Author Topic: F/NF Targeting  (Read 1018 times)

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Offline dammitbobby

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F/NF Targeting
« on: May 03, 2022, 10:09:01 AM »
While watching the TASO webinar video review, I learned something:  (unless I misheard something): two flags on a potential targeting call make it flagrant; intent does not matter.  I don't think I have ever heard that philosophy around targeting before.  The mechanics manual states:

Targeting:
• When in question, it is a foul for targeting.
• When there is no question there is a foul for targeting, it shall be deemed to be a flagrant foul and the penalty will include disqualification, regardless the number targeting fouls the player has previously committed during the game.

So as I (now) understand it, two flags is automatically flagrant (from Bill Stevenson's commentary)?  And if there are multiple flags thrown, the only way it's not flagrant is is someone comes in and says they don't think it's targeting at all?

Let's assume this clip was played under UIL rules:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pGFB8Bz_WuY

Since only one official threw on it, it would be non-flagrant?  But let's say the wing threw on this as well as the deep wing, we're to say that is flagrant, and thus an automatic DQ? 

I'm just not clear on how TASO arrived at that definition/interpretation, given the definition of flagrant personal foul:

Flagrant Personal Foul
ARTICLE 3. A flagrant personal foul is illegal physical contact so extreme or deliberate that it places an opponent in danger of catastrophic injury.

In the clip above, the hit isn't extreme or deliberate.  Under NCAA rules unfortunately yes, it is targeting, although IMO this kind of hit isn't the reason the rule exists.  But under UIL, with flagrant/nonflagrant, my impression was always that it was a judgement call as to the intent and/or dangerousness of the hit by the defender that determined whether or not it was flagrant, taking into account the definition of flagrant personal foul.

Somebody walk me through how if we had two flags on the above play (UIL rules), DQ is the appropriate penalty.

Offline ElvisLives

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Re: F/NF Targeting
« Reply #1 on: May 03, 2022, 04:04:20 PM »
First, let's clear up a couple of things. Regardless of what you may have heard, there is no such thing in UIL football as "flagrant targeting." There is "targeting" - which 100% follows the NCAA targeting rule -  requiring disqualification as well as the distance penalty (and first down if by B), and there is "non-flagrant targeting," which has the distance penalty (and first down if by B), but no disqualification. Targeting, by its very nature, is flagrant, and requires disqualification.
However, before the UIL adopted this unique (non-NCAA) application of the targeting rule, the UIL and the THSCA had the perception that many probable targeting fouls were not being called, because officials feared disqualifying a player (which could mean for the first half of the next game) in situations when they weren't 100% certain that all of the elements for targeting were present. In those cases, no fouls at all were being called, which had no deterrence effect at all. The THSCA and the UIL developed the concept of a "non-flagrant" targeting foul, to encourage more fouls to get called, to help stem the tide of dangerous "big hits" to the head of the victim, or with the head of the attacker.
In the case of 9-1-3 targeting (spearing), there must be forcible contact with the crown of the helmet to the opponent's body, with an indicator. That's three elements.
In the case of 9-1-4 targeting, there must be forcible contact, to the head or neck area of the opponent, with an indicator. That's three elements, also.
In both cases, if all three elements are present, that is a "targeting" foul, and will require DQ.

If a covering official sees a big 9-1-3 "spearing" action by a player to an opponent, THAT is virtually guaranteed to be a targeting foul, because all of the elements are inherent to the foul. We can see that the contact is with the crown of the helmet, and that it is forcible. The only questionable element would be the "indicator," and, if you think about it, how can you have 'spearing' without the attacker lowering his head (which is an indicator)? 9-1-3 fouls are hard to NOT rule as targeting, with a DQ. But, as is the process, the calling official should consult with other officials to see if they can confirm all of the elements are there. If so, then "targeting." But, if, after discussion, there is some level of uncertainty about one of the elements, then the call can be "non-flagrant targeting," and there will be no DQ.

If a covering official see a big 9-1-4 action, all of the elements are in question. Was there contact to the neck/head area of the victim? Was the contact forcible? Was there an indicator? A covering official might see a big 9-1-4 hit, and just react and throw his flag, but then think to himself, "The contact was to the head, and was forcible, but, you know, I really didn't see the attacker coming. I believe he led with his head, but I'm not 100% positive." So, he calls in other crew members, to find out if any of them positively saw the indicator. If so, then "targeting," and a DQ. If not, then the calling official(s) have the option to rule a "non-flagrant targeting," with no DQ.

Whatever was said in the video was probably intended to mean that the 'probability' of a foul having all of the elements for targeting was so much higher with two (or) more calling officials, that when two or more officials make a targeting call, it will almost certainly be a true 'targeting' (with DQ). But, for any targeting call, TASO officials are expected to confer and consult with others on the crew, to confirm all elements were present. If any calling official, whether the sole official on the call, or one of two or more, has positive knowledge that all of the elements are there, then his call will prevail. But, if the likelihood is that all elements were there, but there is some uncertainly about one of them, then the call is "Non-Flagrant Targeting," with no DQ.

Also, there is no such thing as "Unintentional Targeting." For UIL, we have either "Targeting," or "Non-Flagrant Targeting." Nothing else.

Announcements:
Targeting, number 99, defense. That's a 15-yard penalty, and an automatic first down. Number 99 is disqualified from from further participation in this game."

Targeting, number 99, defense. That's a 15-yard penalty, and an automatic first down. This is a non-flagrant foul, and number 99 may continue to participate in this game."

Offline JasonTX

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Re: F/NF Targeting
« Reply #2 on: May 04, 2022, 01:32:39 PM »
Elvis has a very wonderful explanation of the process.  I'll add to the "two Flags" comment. When we individually throw our flag, we are doing so because what we think we saw met all the requirements that Elvis pointed out and as such, we'd have a DQ.  Have that conversation with another official that may have seen it but chose to not flag it because he didn't think all the requirements were met, now you have the "non-flagrant". 

If our co-official also has a flag down, then that means we both saw the same thing, and that is that all the requirements for Targeting have been met because that's what we both saw it, so the DQ will stand.  If the two of us that threw the flag get together and one of the two becomes unsure if all the elements are there, then my question would be, why did he throw the flag?

So, let's suppose you see the action and you flag it for Targeting.  Nobody else had a view of it so they can't give their opinion.  The foul is against their best defender and this game has playoff implications.  What do you do?  Be honest with this question.

 

Offline ElvisLives

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Re: F/NF Targeting
« Reply #3 on: May 04, 2022, 02:36:51 PM »
Elvis has a very wonderful explanation of the process.  I'll add to the "two Flags" comment. When we individually throw our flag, we are doing so because what we think we saw met all the requirements that Elvis pointed out and as such, we'd have a DQ.  Have that conversation with another official that may have seen it but chose to not flag it because he didn't think all the requirements were met, now you have the "non-flagrant".
As much of a "black and white" guy as I am, this is one call that will, often, not be "black and white." They happen soooooo fast. Kinda like replay, it may take several different views from several officials to piece it together to arrive at a conclusion. I may positively see the forcible contact to the head/neck area, and believe I saw a launch, but not be 100% certain about the launch (indicator). So, then I get together with another official who passed on the call, because he didn't see the forcible contact, but he positively saw the launch. With that info, we can go with Targeting. But, if no one tells me that they positively saw a launch (or other indicator), but agree that it is highly likely this was targeting, then we'll go with "Non-Flagrant Targeting." 

If our co-official also has a flag down, then that means we both saw the same thing, and that is that all the requirements for Targeting have been met because that's what we both saw it, so the DQ will stand.  If the two of us that threw the flag get together and one of the two becomes unsure if all the elements are there, then my question would be, why did he throw the flag? Well, we have told our folks that if it looks like Targeting, throw on it, and then discuss with others. If someone else can positively confirm that there was no contact, or the contact was not to the head/neck area, or it was definitely just two heads colliding, i.e., no 'launch' or 'leading,' then we can wave it off entirely. But, if someone positively saw one or two of the elements, and believes the third element was there, but can't honestly say positively that it was, then we are rather obligated to throw and talk. If no one can take him off of it positively, then we go with "Non-Flagrant Targeting." 

So, let's suppose you see the action and you flag it for Targeting.  Nobody else had a view of it so they can't give their opinion.  The foul is against their best defender and this game has playoff implications.  What do you do?  Be honest with this question.We are out there to make these decisions. If we honestly believe we saw all of the elements, then, without regard to this player's importance to the team, he is DQ'd.
Not to overtly pat myself on the back, but I had that happen. A local strong team had a college prospect d-lineman. He charged through the line, and was heading for the QB. The QB releases a pass downfield, and is actually stepping backward, watching the flight of the ball, when this d-lineman charges straight ahead, and leans his head forward and bangs his facemask into the passer's facemask, knocking the passer backward several steps. I saw the action, and had it at least as RPS. Then I got to replaying what I saw in my mind. Lead; forcible contact; contact to the head of the victim. Well. That's targeting. He'll be disqualified. And he was. No argument or repercussion from anybody, except the "entitled" player, who went up into the stands for some bizarre reason, and got escorted away by some guys with badges and guns.



Offline dammitbobby

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Re: F/NF Targeting
« Reply #4 on: May 04, 2022, 07:45:01 PM »
So, let's suppose you see the action and you flag it for Targeting.  Nobody else had a view of it so they can't give their opinion.  The foul is against their best defender and this game has playoff implications.  What do you do?  Be honest with this question.

Thanks, this has been a VERY helpful and informative discussion, and an excellent explanation by Elvis, as always.  I probably could have been a little clearer on what I was originally asking, so I didn't look quite as uninformed, haha. I actually have a pretty handy targeting flowchart that I got from a rules discussion group (attached), which others may find useful.  That said, it doesn't really address the philosophical aspects which is more in line with the question  had framed in my mind.

Jason to your point, what would I do in that situation?  Honest answer?  OK Here we go.  Once I've thrown, and I've officiated to the end of the play, I'm almost certainly going to go visit (in person, not O2O), my adjacent official (I'm usually a short wing, so going to U or B in 5-man mechanics most likely, depending on who I thought might have had a view at it) to ask what they saw.  Not gonna lie, this also buys me a few seconds to further process what I saw. 

So I am also running a lot of calculations/scenarios/whatifs for the available options at that point.  And honestly?  I'd be lying if I said that none of those scenarios dealt with fallout from the coach - either scratching me, or telling other coaches not to select me for games in the future, or even being criticized for kicking a call, where I was sure I had something but video showed otherwise.  I'm not saying it is the deciding factor -it's absolutely not - but this is a consequence of coaches getting to pick favorites. So for that, I would have to be absolutely, positively, indivisibly certain that I had all three elements, and at that point, the adjacent official is not likely to be able to talk me out of the flag.  Absent that scenario, if I go visit the adjacent official and he's not sure, I'm probably going with PF/UNR or pick it up. 

And honestly?  I hate that answer.  I despise that answer.  There's a phenomena in my industry (I'm sure others as well) called imposter syndrome - where you feel you are always, always the weakest link, and have no business being on the field due to focusing on what you think you don't know, instead of acknowledging that you got where you are based on what you DO know, and your knowledge, skills, and abilities.  And I absolutely deal with this, every week, every game.  And that's why I try to learn as much as I can, and get as many snaps as I can, to be confident in feeling like I've earned every single assignment I get. 

Offline AlUpstateNY

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Re: F/NF Targeting
« Reply #5 on: May 05, 2022, 08:40:36 AM »
Although a laudable objective, Vince Lombardi advised, "Perfection is NOT attainable, but if we chase perfection, we can catch excellence.", which itself requires a constant effort and a never ending challenge to maintain.  It is the individual effort maintained in the personal pursuit of "excellence" that largely determines the level of success accomplished.

Unfortunately, human capabilities of observation and detailed assessment, have in certain circumstances been surpassed by technology advances and/or presumptions and assumptions guided by external objectives and interests.  Our responsibilities are guided by a responsibility to fully comprehend the requirements  of specific instructions and enforce them in a consistent, fair and unbiased manner to the best of OUR abilities, including where available, whatever approved technical assistance  can provide. 

Contrary  efforts or influence, provided by external sources especially those with vested interests, simply must be ignored when possible or if it becomes necessary, removed.

Achieving "Excellence", and more so maintaining it, is a quality that requires constant and repetitive attention and challenge.

Offline Etref

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Re: F/NF Targeting
« Reply #6 on: May 05, 2022, 08:44:49 AM »
Be careful with the two flag concept!

One may have just a personal foul, the other targeting. Talk about what you have.
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Offline JasonTX

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Re: F/NF Targeting
« Reply #7 on: May 05, 2022, 11:30:06 AM »
Be careful with the two flag concept!

One may have just a personal foul, the other targeting. Talk about what you have.

For sure.  My point was that if both saw targeting and both flagged it and nobody else saw anything that would add doubt, how would you not have a DQ?  But I know I have seen people not DQ in instances like that.

Offline dammitbobby

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Re: F/NF Targeting
« Reply #8 on: May 18, 2022, 08:07:44 PM »
TASO video was informative.  I still think people are going to misunderstand the flagrant component (like I did), using the definition in the book, but it's really a completely different term that just happens to have the same name.  Next week I may make a flowchart, if for no other reason to help me remember it better.

Offline dammitbobby

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Re: F/NF Targeting
« Reply #9 on: May 23, 2022, 09:32:17 PM »
Hopefully this uploads - let me know thoughts?  Any changes? 

(credit to Josh Freeburn for the original NCAA version, I just tweaked this to what I think reflects the UIL rule adjustments)

Offline JasonTX

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Re: F/NF Targeting
« Reply #10 on: May 23, 2022, 10:32:01 PM »
Hopefully this uploads - let me know thoughts?  Any changes? 

(credit to Josh Freeburn for the original NCAA version, I just tweaked this to what I think reflects the UIL rule adjustments)
The yellow box, did you intend for that to have a yes pointing to it?

Offline ElvisLives

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Re: F/NF Targeting
« Reply #11 on: May 24, 2022, 06:09:59 AM »
Hopefully this uploads - let me know thoughts?  Any changes? 

(credit to Josh Freeburn for the original NCAA version, I just tweaked this to what I think reflects the UIL rule adjustments)

There is no such thing as “flagrant targeting” for UIL football. Please stop using that expression. For UIL football, there is “Targeting,” requiring disqualification in addition to the distance penalty (with first down, if by B) or there is “non-flagrant targeting,” which carries only the distance penalty (with first down, if by B).
This is all about the announcement to be made. They should go like this:

“Personal foul, Targeting, number 99, defense. 15 yard penalty, first down. Number 99 is disqualified from further participation in this game.”

“Personal foul, targeting, number 99, defense.  15 yard penalty, first down. This is a non-flagrant foul. Number 99 may continue to participate in this game.”

Yes, I would prefer to have a completely different term for the non-flagrant foul, rather than use the word “targeting” at all, with this category of foul. But, that’s what we have. So, let’s be careful with the announcements.

Again, let’s understand that it only takes one official that has positive knowledge of ALL of the elements to rule Targeting. OR, if the crew can verify, collectively, that all of the elements for targeting are present, then Targeting is the correct call.
No one official may have all of the elements. For 9-1-4, in the most extreme circumstance, one may have the defenseless player, one may have the forcible contact, one may have the contact to the head-neck area, and one may have the indicator. Together, they have Targeting. For 9-1-3, one may have the indicator, one may have the crown of the helmet, and one many have the forcible contact.
In the absence of 100% positive knowledge of all of the elements by the entire crew, then non-flagrant targeting is the correct call (or a basic personal foul).
Just a because a single official has ‘doubt’ about an element, does NOT mean that there was not Targeting. The entire crew needs to be unable to confirm all elements to rule non-flagrant targeting (or no targeting at all).

I’m sorry, but I do not endorse the chart that was offered, for what that is worth.


Offline Covid 22

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Re: F/NF Targeting
« Reply #12 on: May 24, 2022, 09:37:57 AM »
By definition, Targeting is a flagrant personal foul.   So why not just announce a PF when it is decided that Targeting did not occur?   It seems like a better option.  The R treats it just like a "Illegal Procedure" (I know, there is no such thing) where he gives the generic signal and then announces the specific infraction.    Give the initial signal as a PF and then add the Targeting if it is determined that it is.   If it is determined not to be Targeting, don't bring it up at all.

Problem Solved.

Offline ElvisLives

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Re: F/NF Targeting
« Reply #13 on: May 24, 2022, 11:09:29 AM »
By definition, Targeting is a flagrant personal foul.   So why not just announce a PF when it is decided that Targeting did not occur?   It seems like a better option.  The R treats it just like a "Illegal Procedure" (I know, there is no such thing) where he gives the generic signal and then announces the specific infraction.    Give the initial signal as a PF and then add the Targeting if it is determined that it is.   If it is determined not to be Targeting, don't bring it up at all.

Problem Solved.

No, not solved. A second "non-flagrant targeting" by the same player in the same contest requires disqualification. So, we need to announce it as a non-flagrant 'targeting,' in the event he later gets a second non-flagrant target foul. Announcement:

"Personal foul, targeting, number 99, defense. 15 yard penalty, first down. This is number 99's second non-flagrant targeting foul of the game; therefore, by rule, number 99 is disqualified from further participation in this game."

Offline dammitbobby

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Re: F/NF Targeting
« Reply #14 on: May 24, 2022, 02:20:55 PM »
The yellow box, did you intend for that to have a yes pointing to it?

Good catch - I've made some changes, and am rethinking one step that I missed, and will repost soon.

Elvis:  I appreciate your feedback.  The intent of this is to serve as a learning aid, because, clearly, there is still very much a lack of clarity and wrong assumptions in our ranks about targeting, and what flagrant is, and is not.  The point of this, is to help illustrate that targeting calls can be complex, with a lot of different parts and elements to be considered.  If we (and we, being the collective THSFB officiating ranks) learn to work targeting, and other multi-step fouls, as a process, we can get better at them.  This isn't a perfect solution or tool, no.  But too often we toss the rulebook to officials and effectively say, 'Here, study this, test is in one month', and that's just not sufficient - we wouldn't do that with a geometry textbook, and we shouldn't do that in officiating, either.  Some people(like me) do much better learning with visual aids and diagrams and flowcharts and drawings, to help illustrate the process structure and steps.  And that's what I'm trying to do here.  I can certainly handle criticism, but we're all better off if we can come up with a tool to that can be beneficial to at least some.

And I completely agree that this would be vastly simplified if it were not called non-flagrant.  Unfortunately, thesaurus.com yields up the following (awful) synonyms:  atrocious, shocking, disgraceful, glaring, obvious... and many more that are completely unhelpful.  Only one that might come close, would be egregious.  The only other one I can think of, that might work would be unsafe:  Personal Foul, unsafe tackle (or block.)  Which is only marginally better.

Offline ElvisLives

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Re: F/NF Targeting
« Reply #15 on: May 24, 2022, 03:06:29 PM »
Good catch - I've made some changes, and am rethinking one step that I missed, and will repost soon.

Elvis:  I appreciate your feedback.  The intent of this is to serve as a learning aid, because, clearly, there is still very much a lack of clarity and wrong assumptions in our ranks about targeting, and what flagrant is, and is not.  The point of this, is to help illustrate that targeting calls can be complex, with a lot of different parts and elements to be considered.  If we (and we, being the collective THSFB officiating ranks) learn to work targeting, and other multi-step fouls, as a process, we can get better at them.  This isn't a perfect solution or tool, no.  But too often we toss the rulebook to officials and effectively say, 'Here, study this, test is in one month', and that's just not sufficient - we wouldn't do that with a geometry textbook, and we shouldn't do that in officiating, either.  Some people(like me) do much better learning with visual aids and diagrams and flowcharts and drawings, to help illustrate the process structure and steps.  And that's what I'm trying to do here.  I can certainly handle criticism, but we're all better off if we can come up with a tool to that can be beneficial to at least some.

And I completely agree that this would be vastly simplified if it were not called non-flagrant.  Unfortunately, thesaurus.com yields up the following (awful) synonyms:  atrocious, shocking, disgraceful, glaring, obvious... and many more that are completely unhelpful.  Only one that might come close, would be egregious.  The only other one I can think of, that might work would be unsafe:  Personal Foul, unsafe tackle (or block.)  Which is only marginally better.

I have some suggested edits for your consideration (attached). As always, it takes a lot of words to express concepts that are simpler than the words make them. See what ya think.

Offline AlUpstateNY

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Re: F/NF Targeting
« Reply #16 on: May 24, 2022, 06:32:41 PM »
No, not solved. A second "non-flagrant targeting" by the same player in the same contest requires disqualification. So, we need to announce it as a non-flagrant 'targeting,' in the event he later gets a second non-flagrant target foul. Announcement:

"Personal foul, targeting, number 99, defense. 15 yard penalty, first down. This is number 99's second non-flagrant targeting foul of the game; therefore, by rule, number 99 is disqualified from further participation in this game."

Shakespeare had a similar problem searching for a universal, absolute definition of the word  "Beauty", and finally decided to condition that conclusion on "Beauty, is in the eye of the beholder". It appears "Flagrant" is also a judgment, based on an individual conclusion of a specific, observed action, as defined by a written, specified rule, by an individual (calling game official) authorized to judge the behavior being observed.


Offline dammitbobby

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Re: F/NF Targeting
« Reply #17 on: June 09, 2022, 04:19:48 PM »
For those interested, here is an updated pdf of the targeting flowchart... if anyone sees any room for improvement, please let me know; hopefully someone will find this useful.

Offline TxBJ

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Re: F/NF Targeting
« Reply #18 on: June 15, 2022, 11:44:33 AM »
There is no such thing as “flagrant targeting” for UIL football. Please stop using that expression. For UIL football, there is “Targeting,” requiring disqualification in addition to the distance penalty (with first down, if by B) or there is “non-flagrant targeting,” which carries only the distance penalty (with first down, if by B).
This is all about the announcement to be made. They should go like this:


While I wish it was as you state above, apparently TASO does not agree.  One test question describes a play where targeting occurs.  The penalty is stated and includes a note that the player is disqualified if the targeting is flagrant.  The correct answer is "true".

Offline dammitbobby

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Re: F/NF Targeting
« Reply #19 on: June 15, 2022, 12:13:20 PM »
This one, I had it (got it right) but didn't catch the implication about it being non-flagrant. 

Receiver A83 has just leaped and received a forward pass. As A83 is about to regain his balance, B45 launches and drives into A83 above the shoulder area with his shoulder. The contact is deemed non-flagrant.


I don't know what the best solution to this is, but they need to come up with better verbiage.  Flagrant PF has a very specific definition in the rulebook, and to use the same term to mean something completely different is what is making this so complicated, IMO.  And it is different - the definition of flagrant PF (10-2-3) is 'A flagrant personal foul is illegal physical contact so extreme or deliberate that it places an opponent in danger of catastrophic injury.'  Which, completely eliminated 9-1-3 as a flagrant personal foul, using the rulebook definition.

Offline ElvisLives

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Re: F/NF Targeting
« Reply #20 on: June 15, 2022, 01:27:27 PM »
While I wish it was as you state above, apparently TASO does not agree.  One test question describes a play where targeting occurs.  The penalty is stated and includes a note that the player is disqualified if the targeting is flagrant.  The correct answer is "true".

As hard as I try to make sure everybody are using consistent terminology, especially related to UIL Targeting, I still haven't rounded up everybody into the same corral. I don't write the questions, although I would like to take a shot at it. I have been told by some folks (not TASO execs, but more "local" folks) that I am too verbose. Well, as I keep saying, it takes a lot of words to properly and thoroughly express even the simplest concepts. But, I try to make sure I cover all of the possibilities, as much as possible, to eliminate ambiguity. In the example of the Targeting question, it could have been stated this way, to be in line with the terminology we need to maintain:
"...the player is disqualified, unless the foul is considered "non-flagrant," per the UIL targeting policy." Same intent. Same ruling. Clearer language that follows the proper terminology. No ambiguity or conflict.   

Offline Covid 22

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Re: F/NF Targeting
« Reply #21 on: June 15, 2022, 03:29:51 PM »
I thought you  were actually just long winded but on checking with Google, I may have been mistaken.

What is an example of verbose?
Verbose is defined as a Referee (i.e.: ElvisLives) who uses way too many words.

This example leaves no ambiguity. yEs: