Author Topic: 2014-15 Points of Emphasis- Officials Manual  (Read 26596 times)

Offline HLinNC

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2014-15 Points of Emphasis- Officials Manual
« on: June 16, 2014, 08:55:43 AM »
http://nfhs-football.arbitersports.com/Groups/105409/Library/files/2014-2015%20%20NFHS%20Football%20Game%20Officials%20Manual%20Points%20of%20Emphasis.pdf

TARGETING/PLAYER SAFETY/ILLEGAL PERSONAL CONTACTA primary goal of the NFHS Football Rules Committee continues to be keeping the game of scholastic football as safe as possible. In doing such, a more diligent approach to player safety must be adhered to by all game officials, players, coaches and administrators in order to achieve this goal.
Unsafe acts and techniques cannot be tolerated by those administering and participating in the game of football. Coaches and game officials must act proactively and decisively to eliminate, to the greatest extent possible, threats to the welfare of the student-athletes playing football. Fundamental adherence to current and newly-adopted rules is absolutely required to eliminate negative effects that committing unsafe acts and techniques has placed on our game. Participants must be made aware of unsafe techniques and refrain from their use. Those responsible for the administration of high school football need to exercise leadership and active
supervision of the player safety aspects of the game.
We must recommit ourselves to the preservation of fair play which includes admonishing illegal acts both on the practice field and the field of play. Unwarranted and unnecessary “punishing” of an opponent has become a style of play which is specifically condemned. Illegal helmet contact is an act of initiating contact with the helmet against an opponent and remains a major safety concern in our sport.
The No.1 responsibility for game officials must be player safety. Any initiation of contact with the helmet is illegal; therefore, it must be penalized consistently and without warning. An enhanced approach to player safety is really a matter of attitude, technique, attention and supervision.
Some examples of fouls that merit our extra attention are launching, fouls against players obviously out of the play, helmet-to-helmet contact and fouls against defenseless players. No player shall target and initiate contact against an opponent with the crown (top) of his helmet, and no player shall target and initiate contact to
the area above the shoulders of a defenseless opponent with the helmet, forearm, elbow or shoulder. The launch occurs when a player takes a running start, leaves his feet and uses the helmet to strike the opponent or by crouching and using an upward and forward thrust of the body to make contact above the shoulders of an opponent. It is an extremely dangerous maneuver to both players involved and deserves strict penalty and possible disqualification enforcement if flagrant. The game official must draw distinction between contact necessary to make a legal block or tackle, and that which targets a defenseless player.
The NFHS Game Officials Manual Committee believes that renewed emphasis on getting illegal acts out of the game will greatly improve player safety and preserve the great game of football.

ILLEGAL BLOCKING BELOW THE WAIST
Blocking below the waist is an occurrence that is governed by very specific rules and definitions. It is vital that game officials understand when a block below the waist is legal as noted in the definition of the free-blocking zone. The free-blocking zone is defined as a rectangular area extending 4 yards to either side of the spot of the snap and 3 yards behind each line of scrimmage. The following must occur in order for a player to legally block an opponent below the waist:
1. Both players must be lined up in the free-blocking zone at the snap.
2. Both players must be on the line of scrimmage at the snap.
3. The block must occur in the free-blocking zone.
4. The ball must remain in the free-blocking zone.
It is important for game officials and coaches to remember these requirements in a variety of situations and apply them equally to both the offense and the defense. Any player may block below the waist as long as the above requirements are met.
Due to the prevalence of the shotgun formation, more and more quarterbacks are positioned outside the free-blocking zone. In this formation the ball can leave the free-blocking zone very quickly. In order for any player to legally block below the waist when the offense is in this formation, the block must be initiated immediately following the snap and without hesitation. If the offensive player sets or pauses for any period of time, the opportunity to legally block below the waist has been eliminated.

PACING AND TEMPO
Football is a game of rhythm. Referees can do a lot to facilitate a game’s rhythm by being consistent with the ready-for-play signal. This is called “Pace” or “Tempo.” If an officiating crew is consistent in the way it gets the ball in play, the game flow will be enhanced.
Pace or tempo should be consistent throughout the game from the opening play until the final whistle. Teams may want to play a “hurry-up” offense or do a two-minute drill. That should not affect the pace or tempo set by the referee and their crew. Teams have to work within the established pace. Doing something different in the last two minutes can be unfair to a team’s opponent. If a team wants to get more snaps, it has to work within the established pace of the game.
On regular scrimmage plays, the general recommendation is to sound the ready 3-5 seconds after the ball is placed. This does two things: keeps the game moving and gets teams thinking about their strategy. On change-of-possession plays, the signal should be delayed until substitutions are moving into position, but this, too, should be consistent. Referees should not wait to determine if offenses are huddled on a sideline, but sound the ready when the crew is set for the next play. Many times the teams are waiting for the whistle in order to come onto the field.
Referees are encouraged to give the ready while standing in full sight of clock operators at a distance of 10-12 yards from the ball.
The best rule for ready for play consistency is whether the crew is ready to officiate. Once a referee gets into a rhythm, so does the rest of the crew – and so do the teams.
Officiating crews can be a positive factor in the flow of the game by keeping a consistent pace.

KICKOFF MECHANICS AND COVERAGE

The NFHS Game Officials Manual Committee has again decided to readjust kickoff mechanics. With the implementation of new rules regarding free kick alignment restrictions by K, Rules 6-1-3b and 6-1-3c, the committee has decided to reemphasize game officials’ positioning. The committee felt that reverting back to the 2010-2011 kickoff mechanics is better for overall field coverage. More kickoffs are long rather than short. With the application of these new rules, repositioning game officials on kickoffs should help with a better view and field coverage.
The referee will need to be positioned at the goal line, somewhere between the center of the field and the hash mark, toward the head linesman’s side of the field. This allows the referee to be able to observe and determine the free kick alignment of K at the time of the kick (6-1-3b). The umpire is positioned at the 20-yard line, outside the field of play opposite the referee. The head linesman is positioned at the 30-yard line on his respective sideline outside the field of play. The line judge is on his particular sideline at the 50-yard line, outside the field of play, being aware of encroachment by R and watching for illegal blocks following the kick. During the interval, when the back judge hands the ball to K, the back judge may assist the kicking team with their alignment restrictions. This includes making sure there are at least four K players on each side of the ball and making sure K players are not more than 5 yards behind the 5 yard belt area from where the ball is being kicked (6-1-3c). The back judge will then be positioned at the K free-kick line on the head linesman’s side of the field, outside the field of play. The back judge will need to be aware of illegal formation and encroachment by K (Dead Ball) as well as blocking restrictions by K following the kick. If an onside kick is anticipated, the head linesman and umpire move up to R’s free-kick line. The back judge and line judge cover K’s free-kick line. The referee still has deep coverage.

Offline FLAHL

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Re: 2014-15 Points of Emphasis- Officials Manual
« Reply #1 on: June 16, 2014, 01:17:32 PM »
Thanks for posting this HL.

Offline Sumstine

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Re: 2014-15 Points of Emphasis- Officials Manual
« Reply #2 on: June 16, 2014, 03:28:54 PM »

TARGETING/PLAYER SAFETY/ILLEGAL PERSONAL CONTACT
The launch occurs when a player takes a running start, leaves his feet and uses the helmet to strike the opponent or by crouching and using an upward and forward thrust of the body to make contact above the shoulders of an opponent. It is an extremely dangerous maneuver to both players involved and deserves strict penalty and possible disqualification enforcement if flagrant.

ILLEGAL BLOCKING BELOW THE WAIST
Due to the prevalence of the shotgun formation, more and more quarterbacks are positioned outside the free-blocking zone. In this formation the ball can leave the free-blocking zone very quickly. In order for any player to legally block below the waist when the offense is in this formation, the block must be initiated immediately following the snap and without hesitation. If the offensive player sets or pauses for any period of time, the opportunity to legally block below the waist has been eliminated.

PACING AND TEMPO
Pace or tempo should be consistent throughout the game from the opening play until the final whistle. Teams may want to play a “hurry-up” offense or do a two-minute drill. That should not affect the pace or tempo set by the referee and their crew.

On regular scrimmage plays, the general recommendation is to sound the ready 3-5 seconds after the ball is placed. Officiating crews can be a positive factor in the flow of the game by keeping a consistent pace.

KICKOFF MECHANICS AND COVERAGE
The referee will need to be positioned at the goal line, somewhere between the center of the field and the hash mark, toward the head linesman’s side of the field. This allows the referee to be able to observe and determine the free kick alignment of K at the time of the kick (6-1-3b). The umpire is positioned at the 20-yard line, outside the field of play opposite the referee. The head linesman is positioned at the 30-yard line on his respective sideline outside the field of play.

Targeting still falls short of defining flagrant within the definition and worded possible DQ if flagrant. Should read, "if deemed flagrant requires disqualification"

Illegal Block Below the Waist is tip-toeing around the shotgun formation. Just eliminate low blocking when in a shotgun or scrimmage kick formation.

Pacing and Tempo - agree with most of it but do believe we have to up the tempo in time sensitive situations. Anything short will give the appearance that we are trying to prevent a team from scoring.

Free Kick Mechanic - Went from very difficult coverage to fairly difficult coverage. Why not move the deep wings back to the G or R-10 to get the open view. Also Referee being able to see the formation at the time of the kick leads me to believe that the 4x4 becomes a foul at the time of the kick and not the ready. If 4/4 needs to be maintained from the time of the ready it should be stated that way.

Offline Rulesman

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Re: 2014-15 Points of Emphasis- Officials Manual
« Reply #3 on: June 16, 2014, 04:02:56 PM »
"If 4/4 needs to be maintained from the time of the ready it should be stated that way."

Matt, don't have the new rule book in front of me but I believe that is the language.
« Last Edit: June 16, 2014, 04:06:12 PM by Rulesman »
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Offline Sumstine

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Re: 2014-15 Points of Emphasis- Officials Manual
« Reply #4 on: June 16, 2014, 04:44:07 PM »
In the POE it states formation at the time of the kick. In the rule I believe it states formation from the time of the ready. Either way it should be worded the same in both.

Offline Atlanta Blue

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Re: 2014-15 Points of Emphasis- Officials Manual
« Reply #5 on: June 16, 2014, 07:51:39 PM »
In the POE it states formation at the time of the kick. In the rule I believe it states formation from the time of the ready. Either way it should be worded the same in both.
It was explained to us by the state interpreter last week that the formation requirement of 4 per side exists from the RFP until the kick.  How the R is going to be able to see that the whole time is beyond me.

In Georgia, we have 6 man crews, and the U holds the kicker until the RFP, then moves behind the kicking team.  It will be his job to watch the 4 per side. 

We all agreed that the wording of the rule is terrible, as it requires 4 on each side of the KICKER.  Well a kicker isn't a kicker until he kicks the ball, so how do you know?  If we need the rule (and I don't think we do), it should say on each side of the BALL, not the kicker.  Add to that, it should be a live ball foul, not a dead ball foul.  If the offense can correct an illegal formation anytime up until the snap on a scrimmage play, why can't the kicking team do the same thing on a kick?

Offline Sumstine

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Re: 2014-15 Points of Emphasis- Officials Manual
« Reply #6 on: June 16, 2014, 08:22:54 PM »
We all agreed that the wording of the rule is terrible, as it requires 4 on each side of the KICKER.  If we need the rule (and I don't think we do), it should say on each side of the BALL, not the kicker.  Add to that, it should be a live ball foul, not a dead ball foul.  If the offense can correct an illegal formation anytime up until the snap on a scrimmage play, why can't the kicking team do the same thing on a kick?

Total Agreement

Offline HLinNC

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Re: 2014-15 Points of Emphasis- Officials Manual
« Reply #7 on: June 16, 2014, 08:44:59 PM »
Quote
Why not move the deep wings back to the G or R-10 to get the open view.


Matt, what are these "deep wings" of which you speak?  ;)

Fed writes manual for five and four man only, dude.

Offline Rulesman

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Re: 2014-15 Points of Emphasis- Officials Manual
« Reply #8 on: June 16, 2014, 10:03:04 PM »
In the POE it states formation at the time of the kick. In the rule I believe it states formation from the time of the ready. Either way it should be worded the same in both.
Agree
"Gentlemen, we are going to relentlessly chase perfection, knowing full well we will not catch it, because nothing is perfect. But we are going to relentlessly chase it, because in the process we will catch excellence. I am not remotely interested in just being good."
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Offline Rulesman

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Re: 2014-15 Points of Emphasis- Officials Manual
« Reply #9 on: June 16, 2014, 10:10:43 PM »
It was explained to us by the state interpreter last week that the formation requirement of 4 per side exists from the RFP until the kick.  How the R is going to be able to see that the whole time is beyond me.

I asked the same question when the NCAA introduced the rule and R was given that responsibility in 7-man. It's really not that difficult once you focus on those keys, but does look bad throwing a flag from 60+ yards away from the foul.
« Last Edit: June 16, 2014, 10:12:35 PM by Rulesman »
"Gentlemen, we are going to relentlessly chase perfection, knowing full well we will not catch it, because nothing is perfect. But we are going to relentlessly chase it, because in the process we will catch excellence. I am not remotely interested in just being good."
- Vince Lombardi

Offline Sumstine

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Re: 2014-15 Points of Emphasis- Officials Manual
« Reply #10 on: June 17, 2014, 01:55:02 AM »


Matt, what are these "deep wings" of which you speak?  ;)

Fed writes manual for five and four man only, dude.

Deep wing on a five man free kick as established by NFHS is the U and H. Just not normally used in that context.

Offline HLinNC

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Re: 2014-15 Points of Emphasis- Officials Manual
« Reply #11 on: June 17, 2014, 06:22:18 AM »
Ah.

Never heard it used in that context.  The mechanics we have used, both recent and prior, stationed H at the R restraining line.  Only when I have worked four man, did I ever go "deep".

Offline AlUpstateNY

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Re: 2014-15 Points of Emphasis- Officials Manual
« Reply #12 on: June 17, 2014, 10:03:29 AM »

Pacing and Tempo - agree with most of it but do believe we have to up the tempo in time sensitive situations. Anything short will give the appearance that we are trying to prevent a team from scoring.

The important thing about "Pacing & Tempo" is who controls it, and currently that control is a responsibility of the Game Officials.  If either team is allowed to take over that control, it could easily create a lot of really unnecessary problems.  Officials setting the pace and teams responding to the pace they set is a lot less confrontational than either team being allowed to dictate pace when it suits their circumstance, and expecting everyone else to adjust.

As long as the pace set, by the game officials, is appropriate and consistent adapting and adjusting to it is an equally applied responsibility of BOTH teams.

Offline TampaSteve

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Re: 2014-15 Points of Emphasis- Officials Manual
« Reply #13 on: June 17, 2014, 10:21:29 AM »
For pacing and tempo:
Certainly, the officials need to be ready before RFP.
Conversely though, if it's not a play causing a 1/10 and not a incomplete pass, it seems 5 officials would/should be ready in the same amount of time that 11 teens (with teen minds) can be ready too.

Offline Sumstine

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Re: 2014-15 Points of Emphasis- Officials Manual
« Reply #14 on: June 17, 2014, 12:21:34 PM »
Tempo in the last seconds of a tight game should not be the same as with 10 minutes in the 1st quarter. I do agree that once the ball is placed the officials need to be ready and that may take three seconds but the time between the ball becoming dead and the placing of the ball can and should be expedited.

Offline TampaSteve

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Re: 2014-15 Points of Emphasis- Officials Manual
« Reply #15 on: June 17, 2014, 02:37:40 PM »
On one hand the tempo POE would support a play clock similar to NCAA.   
Conversely though, a play clock like that may be overkill for those blow-out games where the team losing by 30 is taking 'forever' to get a play in.

Offline Rulesman

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Re: 2014-15 Points of Emphasis- Officials Manual
« Reply #16 on: June 17, 2014, 03:41:12 PM »
On one hand the tempo POE would support a play clock similar to NCAA.   
Conversely though, a play clock like that may be overkill for those blow-out games where the team losing by 30 is taking 'forever' to get a play in.
It's going to be interesting to see how the 40/25 works in Texas this year.
"Gentlemen, we are going to relentlessly chase perfection, knowing full well we will not catch it, because nothing is perfect. But we are going to relentlessly chase it, because in the process we will catch excellence. I am not remotely interested in just being good."
- Vince Lombardi

Offline VALJ

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Re: 2014-15 Points of Emphasis- Officials Manual
« Reply #17 on: June 18, 2014, 10:06:50 AM »
In the POE it states formation at the time of the kick. In the rule I believe it states formation from the time of the ready. Either way it should be worded the same in both.

ART. 3 - After the ball is marked ready for play, and until the ball is kicked, K must meet the following formation requirements:

a. No player, other than the kicker and the holder for a place kick, may be beyond his free kick line; and
b. At least four K players must be on each side of the kicker.
c. No K players, with the exception of the kicker, may be more than five yards behind the kicking team's free-kick line.  A player satisfies this rule when no foot is on or beyond the line 5 yards behind K's free kick.  If one player is more than 5 yards behind the restraining line and any other player kicks the ball, it is a foul.
PENALTY:... encroachment (Art. 3a, b, c) - (S7 - 18) - 5 yards.

The parts highlighted in the book are bolded above.  I haven't seen the casebook yet, but I agree with Sumstine that it should be consistent in the two; since the rulebook trumps the CB, though, and encroachment is a dead ball foul, I guess we kill this one.

I also agree with AB that I'm not sure this rule was necessary, but that's what the powers that be want called, so I'll call it.

Offline prab

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Re: 2014-15 Points of Emphasis- Officials Manual
« Reply #18 on: June 18, 2014, 10:57:25 AM »
In our area, several K teams huddle up behind their free kick line.  The kicker raises his hand to signify that K is ready.  The RFP whistle blows and then K rushes into position.  Under the new rule, that will still be legal (I think) as long as the huddle is not more than 5 yards behind the free kick line (to prevent having more than one player more than 5 yards back) and if the kicker is more or less in the center of the huddle.  I guess that members of K will also have to be sure that their route to their spots doesn't create a momentary situation where there are only 3 on one side of the kicker.  The new rule may make it essentially infeasible for K to use this technique any more.  It sure would be easier for officials if the new rule were to be enforced as a live ball foul.   

Offline VALJ

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Re: 2014-15 Points of Emphasis- Officials Manual
« Reply #19 on: June 18, 2014, 01:33:49 PM »
To me, as long as they don't line up with three on one side, I'm not going to go looking for fly Junk in the pepper.  But the huddle will definitely have to have at least 10 K players in front of the yard line 5 yards back...

Offline TampaSteve

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Re: 2014-15 Points of Emphasis- Officials Manual
« Reply #20 on: June 18, 2014, 02:49:00 PM »
In our area, several K teams huddle up behind their free kick line.  The kicker raises his hand to signify that K is ready.  The RFP whistle blows and then K rushes into position.  Under the new rule, that will still be legal (I think) as long as the huddle is not more than 5 yards behind the free kick line (to prevent having more than one player more than 5 yards back) and if the kicker is more or less in the center of the huddle.  I guess that members of K will also have to be sure that their route to their spots doesn't create a momentary situation where there are only 3 on one side of the kicker.  The new rule may make it essentially infeasible for K to use this technique any more.  It sure would be easier for officials if the new rule were to be enforced as a live ball foul.   
Not a personal attack whatsoever.
After the try, the timeout is one minute.
Once that one minute is up, if K is not out there, the ball is placed on the ground all are in position & the whistle blows.
Obviously this expectation is covered in pregame and communicated during the game, but round these parts, no one is waiting for K to tell us they're ready.

Offline AlUpstateNY

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Re: 2014-15 Points of Emphasis- Officials Manual
« Reply #21 on: June 18, 2014, 02:56:38 PM »
For pacing and tempo:
Certainly, the officials need to be ready before RFP.
Conversely though, if it's not a play causing a 1/10 and not a incomplete pass, it seems 5 officials would/should be ready in the same amount of time that 11 teens (with teen minds) can be ready too.

For the purpose of this discussion, can we presume that the game officials are all competent, and are hustling appropriately from start to finish.  It would therefore be likely that any delay in a game official being ready to proceed in a reasonable time would be some sort of legitimate exception, and acceptable.

The issue of timing is based, usually, on the offense being prepared to call their play BEFORE the defense is fully ready (for any number of reasons) giving the offense a distinct advantage, which may, or may not be legitimate depending on the circumstances.  For this reason, it is appropriate for the officiating crew to establish a reasonable and appropriate pattern of preparing for the RFP, so neither team is UNFAIRLY disadvantaged, and applying a consistent interval so both teams can anticipate their pre-play interval and be prepared to respond to a consistent RFP process, provides no advantage or disadvantage.

Although being prepared to initiate play at an accelerated pace may provide a team with a distinct, and FAIR advantage, unilaterally altering an otherwise consistent RFP pattern to accommodate the requirements of one team, may place the opponent at an UNFAIR disadvantage.

Offline Sumstine

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Re: 2014-15 Points of Emphasis- Officials Manual
« Reply #22 on: June 18, 2014, 04:02:27 PM »
For the purpose of this discussion, can we presume that the game officials are all competent, and are hustling appropriately from start to finish.  It would therefore be likely that any delay in a game official being ready to proceed in a reasonable time would be some sort of legitimate exception, and acceptable.

The issue of timing is based, usually, on the offense being prepared to call their play BEFORE the defense is fully ready (for any number of reasons) giving the offense a distinct advantage, which may, or may not be legitimate depending on the circumstances.  For this reason, it is appropriate for the officiating crew to establish a reasonable and appropriate pattern of preparing for the RFP, so neither team is UNFAIRLY disadvantaged, and applying a consistent interval so both teams can anticipate their pre-play interval and be prepared to respond to a consistent RFP process, provides no advantage or disadvantage.

Although being prepared to initiate play at an accelerated pace may provide a team with a distinct, and FAIR advantage, unilaterally altering an otherwise consistent RFP pattern to accommodate the requirements of one team, may place the opponent at an UNFAIR disadvantage.

Based on my timing of games in Hawaii under normal circumstances it takes on average 15 seconds from the time the ball is dead until it is marked ready for play. In a time sensitive or hurry-up situation that time is reduced to under 10 seconds. Am I to interpret from your comments that we not reduce the dead ball to ready time in these situations? Or, are you saying that as long as we make these adjustments for all teams in all games that it will be okay because that meets the definition of consistent?

Offline Sumstine

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Re: 2014-15 Points of Emphasis- Officials Manual
« Reply #23 on: June 18, 2014, 09:04:21 PM »
It is late in the 4th quarter with team A trailing by 3 points and with no time-outs.  Most of the game has been running plays and the normal time from dead ball to ready has been 16 seconds. On 2nd and 2 from the B 10 with :18 seconds on the game clock team A runs up the middle for one yard with the game clock now showing 14 seconds. Both teams hurry to get in place for 3rd down. The Referee realizing that time is of the essence gets ready to chop the ball in with 6 seconds on the clock when he realizes that the crew is moving quicker as a result of the game situation. Recognizing the inequity that hurrying may cause team B he delays the chop and the game clock expires.

When asked after the game why he delayed the ready on the last play of the game he said, "I did not delay the ready, I waited the same amount of time the entire game. The clock ran out because Team A used all of their time-outs."

Offline prab

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Re: 2014-15 Points of Emphasis- Officials Manual
« Reply #24 on: June 18, 2014, 10:07:20 PM »
Not a personal attack whatsoever.
After the try, the timeout is one minute.
Once that one minute is up, if K is not out there, the ball is placed on the ground all are in position & the whistle blows.
Obviously this expectation is covered in pregame and communicated during the game, but round these parts, no one is waiting for K to tell us they're ready.

Under the new rule, if you blow the RFP whistle while "K is not out there" won't you almost surely have to immediately blow a dead ball foul for not having at least 4 players on each side of the kicker after the RFP and until the kick?  Why not just flag K for DOG if "K is not out there".

Although I may not have been very articulate, in my OP, K "is out there" within the established time constraints and waiting for the RFP whistle prior to getting into their actual kick formation.  I realize that the RFP whistle does not have to be held up until K is ready, rather it can go sooner if K signals ready.