Author Topic: Don't be a "walking rule book waiting to happen" but should you have one handy?  (Read 525 times)

Offline Ralph Damren

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While I've never been in favor of waving a rule book when on the field, I have one tucked in my jacket for those "just-in case" moments. I learned my lesson on this back during the Reagan Administration.

It was in a playoff baseball game, but the same could certainly occur in football.

 THE CARACTERS :  Jack, a veteran coach
                           Buzza' an Ivy League bound pitcher
                           I had the dish, Bruce & Harry had the bases
                           Earl, the opposing coach

ACT I :
     Buzza' was warming up on the mound ,wearing a dark gray baseball undershirt;
     NFHS rules say a pitcher can't have white or gray undershirt;
     Coach Earl approaches us and asks if that is legal;

ACT II :
     We approach Coach Jack and nicely told him Buzza' had to change or remove his undershirt;
     Coach Jack nicely said that was never questioned before and would we nicely show
     him where it said that in the rule book;

ACT III :
     I quickly realized I didn't have one with me and looked toward Bruce & Harry;
     Bruce said he had one in the trunk of his car and began a long journey towards
     the parking lot.

ACT IV :
     We all watch in the far distance as Bruce tosses golf clubs, rakes, and tire jacks out of
     his trunk;
     Buzza' then asks, "Coach Jack, kinda' hot out here ;), do I really have to wear this undershirt?"
     Coach Jack responds, " 'Spect not, Buzza', ayuh, 'tis hot." ;) ;)

ACT V :
     Buzza' politely removes his undershirt ;
     Bruce comes a' running from afar waving the rule book;
     Coach Jack  ;D grins ....Buzza'   ;D grins
     Coach Earl  ;) winks ;
     Bruce :!# :o >:( wasn't happy , Harry & I  :-[ weren't sad.

ACT VI :
     It was decided in our post game journey that the plate ump should ALWAYS
     have a rule book handy;
     I provided the post-game refreshments eAt&

MORALE OF STORY : IT'S BETTER TO HAVE IT AND NOT NEED IT THAN TO NEED IT AND NOT HAVE IT tiphat:

NOTE : The names have NOT been changed and we have had  nAnA nAnA about it often tR:oLl.

Offline FLAHL

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I know some associations (including mine) frown upon, or prohibit, officials from having rule books on the field.  Others require the crew to have a copy of the rule book on the field (I'm pretty sure OH is one of those).

In 15 years, I've never had a coach ask for a conference to discuss the misapplication of a rule.  (I've had several call time out to complain, but that's a different situation.)  If a coach has a legitimate question about the misapplication of a rule, how can we resolve that without actually showing him the rule in the rule book?

Every member of our crew has the rule book, case book, and mechanics book with us each week.  But all 5 copies are in the locker room or dressing room when we take the field.
« Last Edit: April 12, 2017, 10:15:12 AM by FLAHL »
"Never argue with stupid people.  They will drag you down to their level and then beat you with experience." - Mark Twain

Offline Ralph Damren

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I don't have a problem with one having a rule book discreetly tucked away but handy. I keep a rule book and air gauge  tucked in the pocket of my game jacket. I have the jacket on a the pre-game meeting with the coaches. I've had a couple of situations during pre-game where a coach has asked about, then questioned a rule. I've responded : "I can look it up for you if you wish, coach." In those situations, the coaches have declined, feeling confident - with an available rule book - that I know what I'm talking about. The air gauge is my" tie-breaker" if I feel the ball is too soft and the coach doesn't.

Offline Rulesman

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Game jacket? Shoot... those aren't needed in my neck of the woods. We only went to long sleeves when the temp fell below 40.

Did have a funny situation several years ago where the coach wanted to know where a certain enforcement could be found in the book. Told him to come see us at halftime. Halftime comes. He appears in the locker room and reads the answer to his question.

The response? "I don't give a #%*+!$@& what the rule says, that ain't right." We still laugh about it today. BTW, he's a good friend. That always helps. Knowing the rules helps too. Then you don't need a book on the field.
"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 refjeff

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  • Without officials... it is only recess.
Others require the crew to have a copy of the rule book on the field (I'm pretty sure OH is one of those).
  In Ohio we are required to have the Rule Book, Case Book,and our "Gold Book" of mechanics on the field.  The Gold Book has a much more useful Rules Book index.  Our crew has them in a black bag with our pressure gauge, air pump, cookie, and an extra whistle.  During the game we place it behind the goalpost closest to our locker room.

Offline FLAHL

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  In Ohio we are required to have the Rule Book, Case Book,and our "Gold Book" of mechanics on the field.  The Gold Book has a much more useful Rules Book index.  Our crew has them in a black bag with our pressure gauge, air pump, cookie, and an extra whistle.  During the game we place it behind the goalpost closest to our locker room.

This seems like a great idea to me.  Over the years, I've seen a plenty of coaches (and, sadly, officials) who were absolutely 100% positive about a rule, only to be proven wrong once the book came out. 
"Never argue with stupid people.  They will drag you down to their level and then beat you with experience." - Mark Twain

Offline Ralph Damren

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  • Without officials... it is only recess.
Game jacket? Shoot... those aren't needed in my neck of the woods. We only went to long sleeves when the temp fell below 40.

Did have a funny situation several years ago where the coach wanted to know where a certain enforcement could be found in the book. Told him to come see us at halftime. Halftime comes. He appears in the locker room and reads the answer to his question.

The response? "I don't give a #%*+!$@& what the rule says, that ain't right." We still laugh about it today. BTW, he's a good friend. That always helps. Knowing the rules helps too. Then you don't need a book on the field.
Maine's Fall Fridays may be in the 70's during the day but down to the 50's at night. Jackets help during pre-game and halftime. The LJ have the duty of bringing a garbage bag for jacket storage during the playing action. The rule I hear the most  >:( coach- cussing   >:( about is a kick that is touched in the field of play, rolls into EZ ,and then grabbed by K. Our discussion that usually follows.....
 Me : "Coach, UNDER OUR RULES, once the kick reaches the end zone it becomes dead and a touchback.."
Coach : " Seems like an awful rule....don't you think so, too."
 Me : "Under your situation it doesn't seem fair, but to change it would allow kicks to be ran out of the end zone, That would be a safety concern for high school players. I think we can both agree that SAFETY is the most important 'rule' for high school kids."
Coach : "Ayuh, 'spect so, still think that part of the rule is lousy ,though :-\"

MORALE OF STORY : BETTER TO HAVE THE COACH MAD AT THE RULE THAN TO BE MAD AT YOU!!!

 pi1eOn nAnA nAnA nAnA nAnA nAnA pi1eOn

                                              :sTiR: ^talk :sTiR:

Offline TxSkyBolt

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I just can't envision a case where the officials are huddled around a coach all reading from a rule book while the fans and players wait.  I would never open a rule book during a football game...pregame sure.

Offline Ralph Damren

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This seems like a great idea to me.  Over the years, I've seen a plenty of coaches (and, sadly, officials) who were absolutely 100% positive about a rule, only to be proven wrong once the book came out.
In this era of "get it right at all costs" I feel it behooves us to try to do so. When a coach burns a timeout for a rule challenge conference, I feel it's important that we absolutely give him the correct answer even if it involves pulling out a rules book, if unsure. While I never have needed to during a game, it once came in very handy in pre-game.
   Bill Clinton was president and I was a white hat in a regional championship game. We were working with a split crew ,with the BJ & LJ that handled the visitor's home games. The BJ reported, in our crew's pre-game, that the coach had gotten away with a fast one the previous week. From a kick try formation (that only had 10 players), a K player would run on the field late, the holder would raise and yell : "You're not supposed to be out here, get off." As the K player, after setting for one second, started to head toward the sidelines ,the snap went to the standing holder who promptly threw a pass to the 'departing' player who took it in for two.
 
We were ready when we asked said coach if he had any trick plays. He responded with the above. Thanks to my brothers from the other chapter, I was able to respond with :
 "HMM ::), that sounds like a violation of Rule 9-6-4d (we had looked it up and earmarked it before we came out), using a substitution to deceive the opponents."
 COACH : " You sure about that ??? ??? ????"
 RESPONSE : Pulling out rule book and turning to earmarked page - "Ayuh, see it's right here 8]!"
 COACH : After grunting - " Football should be a game of deception >:( >:(" and walked off.

The coach was usually a  nAnA nAnA screamer  nAnA nAnA...the coach was very quiet that day....   

Offline Ralph Damren

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I just can't envision a case where the officials are huddled around a coach all reading from a rule book while the fans and players wait.  I would never open a rule book during a football game...pregame sure.
I hear you, SkyBolt, and agree that it would be extremely rare. The frenzied masses (fans ,media , etc) would probably be immune to the delay, with the challenges, replay reviews, etc. that they have become used to at other levels, though. Of the coach "lets talk" TOs that I've been involved in, most seem to be complaints about judgment, out of position, etc. and not about actual rules. The last such that I recall was.....
   (1) A was flagged  ^flag for holding on 3 straight plays ^flag  ^flag ^flag  ^flag ^flag ^flag.

   (2) A's coach calls TO and wants to talk;

   (3) Coach to me : " You've been doing this since before I was born, have you ever seen three
                                holding calls on three straight plays  ??? ????"
   
   (4) I had called one of them and saw a second occur on a sweep, so I felt confident with my
        response : " Coach, you're right. I started officiating back in 1969 and you look like a
                          a youngster to me :). I don't believe I've ever seen a game where a team
                           WAS HOLDING on three straight plays  ;)."

I don't think the coach felt he got his money's worth out of the timeout.

   ......and the band played on.


Offline AlUpstateNY

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This seems like a great idea to me.  Over the years, I've seen a plenty of coaches (and, sadly, officials) who were absolutely 100% positive about a rule, only to be proven wrong once the book came out.

If the objective becomes absolute perfection 100% of the time, why not just eliminate game officials and leave disputes about rule interpretations and judgment calls to be settled by opposing coaches, each allowed to be accompanied by their own "Rule" expert, who can argue and debate the truly finer points to the extent that players, spectators and even school maintenance personnel have long gone home.

You can't dig yourself out of a hole digging downward, and providing opportunity to extend requiring that providing an answer, "from the book" for every dispute is, "an accident looking for somewhere to happen". Officials are RESPONSIBLE for understanding and KNOWING the rules of the game, but even that includes leeway to, "rule PROMPTLY and in the SPIRIT OF GOOD SPORTSMANSHIP" as the final arbiter.

Football is a game based on overcoming obstacles and challenges, which includes a very small percentage of inaccurate rulings.   

Offline Tom.OH

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Back to the Ohio having the books available. My old crew kept ours in a Ziploc bag under the 20 yard line marker. We never used them, I have never worked any game when they were used. I also have never watched a game at any level where the books were pulled out.
It's been used around the state before but it's a rare event.
I am sure it has got a crew out of a jam.
"Outside of a dog, a book is man's best friend. And inside of a dog, it's to dark to read."
Groucho Marx

Offline BIG UMP

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I'm in the pregame only group.  If you ever look at a rule book during the game, you will never convince a coach that you don't need to review it the next time there is controversy.  Both coaches will be screaming look it up. 

Ralph with your deception play I've had a similar play brought up informed the coach what it was and that it would be flagged.  He knew we were right and never questioned it.  I didn't need to quote what rule it was. 
Big Ump
aka Shawn

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Offline Rulesman

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Plus....

Good coaches know the rules.
"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 KWH

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I'm in the pregame only group.  If you ever look at a rule book during the game, you will never convince a coach that you don't need to review it the next time there is controversy.  Both coaches will be screaming look it up. 

+1

I just can't envision a case where the officials are huddled around a coach all reading from a rule book while the fans and players wait.  I would never open a rule book during a football game...pregame sure.

+1
« Last Edit: April 17, 2017, 03:04:08 PM by KWH »
Officials do not often write rules; rather,
Officials enforce rules as they are written.
- Dr. Ralph Sweringen - Georgia High School Association