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Bobref

2019 High School Rules Changes

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Here are the new rules changes. Plenty for officials to learn.

  1. By state association adoption, video review is allowed for post-season contests. No word on whether Indiana will adopt a system.
  2. Effective in the 2024 season, jersey numbers must now be a single solid collar that clearly contrasts with the body color of the jersey.
  3. A legal scrimmage formation now requires at least 5 players on the line of scrimmage with no more than 4 backs. This is intended to cure the "wingback in no-man's land" issue that has existed for years. More on this later.
  4. It is now a foul to intentionally trip the runner.
  5. The 40 second play clock which has been in use in Indiana for 2 seasons, is now the standard nationwide.
  6. The definition of a horse collar tackle has been expanded to include "grabbing the name plate area of the jersey directly below the back collar and pulling the runner to the ground."
  7. The penalty for illegally kicking or batting the ball has been reduced from 15 yds. to 10 yds.

Points of emphasis this year include proper procedures for weather delays, the expanded neutral zone as it applies to run or pass options, and the free blocking zone and illegal blocking.

 

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46 minutes ago, Bobref said:

Here are the new rules changes. Plenty for officials to learn.

  1. By state association adoption, video review is allowed for post-season contests. No word on whether Indiana will adopt a system.
  2. Effective in the 2024 season, jersey numbers must now be a single solid collar that clearly contrasts with the body color of the jersey.
  3. A legal scrimmage formation now requires at least 5 players on the line of scrimmage with no more than 4 backs. This is intended to cure the "wingback in no-man's land" issue that has existed for years. More on this later.
  4. It is now a foul to intentionally trip the runner.
  5. The 40 second play clock which has been in use in Indiana for 2 seasons, is now the standard nationwide.
  6. The definition of a horse collar tackle has been expanded to include "grabbing the name plate area of the jersey directly below the back collar and pulling the runner to the ground."
  7. The penalty for illegally kicking or batting the ball has been reduced from 15 yds. to 10 yds.

Points of emphasis this year include proper procedures for weather delays, the expanded neutral zone as it applies to run or pass options, and the free blocking zone and illegal blocking.

 

I assume this is suppose to be color?

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Going off of jersey colors...what combos do they have in mind?

to me, reds/greens/darker blues with black is very hard to depict the number. 

 

 

Also. Tripping the runner?  Like if a player falls down and grabs the leg of a runner is that a foul or is this like tripping with the leg?  

 

Seems vague and could be problematic. 

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1 hour ago, DumfriesYMCA said:

Going off of jersey colors...what combos do they have in mind?

to me, reds/greens/darker blues with black is very hard to depict the number. 

Also. Tripping the runner?  Like if a player falls down and grabs the leg of a runner is that a foul or is this like tripping with the leg?  

Seems vague and could be problematic. 

The definition of tripping is intentionally using the lower part of your leg or foot to trip an opponent. Previously the runner was excluded but now they are. It very rarely happened when it was legal so I doubt we'll see it now either.

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1 hour ago, DumfriesYMCA said:

Also. Tripping the runner?  Like if a player falls down and grabs the leg of a runner is that a foul or is this like tripping with the leg?  

There's already a definition of tripping in the rule book, since it's always been a foul to trip anyone other than the runner. And it's not vague at all. It's an intentional act that involves striking below the knee with the lower leg. 

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2 hours ago, Bobref said:

Here are the new rules changes. Plenty for officials to learn.

  1. By state association adoption, video review is allowed for post-season contests. No word on whether Indiana will adopt a system.
  2. Effective in the 2024 season, jersey numbers must now be a single solid collar that clearly contrasts with the body color of the jersey.
  3. A legal scrimmage formation now requires at least 5 players on the line of scrimmage with no more than 4 backs. This is intended to cure the "wingback in no-man's land" issue that has existed for years. More on this later.
  4. It is now a foul to intentionally trip the runner.
  5. The 40 second play clock which has been in use in Indiana for 2 seasons, is now the standard nationwide.
  6. The definition of a horse collar tackle has been expanded to include "grabbing the name plate area of the jersey directly below the back collar and pulling the runner to the ground."
  7. The penalty for illegally kicking or batting the ball has been reduced from 15 yds. to 10 yds.

Points of emphasis this year include proper procedures for weather delays, the expanded neutral zone as it applies to run or pass options, and the free blocking zone and illegal blocking.

 

Nothing about intentional grounding?!?  It baffles me how the high school level has the most strict interpretation of this rule.  Kids see quarterbacks avoid sacks by chucking it away on Saturdays and Sundays but cannot do the same on Friday nights.

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3 minutes ago, HanShotFirst said:

Nothing about intentional grounding?!?  It baffles me how the high school level has the most strict interpretation of this rule.  Kids see quarterbacks avoid sacks by chucking it away on Saturdays and Sundays but cannot do the same on Friday nights.

I believe something is proposed most years, but the committee feels the defense should be rewarded more for a good play then just an incomplete pass. Robert Faulkens is our rules committee member so he can provide more insight to the details of the discussions.

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2 hours ago, Bobref said:

Effective in the 2024 season, jersey numbers must now be a single solid color that clearly contrasts with the body color of the jersey.

On behalf of broadcasters and PA announcers everywhere, THANK YOU. I've been calling for this for years in all sports. 

Unfortunately, I'm sure there are a few coaches out there who will try to skirt this as much as they can to make it difficult to see them on film and order uniforms with, say, navy numbers on maroon with no outline (which are almost impossible to read), but at least this gets rid of the uniforms where the numbers are nothing more than a thin outline. 

It's very simple. If you have a dark uniform, use white (or gold/grey if they're in your color scheme) for your home numbers. For the white jerseys, use the darkest school color you have. Gold or grey on white remain almost impossible to see (but would probably fit within the rules) without a thick black outline. 

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Just now, JustRules said:

I believe something is proposed most years, but the committee feels the defense should be rewarded more for a good play then just an incomplete pass. Robert Faulkens is our rules committee member so he can provide more insight to the details of the discussions.

Interesting.  Never thought to play devil's advocate.  So much stock gets put into high-scoring offenses - I never considered the defensive POV.

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Just now, HanShotFirst said:

Interesting.  Never thought to play devil's advocate.  So much stock gets put into high-scoring offenses - I never considered the defensive POV.

It's also probably not called as much as it should be if you follow the HS rule. If a QB throws the ball intentionally out of bounds but well over the head of a receiver. It should be intentional grounding. If he intentionally throws it at the feet of a receiver it should be intentional grounding. There is no 'in the area" provision in the HS rule. Most referees give the QB the benefit of the doubt though. We had one last year where the QB threw the pass to the track 30 yards downfield and we had flagged intentional grounding. Their coaches went crazy, and I understand why. The 3 previous crews they had probably didn't call it.

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1 hour ago, JustRules said:

The definition of tripping is intentionally using the lower part of your leg or foot to trip an opponent. Previously the runner was excluded but now they are. It very rarely happened when it was legal so I doubt we'll see it now either.

 

1 hour ago, Bobref said:

There's already a definition of tripping in the rule book, since it's always been a foul to trip anyone other than the runner. And it's not vague at all. It's an intentional act that involves striking below the knee with the lower leg. 

Thank you guys for the clarification. I, and I’m sure many others here, appreciate you guys.

Edited by DumfriesYMCA

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19 hours ago, crimsonace1 said:

On behalf of broadcasters and PA announcers everywhere, THANK YOU. I've been calling for this for years in all sports. 

Unfortunately, I'm sure there are a few coaches out there who will try to skirt this as much as they can to make it difficult to see them on film ....

I could give you a list of programs if you'd like....the worst is the italicized "NASCAR" style numbers....even if its, ohhhhhh lets say white numbers on a black jersey.  They are shortened from top to bottom and the font makes it impossible to differentiate some numbers on film or even from the sidelines.

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On 2/11/2019 at 12:14 PM, Bobref said:

Points of emphasis this year include proper procedures for weather delays, the expanded neutral zone as it applies to run or pass options, and the free blocking zone and illegal blocking.

Can any officials expand on this?  What is the point of emphasis?  Why is run/pass option mentioned?

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26 minutes ago, Punttheball said:

Can any officials expand on this?  What is the point of emphasis?  Why is run/pass option mentioned?

Has to be related to ineligible linemen downfield?  Big guys are doing their best in the R phase and the QB has other plans in the P phase.  Defensive coaches are lobbying for the call all the time.

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32 minutes ago, Punttheball said:

Can any officials expand on this?  What is the point of emphasis?  Why is run/pass option mentioned?

My guess is they are going to clarify if ineligible players are able to go 2 yards prior to the pass only if they engage with a defender at the LOS. There is some disagreement on that as the rule says it both ways. Most officials I know allow 2 yards regardless of contact so we'll see if that changes. If they require contact at the LOS I bet we see little or no RPO going forward.

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45 minutes ago, JustRules said:

My guess is they are going to clarify if ineligible players are able to go 2 yards prior to the pass only if they engage with a defender at the LOS. There is some disagreement on that as the rule says it both ways. Most officials I know allow 2 yards regardless of contact so we'll see if that changes. If they require contact at the LOS I bet we see little or no RPO going forward.

This where many officials in my opinion need to educate themselves.  Many RPO's never send a lineman downfield prior to the pass.  Plays are often timed up so that pulling guards are used and double teams are engaged.  Passes are gone and the play continues...then defensive coaches are yelling for linemen downfield.  As the play continues the linemen do often venture downfield, but the pass is away and caught because of the timing of the play.  

I have seen RPO's that have lineman downfield 10 yards and it is an obvious call.  But an engaged lineman will stay close to that 2 yard cushion.  

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24 minutes ago, Punttheball said:

This where many officials in my opinion need to educate themselves.  Many RPO's never send a lineman downfield prior to the pass.  Plays are often timed up so that pulling guards are used and double teams are engaged.  Passes are gone and the play continues...then defensive coaches are yelling for linemen downfield.  As the play continues the linemen do often venture downfield, but the pass is away and caught because of the timing of the play.  

I have seen RPO's that have lineman downfield 10 yards and it is an obvious call.  But an engaged lineman will stay close to that 2 yard cushion.  

I will add that I think many officials are educated on this.  I was trying to validate why RPO's are not going away, if the rule is applied correctly.  

 

25 minutes ago, Punttheball said:

My guess is they are going to clarify if ineligible players are able to go 2 yards prior to the pass only if they engage with a defender at the LOS. There is some disagreement on that as the rule says it both ways. Most officials I know allow 2 yards regardless of contact so we'll see if that changes. If they require contact at the LOS I bet we see little or no RPO going forward.

 

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33 minutes ago, Punttheball said:

This where many officials in my opinion need to educate themselves.  Many RPO's never send a lineman downfield prior to the pass.  Plays are often timed up so that pulling guards are used and double teams are engaged.  Passes are gone and the play continues...then defensive coaches are yelling for linemen downfield.  As the play continues the linemen do often venture downfield, but the pass is away and caught because of the timing of the play.  

I have seen RPO's that have lineman downfield 10 yards and it is an obvious call.  But an engaged lineman will stay close to that 2 yard cushion.  

Every RPO I've seen at the HS and NCAA level has linemen coming out to try to engage a LB or at least drive the DL back to sell it as a pure run. Sometimes they drift too far before the ball is thrown (usually the fault of the passer and not the lineman). The problem usually comes in when a lineman may be 6-8 yards downfield when the pass is caught, but the rule applies when the pass is released. Often the lineman is fine at that point but coaches scream because they see the lineman way downfield when the ball is in the air. I was fooled by this many times when I was a newer official, but watching on film I realized the lineman was fine at the time of release. Now I'm much slower to flag it unless I"m absolutely certain the lineman was illegal when the ball was released.

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6 minutes ago, JustRules said:

Every RPO I've seen at the HS and NCAA level has linemen coming out to try to engage a LB or at least drive the DL back to sell it as a pure run. Sometimes they drift too far before the ball is thrown (usually the fault of the passer and not the lineman). The problem usually comes in when a lineman may be 6-8 yards downfield when the pass is caught, but the rule applies when the pass is released. Often the lineman is fine at that point but coaches scream because they see the lineman way downfield when the ball is in the air. I was fooled by this many times when I was a newer official, but watching on film I realized the lineman was fine at the time of release. Now I'm much slower to flag it unless I"m absolutely certain the lineman was illegal when the ball was released.

Good to hear.  Pin and Pull RPO's often do not get lineman down the field as you are referencing.  Take a look at some of those cuts on youtube.  

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5 minutes ago, JustRules said:

Every RPO I've seen at the HS and NCAA level has linemen coming out to try to engage a LB or at least drive the DL back to sell it as a pure run. Sometimes they drift too far before the ball is thrown (usually the fault of the passer and not the lineman). The problem usually comes in when a lineman may be 6-8 yards downfield when the pass is caught, but the rule applies when the pass is released. Often the lineman is fine at that point but coaches scream because they see the lineman way downfield when the ball is in the air. I was fooled by this many times when I was a newer official, but watching on film I realized the lineman was fine at the time of release. Now I'm much slower to flag it unless I"m absolutely certain the lineman was illegal when the ball was released.

There shouldn't be an excuse to miss this, but believe me it is missed often...and I'll caveat that most RPO teams are not in violation. 

However...comma....As an official, you should be watching the OT to the offset back for an RPO team.  If we mention it in pregame meeting with officials it is something we see violated blatantly and often on film.   Its usually one specific player as well.  Some teams teach that kid to engage the LB immediately from the snap, so they can complete the route on that side.  Officials need to get better at this.  If he's combo'ing up to LB, fine....if he never engages LB, fine.....but if he's up on the LB before the catch, do your job and call it.  Hopefully this point of emphasis helps.  You don't have to watch the whole line for the violation...it almost always the OT to the offset back.

:end rant

Hugs and kisses

 

9 minutes ago, Punttheball said:

Good to hear.  Pin and Pull RPO's often do not get lineman down the field as you are referencing.  Take a look at some of those cuts on youtube.  

Agree....the OG wrapping is not the issue on RPO....it the readside OT that takes a B-Line to the LB...no combo...nothing.

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47 minutes ago, US31 said:

There shouldn't be an excuse to miss this, but believe me it is missed often...and I'll caveat that most RPO teams are not in violation. 

However...comma....As an official, you should be watching the OT to the offset back for an RPO team.  If we mention it in pregame meeting with officials it is something we see violated blatantly and often on film.   Its usually one specific player as well.  Some teams teach that kid to engage the LB immediately from the snap, so they can complete the route on that side.  Officials need to get better at this.  If he's combo'ing up to LB, fine....if he never engages LB, fine.....but if he's up on the LB before the catch, do your job and call it.  Hopefully this point of emphasis helps.  You don't have to watch the whole line for the violation...it almost always the OT to the offset back.

It's a lot harder than you think. The reason is the umpire has to watch two different things taking place in two different areas of the field. I have to know where the lineman is in relation to the line of scrimmage when the ball is released. He's not watching the QB so while he'll see the lineman but not know when the ball is released. As since linemen are coming out, he has a run read. If the releasing linemen aren't engaged there is no reason to watch them so he'll focus on the engaged blockers for holding assuming it's a run. All of the sudden the ball is in the air, and he has no idea where the other linemen were at the time the ball was released so he can't call anything. If we could watch all 5 linemen at the same time as well as the QB we would be super human. The way I do it now is sense if linemen are downfield but watch for engaged blocks. If I see a lineman is beyond the 2-yards allowed I take a quick peak back at the QB. If the ball is released or he's in near the end of his throwing motion, I let it go. If he still has the ball I go back to officiating my keys. If the ball is thrown any time after that I know I have a foul because I already had a lineman downfield. That seems to work because I now may only miss 1 per season. It also makes sure the foul is definitely there. It has taken years of practice and experience to get there. It's much easier to catch on video because you can stop the video the second the ball is released and do an inventory of the ineligible players. Can't do that on the field.

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9 minutes ago, JustRules said:

It's a lot harder than you think. The reason is the umpire has to watch two different things taking place in two different areas of the field. I have to know where the lineman is in relation to the line of scrimmage when the ball is released. He's not watching the QB so while he'll see the lineman but not know when the ball is released. As since linemen are coming out, he has a run read. If the releasing linemen aren't engaged there is no reason to watch them so he'll focus on the engaged blockers for holding assuming it's a run. All of the sudden the ball is in the air, and he has no idea where the other linemen were at the time the ball was released so he can't call anything. If we could watch all 5 linemen at the same time as well as the QB we would be super human. The way I do it now is sense if linemen are downfield but watch for engaged blocks. If I see a lineman is beyond the 2-yards allowed I take a quick peak back at the QB. If the ball is released or he's in near the end of his throwing motion, I let it go. If he still has the ball I go back to officiating my keys. If the ball is thrown any time after that I know I have a foul because I already had a lineman downfield. That seems to work because I now may only miss 1 per season. It also makes sure the foul is definitely there. It has taken years of practice and experience to get there. It's much easier to catch on video because you can stop the video the second the ball is released and do an inventory of the ineligible players. Can't do that on the field.

Sounds like you are taking the approach that most coaches would expect.  Do you feel that you represent the majority of officials and the way they approach it.  I fear that we are going to create this perception among officials that all RPO teams are sending linemen 8 yards downfield on every pass play.  

As was mentioned earlier, coaches are putting bugs in officials ears prior to the start of the game.  I anticipate more calls that might have passed last year being called this year.  I just hope that we do not have officials that assume all RPO's or Playaction passes have linemen downfield.  

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The use of RPOs is a relatively new phenomenon. As officials see more film and the use of RPOs becomes even more widespread, officials will get better at dealing with them.  There’s a learning curve, like with anything new.

Edited by Bobref

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5 hours ago, Punttheball said:

Sounds like you are taking the approach that most coaches would expect.  Do you feel that you represent the majority of officials and the way they approach it.  I fear that we are going to create this perception among officials that all RPO teams are sending linemen 8 yards downfield on every pass play.  

As was mentioned earlier, coaches are putting bugs in officials ears prior to the start of the game.  I anticipate more calls that might have passed last year being called this year.  I just hope that we do not have officials that assume all RPO's or Playaction passes have linemen downfield.  

I think it's currently called a lot more often than it should. I think a lot of umpires see the ball thrown and when they turn they see a lineman 6-8 yards downfield and flag them. But when you watch the video that lineman was still legal. But as I said it's a very tricky thing because nobody is looking at the linemen and QB at the same time and even good officials make this mistake. I'm sure there are also plenty of times where the bleeding lineman is missed because the focus is on other lineman. You often can watch all 5 at one time.

I should clarify too that all RPO teams don't do this every play. But every RPO team I have seen does have linemen often coming into the expanded neutral zone at various times during the game. Most of the time it ends up being a run or the QB throws it while the linemen are still legal.

I don't know if there will be any more emphasis on enforcing it. What we are going to see is if the linemen can only be in the ENZ if they are engaged or if they can be there regardless before the ball is thrown. If it's the latter it won't be a change for a majority of officials. If it's the former it will affect many RPO offenses ability to run it, but it will be easier to officiate because the linemen can't be downfield at all before the ball is thrown. As run read will truly be a run read.

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On 2/11/2019 at 12:14 PM, Bobref said:

A legal scrimmage formation now requires at least 5 players on the line of scrimmage with no more than 4 backs. This is intended to cure the "wingback in no-man's land" issue that has existed for years. More on this later.

Can you please expound on this @Bobref?

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