High School Football Rules Misconceptions - 2020 Version (originally posted in 2019)

HighSchoolFB45

Well-known member
So i
A lot of differences in pass interference.....

**No 5 yard rule for pass inteferance
**All plays are considered runs until a pass is thrown,
***A defensive player must avoid contact with a receiver who is no longer a potential blocker. So a
receiver is a potential blocker until there is a pass. A defender can contact an offensive receiver
until the ball is thrown.
***PI is only a penalty in the area the ball is thrown.
So say the ball hasn’t been thrown yet and the defender decides to absolutely clobber the receiver during the route before the ball is thrown, this is not a penalty?
 

zebrastripes

Active member
Team A attempts a FG.
Team B blocks FG.
Team B possesses the ball and starts returning the ball for a TD. The IW was after Team B was returning the ball.

What should have been called?

The officials decided to do a redo. Team A decides to go for it (end of the first half) instead of trying another FG and scores a TD. So at the end of the day it was a 14 point turn around (assuming Team B makes their EP ) because no one was catching the guy returing the FG down the sideline.
By rule the team in possession at the end of the down (Team R) gets to choose to replay the down or take the ball at the spot where the whistle was blown.
 

zebrastripes

Active member
No doubt however I have seen officials hold the flag instead of throwing it. It's not officiated consistently the same way.
Officials are taught to apply advantage/disadvantage on fouls like PI. Although an "uncatchable" ball is not part of the rule in HS (and should never be used in explaining a no-call to a coach), contact "obviously away from the direction of the pass" is the rulebook verbiage.
 

zebrastripes

Active member
A lot of differences in pass interference.....

**No 5 yard rule for pass inteferance
**All plays are considered runs until a pass is thrown,
***A defensive player must avoid contact with a receiver who is no longer a potential blocker. So a
receiver is a potential blocker until there is a pass. A defender can contact an offensive receiver
until the ball is thrown.
***PI is only a penalty in the area the ball is thrown.
Not really sure what you mean by this or how it would relate to PI.
 

falcons53

Active member
So i


So say the ball hasn’t been thrown yet and the defender decides to absolutely clobber the receiver during the route before the ball is thrown, this is not a penalty?
At every level I have coach at, we taught "re-routing" the receivers. We had a LB at one college I coached at that would lay TE/WR out as he crossed the field inside. Opposing coaches always complained, but never was a penalty. He used a shoulder and never to the head. Completely legal at all levels except NFL. It always looks bad to fans, but legal. We had our corners do it in cover 2 as well. "funnel" to the inside aggressively. Easier said than done though against athletic WR, LOL. A TE not looking for the LB was much easier.
 

thavoice

Well-known member
Not really sure what you mean by this or how it would relate to PI.
What that goes to is contact downfield by a defender. It isn't pass interference until the pass is thrown and each play is considered a run play until the ball is thrown. I got that verbiage from a referee site and I have heard that used as well.

Just basically another way of reiterating you can make contact, as long as it isn't holding, facemask or other normal infractcions, until the ball is thrown a
 

thavoice

Well-known member
At every level I have coach at, we taught "re-routing" the receivers. We had a LB at one college I coached at that would lay TE/WR out as he crossed the field inside. Opposing coaches always complained, but never was a penalty. He used a shoulder and never to the head. Completely legal at all levels except NFL. It always looks bad to fans, but legal. We had our corners do it in cover 2 as well. "funnel" to the inside aggressively. Easier said than done though against athletic WR, LOL. A TE not looking for the LB was much easier.
Exactly, easier said than done and if you whiff on a WR then he can more easily get right by you.
 

davis5305

Member
Team A attempts a FG.
Team B blocks FG.
Team B possesses the ball and starts returning the ball for a TD. The IW was after Team B was returning the ball.

What should have been called?

The officials decided to do a redo. Team A decides to go for it (end of the first half) instead of trying another FG and scores a TD. So at the end of the day it was a 14 point turn around (assuming Team B makes their EP ) because no one was catching the guy returing the FG down the sideline.
Team B has the options. They can choose to replay the down, or take the play where the IW occurred.
 

thavoice

Well-known member
Team B has the options. They can choose to replay the down, or take the play where the IW occurred.
Didn't happen that way. Team A decided to go for it instead of attempting another FG and scored a TD. 14 point turnaround in week 12/13 of the playoffs.
 

MSL

Active member
  • Headhunting is not football.
  • Most "big hits" and athletic plays (i.e. runners hurdling defenders) that are sensationalized on accounts like Jukes are illegal.
These are the best ones on the list.

It's funny, back in my day blockers didn't feel the need to blow up defenders to hype up the crowd and get on ESPN or Jukes. They would simply shield the defender and free the ball carrier with the same effectiveness. Nowadays those dirty, dangerous hits are celebrated and sensationalized. If you don't blow up the defender you're a . Thankfully with these new rules on targeting and blindside blocks they are getting out of the game. I would like to see high school officials rule more flagrant fouls and ejections on players that headhunt.

Of course the fake tough guy crowd (probably the same crowd that this list is intended for) thinks all these new safety rules are "soft" and "we might as well put the flags on." 😂
 

NLLBEST

Member
Two quick questions, is there a penalty for face guarding in high school football? I don’t believe there is but have heard otherwise. Also, if a team is running a screen (jail, solid) can the defense make contact with the receiver before the ball arrives?
 

zebrastripes

Active member
Two quick questions, is there a penalty for face guarding in high school football? I don’t believe there is but have heard otherwise. Also, if a team is running a screen (jail, solid) can the defense make contact with the receiver before the ball arrives?
Faceguarding was removed from the PI rules a couple years ago. There must be physical contact for PI.

Contact in and of itself is not PI. Neither team can make contact in such a way that impedes the opponent's opportunity to move, catch, or bat a forward pass. Once the ball goes in the air, the defender has to make a bonafide attempt at the ball.
 

Omega

New member
So i


So say the ball hasn’t been thrown yet and the defender decides to absolutely clobber the receiver during the route before the ball is thrown, this is not a penalty?
Well old school 60's high school football defensive techniques included the practice of "chucking" the receiver at the line of scrimmage as the ball was snapped.
 
In OHSAA overtime the ball is dead immediately when the defense gains possession

Doesn’t seem fair to prevent the defense from scoring!
 

thavoice

Well-known member
In OHSAA overtime the ball is dead immediately when the defense gains possession

Doesn’t seem fair to prevent the defense from scoring!
We had that last year where it was very possible we score on an int in overtime against our rival. I didn know tat rule at the time and asked in the ask the ref forum but I agree
 

AllSports12

Moderator
So say the ball hasn’t been thrown yet and the defender decides to absolutely clobber the receiver during the route before the ball is thrown, this is not a penalty?
Truth. Look up the rule
While not DPI, this contact is a foul if the receiver is no longer a potential blocker........

From the Case Book......

9.2.3 SITUATION A:
End A1 sprints from the line and then cuts sharply toward the middle of the field. A1 makes no attempt to block defensive back B1. B1 pursues A1 and pushes him from the side using his open hands. Contact is made on A1's upper arm before the pass is thrown. A1 was moving away from B1 when the contact occurred.
RULING: Illegal use of hands by B1. A defender may legally contact an eligible receiver beyond the neutral zone before the pass is in flight provided the receiver is a potential blocker. The contact may be a block or warding off the opponent who is attempting to block by pushing or pulling him. However, if the receiver is not attempting to block or has gone past the yard line occupied by the defender or is moving away, it is illegal for the defender to use hands in the manner described. In this situation, it is clear that A1 is no longer a potential blocker on B1. (2-3-5a, 7-5-7)
 

cincifbfan

Well-known member
Now, my frustrations with officials not knowing the High School Pass Interference penalties are well documented on Yappi. When I was coaching, Pass Interference Penalties were the bane of my existence.

To add upon what already has been mentioned it should also be noted that there is also no pass interference in the backfield. I used to teach my DBs to be very aggressive with passes that don't cross the neutral zone... little flairs to the RB, Zip Screen, Bubble Screen, etc. The forward pass must cross the neutral zone for there to be interference. We would get called for this probably 5 times per year, I used to have that page dog eared in my rule book on the sideline to show the officials. Only got it overturned once, most of the time, they would say something along the lines of "yes, we know the ball didn't progress past the neutral zone and the interference didn't occur past the neutral zone either, BUT you can't do what your player did." It was very frustrating to say the least to teach the game the right way and to then have your kids dejected because too many officials in my experience don't know all the nuances of the High School Pass Interference.
 

AllSports12

Moderator
Now, my frustrations with officials not knowing the High School Pass Interference penalties are well documented on Yappi. When I was coaching, Pass Interference Penalties were the bane of my existence.

To add upon what already has been mentioned it should also be noted that there is also no pass interference in the backfield. I used to teach my DBs to be very aggressive with passes that don't cross the neutral zone... little flairs to the RB, Zip Screen, Bubble Screen, etc. The forward pass must cross the neutral zone for there to be interference. We would get called for this probably 5 times per year, I used to have that page dog eared in my rule book on the sideline to show the officials. Only got it overturned once, most of the time, they would say something along the lines of "yes, we know the ball didn't progress past the neutral zone and the interference didn't occur past the neutral zone either, BUT you can't do what your player did." It was very frustrating to say the least to teach the game the right way and to then have your kids dejected because too many officials in my experience don't know all the nuances of the High School Pass Interference.
I too share your frustrations with officials not knowing the PI rule. That said, it is important to know that contact with that receiver you refer to must be legal. The defender cannot, hold, block in the back (yes, defensive players actually by definition block opponents), clip, or illegally contact an otherwise defenseless opponent.

While the foul would not be for Pass Interference, you certainly could have a foul for the other illegal personal contact described above....


And ya'll think this job is easy ;)
 

cincifbfan

Well-known member
I too share your frustrations with officials not knowing the PI rule. That said, it is important to know that contact with that receiver you refer to must be legal. The defender cannot, hold, block in the back (yes, defensive players actually by definition block opponents), clip, or illegally contact an otherwise defenseless opponent.

While the foul would not be for Pass Interference, you certainly could have a foul for the other illegal personal contact described above....


And ya'll think this job is easy ;)
I agree wholeheartedly, but I see legal defensive contact regularly and the official incorrectly calls PI.

I also don't like it when the officials don't call a flag on PI because the ball was "uncatchable."
I don't see that as much anymore, but at least handful of times per year.
 

zebrastripes

Active member
I agree wholeheartedly, but I see legal defensive contact regularly and the official incorrectly calls PI.

I also don't like it when the officials don't call a flag on PI because the ball was "uncatchable."
I don't see that as much anymore, but at least handful of times per year.
Are you still coaching? Send the clips in question to the league assigner or Beau Rugg/Bruce Maurer if you think the rules are being misapplied. Seriously.

And hopefully no high school officials are justifying no-calls with this non-NFHS verbiage.
 
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