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Impartial_Observer

Illegal substitution

Question

A has 10 players on O, with seven lineman. Sub A21 enters the field a A’s side of the ball and A snaps the ball prior to A21 reaching the nine yard mark. The discussion at our meeting was do you let the play go, or blow it dead at the snap. My contention is you have to let it go, because the ball has to be snapped for this to be a foul. Several disagreed that even though it’s a foul at the snap, you blow it dead. Thoughts?

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16 minutes ago, Impartial_Observer said:

A has 10 players on O, with seven lineman. Sub A21 enters the field a A’s side of the ball and A snaps the ball prior to A21 reaching the nine yard mark. The discussion at our meeting was do you let the play go, or blow it dead at the snap. My contention is you have to let it go, because the ball has to be snapped for this to be a foul. Several disagreed that even though it’s a foul at the snap, you blow it dead. Thoughts?

What is the dead ball foul that has supposedly been committed?

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? Some tried to make the argument that he was moving towards the LOS and claimed a false start. 

This is one of the first 12-15 plays on the 19 Lemonier video, there was even some discussion on the tape about blowing it dead or letting it go, which spurred further discussion with us.

My contention it does not meet the criteria for a false start. Regardless of whether you want to call illegal sub, illegal motion, or illegal shift, all of those require the ball to be snapped to be fouls. I’m going with illegal substitution and I’m letting the play go, had the ball not been snapped he could have gotten inside the nine yard mark and assumed a legal position. Am I wrong?

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It's one of those things where it may not meet the exact definition of a false start, but nothing good is going to come of it so you may be better off killing it and calling it a false start. It's different than a player going in motion toward the the line of scrimmage or an illegal shift because everyone didn't get reset after moving. This would definitely be a live ball foul for something (illegal shift because all 11 players weren't set prior to the snap...illegal sub only if he came in right before the snap) so just kill it and prevent anything else more stupid from happening. Use the God rule if anyone questions what you did.

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9 hours ago, JustRules said:

It's one of those things where it may not meet the exact definition of a false start, but nothing good is going to come of it so you may be better off killing it and calling it a false start. It's different than a player going in motion toward the the line of scrimmage or an illegal shift because everyone didn't get reset after moving. This would definitely be a live ball foul for something (illegal shift because all 11 players weren't set prior to the snap...illegal sub only if he came in right before the snap) so just kill it and prevent anything else more stupid from happening. Use the God rule if anyone questions what you did.

No! It’s illegal formation. You don’t have a foul until they snap it. If he gets inside the marks and stops you don’t have a foul so you can’t have a false start 

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9 hours ago, JustRules said:

It's one of those things where it may not meet the exact definition of a false start, but nothing good is going to come of it so you may be better off killing it and calling it a false start. It's different than a player going in motion toward the the line of scrimmage or an illegal shift because everyone didn't get reset after moving. This would definitely be a live ball foul for something (illegal shift because all 11 players weren't set prior to the snap...illegal sub only if he came in right before the snap) so just kill it and prevent anything else more stupid from happening. Use the God rule if anyone questions what you did.

This is my point, we have two good officials, with two different interpretations. Bob I assume is saying let it go, and you're saying kill it. Lemonnier and his host came to no conclusion about it, the play in question had no flag on it, and their main point was there had to be a flag for something. In the play there was a pass that was intercepted by B. 

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I think in our case, we have been split too.  By having that extra person out there, you can be setting yourself up for something odd to happen.  I am of the mind to kill it so that kind of thing doesn't happen.  12 on A we can easily make a false start, 12 on B would be a little more difficult to come up with something.  

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21 minutes ago, SoIndRef said:

I think in our case, we have been split too.  By having that extra person out there, you can be setting yourself up for something odd to happen.  I am of the mind to kill it so that kind of thing doesn't happen.  12 on A we can easily make a false start, 12 on B would be a little more difficult to come up with something.  

A only had 10 on the field, the sub made 11.

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1 minute ago, Impartial_Observer said:

A only had 10 on the field, the sub made 11.

Like I said, it makes it easy to call a False Start on A simply because they are on offense, regardless if they had 10 or 12.  You have a simple enforcement and nothing crazy can happen.  But I get the rule of law states it is an illegal substitution since he has reported inside the numbers.  Officials have the benefit of a lot of coaches not knowing that specific aspect.  Or perhaps I am just being mean thinking coaches don't understand the finer points of some rules.

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2 hours ago, SoIndRef said:

Like I said, it makes it easy to call a False Start on A simply because they are on offense, regardless if they had 10 or 12.  You have a simple enforcement and nothing crazy can happen.  But I get the rule of law states it is an illegal substitution since he has reported inside the numbers.  Officials have the benefit of a lot of coaches not knowing that specific aspect.  Or perhaps I am just being mean thinking coaches don't understand the finer points of some rules.

I don’t think you can have a false start. If he gets inside the marks are you gonna allow it? Then it’s not a false start. The foul is illegal formation if you don’t get inside the 9 yard marks and is a live ball foul. There isn’t a foul until the snap 

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4 hours ago, Impartial_Observer said:

In the play there was a pass that was intercepted by B. 

In my opinion, this is why you have to let they play go. It is a live ball foul so you have to give B an opportunity to play. 

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6 hours ago, Huge Football Fan said:

I don’t think you can have a false start. If he gets inside the marks are you gonna allow it? Then it’s not a false start. The foul is illegal formation if you don’t get inside the 9 yard marks and is a live ball foul. There isn’t a foul until the snap 

A good example of officiating WITH the rule book and not BY the rule book. You are essentially using the God rule to apply a false start here. If you let this go you'll like end with too many crazy results. You'll be much better off killing this, enforcing the penalty and moving forward.

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, JustRules said:

A good example of officiating WITH the rule book and not BY the rule book. You are essentially using the God rule to apply a false start here. If you let this go you'll like end with too many crazy results. You'll be much better off killing this, enforcing the penalty and moving forward.

Totally wrong. There is no way to make this a dead ball foul. I can’t believe someone thinks thats possible 🤯. It’s a live ball illegal formation foul. Why don’t you kill every live ball presnap foul then?

Edited by Huge Football Fan
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1 hour ago, Huge Football Fan said:

Totally wrong. There is no way to make this a dead ball foul. I can’t believe someone thinks thats possible 🤯. It’s a live ball illegal formation foul. Why don’t you kill every live ball presnap foul then?

This is one of the differences between high school and college officiating. Obviously, there are many very good, dedicated high school officials. But by and large college officials are better, more dedicated, do more to prepare, etc. Because of the relatively uneven quality of officiating in high school, the powers that be are less likely to approve departures from the black and white of the rule book, less likely to rely on officiating judgment, less likely to let philosophy dictate the call. So, college supervisors can say, “we’re going to just shut this down, enforce, and go from there.” But in high school, if you’re going to have consistency, you end up adhering more closely to the letter of the rule book.

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