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Football Rules and Interpretations


WarTiger
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On 11/12/2018 at 9:08 PM, AURex said:

So, here is an off-the-wall question. Can an offensive player with the ball be called for targeting?

In the South Carolina game, the SC RB intentionally lowered his head and launched himself forward (at the defensive played, thus initiating crown of helmet contact and launching himself. The play was reviewed, but I think it it was for *defensive* targeting.

Is there any circumstance in which a ball carrier can be called for targeting?

 

All penalties in the rule book apply equally to offense and defense.   The defense cannot legally block in the back either, yet you rare if ever see it called.  A RB lowering his head is in the same category.  While he's not a "defenseless" player in that situation initiating any contact with the crown of the helmet is illegal regardless of who on the field commits the infraction.   But, much like that block in the back on the defense, its rarely, if ever called.

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When I saw that play, I was thinking it should be called. I saw so many plays like that way back in the day in high school games. But now I also see ball carriers lowering their head, launching themselves forward, trying to get the last inches of gain. I have never once seen a targeting call on an offensive player with the ball.

Similarly, I've never seen a facemask call on a player with the ball, even in cases where the ball carrier grabs the facemask of the defensive player and yanks his head around. Whatever the wording of the rules, thew enforcement seems to be entirely aimed at the D.

 

Edited by AURex
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57 minutes ago, AURex said:

When I saw that play, I was thinking it should be called. I saw so many plays like that way back in the day in high school games. But now I also see ball carriers lowering their head, launching themselves forward, trying to get the last inches of gain. I have never once seen a targeting call on an offensive player with the ball.

Similarly, I've never seen a facemask call on a player with the ball, even in cases where the ball carrier grabs the facemask of the defensive player and yanks his head around. Whatever the wording of the rules, thew enforcement seems to be entirely aimed at the D.

 

I have and in fact, I've called it myself in a game.   I believe Auburn actually had a ball carrier get called for a facemask during a game earlier this season.   It may not have been on Auburn.  It could have been the opponent that got flagged.  I'd have to go back and look and quite frankly don't have the time or interest to do so. 

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I've seen offensive linemen called for facemask, but never a player running the ball. Not saying it never happens, because I don't see every game ever. Anyway, I was more interested in you sense of the way targeting gets called and whether a runner could be called for targeting.

 

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On 11/19/2018 at 12:45 PM, AURex said:

I've seen offensive linemen called for facemask, but never a player running the ball. Not saying it never happens, because I don't see every game ever. Anyway, I was more interested in you sense of the way targeting gets called and whether a runner could be called for targeting.

 

The rules apply equally to offense and defense but most of the examples of defenseless player are members of the offense or the kicking team.   For a ball carrier to get called for targeting he would have to not just lower his head but initiate contact using the crown of the helmet.  That's the only possible way he could be called for it.  A ball carrier isn't going to hit a player on the ground, or intentionally block a player and its not possible for him to hit someone obviously out of the play, so the chances are extremely slim it will ever be called.  Possible, absolutely.  Likely, probably not

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  • 2 weeks later...

Forgot which game yesterday, but there was a pass play and a flag was thrown for illegal lineman downfield.  However the QB had "thrown the ball out of bounds legally intentionally grounding it.  So they waived off the illegal lineman downfield penalty.  Doesn't seem right.  If it was a pass to a player it would have stood as a penalty, but just because the QB legally threw it away, it doesn't apply?  Still a pass play either way right?

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3 minutes ago, oracle79 said:

Forgot which game yesterday, but there was a pass play and a flag was thrown for illegal lineman downfield.  However the QB had "thrown the ball out of bounds legally intentionally grounding it.  So they waived off the illegal lineman downfield penalty.  Doesn't seem right.  If it was a pass to a player it would have stood as a penalty, but just because the QB legally threw it away, it doesn't apply?  Still a pass play either way right?

I was actually watching the game that this happened and heard the white hat announce the penalty but didn't see the play.  They were absolutely right. The player that recieves the snap can legally throw the ball away to avoid lost yardage, provided he is outside the tackle box and the ball is thrown past the line of scrimmage extended.  Remember this is a college rule NOT a high school rule.    If he throws it out of bounds to avoid lost yardage it negates the ineligible downfield.    

Take this a step further:   What happens if there's an ineligible player down field, pass is thrown, pass is TIPPED and either caught by the offense or defense or falls incomplete?   Well, by rule once the pass is tipped EVERYBODY is eligible, so there can no longer be an ineligible player downfield.   Flag would be picked up and waived off and the results of the play would stand.

 

Now, humor me a bit on something that is probably semantics and such, but it should be INELIGIBLE PLAYER down field.   There's no such thing as an Illegal player, illegal lineman.  They aren't illegal they are ineligible and its not just linemen.  I hear it by announcers too and it drives me crazy.

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On 10/20/2018 at 2:55 PM, WarTiger said:

Once a fair catch is signaled by ANY player on the field, the recieving team forfeits their right to advance the ball.  It doesn't matter at all if the kick is caught, grounded or muffed.  Once the fair catch is called for the ball will be blown dead when in possession of the receiving  team.   If the kick is untouched but grounded the fair catch still negates the receiving teams ability to advance the ball  Advancing the ball after signaling for a fair catch is a delay of game penalty.   Easy call last week.

I saw this situation over the weekend and was able to provide more insight thanks to you!! lol

I might be wrong, but I don't believe they actually flagged the receiving team for a delay of game though. Otherwise, everything else was spot on.

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  • 1 month later...

Rule change may be coming for targeting is needed in my opinion!

NCAA Division I Football Oversight Committee chairman Shane Lyons said the committee plans to consider changes to the targeting and overtime rules, though no recommendations have yet been made.

Lyons said a rule that would separate targeting into two categories is being discussed, per Andrea Adelson of ESPN. The alteration of the targeting rule, which has garnered support from the American Football Coaches Association, would see intentional and unintentional categories be created. "Hits without malicious intent" would result in a 15-yard penalty but no ejection. "More egregious hits" would result in both a 15-yard penalty and ejection.

"We would consider changes of how it's done from the officiating aspect of it, from the ejection aspect of it, but we think it needs more study," Lyons said. "It was a lengthy discussion. One of the biggest concerns is we don't want to go back and look like we're doing something that's not in the well-being, health and safety of the student-athlete, so if you back off the penalty, is it sending the message that this is OK and this is not?"

Lyons said the committee will have to look into the player safety implications before making any changes.

"We were supportive of a potential refinement, but to come out and say it needs to be this—we're going to put that in the hands of the so-called experts in the rules committee to take a look at it and see what's best," Lyons said. "The player safety is the most important thing. The numbers haven't changed; our hope is, 'How do you get the numbers to go lower?'"

Potential overtime changes are also being considered with player safety in mind. The committee is looking at ways to avoid situations where games go into extended overtime sessions, thus putting players in greater harm. There have been no formal proposals on what the committee may suggest.

"The question is: Are there things we can tweak in the overtime that could possibly shorten the length?" Lyons said. "Do you leave it the same? Do you automatically have to go for two even after your first touchdown for both teams? What are some things to potentially lessen the overtime?"

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They should treat targeting like they do punting...15 for roughing and 5 for running into. 15 for intentional targeting and 5 for incidental targeting, except enforce the ejection on the more egregious.

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  • 5 weeks later...

Here are the rule changes for High School football for 2019.  The big one here is the play clock.  It will no longer always be a 25 second clock.  Now it will be the 40 second clock used in college.  Personally, as a long time official I HATE this rule change.  Absolutely HATE IT but the change was inevitable.  We all knew this would come sooner or lateer.  Most of these types of rules typically filter down.   The  name plate area included for the horse collar tackle is another one that has now filtered down to high school.

Football Rules Changes - 2019

By NFHS on February 18, 2019 

 

BY STATE ASSOCIATION ADOPTION, USE OF VIDEO REVIEW ALLOWED FOR STATE POST-SEASON CONTESTS [1-3-7 NOTE (NEW), TABLE 1-7 – 1-3-7 NOTE (NEW)]

Rationale: By state association adoption, instant replay may only be used during state postseason contests to review decisions by the on-field game officials. This adoption would allow state associations to develop protocols for use of video replay.

IMPROVED VISIBILITY OF NUMBERS [1-5-1c, 1-5-1c(6) (NEW)]
Rationale:
The purpose of numbers on jerseys is to provide clear identification of players. In order to enhance the ability to easily identify players, the committee has clarified the size requirements for jersey numbers through the 2023 season. The committee also added a new requirement that, effective in the 2024 season, jersey numbers must be a single solid color that clearly contrasts with the body color of the jersey.

REDEFINED REQUIREMENTS FOR A LEGAL SCRIMMAGE FORMATION [2-14-1, 7-2-5a]
Rationale: A legal scrimmage formation now requires at least five offensive players on their line of scrimmage with no more than four backs. This change will make it easier to identify legal and illegal offensive formations.

PROHIBITION ON TRIPPING THE RUNNER [2-45, 9-4-3o (NEW), 9-4-3o PENALTY (NEW)]
Rationale: In an effort to decrease risk, tripping the runner is now prohibited. It is now a foul to intentionally use the lower leg or foot to obstruct a runner below the knees.

40-SECOND PLAY CLOCK [2-35-1, 3-6-1, 3-6-2a, 7-2-1]
Rationale:
To have a more consistent time period between downs, the rules committee approved situations where 40 seconds will be placed on the play clock. The new rule defines when 40 seconds will be placed on the play clock and when 25 seconds will be placed on the play clock.

HORSE-COLLAR TACKLE ADDITION [9-4-3k]
Rationale:
Grabbing the name plate area of the jersey of the runner, directly below the back collar, and pulling the runner to the ground is now an illegal personal contact foul.

ILLEGAL KICKING AND BATTING PENALTY REDUCED [9-7 PENALTY]
Rationale:
The penalty for illegally kicking or batting the ball was reduced from 15 yards to 10 yards.

 

2019 EDITORIAL CHANGES
2-6-2b, 5-2-2, 5-2-4, 6-5-4, 7-2-5a, 8-5-2 EXCEPTION, 9-3-8 PENALTY, 10-4-2c EXCEPTION, 10-5-1j,

2019 POINTS OF EMPHASIS

  1. Proper Procedures for Weather Delays
  2. Expanded Neutral Zone as it Applies to Run or Pass Options
  3. Free-Blocking Zone and Legal Blocking
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On ‎2‎/‎24‎/‎2019 at 10:03 AM, WarTiger said:

REDEFINED REQUIREMENTS FOR A LEGAL SCRIMMAGE FORMATION [2-14-1, 7-2-5a]
Rationale: A legal scrimmage formation now requires at least five offensive players on their line of scrimmage with no more than four backs. This change will make it easier to identify legal and illegal offensive formations.

That math does not add up to 11 players.  Does this mean you can legally play offense with only 9 players?

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1 hour ago, triangletiger said:

That math does not add up to 11 players.  Does this mean you can legally play offense with only 9 players?

NO.  It's just changing the procedure the officials use to determine a legal formation.  In Federation rules we always counted 7 on the line of scrimmage.  Now, we are going to just be counting 4 in the backfield instead.  It's the way the college officials do it.  That's why when the white hat reports an illegal formation, he says too many players in the backfield instead of not enough on the line of scrimmage.    The requirement of having at least 5 offensive players on the line refers to numbering.  5 players on the line must be numbered 50-79.  The others on the line can be numbered anything 1-99 but if you are wearing 50-79 you are permanently ineligible to catch a forward pass (until the play makes it legal (ie tipped ball)). 

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15 hours ago, WarTiger said:

NO.  It's just changing the procedure the officials use to determine a legal formation.  In Federation rules we always counted 7 on the line of scrimmage.  Now, we are going to just be counting 4 in the backfield instead.  It's the way the college officials do it.  That's why when the white hat reports an illegal formation, he says too many players in the backfield instead of not enough on the line of scrimmage.    The requirement of having at least 5 offensive players on the line refers to numbering.  5 players on the line must be numbered 50-79.  The others on the line can be numbered anything 1-99 but if you are wearing 50-79 you are permanently ineligible to catch a forward pass (until the play makes it legal (ie tipped ball)). 

Thanks for the clarification.  The bolded part is not clear in a plain reading of the way the rule is written.

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  • 1 month later...

Overtime procedures, targeting, blind-side blocks and more were tweaked by the NCAA Playing Rules Oversight Panel, it was announced this week.

Beginning in the fall, according to NCAA.com, officials will either confirm the targeting call or overturn it. Official will no longer be allowed to let the call on the field “stand.” Instant replay officials are now directed to examine all aspects of the play and confirm the targeting foul when “all elements of targeting are present.”

The panel also approved instituting a progressive penalty for targeting. Players who commit three targeting fouls in the same season are subject to a one-game suspension.

The panel also approved the following:

A new rule relevant to blind-side blocking techniques. Players will not be allowed to deliver a blind-side block by attacking an opponent with forcible contact. It will be a personal foul with a 15-yard penalty. If the block also includes the elements of targeting, it will be a blind-side block with targeting.

A rules change has been approved to eliminate the two-man wedge formation on all kickoffs.

 

There is more which you can read on al.com

So...did they clear things up or make them more "interpretational"? 

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My biggest change I wanted around targeting was "intent" and it does not look like that was in there.  I know intent is impossible to prove, but sometimes it is just so obvious and I hate those calls where the guy was just trying to make a play and the runner went lower than the tackler intended.  

Edited by LKEEL75
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On 4/24/2019 at 1:20 PM, LKEEL75 said:

My biggest change I wanted around targeting was "intent" and it does not look like that was in there.  I know intent is impossible to prove, but sometimes it is just so obvious and I hate those calls where the guy was just trying to make a play and the runner went lower than the tackler intended.  

Why in the world would anybody want an official to rule on "intent".  You are asking them to read the minds of the offending player  and know what they are thinking prior to the hit.  Consistency among officials and game to game is the biggest complaint that exists about officiating in general.  Now, you want them to not only recognize a penalty, but rule on the offenders intent all within a few seconds?   Getting the call right is hard enough, I can't imagine having to read a players mind to determine what the penalty should be.   Fortunately that will NEVER happen and will never be part of the rule book.

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22 hours ago, WarTiger said:

Why in the world would anybody want an official to rule on "intent".  You are asking them to read the minds of the offending player  and know what they are thinking prior to the hit.  Consistency among officials and game to game is the biggest complaint that exists about officiating in general.  Now, you want them to not only recognize a penalty, but rule on the offenders intent all within a few seconds?   Getting the call right is hard enough, I can't imagine having to read a players mind to determine what the penalty should be.   Fortunately that will NEVER happen and will never be part of the rule book.

Like I said after your bolded text, I understand what that means.  However, I also do believe there are several situations that occur that targeting is called (maybe to the letter of the law) and it should not be.  

 

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  • 2 months later...
On 4/29/2019 at 2:13 PM, LKEEL75 said:

Like I said after your bolded text, I understand what that means.  However, I also do believe there are several situations that occur that targeting is called (maybe to the letter of the law) and it should not be.  

 

There are also times targeting is called and nothing in the rule book supports the call.  :lol:     We had our first officials meeting this past Monday so season is quickly approaching.  Our kickoff classics here are Aug 16 with regular season starting the following week.     For those of you going to high school games (outside of Texas because they play under college rules already) don't forget the High school game has gone to the 40 second play clock beginning this season.  It's going to be a learning curve for the coaches and officials for sure.     Also remember that the name plate on the back of the jersey is now part of the horse collar tackle requirement which is just like the college rule. 

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  • 2 weeks later...
On 11/14/2018 at 5:23 AM, WarTiger said:

All penalties in the rule book apply equally to offense and defense.   The defense cannot legally block in the back either, yet you rare if ever see it called.  A RB lowering his head is in the same category.  While he's not a "defenseless" player in that situation initiating any contact with the crown of the helmet is illegal regardless of who on the field commits the infraction.   But, much like that block in the back on the defense, its rarely, if ever called.

Thanks. I had wondered about that.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Thought some here might like to watch this.  This isn't your opportunity to bash officiating or Steve Shaw (those will be deleted as they aren't the purpose of this thread), but its a great opportunity to get up to date on the rule changes coming and he even reviews a few plays that took place last year and gives examples of penalties under some of the rules and changes.

https://www.secsports.com/video/27202204

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Also for the uninformed that think officials just show up on saturday and work a game for 3 hours and are done, check out these.

D_rolBRWsAQnqQ2.jpg

 

D_rovubXsAAeAX1.jpg

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I thought about splitting the last few posts out and making a new thread to generate a bit more discussion, but there's a lot of info in the earlier posts here that could be beneficial to some.    

Here's a refresher (found earlier in the thread) on who's eligible to catch a forward pass (this applies to forward passes caught behind the neutral zone (screens) as well.  For some reason this seems to confuse a lot of people.

You MUST be numbered 1-49 or 80-99 to catch any forward pass.  You must also be on the end of the line OR in the backfield.  I think there's a pic on the earlier post showing different formations and who's eligible.  But, for example. If the offense comes out with a  2 WR set to one side, one of them MUST be in the backfield for both of them to be eligible.  If number 80 and 81 come up and 80 is the widest player in the formation, then he's eligible regardless of where he is in the formation.  But, if he is on the line of scrimmage and then 81 is also on the line, that makes 81 ineligible to catch a forward pass because he's "covered up".  So, if he goes out and a legal pass is thrown that crosses the neutral zone, it would be a penalty for ineligible player downfield.  5 yard penalty from previous spot.

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Just for discussion.  Are there any jersey # requirements for offensive lineman?  Could the center be eligible to catch a pass if he is the last person on his side of the line of scrimmage (super unbalanced with say 5 lineman to his left and a receiver split out on the line?  Example of crazy formations below:

17offense_600b.jpg

USC-2-Point-Q4.jpg

Edited by oracle79
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5 hours ago, oracle79 said:

Just for discussion.  Are there any jersey # requirements for offensive lineman?  Yes, There must be 5 offfensive players on the line numbered 50-79.   Could the center be eligible to catch a pass if he is the last person on his side of the line of scrimmage (super unbalanced with say 5 lineman to his left and a receiver split out on the line?  Not if the receiver split on wide is on the line of scrimmage.  That would cover up the center and make him ineligible even if he is wearing the correct number to be eligible.   IF he is on the end of the line (the WR is off the line) AND he is numbered 1-49 or 80-99 then yes the snapper would be eligible to catch a forward pass. Example of crazy formations below:

17offense_600b.jpg

USC-2-Point-Q4.jpg

 

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