Author Topic: Is this block a penalty?  (Read 1626 times)

Offline MacDiiddy

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Is this block a penalty?
« on: July 13, 2017, 10:55:04 PM »
Got really good feed back on a post earlier in the year, thought I would try again.
With the a blindside block now being a penalty if not initiated with the hands first (as I understand it). Is this a penalty?
Also does the rule not apply to players starting in the Free Blocking Zone or is it only in the FBZ while it still exists?

https://youtu.be/61A4hLChlME

Offline bossman72

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Re: Is this block a penalty?
« Reply #1 on: July 14, 2017, 09:58:34 AM »
If you're talking about the block that sounds when the whistle blows in the backfield, then that looks legal.  Looked to me like he just pushed him down with his hands.

Offline Stinterp

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Re: Is this block a penalty?
« Reply #2 on: July 14, 2017, 10:09:36 AM »
I agree, legal.  Initiated with open hands and not forceful enough for a foul.  Close to dead ball however.

Offline FLAHL

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Re: Is this block a penalty?
« Reply #3 on: July 14, 2017, 11:04:15 AM »
I'm seeing that one differently.  Contact initiated with the forearm/shoulder.  I wouldn't throw a flag because it's not "forceful" but I'd definitely talk to the player.
"Never argue with stupid people.  They will drag you down to their level and then beat you with experience." - Mark Twain

Offline VA Official

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Re: Is this block a penalty?
« Reply #4 on: July 14, 2017, 11:06:06 AM »
It's initiated with the shoulder and followed through with the arms extending outward. Definitely outside of the players focus of concentration. Now, it's just up to the official's judgment whether it was "forceful contact" or not. A key I've used is if the opponent ends up on the ground, you've more than likely got forceful contact. 99% of the time that's a good key to use. But, this situation may be an exception to that. This block is forceful, but forceful enough for a 15 yard penalty that's 5 yards in the backfield (netting a 20 yard penalty)? Probably not. Definitely a talking to, reminding the player that blindside blocks are now illegal and will cost him 15 yards if he doesn't initiate with open hands.

Offline SCHSref

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Re: Is this block a penalty?
« Reply #5 on: July 14, 2017, 12:48:13 PM »
Looks to me like the defensive player actually turned his head and saw the guy coming.  It depends on what you want to throw the flag for...PF or BSB?  If anything, I would throw for PF because the defensive player is nowhere near the play.  Looked to me that he was out of the FBZ as well.  That QB took a shotgun snap and the B player was about 4-5 yds in the backfield when he was hit.
If you didn't see it, you can't call it

Offline SouthGARef

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Re: Is this block a penalty?
« Reply #6 on: July 15, 2017, 11:32:29 AM »
No foul here

Offline AlUpstateNY

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Re: Is this block a penalty?
« Reply #7 on: July 15, 2017, 01:49:18 PM »
Clarification and emphasis on the "blindside block" is a good thing and should help avoid unnecessary injuries and problems, however it hopefully will not dramatically change the nature of legal, and appropriate, contact related to the game, which is still a game involving physical, sometimes severe, contact.

The game has experienced decades of intensified focus on "blowing up" unsuspecting and unprepared opponents to promote highlight films and crowd reactions, producing the inevitably predictable escalation to dangerous excess.  This rule, and the coaching that will hopefully accompany it, is a significant step towards reducing, and hopefully eliminating, this unfortunate excess and returning to the acceptable objectives of the game.

Judgment, and positioning to be able to see the entire contact sequence, are likely going to be key factors in determining the necessity and appropriateness of the specific contact (as each contact will continue to be unique) and whether the contact observed was, or was not, excessive.

Offline NWA_UMP

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Re: Is this block a penalty?
« Reply #8 on: July 15, 2017, 05:07:15 PM »
I disagree to a point. Contact is forceful, open hands don't lead and as stated above, the defender did see the block coming but due to momentum of both players was unavoidable. Only issue is location of the block...behind the play and the timing of the hit with regards to whistle. Could be ruled as inciting roughness.... 

Offline zoom

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Is this block a penalty?
« Reply #9 on: July 16, 2017, 02:08:02 AM »
I don't think this is a foul.   In a real game, there would have been no whistle, so this wouldn't be a post whistle foul.  Yes, the quarterback was headed downfield, but the blocker had already committed to his block by the time the qb was committing himself to run rather than pass. 

As for the blindside block aspect, you have to ask whether it was excessive or unnecessary if you think he didn't lead with the hands.  I don't see it as unnecessary for the reasons above.  I also don't see it as excessive.  It looks a lot more like a push than a blow.  It is enough of a borderline hit to merit a Talk To, however.  In a scrimmage, this play is a perfect one to educate the player on why he should try harder to lead with open hands and remove all doubt.

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« Last Edit: July 16, 2017, 02:10:12 AM by zoom »

Offline ncwingman

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Re: Is this block a penalty?
« Reply #10 on: July 16, 2017, 09:26:30 AM »
As for the blindside block aspect, you have to ask whether it was excessive or unnecessary if you think he didn't lead with the hands. 

I agree with everything you said, except this part. By RuleTM (9-4-3n) a blindside block must only be forceful. It does not need to be excessive or unnecessary force. It might be disqualifying if it is excessive or unnecessary instead of just a personal foul.

That being said, I'm sure we're all going to get lots of earfuls from coaches who think we are calling it to much AND not enough (depending who hit who).

In this case, as you said -- Talk To, no flag.

Offline zoom

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Re: Is this block a penalty?
« Reply #11 on: July 16, 2017, 10:18:15 AM »
I agree with everything you said, except this part. By RuleTM (9-4-3n) a blindside block must only be forceful. It does not need to be excessive or unnecessary force. It might be disqualifying if it is excessive or unnecessary instead of just a personal foul.

That being said, I'm sure we're all going to get lots of earfuls from coaches who think we are calling it to much AND not enough (depending who hit who).

In this case, as you said -- Talk To, no flag.
You are correct.  But what is "forceful"?  I should have used the word forceful, since that is the rule, but it still is up to the judgement of the covering official.  I always tell the players to make sure not to leave it up to the officials as to whether it is a foul.  Lead with your hands and remove all doubt...

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Offline VA Official

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Re: Is this block a penalty?
« Reply #12 on: July 16, 2017, 02:46:28 PM »
You are correct.  But what is "forceful"?  I should have used the word forceful, since that is the rule, but it still is up to the judgement of the covering official.  I always tell the players to make sure not to leave it up to the officials as to whether it is a foul.  Lead with your hands and remove all doubt...

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See my comment above about a good key to use for what is forceful. This is something I've picked up on from many officials I trust.

Offline ncwingman

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Re: Is this block a penalty?
« Reply #13 on: July 16, 2017, 03:25:02 PM »
You are correct.  But what is "forceful"?  I should have used the word forceful, since that is the rule, but it still is up to the judgement of the covering official.  I always tell the players to make sure not to leave it up to the officials as to whether it is a foul.  Lead with your hands and remove all doubt...

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Defining forceful is where we're going to have a lot of growing pains this year. I believe the intent of the rule is that it doesn't have to be bone jarring excessive if it is blindside, but simply making physical contact (applying a non-zero force) shouldn't be a flag either. Where the line is between those two will take experience to really figure out.

Offline AlUpstateNY

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Re: Is this block a penalty?
« Reply #14 on: July 16, 2017, 06:45:47 PM »
One thing that hasn't changed, or been updated, is the observation in the Football Game Officials Manual, under "Prerequisites for good officiating"; "Game officials must have a football sense which supersedes the technical application of of the rules so that the game goes smoothly. Game officials are expected to exercise good judgment in applying the rules.".

It goes on to suggest, "Many decisions will be questioned no matter how they are made, but when game officials display confidence, the decisions are more readily accepted.....The basic requirement for all sports game officials is courage", which making confident decisions often tests. It further instructs, "The protection and welfare of the player is paramount, with this there can be no compromise."

However, there have NEVER been 2 football plays and situations that are exactly alike, so if looking for "cookie-cutter" or "one size fits all" solutions or universal agreement, football officiating may not be the best place to search.  It requires a thorough understanding of the standards established and how the unique play, or circumstance, you're directly observing matches, or doesn't match that standard and rendering an almost instantaneous judgment.
« Last Edit: July 16, 2017, 06:47:55 PM by AlUpstateNY »

Offline Rulesman

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Re: Is this block a penalty?
« Reply #15 on: July 16, 2017, 07:08:08 PM »
Well said/quoted, Al.
"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 IA Linesman

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Re: Is this block a penalty?
« Reply #16 on: July 18, 2017, 03:46:15 PM »
This block looks technically illegal but the time and temperature of the game would tell me whether or not to throw this flag or talk to B.