Author Topic: Disputed Catch  (Read 2926 times)

Offline Badger1

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Disputed Catch
« on: November 12, 2016, 07:08:46 AM »
Situation:  There is a long pass of about 30 yards down the middle of the field.  The receiver is open and goes sliding to the ground feet first on his side towards the back judge who is backing up about 8 yards from him watching this play. On film, the pass looked as if it was completed but the back judge called it incomplete as he thought he saw it hit the turf first and then skip to the receiver's hands.  Several plays later the line judge says he thinks the pass had been completed.  However, because the back judge had immediately signaled "incomplete pass" and even made the display of going to a knee and tapping the turf to indicate to everyone that the ball had hit the turf, the line judge was reluctant to try to over rule him or try to conference with him.  At half time we discussed the play.  I told the back judge its hard to change his decision once he immediately signals incomplete and he taps the ground (which I told him I no longer want him to do) to signal the ball hit the ground.  After looking at the film, I felt the line judge should have let me know right away he thought it was a catch and then conferenced.  Looking for help from you guys on this.  I would think that even though one official signals incomplete but another feels it was a catch that it is OK to conference.  May not look good for the crew but need to get the play right.  Thanks.

Online FLAHL

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Re: Disputed Catch
« Reply #1 on: November 12, 2016, 09:39:43 AM »
The most important thing, as you suggest, is getting the play right. Two troubling things with your scenario. First, the BJ "thought" he saw the ball hit the ground. Always look for help to see if somebody else had a better look. Second, the LJ waited "several plays" to tell you what he saw.

You're right, it would be a bad look to change the call after the BJ's signal, but it's better than living with a bad call that could have been corrected.
"Never argue with stupid people.  They will drag you down to their level and then beat you with experience." - Mark Twain

Offline AlUpstateNY

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Re: Disputed Catch
« Reply #2 on: November 12, 2016, 10:22:28 AM »
As you stated the play, it sounds like the BJ BELIEVED, rather than "thought", he saw the ball touch the ground (which prompted him to "SELL" the call by patting the ground).  "Seeing" something should always trump not-seeing, or not being sure about seeing something and the LJ was correct in not challenging a specifically affirmed decision, due to his own acknowledged UN-certainty.

When there is mutual doubt about a call, or considerable CERTAINTY about challenging a call, it's appropriate to immediately confer with the other official (as privately as possible) discuss and resolve and differences and agree on the call to be made.  Having "seen" something SHOULD ALWAYS TRUMP suspecting something.

"Getting the play right" is of primary importance, but so is having confidence in your crew mate, to the extent of supporting his firm decisions.

"SELLING" a call can be extremely useful and helpful in specific situations, and should be used judiciously and sparingly only when the situation, and circumstance, dictates.  Like Garlic, when applied in the right amount (circumstance) can be very beneficial, when over used, can be disastrous.   

Offline prab

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Re: Disputed Catch
« Reply #3 on: November 12, 2016, 10:27:39 AM »
Unless you make a habit of it, I think that you are unlikely to be criticized too much for conferring with crew members after a close play.  BJ's signals obviously contributed to the discomfort of all in the play cited.

Offline Wettstein

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Re: Disputed Catch
« Reply #4 on: November 13, 2016, 02:03:53 PM »
I was told earlier in the season by a line judge that they are taught not to officiate another official's area. (NFHS).


Offline Rulesman

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Re: Disputed Catch
« Reply #5 on: November 13, 2016, 02:56:26 PM »
I was told earlier in the season by a line judge that they are taught not to officiate another official's area. (NFHS).
Not unless you are making a crew saving call.
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Offline ncwingman

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Re: Disputed Catch
« Reply #6 on: November 13, 2016, 06:18:45 PM »
I was told earlier in the season by a line judge that they are taught not to officiate another official's area. (NFHS).

Officals areas often overlap. What this means is that the LJ isn't going to be throwing a flag for a foul on the far sideline. The BJ isn't going to throw a roughing the passer flag. A U shouldn't have encroachment. This is because each official's keys should have their attention elsewhere on the field -- but when the keys are close together, you can have two officials looking at the same action.

On a long pass play, the BJ and closer wing will both be able to rule on catch/interference/holding, etc. even if it's dead center middle of the field.

Offline Ralph Damren

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Re: Disputed Catch
« Reply #7 on: November 14, 2016, 09:56:08 AM »
A mechanic that I heard several BJs and wings use is : If unsure as to a incomplete/complete pass on a play in your area, signal #3 (assuming a completed pass = a 1st down). This alerts the other officials that you are unsure and they can help.  ^talk A helpful crewmate can come a runnin' while signaling #10 (incomplete) or #8 (first down).

If no one knows =    ^no

Offline bbeagle

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Re: Disputed Catch
« Reply #8 on: November 22, 2016, 08:02:22 AM »
If no one knows =    ^no

If no one knows, it's always COMPLETE, not incomplete.

As a covering official, if I never saw the ball hit the ground, I'm going to mark the spot of the ball and stop the clock (if it's a first down). If any other officials saw the ball hit the ground, they can then come in and signal incomplete.

But if nobody else saw the play, we always go with COMPLETE pass.

Offline refbuz

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Re: Disputed Catch
« Reply #9 on: November 22, 2016, 10:27:23 AM »
I was told earlier in the season by a line judge that they are taught not to officiate another official's area. (NFHS).

This is true to a point, you don't want a BJ calling Roughing, or an R calling PI.  Sometimes the official that is the furthest away has the best look.  If you have positive knowledge that the pass skipped and you don't step up you're a crew killer.  If you bring it up at halftime, we're gonna have an big issue. The bottom line is to get it right.  If you are coming across the field, you better be 1000% sure that you've got what your calling.

If no one knows, it's always COMPLETE, not incomplete.

As a covering official, if I never saw the ball hit the ground, I'm going to mark the spot of the ball and stop the clock (if it's a first down). If any other officials saw the ball hit the ground, they can then come in and signal incomplete.

But if nobody else saw the play, we always go with COMPLETE pass.

When did they change the "when in doubt" axiom?

Offline AlUpstateNY

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Re: Disputed Catch
« Reply #10 on: November 22, 2016, 11:04:10 AM »
If no one knows, it's always COMPLETE, not incomplete.
But if nobody else saw the play, we always go with COMPLETE pass.

NOT according to the 2016 Football Game Official's Manual (pg 80, "Guide for "When in Question")

"Catch or Not" = "No catch"

With any "confusion" situation, something actually seen should always trump something presumed. We are not entitled to the luxury of assuming, that coaches, spectators and players are. 

When a crewmate signals something different than what you are certain you have SEEN, you should confer with that official to determine which of you has ACTUALLY OBSERVED clarifying information, and then agree on the final outcome and render a final, joint conclusive signal.

NFHS 2-4-1 stops short of perceptions regarding the completion of a catch suggested by other rule codes, "A catch is the act of establishing possession of a live ball which is in flight, and first contacting the ground inbounds while maintaining possession of the ball........"

Offline bbeagle

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Re: Disputed Catch
« Reply #11 on: November 23, 2016, 01:35:32 PM »
NOT according to the 2016 Football Game Official's Manual (pg 80, "Guide for "When in Question")

"Catch or Not" = "No catch"

With any "confusion" situation, something actually seen should always trump something presumed. We are not entitled to the luxury of assuming, that coaches, spectators and players are. 


I disagree.

Yes, the 2016 Football Game Official's Manual states that if you don't know if it's a catch or not, it's not a catch. That's wrong and that doesn't happen in real game situations.

When the player catches a ball with his back to you going to the ground and you lose sight of the ball - you try as hard as you can to get into position to see the ball. If you don't know, you go to the spot and look for help.

I guess you would go to the spot, look for help, no help comes in 3 seconds, then YOU would signal incomplete? Really? You're not getting any help in 3 or 4 man games. You've got the call all to yourself 90% of the time.


Offline Curious

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Re: Disputed Catch
« Reply #12 on: November 23, 2016, 02:11:41 PM »
I disagree.

C'mon man???? hEaDbAnG

Yes, the 2016 Football Game Official's Manual states that if you don't know if it's a catch or not, it's not a catch. That's wrong and that doesn't happen in real game situations.

And Reddings is very clear (pg 213): "When in doubt...As to caught or trapped, the pass is incomplete"

When the player catches a ball with his back to you going to the ground and you lose sight of the ball - you try as hard as you can to get into position to see the ball. If you don't know, you go to the spot and look for help.

Agreed

I guess you would go to the spot, look for help, no help comes in 3 seconds, then YOU would signal incomplete?

Yep!

Really? You're not getting any help in 3 or 4 man games. You've got the call all to yourself 90% of the time.

Absofrigginlutely!! We don't get to make things up.  That's the official interpretation. tiphat:

Now, in many cases, the players will help you via their physical reactions.  It can help; but if you still aren't sure ^no

Online bossman72

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Re: Disputed Catch
« Reply #13 on: November 25, 2016, 08:46:47 AM »
I don't have a problem with the BJ's mechanics, but the LJ should still go have a conversation.

Additionally, on tight catches near the ground... if you didn't see the ball hit the ground, he probably caught it.  Rule it a catch. More often than not you're right.

Offline bama_stripes

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Re: Disputed Catch
« Reply #14 on: November 25, 2016, 09:37:42 AM »
Additionally, on tight catches near the ground... if you didn't see the ball hit the ground, he probably caught it.  Rule it a catch. More often than not you're right.

Do you have statistical proof of this, or is that just your feeling?

Here, our philosophy is that if we really can't tell, it's incomplete.  The offense should have made a better throw.

Offline AlUpstateNY

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Re: Disputed Catch
« Reply #15 on: November 25, 2016, 02:54:20 PM »
If a receiver winds up in possession of the ball, the question is; did he receive it legitimately and according to rule.  If you have SEEN something that contradicts either, it's obviously incomplete.  If you HAVE NOT seen something that violates either, how can you legitimately presume either happened?

Unlike spectators and coaches, we are not entitled, nor have the luxury, to guess.  Either we SEE something (which can point the judgment in EITHER direction) or we don't.  If not, we have NO authority to speculate, either way.

Offline Ted T

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Re: Disputed Catch
« Reply #16 on: November 26, 2016, 07:58:53 PM »
It appears that the question has been pretty much answered.  Let me add one other thought pertaining to the line judge in your scenario.  I can understand the line judge bringing it to your attention "several plays later" in order to discuss how to handle it the next time.  However, if it can't be used to affect positive change we have a saying in our association, "Take it to the grave."

A personal situation from many years ago:  Pass down the sideline in the waning moments of the first half.  Ball is tipped, receiver dives and juggles the ball while lying on his back, then finally secures possession.  I am right on top of the play with a close look to rule the completion.  But, perhaps, too close.
One play later, the half ends with no score on the play.  As we are jogging to the locker room, the back judge runs up next to me and says, "Hey, the receiver's feet were out of bounds when he made that catch."  My response, "Why didn't you say something when we could still do something about it?"
BJs response: blank stare
If you don't say anything when it can make a difference, take it to the grave.

Offline prab

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Re: Disputed Catch
« Reply #17 on: November 26, 2016, 10:48:23 PM »
If you don't say anything when it can make a difference, take it to the grave.

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