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Football Officiating => National Federation Discussion => Topic started by: CalhounLJ on June 13, 2019, 08:26:40 AM

Title: Swinging gate and the new formation rule
Post by: CalhounLJ on June 13, 2019, 08:26:40 AM
This came up at our meeting last night:

In a swinging gate formation for a try, A sends 10 players out, all with receiver's numbers, lined up like this:

         A1   A2   A3   A4   A5   A6(SNAPPER)
      A7                                     A8

                                            A9
                                            A10

The question is, using the numbering exception, can this be a legal formation? The assumption is that the only way A can line up with less than 5 linemen numbered 50-79, they must use the numbering exception, and if a player is in under the numbering exception, he/she must take an initial position BETWEEN the ends, and remains an ineligible receiver. While it is now legal to have 6 on the line, it is impossible for there to be 5 players legally using the numbering exception on this particular formation. If only 4 are using the exception, doesn't there have to be at least 1 player numbered 50-79? Plus, if there are 5 in under the exception, at least one of the otherwise eligible receivers (A1 and A6) must be declared ineligible because of being in under the exception. If that's the case, which one is declared? Any and all help appreciated.
Title: Re: Swinging gate and the new formation rule
Post by: bossman72 on June 13, 2019, 09:27:36 AM
I wouldn't get super technical here.  Let em play. 
Title: Re: Swinging gate and the new formation rule
Post by: CalhounLJ on June 13, 2019, 09:36:51 AM
Thanks, but the study of the rules is by nature technical. This is way less technical than some discussions I have seen on this board..
Title: Re: Swinging gate and the new formation rule
Post by: BIG UMP on June 13, 2019, 09:41:36 AM
I don't have an official answer but if a kick takes place, let it slide.  If a fake, then you have to look and think about who went out and who stayed.
Title: Re: Swinging gate and the new formation rule
Post by: HLinNC on June 13, 2019, 09:44:03 AM
Ends are always eligible, unless ineligible by number.  The exception allows A/K to replace  any 50-79 player with a non 50-79 player on 4th down or try.    Under the new rule, its legal.
Title: Re: Swinging gate and the new formation rule
Post by: CalhounLJ on June 13, 2019, 10:08:32 AM
Ok I'll buy that. Now replace A2, A3, A4, A5 with A50, A51, A52, A54. Would that be a legal formation?
Title: Re: Swinging gate and the new formation rule
Post by: Curious on June 13, 2019, 10:46:37 AM
If I read the position of A8 in your diagram as NOT in position to take a hand-to hand snap, then the team is in a scrimmage kick formation; so, by itself, the formation would be legal. 

However, if this is not a try, and if the down is less than 4th, then the exception would not be in play.  On downs 1-3, even after the new rule, the team must still have 5 players numbered between 50-79 on the LOS. At least I haven't read anything that tells me differently...

Also, there is no requirement that a kick must actually be made.

Title: Re: Swinging gate and the new formation rule
Post by: HLinNC on June 13, 2019, 11:09:21 AM
There's no exception being used in that case, illegal numbering.

I know, it seems incongruous on the try but its not the first time the Fed changed a rule and didn't fully flesh it out.  Remember the premise behind changing to >4 in the backfield vs  7 on the line is to not punish A further for playing short.
Title: Re: Swinging gate and the new formation rule
Post by: CalhounLJ on June 13, 2019, 11:11:45 AM
Yes, that's the intent. I should have drawn it up better, but A8 is NOT in position. This is a try down, presumably using the numbering exception. in RE: to the 1-3 down scenario, this would not be a legal formation because there has to be at least 4 linemen properly numbered, plus the snapper must be between the ends, if he's using the numbering exception. But, that raises another question: If this formation was a field goal attempt, and there were only 4 linemen numbered 50-79, would the snapper have to be between the ends just because he's wearing a receiver number? In other words, can we assume the 11th player could have been the other lineman properly numbered?
Title: Re: Swinging gate and the new formation rule
Post by: Magician on June 13, 2019, 11:40:57 AM
Don't overthink this! The rule change took away a penalty on the offense if they only had 9 or 10 players and the missing player was a lineman. The intent of the previous rule was to make sure the offense didn't use a bunch of eligible players by position on a play. That is still true! The change was to remove the foul if they were short linemen because they were missing a player. Only worry about this foul if you have 5 or more in the backfield. If the offense is short an offensive lineman don't make it a foul because it technically violates another rule that exists for a different reason.
Title: Re: Swinging gate and the new formation rule
Post by: CalhounLJ on June 13, 2019, 01:22:32 PM
That makes sense, and I think I understand what you are saying, but are you saying that on downs 1-3, A can have a snapper in under the exception with only 3 linemen numbered 50-79, as long as they are 1 or more players short? in other words, if there are 11 on the field they have to have 4 linemen numbered 50-79, but if there are 10 or more they can have less? Because I think that violates 7-2-5b and the exception: "Team A shall have four players wearing numbers 50-79 on its line of scrimmage."
Title: Re: Swinging gate and the new formation rule
Post by: CalhounLJ on June 13, 2019, 01:31:05 PM
Don't overthink this! The rule change took away a penalty on the offense if they only had 9 or 10 players and the missing player was a lineman. The intent of the previous rule was to make sure the offense didn't use a bunch of eligible players by position on a play. That is still true! The change was to remove the foul if they were short linemen because they were missing a player. Only worry about this foul if you have 5 or more in the backfield. If the offense is short an offensive lineman don't make it a foul because it technically violates another rule that exists for a different reason.

ON second thought, I'm not sure I do understand. It is my understanding of the new rule change that while the change does indeed seek to take away a penalty on the offense just because they were missing a player, that missing player could NOT be a lineman, because the 5 lineman requirement was not only kept in place, but emphasized. Is that not correct?
Title: Re: Swinging gate and the new formation rule
Post by: CalhounLJ on June 13, 2019, 01:32:37 PM
ON second thought, I'm not sure I do understand. It is my understanding of the new rule change that while the change does indeed seek to take away a penalty on the offense just because they were missing a player, that missing player could NOT be a lineman ( definition: an ineligilbe receiver numbered 50-79), because the 5 lineman requirement was not only kept in place, but emphasized. Is that not correct?
Title: Re: Swinging gate and the new formation rule
Post by: HLinNC on June 13, 2019, 03:05:25 PM
Essentially yes but don't get trapped into the term lineman exclusively.   The # 50-79 element is what holds sway.  Ends on the line are linemen.

i.e.          42        88 73 66 50 72        82               Legal formation but illegal numbering.
                    27                 12
                                     
                                     32    44     


             42          74 65 50 69 77                          Formerly illegal, now legal formation.
                                    12                27

                                32    44


                     86  74 65 50 69  88                         Illegal numbering AND illegal formation
             42                   12                   82

                                32    44
Title: Re: Swinging gate and the new formation rule
Post by: Magician on June 13, 2019, 05:08:17 PM
On plays without a scrimmage kick formation you still have a requirement to have 5 linemen with ineligible numbers on the field. That hasn't changed. If they come out with only 10 players on a regular scrimmage play and #88 the TE was the missing player last year it was a foul. This year it is not. If the missing player is #56 is the missing player and there are now only 4 linemen with ineligible numbers, you don't have a foul for an illegal formation because you have only 6 linemen, but you could have a foul for illegal numbering. It's your call if you want to be technical on that, but you would definitely be supported on it. 95% of the time when a team is missing a lineman it's on a punt or FG/try where the numbering part of the rule doesn't apply. If it's 3rd and 2 and they sub out and forget to bring replace one of the linemen and you have 4 ineligible numbers with 6 linemen, then it's probably appropriate to also flag them for illegal numbering.

Most of the time when I've seen this though was on punts and I knew they only had 10 players and I could see 3 shield players and a punter and know they only had 6 linemen. It should have been a foul, but it wasn't always called, because the wing had to see our signal or I had to get on the radio and let them know. It was a silly foul because they were already playing short.

This has been an NCAA rule for several years now and the key benefit is you no longer have to count linemen. Just make sure there are no more than 4 backs (including the QB) and you are good to go.
Title: Re: Swinging gate and the new formation rule
Post by: fudilligas on June 13, 2019, 06:53:56 PM
Am I missing something or is it not this simple:

All situations have less than 5 in the backfield and may have 5, 6 or 7 on the line

1.  On all scrimmage plays, not including scrimmage kick formations, you must have at least 5 lineman numbered 50-79

2.  Scrimmage kick formations numbering exceptions:
          Downs 1,2 and 3--at least 4 players numbered 50-79 and if the snapper has an eligible receiver # he must be an interior lineman
          4th down and/or PAT--no numbering requirements and the snapper may be an eligible receiver by number and position on the line
Title: Re: Swinging gate and the new formation rule
Post by: Magician on June 13, 2019, 11:11:50 PM
Am I missing something or is it not this simple:

All situations have less than 5 in the backfield and may have 5, 6 or 7 on the line

1.  On all scrimmage plays, not including scrimmage kick formations, you must have at least 5 lineman numbered 50-79

2.  Scrimmage kick formations numbering exceptions:
          Downs 1,2 and 3--at least 4 players numbered 50-79 and if the snapper has an eligible receiver # he must be an interior lineman
          4th down and/or PAT--no numbering requirements and the snapper may be an eligible receiver by number and position on the line

Correct other than 1, 2, and 3 down to use the numbering exception they must also be in scrimmage kick formation.
Title: Re: Swinging gate and the new formation rule
Post by: CalhounLJ on June 15, 2019, 07:22:27 AM
On plays without a scrimmage kick formation you still have a requirement to have 5 linemen with ineligible numbers on the field. That hasn't changed. If they come out with only 10 players on a regular scrimmage play and #88 the TE was the missing player last year it was a foul. This year it is not. If the missing player is #56 is the missing player and there are now only 4 linemen with ineligible numbers, you don't have a foul for an illegal formation because you have only 6 linemen, but you could have a foul for illegal numbering. It's your call if you want to be technical on that, but you would definitely be supported on it. 95% of the time when a team is missing a lineman it's on a punt or FG/try where the numbering part of the rule doesn't apply. If it's 3rd and 2 and they sub out and forget to bring replace one of the linemen and you have 4 ineligible numbers with 6 linemen, then it's probably appropriate to also flag them for illegal numbering.

Most of the time when I've seen this though was on punts and I knew they only had 10 players and I could see 3 shield players and a punter and know they only had 6 linemen. It should have been a foul, but it wasn't always called, because the wing had to see our signal or I had to get on the radio and let them know. It was a silly foul because they were already playing short.

This has been an NCAA rule for several years now and the key benefit is you no longer have to count linemen. Just make sure there are no more than 4 backs (including the QB) and you are good to go.

Thanks. That makes it clear. Seems like my guys and I were chasing the wrong pony. We were trying to connect the formation and numbering requirements together. On the OP, if a player is eligible by position and number heís good. Right? 


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Title: Re: Swinging gate and the new formation rule
Post by: Magician on June 15, 2019, 09:53:16 PM
Thanks. That makes it clear. Seems like my guys and I were chasing the wrong pony. We were trying to connect the formation and numbering requirements together. On the OP, if a player is eligible by position and number heís good. Right? 

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If he's eligible by position and number he's eligible. There could be other reasons why there is a problem. For example, if there are 5 backs the team would be guilty of an illegal formation but he's still an eligible receiver.
Title: Re: Swinging gate and the new formation rule
Post by: blandis on July 12, 2019, 10:56:23 PM
   Through the years since the numbering exception rules were redone to get rid of the A11-offense I think high school officiating, on average, has slipped in regards to the swinging gate type of formations in regards to the numbering exception. In a section playoff semi-final last season I called a team our unit regularly covers for an Illegal Formation because they had 4-players numbered 50-79 in a swinging gate formation and the snapper was an eligible number with the QB in a shot-gun formation which they ran a play from on a 2-point Try attempt. When I called it the Head Coach was irate and said he had done it all year. In this case, he was probably telling the truth. Other schools from out of my area who come into my area have done this with a QB in shot-gun using the eligible-numbered snapper and less than 5-player 50-79 and I caught it which left their heads spinning because it wasn't ever called by their regular officials where they're from.
    For the numbering exception to be used the snapper must be covered up so he is ineligible by position AND the holder and kicker must be in their normal scrimmage kick positions. I saw one team legally take advantage of this by having 5 linemen 50-79 but the long snapper was an eligible number. So this particular swinging gate formation with a QB in a shot-gun formation was made legal by NOT using the numbering exception on a long snap. Often many Umpires forget to count their 5-players numbered 50-79, it is particularly important on scrimmage kicks to do this and to know when the numbering exception is being used, thusly, it is important for the U to master the numbering exception rule.
Title: Re: Swinging gate and the new formation rule
Post by: KWH on July 13, 2019, 04:32:02 PM
   Through the years since the numbering exception rules were redone to get rid of the A11-offense I think high school officiating, on average, has slipped in regards to the swinging gate type of formations in regards to the numbering exception. In a section playoff semi-final last season I called a team our unit regularly covers for an Illegal Formation because they had 4-players numbered 50-79 in a swinging gate formation and the snapper was an eligible number with the QB in a shot-gun formation which they ran a play from on a 2-point Try attempt. When I called it the Head Coach was irate and said he had done it all year. In this case, he was probably telling the truth. Other schools from out of my area who come into my area have done this with a QB in shot-gun using the eligible-numbered snapper and less than 5-player 50-79 and I caught it which left their heads spinning because it wasn't ever called by their regular officials where they're from.
    For the numbering exception to be used the snapper must be covered up so he is ineligible by position AND the holder and kicker must be in their normal scrimmage kick positions. I saw one team legally take advantage of this by having 5 linemen 50-79 but the long snapper was an eligible number. So this particular swinging gate formation with a QB in a shot-gun formation was made legal by NOT using the numbering exception on a long snap. Often many Umpires forget to count their 5-players numbered 50-79, it is particularly important on scrimmage kicks to do this and to know when the numbering exception is being used, thusly, it is important for the U to master the numbering exception rule.

Two things:
1) Yes, to legally use the numbering except, a snapper, wearing an eligible number, has to be covered up and remains ineligible during the down, but, only on a down less than 4. (7-2-5b EXCEPTION 1)
2) On 4th Down or during a Try, the snapper may wear an eligible AND may be in an eligible position.
3) Team A/K can shift all they want, as, all of the fouls listed in 7-2-5 may only occur: At the snap...

Watching a lot of (this means too much) video, I have noticed a common situation that gets missed:
During a Try they line up in a swinging gate formation, pause, and then shift back into a regular (non-kicking) formation!
They snap the football (going for 2) with only 4 lineman numbered 50-79. This is Illegal Numbering for a violation of 7-2-5a

Now when they were in the Swinging Gate formation, just as long as they ALSO meet either of the formation requirements described in 2-14-2a or 2-14-2b,
they could legally run a play as per 7-2-5b EXCEPTION 2.

Remember, while some will argue this is a whole hell of a lot of wording, (and I agree) since there is no foul until the snap the football (exception DOG)... so
when the shift back into a regular scrimmage play with on FOUR 50-79 lineman, your radar should go up and that one foul should not get missed.
   
Title: Re: Swinging gate and the new formation rule
Post by: ncwingman on July 14, 2019, 07:56:25 AM
This question came up at a local clinic where it was asked up the chain (I believe to the top...) ... the answer we got was:

When the numbering exception is in effect, A can send out 9 players, put 5 on the line and 4 in the backfield and it's a legal formation. Since the numbering exception is in effect, all players can be numbered 81-89 with no consequences -- still legal.

For simplicity, following the original plot -- 80-85 are on the line and 86-89 are in the backfield.

Since 81-85 are in the game under the numbering exception (on the line, replacing a 50-79) they are *ineligible* by position -- EVEN IF two of them are ends because A is missing players. There MUST be 5 ineligible players either numbered 50-79 or in the game under the numbering exception at all times.

ETA -- The explanation received ended here, we only asked about the 9 man scenario, not 10

In the original scenario, there's a 6th player on the line (let's say #80) -- then there would be one eligible end and one ineligible end. Which one is eligible? Well, which ever one goes out for a pass... if they both do, we have a problem. If they don't throw a pass, it's moot. I figure it's not worth nitpicking.... unless....

If however, you know 100% for certain that this was an intentional play using substitution with intent to deceive which player is eligible (the two ends somehow get a signal to determine who goes out for the pass after the defense sets up), then maybe (maybe!) you have a flag... but I'd have a lot of leeway before you throw that.
Title: Re: Swinging gate and the new formation rule
Post by: CalhounLJ on July 14, 2019, 08:55:11 AM
In the original scenario, there's a 6th player on the line (let's say #80) -- then there would be one eligible end and one ineligible end. Which one is eligible? Well, which ever one goes out for a pass... if they both do, we have a problem. If they don't throw a pass, it's moot. I figure it's not worth nitpicking.... unless....

This has been the issue all along. The argument at our meeting was that to be in under the numbering exception a player had to be "inside the ends" and was ineligible. If there's only ten in the formation and 4 in the backfield, it's impossible for there to be 5 on the line "inside the ends." IMO, this solution leaves a lot to be desired. In essence this solution means that NEITHER END can be eligible.
Title: Re: Swinging gate and the new formation rule
Post by: NVFOA_Ump on July 14, 2019, 12:20:29 PM
Our early meeting discussion prior to the actual rule books coming out regarding this would call this an illegal formation (all numbering exception players on the line) unless there are a minimum of 7 players on the LOS.  Otherwise the 5 "lineman" (5 numbering exceptions) do not meet the requirement to be "inside the ends".  Our read of the new alignment rule still requires that there be 5 identifiable ineligible linemen on the LOS.  How can that be satisfied in a valid numbering exception alignment if there are only 5 or 6 players on the line all with eligible numbers?

We'll see if we have a different opinion now that the membership has the actual 2019 books and access to a large amount of reference materials posted by the MIAA here in MA.
Title: Re: Swinging gate and the new formation rule
Post by: HLinNC on July 14, 2019, 03:13:55 PM
An end is never NOT eligible, unless he is wearing an ineligible number.

You might have an illegal formation or illegal numbering but if he's wearing 1-49 or 80-99 and he's and end or a back, he is an eligible
receiver, always.
Title: Re: Swinging gate and the new formation rule
Post by: NVFOA_Ump on July 14, 2019, 07:27:36 PM
An end is never NOT eligible, unless he is wearing an ineligible number.

You might have an illegal formation or illegal numbering but if he's wearing 1-49 or 80-99 and he's and end or a back, he is an eligible
receiver, always.

Actually, according to our pre-season meeting we had a clear consensus that that is not correct since the numbering exception REQUIRES that there be 5 ineligible linemen "INSIDE THE ENDS".  The change to requiring only 5 linemen on scrimmage downs has created some conflict with the numbering exception rules.  Not sure where this goes but in the opinion of our group there needs to be some clarification here.  The intent of the rules is very clear in that we and more importantly the defense know who is eligible and right now that's an open question.
Title: Re: Swinging gate and the new formation rule
Post by: HLinNC on July 14, 2019, 07:57:02 PM
Sorry but whatever consensus was reached doesn't supersede definitions in Rule 2.  Sounds like overthinking on your group's part. 
Title: Re: Swinging gate and the new formation rule
Post by: NVFOA_Ump on July 14, 2019, 08:05:47 PM
Sorry but whatever consensus was reached doesn't supersede definitions in Rule 2.  Sounds like overthinking on your group's part.

Except there is now a direct conflict in the rules with the 2018 change for the 5 lineman requirement.  The scrimmage kick formation requires that there be 5 ineligible linemen on the LOS.  Since the 7 lineman requirement is gone and the 2 "ends" are not there we are left with the required minimum 5 linemen who by the scrimmage kick exception rule must be ineligible. No overthinking, that is what the rule states.  We'll see what further guidance we get from our rules interpreter in our next meeting.
Title: Re: Swinging gate and the new formation rule
Post by: Magician on July 14, 2019, 09:34:39 PM
Except there is now a direct conflict in the rules with the 2018 change for the 5 lineman requirement.  The scrimmage kick formation requires that there be 5 ineligible linemen on the LOS.  Since the 7 lineman requirement is gone and the 2 "ends" are not there we are left with the required minimum 5 linemen who by the scrimmage kick exception rule must be ineligible. No overthinking, that is what the rule states.  We'll see what further guidance we get from our rules interpreter in our next meeting.

HLinNC is correct. You are overthinking it. If this is the formation in scrimmage kick:

42 53 57 82(snapper) 65 37

with two wing backs a holder and a kicker they are legal since there are no more than 4 in the backfield. 82 is a numbering exception and 42 and 37 are eligible receivers if they run a fake or fire drill. Trying to make this illegal means you aren't looking at the intent of the rules. As is often stated, officiate WITH the rules and not BY the rules.
Title: Re: Swinging gate and the new formation rule
Post by: NVFOA_Ump on July 15, 2019, 06:38:03 AM
HLinNC is correct. You are overthinking it. If this is the formation in scrimmage kick:

42 53 57 82(snapper) 65 37

with two wing backs a holder and a kicker they are legal since there are no more than 4 in the backfield. 82 is a numbering exception and 42 and 37 are eligible receivers if they run a fake or fire drill. Trying to make this illegal means you aren't looking at the intent of the rules. As is often stated, officiate WITH the rules and not BY the rules.
So who are the 5 "interior" lineman required by this years rule change?  And if 42 and 37 are both eligible receivers that conflicts with that same rule change and also conflicts with the numbering exception requirements.  So we're saying we let both 42 and 37 go out for a pass but flag for only an illegal formation?
Title: Re: Swinging gate and the new formation rule
Post by: CalhounLJ on July 15, 2019, 06:46:37 AM
HLinNC is correct. You are overthinking it. If this is the formation in scrimmage kick:

42 53 57 82(snapper) 65 37

with two wing backs a holder and a kicker they are legal since there are no more than 4 in the backfield. 82 is a numbering exception and 42 and 37 are eligible receivers if they run a fake or fire drill. Trying to make this illegal means you aren't looking at the intent of the rules. As is often stated, officiate WITH the rules and not BY the rules.

Hereís the problem with the illustration you present:

ďIf Team A has the snapper in the game under this exception, Team A shall have four players wearing numbers 50-79 on its line of scrimmage.Ē

Your formation only has 3 linemen numbered 50-79. 


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Title: Re: Swinging gate and the new formation rule
Post by: CalhounLJ on July 15, 2019, 06:51:21 AM
The question I posted is a bit different. I was using the try or 4th down exception that allows any or all 50-79 players to be replaced. The basic question is whether the new requirement for 5  numbered 50-79 means that there must be 5 ineligibles inside the ends when using that exception. If there are only 4 is that a foul?


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Title: Re: Swinging gate and the new formation rule
Post by: NVFOA_Ump on July 15, 2019, 07:08:43 AM
The question I posted is a bit different. I was using the try or 4th down exception that allows any or all 50-79 players to be replaced. The basic question is whether the new requirement for 5  numbered 50-79 means that there must be 5 ineligibles inside the ends when using that exception. If there are only 4 is that a foul?
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That is exactly the question.  The current rules as printed do not reconcile with regards to the scrimmage kick numbering exception when all players have eligible numbers and there are not 11 players on the field with at least 7 on the line of scrimmage.  The numbering exception in that case REQUIRES the line to look something like:

80  81  82  83  84  85  86 where the 5 "interior" players are ineligible by rule.  anything less then 7 in the case of a scrimmage kick numbering exception play leaves a question as to who are the 5 ineligible linemen "between the ends" and therefore must as a minimum be an illegal formation foul.
Title: Re: Swinging gate and the new formation rule
Post by: Magician on July 15, 2019, 07:58:28 AM
So who are the 5 "interior" lineman required by this years rule change?  And if 42 and 37 are both eligible receivers that conflicts with that same rule change and also conflicts with the numbering exception requirements.  So we're saying we let both 42 and 37 go out for a pass but flag for only an illegal formation?

You are being confused by the extra statement they unnecessarily included in the updated rule. There was no need to address the minimum number of linemen in the new rule because that was already covered by the number rule (which happens to be the next rule in the book!). They had good intentions but it's created confusion.

Why is there a numbering rule to begin with? It's to make it easier for the defense (and ultimately us as well) to determine who may be eligible once the play develops. Since there are generally going to be 5 interior linemen assuming the team has 11 players and no more than 4 in the backfield, then it's logical there would be 5 ineligible players. Requiring them to be 50-79 then is logical. Rulesmakers also recognize on scrimmage kick plays there is good reason to allow normally eligible numbers to occupy those positions, thus we have the numbering exception. An enterprising and annoying coach found a loophole a few years ago to use the numbering exception on every play to try to confuse the defense so we had a rule change to address that. They over engineered the rule but in general it accomplishes what it needs to accomplish.

This year's rule change allows a team to snap the ball legally with 10 players and only 6 on the line. For normal scrimmage plays if the missing player is an interior lineman you will violate the minimum of 5 ineligible numbers on the line. I understand we should flag that, but I would be fine if we let that go by philosophy. The numbering exception on scrimmage kicks gives us more flexibility though because we no longer need 5 ineligible numbers on the line. I would definitely stay away from flagging an ineligible formation in this situation. They aren't gaining any advantage in fact they have put themselves in a disadvantage. If you are going to be that technical you are missing the intent of the rule and being too much of a rule book official.f If you assigner/supervisor/grader tells you to be that technical then definitely be that technical. It's no very likely to happen often anyway.

Even if you are going to call this an illegal formation, the ends are still eligible because they have an eligible number and they are on the end of the line. That's all that's required for eligibility. It doesn't say anything about being in a legal formation as well.

You aren't gaining an advantage if you are short a player and that player is
Title: Re: Swinging gate and the new formation rule
Post by: toma on July 15, 2019, 08:57:55 AM
I would hope during the pre-game meeting with the HC you've asked "Coach do you have anything unusual"?.  We went to be prepare to rule properly. He explains it we see issues,  ^flag ^flag. address it then, not during the game.
Title: Re: Swinging gate and the new formation rule
Post by: CalhounLJ on July 15, 2019, 09:00:05 AM
I agree with the philosophy of advantage/disadvantage, intent of the rule and all that. However, I do think we can take that principle to the extreme. There are some situations in which a foul should be called just because it's a clear violation of the written rule. For example, the "less than five in the backfield rule." I'm assuming (and have read on this forum) that the basic philosophy behind the intent of this rule is to prevent A from manipulating the number of eligible receivers they can have on any given play. If this is true, then the only advantage they would create in having 5 in the backfield would be on a pass play. To strictly apply advantage/disadvantage and intent would create a situation in which we only throw a flag if A throws a pass. I think we all disagree on that.

IMHO, this discussion we are having is the same way. It either is an illegal formation or not; it is either illegal numbering or not. The rulemakers need to clarify this confusion. We can't justify it away or explain it in a way that will fix the problem.
Title: Re: Swinging gate and the new formation rule
Post by: CalhounLJ on July 15, 2019, 09:03:38 AM
I would hope during the pre-game meeting with the HC you've asked "Coach do you have anything unusual"?.  We went to be prepare to rule properly. He explains it we see issues,  ^flag ^flag. address it then, not during the game.
This is not an issue that would normally be addressed in pregame. This is more of an issue of not having enough players in the game at a given time. We wouldn't say something like, "Coach, in the event you or your team make the mistake of only sending 10 out on a punt, you need to make sure there are at least 5 properly numbered."
Title: Re: Swinging gate and the new formation rule
Post by: Magician on July 15, 2019, 02:32:43 PM
I agree with the philosophy of advantage/disadvantage, intent of the rule and all that. However, I do think we can take that principle to the extreme. There are some situations in which a foul should be called just because it's a clear violation of the written rule. For example, the "less than five in the backfield rule." I'm assuming (and have read on this forum) that the basic philosophy behind the intent of this rule is to prevent A from manipulating the number of eligible receivers they can have on any given play. If this is true, then the only advantage they would create in having 5 in the backfield would be on a pass play. To strictly apply advantage/disadvantage and intent would create a situation in which we only throw a flag if A throws a pass. I think we all disagree on that.

IMHO, this discussion we are having is the same way. It either is an illegal formation or not; it is either illegal numbering or not. The rulemakers need to clarify this confusion. We can't justify it away or explain it in a way that will fix the problem.

There is an advantage if you have 5 backs because you have a tackle that is too far into the backfield or a receiver who should be an end but gets a little more space to get a release from a pressed DB. That's a huge disadvantage for the defense. That's why it's always a foul. It could apply in both a run or pass situation. The deep tackle or guard could be pulling on a run so if they set up back a little it gives them more space to get started. Yes, there are other procedural fouls that are not advantage/disadvantage type fouls, but I wouldn't get too technical if it's caused because A is playing with TOO FEW players. They are already at a disadvantage.

If you start a justification with "technically it's a foul" you should probably stay away from flagging it. Technically a player lined up in no-man's land is a foul, but by philosophy we don't call it. You could use the same argument for that play you are using here. Is it a foul or isn't it? Why don't the rulemakers clarify it? If you want to call that go ahead. It would be very career limiting for me to do that however.
Title: Re: Swinging gate and the new formation rule
Post by: ucanfindmj on July 15, 2019, 03:11:00 PM
This came up at our meeting last night:

In a swinging gate formation for a try, A sends 10 players out, all with receiver's numbers, lined up like this:

         A1   A2   A3   A4   A5   A6(SNAPPER)
      A7                                     A8

                                            A9
                                            A10



The question is, using the numbering exception, can this be a legal formation? The assumption is that the only way A can line up with less than 5 linemen numbered 50-79, they must use the numbering exception, and if a player is in under the numbering exception, he/she must take an initial position BETWEEN the ends, and remains an ineligible receiver. While it is now legal to have 6 on the line, it is impossible for there to be 5 players legally using the numbering exception on this particular formation. If only 4 are using the exception, doesn't there have to be at least 1 player numbered 50-79? Plus, if there are 5 in under the exception, at least one of the otherwise eligible receivers (A1 and A6) must be declared ineligible because of being in under the exception. If that's the case, which one is declared? Any and all help appreciated.

The receiver must be eligible by both position and number.  The snapper in this formation, by the exception 7-2-5b would be in an illegal formation if on 1st 2nd or 3rd down, as he is not between the ends.  If he is wearing 50-79 then he is fine to snap from the end, but remains ineligible by number.

For a kick try, we simply do not know if this player is under the numbering exception as he may be an end who is snapping for the try from the end and not part of the numbering exception. 

Best handled by pregame conference with head coaches when asked "do you run any unusual plays or formations"
Title: Re: Swinging gate and the new formation rule
Post by: CalhounLJ on July 15, 2019, 03:19:06 PM
The receiver must be eligible by both position and number.  The snapper in this formation, by the exception 7-2-5b would be in an illegal formation if on 1st 2nd or 3rd down, as he is not between the ends.  If he is wearing 50-79 then he is fine to snap from the end, but remains ineligible by number.

For a kick try, we simply do not know if this player is under the numbering exception as he may be an end who is snapping for the try from the end and not part of the numbering exception. 

Thanks, but that's really not the issue. The issue is with the number of ineligibles "inside the ends." Reread the entire thread and I think you will get the picture. ( if you have the proper interpretation  :thumbup)

Best handled by pregame conference with head coaches when asked "do you run any unusual plays or formations"
Title: Re: Swinging gate and the new formation rule
Post by: NVFOA_Ump on July 16, 2019, 07:04:12 AM
If you start a justification with "technically it's a foul" you should probably stay away from flagging it. Technically a player lined up in no-man's land is a foul, but by philosophy we don't call it. You could use the same argument for that play you are using here. Is it a foul or isn't it? Why don't the rulemakers clarify it? If you want to call that go ahead. It would be very career limiting for me to do that however.

I would offer that it would far more "career limiting" if the snapper here on the end of a 6 man line of all eligible numbers caught the winning TD pass on a fake kick play.  That's without debate an illegal formation per the numbering exception rules and I don't want my supervisor passing the video around asking how did we miss a clear and flagrant formation violation.  Or alternately,  are we going to throw a late flag after the TD and offer that the nit just changed to a foul because of the significance of the play?

I would also offer that where any form of trick play is on the table that we should be vigilant about not allowing a team to stretch the rules to gain an advantage.  It's not our place to determine whether or not the "missing" 7th lineman was an oversight by number 81 resting on the bench.  This is simply an illegal formation foul. 
Title: Re: Swinging gate and the new formation rule
Post by: Magician on July 16, 2019, 10:58:32 AM
I would offer that it would far more "career limiting" if the snapper here on the end of a 6 man line of all eligible numbers caught the winning TD pass on a fake kick play.  That's without debate an illegal formation per the numbering exception rules and I don't want my supervisor passing the video around asking how did we miss a clear and flagrant formation violation.  Or alternately,  are we going to throw a late flag after the TD and offer that the nit just changed to a foul because of the significance of the play?

I would also offer that where any form of trick play is on the table that we should be vigilant about not allowing a team to stretch the rules to gain an advantage.  It's not our place to determine whether or not the "missing" 7th lineman was an oversight by number 81 resting on the bench.  This is simply an illegal formation foul. 

If it's going to be called it's illegal numbering and not illegal formation, a difference without significance because it's the same signal and same penalty.

Do you agree the intent of the numbering exception is to allow the offense to have fewer than 5 ineligible numbers on the line? Do you agree the intent of the rule change was to allow a team to legally line up with only 6 linemen if they are have 10 players on the field?

You can be uber technical now and say in a scrimmage kick formation you need to have 7 on the line so you can have up to 5 interior linemen as exceptions, but that's not what the rule is trying to accomplish. To make this an illegal formation or illegal numbering is trying to be way too technical and the "gotcha" official. Nobody wants to work with that official which is why it would be career limiting in my area. Maybe your area likes the gotcha official who only calls things black and white. I can guarantee if you have any interest in moving up to college you will be dropped from consideration immediately. If that's not an ambition than it's only a matter of how your local high school associations operate. Do you flag the slot guy in no-man's land as an illegal formation? That's the same level of technicality you are trying to apply here.
Title: Re: Swinging gate and the new formation rule
Post by: CalhounLJ on July 16, 2019, 11:33:21 AM
I have to disagree that those who want clarification on this rule are being too technical. Some of the illustrations you give in your argument go against both the rule book AND the accompanied casebook examples. At the High School level we are constantly encouraged to follow both the intent and the writing of the rule. When those two collide (as they have here) the solution is not to ignore the clear writing of the rule, but to rewrite the rule so that it lines up better with the intent. I appreciate the fact that intent is pushed intensely at the college level, but that's the college game. Not every philosophy at that level works at the high school level. On the other hand, I have watched college games in which the letter of the rule superceded the common sense intent of the rule. For example, I watched a game in which two players on offense wore the same number. They both went in at different times during the same series and it was flagged. I'm not sure, but I suspect the intent of this rule is to keep A from deceiving B by confusing the personnel. Only problem with that is that one of the players was like 5'11", 180, and the other was 6'2" 245. There was no way B could get the two mixed up. Should have been "no harm, no foul," but because the RULE said it was a foul, the officials threw the flag. there are certain situations in which the clear, written rule is called simply because it's a rule. We can argue intent all day long, but the clearly written rule here says that there has to be 5 ineligible numbers on the line unless the numbering exception is being used, and then if it's 1, 2, or 3rd down, there has to be 4.
Title: Re: Swinging gate and the new formation rule
Post by: CalhounLJ on July 16, 2019, 11:37:34 AM
Another example of rule over intent is the playoff rules question on this page. With the rule change, R can take K's penalty at the succeeding spot. The intent of that rule is to keep from having to rekick as much as possible. The problem with the first touching scenario is that pesky rule that states first touching goes away if a penalty is accepted. In keeping with the philosophy of reducing rekicks, we could use the intent excuse, ignore the rule and enforce from the first-touching spot, because technically it's the succeeding spot. But my tenure as a WH would be in jeopardy if I did that.
Title: Re: Swinging gate and the new formation rule
Post by: NVFOA_Ump on July 16, 2019, 02:46:29 PM
The problem with the first touching scenario is that pesky rule that states first touching goes away if a penalty is accepted.

Rule reference please?
Title: Re: Swinging gate and the new formation rule
Post by: CalhounLJ on July 16, 2019, 02:52:05 PM
6-1-7:
ART. 7 . . . If any K player touches a free kick before it crosses R's free-kick line and before it is touched there by any R player, it is referred to as "first touching of the kick." R may take the ball at the spot of first touching, or any spot if there is more than one spot of first touching, or they may choose to have the ball put in play as determined by the action which follows first touching. Such touching is ignored if it is caused by R pushing or blocking K into contact with the ball. The right of R to take the ball at the spot of first touching by K is canceled if R touches the kick and thereafter during the down commits a foul or if the penalty is accepted for any foul committed during the down.
Title: Re: Swinging gate and the new formation rule
Post by: CalhounLJ on July 16, 2019, 02:57:28 PM
6-2-5:
ART. 5 . . . When any K player touches a scrimmage kick beyond the expanded neutral zone to R's goal line before it is touched beyond the neutral zone by R and before the ball has come to rest, it is referred to as "first touching of the kick" and the place is the "spot of first touching." Such touching is ignored if it is caused by R pushing or blocking K into contact with the ball.

If any K player touches a scrimmage kick in this manner, R may take the ball at the spot of first touching, or any spot if there is more than one spot of first touching, or they may choose to have the ball put in play as determined by the action which follows first touching. The right of R to take the ball at spot of first touching by K is canceled if R touches the kick and thereafter during the down commits a foul or if the penalty is accepted for any foul committed during the down.
Title: Re: Swinging gate and the new formation rule
Post by: NVFOA_Ump on July 16, 2019, 03:13:51 PM
My read of 6-2-5 last sentence:

The right of R to take the ball at spot of first touching by K is canceled if R touches the kick and:

1.  thereafter during the down commits a foul or
2.  if the penalty is accepted for any foul committed during the down.


So a more correct wording would actually be:

The right of R to take the ball at spot of first touching by K is canceled if either R touches the kick and thereafter during the down commits a foul or if the penalty is accepted for any foul committed during the down.
Title: Re: Swinging gate and the new formation rule
Post by: CalhounLJ on July 16, 2019, 03:49:15 PM
Actually, the colon is in the wrong place. Look at it like this:
The right of R to take the ball at spot of first touching by K is cancelled if:
     1. R touches the kick and thereafter during the down commits a foul.
     2. OR, the penalty is accepted for any foul committed during the down.

Two conditions independent from each other.
Title: Re: Swinging gate and the new formation rule
Post by: HLinNC on July 16, 2019, 04:00:04 PM
So who are the 5 "interior" lineman required by this years rule change? 
  It's the try, the exception is in effect, they don't need the 5 #50-79. Maybe this is where your group discussion might be going off track.
Title: Re: Swinging gate and the new formation rule
Post by: NVFOA_Ump on July 16, 2019, 04:29:15 PM
  It's the try, the exception is in effect, they don't need the 5 #50-79. Maybe this is where your group discussion might be going off track.

Except the rule change does not effect or reference in any way the wording for the numbering exception and there is no exception in the 2019 rule change that says that it does not apply during a numbering exception play.  It's very clear (to me at least) that if we have a numbering exception situation play we must still have the 5 restricted players (by position to meet the numbering exception requirements) and therefore in the case play with all eligible numbers we have to have 7 on the LOS.  If the rules makers wanted the "only 5 on the line" requirement to also apply to the numbering exception then IMHO the text needs to change to actually say that.
Title: Re: Swinging gate and the new formation rule
Post by: Magician on July 16, 2019, 09:16:43 PM
  It's the try, the exception is in effect, they don't need the 5 #50-79. Maybe this is where your group discussion might be going off track.

I agree with you. His argument is the rule is an exception to the rule that states there must be 5 linemen numbered 50-79 and the exceptions must be inside the ends. They are using this to say there must be 5 interior linemen. I see WHY they think that, but I think they are being too literal with the rule and ignoring the intent of the rule. The new rule change allows them to snap the ball with less than 7 linemen and any interior lineman not numbered 50-79 are the exceptions.
Title: Re: Swinging gate and the new formation rule
Post by: CalhounLJ on July 18, 2019, 06:49:08 AM
I think he (we) are simply trying to point out a technical aspect of the new rule that needs to be addressed. If the intent of the rule makers was to ignore the 5 interior lineman requirement when the numbering exception is in place it should be inserted in the rule.


Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
Title: Re: Swinging gate and the new formation rule
Post by: NVFOA_Ump on July 18, 2019, 08:17:22 AM
I agree with you. His argument is the rule is an exception to the rule that states there must be 5 linemen numbered 50-79 and the exceptions must be inside the ends. They are using this to say there must be 5 interior linemen. I see WHY they think that, but I think they are being too literal with the rule and ignoring the intent of the rule. The new rule change allows them to snap the ball with less than 7 linemen and any interior lineman not numbered 50-79 are the exceptions.

So in the 4th quarter with the score 24-19 with Team A trailing on a 4th down "punt" play (scrimmage kick formation) the Team A's punt team "accidently mis-substitutes" resulting in only 10 players on the field and we have a line that looks something like this:

Corrected alignment

80      81 82 83 84 85             86     (total 7 on the line - 2 wideouts)

Just prior to the snap 86 takes a full step back and resets and an uncovered #85 goes downfield and catches a TD pass.  What would you have?
Title: Re: Swinging gate and the new formation rule
Post by: toma on July 18, 2019, 09:09:00 AM
Illegal the exception is for a kick or try.
 ^flag
Title: Re: Swinging gate and the new formation rule
Post by: CalhounLJ on July 18, 2019, 09:14:57 AM
Illegal the exception is for a kick or try.
 ^flag

By "punt play" he meant to imply a scrimmage kick formation. The exception is applicable in this situation.
Title: Re: Swinging gate and the new formation rule
Post by: Magician on July 18, 2019, 09:25:23 AM
So in the 4th quarter with the score 24-19 with Team A trailing on a 4th down "punt" play the Team A's punt team "accidently mis-substitutes" resulting in only 10 players on the field and we have a line that looks something like this:

81        82 83 84 85             86     (total 7 on the line - 2 wideouts)

Just prior to the snap 86 takes a full step back and resets and an uncovered #85 goes downfield and catches a TD pass.  What would you have?

You indicate there are 7 on the line but your diagram only lists 6. I'm assuming you are just missing one of the numbers for discussion purposes. When 86 shifts into the backfield he becomes the 4th back so they are still in a legal formation there. 85 becomes eligible and and can go out for a pass (assuming the missing player from your diagram isn't on the line outside 86's original position). This is no different than if they have 11 players on the field and start with 8 on the line with 86 on the end and 85 inside of him. 86 can do the exact same shift and it's perfectly legal with 11 players. Having only 10 players shouldn't make it illegal especially since A/K is playing with a disadvantage to start.

I will add in NCAA rules this is a foul because an originally ineligible numbering exception can't become eligible by position following shifts once the snapper has locked in the line by placing his hands on the ball or below his knees. It's a weird, quirky rule that's hard to catch but it does occasionally happen when teams try weird shifts.
Title: Re: Swinging gate and the new formation rule
Post by: CalhounLJ on July 18, 2019, 09:29:21 AM
You indicate there are 7 on the line but your diagram only lists 6. I'm assuming you are just missing one of the numbers for discussion purposes. When 86 shifts into the backfield he becomes the 4th back so they are still in a legal formation there. 85 becomes eligible and and can go out for a pass (assuming the missing player from your diagram isn't on the line outside 86's original position). This is no different than if they have 11 players on the field and start with 8 on the line with 86 on the end and 85 inside of him. 86 can do the exact same shift and it's perfectly legal with 11 players. Having only 10 players shouldn't make it illegal especially since A/K is playing with a disadvantage to start.

I will add in NCAA rules this is a foul because an originally ineligible numbering exception can't become eligible by position following shifts once the snapper has locked in the line by placing his hands on the ball or below his knees. It's a weird, quirky rule that's hard to catch but it does occasionally happen when teams try weird shifts.

Foul. Here's the exception:
2. On fourth down or during a kick try, when A sets or shifts into a scrimmage-kick formation, any A player numbered 1 to 49 or 80 to 99 may take the position of any A player numbered 50 to 79. A player in the game under this exception must assume an initial position on his line of scrimmage between the ends and he remains an ineligible forward-pass receiver during that down unless the pass is touched by B (7-5-6b).
Title: Re: Swinging gate and the new formation rule
Post by: CalhounLJ on July 18, 2019, 09:48:13 AM
IMO, this situation doesn't address the concern. The concern is not whether the 4 players in the game under the numbering exception are ineligible or not. That rule has not changed. If a player is in the game under that exception, he must line up "between the ends." The question is does there have to be 5 in the game under the numbering exception if nobody is in the game wearing a 50-79 number. If that answer is no, then fine. If it's yes, then this formation is illegal from the start, because with 6 on the line there is no way 5 of them can line up "between the ends." That's the rub. If the answer is, "A has already placed themselves at a disadvantage by playing with 10," then fine. The rule or the exception needs to say that. Otherwise we will have officials making up rules and exceptions as we go along. That should be avoided at all costs. I'm all for a "less-than-five between the ends is ok" interpretation because I agree that A has put themselves at a disadvantage. The problem is that the philosophy for every other scrimmage formation seems to be that A is required to have 5 ineligible linemen on every play. Why else would they have the 5 player with 50-79 number requirement? In a regular scrimmage formation (pass or run), if A puts themselves at a disadvantage by having less than 7 on the line, they STILL must have 5 players on the line numbered 50-79. If we are going to disregard that requirement in a scrimmage kick formation, we should do away with it on the other types of formations as well.
There - I feel better now..  pHiNzuP
Title: Re: Swinging gate and the new formation rule
Post by: NVFOA_Ump on July 18, 2019, 09:56:01 AM
Or this version:  In the 4th quarter with the score 24-19 with Team A trailing on a 4th down "punt" play (scrimmage kick formation) Team A's punt team substitutes in 10 players (86 is already in the game) into their huddle.  As the huddle breaks the line begins to form something like this:

80      81 82 83 84 85          86     (total 7 on the line - 2 wideouts)

But 86 never sets as he is headed wide toward the LOS and just before the snap continues off the field into his bench area leaving 10 players in scrimmage kick formation.  Uncovered #85 goes downfield and catches a TD pass.  What would you have?
Title: Re: Swinging gate and the new formation rule
Post by: Magician on July 18, 2019, 09:58:47 AM
IMO, this situation doesn't address the concern. The concern is not whether the 4 players in the game under the numbering exception are ineligible or not. That rule has not changed. If a player is in the game under that exception, he must line up "between the ends." The question is does there have to be 5 in the game under the numbering exception if nobody is in the game wearing a 50-79 number. If that answer is no, then fine. If it's yes, then this formation is illegal from the start, because with 6 on the line there is no way 5 of them can line up "between the ends." That's the rub. If the answer is, "A has already placed themselves at a disadvantage by playing with 10," then fine. The rule or the exception needs to say that. Otherwise we will have officials making up rules and exceptions as we go along. That should be avoided at all costs. I'm all for a "less-than-five between the ends is ok" interpretation because I agree that A has put themselves at a disadvantage. The problem is that the philosophy for every other scrimmage formation seems to be that A is required to have 5 ineligible linemen on every play. Why else would they have the 5 player with 50-79 number requirement? In a regular scrimmage formation (pass or run), if A puts themselves at a disadvantage by having less than 7 on the line, they STILL must have 5 players on the line numbered 50-79. If we are going to disregard that requirement in a scrimmage kick formation, we should do away with it on the other types of formations as well.
There - I feel better now..  pHiNzuP

Great analysis. Thanks for sharing.

The reason for the 5 ineligible numbers is to make it easier for the defense (and us by association) to determine who the normal ineligible players are on every play. With 11 players there are 6 eligible positions thus leaving 5 ineligible positions. By putting big numbers on them it makes is easier to recognize. They are welcome to have more than 5 and they are also welcome to line up an ineligible number outside an eligible number but that would not be a good strategy albeit legal.

You are correct that missing one of the ineligible numbers in a regular scrimmage formation would violate the numbering rule and could be justly flagged. The intent of the rule assumes 11 players on the field though so I'm perfectly fine applying the philosophy of not flagging that because it's not creating any additional eligible players for A and it's not confusing the defense as to who could be eligible like the A-11 offense did.
Title: Re: Swinging gate and the new formation rule
Post by: Magician on July 18, 2019, 10:09:47 AM
Or this version:  In the 4th quarter with the score 24-19 with Team A trailing on a 4th down "punt" play (scrimmage kick formation) Team A's punt team substitutes in 10 players (86 is already in the game) into their huddle.  As the huddle breaks the line begins to form something like this:

80      81 82 83 84 85          86     (total 7 on the line - 2 wideouts)

But 86 never sets as he is headed wide toward the LOS and just before the snap continues off the field into his bench area leaving 10 players in scrimmage kick formation.  Uncovered #85 goes downfield and catches a TD pass.  What would you have?

If 86 never came set then 85 was established as the end throughout the dead ball period. He's eligible. Those arguing this should be a foul because there aren't 5 numbering exceptions (81-84 are the exceptions on this play) you would have a flag for illegal numbering.
Title: Re: Swinging gate and the new formation rule
Post by: NVFOA_Ump on July 18, 2019, 10:13:54 AM
The intent of the rule assumes 11 players on the field though so I'm perfectly fine applying the philosophy of not flagging that because it's not creating any additional eligible players for A and it's not confusing the defense as to who could be eligible like the "The offense that shall not be named" offense did.

Except during a scrimmage kick exception scenario there is the possibility for the offense to manipulate the alignment with a lot of various scenarios where a clear advantage is gained.  The scrimmage kick exception originated to allow without any confusion or "reporting" a "skilled player" to come in and snap the ball.  The wording in the scrimmage kick exception meshed perfectly with the wording that required 7 on the line with 5 ineligible numbers.  The fine meshing has been converted into a fine mess.  I am,  as is probably very obvious, and proponent of rigorous review of ALL of the impacted rules when you make a seemingly simple rule change.  We should not have to be discussing on a message board, in our board meetings, or during our annual coaches presentation how the existing rules fit together with the rules changes.  That should be done by the people making the rules.  Step 1 of reviewing any rule change should be how many places in the remaining rules does this specific change potentially impact and are any additional changes needed to avoid these types of discussions.
Title: Re: Swinging gate and the new formation rule
Post by: NVFOA_Ump on July 18, 2019, 10:15:21 AM
If 86 never came set then 85 was established as the end throughout the dead ball period. He's eligible. Those arguing this should be a foul because there aren't 5 numbering exceptions (81-84 are the exceptions on this play) you would have a flag for illegal numbering.

Or a possible foul for using the substitution process to deceive?
Title: Re: Swinging gate and the new formation rule
Post by: Magician on July 18, 2019, 10:27:57 AM
Except during a scrimmage kick exception scenario there is the possibility for the offense to manipulate the alignment with a lot of various scenarios where a clear advantage is gained.  The scrimmage kick exception originated to allow without any confusion or "reporting" a "skilled player" to come in and snap the ball.  The wording in the scrimmage kick exception meshed perfectly with the wording that required 7 on the line with 5 ineligible numbers.  The fine meshing has been converted into a fine mess.  I am,  as is probably very obvious, and proponent of rigorous review of ALL of the impacted rules when you make a seemingly simple rule change.  We should not have to be discussing on a message board, in our board meetings, or during our annual coaches presentation how the existing rules fit together with the rules changes.  That should be done by the people making the rules.  Step 1 of reviewing any rule change should be how many places in the remaining rules does this specific change potentially impact and are any additional changes needed to avoid these types of discussions.
I agree it's a good goal to try to achieve that no matter who or how we write the rules there will always be discussion and debate on message boards and association meetings on intent and philosophy and interpretation. They exist at the NFL and NCAA level as well. I agree the NFHS rules probably struggle more in this area, but some of that is due to the make-up and structure of the committee. There are 50-ish people trying to do this from various areas of football and different perspectives. I know a few members of the committee and their intent is never to make this more confusing and they do everything they can to address every rule possible. But there will always be something missed.

Or a possible foul for using the substitution process to deceive?
Possibly but it would have to be pretty obvious that's WHY they were doing this (i.e. to pull a defender all the way out to the sideline assuming he was just going to set up wide). I would need some verbal communication from a player or coach telling him to get set up wide and then pulling him off the field at the last second to go that far.

Great advice I got once was "don't go looking for fouls, let them find you."
Title: Re: Swinging gate and the new formation rule
Post by: NVFOA_Ump on July 18, 2019, 10:38:35 AM
I think one key thing that is being overlooked here is in part because of the concept that Team A playing short is to their disadvantage.  Under previous rules that was without question the case since the "missing" players had to be "skill" players due to the alignment rules.  You always knew who the ineligibles were without any 2nd thoughts. This change, depending on which side of the fence you are on here, changes that.

The concept that led to this rule change, the idea that we should not be penalizing Team A for an alignment which is arguably to their "disadvantage" is a noble one, but it has introduced a new problem that we should not have to sort out.
Title: Re: Swinging gate and the new formation rule
Post by: CalhounLJ on July 18, 2019, 10:48:25 AM
Or a possible foul for using the substitution process to deceive?
I would have a foul for illegal shift because A86 never came set.
Title: Re: Swinging gate and the new formation rule
Post by: Ralph Damren on July 18, 2019, 11:26:44 AM
Under Penalty Summary (p.92) Both fouls are listed on the same line (#10). It is said that 50%+ of IF fouls occur on scrimmage kick formation (playing shorthanded). Assuming it's 4th down or a PAT, we don't need to worry about numbers......

             Just the mutterings of an ole' duffer late for his lunch (lobster roll)
Title: Re: Swinging gate and the new formation rule
Post by: Magician on July 18, 2019, 11:44:38 AM
I would have a foul for illegal shift because A86 never came set.

Definitely if he's still on the field at the snap. But if he gets off he's a replaced player and the illegal shift needs to happen by a player.
Title: Re: Swinging gate and the new formation rule
Post by: blandis on July 26, 2019, 09:50:30 PM
Two things:
1) Yes, to legally use the numbering except, a snapper, wearing an eligible number, has to be covered up and remains ineligible during the down, but, only on a down less than 4. (7-2-5b EXCEPTION 1)
2) On 4th Down or during a Try, the snapper may wear an eligible AND may be in an eligible position.
3) Team A/K can shift all they want, as, all of the fouls listed in 7-2-5 may only occur: At the snap...

Watching a lot of (this means too much) video, I have noticed a common situation that gets missed:
During a Try they line up in a swinging gate formation, pause, and then shift back into a regular (non-kicking) formation!
They snap the football (going for 2) with only 4 lineman numbered 50-79. This is Illegal Numbering for a violation of 7-2-5a

Now when they were in the Swinging Gate formation, just as long as they ALSO meet either of the formation requirements described in 2-14-2a or 2-14-2b,
they could legally run a play as per 7-2-5b EXCEPTION 2.

Remember, while some will argue this is a whole HECK of a lot of wording, (and I agree) since there is no foul until the snap the football (exception DOG)... so
when the shift back into a regular scrimmage play with on FOUR 50-79 lineman, your radar should go up and that one foul should not get missed.
 
--KWH: ON ANY DOWN Under no circumstance can the numbering exception be used if the snapper is not covered up and made ineligible by position. In other words, on any down, if the numbering exception is used, the snapper is never eligible to catch a forward pass and must be covered up. On downs 1, 2, & 3 the snapper is the only player who may use an eligible number and he must be covered up. On 4th down any lineman may use an eligible number provided the snapper is covered up. And in all circumstances, if the numbering exception is used the holder and/or kicker must be in their respective positions at the snap.
Title: Re: Swinging gate and the new formation rule
Post by: CalhounLJ on July 26, 2019, 09:57:39 PM
--KWH: ON ANY DOWN Under no circumstance can the numbering exception be used if the snapper is not covered up and made ineligible by position. In other words, on any down, if the numbering exception is used, the snapper is never eligible to catch a forward pass and must be covered up. On downs 1, 2, & 3 the snapper is the only player who may use an eligible number and he must be covered up. On 4th down any lineman may use an eligible number provided the snapper is covered up. And in all circumstances, if the numbering exception is used the holder and/or kicker must be in their respective positions at the snap.
Can u provide a rule reference for your snapper comment on fourth down? I agree on 3rd down the only numbering exception is for the snapper but canít remember reading anything about the 4th down exception includin* the snapper having to be covered.


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Title: Re: Swinging gate and the new formation rule
Post by: blandis on July 27, 2019, 03:22:18 PM
I stand corrected. Thanks for helping to clarify my confusion on 4th down number exceptions.
Title: Re: Swinging gate and the new formation rule
Post by: Magician on July 28, 2019, 10:33:20 AM
I stand corrected. Thanks for helping to clarify my confusion on 4th down number exceptions.

This is a common confusion created with the rule change. On 1st, 2nd or 3rd down the snapper can also be eligible but the team would need to have 5 other linemen numbered 50-79. The snapper covered only applies if you have only 4 ineligible numbers. 4th down and tries allows numbering exceptions and eligibility like they always did before the A11 rule change.
Title: Re: Swinging gate and the new formation rule
Post by: blandis on July 31, 2019, 07:23:02 PM
   I apologize for any confusion, I got confused myself. With the numbering exception on 4th Down and a Try the snapper can be anywhere provided that they are in a legal scrimmage kick formation if they use the numbering exception.  What I have noticed that teams try is they get set on a Try in a swinging gate with 4-players numbered 50-79 and in shotgun formation. The numbering exception can only be used if Team K is in a scrimmage kick formation when the snapper places their hand on the ball. The references for this are Rule 2-14-2a,b; 7-2-5b Exception 2. The Redding Study Guide offers an example on page 10 (2019):
    "For the fourth down/try exemption a player must assume an initial position on his line between the ends. Once such a player assumes that initial position as an interior lineman, he is an ineligible receiver. If a subsequent shift leaves the exempted player in the position of an eligible receiver, he remains ineligible. The exempted players are determined when the snapper touches the ball (7-2-5b Exc 2 and 7.2.5D)"
      In order for a team to run a play from a Swinging Gate formation while NOT in a scrimmage kick formation they must have 5-linemen numbered 50-79. If they use only 4-players 50-79 because they have their long snapper snapping in a shotgun formation to a Quarterback then it is an Illegal Formation foul at the snap. To get the numbering exemption you must be in a legal scrimmage kick formation and you can't shift out of it.
      If they ARE in a scrimmage kick formation on 4th down or a Try the snapper can be on the end. 
Title: Swinging gate and the new formation rule
Post by: CalhounLJ on July 31, 2019, 11:42:55 PM
I think you are still confused about some aspects of this exception. Particularly the part about shifting into and out of a scrimmage kick formation. While I do agree that A canít run a play out of a shotgun snap without a flag, they can start out in one and then shift into a scrimmage kick formation and get the exception. Both exceptions begin with ďwhen A sets or shifts into a scrimmage kick formation.Ē  Also, in our area at least, when a team runs a swinging gate, they run it with a holder and kicker in position.
I also agree that pass eligibility restrictions are determined when A takes his initial position on the line.


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Title: Re: Swinging gate and the new formation rule
Post by: jgf6 on August 02, 2019, 06:51:47 PM
Concerning the original scrimmage kick formation. The formation itself is legal but the numbering is illegal.

A1   A2   A3   A4   A5   A6 (snapper)

A7                                               A8   
                                 A9
                            A10

2-14-1: A Scrimmage Formation requires a minimum of FIVE players legally on their line at the snap.
7-2-5b: At the snap, at least FIVE A players on their line of scrimmage MUST be numbered 50-79. Exception 7-2-5b2: On fourth down or during a kick try, when A sets of shifts into a scrimmage-kick formation, any A player numbered 1 to 49 or 80 to 99 may take the position of any player numbered 50-79. A player in the game under this exception MUST assume an initial position (After the snapper has placed his hand/hands on the ball.) on his line of scrimmage BETWEEN the ends and he remains an ineligable forward-pass receiver during that down unless the pass is touched by B.

Since there are only FOUR players in the game under this exception between the ends, the numbering exception has not been satisfied.
A1 & A6 are eligible because of position and number. Therefore when the ball is snapped A has committed an illegal numbering foul



                         
Title: Re: Swinging gate and the new formation rule
Post by: CalhounLJ on August 02, 2019, 07:13:41 PM
Concerning the original scrimmage kick formation. The formation itself is legal but the numbering is illegal.

A1   A2   A3   A4   A5   A6 (snapper)

A7                                               A8   
                                 A9
                            A10

2-14-1: A Scrimmage Formation requires a minimum of FIVE players legally on their line at the snap.
7-2-5b: At the snap, at least FIVE A players on their line of scrimmage MUST be numbered 50-79. Exception 7-2-5b2: On fourth down or during a kick try, when A sets of shifts into a scrimmage-kick formation, any A player numbered 1 to 49 or 80 to 99 may take the position of any player numbered 50-79. A player in the game under this exception MUST assume an initial position (After the snapper has placed his hand/hands on the ball.) on his line of scrimmage BETWEEN the ends and he remains an ineligable forward-pass receiver during that down unless the pass is touched by B.

Since there are only FOUR players in the game under this exception between the ends, the numbering exception has not been satisfied.
A1 & A6 are eligible because of position and number. Therefore when the ball is snapped A has committed an illegal numbering foul



                         
This has been the question all along. Do you have an official interpretation of this? Or is it your personal opinion?  Because the 4th down exception doesnít specify the number of interior linemen. I agree your position seems logical, but from the other responses, not everyone agrees.


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Title: Re: Swinging gate and the new formation rule
Post by: jgf6 on August 02, 2019, 08:15:00 PM
This has been the question all along. Do you have an official interpretation of this? Or is it your personal opinion?  Because the 4th down exception doesnít specify the number of interior linemen. I agree your position seems logical, but from the other responses, not everyone agrees.

Not my personal opinion. I believe the interpretation is in the Rule itself. "At the snap, at least FIVE players on the line of scrimmage must be numbered 50-79" with 2 exceptions: 1-3 down and on 4th down. On 4th down a team in scrimmage kick formation still needs 5 players on the line of scrimmage with numbers 50-79 but in this exception, they can be REPLACED by players numbered 1- 49 or 80-99 and MUST line up between the ends. So, in essence, you have to have FIVE players line up between the ends who normally would have lineman numbers. With the new rule, if you only have FIVE players on the line of scrimmage in a scrimmage kick formation with receiver numbers, they would all be ineligible because now they are in the game under the exception of replacing FIVE linemen numbered 50-79 and are ineligible during the down even if they are on the end of the line. Why because at the snap A needs FIVE players on the line of scrimmage numbered 50-79 unless they are in under the exception.


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Title: Re: Swinging gate and the new formation rule
Post by: jgf6 on August 02, 2019, 08:40:40 PM
Not my personal opinion. I believe the interpretation is in the Rule itself. "At the snap, at least Five A players on their line of scrimmage must be numbered 50-79." This rule does not change but the numbers can. There are two exceptions to this, 1-3 & 4th downs. On 4th down when team A is in scrimmage kick formation, with the exception, these players can be REPLACED by players with receiver numbers. The requirement of FIVE legal linemen is still in effect, just the numbers have changed. With the new scrimmage requirements, if there are more than five in the formation the players who are in under the exception MUST line up between the ends and are ineligible during the down. Furthermore, by rule, if there are only FIVE linemen in the formation with receiver numbers, even if they are on the end of the line, they all would be ineligible because they are in the game under the exception, in other words, they are in effect lineman normally numbered 50-79.
Title: Re: Swinging gate and the new formation rule
Post by: jgf6 on August 03, 2019, 12:51:36 AM
I am correcting the last sentence in my last post. I stated if there are only 5 linemen on the LOS with receivers numbers in a scrimmage kick formation they are all ineligible receivers. This is not true. The point I was trying to make in this situation is if all 5 stayed in to block would this be a legal play? The two players on the end of the line would be eligible because of position and number. However, if one or both goes downfield on a pass play the scrimmage requirements would be violated and the penalty would be for illegal numbering. With the new scrimmage requirements, it would be impossible for these linemen to be between the ends as it states in 7-2-5b Exception2. Does this mean in scrimmage kick formations when all lineman numbers are replaced by players with receivers number there have to be 7 men on the line? Is this the confusion I was missing?
Title: Swinging gate and the new formation rule
Post by: CalhounLJ on August 03, 2019, 06:10:11 AM
Yes. I believe you are talking yourself into the problem. If what you say is true, then there MUST be 7 on the line on a 4th down scrimmage kick/try if/when the numbering exception is used as posted.  Otherwise, there canít be 5 ineligible by position inside the ends.  The only other option is to allow less than 5 inside the ends and simply note they are ineligible by position.

One last note- you canít just declare a player ineligible. If heís eligible by position and number, heís eligible.

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Title: Re: Swinging gate and the new formation rule
Post by: HLinNC on August 03, 2019, 07:35:12 AM
Gentlemen, that is why it is an EXCEPTION.
Title: Re: Swinging gate and the new formation rule
Post by: CalhounLJ on August 03, 2019, 08:33:07 AM
Gentlemen, that is why it is an EXCEPTION.
So youíre saying the exception is a formation exception in addition to a numbering exception?


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Title: Re: Swinging gate and the new formation rule
Post by: NVFOA_Ump on August 03, 2019, 02:38:54 PM
Gentlemen, that is why it is an EXCEPTION.

Sorry but this is NOT BEING TECHNICAL.  Any and all numbering exceptions MUST be inside an "end" who is not a numbering exception.  That's what the rules clearly say.  There ARE NO EXCEPTIONS to the numbering exceptions rules.  This year's 5 man line change in no way changes or even address that in any way.  We must be able to identify 5 ineligible numbers by number ("standard" scrimmage play) or by position (if the numbering exception is in play), if the numbering exception is in play then he/they must be COVERED.  Until we get a written clarification saying that the offense can mess around with the numbering exception by having 1 or more short (less than 11 players) on the field that's the way I'm calling it.  NO EXCEPTIONS.  That's what we're being instructed to do and I have 0% problem doing it because that's what the rules actually say.
Title: Re: Swinging gate and the new formation rule
Post by: Magician on August 03, 2019, 02:57:59 PM
Sorry but this is NOT BEING TECHNICAL.  Any and all numbering exceptions MUST be inside an "end" who is not a numbering exception.  That's what the rules clearly say.  There ARE NO EXCEPTIONS to the numbering exceptions rules.  This year's 5 man line change in no way changes or even address that in any way.  We must be able to identify 5 ineligible numbers by number ("standard" scrimmage play) or by position (if the numbering exception is in play), if the numbering exception is in play then he/they must be COVERED.  Until we get a written clarification saying that the offense can mess around with the numbering exception by having 1 or more short (less than 11 players) on the field that's the way I'm calling it.  NO EXCEPTIONS.  That's what we're being instructed to do and I have 0% problem doing it because that's what the rules actually say.

I agree a clarification would be nice, but I go the opposite of you. The reason this rule is changing is because it was silly to penalize a team who was short a player at the snap and only had 6 linemen. The 5 ineligible numbers is assuming there are 7 linemen and having them with ineligible numbers makes it easier to identify them during the play. The numbering exception exists to allow normally eligible numbers to take those spots during scrimmage kick plays. If you treat the interior linemen on scrimmage kick plays as exceptions and ends as eligible (assuming eligible number) it meets the spirit and intent of the numbering and formation rules that this is NOT a foul. They are already playing at a disadvantage by being a player short. We should be looking for reasons to NOT find a foul here.

But I do understand why you and others feel this should be a foul. You are requiring 7 on the line even though the rule no longer states that to be the case. Maybe the numbering exception rule could be modified to make this clearer or the rules committee could issue a clarification.
Title: Re: Swinging gate and the new formation rule
Post by: KWH on August 03, 2019, 03:10:11 PM
Jeez guys

7-2-5b EXCEPTION 2
Clearly defines how you may LEGALLY run a play with ZERO players numbered 50 - 79

This formation exception may only be used on 4th down or during a try.

The snapper MAY BE ELIGIBLE on 4th down or during a try. (Snapper is not eligible on downs 1 -3, See Exception 1)

At the snap the team putting the ball in play must either be in the formation described in 2-14-2a or the formation described in 2-14-2b

When they utilize this exception, there are STILL 5 players on the Offensive line of scrimmage who remain ineligible regardless of their number.

Don't overthink this play
Don't over officiate this play.

It ain't Rocket Surgery, but it did eliminate the A-11!
Title: Re: Swinging gate and the new formation rule
Post by: Magician on August 03, 2019, 06:34:38 PM
Jeez guys

7-2-5b EXCEPTION 2
Clearly defines how you may LEGALLY run a play with ZERO players numbered 50 - 79

This formation exception may only be used on 4th down or during a try.

The snapper MAY BE ELIGIBLE on 4th down or during a try. (Snapper is not eligible on downs 1 -3, See Exception 1)

At the snap the team putting the ball in play must either be in the formation described in 2-14-2a or the formation described in 2-14-2b

When they utilize this exception, there are STILL 5 players on the Offensive line of scrimmage who remain ineligible regardless of their number.

Don't overthink this play
Don't over officiate this play.

It ain't Rocket Surgery, but it did eliminate the "The offense that shall not be named"!

Kevin,

What you are missing here is if they are only playing with 10 and have 6 on the line and 4 backs some feel they have an illegal formation because they don't have 5 interior linemen either wearing 50-79 or serving as an exception with an eligible number. I feel the intent of the rule is still met and the 4 interior linemen are ineligible and if any of them are wearing an eligible number they are serving as the exception.

If you say they have 5 ineligible players but 6 on the line which end is eligible and which one isn't? Obviously both ends are eligible if they are wearing an eligible number. The question is if it's a legal formation if they don't have 5 interior linemen.
Title: Swinging gate and the new formation rule
Post by: CalhounLJ on August 03, 2019, 06:56:02 PM
Kevin,

What you are missing here is if they are only playing with 10 and have 6 on the line and 4 backs some feel they have an illegal formation because they don't have 5 interior linemen either wearing 50-79 or serving as an exception with an eligible number. I feel the intent of the rule is still met and the 4 interior linemen are ineligible and if any of them are wearing an eligible number they are serving as the exception.

If you say they have 5 ineligible players but 6 on the line which end is eligible and which one isn't? Obviously both ends are eligible if they are wearing an eligible number. The question is if it's a legal formation if they don't have 5 interior linemen.
Exactly. My problem with letting them play with 4 ineligibles on the line instead of five is because it violates the intent and spirit of every other scrimmage formation in the game. When the rule was changed, the rules makers went to length to make sure we understood that there still had to be FIVE ineligible linemen on the line even though there could be less than 7. Even with the new change, if there are only 4 ineligible, itís a foul.
89  55  56  57  58  88
                12                       87
          22      44
This formation is a foul for illegal numbering because there are only 4 players in the line with 50-79 numbers.
What some of you are saying is that on 4th down these 4 can be replaced with the numbering exception and everything is ok.  Makes no sense.

I would also add this example is as much of a ďno harm, no foulĒ situation as 4 ineligibles on a punt play. A has obviously created a disadvantage for themselves with only 6 on the line. But itís still a foul. Unless we want to overlook it.  If thatís the case letís just do away with numbering requirements altogether.

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Title: Re: Swinging gate and the new formation rule
Post by: Magician on August 03, 2019, 07:42:45 PM
This formation is a foul for illegal numbering because there are only 4 players in the line with 50-79 numbers.
What some of you are saying is that on 4th down these 4 can be replaced with the numbering exception and everything is ok.  Makes no sense. [/quote]

It makes sense to me because on these plays we are allowing the kicking team to have eligible numbers in spots normally held by ineligible players. Whether that's 0 to 5 doesn't matter if you have 7. Why should it matter when you have 6?

I would also add this example is as much of a ďno harm, no foulĒ situation as 4 ineligibles on a punt play. A has obviously created a disadvantage for themselves with only 6 on the line. But itís still a foul. Unless we want to overlook it.  If thatís the case letís just do away with numbering requirements altogether.

The entire reason for the rule change was to not make it a foul if the offense had only 6 linemen with 10 players (or even more rare 5 linemen with 9 players). Why would that be any different on a scrimmage kick play than a regular scrimmage play? The offense is gaining no advantage by doing this and in fact placing themselves at a disadvantage.

If you ask yourself WHY the numbering requirements exist you'll likely land in the same place I am. If you feel an offense must have 5 interior linemen on every play you'll still be on the 2018 rule that you need at least 7 on the line.
Title: Re: Swinging gate and the new formation rule
Post by: CalhounLJ on August 03, 2019, 08:24:30 PM
But thatís the point. Even though the rule was changed to allow 6 or less on the line, they still made the effort to restate the fact that there had to be 5 INELIGIBLES on the line. If thatís the case for every other formation, why is it not the case for the 4th down/try?  I donít see the difference. Seriously, if the intent is not to keep 5 ineligibles on the line, letís do away with the requirement altogether.

Chasing this rabbit to the conclusion, what if A only has three in the line during a play using the numbering exception on 4th down?

86  87  88

Holder
Kicker

Would that be a legal formation? 


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Title: Re: Swinging gate and the new formation rule
Post by: CalhounLJ on August 03, 2019, 08:26:43 PM
What if they only had three on the line and two in the backfield ready to kick it? They would all be eligible.


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Title: Re: Swinging gate and the new formation rule
Post by: jgf6 on August 04, 2019, 12:39:25 PM
Here is how I interpret Rule 7-2-5b Exception 2: If these receivers are in the game under this exception have less than 5 on the LOS (who otherwise would have linemen numbers) or are not lined up between the ends at the snap, K has fouled for Illegal Numbering, IN. Penalty pg. 61

5 players on the LOS in a scrimmage kick formation:
60   50   70   61   51  Legal: No player/s in under the exception.
60   20   30   40   51  Legal: 3 players in under the exception are between the ends + #'s 60 & 51.
20   60   30   40   51  Foul for IN. Only 4 legal linemen on the LOS as it relates to a scrimmage kick.
20   30   45   10   15  IN, only 3 legal linemen between the ends.

6 players on the LOS:
60   20   30   40   51   80  Legal: 3 players in under the exception between the ends + #'s 51 & 60.
81   20   30   40   51   80  IN, 4 legal linemen between the ends.

7 players on the LOS:
81   60   20   30   40   51   80  Legal
81   20   30   40   10   5   80  Legal: All 5 players in under the exception are lined up between the ends.

 
Title: Re: Swinging gate and the new formation rule
Post by: Magician on August 04, 2019, 11:13:19 PM
But thatís the point. Even though the rule was changed to allow 6 or less on the line, they still made the effort to restate the fact that there had to be 5 INELIGIBLES on the line. If thatís the case for every other formation, why is it not the case for the 4th down/try?  I donít see the difference. Seriously, if the intent is not to keep 5 ineligibles on the line, letís do away with the requirement altogether.

Chasing this rabbit to the conclusion, what if A only has three in the line during a play using the numbering exception on 4th down?

86  87  88

Holder
Kicker

Would that be a legal formation? 


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If they only have 5 players in on a scrimmage kick they have much bigger issues to worry about than if we flag them for illegal numbering.
Title: Re: Swinging gate and the new formation rule
Post by: CalhounLJ on August 05, 2019, 04:59:05 AM
I agree but thatís not the point.


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Title: Re: Swinging gate and the new formation rule
Post by: NVFOA_Ump on August 05, 2019, 05:32:28 AM
If they only have 5 players in on a scrimmage kick they have much bigger issues to worry about than if we flag them for illegal numbering.

That doesn't need a response.  We need to simply fix the wording if in fact the rules makers do not / did not intend for us to enforce the scrimmage kick exception rules AS WRITTEN.  There are very real examples where the "kicking" team can manipulate the rule when they have less than 11 on the field during a scrimmage kick exception situation if the rule is ignored.  We're not worried about the absurd scenarios that we will never see, let's stick to the issue here, the rules require that A have 5 restricted linemen on the LOS, if SK numbering exceptions he/they must be inside the end(s).  Pretty simple.
Title: Re: Swinging gate and the new formation rule
Post by: KWH on August 05, 2019, 03:46:55 PM
With all due respect, it appears a fix may or may not be needed:
The intent of the "ORIGINAL" (1982) exception was to get rid of players having to run to the sideline and put on pullover jerseys (Penny's?)
27 years later (2009) the rule was revised quite simply to all but eliminate the A-11 offense.
The (2019) rule change to allow no more than 4 in the backfield was a fix to remove what was normally a silly flag for having 6 on the line.
The rule change also opened up this can of worms.
While technically, YES, we have a flag for Illegal Numbering, I'm in the camp of: No Advantage - No Foul
Similar to Team A circling the numbers, No Foul if the defense picks you up anyway.

This is how I would officiate the situation if all K does is kick the ball:

5 players on the LOS in a scrimmage kick formation:
60   50   70   61   51  Legal: No player is eligible
60   20   30   40   51  Legal: No player is eligible
20   60   30   40   51  Legal: No player is eligible
20   30   45   10   15  Legal: No player is eligible

6 players on the LOS:
60   20   30   40   51   80  Legal: Only #80 is eligible
81   20   30   40   51   80  Legal: Either #80 or #81 is eligible but not both
7 players on the LOS:
81   60   20   30   40   51   80  Legal: 80 and 81 are both eligible
81   20   30   40   10   5   80  Legal: 80 and 81 are both eligible

Again, This is what I would do! I would leave my flag in my pants and move on.
However, if A/K does ANYTHING other than kick the ball I would have have a flag for illegal numbering.

I will lead the band on getting clarification and a casebook play for 2020.
I will attempt to get an interpretation prior to 2019 season.

Again, Those of you that have a flag for Illegal numbering are technically correct, but, the intent of the 2019 rule change was to decrease the number of flags not increase them.
Title: Re: Swinging gate and the new formation rule
Post by: Magician on August 05, 2019, 04:30:00 PM
With all due respect, it appears a fix may or may not be needed:
The intent of the "ORIGINAL" (1982) exception was to get rid of players having to run to the sideline and put on pullover jerseys (Penny's?)
27 years later (2009) the rule was revised quite simply to all but eliminate the "The offense that shall not be named" offense.
The (2019) rule change to allow no more than 4 in the backfield was a fix to remove what was normally a silly flag for having 6 on the line.
The rule change also opened up this can of worms.
While technically, YES, we have a flag for Illegal Numbering, I'm in the camp of: No Advantage - No Foul
Similar to Team A circling the numbers, No Foul if the defense picks you up anyway.

This is how I would officiate the situation if all K does is kick the ball:

5 players on the LOS in a scrimmage kick formation:
60   50   70   61   51  Legal: No player is eligible
60   20   30   40   51  Legal: No player is eligible
20   60   30   40   51  Legal: No player is eligible
20   30   45   10   15  Legal: No player is eligible

6 players on the LOS:
60   20   30   40   51   80  Legal: Only #80 is eligible
81   20   30   40   51   80  Legal: Either #80 or #81 is eligible but not both
7 players on the LOS:
81   60   20   30   40   51   80  Legal: 80 and 81 are both eligible
81   20   30   40   10   5   80  Legal: 80 and 81 are both eligible

Again, This is what I would do! I would leave my flag in my pants and move on.
However, if A/K does ANYTHING other than kick the ball I would have have a flag for illegal numbering.

I will lead the band on getting clarification and a casebook play for 2020.
I will attempt to get an interpretation prior to 2019 season.

Again, Those of you that have a flag for Illegal numbering are technically correct, but, the intent of the 2019 rule change was to decrease the number of flags not increase them.

I agree with a couple exceptions. The two plays were 20 is the left end I would still say 20 is eligible since he's eligible by position and number. In the second scenario 15 would also be eligible. The key reason is it otherwise creates the situation you highlighted in the second 6-player scenario. It would be impossible to officiate or cover by the defense if one is eligible but not both. How/when do you determine that?

Players are eligible by position and number in all situations. If they are in scrimmage kick formation and 4th down/try (avoiding the weird stuff for 1st/2nd/3rd down) any interior linemen with eligible numbers are considered exception. 95% of the time there will be 5 of them so we have no issues. In the event they are playing with only 9 or 10 players, they are at a disadvantage and gain no advantage to the defense for determining who is eligible and who isn't. Any interior lineman is ineligible by position. No need to complicate it any more than that.

I'm going to look at the NCAA rules here to see why this has never been a discussion there. I believe the rules are fairly similar, but if I find anything interesting I'll share it with you.
Title: Re: Swinging gate and the new formation rule
Post by: CalhounLJ on August 05, 2019, 04:47:14 PM
FTR, I'm in agreement with the way Magician explained it. Any player eligible by position and number is eligible, and any player whose initial position makes him ineligible is ineligible. I just believe the 5 linemen issue needs to be addressed. I'm perfectly ok with not calling a foul for illegal numbering if that's the official word handed down.
Title: Re: Swinging gate and the new formation rule
Post by: Magician on August 05, 2019, 05:51:03 PM
NCAA rule for numbering exception states:

In a scrimmage kick formation at the snap Team A may have fewer than 5 linemen numbered 50-79 subject to the following conditions:
(a) Any and all linemen not numbered 50-79 who are ineligible receiver(s) by position become exceptions to the numbering rule when the snapper is established.

I think it's a subtle but important difference from the NFHS exception where it talks about the exceptions taking the place of one of the 5 ineligible linemen.
Title: Re: Swinging gate and the new formation rule
Post by: jgf6 on August 05, 2019, 06:23:25 PM
20   60   30   40   51   Illegal Numbering. #20 is an eligible receiver.
20   60   30   40   15   Ilegal Numbering.  #'s 20 & 15 are eligiable receivers.

81   20   30   40   51   80   Illegal Numbering. #81 & 80 are both eligiable receivers.
Title: Re: Swinging gate and the new formation rule
Post by: CalhounLJ on August 05, 2019, 08:58:13 PM
NCAA rule for numbering exception states:

In a scrimmage kick formation at the snap Team A may have fewer than 5 linemen numbered 50-79 subject to the following conditions:
(a) Any and all linemen not numbered 50-79 who are ineligible receiver(s) by position become exceptions to the numbering rule when the snapper is established.

I think it's a subtle but important difference from the NFHS exception where it talks about the exceptions taking the place of one of the 5 ineligible linemen.

Simply adopting this wording from the NCAA would have prevented a lot of confusion. I donít understand why, when the NFHS decides to adopt a rule from the NCAA they donít read the rule and adopt it in its entirety.  No need to reinvent the wheel.


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Title: Re: Swinging gate and the new formation rule
Post by: bossman72 on August 05, 2019, 09:48:33 PM
Simply adopting this wording from the NCAA would have prevented a lot of confusion. I donít understand why, when the NFHS decides to adopt a rule from the NCAA they donít read the rule and adopt it in its entirety.  No need to reinvent the wheel.


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This has really been the source of many hair-brained interpretations by the NFHS, simply because they don't want to copy exactly what NCAA does.  Therefore, they always omit something in the re-writing of the rule, or they tweak something so we have a goofy interpretation of a rule (see penalty for 4 on each side of the kicker).
Title: Re: Swinging gate and the new formation rule
Post by: NVFOA_Ump on August 06, 2019, 07:38:29 AM
This has been the question all along. Do you have an official interpretation of this? Or is it your personal opinion?  Because the 4th down exception doesnít specify the number of interior linemen. I agree your position seems logical, but from the other responses, not everyone agrees.
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This is an "exception" and does not have language to modify the new base rule requirement for having 5 ineligible linemen in the formation.  That is the requirement that numbering exception is addressing. 

The exception only address the numbering requirement part and therefore still requires that there be 5 interior/ineligible linemen or we have an illegal formation.  An academic discussion on the status of end(s) wearing 80 numbers on the 6 man line (eligible/ineligible) is moot in my opinion since we already have a flag down. That IMHO is simply what the rules as written require.  If the rules makers want to change that, they need to fix the numbering exception rule.

And this inane continuing reference to advantage/disadvantage of having 10 or less players in the alignment is getting stale since multiple posters have shown how the alignment can be manipulated to confuse the defense as to who is "eligible".   Simply put, the rules require us to be able to identify a minimum of 5 ineligible linemen either by position or number on every single scrimmage play.  That requirement has not changed for many years.
Title: Re: Swinging gate and the new formation rule
Post by: Magician on August 06, 2019, 09:29:39 AM
And this inane continuing reference to advantage/disadvantage of having 10 or less players in the alignment is getting stale since multiple posters have shown how the alignment can be manipulated to confuse the defense as to who is "eligible".   Simply put, the rules require us to be able to identify a minimum of 5 ineligible linemen either by position or number on every single scrimmage play.  That requirement has not changed for many years.

I argue the advantage/disadvantage part is critical because it's the sole reason for the change from 7 on the line to 4 in the backfield. On most plays they are exactly the same but this was changed to allow for only 6 on the line if they have 10 players. That's why it's relevant and why those of us who interpret the exception to allow 6 linemen with at least one exception to be legal. I agree the wording could have been modified but it still meets the spirit and intent of the rule.
Title: Re: Swinging gate and the new formation rule
Post by: NVFOA_Ump on August 06, 2019, 01:06:33 PM
I argue the advantage/disadvantage part is critical because it's the sole reason for the change from 7 on the line to 4 in the backfield. On most plays they are exactly the same but this was changed to allow for only 6 on the line if they have 10 players. That's why it's relevant and why those of us who interpret the exception to allow 6 linemen with at least one exception to be legal. I agree the wording could have been modified but it still meets the spirit and intent of the rule.

We'll agree to disagree.  If that is what the NFHS wants, then simply say that by changing the wording in the scrimmage kick exception. Then we'd all be happier.   :)

 IMHO that is not within our jurisdiction to decide that's what they really intended to say.
Title: Re: Swinging gate and the new formation rule
Post by: CalhounLJ on August 06, 2019, 01:36:11 PM
I argue the advantage/disadvantage part is critical because it's the sole reason for the change from 7 on the line to 4 in the backfield. On most plays they are exactly the same but this was changed to allow for only 6 on the line if they have 10 players. That's why it's relevant and why those of us who interpret the exception to allow 6 linemen with at least one exception to be legal. I agree the wording could have been modified but it still meets the spirit and intent of the rule.

According to the rulebook, the intent of the rule change was not to allow for only 6 on the line if they have 10 players, but to make is easier to identify legal and illegal offensive formations.
Comments on the Rule Changes:
Redefined Requirements for a Legal Scrimmage Formation (2-14-1, 7-2-5a) ó A legal scrimmage formation now requires at least five offensive players on their line of scrimmage with no more than four backs. This change will make it easier to identify legal and illegal offensive formations.

If that was the intention of the rule, it seems like the numbering exception does not supercede the 5 ineligible requirement.
Title: Re: Swinging gate and the new formation rule
Post by: Ralph Damren on August 06, 2019, 01:56:14 PM
This rule change had been proposed several times, often with a majority but never a super-majority (67%) needed to pass. It was always strongly supported by the officials as it was an easier call for the officials and had been in NCAA several years without any problems. When it finally passed I felt it was good news. I also felt the Red Sox were going to win another World Series.  :(
Title: Re: Swinging gate and the new formation rule
Post by: Magician on August 06, 2019, 02:55:51 PM
This rule change had been proposed several times, often with a majority but never a super-majority (67%) needed to pass. It was always strongly supported by the officials as it was an easier call for the officials and had been in NCAA several years without any problems. When it finally passed I felt it was good news. I also felt the Red Sox were going to win another World Series.  :(

When I started officiating almost 20 years ago I was taught to count the backfield rather than the line once I confirmed from the R/U there were 11 players on offense. It was easier. So yes, the public justification for the rule is to coincide with that mechanic that I know many people used. I had been working several years before I heard some states were still counting linemen on your side of the snapper. But we didn't need a rule change to use the mechanic our area and most of the country used by counting backs rather than linemen. 99% of the plays have 11 players so at least 7 linemen and no more than 4 backs are the EXACT same thing almost every play.

The primary reason for actually changing the rule was so if the R/U give me a signal we only have 10 players and I count 4 in the backfield, I would have to flag it because they only had 6 linemen. Changing the rule eliminates a formation foul in that instance. That was the primary motivation for the rule change. The mechanic most used by counting backs works the same regardless of the rule.
Title: Re: Swinging gate and the new formation rule
Post by: CalhounLJ on August 06, 2019, 04:15:04 PM
Maybe thatís the problem. Thereís a public intent of the rule and a ?private? Intent of the rule. How are the masses supposed to factor intent and spirit if neither are made public?  I realize weíve beat this horse to death and then some. I appreciate the insight from the NCAA rule and believe itís the best way to interpret this situation.


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Title: Re: Swinging gate and the new formation rule
Post by: NVFOA_Ump on August 06, 2019, 07:12:07 PM
According to the rulebook, the intent of the rule change was not to allow for only 6 on the line if they have 10 players, but to make is easier to identify legal and illegal offensive formations.
Comments on the Rule Changes:
Redefined Requirements for a Legal Scrimmage Formation (2-14-1, 7-2-5a) ó A legal scrimmage formation now requires at least five offensive players on their line of scrimmage with no more than four backs. This change will make it easier to identify legal and illegal offensive formations.

If that was the intention of the rule, it seems like the numbering exception does not supercede the 5 ineligible requirement.  And, officially I have now declared my horse dead.

We'll agree to disagree and I'll say no more than this.  As the U I'm responsible for both counting the offense and verifying that we have 5 restricted linemen (by number) in formation. On a SKE play I also identify the 5 ineligibles and confirm with the crew who the exception(s) are by number.  If I've got less than seven on the line the identifying becomes nearly impossible.  And to simply explain away 2 clearly conflicting rules by saying an eligible number on the end of the line is always eligible is IMO simple HORSE HOCKEY.  This problem did not even exist until a few months ago so to apply that here to 'fix" a clear rules conflict simply doesn't fly.

If on a FG attempt, just before the set with 10 on the field (6 #80's lineman) 81 on the left end steps back and the blocking flanker on the other side steps up that just changed the whole required coverage for the defense.  That defeats the entire alignment rule requirement and IMHO is a direct violation of the SKE rule.  And here in MA there's plenty of coaches that will pick up on this "trick play".  If we let the alignment go X times during the game, are we flagging it when they shift and throw a TD to the now uncovered "scrimmage kick numbering exception" to win the game?  With an explanation to the losing team coach "But coach they were at a disadvantage, they snapped the ball with only 10 players."?

And I agree 100% that the numbering exception does not supercede the 5 ineligible requirement.  To use the numbering exception we need 5 identifiable ineligibles and the numbering exception says that the way to identify them is that they must be between the ends.
Title: Re: Swinging gate and the new formation rule
Post by: KWH on August 07, 2019, 05:42:32 PM
FTR, I'm in agreement with the way Magician explained it. Any player eligible by position and number is eligible, and any player whose initial position makes him ineligible is ineligible. I just believe the 5 linemen issue needs to be addressed. I'm perfectly ok with not calling a foul for illegal numbering if that's the official word handed down.
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Calhoun -
For clarification, I only stated how I would handle these situations for 2019 as per our State Rules Interpreter.
For clarification, in your state, you need to dump this in your SRI's lap as he may likely want a flag. (And don't get me wrong, I'm certainly OK with that too)
Title: Re: Swinging gate and the new formation rule
Post by: KDJBBBJ on August 08, 2019, 06:09:56 PM

If on a FG attempt, just before the set with 10 on the field (6 #80's lineman) 81 on the left end steps back and the blocking flanker on the other side steps up that just changed the whole required coverage for the defense.  That defeats the entire alignment rule requirement and IMHO is a direct violation of the SKE rule.  And here in MA there's plenty of coaches that will pick up on this "trick play".  If we let the alignment go X times during the game, are we flagging it when they shift and throw a TD to the now uncovered "scrimmage kick numbering exception" to win the game?  With an explanation to the losing team coach "But coach they were at a disadvantage, they snapped the ball with only 10 players."?

If they do this then they have fewer eligible recivers on the field as the one on the end of the line next to 81 is still not eligible and the end on the right side of the line became ineligble when the flanker stepped up. So now you would have the kicker and holder, the flanker that stepped up the 4th back and 81 eligble so only 5 instead of the original 6. Nobody new or different for the defense to worry about. I havent heard how our state is handling this yet but will do as they say. 
Title: Re: Swinging gate and the new formation rule
Post by: hef333 on August 13, 2019, 10:05:41 AM
This came up at our meeting last night:

In a swinging gate formation for a try, A sends 10 players out, all with receiver's numbers, lined up like this:

         A1   A2   A3   A4   A5   A6(SNAPPER)
      A7                                     A8

                                            A9
                                            A10

Attended the PIAA officials conference over the weekend, brought this exact play up to the state interpreter, he said this season it is a legal formation. So in PA, we are all set.



The question is, using the numbering exception, can this be a legal formation? The assumption is that the only way A can line up with less than 5 linemen numbered 50-79, they must use the numbering exception, and if a player is in under the numbering exception, he/she must take an initial position BETWEEN the ends, and remains an ineligible receiver. While it is now legal to have 6 on the line, it is impossible for there to be 5 players legally using the numbering exception on this particular formation. If only 4 are using the exception, doesn't there have to be at least 1 player numbered 50-79? Plus, if there are 5 in under the exception, at least one of the otherwise eligible receivers (A1 and A6) must be declared ineligible because of being in under the exception. If that's the case, which one is declared? Any and all help appreciated.
Title: Re: Swinging gate and the new formation rule
Post by: hef333 on August 13, 2019, 10:06:48 AM
Attended the PIAA officials conference over the weekend, brought this exact play up to the state interpreter, he said this season it is a legal formation. So in PA, we are all set.

Sorry...didn't realize my answer ended up in part of the message....
Title: Re: Swinging gate and the new formation rule
Post by: CalhounLJ on August 13, 2019, 10:17:23 AM



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