Ask The Ref?

zebrastripes

Active member
Here's an interesting one I've never gotten a straight answer on, how long can a center hold onto the ball during the snap motion? What governs that process and how is it policed?
“The snap begins when the snapper first moves the ball legally other than in adjustment. In a snap, the movement must be a quick and continuous backward motion of the ball during which the ball immediately leaves the hand(s) of the snapper and touches a back or the ground before it touches an A lineman.”

Judgment call.
 
I know they had made it illegal to do the kick that hit short and bounced high. But what is the rule on a high kick off caught by kicking team after going the 10 yds.

Ruling on field that I am hearing is that the ball had to touch ground to be recovered by kicking team and kicking team could not catch ball.

And it was caught behind the front row of receiving players and the next row was at least 5 yards down field so not catch interference.
 
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AllSports12

Moderator
I know they had made it illegal to do the kick that hit short and bounced high. But what is the rule on a high kick off caught by kicking team after going the 10 yds.

Ruling on field that I am hearing is that the ball had to touch ground to be recovered by kicking team and kicking team could not catch ball.
[/QUOTE
I know they had made it illegal to do the kick that hit short and bounced high. But what is the rule on a high kick off caught by kicking team after going the 10 yds.

Ruling on field that I am hearing is that the ball had to touch ground to be recovered by kicking team and kicking team could not catch ball.

And it was caught behind the front row of receiving players and the next row was at least 5 yards down field so not catch interference.

What you describe is a foul for Kick Catch Interference

A free kick in flight (edited --- see below) cannot be touched first by the kicking team no matter where it’s touched and regardless the fact that no receiving team player is in the area of the ball
 
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zebrastripes

Active member
What you describe is a foul for Kick Catch Interference

A free kick cannot be touched first by the kicking team no matter where it’s touched and regardless the fact that no receiving g team player is in the area of the ball
AS12, I think you meant to say “a free kick in flight.”
 

Zunardo

Well-known member
Once in a while, I've seen teams line up to kick a PAT, and at first they'll have everyone line up ten yards to one side , leaving the center, holder, and kicker exposed - and then invariably move back to normal before snapping and kicking. The other night I saw a variation where both sides of the line each went ten yards wide of the long snapper before moving back.

1. Is it legal to run a play from these crazy formations? Or is there a rationale to it, other than deliberately ticking off the team that just scored on?

2. If so, has anyone actually seen them go through with the kick in one of those sets?

25 years ago when my HS team was the perennial doormat for a long stretch, darn near every team we played would set up like that after every single touchdown - but none of them ever snapped the ball from that formation.

Just curious. Thanks for any info this.
 

AllSports12

Moderator
Once in a while, I've seen teams line up to kick a PAT, and at first they'll have everyone line up ten yards to one side , leaving the center, holder, and kicker exposed - and then invariably move back to normal before snapping and kicking. The other night I saw a variation where both sides of the line each went ten yards wide of the long snapper before moving back.

1. Is it legal to run a play from these crazy formations? Or is there a rationale to it, other than deliberately ticking off the team that just scored on?

2. If so, has anyone actually seen them go through with the kick in one of those sets?

25 years ago when my HS team was the perennial doormat for a long stretch, darn near every team we played would set up like that after every single touchdown - but none of them ever snapped the ball from that formation.

Just curious. Thanks for any info this.
There is nothing illegal about the formation in and of itself. As always, there must be at least 5 players on the line of scrimmage and no more than 4 players in the backfield.

On a kick try or on 4th down there is a exception to the requirement that at least 5 players numbered 50-79 take a position along the line of scrimmage. Any player in the game under this exception (numbered 1-49 / 80-99) must assume a position along the line of scrimmage between the ends and that player remains an ineligible forward pass receiver throughout the down (unless the pass is touched by an opponent)

The original set up is designed to confuse and take advantage of any confusion exhibited by the defense. I have seen it on rare occasions...... it's successful even more rarely in my experience.
 

USA70PP

Well-known member
There is nothing illegal about the formation in and of itself. As always, there must be at least 5 players on the line of scrimmage and no more than 4 players in the backfield.

On a kick try or on 4th down there is a exception to the requirement that at least 5 players numbered 50-79 take a position along the line of scrimmage. Any player in the game under this exception (numbered 1-49 / 80-99) must assume a position along the line of scrimmage between the ends and that player remains an ineligible forward pass receiver throughout the down (unless the pass is touched by an opponent)

The original set up is designed to confuse and take advantage of any confusion exhibited by the defense. I have seen it on rare occasions...... it's successful even more rarely in my experience.
I've seen it run for two a couple of times.
 

chs1971

Well-known member
I have seen several different plays executed from the formation.

See if you can find a copy of Run-and-Shoot Football: The Offense of the Future by Glenn "Tiger" Ellison. The first couple of chapters are about his Lonesome Polecat formation which he claims to have invented at Middleton High School sometime in the '50's.
 
Once in a while, I've seen teams line up to kick a PAT, and at first they'll have everyone line up ten yards to one side , leaving the center, holder, and kicker exposed - and then invariably move back to normal before snapping and kicking. The other night I saw a variation where both sides of the line each went ten yards wide of the long snapper before moving back.

1. Is it legal to run a play from these crazy formations? Or is there a rationale to it, other than deliberately ticking off the team that just scored on?

2. If so, has anyone actually seen them go through with the kick in one of those sets?

25 years ago when my HS team was the perennial doormat for a long stretch, darn near every team we played would set up like that after every single touchdown - but none of them ever snapped the ball from that formation.

Just curious. Thanks for any info this.
We ran a similar version where the line set up about 10 yards to the left of the center in college. Depending on how the defense reacted, we would 1) have everyone move back to a "traditional" extra-point lineup; 2) snap the ball to the holder or kicker and run a play; or 3) snap the ball to a back behind the line set up to the left.
 

fortfan

Active member
We ran a similar version where the line set up about 10 yards to the left of the center in college. Depending on how the defense reacted, we would 1) have everyone move back to a "traditional" extra-point lineup; 2) snap the ball to the holder or kicker and run a play; or 3) snap the ball to a back behind the line set up to the left.
A football coach told me that he thought it was a good idea to do something like this because if it forces the opponent to spend time in practice figuring out how to stop the various possibilities, it is less time spent on offense and defense.
 

AirAttack19

New member
I have 2 questions that are bout a bit outlandish but I have observed situations similar this year as I've watched football in Central Ohio.

1 - On Kickoffs/punts -I have been told by other fans that any member of the receiving team can signal for a fair catch while any other member of the receiving team (who did not signal) is able to catch the ball and not be penalized as it would be blown dead at the spot in which the ball was caught. To the best of my knowledge if this player, who caught the ball, while a teammate signaled for a fair catch, takes off and runs once he catches it,...that would be a penalty? So what prevents a receiving team from having a play with two returners back deep on a punt - the ball kicked to the right - the returner on the left, lets say all the way across the field, signals fair catch and the returner on the right who fields the kick embraces/protects himself and absorbs a hit from the kicking team thus drawing a penalty and improving field position? Is there something in the rules that keeps a team from doing this ?


2 - Team A possesses the ball and has the lead (+3) with 9 seconds left in game. They have fourth down and don't want to punt because they have had trouble with snap and blocking up front on punt play. They call a play which lines up 4 guys split out to the right - Team A Qb rolls deep and to the right and after taking about 6 seconds off the clock turns and throws a bomb deep to the left side where no receivers or defenders are at. The play ends and the game clock is at 0. As this is a legal forward pass, and as it qualifies as intentional grounding, a loss of down occurs. With the penalty still taking place while Team A possessed the ball - is Team B still granted an untimed down? does a "dead ball" call have any impact on this outcome?

Thanks in advance. Im an old timer trying to keep up with the rules and love reading this stuff on here.
 

zebrastripes

Active member
I have 2 questions that are bout a bit outlandish but I have observed situations similar this year as I've watched football in Central Ohio.

1 - On Kickoffs/punts -I have been told by other fans that any member of the receiving team can signal for a fair catch while any other member of the receiving team (who did not signal) is able to catch the ball and not be penalized as it would be blown dead at the spot in which the ball was caught. To the best of my knowledge if this player, who caught the ball, while a teammate signaled for a fair catch, takes off and runs once he catches it,...that would be a penalty? So what prevents a receiving team from having a play with two returners back deep on a punt - the ball kicked to the right - the returner on the left, lets say all the way across the field, signals fair catch and the returner on the right who fields the kick embraces/protects himself and absorbs a hit from the kicking team thus drawing a penalty and improving field position? Is there something in the rules that keeps a team from doing this ?


2 - Team A possesses the ball and has the lead (+3) with 9 seconds left in game. They have fourth down and don't want to punt because they have had trouble with snap and blocking up front on punt play. They call a play which lines up 4 guys split out to the right - Team A Qb rolls deep and to the right and after taking about 6 seconds off the clock turns and throws a bomb deep to the left side where no receivers or defenders are at. The play ends and the game clock is at 0. As this is a legal forward pass, and as it qualifies as intentional grounding, a loss of down occurs. With the penalty still taking place while Team A possessed the ball - is Team B still granted an untimed down? does a "dead ball" call have any impact on this outcome?

Thanks in advance. Im an old timer trying to keep up with the rules and love reading this stuff on here.
1. Any member of the receiving team can make a valid signal a fair catch. However, if the player who catches the punt is not the player who signaled, he does not get protection. Only the receiver who gives a valid signal is afforded protection. However, as long as the signal is valid, there is no 5-yard penalty for an invalid signal regardless of which R player gives the signal. The ball becomes dead upon possession by any R player after any valid or invalid fair catch signal is given.

Taking off and running after the ball becomes dead could be a foul for delay of game.

2. There is no untimed down for fouls that specify a loss of down in their penalty, which would obviously include intentional grounding (which is a type of illegal forward pass under NFHS rules).
 

AirAttack19

New member
1. Any member of the receiving team can make a valid signal a fair catch. However, if the player who catches the punt is not the player who signaled, he does not get protection. Only the receiver who gives a valid signal is afforded protection. However, as long as the signal is valid, there is no 5-yard penalty for an invalid signal regardless of which R player gives the signal. The ball becomes dead upon possession by any R player after any valid or invalid fair catch signal is given.

Taking off and running after the ball becomes dead could be a foul for delay of game.

2. There is no untimed down for fouls that specify a loss of down in their penalty, which would obviously include intentional grounding (which is a type of illegal forward pass under NFHS rules).

Thank you for the clarification.

So, in the situation mentioned in number 2. Despite the penalty , the game would be over?
 

zebrastripes

Active member
Correct.

This type of play occurred in a HS game in Illinois State Semi-Final 3 years ago. Regretfully, it was handled incorrectly.
It also occurred in a 2016 game between Central Michigan and Oklahoma State (NCAA has the same rule). It was handled incorrectly there, too.

If the rule isn't clear enough, hopefully we as officials have learned it by now through the screwups of our peers. :)
 

USA70PP

Well-known member
It also occurred in a 2016 game between Central Michigan and Oklahoma State (NCAA has the same rule). It was handled incorrectly there, too.

If the rule isn't clear enough, hopefully we as officials have learned it by now through the screwups of our peers. :)
That caused me to wonder, do you guys, officials, watch games on TV with a critical eye for officiating or just to see a game?
 

chs1971

Well-known member
It's hard to watch the officials on televised game because they don't really put the cameras on the officials.

Now if I am at a game, oh yeah.
 

bb9

Member
That caused me to wonder, do you guys, officials, watch games on TV with a critical eye for officiating or just to see a game?
I don't necessarily watch the officials but I definitely know what they see when making calls.

My family hates watching games with me because I always am explaining calls to them even if they go against the team we are rooting for...
 

AllSports12

Moderator
It’s only natural to watch the game more critically when you are an official.

It’s a different perspective that not only allow us to watch and enjoy the game, but we have a leg up on most in attendance when it comes to what is happening away from the ball.

And believe me, there is no group of people more critical of officials......

than officials
 
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Sean5

Member
Question on a PAT. Kicking team is called for holding on made PAT. The officials marked off the penalty of the ensuing kickoff. Is that correct?
 

TigerPaw

Well-known member
Couple Qs:

Louisville wanted to milk clock and keep Massillon offense off the field. Sometimes too much and got delay of game penalties. The ref blows whistle, marks off 5 yards, then starts clock again, which obviously began running more time off before the next down to the offense's benefit. Correct?

Also, in Barberton game, Massillon punts near midfield and ball goes out of bounds near 5 yard line w/ no return. Couple players exchange words and ref calls offsetting unsportsmanlikes. But rather than remain at 5 he marches half the distance one way then marches 15 the other and sets it at the 18. Correct?
 

AllSports12

Moderator
Couple Qs:

Louisville wanted to milk clock and keep Massillon offense off the field. Sometimes too much and got delay of game penalties. The ref blows whistle, marks off 5 yards, then starts clock again, which obviously began running more time off before the next down to the offense's benefit. Correct?

Also, in Barberton game, Massillon punts near midfield and ball goes out of bounds near 5 yard line w/ no return. Couple players exchange words and ref calls offsetting unsportsmanlikes. But rather than remain at 5 he marches half the distance one way then marches 15 the other and sets it at the 18. Correct?
In 2017 the NFHS added an option to allow for the offended team start the clock on the snap for an accepted penalty inside the last two minutes of either half. In your play, the defense should have bee afforded an option to start the clock at the snap, instead of on the ready for play signal.

In the second scenario, you indicate that the official called "offsetting" fouls.... Was that your take on what happened, or did the official actually announce that?
 

zebrastripes

Active member
Couple Qs:

Louisville wanted to milk clock and keep Massillon offense off the field. Sometimes too much and got delay of game penalties. The ref blows whistle, marks off 5 yards, then starts clock again, which obviously began running more time off before the next down to the offense's benefit. Correct?

Also, in Barberton game, Massillon punts near midfield and ball goes out of bounds near 5 yard line w/ no return. Couple players exchange words and ref calls offsetting unsportsmanlikes. But rather than remain at 5 he marches half the distance one way then marches 15 the other and sets it at the 18. Correct?
The clock should always start on the snap after a DOG foul by rule.

If the number of UNS fouls on each team were equal, they offset by rule. If the number is not corresponding, they get enforced in order of occurrence.
 

chs1971

Well-known member
Couple Qs: Louisville wanted to milk clock and keep Massillon offense off the field. Sometimes too much and got delay of game penalties. The ref blows whistle, marks off 5 yards, then starts clock again, which obviously began running more time off before the next down to the offense's benefit. Correct?
Not correct. The game clock starts with the snap after a delay of game penalty is accepted. Rule 3.4.3.i

I've had this discussion with my LJ twice this year.
 

zebrastripes

Active member
If a player is ejected week 10 and the team does not make week 11 and he is a junior will he have to sit week 1 next season?
The penalty carries over to the next sport the student-athlete participates in. So if the only sport he plays is football, the answer is yes. But if he plays basketball, for example, he would have to sit out two basketball games (the “equivalent” of football’s 1-game suspension).
 

KramericaIndustries

Active member
This happened last night in the Olentangy Berlin / Thomas Worthington game

TW 4th and 19, punts toward sideline, ball bounces around a little, rolls out of bounds. A flag is down near that far sideline.

Refs signal what we thought?? was Illegal Participation (and later heard rumored that it was an accusation of 12 men on the field).

Refs give the ball back to the punting team and march off 15 yards, give them an automatic first down.

Hudl film review clearly shows only 11 players on the field, which is irrelevant, but is this the correct result for 12 men on the field, if that's what was called? Is there some other obscure call that would have had this result? (there was definitely not roughing).
 
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