2013 Demetriouisms / Game Situations
Week 9 (10/28/2013)
Week 8 (10/21/2013)
Week 7 (10/14/2013)
Week 6 (10/07/2013)
Week 5 (09/29/2013)
(1) After a quarterback sack with 20 seconds to play in the half, the referee decides he missed the offensive team's request for a timeout and replays fourth down adding 14 seconds back on the clock. Needless to say a touchdown was scored on the replay. RULING: Coaches may only request timeouts. A timeout does not occur until if and when an official grants it – the actual language is “legally granted.” The referee does not have the authority to retroactively grant a timeout and undo a play.
(2) For the opening and 2H kickoffs, if it is not already part of the BJ’s routine, please add to his list to check that the clock is set to 12:00.
(3) Please confirm the pre-game ceremonies with the host AD during the warm-up. We had a referee blow the RFP for the opening kickoff and the band started playing the national anthem.
(4) The QB must be under center to legally spike the ball to stop the clock. He cannot be in a shotgun formation.
(5) Following a touchdown A5 runs off the field as he is not on the kick try team. The coach decides to go for a 2-point conversion and A5 then returns to the field to be in on the play. RULING: When A5 runs off the field, he does not lose his status as a player unless he is replaced (have fun figuring that out). In this situation, considering the mix up, no foul should be called.
(6) The QB put his hands under center to take a snap when the coach yells at him to go to a shotgun formation. The QB then shifts back. RULING: It is a foul only if the shift is abrupt and simulates the start of a play. Otherwise, the shift is legal.
(7) The tight end is in a 3-point stance and the WR on his end is covering him up, the tight end then stands up and shifts to the other side of the line. RULING: That is a FS. If it doesn’t fool anybody though, you can deal with via a conversation with the coach after the play. The same applies to guards and tackles in a 3-pt stance that adjusts their position (as the team is getting set) by sliding laterally without actually lifting up.
(8) Third and five from the A-5, shotgun formation, the snap is high comes to rest in the back of the end zone. B steps out the back of the end zone then comes back in to the end zone and recovers the ball. RULING: Touchdown for B. Team B is not restricted from going OOB unless they do so intentionally. Intent can be gauged by the advantage gained. In this case, the player simply over ran the ball.
(9) Last Thu, the San Francisco 49ers attempted a free kick after a fair catch from their own 39 yard line – a 71-yard field goal. Phil Dawson misfired badly on the try, with his kick sailing well wide left and coming up short. It was fielded by the Rams’ Austin Pettis nine yards deep in the end zone, and he was then allowed to return it. If this had happened exactly that way in a HS game, the clock would not have started and a TB would be called when the ball broke the plane of the GL. It was a kickoff. Everything about kickoff rules applies except for the scoring opportunity.
(10) The runner is hit in the chest and his helmet pops off. L flags it but let’s the play continue. The runner gains seven yards before he is tackled. RULING: There was no reason for the flag as the helmet came off because it was improperly worn. The ball should have been returned to the spot where it became dead by rule.
(11) There have been several cases where the kicking team has gotten possession of the ball after a muff and has been allowed to advance. In all the cases I know about, the crew eventually figured out the ball was dead when K got possession, but they rarely got the right spot. If the play gets killed by rule, we not get the right spot, but there is one less tackle where injury can result.
(12) On a two-point try, there was a FM foul on the defense. The coach asked to have the penalty enforced on the KO, but the referee would not allow it even though his crew agreed with the coach.
Week 4 (09/23/2013)
I guess it was inevitable that we would have a towel incident with apparently overzealous officials. My information is third-hand so please focus on the correct way to handle these situations and don’t worry about exactly what did or did not happen.
Week 3 (09/17/2013)
(1) A player had brand new yellow gloves with the NOCSAE label. The officials forbid their use. RULING: There are no color restrictions on gloves except they may not be ball-colored (1-5-3c1). Only towels cannot be penalty-flag colored..
(2) This is a rule of thumb for whatever it is worth. I have not timed HS plays for a comparison. Supposedly, if an NFL team runs a play that doesn’t stop the clock and they are out of timeouts, it takes about 16 seconds to get the FG team on the field, line up, get set and kick the ball. Obviously, the time is going to vary somewhat depending on the distance gained on the play as well as many other factors. The value to us is to make doubly sure all the rules are followed when a FG is attempted with about that much time remaining. It doesn’t happen very often in HS play, but is a chance to be above the rest when it does happen.
(3) Contact Downfield: This comes up every year. It seems like we have too many people that want to follow the NFL no matter how often we discuss this. Before a pass is thrown, a defender has the right to assume that an approaching offensive player is coming out to block him and can initiate contact. “Approaching” means heading directly toward and in front of the defender. Once the receiver gets past the defender, turns away from him or otherwise makes it clear he is not going to block the defender, the defender cannot initiate contact. If he does it is illegal use of hands and if it continues until the ball is released, it is DPI. When in doubt go with DPI.
Week 2 (09/08/2013)
(1) A touchdown was scored on the last play of 3Q and the officials had the teams switch ends of the field before the try. RULING: The try is always attempted at the same end of the field as the touchdown.
(2) When a player loses his helmet and must sit out a play, an official’s timeout must be taken to ensure the team is aware of the need to substitute. If the clock is otherwise stopped at the end of the play, it is not necessary to formally signal the timeout, but the referee must ensure the team has substituted before blowing the ready. We had a situation where the wing official, without being asked, told the coach the player could go back in for the next play if the coach took a timeout. The wing was so persuasive, he convinced the referee it was a rule change this year.
(3) A player starts the game as the LT wearing #77. At the half, he switches to #22 to play running back. #22 was worn by a different player in the first half. RULING: Legal, as long as the opposing coach is informed and there is no deception.
(4) 2nd & 10 on A-40. Team A commits pass interference, B intercepts but fumbles and A recovers and is downed at the A-25. RULING: B's interception cannot stand because they subsequently fumbled. So B has two choices: (1) Decline the OPI penalty and let the result of the play stand: A 1 & 10 @ A-25 or (2) Accept the penalty: A 2nd & 20 @A-30. I would pick (2) but this is something to ask the coach.
(5) On a KO, A22 touches the line drive kick and it rolls into the EZ. A22 chases it and is allowed to run it out to the A-8. RULING: Any kick that enters R’s EZ is dead and a TB. This was a crew error (and I emphasize crew).
Week 1 (09/01/2013)
(1) Team A is in a free kick formation. After the Back Judge hands the ball to the player standing next to the kicking tee and the RFP is whistled, said player flips the ball backward to a teammate who subsequently drop kicks the football. Ruling: 6-1-2 requires the kick be made from K’s free kick line. There is no value in debating the implied requirement to designate a spot and kicking the ball from that spot. It is not a backward pass because the ball is not live when he throws it backward.
(2) On a kickoff, the kicker starts to approach the ball to kick and changes his mind or stumbles. His foot barely touches the ball and knocks it off the tee. He then picks up the ball and puts it back on the tee. Ruling. That is a legal kick followed by first touching and K possession. The ball belongs to R at the spot where K picked it up. However, it makes sense to blow the whistle immediately and reset everyone for the kick just as if the wind had blown the ball off the tee.
(3) A66 loses his helmet behind the play and A22 runs for a very long gain. After the play, A66 is observed returning to his helmet to retrieve it. Ruling: Ideally a helmetless player will remain near his helmet; however that won’t always happen. Movement alone is not participation. Participation (2-30) is an act that has influence on play. That means performing a football-related act or drawing coverage. In this case, it was apparent that A66 merely rambled downfield watching the play. No official had observed A66 participating, so no foul occurred.
(4) During an injury timeout, what can the teams do? Ruling: 3-5-8c allows a conference outside the 9-yard marks if granted by the referee (3-5-8a3). Case Play 3.5.10B illustrates this situation. In CO, approval for such a conference is automatically granted via policy. It is not necessary for a coach to ask the referee for permission to hold such a conference. The coach is responsible for ending his conference when notified the official’s timeout for the injury is ending.
(5) A pass is intercepted with a backward dive near the GL. By rule, the catch is not completed until a body part other than the hand returns to the ground inbounds. It is not clear if the ball is over the GL when that happens. When in doubt, it is a touchback. The ball should be clearly over the one-yard line or further out for momentum to be ruled.
Week 0 (08/25/2013)
(1) The official of the week award goes to the unnamed umpire who kept his flag in his pocket when he saw a defender break a double team hold and make the tackle at the LOS. The umpire’s restraint is especially exceptional because he withstood the ensuing barrage from the defensive coach.
(2) The boogey coach of the week award goes to the unnamed coach who announced at a scrimmage that he was a changed man and would stay calm during this year’s games. A half hour later he blasted a new official working his first scrimmage for a FM call telling the guy that he wouldn’t be working any varsity games.
(3) The snapper lined up with his shoulders perpendicular to the line and legally snapped the ball sideways (not between his legs). Everyone (the officials) knew that was a foul, but the debate was LBF v. DBF. By rule that is an LBF for an illegal formation. 2-32-9 requires linemen to face their opponent’s GL with their shoulders approximately parallel thereto. The rule of thumb is 30 degrees, so 90 degrees is clearly illegal. Because the snapper’s position can be changed or a timeout taken before the snap, the foul does not occur until the ball is snapped. A legal shift by such a snapper is a tricky move but could be legally enacted. Once he touches the ball, he must keep at least one hand on it (7-1-3a). He cannot make any movement that simulates a snap (7-1-3b). Please note the snapper has more freedom of movement than guards or tackles and is allowed to lift a hand he has placed on the ground as long as it doesn’t simulate a snap (7-1-7c). The snapper is not required to snap the ball between his legs, so the snap itself was legal.
(4) The pass receiver dove for the ball and caught it. After hitting the ground, he rolled and jumped to his feet. He was then tackled. The tackle was flagged for a late hit and the clichés came out “There was no whistle.” The coach accepted the explanation that his players need to know when the ball is dead, but offered the runner fouled by immediately getting up. This type of play is subject to judgment as to whether the defender had had enough to discern if the runner was down. Please emphasize dead-ball officiating and don’t buy the “no whistle” excuse.