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Bobref

2019 High School Rules Changes

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1 hour ago, cdcotton said:

Can you please expound on this @Bobref?

From another thread, compliments of @JustRules

This change was made because under the previous rule if you only had 10 players on offense with 4 backs and 6 linemen you were guilty of an illegal formation even though you were at a disadvantage of having not enough players. This change removes that as a foul and matches the NCAA rule. What both versions are trying to prevent is lining up 10 of your players at ends or backs so they are all eligible. They included the "minimum of 5 on the line" even though that's already covered by the numbering requirement. They really didn't need to mention it here but they did and it's creating a lot of confusion. You could legally snap with 6 players if you wanted (5 lineman and a back to receive the snap).

From an officiating mechanics standpoint, wings were usually counting backs anyway. As long as the R/U confirmed there were 11 players, they only had to make sure there were no more than 4 backs. If the R/U counted 10 players, then the wings would make sure there were no more than 3 backs. Now the wings don't have to worry about how many players there are on offense for this formation rule.

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On ‎2‎/‎12‎/‎2019 at 9:58 AM, US31 said:

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.

Agree... it's even worse in middle school where half the kids have the bottom of their already-illegible number tucked into their pants because the jerseys are HS hand-me-downs.

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7 hours ago, HSFBFan64 said:

Agree... it's even worse in middle school where half the kids have the bottom of their already-illegible number tucked into their pants because the jerseys are HS hand-me-downs.

Middle school is a different beast altogether.  I know our guys play a team that always lines a 50 number up at TE.  We are trying to teach our kids about the game.  Identify ineligible numbers that cannot go out and so on.  They always throw to him.  Our guys complain and they claim they do not have any other number for him.  Ref's buy their story and our kids get a cheap one pulled on them.

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1 hour ago, Punttheball said:

Middle school is a different beast altogether.  I know our guys play a team that always lines a 50 number up at TE.  We are trying to teach our kids about the game.  Identify ineligible numbers that cannot go out and so on.  They always throw to him.  Our guys complain and they claim they do not have any other number for him.  Ref's buy their story and our kids get a cheap one pulled on them.

It's always been common place to allow this sort of thing. MS's with hand me down jerseys or just lacking jerseys, have many times had issues getting everyone in the right numbers. 

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The only real problem I have with the rule changes are the rules requiring contrasting numbers on jerseys will not be fully implemented until 2024. 

There should be NO MORE than a 2-year lead time for compliance. When the NFHS changed the rules requiring basketball teams to wear white (as opposed to gold, Carolina blue, silver) when designated the home team, it gave a 2-year time frame for compliance. Five seasons of lead time is a bit much. These should never have been allowed in the first place - the point of uniforms is so fans, media and officials clearly identify who is wearing them. Numbers that are nothing more than an outline, or even those that blend in, fly in the face of that rule. They serve a functional purpose, not to be a fashion show. 

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2 hours ago, crimsonace1 said:

The only real problem I have with the rule changes are the rules requiring contrasting numbers on jerseys will not be fully implemented until 2024. 

There should be NO MORE than a 2-year lead time for compliance. When the NFHS changed the rules requiring basketball teams to wear white (as opposed to gold, Carolina blue, silver) when designated the home team, it gave a 2-year time frame for compliance. Five seasons of lead time is a bit much. These should never have been allowed in the first place - the point of uniforms is so fans, media and officials clearly identify who is wearing them. Numbers that are nothing more than an outline, or even those that blend in, fly in the face of that rule. They serve a functional purpose, not to be a fashion show. 

Typically Football allows several years to allow for the changes to be made on existing replacement timelines. Buying ten BB jerseys is one thing, buying 60+ Football jerseys is something entirely different. 

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On 2/13/2019 at 2:25 PM, 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.

Then I would respectfully suggest that maybe there should be a mechanics change to adjust someone accounting for this if it is indeed so difficult to do currently.  I'm guessing that officials have adapted mechanics many times over the years....from single wing, to Maryland I, to Pro I, to Run and Shoot, etc.  RPO's aren't going away.  Its the new triple option.  I have faith that officials can do it....but from my perspective it SHOULDN'T be that hard....if an RPO team is in an offset gun formation, the focus really only needs to be on  one guy...read side OT.

 

Thanks JR and all the officials that come on here to discuss these topics!!👍

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2 hours ago, US31 said:

Then I would respectfully suggest that maybe there should be a mechanics change to adjust someone accounting for this if it is indeed so difficult to do currently.  I'm guessing that officials have adapted mechanics many times over the years....from single wing, to Maryland I, to Pro I, to Run and Shoot, etc.  RPO's aren't going away.  Its the new triple option.  I have faith that officials can do it....but from my perspective it SHOULDN'T be that hard....if an RPO team is in an offset gun formation, the focus really only needs to be on  one guy...read side OT.

It only needs to be on one guy ... to make that call. But the problem is, that’s not the only call that’s being made out there. That’s why it’s so difficult with a 5 man crew. Give us 7, and the odds of catching it go way up. Of course, we don’t have enough qualified officials in the state to cover varsity games with 7 ... or even 6.

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1 hour ago, Bobref said:

It only needs to be on one guy ... to make that call. But the problem is, that’s not the only call that’s being made out there. That’s why it’s so difficult with a 5 man crew. Give us 7, and the odds of catching it go way up. Of course, we don’t have enough qualified officials in the state to cover varsity games with 7 ... or even 6.

It's not really any easier with 7 because it still relies heavily on the U specific to RPO situations. The short wins can help a little more on the tackles because they have less focus downfield. The reason why it's difficult is because an official has to be able to see two different things (lineman downfield and pass released) happen on two different parts of the field (offensive backfield and back of the expanded neutral zone). And the 5 linemen can be spread out in that expanded neutral zone. You are completely correct that he's also looking for other possible issues. Illegal blocks (i.e. holding, chop blocks), or hands to the face for example. He's less likely to be moving toward the LOS because it's probably a run read, but depending on what the guards and center do, he may be doing that thus putting the tackles wider than his view and possibly behind him. He doesn't pay close attention to the tackles because his keys are the guard, center, guard. There really isn't a mechanic that will help you watch both of these places at the same time and not miss all the other things you need to be watching.

It's equally difficult for the wings regarding defensive holding or pass interference at times. The official may see the contact, but if the ball is already going to the other side of the field, it's not a foul. They do something similar to what I described. See the potential illegal action and then take a quick peak at the QB to see if he's looking that way or already throwing the ball the other direction. That's where I picked up the technique I use and have since heard it taught at clinics I attend.

Officiating is sometimes an inexact science. You put yourself in the best position possible to see what you need to see and then base any decisions on what your eyes tell your brain and how you apply the rules and philosophies you've learned to make the best call possible. Then you play it over in your brain again before deciding if it was a foul. The more you see similar types of plays either on the field or on video, the better you are able to recognize it and make an accurate call. You watch video to see if you still like what you saw and sometimes you adjust how you process it when you see it again. It's not unlike players who have to make reads, adjustments and decisions quickly on the field. Trying to figure out how to do that right every time is one thing I love about officiating. You strive for perfection but realize that is almost impossible to do. But you don't stop trying.

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4 hours ago, US31 said:

Then I would respectfully suggest that maybe there should be a mechanics change to adjust someone accounting for this if it is indeed so difficult to do currently.  I'm guessing that officials have adapted mechanics many times over the years....from single wing, to Maryland I, to Pro I, to Run and Shoot, etc.  RPO's aren't going away.  Its the new triple option.  I have faith that officials can do it....but from my perspective it SHOULDN'T be that hard....if an RPO team is in an offset gun formation, the focus really only needs to be on  one guy...read side OT.

 

Thanks JR and all the officials that come on here to discuss these topics!!👍

And what if the team isn't in an offset gun formation? Or what if the other tackle or one of the guards bleeds downfield because he expects it to be a run? If we only officiated to what the players were SUPPOSED to do we would never have a hold or pass interference. Because they weren't supposed to make that contact. But they did. You do look for tendencies though and that's one I've never heard. I will definitely look for it on video to see if I notice it then apply i ton the field this Fall.

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On 2/15/2019 at 6:03 PM, JustRules said:

And what if the team isn't in an offset gun formation? Or what if the other tackle or one of the guards bleeds downfield because he expects it to be a run? If we only officiated to what the players were SUPPOSED to do we would never have a hold or pass interference. Because they weren't supposed to make that contact. But they did. You do look for tendencies though and that's one I've never heard. I will definitely look for it on video to see if I notice it then apply i ton the field this Fall.

Not trying to stray out of my lane to far here....I am definitley not well schooled on the nuance of official's mechanics.  But in your previous post you seemed to indicate that the GCG part of the line is much easier to see? Or am I reading that wrong?  Not trying to argue, just understand.  Is the umpire generally responsible for making that call??  (OT down field on pass)

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On 2/17/2019 at 1:05 PM, US31 said:

Not trying to stray out of my lane to far here....I am definitley not well schooled on the nuance of official's mechanics.  But in your previous post you seemed to indicate that the GCG part of the line is much easier to see? Or am I reading that wrong?  Not trying to argue, just understand.  Is the umpire generally responsible for making that call??  (OT down field on pass)

That's a fair question. Each official is responsible for watching specific players or players in an area of the field depending on how the play develops. The umpire's keys are the G-C-G. He doesn't usually pay much attention to the tackles but will try to have a feel for where they are, especially if a team is known to run RPO. But it's very difficult to see all 5 at the same time as well as see what the QB is doing. The LOS officials or referee will more likely be keying the tackles, but they have other responsibilities as well and may not have perspective on the location of the tackle in relation to the expanded neutral zone. And the officials who do see the lineman is beyond 2 yards isn't looking at the QB at the same time to know the status of the pass. That's why I started using the mechanic where I take a quick peak at the QB if KNOW an ineligible player is BEYOND the expanded neutral zone. If the ball is not yet released and is ultimately thrown beyond the neutral zone, then it becomes a foul. Otherwise it's a guess and I guessed wrong too many times so now i want to make absolutely certain.

I hope that helps you understand why this is difficult but not impossible.

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6 minutes ago, JustRules said:

That's a fair question. Each official is responsible for watching specific players or players in an area of the field depending on how the play develops. The umpire's keys are the G-C-G. He doesn't usually pay much attention to the tackles but will try to have a feel for where they are, especially if a team is known to run RPO. But it's very difficult to see all 5 at the same time as well as see what the QB is doing. The LOS officials or referee will more likely be keying the tackles, but they have other responsibilities as well and may not have perspective on the location of the tackle in relation to the expanded neutral zone. And the officials who do see the lineman is beyond 2 yards isn't looking at the QB at the same time to know the status of the pass. That's why I started using the mechanic where I take a quick peak at the QB if KNOW an ineligible player is BEYOND the expanded neutral zone. If the ball is not yet released and is ultimately thrown beyond the neutral zone, then it becomes a foul. Otherwise it's a guess and I guessed wrong too many times so now i want to make absolutely certain.

I hope that helps you understand why this is difficult but not impossible.

It really depends on how the play unfolds for the R. With a RH QB, a lot of times I never see the RT. 

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1 hour ago, Impartial_Observer said:

It really depends on how the play unfolds for the R. With a RH QB, a lot of times I never see the RT. 

Exactly. That's why I said the tackles fall to the wings or R. The RT in general is the one most likely to get away with anything unless he's on play side of a run or he gets beat so bad in pass pro that he takes down the defender in your view and the LT's block is not in play. So many things can draw your attention depending on how the play develops you have to know where best to focus your attention. That learning only comes from experience. No amount of rule study or discussion can help you there.

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4 hours ago, JustRules said:

Exactly. That's why I said the tackles fall to the wings or R. The RT in general is the one most likely to get away with anything unless he's on play side of a run or he gets beat so bad in pass pro that he takes down the defender in your view and the LT's block is not in play. So many things can draw your attention depending on how the play develops you have to know where best to focus your attention. That learning only comes from experience. No amount of rule study or discussion can help you there.

It’s really interesting to me how each game kind of has it’s own identity. Some games I’m able to see a lot of line play, some games I get to see the initial block of the LT, and only see the QB and what’s right in front of him, it’s certainly a different view every game. 

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