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4A East Central at Memorial


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With the win over EC, HC John Hurley has passed  legendary and national champion HC Don Ping in wins. Add to that, Memorial is 5 wins from reaching 600 team wins. Hurley is also 19 wins away from tying HC Gene Logel’s 138 career wins too

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3 hours ago, Titan Fan said:

Looks like an incomplete pass to me.  His arm was moving forward when the ball came out. Congratulations on your win. 

I’d be interested to hear @Bobref opinion on this.  It looked to me like he intended to hang onto the ball and run with it - but the ball slipped out of his hand with the forward motion.

Is all that matters the forward motion of the passer’s arm?

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8 minutes ago, MHSTigerFan said:

Is all that matters the forward motion of the passer’s arm?

In college and NFL it does, HS could be different, but now I see him starting to tuck, after watching a couple. Although it looked like he still threw a forward pass. 

Edited by TigerFan20
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13 minutes ago, MHSTigerFan said:

I’d be interested to hear @Bobref opinion on this.  It looked to me like he intended to hang onto the ball and run with it - but the ball slipped out of his hand with the forward motion.

Is all that matters the forward motion of the passer’s arm?

Cannot know his intent, only what transpired.  But, even if QB intended to pull it down, he was clearly unable to stop the motion of his arm enough to tuck it.  There was enough forward momentum and the QB had sufficient control of the ball to  propel it forward with enough force to bounce off the D lineman and fly into the air, well above the heads of all the players. Seems that reality alone would make it a "forward pass" regardless of intent, but just an engineering based opinion.  However, forward shuttle passes with far less momentum & force are called "incomplete" when they hit the ground...all you need is the forward movement of the arm with the ball.  Do not see how this would be any different.

 

The saving grace is it did not affect the outcome.  THAT would have been very unfortunate, IMO

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22 minutes ago, MDAlum82 said:

Cannot know his intent, only what transpired.  But, even if QB intended to pull it down, he was clearly unable to stop the motion of his arm enough to tuck it.  There was enough forward momentum and the QB had sufficient control of the ball to  propel it forward with enough force to bounce off the D lineman and fly into the air, well above the heads of all the players. Seems that reality alone would make it a "forward pass" regardless of intent, but just an engineering based opinion.  However, forward shuttle passes with far less momentum & force are called "incomplete" when they hit the ground...all you need is the forward movement of the arm with the ball.  Do not see how this would be any different.

 

The saving grace is it did not affect the outcome.  THAT would have been very unfortunate, IMO

Here are my thoughts. They are lengthy and involved, as this is a very, very difficult call. Please read the explanation as well as the conclusion so that everyone understands I have absolutely no problem with this Referee's call. As has been pointed out elsewhere, this is a multiple state finals crew. The R has a stellar reputation, well-deserved.

I’ve spent a long time looking at the video and going through the rule book and case book, luxuries this Referee didn’t have. I’m still not sure I’ve got it right. But I looked at the play from the standpoint of an observer, who will get the crew together after the game to discuss mechanics, rules, and thought processes on this very difficult play. Here’s my $.02:

From the video angle (which is not the same angle the R had), it looks like to me the QB is securely holding the ball, he begins his throwing motion, changes his mind, tries to hold onto the ball, but with momentum it comes out of his grasp. It is possible that a different angle shows something else. But from the comments I’ve seen, that seems to be the likeliest explanation for what happened. I saw someone reference the “tuck rule.” That rule doesn’t exist in the NF code. So, forget about that. So, the question I’m going to work through is whether this is an incomplete forward pass, or a fumble recovered by the defense for a TD, as ruled by the R.

First, let me state categorically, I have no criticism of the R’s performance on this play, or even his final ruling. From what the video shows, R was in the right position, looking at what he was supposed to be looking at. He came in deliberately but decisively with a good signal. His body language displayed confidence in his call. He did everything right from a mechanical standpoint. 

Second, in order to answer the critical question, we start with the rules. What is a pass? “Passing the ball is throwing a ball that is in player possession. In a pass, the ball travels in flight.” It is also true that “Prior to releasing the ball on a pass, if the potential passer is contacted, and the ball is released, it is a forward pass if his arm was moving forward on contact.” We also have to factor in the “when in doubt” that officials can use to resolve thorny issues like this one: “When in doubt, it is an incomplete forward pass and not a fumble.” 

Here’s the case for a fumble vs. an incomplete pass:  The rule says a pass is “thrown.” This is not a term that is defined in the rules. To many people, the word “thrown” connotes an intentional act, not an accidental one. If the QB did not intend to release the ball, he didn’t “throw” it, so it cannot be considered a pass. In other words, a pass must be intentional, not accidental. No intent, no pass. And if it’s not a pass, it must be a fumble. This is a reasonable interpretation of the rules. In none of the secondary sources of case plays I looked through was there any play that contradicted this line of reasoning. So, even though I don’t agree with this interpretation of the rule, I can see it is a reasonable one … especially when you take into account that I’ve spent several hours on this play today, and the R had about 2 seconds to process everything that happened. So, I say again, I find no fault with the R on this play. I just don’t agree with him.

It’s clear that both the language of the rule and the case plays I’ve read illustrating the proper interpretation of the rule use the arm moving forward as the key criterion for pass vs. fumble. Once the arm starts moving forward, if the ball is released while the arm is still moving, it’s going to be a forward pass. This is true if contact causes the ball to come out. This is also true if, for example, the passer is contacted and, as a result, the ball actually goes backward. Once the arm starts moving forward, only two things can happen: Either the ball doesn’t come out, and the QB remains a runner, or the ball comes out, and it’s a forward pass. In other words, if the ball comes out after the arm starts to move forward, it cannot be a fumble. There is also the “when in doubt,” which, in my view, tilts the playing field toward pass vs. fumble. Finally, there is a philosophy at work among officials that we simply don’t want to award cheap turnovers, let alone a fluke TD. So, taking all of these things into account, if I were calling this play, seeing what I saw in the video (which may well not be the same thing the R saw on the field), I would have called this an incomplete forward pass. But as an observer, there is no way I would ever downgrade the R for his call on this play, even though I would have called it differently with the information I have. Ultimately, he made a judgment call, and his judgment was well within the realm of reasonable. Those who think everything on the field is black and white, with no gray areas, should realize through this discussion that sometimes there’s plenty of gray out there.

I think one thing we can all take from this play is that sometimes it’s fairly simple out on the field. But sometimes the guys in stripes are asked to do a virtually impossible job. And this play looks like one of those.


 

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30 minutes ago, Bobref said:

Here are my thoughts. They are lengthy and involved, as this is a very, very difficult call. Please read the explanation as well as the conclusion so that everyone understands I have absolutely no problem with this Referee's call. As has been pointed out elsewhere, this is a multiple state finals crew. The R has a stellar reputation, well-deserved.

I’ve spent a long time looking at the video and going through the rule book and case book, luxuries this Referee didn’t have. I’m still not sure I’ve got it right. But I looked at the play from the standpoint of an observer, who will get the crew together after the game to discuss mechanics, rules, and thought processes on this very difficult play. Here’s my $.02:

From the video angle (which is not the same angle the R had), it looks like to me the QB is securely holding the ball, he begins his throwing motion, changes his mind, tries to hold onto the ball, but with momentum it comes out of his grasp. It is possible that a different angle shows something else. But from the comments I’ve seen, that seems to be the likeliest explanation for what happened. I saw someone reference the “tuck rule.” That rule doesn’t exist in the NF code. So, forget about that. So, the question I’m going to work through is whether this is an incomplete forward pass, or a fumble recovered by the defense for a TD, as ruled by the R.

First, let me state categorically, I have no criticism of the R’s performance on this play, or even his final ruling. From what the video shows, R was in the right position, looking at what he was supposed to be looking at. He came in deliberately but decisively with a good signal. His body language displayed confidence in his call. He did everything right from a mechanical standpoint. 

Second, in order to answer the critical question, we start with the rules. What is a pass? “Passing the ball is throwing a ball that is in player possession. In a pass, the ball travels in flight.” It is also true that “Prior to releasing the ball on a pass, if the potential passer is contacted, and the ball is released, it is a forward pass if his arm was moving forward on contact.” We also have to factor in the “when in doubt” that officials can use to resolve thorny issues like this one: “When in doubt, it is an incomplete forward pass and not a fumble.” 

Here’s the case for a fumble vs. an incomplete pass:  The rule says a pass is “thrown.” This is not a term that is defined in the rules. To many people, the word “thrown” connotes an intentional act, not an accidental one. If the QB did not intend to release the ball, he didn’t “throw” it, so it cannot be considered a pass. In other words, a pass must be intentional, not accidental. No intent, no pass. And if it’s not a pass, it must be a fumble. This is a reasonable interpretation of the rules. In none of the secondary sources of case plays I looked through was there any play that contradicted this line of reasoning. So, even though I don’t agree with this interpretation of the rule, I can see it is a reasonable one … especially when you take into account that I’ve spent several hours on this play today, and the R had about 2 seconds to process everything that happened. So, I say again, I find no fault with the R on this play. I just don’t agree with him.

It’s clear that both the language of the rule and the case plays I’ve read illustrating the proper interpretation of the rule use the arm moving forward as the key criterion for pass vs. fumble. Once the arm starts moving forward, if the ball is released while the arm is still moving, it’s going to be a forward pass. This is true if contact causes the ball to come out. This is also true if, for example, the passer is contacted and, as a result, the ball actually goes backward. Once the arm starts moving forward, only two things can happen: Either the ball doesn’t come out, and the QB remains a runner, or the ball comes out, and it’s a forward pass. In other words, if the ball comes out after the arm starts to move forward, it cannot be a fumble. There is also the “when in doubt,” which, in my view, tilts the playing field toward pass vs. fumble. Finally, there is a philosophy at work among officials that we simply don’t want to award cheap turnovers, let alone a fluke TD. So, taking all of these things into account, if I were calling this play, seeing what I saw in the video (which may well not be the same thing the R saw on the field), I would have called this an incomplete forward pass. But as an observer, there is no way I would ever downgrade the R for his call on this play, even though I would have called it differently with the information I have. Ultimately, he made a judgment call, and his judgment was well within the realm of reasonable. Those who think everything on the field is black and white, with no gray areas, should realize through this discussion that sometimes there’s plenty of gray out there.

I think one thing we can all take from this play is that sometimes it’s fairly simple out on the field. But sometimes the guys in stripes are asked to do a virtually impossible job. And this play looks like one of those.


 

Appreciate the feedback and your willingness to share with - and thus further educate - the high school football community.  

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47 minutes ago, MDAlum82 said:

Appreciate the feedback and your willingness to share with - and thus further educate - the high school football community.  

Me too. What the video doesn't show is the ball defected off a shoulder pad or helmet and went straight up into the air 10-15 feet. Bad call, gave them a cheap TO and fluke TD at the same time. Glad we were able to overcome it. 

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1 hour ago, Bobref said:

Here are my thoughts. They are lengthy and involved, as this is a very, very difficult call. Please read the explanation as well as the conclusion so that everyone understands I have absolutely no problem with this Referee's call. As has been pointed out elsewhere, this is a multiple state finals crew. The R has a stellar reputation, well-deserved.

I’ve spent a long time looking at the video and going through the rule book and case book, luxuries this Referee didn’t have. I’m still not sure I’ve got it right. But I looked at the play from the standpoint of an observer, who will get the crew together after the game to discuss mechanics, rules, and thought processes on this very difficult play. Here’s my $.02:

From the video angle (which is not the same angle the R had), it looks like to me the QB is securely holding the ball, he begins his throwing motion, changes his mind, tries to hold onto the ball, but with momentum it comes out of his grasp. It is possible that a different angle shows something else. But from the comments I’ve seen, that seems to be the likeliest explanation for what happened. I saw someone reference the “tuck rule.” That rule doesn’t exist in the NF code. So, forget about that. So, the question I’m going to work through is whether this is an incomplete forward pass, or a fumble recovered by the defense for a TD, as ruled by the R.

First, let me state categorically, I have no criticism of the R’s performance on this play, or even his final ruling. From what the video shows, R was in the right position, looking at what he was supposed to be looking at. He came in deliberately but decisively with a good signal. His body language displayed confidence in his call. He did everything right from a mechanical standpoint. 

Second, in order to answer the critical question, we start with the rules. What is a pass? “Passing the ball is throwing a ball that is in player possession. In a pass, the ball travels in flight.” It is also true that “Prior to releasing the ball on a pass, if the potential passer is contacted, and the ball is released, it is a forward pass if his arm was moving forward on contact.” We also have to factor in the “when in doubt” that officials can use to resolve thorny issues like this one: “When in doubt, it is an incomplete forward pass and not a fumble.” 

Here’s the case for a fumble vs. an incomplete pass:  The rule says a pass is “thrown.” This is not a term that is defined in the rules. To many people, the word “thrown” connotes an intentional act, not an accidental one. If the QB did not intend to release the ball, he didn’t “throw” it, so it cannot be considered a pass. In other words, a pass must be intentional, not accidental. No intent, no pass. And if it’s not a pass, it must be a fumble. This is a reasonable interpretation of the rules. In none of the secondary sources of case plays I looked through was there any play that contradicted this line of reasoning. So, even though I don’t agree with this interpretation of the rule, I can see it is a reasonable one … especially when you take into account that I’ve spent several hours on this play today, and the R had about 2 seconds to process everything that happened. So, I say again, I find no fault with the R on this play. I just don’t agree with him.

It’s clear that both the language of the rule and the case plays I’ve read illustrating the proper interpretation of the rule use the arm moving forward as the key criterion for pass vs. fumble. Once the arm starts moving forward, if the ball is released while the arm is still moving, it’s going to be a forward pass. This is true if contact causes the ball to come out. This is also true if, for example, the passer is contacted and, as a result, the ball actually goes backward. Once the arm starts moving forward, only two things can happen: Either the ball doesn’t come out, and the QB remains a runner, or the ball comes out, and it’s a forward pass. In other words, if the ball comes out after the arm starts to move forward, it cannot be a fumble. There is also the “when in doubt,” which, in my view, tilts the playing field toward pass vs. fumble. Finally, there is a philosophy at work among officials that we simply don’t want to award cheap turnovers, let alone a fluke TD. So, taking all of these things into account, if I were calling this play, seeing what I saw in the video (which may well not be the same thing the R saw on the field), I would have called this an incomplete forward pass. But as an observer, there is no way I would ever downgrade the R for his call on this play, even though I would have called it differently with the information I have. Ultimately, he made a judgment call, and his judgment was well within the realm of reasonable. Those who think everything on the field is black and white, with no gray areas, should realize through this discussion that sometimes there’s plenty of gray out there.

I think one thing we can all take from this play is that sometimes it’s fairly simple out on the field. But sometimes the guys in stripes are asked to do a virtually impossible job. And this play looks like one of those.


 

Fantastic stuff!  Thanks for taking the time to research this and analyze it.  Very tough call to make in real time, without video, etc.

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15 minutes ago, tango said:

Me too. What the video doesn't show is the ball defected off a shoulder pad or helmet and went straight up into the air 10-15 feet. Bad call, gave them a cheap TO and fluke TD at the same time. Glad we were able to overcome it. 

I would add the audible "thud" after the ball hits the pads/helmet of the lineman as evidence of a pass and not a fumble.

 

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1 hour ago, Bobref said:

Here are my thoughts. They are lengthy and involved, as this is a very, very difficult call. Please read the explanation as well as the conclusion so that everyone understands I have absolutely no problem with this Referee's call. As has been pointed out elsewhere, this is a multiple state finals crew. The R has a stellar reputation, well-deserved.

I’ve spent a long time looking at the video and going through the rule book and case book, luxuries this Referee didn’t have. I’m still not sure I’ve got it right. But I looked at the play from the standpoint of an observer, who will get the crew together after the game to discuss mechanics, rules, and thought processes on this very difficult play. Here’s my $.02:

From the video angle (which is not the same angle the R had), it looks like to me the QB is securely holding the ball, he begins his throwing motion, changes his mind, tries to hold onto the ball, but with momentum it comes out of his grasp. It is possible that a different angle shows something else. But from the comments I’ve seen, that seems to be the likeliest explanation for what happened. I saw someone reference the “tuck rule.” That rule doesn’t exist in the NF code. So, forget about that. So, the question I’m going to work through is whether this is an incomplete forward pass, or a fumble recovered by the defense for a TD, as ruled by the R.

First, let me state categorically, I have no criticism of the R’s performance on this play, or even his final ruling. From what the video shows, R was in the right position, looking at what he was supposed to be looking at. He came in deliberately but decisively with a good signal. His body language displayed confidence in his call. He did everything right from a mechanical standpoint. 

Second, in order to answer the critical question, we start with the rules. What is a pass? “Passing the ball is throwing a ball that is in player possession. In a pass, the ball travels in flight.” It is also true that “Prior to releasing the ball on a pass, if the potential passer is contacted, and the ball is released, it is a forward pass if his arm was moving forward on contact.” We also have to factor in the “when in doubt” that officials can use to resolve thorny issues like this one: “When in doubt, it is an incomplete forward pass and not a fumble.” 

Here’s the case for a fumble vs. an incomplete pass:  The rule says a pass is “thrown.” This is not a term that is defined in the rules. To many people, the word “thrown” connotes an intentional act, not an accidental one. If the QB did not intend to release the ball, he didn’t “throw” it, so it cannot be considered a pass. In other words, a pass must be intentional, not accidental. No intent, no pass. And if it’s not a pass, it must be a fumble. This is a reasonable interpretation of the rules. In none of the secondary sources of case plays I looked through was there any play that contradicted this line of reasoning. So, even though I don’t agree with this interpretation of the rule, I can see it is a reasonable one … especially when you take into account that I’ve spent several hours on this play today, and the R had about 2 seconds to process everything that happened. So, I say again, I find no fault with the R on this play. I just don’t agree with him.

It’s clear that both the language of the rule and the case plays I’ve read illustrating the proper interpretation of the rule use the arm moving forward as the key criterion for pass vs. fumble. Once the arm starts moving forward, if the ball is released while the arm is still moving, it’s going to be a forward pass. This is true if contact causes the ball to come out. This is also true if, for example, the passer is contacted and, as a result, the ball actually goes backward. Once the arm starts moving forward, only two things can happen: Either the ball doesn’t come out, and the QB remains a runner, or the ball comes out, and it’s a forward pass. In other words, if the ball comes out after the arm starts to move forward, it cannot be a fumble. There is also the “when in doubt,” which, in my view, tilts the playing field toward pass vs. fumble. Finally, there is a philosophy at work among officials that we simply don’t want to award cheap turnovers, let alone a fluke TD. So, taking all of these things into account, if I were calling this play, seeing what I saw in the video (which may well not be the same thing the R saw on the field), I would have called this an incomplete forward pass. But as an observer, there is no way I would ever downgrade the R for his call on this play, even though I would have called it differently with the information I have. Ultimately, he made a judgment call, and his judgment was well within the realm of reasonable. Those who think everything on the field is black and white, with no gray areas, should realize through this discussion that sometimes there’s plenty of gray out there.

I think one thing we can all take from this play is that sometimes it’s fairly simple out on the field. But sometimes the guys in stripes are asked to do a virtually impossible job. And this play looks like one of those.


 

Does a play like this get used to clarify how a play like this should be ruled?  Is the 'grey area' something that can be eliminated?

I'm used to hearing public changes discussed to rules in the NFL after 'grey area' plays: tuck rule (which was reinforced after the original tuck game), catch with a football move, etc.

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30 minutes ago, tango said:

Bad call, gave them a cheap TO and fluke TD at the same time. Glad we were able to overcome it. 

Let me reiterate, it was not a bad call. In my opinion, it was not the correct call. But that doesn’t mean it was a bad call. They are not the same thing. I want that to come across very clearly.

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Just now, Bobref said:

Let me reiterate, it was not a bad call. In my opinion, it was not the correct call. But that doesn’t mean it was a bad call. They are not the same thing. I want that to come across very clearly.

Yeah, I got that - and totally appreciate the difference.  A bad call is one the officials should’ve gotten and simply didn’t.  This wasn’t one of those plays.

You, an experienced official, had to read up on the specific text of the relevant rules and watch/rewatch the play in order to analyze it.  The ref here had to make his call right away without any such benefit.

I think a lot of fans don’t fully appreciate the difficulty of that.  And most of us come with a strong bias.  They just want to get it right and some calls just aren’t simple or black/white.

As I said with my first comment, I can see why he made the call he did.  Thankfully for everybody, it wasn’t decisive in the game.

Just now, MHSTigerFan said:

Yeah, I got that - and totally appreciate the difference.  A bad call is one the officials should’ve gotten and simply didn’t.  This wasn’t one of those plays.

You, an experienced official, had to read up on the specific text of the relevant rules and watch/rewatch the play in order to analyze it.  The ref here had to make his call right away without any such benefit.

I think a lot of fans don’t fully appreciate the difficulty of that.  And most of us come with a strong bias.  They just want to get it right and some calls just aren’t simple or black/white.

As I said with my first comment, I can see why he made the call he did.  Thankfully for everybody, it wasn’t decisive in the game.

BTW, I should add that we’re really lucky to have you posting here.  GID is a much better place because you’re here.  You bring knowledge, experience, and insights on the rules and how they apply to specific plays that nobody else really can.

Thank you!

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7 minutes ago, MHSTigerFan said:

BTW, I should add that we’re really lucky to have you posting here.  GID is a much better place because you’re here.  You bring knowledge, experience, and insights on the rules and how they apply to specific plays that nobody else really can.

Thank you!

Completely agree!  

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38 minutes ago, Alduflux said:

Does a play like this get used to clarify how a play like this should be ruled?  Is the 'grey area' something that can be eliminated?

I'm used to hearing public changes discussed to rules in the NFL after 'grey area' plays: tuck rule (which was reinforced after the original tuck game), catch with a football move, etc.

I can promise you this play will appear at several clinics, association meetings, etc. It’s a great teaching opportunity.

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1 minute ago, Bobref said:

I can promise you this play will appear at several clinics, association meetings, etc. It’s a great teaching opportunity.

LOL. Tell them the fans who saw it live thought it was a bad call... You know, the whole "no cheap TO- no fluke TD" thing.. 

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Just now, tango said:

LOL. Tell them the fans who saw it live thought it was a bad call... You know, the whole "no cheap TO- no fluke TD" thing.. 

I won’t have to tell them. They know that there will always be fans who will think it was a bad call. That is the nature of fans.

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20 minutes ago, Bobref said:

I always enjoy your in-depth analysis. 🤣

Thank you for your support!

I've got almost 60 years experience observing Officials and analyzing their calls. My feedback has always been short and to the point.

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