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Bobref

Fake Kneeldown

Question

Here’s a play that you see every once in a while, always controversial. There is now an approved IHSAA ruling on this play. All crews are required to handle this play as directed in the official interpretation. First, the play.

With time running down in the 4th period, Team A leads 21-7, and has the ball on the B 14 yd. line. After a timeout the QB of A comes to the huddle and tells the Referee “we’re taking a knee.” The offense then lines up in “Victory” formation. At the snap, the QB fakes taking a knee and lofts a TD pass to A9 in the corner of the end zone.

What would you do, if anything?

The approved interpretation will follow after we have a few answers.

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On 8/15/2019 at 4:57 PM, Bobref said:

This was the consensus reached in the state observers meeting last Saturday, and ordered implemented by Asst. Commissioner Robert Faulkens, who presided over the meeting.

That's fine, but he needs to communicate it out so everyone is aware of it.

I'm fine with the procedure. The one thing I will add is that if a team does say they are going to take a knee and the game is still in doubt (i.e. within 8 points or maybe 16 with more than a minute left) the OL still needs to be ready to block because it's still a live ball and if the offense botches the snap the defense should have an opportunity to recover it. A good rule change would be to match NCAA and a fake kneel down is treated as a kneel down and the play is dead. No foul or "treat as IW", just dead ball.

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Posted (edited)

Toss a flag for unsportsmanlike conduct.  Get chewed out by the coach (if he directed his player to do that, he should be fuming), march off 15 yards, start the clock at the ready if there is time left.  

 

 

Start the van....

Edited by SoIndRef

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23 minutes ago, SoIndRef said:

Toss a flag for unsportsmanlike conduct.  Get chewed out by the coach (if he directed his player to do that, he should be fuming), march off 15 yards, start the clock at the ready if there is time left.  

 

 

Start the van....

If the coach of the offended team doesn’t elect to have it started on the snap...

At our meeting Saturday, there were plenty of people who argued for just this outcome. But, in the end, that point of view did not carry the day.

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12 minutes ago, Bobref said:

If the coach of the offended team doesn’t elect to have it started on the snap...

At our meeting Saturday, there were plenty of people who argued for just this outcome. But, in the end, that point of view did not carry the day.

It will be enforced as a dead ball foul, meaning the TD counts?

March it off on the try or the KO.

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My hope is this......take the TD back, and march off 15 on the offense. In cases where we take a knee, the officials will tell the defense we are taking a knee and to take it easy. In every case, the defense has just stood and watched, with no one ready for a play. To me, it falls into that category of trying to deliberately deceive the defense. And I also think it is a completely classless thing to do. 

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All good, reasonable approaches. Here’s the official IHSAA procedure.

If the offense announces - to the officials or anyone else - that they’re taking a knee, the defense is entitled to rely on that. If after communicating that, the offense runs an actual play, the Referee is to immediately blow the play dead. He then administers the situation as an inadvertent whistle, which will result in a replay. Prior to the replay, the Referee is to instruct the coach of the offensive team that if this is repeated, it will be charged as an unsportsmanlike conduct foul against the head coach, and ang score or gain on the play will be nullified.

Now, if the offense doesn’t say anything, then regardless of the formation they line up in, it’s play football.

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3 hours ago, Bobref said:

 

Now, if the offense doesn’t say anything, then regardless of the formation they line up in, it’s play football.

Glad you added this last point, I asked Coach Brohm point blank about this play vs Arizona in the bowl game, he said his players were instructed to not say a word to officials and to just line up as normal.  

NOW, what is the Officials mechanics here?  Does this mean that Officials are going to stop asking if Offensive Team A with the ball is going to "take a knee"  in these situations?  If they ask, and TEAM A says nothing and that formation goes to the line, would officials keep quiet?  or would they state "taking a knee fellas"?  

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3 hours ago, Coach Nowlin said:

Glad you added this last point, I asked Coach Brohm point blank about this play vs Arizona in the bowl game, he said his players were instructed to not say a word to officials and to just line up as normal.  

NOW, what is the Officials mechanics here?  Does this mean that Officials are going to stop asking if Offensive Team A with the ball is going to "take a knee"  in these situations?  If they ask, and TEAM A says nothing and that formation goes to the line, would officials keep quiet?  or would they state "taking a knee fellas"?  

Whether to ask the offense, whether to say anything to the defense, if so, what to say, varies by crew. Thus, the need to standardize how we’re going to handle the outcome. The main thing to remember is that the offense is allowed to deceive the defense by formation. But they are not allowed to deceive the defense by actively misrepresenting their intentions in this way. So, if the offense says or does anything that represents to the defense and the officials that they are going to take a knee, they’re not going to be allowed to do anything else.

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Many years ago in a JV game, the QB came out for the last series and told me was taking a knee. I told him “be sure and immediately turn and flip me the ball.” You guessed it. He forgot to take a knee and just flipped me the ball. 

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4 minutes ago, Bobref said:

Many years ago in a JV game, the QB came out for the last series and told me was taking a knee. I told him “be sure and immediately turn and flip me the ball.” You guessed it. He forgot to take a knee and just flipped me the ball. 

Run Bob, RUN!!!!!!!!  😂

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1 hour ago, DannEllenwood said:

Run Bob, RUN!!!!!!!!  😂

I did some fancy steppin’ trying to avoid that ball and keep from bursting out laughing at the same time.

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9 hours ago, Bobref said:

I did some fancy steppin’ trying to avoid that ball and keep from bursting out laughing at the same time.

Should have taken it to the house...

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14 hours ago, Bobref said:

Whether to ask the offense, whether to say anything to the defense, if so, what to say, varies by crew. Thus, the need to standardize how we’re going to handle the outcome. The main thing to remember is that the offense is allowed to deceive the defense by formation. But they are not allowed to deceive the defense by actively misrepresenting their intentions in this way. So, if the offense says or does anything that represents to the defense and the officials that they are going to take a knee, they’re not going to be allowed to do anything else.

Thanks for the explanation. I don’t like the idea of a second chance though. The coach knows what he and his team is doing in a situation like this. 

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21 hours ago, Bobref said:

All good, reasonable approaches. Here’s the official IHSAA procedure.

If the offense announces - to the officials or anyone else - that they’re taking a knee, the defense is entitled to rely on that. If after communicating that, the offense runs an actual play, the Referee is to immediately blow the play dead. He then administers the situation as an inadvertent whistle, which will result in a replay. Prior to the replay, the Referee is to instruct the coach of the offensive team that if this is repeated, it will be charged as an unsportsmanlike conduct foul against the head coach, and ang score or gain on the play will be nullified.

Now, if the offense doesn’t say anything, then regardless of the formation they line up in, it’s play football.

Thanks for the information, do you have a source on this that I can share with my association? 

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7 hours ago, 5GetsYou1 said:

Thanks for the information, do you have a source on this that I can share with my association? 

This was the consensus reached in the state observers meeting last Saturday, and ordered implemented by Asst. Commissioner Robert Faulkens, who presided over the meeting.

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Offense has ball and is up 7 near the end of game.  Def has 2 timeouts.  Offense elects to "take a knee".  We teach our kids to rush the Q live, but not hit him if he drops a knee.  To force him down quick if you will, by pressuring him.  The idea being, he can't milk extra seconds by standing there after the snap.

How do officials handle to amount of time a QB has to take a knee before he loses any protection?

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Posted (edited)
10 minutes ago, US31 said:

Offense has ball and is up 7 near the end of game.  Def has 2 timeouts.  Offense elects to "take a knee".  We teach our kids to rush the Q live, but not hit him if he drops a knee.  To force him down quick if you will, by pressuring him.  The idea being, he can't milk extra seconds by standing there after the snap.

How do officials handle to amount of time a QB has to take a knee before he loses any protection?

If he QB tells me he's taking a knee, I always tell him not to mess around, go down. 

Edited by Impartial_Observer

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22 hours ago, US31 said:

Offense has ball and is up 7 near the end of game.  Def has 2 timeouts.  Offense elects to "take a knee".  We teach our kids to rush the Q live, but not hit him if he drops a knee.  To force him down quick if you will, by pressuring him.  The idea being, he can't milk extra seconds by standing there after the snap.

How do officials handle to amount of time a QB has to take a knee before he loses any protection?

If they are going to do that they had better expect you to play full speed as well and block your defense. That's why I don't tell the defense to let up in that situation. I just tell people to be smart and that applies to both sides. If the QB drops the ball or mishandles the snap it's a free ball.

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