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31
NCAA Discussion / Re: Arkansas needs some lessons in fair catch signals
« Last post by OSU65 on Yesterday at 05:19:11 PM »
Larry Brown Sports on the N Texas play.

Here’s why the play should not be allowed.

Punt returns and kick returns are among the most dangerous plays in football. Players are running at full speed and collisions happen at all angles, which can potentially result in severe injuries. Football rules have evolved to try and make these plays more safe. On punt returns, returners are allowed to signal for a fair catch, which prevents them from advancing the ball, but more importantly, prevents them from being hit.

Players on the punt coverage teams — the gunners — are instructed not to hit a player who has called for a fair catch to avoid being penalized. If there is any doubt about whether a returner called for fair catch, these players are operating on good faith by not hitting the returner. That good faith should not be abused and taken advantage of in the way North Texas did.

If there is ever confusion about whether a fair catch was called, you want players erring on the side of caution and player safety by showing restraint and not hitting a vulnerable punt returner. By allowing teams to toy with this good faith through fakes, you are incentivizing punt coverage teams to hit the punt returner in cases of doubt. This could also lead to retribution hits as well. These types of hits could lead to serious injuries, which is what the sport is trying to eliminate.

This sort of play should never have been conceived, practiced, or used by North Texas, and it shouldn’t be allowed. The referees on the field should not have allowed it. The NCAA needs to step up immediately and ban the play if they care about player safety as much as they claim to.
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NCAA Discussion / Re: Arkansas needs some lessons in fair catch signals
« Last post by OSU65 on Yesterday at 05:05:40 PM »
Regarding the fair catch rule.

The issue is that no one wants a player to get hurt during a fair catch. Reading all of the comments by the experienced officials on this board it is obvious that the fair catch signal is subject to a lot of interpretation, although by the letter of the "law" it is pretty specific.
A previous post pointed out that the gunners may or may not see the signal. In addition, the receiver might try to pull a trick play by putting his arms in the wave off position, but not waving them. Players are ask to run at full speed and then determine if the receivers arm was above the shoulders, was it waving, was the receiver just shading his eyes, were both arms down pointing at the ball, but not waving, etc. 

It seems like a very simple fix would avoid all of this confusion. Since an official will be making the ultimate decision regarding the signal why not have an approved signal that the official can make if in his opinion he saw a fair catch signal. There are signals for touchdowns, incomplete passes, etc, etc. How difficult would it be to simply have an official signal that the official has determined that a fair catch signal has been made. I'm not sure what it would be but the folks that make the rules ought to be able to figure one out. This would eliminate a lot of confusion about it being a valid signal, the gunners not seeing the signal, etc.

I guess one could make the point that if it isn't broken, don't fix it, but when experienced officials have such a wide range of opinions on a call it is obvious to me that something needs to be done to standardize the rule interpretation. If one coach see ways to legally game the system other coaches will catch on and come up with other ingenious ways to do the same. As Barney Fife used to say when seeing a potential problem, "nip it, nip it in the bud".



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Texas Topics / Re: Center moving after addressing ball
« Last post by centexsports on Yesterday at 03:22:54 PM »
I had to crop significantly but I have been wanting to post this somewhere.   1926 or 1927 Midland High School football team.   With the mention of leather helmets, I thought, now is the time.  Oh yeah, my grandfather was on the team.

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National Federation Discussion / Re: Dew-Rags
« Last post by AlUpstateNY on Yesterday at 03:07:38 PM »
It is a 15 yard USC penalty assessed against the HC if called. This is illegal equipment, not improperly worn equipment. There is a difference in the enforcement. Illegal equipment is still an USC foul against the HC.

NFHS:9-8-1-h; Following pregame verification as in 1-5-4, a coach allowing a player to use illegal equipment, is an USC penalty against the HC.

Detecting, and preventing, such illegal/improper legal equipment prior to it being actually used, is the best means of preventing it from violating
9-8-1-h.
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If you're calling obviously flagrant fouls and the coach tells the player 'Good football play! Don't mind what the ref is saying, keep it up!' can you / should you flag the coach for unsportsmanlike conduct?

NFHS 9-8-1 No coach, substitute athletic trainer or other team attendant shall act in an unsportsmanlike manner once the game officials assume authority for the contest.  If inciting, or encouraging a player to ignore rules or repeat fouling is not unsportsmanlike, I don't know what would be.

Such instruction is absolutely worthy of inclusion in any Game Report. 
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NCAA Discussion / Re: Punt Play Action
« Last post by PAREF on Yesterday at 02:47:51 PM »
I would have a flag for an Illegal Block. In the conference I work in even if I did not have an Illegal Block I would be flagging this as a UNR. This block is totally unnecessary and solely meant to punish the opponent, and if not called would have me raking leaves instead of officiating the next week.
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If you're calling obviously flagrant fouls and the coach tells the player 'Good football play! Don't mind what the ref is saying, keep it up!' can you / should you flag the coach for unsportsmanlike conduct?
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Texas Topics / Re: Coin Toss - don't let captain screw up
« Last post by salth2o on Yesterday at 02:04:15 PM »
For our varsity games, I always make sure my R knows exactly what my sideline wants as their option.  e.g.  If they win the toss they want to defer and they want to KFC if they have to kick.


When I'm R in a subvarsity game and a team defers, I say "they have deferred, you want the ball right"  Dont give them a chance to mess it up.
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NCAA Discussion / Re: contact before the ball is thrown
« Last post by Kalle on Yesterday at 12:45:33 PM »
Do you think IFAF will go for the new kickoff and play clock rules?

I don't think either solves any problem we have, but then again, I don't think either would create any new problems. I don't see a reason to change apart from following NCAA as closely as feasible, so my wild guess is that IFAF will adopt both.

I have no inside intel on the rules process, so the above is 100% personal opinion, and I'm fine either way.
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National Federation Discussion / Re: Dew-Rags
« Last post by sir55 on Yesterday at 11:52:14 AM »
It is a 15 yard USC penalty assessed against the HC if called. This is illegal equipment, not improperly worn equipment. There is a difference in the enforcement. Illegal equipment is still an USC foul against the HC.
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