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  1. If you make it a qualifying tournament you add a 10th game so everyone is still guaranteed 10 games. Nobody loses a game. This does improve and promote Indiana HS football because as Bobref mention it creates a playoff atmosphere for more regular season games either because it involves earning a playoff spot or possibly seeding for hosting a playoff game. I've worked many week 8 or 9 games that feel more like an exhibition game or scrimmage because the result has no impact on conference championship or anything playoff related. The players still play hard and to win because that's their nature. But you can't deny a playoff atmosphere is different than a regular season. And the test I give is explain this process to anyone not familiar with it. 100% don't believe me when I explain it to them. They can't fathom anyone would have an all-in with random draw. Even as I try to explain why it works for people in Indiana they still think I'm making it up. They always ask, "why do you play a regular season?" This is the most illogical way to do a tournament that could ever be conceived, and there is a reason nobody else does this or considers this.
  2. Not sure of the exact number of teams in each class in Illinois, but they do use a qualifier like every other state. If they have 32 teams in each class, that's the number that make the tournament. I also believe they don't set the class cutoffs until the qualified teams are determined. Then they split them into classes. Another very different approach. I personally like the playoff qualifier as it adds even more meaning to the regular season. People will argue teams that lose several games early will consider themselves out of the playoffs and not care any longer. In today's system they don't have to care either because they lose the rest of their games they still make the tournament so nothing changes for them. They are just hoping they get a lucky draw. If they don't their last game and their tournament game are no different.
  3. That answer would be the philosophy answer that Bob is referring to. Another way to look at it would be to put them where they are legal if possible. If the wing back would create a 5th back and he's close enough to the snapper, put him on. Then warn him after the play to be clearer on where he's supposed to be. But technically he's still not a back or lineman if he's in no-man's land. Nothing changed that with the rule change a couple years ago.
  4. They trust them to rate the officials which determines how far a crew gets to advance. You think they know nothing about other teams in their sectional. They know even less about the crews and how good they are. But they ultimately determine crew ranking. It's often determined by a volume of votes rather than a quality of votes. So the more well known crews advance regardless of quality. Fortunately for the IHSAA the crews who know a lot of coaches are also pretty good, but that hasn't always been the case. It also prevents the really good crews who aren't as well known from advancing. The key factor for popularity? The crew chief is also a basketball official who has had advanced far in the basketball tournament.
  5. The one I saw (don't remember helmet coming off or anyone getting bloodied) would have been a late hit and not roughing since it was a dead ball. No difference in enforcement so the same result. Based on where it happened I'm guessing nobody had a view of it. Just like when a player gets up from a pile and claims they got punched in the tenders at the bottom of the pile. I thank them for thinking I have amazing super powers to see through bodies. Seriously though...you seem to have an interest in understanding this better so I would encourage you to consider officiating. It really is a great avocation. You the team aspect of working with your crew mates and other officials. You are an important part of the game with a goal of applying consistent judgement of all calls throughout. Fine tuning your pre-snap routine, identifying and correctly reading your keys at the snap, progressing through the play both in movement and focus so you are looking at where you need to look, slowing down each play aa they happen to make sure you saw what you thought you saw, making many decisions during the play (legality at the snap, foul/no foul, in bounds/out of bounds, catch/no catch, fumble down, spot, and many others). Each play only lasts 5-7 seconds, but you may have made 10 different judgements in that time. Communication with players and coaches between plays. Communication with your crew mates. All factors going into the quality of your work. Forgetting the last play if you think you missed something. Being better on the next play. The camaraderie before and after the game with your crew. We often call each other on the way home to compare how our games go. Many officials meet at a local restaurant for dinner after the game as well.
  6. I'm just saying the number of missed called you think you see and the number of missed calls that actually happen are very different numbers. If they weren't you would not be very critical of the work the NFL officials are doing. All your early justifications were based on the observations of coaches, players and announcers. I never said they didn't understand the rules. I'm saying they don't understand them nearly as well as they think they do. But they are the ones that fans take as Gospel so that misunderstanding gets taken as truth. And when an official then tries to explain the rules or a call they get dismissed because it's counter to what this coach or player or announcer said. Looking back at your initial comments on this topic you were more focused on the influence missed calls have on a game. They may to some extent and some will appear to have a bigger impact depending on the timing. But ultimately there are several things over the course of the game that have an impact and no one play or call determines the outcome of the game. The Lions didn't lose only because Coach Campbell decided to go for it twice on 4th down rather than kick FGs. The great catch off the defender's face mask and fumble on the subsequent drive also played pretty big roles. The receiver catches the pass on the 1st 4th down play and there may have been a very different outcome. But the article that started all this was how much Shawn Smith's crew favored the visiting team, and I pointed out the fallacy of that argument. But people seem to think the crew has any influence in the outcome of the game. There are so many things over the course of the game that do that.
  7. I never said they were perfect. There are going to be a couple calls each game that could have or should have been called differently. There are 160-180 plays per game. If there are 2-3 plays with incorrect calls That's a 98% accuracy rate. That's pretty amazing! The one I saw was I believe was on the other game and Steratore was the rules expert. The QB had scrambled and tackled downfield in the middle of other players. The only view that could likely see that hit was the overhead camera they showed. I don't believe any official would have had a view of that hit. So while they get a downgrade for not calling it, there was nothing they could have done differently to see it. But trying to get replay involved in those kinds of plays would cause more problems than solve as proven by the PI experiment a couple years ago. There are certain types of calls we need to leave with the officials on the field and accept a 98% accuracy rate. None of this changes the original point of our discussion. As much as you think you understand the rules, you don't know them as well as you think you do. The same is true for coaches and players and TV analysts. They will never have a perfect game, but the number of errors is much smaller than you realize. Since you are a former player and coach I assume you aren't doing either now. I would strongly encourage you to contact some local officials and join us. You may find out how fun and challenging this avocation is. You'll also find out how little you previously understood the rules. They are more complex than you realize but not something you can't easily learn with time and experience. The latter part is critical though because it takes repetition and study to be able to see the nuance of each call. And this goes well beyond fouls and non-fouls. That's a small portion of what we are looking at and judging on every play.
  8. So true! Knowing what you don't know is often more important than knowing what you do know. I may have some ideas of what i would do if I were a coach, but I know every coach knows more about coaching than I do.
  9. I have so many coaches screaming for holding on plays where it is obviously not holding to know coaches don't understand holding as well as they do. Some of that is because at the high school level we also have officials who call very ticky tack holding. We have to do better there. No official is perfect so you aren't wrong there. But they are also right a lot more than you think. I know it sounds condescending or arrogant to say coaches and players don't know or understand rules, but it's the absolute truth. Everyone assumes because someone played they know the rules, but when I have in depth rules discussions with someone they realize how little actually know. Once I learned I didn't know the rules of football until I became an official I realized I don't know the rules of baseball or basketball as well as I thought I did. That's why I ask officials in those sports when I see something I think is wrong. I always learn something. I was on the board for a local youth league and a situation arose where a runner was not called out when a batted ball hit him as he was running from 2nd to 3rd. I always thought that was an out. Not only did I learn that's not always the case, but it's also different in the various rule sets. HS is different than Babe Ruth is different than Little League is different than American Legion. And baseball and softball have different rules about it. I had two siblings of one of the players get in my face and argue they have been playing X years and were current college players and had never seen that called. Then they called their dad who who had coached for 30 years, and he insisted the umpire was wrong. Guess what? Every baseball umpire I talked to asked me the same question when I presented the scenario. Had the ball passed an infielder when the ball hit the runner? That was a key factor in every rule set and none of the players or coaches arguing had any idea that was a factor. Here's another great example, there are no fouls for "over the back" or "reaching in" in basketball but you hear announcers use it all the time. But as fans we all believe those acts are fouls.
  10. Over the course of a season a referee may call roughing 5 or 6 times. Holding calls are subjective and involve judgement the fan or media may not understand. It's not just a grasp or a pull. What you think was missed is most likely not a miss. There are several philosophies and training videos to try to be as consistent as possible from official to official and crew to crew. At the HS and college level we have to put the hold into a category. I assume NFL guys use the same or similar philosophies (their defensive holding philosophies are much tighter than ours). It has to be a material restriction at the point of attack and had an impact on the play. Most of the missed holding complaints is missing one of those elements. Even then we could show the same play on video to 10 very good officials and there could be a split of opinion. It's not black and white so there will be some level of judgement. Fans will point to this point and say "see, the official the can pick the one he/she wants to get the outcome he/she wants." That's the last thing on their mind as they are making the decision. I know you won't believe that, but it's a very weird phenomenon. You don't think about which team is involved because you are focused on seeing what you need to see and making the best judgement you can in the moment based on what you saw. In this context you are correct that mistakes can be made for a variety of reasons, but they are definitely not intentional. They are human and not robots. But the number of blatant misses either way are rare. As the replay experiment with PI showed a few years ago, it creates more problems than it solves. The game is not perfect. The ball bounce funny. Receivers drop passes, defenders take a bad angle, runners carry the ball too loose and drop it. These are all the imperfections that make the game so unpredictable. Perfection is the enemy of great. We have great now and will never achieve perfection.
  11. The point is more about people saying "this crew" or "that crew" calls things a certain way and they expect the same results in the postseason. If there are any tendencies in a crew they wouldn't exist in the post-season because the crew is not Huchuli's crew or Vinovich's crew so there is no connection to the tendency. And the tendency is more likely going to be tied to the games they were randomly assigned to work. The officials perceived performance is often determined by the number of crazy things that happen in the game. For example, in the first 5 plays in the Chiefs-Bills game they had an illegal bat and a missed illegal forward pass. Both are very strange and rare plays. Some games have much tougher calls than others and the more tough plays the more likely there are to be issues, real or perceived.
  12. Articles like that prove how little some people understand how football and officiating work. First, the referee makes very few of the calls in a game. Their attention is so focused on the QB and kickers they often have no idea what the result of a play is. There isn't much they could do to "influence" a game or "favor" one team. Second, the crew he's working with in the playoffs is different than the crew he's working with in the regular season. So any "trends" someone may think to propose wouldn't apply because it's a different set of people. It would be like having Patrick Mahomes as your Pro Bowl QB and then predicting the AFC Pro Bowl defense is likely to give up a lot of points because the Patrick Mahomes-led Chiefs give up more points than any team in the league.
  13. I haven't seen anything changing that stance yet but I don't have any inside information.
  14. For teams like Center Grove and Carmel who have to fill a schedule without the benefit of a conference it may be the only way they can find opponents. Center Grove is opening at home with a team from Baltimore. They had a hard time finding an opponent. This at least gives them more options.
  15. It's actually 6 of 7 (NFL only has 7 officials on the field). The one not assigned this week was the LJ. That doesn't mean he won't be assigned next week though. 4 of the 6 assigned are alternates this week which means they could get another assignment later in the playoffs as well. All this really proves is Schefter's speculation of a playoff ban the crew didn't actually happen.
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