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Victory Formation... When is enough ENOUGH with the Defense?


Yuccaguy
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I had a lower level game earlier this evening.  Turnover on downs (20 yard line in) 50 seconds left...  The defense had one TO left and the offense said "victory formation".  

My wing and I overheard the defensive Coaches say they were going to 'fire out'.  Ok, we then advised the offense to protect themselves as the defense likely is going to 'fire out' then call their last TO.

At this point (following the play and the TO) we again hear the defensive coaches say that they are 'firing out' at the offense.  IMO, this is when enough is enough!  All that I could see and imagine, was hard-feelings/a potential fight/ bad-blood between schools.  

Totally left a bad taste in my mind because of the strategy on behalf of the defensive team/coaches.  

Our remedy to the situation, was to position (U-R) within the expanded neutral zone, and alert the defense that are NOT going to fire-out.  If either of us is moved or touched, guys are getting tossed!  

I realize that this may be beyond our purview, but it is something that has to STOP! 

This is the time and place to TEACH, not become a "Jr. Greg Schiano".  The game is OVER!  Just accept the outcome....  

What would you do?  

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1 hour ago, Yuccaguy said:

I had a lower level game earlier this evening.  Turnover on downs (20 yard line in) 50 seconds left...  The defense had one TO left and the offense said "victory formation".  

My wing and I overheard the defensive Coaches say they were going to 'fire out'.  Ok, we then advised the offense to protect themselves as the defense likely is going to 'fire out' then call their last TO.

At this point (following the play and the TO) we again hear the defensive coaches say that they are 'firing out' at the offense.  IMO, this is when enough is enough!  All that I could see and imagine, was hard-feelings/a potential fight/ bad-blood between schools.  

Totally left a bad taste in my mind because of the strategy on behalf of the defensive team/coaches.  

Our remedy to the situation, was to position (U-R) within the expanded neutral zone, and alert the defense that are NOT going to fire-out.  If either of us is moved or touched, guys are getting tossed!  

I realize that this may be beyond our purview, but it is something that has to STOP! 

This is the time and place to TEACH, not become a "Jr. Greg Schiano".  The game is OVER!  Just accept the outcome....  

What would you do?  

Look in the Manual. It describes the procedure for officiating “Victory Formation.” Prevents this foolishness.

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11 hours ago, Yuccaguy said:

I had a lower level game earlier this evening.  Turnover on downs (20 yard line in) 50 seconds left...  The defense had one TO left and the offense said "victory formation".  

My wing and I overheard the defensive Coaches say they were going to 'fire out'.  Ok, we then advised the offense to protect themselves as the defense likely is going to 'fire out' then call their last TO.

At this point (following the play and the TO) we again hear the defensive coaches say that they are 'firing out' at the offense.  IMO, this is when enough is enough!  All that I could see and imagine, was hard-feelings/a potential fight/ bad-blood between schools.  

Totally left a bad taste in my mind because of the strategy on behalf of the defensive team/coaches.  

Our remedy to the situation, was to position (U-R) within the expanded neutral zone, and alert the defense that are NOT going to fire-out.  If either of us is moved or touched, guys are getting tossed!  

I realize that this may be beyond our purview, but it is something that has to STOP! 

This is the time and place to TEACH, not become a "Jr. Greg Schiano".  The game is OVER!  Just accept the outcome....  

What would you do?  

I agree in principle 100%....but let me be devil's advocate.

Was this victory a shotgun snap?  Further, had there been any QB center exchange issues earlier in the game for the team that won? (You said this was a lower level game)

If there had, is it "wrong" to try and be in position to recover a bad snap with what I'm assuming would be over 30 seconds on the clock?

How would you have addressed a bad snap, muffed snap on that play you told them not to fire out?

Not trying to stir the pot....

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FYI, this is the portion of the Officials’ Manual that deals with Victory Formation.

“3. When Team A is ahead by 9 or more points and can take a knee(s) to run out all of the 
remaining game clock, the officials will request Team A to declare its intent on whether they 
will be taking a knee. If Team A indicates they will be taking a knee, U and R will instruct all 
players that the play will be over immediately after the snap, and that all players should avoid contact, on pain of a foul and potential disqualification. However, if the snap is muffed, all bets are off, and it’s play football.

4. If the offensive team declares that they will be utilizing the Victory Formation to take a knee, and runs any offensive play other than a kneel down, the officials will rule this an unfair act under Rule 9-3-1, allowing R to enforce any penalty deemed equitable under the 
circumstances. This does not apply if the snap is muffed.

     a. In most cases replaying the down at the previous spot and resetting the game clock is an adequate remedy.

     b. Of course, Team B retains the right to decline the penalty and accept the result of the 
play.

5. If the offense muffs the snap or fumbles the ball while in Victory Formation, the ball is live 
and can be recovered and advanced by either team, as if Team A had not been in Victory 
Formation.”

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14 minutes ago, Impartial_Observer said:

Bob I understand what you’re saying but honestly have you been around MS football lately? 

It's turning into Johnson waving activity in some cases. 

Had a middle school coach tell me that they had a game in which they got wiped out.  After the game, they were having their team meeting on the field talking about what went well and the many things that they needed to work on and the other team's players basically came over and kept circling their team.  I'm appalled that any coach would allow his team to encroach anywhere near another team's meeting or gathering ... and especially with the reasoning, direct or indirect, of flexing/agitating/taunting.

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I may be in the the minority, but either way, just my opinion:  If there is a reasonable chance that B could regain possession and ultimately score to tie or win, then play the snap if you want, assuming both sides of the ball are on the same page and aware of the intent.  If my team had the ball and the opposition wanted to fire out and try to get it?  Go for it man, I'm not offended.  I'm telling the OL to pass pro and and clench the win.  That said... yeah, I'd prefer pack up and go home, whichever side of the scoreboard I'm on.  I have work tomorrow and I'm probably wanting a strong drink by that point if I'm coaching a bunch of 12-13 yo's.

I get the other side of the argument, too.  It is traditionally a gentleman's agreement with taking a knee, let's accept the L and move on.  And I'm no Schiano/Bucs fanboy either.  I just don't see anything for either team to get upset about as long as each side and the officials are all aware of the intent. Otherwise, why is there a distinction of "9 or more points" regarding the victory formation?  THAT I get, and 100% agree with.  Nine points goes from a 1:100 or 1:1000 chance to... way, WAY bigger odds.  Not sure how many zeros there, but probably a lot.  That's no longer what I would consider a reasonable chance, and I think that's why the rule is written the way it is.

Maybe we can petition the rules committee to make a new rule to completely take the snaps out of the equation:  If the offense has ANY more points than the defense, the HC on the offense can throw up a Nixon-esque double peace sign and declare victory without snapping the ball, but only if the defense is unable to stop the game clock from expiring relative to the number of timeouts they have remaining.  Sort of like the MLB four finger intentional walk.  AND they have to yell "Winner, winner, chicken dinner!" when declaring the sans-snap victory, or the offense is penalized for "failure to declare chicken dinner".  Not sure what the penalty for that would be... 

Seriously though, I get your frustration and I'm not dismissing it.  Particularly when it comes to otherwise meaningless games at the MS level.  Move it along, mini-Schiano, I gots me some bourbons to drink. 😂

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5 hours ago, US31 said:

I agree in principle 100%....but let me be devil's advocate.

Was this victory a shotgun snap?  Further, had there been any QB center exchange issues earlier in the game for the team that won? (You said this was a lower level game)

If there had, is it "wrong" to try and be in position to recover a bad snap with what I'm assuming would be over 30 seconds on the clock?

How would you have addressed a bad snap, muffed snap on that play you told them not to fire out?

Not trying to stir the pot....

Under center.  Yes there were with the 2nd string QB.  This was the 1st team Offense who was running out the clock (1st down after the turnover on downs 50 seconds left).

A bad snap was their offer when they had the ONE timeout left, and took it.  They fired out on 1st down.  Now there was NO way to stop the clock for the defense, and with 3 guys (QB/RB/FB) basically standing in a triad behind the center....it's almost impossible to recover a fumble under those circumstances.  

And I am completely aware of the manual and what it says.  But trust me the manual has NEVER addressed Coach "Jr. Lombardi" on the sidelines of a MS game as the 'voice of reason' that you need to communicate with and make them understand the ramifications of their actions.  

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I haven’t really worked many lower level games since 2018. I have worked quite a few this year for a myriad of reasons. It’s been pretty chill honestly, until last night. I’ve never seen 52 points scored in a 7th grade game that I’m aware of. No problems. 8th grade game was a train wreck. A few too many 16 year old 8th graders, a couple of idiot coaches, a 28-0 game, and we’re off to the races. The 28 team, kid on the chains told me “yea he’s really good, he practiced with us (varsity) all summer, he was our best RB.” Throw in two of the four officials hired showed up, and 3 hours later…

I’m in Friday mode….good luck to all the stripes tonight, stay safe and be the best team on the field. 

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33 minutes ago, Yuccaguy said:

Under center.  Yes there were with the 2nd string QB.  This was the 1st team Offense who was running out the clock (1st down after the turnover on downs 50 seconds left).

A bad snap was their offer when they had the ONE timeout left, and took it.  They fired out on 1st down.  Now there was NO way to stop the clock for the defense, and with 3 guys (QB/RB/FB) basically standing in a triad behind the center....it's almost impossible to recover a fumble under those circumstances.  

And I am completely aware of the manual and what it says.  But trust me the manual has NEVER addressed Coach "Jr. Lombardi" on the sidelines of a MS game as the 'voice of reason' that you need to communicate with and make them understand the ramifications of their actions.  

I would argue this play after the timeout was the “last one” that makes sense.  If O had fumbled this snap and D recovered ball goes over and they have about 30 seconds and no timeouts.  I’m not going to debate the “likely hood” of who might recover a fumbled snap in a “lower level” game.  The fact this is a “lower level” game is why I’m more likely to think a bad snap could take place.
 

now if you tell me O is up two scores…fully on your side.

I also think it would be shady if they were going after the QB.  But “firing off” through the OL when a bad snap could result in them getting the ball back with a chance to win??  That’s AOK with me.
 

Still wondering how you would have  addressed the unlikely fumbled snap had it occurred with the R and U in the way🤷🏼‍♂️

 

Edited by US31
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1 hour ago, Bobref said:

The real dilemma for the officials come when the Victory Formation protocols are not met, e.g., the lead is only 8 pts., but the offense comes out and tells you “we’re taking a knee.” What do you do then?

If I'm only interpreting paragraphs 3, 4, and 5 of the Victory Formation procedures noted above and trying to make sure everyone is on the same page...

1. Verify that the B coach is aware that A is kneeling and check on his intent.
2. If he is conceding, then business as usual ("...U and R will instruct all players that the play will be over immediately after the snap, and that all players should avoid contact, on pain of a foul and potential disqualification. However, if the snap is muffed, all bets are off, and it’s play football.").
3. If the B coach tells his players/officials they are firing out, it doesn't appear to be illegal for the defense to play the snap out.  I don't know how I could disallow it (unless I were to invoke the God rule, I suppose).  If it is their intent to play the snap, make it known to the A coach and players that it is a live snap, remind the offense to protect themselves, remind the B coach and defense that NO shenanigans will be tolerated (to borrow the phrase above... "...on pain of a foul and potential disqualification.")  Have a quick whistle when the snap is clean and the knee touches, and stand behind your warnings re: shenanigans. 

Is there established commentary for the recommended/required procedures for this situation in the Officials' Manual/elsewhere? (I feel like there is, or you wouldn't have asked 😉)

Btw, that's the most I've used "shenanigans" in one sitting.

 

 

 

 

 

 

...shenanigans.

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If the Victory Formation criteria are met, then the people who make the rules have weighed the effect on the competitive situation of taking away whatever minuscule chance the defense has by firing out in an attempt to disrupt and recover the snap, against the reduction in unnecessary contact and unsportsmanlike like acts resulting from a prohibition against forcible contact at the snap, and decided in favor of the latter.

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18 hours ago, Esso Ayche said:

If I'm only interpreting paragraphs 3, 4, and 5 of the Victory Formation procedures noted above and trying to make sure everyone is on the same page...

1. Verify that the B coach is aware that A is kneeling and check on his intent.
2. If he is conceding, then business as usual ("...U and R will instruct all players that the play will be over immediately after the snap, and that all players should avoid contact, on pain of a foul and potential disqualification. However, if the snap is muffed, all bets are off, and it’s play football.").
3. If the B coach tells his players/officials they are firing out, it doesn't appear to be illegal for the defense to play the snap out.  I don't know how I could disallow it (unless I were to invoke the God rule, I suppose).  If it is their intent to play the snap, make it known to the A coach and players that it is a live snap, remind the offense to protect themselves, remind the B coach and defense that NO shenanigans will be tolerated (to borrow the phrase above... "...on pain of a foul and potential disqualification.")  Have a quick whistle when the snap is clean and the knee touches, and stand behind your warnings re: shenanigans. 

Is there established commentary for the recommended/required procedures for this situation in the Officials' Manual/elsewhere? (I feel like there is, or you wouldn't have asked 😉)

Btw, that's the most I've used "shenanigans" in one sitting.

 

 

 

 

 

 

...shenanigans.

image.png.6bad759e4689adb45d0be4ff0d26a56d.png

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On 9/23/2022 at 4:21 PM, Bobref said:

If the Victory Formation criteria are met, then the people who make the rules have weighed the effect on the competitive situation of taking away whatever minuscule chance the defense has by firing out in an attempt to disrupt and recover the snap, against the reduction in unnecessary contact and unsportsmanlike like acts resulting from a prohibition against forcible contact at the snap, and decided in favor of the latter.

Please translate. 8 points or less are you saying the rules committee says be ready to play on both sides? That's my preference. OL - be ready to block, DL - don't be stupid. Had a game a couple years ago where the QB muffed the snap and the defense came out with it, but we thought we saw the QB take the snap and knee it. The game ended on the next kneel. When we got the film we clearly saw the snap had been muffed and recovered by the defense near midfield in a 1-point game with 30 seconds left. I don't like telling the defense they can't do anything. If we are going to tell the teams to not do anything then we should just end the game.

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3 hours ago, JustRules said:

Please translate. 8 points or less are you saying the rules committee says be ready to play on both sides? That's my preference. OL - be ready to block, DL - don't be stupid. Had a game a couple years ago where the QB muffed the snap and the defense came out with it, but we thought we saw the QB take the snap and knee it. The game ended on the next kneel. When we got the film we clearly saw the snap had been muffed and recovered by the defense near midfield in a 1-point game with 30 seconds left. I don't like telling the defense they can't do anything. If we are going to tell the teams to not do anything then we should just end the game.

The Victory Formation protocol only applies if the offense is ahead by 9 or more points.

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On 9/23/2022 at 3:36 PM, US31 said:

I would argue this play after the timeout was the “last one” that makes sense.  If O had fumbled this snap and D recovered ball goes over and they have about 30 seconds and no timeouts.  I’m not going to debate the “likely hood” of who might recover a fumbled snap in a “lower level” game.  The fact this is a “lower level” game is why I’m more likely to think a bad snap could take place.
 

now if you tell me O is up two scores…fully on your side.

I also think it would be shady if they were going after the QB.  But “firing off” through the OL when a bad snap could result in them getting the ball back with a chance to win??  That’s AOK with me.
 

Still wondering how you would have  addressed the unlikely fumbled snap had it occurred with the R and U in the way🤷🏼‍♂️

 

Up more than 2 scores.  And, IMO the fumble scenario is/was not an option.  The 1st string came back in to take the snap and kneel down.  

And yes the objective was going after the QB (aka: Football).  

As I said before, players/coaches were LEAVING in this scenario.  There was no need for anything other that the game to be conceded to the other school in this situation.

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One that you still see from time to time is the quick shift from punt formation on 4th and 5 or less, attempting to cause the defense to encroach. 

The thing some coaches don’t know is that one of the definitions of a false start is “an act clearly intended to cause B to encroach.” Once had a coach in a semistate game explain this play to me, and after he got done I told him it was a false start. He told me they had done it 4 times that season, every one successful. I congratulated him, but told him it wouldn’t work tonight. You know, he tried it anyway! We called a false start. They won the game, and the next week in the state finals he went through the same thing with their crew. They also told him it was a foul. And again, he did it anyway, and they called him on it. SMH.

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2 hours ago, Bobref said:

One that you still see from time to time is the quick shift from punt formation on 4th and 5 or less, attempting to cause the defense to encroach. 

The thing some coaches don’t know is that one of the definitions of a false start is “an act clearly intended to cause B to encroach.” Once had a coach in a semistate game explain this play to me, and after he got done I told him it was a false start. He told me they had done it 4 times that season, every one successful. I congratulated him, but told him it wouldn’t work tonight. You know, he tried it anyway! We called a false start. They won the game, and the next week in the state finals he went through the same thing with their crew. They also told him it was a foul. And again, he did it anyway, and they called him on it. SMH.

I'm not smart enough to embed a video clip - but can you explain the difference in the above clip and say - a flexbone team doing the "dummy motion" with a hard snap count. Aren't they both "clearly intended to cause B to encroach?" 

As since we're using that quote in the rulebook - isn't the "hand clap/hard count/check with me" doing the same thing?? 

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2 minutes ago, jets said:

I'm not smart enough to embed a video clip - but can you explain the difference in the above clip and say - a flexbone team doing the "dummy motion" with a hard snap count. Aren't they both "clearly intended to cause B to encroach?" 

As since we're using that quote in the rulebook - isn't the "hand clap/hard count/check with me" doing the same thing?? 

No, depending on the circumstances. It’s not really something you can evaluate without seeing it.

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4 minutes ago, Bobref said:

No, depending on the circumstances. It’s not really something you can evaluate without seeing it.

In all your years of officiating and evaluating football, you mean to tell me you can't picture in your head the above scenarios?? (Flexbone motions, hand-clap/hard count/"check with me") 

Or are we just avoiding the question because there is no good explanation for why one is called, and the others are not?? 

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11 minutes ago, jets said:

In all your years of officiating and evaluating football, you mean to tell me you can't picture in your head the above scenarios?? (Flexbone motions, hand-clap/hard count/"check with me") 

Or are we just avoiding the question because there is no good explanation for why one is called, and the others are not?? 

You mean in all your years of coaching you don’t know how to embed a video clip? Or are you just using that as a way to get an abstract answer you might be able to twist around to use later? 

What I’m saying is you have to read “intent” in order to call the foul, and you can’t do that in the abstract. Show me a video clip and I’ll be happy to give you my opinion.

Please keep in mind that another type of false start is action which simulates the start of the play. Again, got to see it. 

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18 minutes ago, Bobref said:

You mean in all your years of coaching you don’t know how to embed a video clip? Or are you just using that as a way to get an abstract answer you might be able to twist around to use later? 

What I’m saying is you have to read “intent” in order to call the foul, and you can’t do that in the abstract. Show me a video clip and I’ll be happy to give you my opinion.

Please keep in mind that another type of false start is action which simulates the start of the play. Again, got to see it. 

Lineman peg on hard SET, Hard count with a quick motion on 3rd and 4 with no play intended to run. To my understanding the hard count alone isn't a foul but mixing hard or quick actions could be a foul, given the specific scenario. Am I close?

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11 minutes ago, cloudofdust said:

Lineman peg on hard SET, Hard count with a quick motion on 3rd and 4 with no play intended to run. To my understanding the hard count alone isn't a foul but mixing hard or quick actions could be a foul, given the specific scenario. Am I close?

Look, the best I can do without a visual is tell you what the rule says. Was the play “clearly intended” to cause the defense to jump? Does it “simulate action at the snap?” If it does either of these things, it’s a foul. Is there any way to give a black letter hard line answer to a hypothetical? No. If this is heading in the direction of trying to remove officiating judgment from the equation, just give up now. The rule is written to not just allow such judgment, but to require it.

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