immediately gets hit, and there's a question as to whether he was able to demonstrate full control of the ball before it came loose. Most supervisors these days want anything that looks like it might be a bang-bang play ruled incomplete or no recovery.

Bulletin play - A play contained in one of the NCAA's Rogers Redding's weekly bulletin of interesting things he thought up this week. Designed to facilitate trainings, bollockings, and ridiculous arguments in one fell swoop. If you had a complicated or controversial play last week, it'll appear in the bulletin next week; and depending on whether RR's ruling agreed with yours, it's either a major pat on the head or a massive kick up the arse.

Competition Committee - The NFL Committee in charge of the playing rules. Made up entirely of current head coaches, but in practice the VP of Officiating also has a major say.

Code - The practice of writing things in the rulebook like "In situation X, enforce outcome Y, except when Rule 6-9-1-b-u-1-1-5-h-1-t is in effect", rather than telling you what that rule actually means so you can find out what should happen without having to go somewhere else. I hate code and want to kill it with sticks.

Covered up - A player is covered up if he is on the line of scrimmage but is not the end player, and is therefore ineligible by position.

Federation or NFHS - The National Federation of High Schools, whose football rules are used in 48 states, with the exceptions of Texas's UIL and Massachusetts's MIAA, who use modified NCAA rules. I believe that there are a few posters on here who work to Fed rules!

Football move - Now known as "an act common to the game", but don't be fooled, it's the same concept in a new haircut. Crucially, in its new form it's clear that "advancing the football" (or, put another way, "taking a step with the football in your hand") is a football move. They've also said that you do not have to actually make a football move this time, just that you have to have had the opportunity to make one (which ends the debate about what happens if you control the ball, put two feet down, stand still for a moment or two, take half a step, and then get hit and drop it again, which was a huge bugaboo under the old football move; that's a catch and a fumble because the reciever had a chance to make a football move and was in the middle of one when he got hit).

Ineligible by position - A player, not necessarily wearing a number (#50 to #79) that makes him ineligible to touch a forward pass, who is on the line of scrimmage and covered up. Since only the ends are eligible, anyone inside the ends on the line is ineligible by position. In the NFL, if you line up here wearing an eligible number, it's an illegal formation.

Ineligible by number - A player wearing a number between #50 to #79 that makes him ineligible to touch a forward pass - there must be 5 such players on the line of scrimmage, unless it is an obvious scrimmage kick formation. In the NFL only, ineligible numbers may "report eligible" to the Referee before a down and legally take a position as an eligible reciever. If they do not, they must also be ineligible by position, or the formation is illegal.

Keep it in your pants/take it out of your pants - My preferred way of saying "don't throw the flag", in honour of a Joe Theismann MNF quote where, after a DPI call that he disagreed with, he practically howled into the microphone, "but the official must have seen something to take it out of his pants!", whereupon Kornheiser had a gigantic laughing fit and then made fun of him, and you know you've done something really goddamn stupid when Tony Kornheiser is allowed to point out how stupid you've just been.

Main Line - One of the solid 5-yard lines. The goal lines and sidelines are not main lines.

MIAA - Massachusetts Interscholastic Athletic Association, which runs high school sports there. Notably, they do not use NFHS rules, they use NCAA rules with a few minor exceptions.

Philosophy - A philosophy is something that isn't in the rules, but that we still use to help us make rules decisions. They can do anything from providing a useful when-in-doubt rule ("if it's a bang-bang play, the pass is always incomplete") to plugging holes in the rulebook.

Ready-for-play - Also "the Referee's ready-for-play signal", "declaring the ball ready for play" "the ready", "the whistle", "the RFP", "marking it ready", "blowing it in", and other. After administrative stoppages, the Referee blows his whistle and makes a funny hand signal. This indicates that the ball is now ready for play and Team A has 25 seconds to snap it. When the 40-second clock is in use, the ball is automatically ready for play when spotted. Sometimes the game clock starts on the ready. The ready-for-play is one of the times when things change - it's when the chains are set and any penalty after it will result in something like 1st and 15 or 1st and 5, and it's also when, after a change of possession, the designations "Team A" and "Team B" swap over.

Spots: Nose On, Tail On, Middle - "Nose on" is when you put the ball down with its nose (front end) touching a line. "Tail on" is when the ball is put down with its back end touching a line. "Middle" is when the ball is midway between two lines. Unless it is close to a first down, the ball will never be put down with its middle on a line, the nose one side, and the tail the other. Also, after every change of possession, the spot is adjusted if necessary to start nose on. These two things are done for the convenience of the stat men, who hate touchdown drives of 65.5 yards, and are tacitly approved at all levels.

Supervisor - The guy in charge of officials for a league or conference. Dean Blandino is the NFL's supervisor. Steve Shaw is the supervisor for the SEC.

Tack-on/Carry-over enforcement - To enforce a foul from the succeeding spot when it is not normally enforced there. For instance, illegal motion is usually enforced at the previous spot, but on a scrimmage kick, if Team B will next snap the ball, they can elect to tack the penalty on, put the ball in play 5 yards further up, and avoid a rekick while ensuring that Team A is still punished for loving up. Carry-over enforcement refers to personal and unsportsmanlike fouls that occur during scoring plays; if by the non-scoring team, they can often be carried over and enforced on the try down (if there is one), the kickoff, or the first play of the next possession series in extra periods. This means that scoring teams don't have to decline penalties for major fouls in order to keep the score.

Technically correct - The best kind of correct, obviously.

UIL - The University Interscholastic League, which (despite the name) runs high school sports in Texas. Notably, they do not use NFHS rules, they use NCAA rules with a number of exceptions. There is evidence to show that more NCAA rulebooks are sold in Texas than to the rest of the USA combined because of this.


SERIOUSLY! READ THIS POST! IT IS VERY IMPORTANT AND WILL HELP YOU PICK UP DESPERATE HOT GUYS CHICKS!

Trin Tragula fucked around with this message at Oct 28, 2013 around 17:09

k3nn
Jan 20, 2007


That's handy, I was just wondering about a rules question!

Week 1 of NFL preseason, Patriots vs Eagles, 1:57 in the first quarter. Foles is under immediate pressure and limply drops the ball forward to the ground while being tackled -- it's a vague 'throwing motion' but it goes like 2 yards and clearly isn't a pass directed at anyone; his arm is maybe hit during the throw as well. It's immediately whistled dead as an incomplete pass, but Spikes scoops it up a second or two later. Belichick challenges, they change the ruling to a fumble & give the Pats possession where Spikes picked up the ball.

So I'm wondering...how does this work? Isn't the play dead at the whistle? Judging the play a fumble certainly looked the right decision, but I don't know how the refs can award possession to the Patriots based on recovery after the whistle. It seems like the logical follow-on from that is players going all-out to 'recover' anything that might possibly be a fumble, long after the whistle, just on the off chance that someone could challenge the play.

Rap
Sep 1, 2007

BLITZ

That's a classic issue with whistle-blowing and review and the clear solution is to murder Bill Belichick at that moment

Jethro
Jun 1, 2000

I was raised on the dairy, Bitch!

This is one of my favorite threads each year. It's inspired me to watch a lot of college football this fall, and then see if I can figure out how to become an official here in Massachusetts next year.

Jethro
Jun 1, 2000

I was raised on the dairy, Bitch!

k3nn posted:

That's handy, I was just wondering about a rules question!

Week 1 of NFL preseason, Patriots vs Eagles, 1:57 in the first quarter. Foles is under immediate pressure and limply drops the ball forward to the ground while being tackled -- it's a vague 'throwing motion' but it goes like 2 yards and clearly isn't a pass directed at anyone; his arm is maybe hit during the throw as well. It's immediately whistled dead as an incomplete pass, but Spikes scoops it up a second or two later. Belichick challenges, they change the ruling to a fumble & give the Pats possession where Spikes picked up the ball.

So I'm wondering...how does this work? Isn't the play dead at the whistle? Judging the play a fumble certainly looked the right decision, but I don't know how the refs can award possession to the Patriots based on recovery after the whistle. It seems like the logical follow-on from that is players going all-out to 'recover' anything that might possibly be a fumble, long after the whistle, just on the off chance that someone could challenge the play.
The NFL decided a few years back that if the continuing action immediately after the whistle included a clear fumble recovery, review could grant possession to the recovering team. In the play you're talking about, the ball flew pretty much right to Spikes. If there had been a scrum of some sort, the play wouldn't have been reviewable.

E: A little trivia. I'm 85% sure the play that caused the NFL to change the review rule is also the play that inspired the original "DEAR ED 'GUNS' HOCHULI".

Jethro fucked around with this message at Aug 21, 2013 around 19:52

Buckhead
Aug 12, 2005

___ days until the 2010 trade deadline

Jethro posted:

This is one of my favorite threads each year. It's inspired me to watch a lot of college football this fall, and then see if I can figure out how to become an official here in Massachusetts next year.

Likewise, I am starting this year in the fine state of Wisconsin. It took me awhile to understand the mental concepts of PSKs and the all-but-one philosophy of NFHS rules, but I have it down now. I think I will need to purposely avoid this thread so I don't confuse the minute differences between NFHS/NCAA/NFL.

Edit: This document from 2011 is awesome for the above problem (rule differences): https://www.wiaawi.org/Portals/0/PDF/comparisons.pdf

Buckhead fucked around with this message at Aug 21, 2013 around 17:30

k3nn
Jan 20, 2007


Jethro posted:

The NFL decided a few years back that if the continuing action immediately after the whistle included a clear fumble recovery, review could grant possession to the recovering team. In the play you're talking about, the ball flew pretty much right to Spikes. If there had been a scrum of some sort, the play wouldn't have been reviewable.

Ah okay, that makes sense then -- cheers!

Rooster Brooster
Mar 30, 2001

Maybe it doesn't really matter anymore.

Trin Tragula posted:

For instance: an incomplete backward pass that hits the ground (not a lateral) is not the same thing as a fumble. It's very similar to a fumble, but it's not the same thing. This becomes very important at a certain time in the game. Anyone like to take a guess when it is?

This is the holy-roller rule, right? A backwards pass could be picked up and advanced by the offense within the last two minutes of the half, but a fumble could not be.

Trin Tragula
Apr 22, 2005
PLEASE DON'T POST

I do like seeing people answer that question correctly. I also like pointing out that in the NFL it applies on every fourth down and all plays after the two-minute warning, whereas in NCAA it's just on fourth downs.

OK, time to do rule changes. What's in the NCAA bag, Dave?

quote:

RULE 1

Visibility of yard lines, Advertisement on field, etc. (1-2-1)

f. Contrasting decorative markings including conference logo, college or university name and logo, and team name and logo are permissible within the sidelines and between the goal lines, under these conditions (see Appendix D):
1. The entirety of all yard lines, goal lines and sidelines must be clearly visible. No portion of any such line may be obscured by decorative markings.
2. No such markings may touch or enclose the hash marks.

h. Advertising is prohibited on the field except as follows:
1. For a postseason game the title sponsor whose name is associated with the name of that game may advertise on the field, with the restriction that there be a maximum of three such advertisements: a single advertisement centered on the 50-yard line and no more than two smaller flanking advertisements. These advertisements must adhere to paragraph f above. No other advertisements, either by the title sponsor or by any other commercial entity, may be on the field.
2. The NCAA Football logo is permitted.
3. If a commercial entity has purchased naming rights to the facility, that entity’s name, but not its commercial logo, may be painted on the field in no more than two locations.

This is allegedly an editorial rule change (which is in theory, an administrative change to the wording of a rule that doesn't affect how anything's actually called, and can be done by the Sec-Ed on his own authority without needing the Rules Committee to approve it.) I suspect that for once, this isn't Redding using editorial changes to end-run round the need for coaches' approval of his clever ideas like he's done previously, but more a question of someone in the commercial department haggling over what field advertising was going to be allowed, so the committee couldn't approve any changes until the politics were sorted out and RR's done them as an editorial to actually get them in the book this year.

Ahem, so this is all good, worthy, boring stuff. Gotta see where the lines are so you can call the game properly.

quote:

Pylons (1-2-6)

Add: One manufacturer’s logo or trademark is permitted on each pylon. Institutional logos, conference logos and the name/commercial logo of the sponsor of postseason games are also allowed. Any such marking may not extend more than 3 inches on any side.

Now, the reason I guess what I've guessed about the field marking "editorial" change is that the new rule about what you can put on a pylon covers similar ground, but isn't flagged as an editorial change. Gotta be some reason for that little discrepancy.

quote:

Uniform numbers (1-4-2)

Change paragraph d:
d. When a player enters the game after changing his jersey number, he must report to the referee, who then informs the opposing head coach and announces the change. A player who enters the game after changing his number and does not report commits a foul for unsportsmanlike conduct.

New paragraph 1-4-2-e:
e. Two players playing the same position may not wear the same number during the game.

I was mildly surprised that (d) didn't already exist, and (e) is a worthy attempt to cut down on players wearing the same number, which really shouldn't be allowed at all. Players' egos will survive if only one of them is allowed to wear #1.

quote:

Jersey numerals (1-4-4-c-3)

Change in bold:
3. Numerals. The jersey must have clearly visible, permanent Arabic numerals measuring at least 8 and 10 inches in height front and back, respectively, of a color which itself is clearly in distinct contrast with the color of the jersey, irrespective of any border around the number. (Remaining language remains unchanged.) (Note: This rule takes effect for FBS institutions in 2013 and for FCS, Division II and Division III institutions in 2014.)

Thrilling, ain't it? You'll like this one even better.

quote:

Towel size (1-4-6-a-1)
1. Solid white towels no smaller than 4” X 12” and no larger than 6” X 12” with no words, …

Eyeglasses and Goggles must be clear (1-4-6-c)
Add second sentence.
Eyeglasses and goggles also must be clear and not tinted. No medical…

I do think that the NFL will ban tinted visors at some point in the next 10 years - it's just one of quite a few examples of rules that wouldn't be in the book if they really actually gave two shits about player safety. The purpose of not allowing tinted visors is of course so that medical personnel can see an injured player's eyes without needing to remove the helmet (which is something you don't want to be doing when there's a suspected neck injury). Previously, tinted glasses or goggles were allowed with a medical certificate on the grounds that they could be cut off the head in an emergency, and now it seems they aren't. I wonder how many NCAA players were actually playing with a doctor's note for tinted goggles?

quote:

Allow Wireless Communication for Officiating Crew (Rule 1-4-13)

Add exception to Rule 1-4-13:
Exception: A protected wireless communication system open only to the officiating crew and conference officiating observer is allowed.

The SEC trialled comms last year and apparently found it very useful. Maybe RR finally is getting somewhere with that staff if he's convinced them to use that sort of newfangled contraption! I'd love to know what the protocols are for using it, because when you have seven guys on one channel and not all of them are interested in the same information, I can think of a lot of ways that it could turn into a gigantic hot mess.

quote:

RULE 2

Chop block re: defense initiating contact. (2-3-3)
It is not a foul if the defensive player initiates the contact.

Editorial. I'm not exactly sure how a defensive player can initiate chop block contact, but there you go!

quote:

New Article: Low-Blocking Zone (2-3-7)

Article 7.
a. The low-blocking zone is the rectangle that extends seven yards laterally in each direction from the snapper, five yards beyond the neutral zone and back to Team A’s end line. (See Appendix D.)
b. The low-blocking zone disintegrates when the ball leaves the zone.

Oh, great. Another new zone in the offensive backfield to remember. Because we didn't have enough of those before. This is related to the latest attempt to write a rule about blocking below the waist.

quote:

New language to clarify “catch” (2-4-3)

Catch, Interception, Recovery
Article 3.
3

a. To catch a ball means that a player:
1. secures control of a live ball in flight with his hands or arms before the ball touches the ground, and
2. touches the ground in bounds with any part of his body, and then
3. maintains control of the ball long enough to enable him to perform an act common to the game, i.e., long enough to pitch or hand the ball, advance it, avoid or ward off an opponent, etc., and

4. satisfies paragraphs b, c, and d below.
b. If a player goes to the ground in the act of catching a pass (with or without contact by an opponent) he must maintain complete and continuous control of the ball throughout the process of contacting the ground, whether in the field of play or in the end zone. This is also required for a player attempting to make a catch at the sideline and going to the ground out of bounds. If he loses control of the ball which then touches the ground before he regains control, it is not a catch. If he regains control inbounds prior to the ball touching the ground it is a catch.

c. If the player loses control of the ball while simultaneously touching the ground with any part of his body, or if there is doubt that the acts were simultaneous, it is not a catch. If a player has control of the ball, a slight movement of the ball will not be considered loss of possession; he must lose control of the ball in order for there to be a loss of possession.
d. If the ball touches the ground after the player secures control and continues to maintain control, and the elements above are satisfied, it is a catch.

Longest drat editorial change I ever saw! Originally, NCAA rules adopted some of the NFL ideas about needing to have control of the ball for more than a millisecond with your foot on the ground, and needing to hold onto the ball all the way to the ground; but they did it at a time when the old attitude of "what are NFL rules good for, anyway?" was still very strong, so it came in patchily, as unofficial philosophy, then as a gaggle of approved rulings, and now it's all finally in the book in black and white where it belongs. I particularly appreciate that it specifically states that the ball can move slightly and a player still have firm control of it.

Anyway, it all seems to be good clear stuff.

Skipping over a few exceptionally minor wording tweaks, we find some more interesting (or possibly less uninteresting) tweaks to the defenseless player definition.

quote:

Defenseless Player definition. (2-27-14)
a. A player in the act of or just after throwing a pass.
b. A receiver attempting to catch a pass, or one who has completed a catch and has not had time to protect himself or has not clearly become a ball carrier.
c. A kicker in the act of or just after kicking a ball, or during the kick or the return.
d. A kick returner attempting to catch or recover a kick.
e. A player on the ground at the end of a play.
f. A player obviously out of the play.
g. A player who receives a blind-side block.
h. A ball carrier already in the grasp of an opponent and whose forward progress has been stopped.
i. A quarterback any time after a change of possession.

(i) is completely new and was added after a quarterback got earholed after an interception in a bowl game (was it Oklahoma's?) and the white hat no-called it on the grounds that he was moving to try to make a tackle on the return, so therefore wasn't defenseless (and it still remains legal to target a player who the rules do not consider defenseless). A couple of the other definitions have been tightened to close the odd crack and loophole that players who should have been considered defenseless were falling down.

quote:

RULE 3

Minimum time for a play after spiking the ball (3-2-5)

New Article 5
Article 5
a. If the game clock is stopped and will start on the referee’s signal with three or more seconds remaining in the quarter, the offense may reasonably expect to throw the ball directly to the ground (Rule 7-3-2-e) and have enough time for another play.
b. With two seconds or one second on the game clock there is enough time for only one play.

This is a strange little rule aimed at clearing up the situation where you have a team that gets a first down at the end of the half, rushes to the line, and tries to spike the ball. There were quite a few occasions last year where this happened and the game clock either did or didn't run out, and then replay buzzed in and everybody got confused and replay was seriously fly-specking the play to find out whether the ball hit the ground before or after the clock ticked to 00:00. Hopefully it should be clearer now; if you spike the ball when the clock was stopped at 00:02 or 00:01, the clock will run out and time will expire.

Mind you, here's a nasty little thought. Team runs a pistol and they spike out of the pistol. Bad snap. QB gets a hand on it, juggles it, spikes it, clock runs down to 00:00. Should we give them a second back, if they "may reasonably expect to..." ? If I were a coach that's what I'd be asking.

On a complete tangent, this has led to quite a bit of amusement for Mass and Texas high school officials, who may or may not have adopted this change (IIRC they both opt out of most of the recent timing rule changes, including the one about starting the clock on the ready after a run out of bounds). If they have, well, many high schools have a clock that counts down in tenths in the last minute (they're not supposed to, but when has that ever stopped anyone?) This is actually important where time-sensitive rules are concerned, because a tenths clock will display the time differently. If there's two and a half seconds left, a tenths clock will show 00:02.5, but one without will still read 00:03 at 00:02.1 , and some of them have been trying to work out (if necessary, don't ask me what the exceptions for this year actually are) if they should interpret "three seconds or more" as "more than two seconds" or not, on the grounds that NCAA rules assume you're not using a tenths clock...

Anyway. It seems that Redding has lost his mildly inexplicable battle against use of the phrase "10-second runoff", which deprives me of a mildly amusing thesaurus-based running gag.

quote:

10-second runoff for injured player (3-3-5)
New paragraph f

f. If the player injury is the only reason for stopping the clock (other than his or a teammate’s helmet coming off, Rule 3-3-9) with less than one minute in the half, the opponent has the option of a 10-second runoff. The play clock will be set to 40 seconds for an injury to a player of the defensive team and to 25 seconds for injury to a player of the offensive team (Rule 3-2-4-c-4). If there is a 10-second runoff the game clock will start on the referee’s signal. If there is no 10-second runoff the game clock will start on the snap. The 10-second runoff may be avoided by a charged team timeout if available. There is no option of a 10-second runoff if there are injuries to opposing players.

Helmet Off: Timeout Allows Player to Remain in the Game (Rule 3-3-9)
a. If a player’s helmet comes completely off through play, other than as the direct result of a foul by an opponent, the player must leave the game for the next down. The game clock will stop at the end of the down. The player may remain in the game if his team is granted a charged timeout.

b. When the helmet coming off is the only reason for stopping the clock, other than due to an injury to the player or his teammate (Rule 3-3-5), the following….

I still don't like punishing teams for players being injured, but there you go. This is almost (but not quite) the NFL's rule about charging timeouts for injured players inside the last two minutes of a half, to stop cynical people from buying a free timeout by pretending to be hurt. It does work a bit differently, though; in the NFL, there can only be a runoff if the injured player's team doesn't have timeouts left, and there's also a 5-yard penalty if it happens more than once. NCAA uses the same mechanism as a runoff after a foul - the other team chooses whether or not to take the runoff, the injured team can buy it off with a timeout, and there's no yardage penalty involved.

Next, there's a reclassification of illegal forward passes; it's in as an editorial, it actually changes things (but you probably didn't realise that what it changes was actually a thing), and the statement of change is really difficult to understand unless you're seriously intimately familiar with the book. I'll summarise.

We all know what intentional grounding is, right? NCAA penalty for it is loss of down at the spot of the foul; effectively, you pretend that the QB was sacked at the point where he threw the ball away, and carry on. However, there also used to be seperate provisions for if he illegally grounded the ball to conserve time instead of (or as well as) avoiding loss of yardage, which tacked a 5-yard penalty from the spot of the foul onto things (it was never really used, can anyone remember seeing it?) That's now gone; if it's any kind of illegal forward pass that looks like intentional grounding, it's now just that, loss of down at the spot of the foul. The 5-yard spot foul still remains for things like a second forward pass, or a pass from beyond the line of scrimmage, or a pass by Team B.

Now, let's look at one of the big bombshells.

quote:

Targeting-Crown of Helmet and Defenseless player (9-1-3 and 9-1-4)

After each foul insert this Penalty statement

PENALTY—15 yards. For dead-ball fouls, 15 yards from the succeeding spot. Automatic first down for fouls by Team B if not in conflict with other rules.

For fouls in the first half: Disqualification for the remainder of the game. For fouls in the second half: Disqualification for the remainder of the game and the first half of the next game. If the foul occurs in the second half of the last game of the season, players with remaining eligibility shall serve the suspension during the first game of the following season. The disqualification is subject to review by Instant Replay (Rule 12-3-5-f).

For games in which Instant Replay is not used: If a player is disqualified in the second half, the conference may consult the national coordinator of football officials who would then facilitate a video review. Based on the review, if the national coordinator concludes that the player should not have been disqualified, the conference may vacate the suspension. If the national coordinator supports the disqualification, the suspension for the next game would remain.


We'll also look at the related change to Rule 12.

quote:

Disqualification portion of targeting penalty (12-3-5)

New paragraph under Miscellaneous

f. The player-disqualification portion of the penalty for targeting fouls under 9-1-3 and 9-1-4. The point of initial contact and use of the crown of the helmet are reviewable; however, the targeting action itself is not reviewable.
Note that if the disqualification is reversed the 15-yard penalty remains.

It's taken me quite a bit of thinking, but I now no longer object to the slightly counter-intuitive way in which this is reviewable. The logic goes something like this; we do not want players to do anything that even looks like it might be targeting, we need to force their coaches to coach them in a way that completely removes anything that might be a targeting action from the range of possible hits they can throw. If it looks like targeting, the official will flag it; and if it comes with head contact, replay will confirm the disqualification. If it doesn't, then replay will throw out the DQ but we will still charge him 15 yards for having dangerous technique, even though it didn't lead to head contact.

This is actually a remarkably progressive rule, and I honestly think that there will be a couple of early high-profile cases where they gently caress it up, and then three years down the road coaches will have adapted, and everyone will just have accepted it and will wonder what all the fuss was about. Unlike the NFL, and for all their many other flaws, the NCAA does realise how critically important this issue is and is seriously doing something about it. When Rogers Redding was doing his preseason tape, I'm told that he referred to this all as being a "1905 moment", in reference to Teddy Roosevelt threatening to ban football unless drastic action was taken to make the sport safer (which was taken; it led directly to the outlawing of assisting the runner and interlocking interference, and then the adoption a few years later of the forward pass). He's not wrong about that.

So yeah, stay away from the head, don't launch, don't look like you're launching, just don't do it or else. Maybe it's slightly unfair on the kid who was poorly coached at high school, but it's even more unfair for that kid to be going round dishing out brain damage. Maybe this will also convince idiot defensive staffs to stop giving out helmet stickers for dangerous hits, who knows?

Speaking of assisting the runner...

quote:

Change to helping the runner foul (9-3-2)

Changes to par. b
b. The ball carrier shall not grasp a teammate; and no other player of his team shall grasp, pull, push or lift or charge into him to assist him in forward progress.

There is a reason that this rule exists! Allowing players to assist the runner is quite unequivocally dangerous, and it shouldn't be hard to work out why. If I were World Presidente for Life I'd have dealt with "but they're pushing the pile and it's really hard to see!" by banning pushing the pile, because that's also a really dangerous thing to do. Two giant leaps forward, but now one generously-sized step back.

Going back to targeting for a moment, there's also a non-exhaustible list of actions that should be considered as targeting.

quote:

Note 1: “Targeting” means that a player takes aim at an opponent for purposes of attacking with an apparent intent that goes beyond making a legal tackle or a legal block or playing the ball. Some indicators of targeting include but are not limited to:
 Launch—a player leaving his feet to attack an opponent by an upward and forward thrust of the body to make contact in the head or neck area
 A crouch followed by an upward and forward thrust to attack with contact at the head or neck area—even though one or both feet are still on the ground
 Leading with helmet, forearm, fist, hand or elbow to attack with contact at the head or neck area
 Lowering the head

When pigs fly, that last thing will be called against running backs! Tacklers are never defenseless but I'd love to see someone get 15 yards for putting his head down.

Leaping (one of the three comedy L fouls you can be called for while trying to block a field goal, along with Leverage and Landing) now has an automatic first down on the penalty statement! Hurrah!

quote:

Add to unsportsmanlike conduct fouls (9-2-1)
New paragraph j

(j) Dead-ball contact fouls such as pushing, shoving, striking, etc. that occur clearly after the ball is dead and that are not part of the game action.

This is very short, but very important, and also very interesting. So if you throw a punch, that's fighting and you get ejected, right? However, there's things you can do to an opponent that are rude and need to be penalised, but which aren't fighting and aren't worth a DQ straight away. In years gone by these were contact fouls, so therefore personal fouls. Now they've been redefined as unsportsmanlike conduct. This is important because in NCAA, a player who commits two 9-2-1 unsportsmanlike fouls is automatically disqualified; so players who go round trying to start poo poo will find themselves being poo poo on very quickly.

What I'm not sure about is the common or garden late hit. I've tried to find an answer, but so far nobody is quite sure whether the common or garden late hit is still a personal foul, or whether that's become USC as well - which would be a major change, but not one I'd be opposed to either. If someone wants to go late hitting people, he can .

Time for a break, then I'll try to finally get my head round this new blocking below the waist rule. I suspect that it'll be simpler than it looks once I get my head round the logic, but right now I'm staring at it like my cat stares at the washing machine.

Scionix
Oct 17, 2009

Is he dead?

That's the problem. He was dead to begin with.

The quarterback that got annihilated was Aaron Murray of Georgia in the SEC championship game.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iFV6f7L0uvo

Also, I am all for players not tackling like idiots, launching, or otherwise hitting people in the head. However, I do not understand the defenseless receiver rule at all. If you are a safety, are you allowed to make a big hit in an effort to dislodge the ball? Say, on a crossing route? It's very irritating to see a great tackle get flagged for being violent.

Like, what do you call on this hit? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MGYwJaqIzLU

He obviously didn't wrap up, but he didn't throw a forearm, hit above the shoulders, hit the head, launch, or do anything wrong that I can tell. But it looked horrible, so out he goes.

Scionix fucked around with this message at Aug 23, 2013 around 11:33

Trin Tragula
Apr 22, 2005
PLEASE DON'T POST

I think that that's exactly the play this year's rule has been designed for. I do think he leaves his feet to throw the hit (whether he goes up or not is another matter), so I can see why they called it that way at game speed, and I think the NCAA is going to be very relaxed about these hits being called and IRed down to 15 yards. The knockout shot is going out of football and you have to find a way of keeping the contact lower or less severe, or else finding some other way to defend those passes.

People used to worry about how pass defense could function if the middle linebacker couldn't just clothesline the receiver's head off if he dared to run a crossing route. They adapted.

ROSS MY SALAD
Feb 22, 2007

X-Thames got the defense on lock.


I still want to know why spiking the ball isn't intentional grounding. You can't be more inside the tackle box and you fire the ball straight at the ground at the center's feet.

Mind_Taker
May 7, 2007

Offensive linemen aren't the best, it's a team effort!


SteelAngel2000 posted:

I still want to know why spiking the ball isn't intentional grounding. You can't be more inside the tackle box and you fire the ball straight at the ground at the center's feet.

There's a specific exception to grounding that allows you to immediately throw the ball into the ground after the snap in order to save time. Rule 8 Section 2 Article 1 Item 3 (the stupid pdf won't let me copy and paste the text).

Mr. Cool Ass
Mar 4, 2007

I Terrorism


I remember a play a couple years back where a guy took an extra second or two, and maybe a step back, before spiking the ball. It was called intentional grounding.

Here we go: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zf2L-NDe4Us

JetsGuy
Sep 17, 2003

science + hockey
=
LASER SKATES


SteelAngel2000 posted:

I still want to know why spiking the ball isn't intentional grounding. You can't be more inside the tackle box and you fire the ball straight at the ground at the center's feet.

http://static.nfl.com/static/conten...Pass_Fumble.pdf

It's a special case rule.

Rule 8, Section 2, Article 1 covers grounding:

quote:

Definition.
It is a foul for intentional grounding if a passer, facing an imminent loss of yardage because of pressure from the defense, throws a forward pass without a realistic chance of completion. A realistic chance of completion is defined as a pass that lands in the direction and the vicinity of an originally eligible receiver

It explicitly also covers spiking the ball in item 3 and 4.

Item 3:

quote:

A player under center is permitted to stop the game clock legally to save time if, immediately upon receiving the snap, he begins a continuous throwing motion and throws the ball directly into the ground.

Item 4:

quote:

A passer, after delaying his passing action for strategic purposes, is prohibited from throwing the ball to the ground in front of him, even though he is under no pressure from defensive rusher(s)

So the rule is very explicit that you can spike the ball to kill clock, but only immediately after the snap. You cannot read the defense, and in the absence of a good pash rush, clock the ball. That *is* grounding.

EDIT:
Of course, in the time it took me to explicitly lay out the rules, I get beaten.

JetsGuy
Sep 17, 2003

science + hockey
=
LASER SKATES


Hey cool, I learned today that grounding is a spot foul if the QB is more than 10 yards behind the LoS.

Rap
Sep 1, 2007

BLITZ

I have a cheap tactic that I always thought teams should use.

When an RB takes a pitch or handoff and is clearly going to be tackled for a loss, I think he should throw the ball out of bounds like a QB throwaway. Often those runs for loss lose 4 or 5 yards and legally I think they'd be allowed to throw the ball away if they're outside the tackle. This would also work on reverses because those tend to get strung out wide.

I'll see if I can find a video of when a team could do that.

Mind_Taker
May 7, 2007

Offensive linemen aren't the best, it's a team effort!


Rap posted:

I have a cheap tactic that I always thought teams should use.

When an RB takes a pitch or handoff and is clearly going to be tackled for a loss, I think he should throw the ball out of bounds like a QB throwaway. Often those runs for loss lose 4 or 5 yards and legally I think they'd be allowed to throw the ball away if they're outside the tackle. This would also work on reverses because those tend to get strung out wide.

I'll see if I can find a video of when a team could do that.

Yeah me and my brother always mention this when we see a pitch to the running back that is clearly going to get stuffed for a ~5 yard loss but he has plenty of time to throw it away.

Rap
Sep 1, 2007

BLITZ

Are you my brother?? I think he is the one who gave me the idea, he and I def. talk about it

Trin Tragula
Apr 22, 2005
PLEASE DON'T POST

There's a specific exception to allow the player who originally controls the snap to spike the ball as long as he does it right away.

Right, time to understand what some officials will insist on calling "BBW", which makes me laugh every single time. So here we go, this is at least the fourth attempt in the last ten years to write a rule about blocking below the waist (which, let's remember, is a block from below the waist and in front of the blocked player; low blocks from behind are called clipping and are almost always illegal) that does three things:

1). Outlaws bastard blocks to the side of a defender's knee
2). While also leaving safe, controlled, heads-up blocks legal
3). And also being relatively simple and easy to officiate consistently

This is one of those situations where no matter how hard they try to shove and push and push and shove, they've only ever been able to have two of those three. Either it outlaws bastard blocks but leaves some safe blocks illegal as well, or it's lenient on safe blocks while also allowing some rude ones, or it's theoretically both but the rules are so tough they're impossible to properly officiate. Sometimes they've only managed one, or none of those three!

This is still not particularly easy to get your head around, but I'll do my best and see if it gets easier in the explaining of it rather than the thinking about it. These rules all apply to blocks on an ordinary scrimmage down thrown by Team A players before a change of possession. As before, blocking below the waist during a down with a kick in it, or after a change of possession, is illegal.

The first step in determining a block's legality is to check the status of the player who threw it.

quote:

Consider a low-blocking zone seven yards on each side of the snapper extending five yards beyond the neutral zone and back to Team A’s end line (Rule 2-3-7 and Appendix D).

1. The following Team A players may legally block below the waist inside this zone until the ball has left the zone: (a) players on the line of scrimmage completely within this zone at the snap and (b) stationary backs who at the snap are at least partially inside the tackle box and at least partially inside the frame of the body of the second lineman from the snapper.

This is not the same thing as either the free blocking zone (which extends only five yards each side of the snapper and three yards upfield and downfield, and governs who can legally clip and block in the back) or the tackle box (which is the same width as the FBZ, but does not cross into Team B's backfield and extends all the way back to Team A's end line). All three boxes are disregarded if and when the ball leaves them.

So, players who line up inside the LBZ I am going to call "less restricted", on account of their being less restricted about how and when they can block below the waist than players who are outside the LBZ, who I am going to call "more restricted". That last bit of rule only applies to those players who are less restricted. It means that while both they and the ball remain in the LBZ, those players may block below the waist in any direction and may additionally contact defenders at the side of the knee. This frees up backs in pass protection to add support to either side of the line, or to run across the formation and block low at the point of attack on a sweep. It's not a safety risk because that's not where you start from if you intend to throw a bastard block; it's not possible to do it properly if you're starting inside the LBZ because the angles are wrong.

Players who line up outside the LBZ are more restricted; and players who were initially less restricted become more restricted when either they or the football leave the zone. When you are more restricted you must get heads-up before you can block an opponent below the waist.

quote:

2. Players not covered in paragraph 1 (above) while the ball is still in the zone, and all players after the ball has left the zone, are allowed to block below the waist only if the force of the initial contact is from the front, but they may not block below the waist if the force of the initial contact is from the side or back. “From the front” is understood to mean within the clock-face region between “10 o’clock and 2 o’clock” forward of the player being blocked.

I like the idea of this rule. It seems very well designed. The problem with the old rule, as an official, was that deep officials were constantly having to rule on the legality of a block without knowing whether a player was actually allowed to throw it or not, because that all depended on knowing who threw the block and where he started from, which was often extremely hard to work out at game speed. Now, all you have to worry about is the block itself.

That's the theory, anyway. It seems that someone was worried that it would still be possible for more restricted players to come in with bastard blocks that were still legal for being from 10 o'clock or 2 o'clock, so we also have this note.

quote:

4. Players not covered in paragraph 1 (above) may not block below the waist toward the original position of the ball at the snap.

Which everyone saw and groaned loudly, because this is an old provision that's been resurrected, and then there was a months-long moaning session about what it meant. How we're to interpret this is as follows: immediately after the snap, if someone throws what looks like a bastard block, call it and cite subsection 4 of the rule if nothing else fits. After the immediate post-snap action, forget it. We have Word of God on this and it's literally "don't get hung up on fly-specking whether the block was one minute inside or one minute outside 2 o'clock; if it looks bad, use your football sense, call it, and we'll worry about which bit of the rule to use later". Which could end badly! Hopefully it won't.

There's one last bit.

quote:

3. Once the ball has left the [low blocking] zone a player may not block below the waist toward his own end line.

I believe the NFL calls these "peel back" blocks, where a defender is semi-beaten and hustling hard downfield, and then gets his knees cut off by a tackle or receiver coming back from the second level. (I could be wrong on how the NFL uses that term.) It's dangerous because the impact is usually at very high speed and the blockee usually doesn't see it coming, so now it's been banned.

So there you go. I think I've got it more or less straight in my head. No idea if anyone else has. Just time to note that the Big 12 will be experimenting this year with an 8th official on their crews; he'll be called the "alternate referee", lines up in the NFL umpire position (but with the traditional U still in the defensive backfield), and will wear R on his back with a black hat. Interested to see how that one goes!

Oh, and to remind everyone that all those up there apply only to NCAA. NFL has a completely different BBW (tee hee) rule.

Oh, one more thing. I've got a play for you. Yeah, you.

quote:

A11 takes the snap and retreats to pass. Defensive end B95 gets past
tackle A75 and is about to tackle A12, who is still inside the tackle
box. A75 pushes B95 in the back at the numbers to prevent him from
making the tackle. A12’s pass is complete for a touchdown.

Anyone want to offer a ruling on this?

JetsGuy
Sep 17, 2003

science + hockey
=
LASER SKATES


Trin Tragula posted:

Anyone want to offer a ruling on this?

My ruling: No flag, touchdown.

IIRC the rule for blocks in the back correctly, it's NOT a if you engaged a blocker and turn your back to him (and get shoved for it). So, if you engaged/get past a blocker, and now your back is to him, the blocker is allowed to shove you from behind. The idea, as I remember, is that you know he's there. A block in the back on something like a return is different because you in theory don't know the blocker is there.

I'm going based on what I remember on NFL rules, I don't remember if the NCAA rules are different on this.

EDIT:
I don't see how the LBZ stuff would apply to this situation, which is sort of confusing me.

EDIT2:
It just occurred to me why you explicitly said the passer was still in the pocket. Because if he was out of the pocket, and the defender got shoved trying to get there, then it's a block in the back. I got too caught up thinking of the scenario of the passer in the pocket to think about what the scenario woudl be if he was out of it.

JetsGuy fucked around with this message at Aug 23, 2013 around 20:42

Arschlochkind
Mar 28, 2010



Trin Tragula posted:

Oh, one more thing. I've got a play for you. Yeah, you.

A11 takes the snap and retreats to pass. Defensive end B95 gets past
tackle A75 and is about to tackle A12, who is still inside the tackle
box. A75 pushes B95 in the back at the numbers to prevent him from
making the tackle. A12’s pass is complete for a touchdown.

Anyone want to offer a ruling on this?

Unsportsmanlike conduct on the offense, offense. 15 yards will be assessed on the kickoff.

Why? It's a scoring play so the yardage applies to the kickoff, and Team A's QB switched numbers mid-play without reporting to the ref.

Trin Tragula
Apr 22, 2005
PLEASE DON'T POST

Rap posted:

I have a cheap tactic that I always thought teams should use.

When an RB takes a pitch or handoff and is clearly going to be tackled for a loss, I think he should throw the ball out of bounds like a QB throwaway. Often those runs for loss lose 4 or 5 yards and legally I think they'd be allowed to throw the ball away if they're outside the tackle. This would also work on reverses because those tend to get strung out wide.

I'll see if I can find a video of when a team could do that.

The exception for grounding only applies to the player who initially controls the snap. If the ball subsequently goes to any other player, he has to throw it in the vague direction of a receiver even when outside the tackle box.

JetsGuy posted:

My ruling: No flag, touchdown.

IIRC the rule for blocks in the back correctly, it's NOT a if you engaged a blocker and turn your back to him (and get shoved for it). So, if you engaged/get past a blocker, and now your back is to him, the blocker is allowed to shove you from behind. The idea, as I remember, is that you know he's there. A block in the back on something like a return is different because you in theory don't know the blocker is there.

I'm going based on what I remember on NFL rules, I don't remember if the NCAA rules are different on this.

EDIT:
I don't see how the LBZ stuff would apply to this situation, which is sort of confusing me.

EDIT2:
It just occurred to me why you explicitly said the QB was still in the pocket. Because if he was out of the pocket, and the DL got shoved trying to get there, then it's a block in the back. I got too caught up thinking of the scenario of the passer in the pocket to think about what the scenario woudl be if he was out of it.

This is actually a new AR out of the book that is still confusing the shite out of me because I couldn't for the life of me see what it was trying to say. Here's the ruling.

quote:

RULING:
Touchdown counts. No foul by A75. Such actions involving pass
protection while the passer remains inside the tackle box are within the
spirit of the exception to Rule 9-3-3-c and are thus legal.

Problem 1: the tackle box has never before been relevant in dealing with BIB. The relevant zone is the free blocking zone.

quote:

1. Offensive players who are on the line of scrimmage at the snap within
the blocking zone (Rule 2-3-6) may legally block in the back in the
blocking zone, subject to the following restrictions:

(a) A player on the line of scrimmage within this blocking zone may not
leave the zone and return and legally block in the back.

(b) The blocking zone disintegrates when the ball leaves the zone (Rule
2-3-6).

(I just now noticed that at some point in the last five years, NCAA renamed it to just "blocking zone", but I'm gonna go ahead and keep calling it FBZ to help me remind myself that it's not the new LBZ.)

Problem 2: there are five exceptions to 9-3-3-c, and the AR doesn't call out which one it's referring to!

quote:

2. When a player turns his back to a potential blocker who has committed
himself in intent and direction or movement.

3. When a player attempts to reach a runner or legally attempts to recover
or catch a fumble, a backward pass, a kick or a touched forward pass, he
may push an opponent in the back above the waist (Rule 9-1-5 Exception 3).

4. When the opponent turns his back to the blocker under Rule 9-3-3-a-1-
(b).

5. When an eligible player behind the neutral zone pushes an opponent in
the back above the waist to get to a forward pass (Rule 9-1-5 Exception
4).


I think the closest one of those exceptions to the play in the AR as written is actually exception 4 (the code means it's not illegal use of hands if you initiate a block within the frame of the body, and then the defender turns in the block so your hands go outside the frame), but that surely can't apply because the AR says that B95 "got past" A75, which to me implies that B95 has disengaged himself from that block. People more learned than me think it's probably exception 1.

I don't get it. The situation I'm visualising is that a defender beats the tackle, heads for the QB, and then gets a shove in the back to just steer him past as the QB steps up away from him, kind of like what Gene Upshaw used to do in the days before you were allowed to push block. I don't see how that can possibly not be BIB. And then, just to cap that whole shitshow off...

Arschlochkind posted:

Unsportsmanlike conduct on the offense, offense. 15 yards will be assessed on the kickoff.

Why? It's a scoring play so the yardage applies to the kickoff, and Team A's QB switched numbers mid-play without reporting to the ref.

Excellent spot, although this is actually a live-ball USC and would go 15 yards from the spot of the foul and wipe the touchdown off. I wonder if the QB is wearing one of those 1970s tearaway jerseys?

JetsGuy
Sep 17, 2003

science + hockey
=
LASER SKATES


Thanks for the explanation Trin, lucky guess on my part.

Trin Tragula posted:

Excellent spot, although this is actually a live-ball USC and would go 15 yards from the spot of the foul and wipe the touchdown off. I wonder if the QB is wearing one of those 1970s tearaway jerseys?

So wait, is there actually a rule regarding something like that? I know there's definitely a rule about changing numbers between plays (and you have to report). Is there actually a rule about say tearing off your jersey mid play? That would be hilarious.

I'm assuming, however, it would just fall under general unsportsmanlike conduct, and may even be subject to ejection if a player literally removed his jersey mid-play.

Trin Tragula
Apr 22, 2005
PLEASE DON'T POST

Well, I was assuming we would deal with it as a USC foul. If it actually happened, I would be inclined to invoke unfair acts and make the penalty one yard from the previous spot and loss of down.

Deteriorata
Feb 6, 2005

It's Great
To Be A
Michigan Wolverine!


Rap posted:

I have a cheap tactic that I always thought teams should use.

When an RB takes a pitch or handoff and is clearly going to be tackled for a loss, I think he should throw the ball out of bounds like a QB throwaway. Often those runs for loss lose 4 or 5 yards and legally I think they'd be allowed to throw the ball away if they're outside the tackle. This would also work on reverses because those tend to get strung out wide.

I'll see if I can find a video of when a team could do that.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AEF6edfexco

30 seconds in. This is the play that made that illegal. Michigan versus Indiana, 1979. 6 seconds left in the game and Larry Reid lateraled the ball out of bounds right into the gut of Lee Corso. They halted the game for about 10 minutes trying to figure out if it was legal or not. They finally declared that it actually was, and Michigan was able to get off one more play - the rather famous catch by Anthony Carter as time expired to win the game.

The rule was changed the next year to make it a 5-yard delay penalty, with the clock starting when the ball was set for play.

(I was actually at this game, by the way. It was pretty cool.)

Deteriorata fucked around with this message at Aug 23, 2013 around 21:42

axeil
Feb 14, 2006

The Philadelphia Eagles are merely a series of booms and busts; the long run trend of the franchise is positive.

But the long run is a misleading guide to professional football. In the long run we are all dead.


I've got a rules question.

Tonight's Eagles/Jaguars game. 3rd quarter, about 10 minutes left the Jaguars throw a pass in the redzone. The pass bounces on the ground but the refs call it complete as it looks like it bounced off a player.

HOWEVER, prior to all this there was a called defensive pass interference. Initially the Jaguars accept the result of the play but then decide to change to the penalty as it gives a first down. But then the Eagles challenge and on review its found the ball bounced so the completion is nullified and Philly won't be charged a timeout/challenge.

But the Jaguars accepted the penalty. So why the hell did the Eagles not get charged since the end result of the play didn't change?

Trin Tragula
Apr 22, 2005
PLEASE DON'T POST

Penalty enforcement is completely separate to what the result of the play is. The result of the play was ruled a complete pass, but it can be challenged and overturned, and that may well have a significant effect on what happens next, even though it didn't in this case.

Imagine you've got a disputed catch 30 yards downfield with a defensive holding call coming. The defense will probably want to challenge the catch, since a five-yard penalty and auto first is probably going to be better for them than a 30-yard gain. That's why it's written the way it is, to allow teams to do something like that. In this case it appears to have led to a mildly unnecessary review, but it's worth it for the positive beneifts.

swickles
Aug 21, 2006

I guess that I don't need that though
Now you're just some QB that I used to know


Rap posted:

I have a cheap tactic that I always thought teams should use.

When an RB takes a pitch or handoff and is clearly going to be tackled for a loss, I think he should throw the ball out of bounds like a QB throwaway. Often those runs for loss lose 4 or 5 yards and legally I think they'd be allowed to throw the ball away if they're outside the tackle. This would also work on reverses because those tend to get strung out wide.

I'll see if I can find a video of when a team could do that.

Aside from the other explanations, I also think you would have trouble with ineligible receivers downfield as the linemen are playing it as a run.

Trin Tragula
Apr 22, 2005
PLEASE DON'T POST

NFL changes time. In less detail because they don't make the actual rule change document widely available (well, neither does NCAA, but we know a guy...) and it's usually some weeks into the season before the new rulebook appears on the website.

So the one you've probably heard of is that if a runner lowers his head and initiates contact with a defender, that now is a personal foul. I like this a lot, assuming that it actually gets called and has an impact (ho ho ho). It's long been a discrepancy that runners in possession of the football can use their head as a weapon; a lot of the things that they did used to fit the old definition of spearing very well, but for some reason it was "just football". Well, now we've got a separate rule.

I'll have to revisit this once chapter and verse becomes available, but, as Bryant Gumbel might say, it would appear that it's not quite as simple as that. There will apparently be three things to look for; the runner must line up an opponent, lower his head, and deliver a forcible blow to any part of the opponent's body. This rule will also apply equally to tacklers, which if called properly would also be an excellent step forward in terms of safety*. Additionally, and very pleasingly, there is apparently a specific instruction that if both players lower their heads, the correct call is a foul against each player.

*this does not affect the general caveat that the NFL really isn't very good at player safety, of which more later.

Less pleasingly, the rule doesn't apply inside the tackle box, or fewer than three yards downfield. I do hope they're not going to nitpick those limits to find reasons not to call safety fouls.

The tuck rule is dead and buried! Albeit a year too late to save my old custom title, which clearly is the real casualty of that whole 15-year saga. One more time for all time; the purpose of the tuck rule was to make it very easy for instant replay to determine when an abortive forward pass attempt had finished. We all know that if the QB is moving his arm forward to throw a pass, and he gets hit and the ball comes out, it's a pass, not a fumble, right? Well, while it's quite easy to determine when the passing movement starts, it's quite a bit more difficult to tell when it ends, because usually QBs don't just stop their arm dead in mid-air, they keep the motion going forward and down as they start to tuck the ball back away again; and even with replay, it can be quite hard to tell exactly when the movement didn't contain any more forward motion.

The tuck rule made it a lot more straightforward, because it hinged just on when the motion stopped and didn't worry about direction. I suspect we can probably attribute its removal to high-definition broadcasting (because the better the image quality is, the more likely you are to be able to pinpoint the exact moment when the forward motion ends), and very unusually, this change has actually come from white hats saying "no, the situation is good enough that we don't need the tuck rule as a crutch any more". Which is a positive step; but I won't be surprised if there's a couple of controversial replay reviews this year that would have been straightforward tuck rule incomplete passes last year.

Peelback blocks have been tightened up; here's the definition of a peelback.

quote:

If a player who is aligned in the tackle box when the ball is snapped
moves to a position outside the box, he cannot initiate contact on
the side and below the waist against an opponent if:

(a) the blocker is moving toward his own end line; and
(b) he approaches the opponent from behind or from the side.

Note: If the near shoulder of the blocker contacts the front of his opponent’s body, the “peel back” block is legal

Now, there used to be quite a lot of wriggle room in here to do some very rude things to your opponents and not draw a flag. It's been tightened up considerably for 2013; they're now illegal without reference to the tackle box, and beaning someone in the head instead of the side of the knee now counts as a peelback as well.

The most unlikely change of the year is unquestionably one to the equipment rules; apparently, the NFL is going to start requiring players to wear thigh pads and knee pads. This only a couple of years after the NCAA nerfed its own knee pad rule because so many players were ignoring it because of the NFL influence! I'll believe that they're actually going to enforce this when I actually see everyone in proper knee pads, and not a moment before.

Call me what you like, but I always liked the idea that if a coach tried to challenge a play that was reserved to the booth to review, they wouldn't review it at all. I liked that rule. I'm all for anything that either forces a coach to learn some rules, or at least forces him to hire an assistant to learn them for him; and it's always funny watching people drop anvils on their foot like Snidely Whiplash. A lot of people are framing this change as "oh, they've got rid of that and now they can challenge whenever and they'll still review it even if it's a booth play and there's no consequences!" That's not strictly true, because the coach will still be charged a timeout for wasting everyone's time - and if he doesn't have any left to challenge with, he wins 15 yards for egregious stupidity.

Things that make me . It used to be legal for tight linemen to block low during a scrimmage kick down until the kick ended, which is not fantastic from a safety standpoint. Now it's only legal for them to block low until the kick, which is kind of like responding to the Suffragettes by allowing women over the age of 30 to vote; if you're going to do something, why not just do it properly and say "no BBW on a scrimmage kick down"? (It would be extremely uncharitable to suggest that suicide squad players are less important than everyone else, so I won't.)

Speaking of which, something is very wrong with kick blocking when you have to explicitly make it illegal for players to attempt to push each other through the O-line, but there you have it. There's also a rule preventing Team B from having more than six players on one side of the snapper, to stop them dangerously overloading to one side; and they've also finally just adopted the Federation rule requiring the longsnapper to have fully regained his balance before he can be contacted.

There's also a bunch of points of emphasis; late hits on the periphery and after the ball is dead, offensive players grabbing facemasks, and apparently the office would like NFL players to taunt each other just a little tiny bit less, so I guess we'll see how those shake out.

oldskool
Aug 9, 2010


Trin Tragula posted:

This is a strange little rule aimed at clearing up the situation where you have a team that gets a first down at the end of the half, rushes to the line, and tries to spike the ball. There were quite a few occasions last year where this happened and the game clock either did or didn't run out, and then replay buzzed in and everybody got confused and replay was seriously fly-specking the play to find out whether the ball hit the ground before or after the clock ticked to 00:00. Hopefully it should be clearer now; if you spike the ball when the clock was stopped at 00:02 or 00:01, the clock will run out and time will expire.

The first time a team fucks up and spikes the ball with 2 seconds left...what, they declare the game over? Doesn't this just move the review of how much time is on the clock from the spiking of the ball to the end of the play just before it?

Daremyth
Jan 5, 2003

That darn cup...

oldskool posted:

The first time a team fucks up and spikes the ball with 2 seconds left...what, they declare the game over? Doesn't this just move the review of how much time is on the clock from the spiking of the ball to the end of the play just before it?

Yep game over, *and* it's not reviewable! This was actually a question on the national rules exam. Here's the question and answer directly from the exam:

Q: Team A is trailing when the QB spikes the ball to stop the clock at the end of the 4th quarter. Only two seconds remained on the game clock when the ball was marked ready for play and snapped by the Team A QB. Game clock shows 0:00 at the end of the play.
A: Replay may not review; fewer than 3-seconds remained; game over.

The incorrect response was 'Replay may review and put 1-second back on the game clock.' I think everyone's prepared for some really pissed off coaches at some point.

Trin Tragula
Apr 22, 2005
PLEASE DON'T POST

I've been looking at this very closely, and there's also a secret change to Rule 12 that makes this a specifically unreviewable play. 12-3-5:

quote:

Miscellaneous
ARTICLE 5. Situations that may be addressed by the replay official:
...
c. Clock adjustment at the end of any quarter. (Exception: Rule 3-2-5-b)

And 3-2-5-b is the new rule about how much time has to be left for you to spike.

The thing is, it wouldn't be possible to review it the same way as last year, because you can't review things like "clock status at the end of a down" after the next snap has gone off; so all this does is it means that a team with 2 seconds left won't be tempted to stand around waiting for replay to put their extra second back on the clock (in theory - anyone want to bet that Les Miles will get caught out that way?). It also doesn't exclude the possibility that replay could buzz in if (for example) the clock should have stopped at 0:05, but instead continued to tick down to 0:02 - if that doesn't count as an "egregious error" that can be corrected regardless of whether it's usually reviewable, then nothing does.

oldskool
Aug 9, 2010


Daremyth posted:

Yep game over, *and* it's not reviewable! This was actually a question on the national rules exam. Here's the question and answer directly from the exam:

Q: Team A is trailing when the QB spikes the ball to stop the clock at the end of the 4th quarter. Only two seconds remained on the game clock when the ball was marked ready for play and snapped by the Team A QB. Game clock shows 0:00 at the end of the play.
A: Replay may not review; fewer than 3-seconds remained; game over.

The incorrect response was 'Replay may review and put 1-second back on the game clock.' I think everyone's prepared for some really pissed off coaches at some point.

But what if the game clock shows 0:01 at the end of the play? Are the rules written as if to say "A spike takes two seconds, no more, no less"?

Trin Tragula
Apr 22, 2005
PLEASE DON'T POST

Then you have time to run a play, but not spike. Do a CTRL-F for "Rule 3" and you should hit the bit in the big rule change post where it's got chapter and verse on this.

JetsGuy
Sep 17, 2003

science + hockey
=
LASER SKATES


oldskool posted:

But what if the game clock shows 0:01 at the end of the play? Are the rules written as if to say "A spike takes two seconds, no more, no less"?

The rule, explicitly, says that you cannot spike the ball under 3 seconds. It's been a big deal since it was announced. The rule isn't giving a "minimum" time or a run-off for every spike. It *IS* saying though that if you try to spike the ball and there's less than 3 seconds left, gently caress you. So the clock could literally read 2.9 when you snap the ball, and too bad, no stoppage.

The abhorrent part is it's not reviewable, so a lot of teams will get hosed through the season on that one. Almost all of which on important plays at the end of the game.

I am unsure as to the "reason" behind this rule.

Trin Tragula
Apr 22, 2005
PLEASE DON'T POST

JetsGuy posted:

So the clock could literally read 2.9 when you snap the ball, and too bad, no stoppage.

NCAA teams are not allowed to use a game clock that shows tenths of a second; the time remaining will always be 00:03 if there are only 2.1 seconds left.

Daremyth
Jan 5, 2003

That darn cup...

oldskool posted:

But what if the game clock shows 0:01 at the end of the play? Are the rules written as if to say "A spike takes two seconds, no more, no less"?

Short answer to your questions: 1) can't happen by rule, 2) yes.

Longer explanation:
The exact rule is this:

Minimum time for a play after spiking the ball
3-2-5b: With two seconds or one second on the game clock there is enough time for only one play.

So a spike cannot, by rule, take less than two seconds. At 0:02 on the game clock, you only get one play. Don't make it a spike.

If you were in a situation where the game clock showed 0:02, the QB spiked the ball and the clock stopped at 0:01, this would be considered a timing error. The referee should correct it (3-2-2b) and declare the game over. HOPEFULLY the coaches all know this and won't try to spike the ball with :02 or :01 left on the clock because it's essentially the same as taking a knee...game over.

Daremyth fucked around with this message at Aug 27, 2013 around 20:18

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Trin Tragula
Apr 22, 2005
PLEASE DON'T POST

Ya know, if this was really a problem that needed solving, I'd have done what they do in Canada, where a half doesn't end until the clock is reading 00:00 and another play has been run. Maybe also make it so that the rule doesn't apply in the fourth period if one team is leading by more than 8 points.

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