Author Topic: "It's a penalty, they broke the huddle with 12."  (Read 1718 times)

Offline NVFOA_Ump

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"It's a penalty, they broke the huddle with 12."
« on: September 20, 2017, 09:45:42 AM »
R is answering a head coach's question while U (me) spots the ball that's just coming back after an INC pass. A is already in the huddle as R blows the RFP and is breaking the huddle with an A player immediately heading to his sideline.  After R & U complete the team A player count we still have 11 on the field. Neither the R or U throw a flag.  Team A coach goes ballistic with multiple "They broke the huddle with 12! ... That has to be a penalty!"

Our read of the rules which we discussed pre-game (our crew does both NCAA and NFHS games) was that we must be able to confirm that a team has 12 players on the field for over 3 seconds before they earn a flag in NFHS since breaking the huddle with 12 is not in itself a foul.  Realistically, they probably had 12 on the field for more than the three seconds without anyone heading off of the field but we would have to assume that to be true.  By the time we had our pre-snap count the "12th" man was nearing the sideline clearly heading off the field.  The departing player never was in formation, and was off of the field well before the QB started his signals.

How would you have handled this scenario?
It's easy to get the players, getting 'em to play together, that's the hard part. - Casey Stengel

Offline bigjohn

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Re: "It's a penalty, they broke the huddle with 12."
« Reply #1 on: September 20, 2017, 10:54:13 AM »
if there were 12 in the huddle for the entire period it took you to spot the ball and you know it was more than 3 seconds then you see him leave it is IS and should heae been called. Saw a game 2 weeks ago it happened twice almost identical situations and one was called and the second time the same did it no call. WTF?

Offline MClays99

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Re: "It's a penalty, they broke the huddle with 12."
« Reply #2 on: September 20, 2017, 10:58:34 AM »
At what point is the offense required to subscribe to the "only 11" players?  Is there relevance to when the R hits the RFP?

I think both of my questions above come into the equation with the original post...

Offline edtude

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Re: "It's a penalty, they broke the huddle with 12."
« Reply #3 on: September 20, 2017, 11:03:07 AM »
when the substitute reaches the field and informs the player that he has been substituted for he then has 3 seconds to start leaving the field. The old "12 men in the huddle" used to be a foul several years ago. Amazingly enough coaches who weren't coaching when it was a rule still use the terminology!

Offline ChicagoZebra

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Re: "It's a penalty, they broke the huddle with 12."
« Reply #4 on: September 20, 2017, 11:56:50 AM »
The old "12 men in the huddle" used to be a foul several years ago. Amazingly enough coaches who weren't coaching when it was a rule still use the terminology!

They are not magically remembering this rule from several years ago. They are applying what they see on Saturday and Sunday to Friday night. What's new?

Offline Rulesman

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Re: "It's a penalty, they broke the huddle with 12."
« Reply #5 on: September 20, 2017, 01:57:18 PM »
The old "12 men in the huddle" used to be a foul several years ago.
This has NEVER been a rule in Federation. And NEVER is a long time.
"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 NVFOA_Ump

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Re: "It's a penalty, they broke the huddle with 12."
« Reply #6 on: September 20, 2017, 02:07:41 PM »
At what point is the offense required to subscribe to the "only 11" players? When 12 have been on the field for more than 3 seconds
Is there relevance to when the R hits the RFP? No

I think both of my questions above come into the equation with the original post...

Both the R & the U were doing pre-snap duties prior to the RFP and neither of us was watching who came in the game for team A.  As the R was retuning from the sideline discussion with the coach he glanced at the U (me) saw that I had just placed the ball down and signaled the RFP.  Since we did not know how long A had been in the huddle with 12, and when we did observe the 12th player was already heading off, do we have anything?   
It's easy to get the players, getting 'em to play together, that's the hard part. - Casey Stengel

Offline VA Official

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Re: "It's a penalty, they broke the huddle with 12."
« Reply #7 on: September 20, 2017, 02:11:09 PM »
when the substitute reaches the field and informs the player that he has been substituted for he then has 3 seconds to start leaving the field. The old "12 men in the huddle" used to be a foul several years ago. Amazingly enough coaches who weren't coaching when it was a rule still use the terminology!

Just a note. The substitute doesn't have to inform the replaced player to become a player himself. Once a substitute does any one of 5 things in 2-32-15, he then becomes a player and at that moment the team has 3 seconds for the replaced player to begin leaving the field (not be off of the field). One of those 5 things is just entering a huddle, which is what happened in the OP.
« Last Edit: September 20, 2017, 02:13:15 PM by VA Official »

Offline Ralph Damren

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Re: "It's a penalty, they broke the huddle with 12."
« Reply #8 on: September 21, 2017, 08:08:10 AM »
The rationale of this rule is to prevent "hide-out" plays and the such. The wordage used to read : '...must leave immediately". The concern was immediately means quicker then quickly. Many Big Ole' Bubbas don't often react quickly to much. Immediately was then changed to 3 seconds. I don't believe we need a stop watch to time this as long as the replaced player is leaving shortly.

If a coach burns a TO while you're counting his players, he beat me to the draw AND no hide-out or trick play is going to occur. While some might  ^flag after the TO was called, I wouldn't. If the opposing coach inquired, I'd respond : "Coach, he saw a problem and fixed it at an expense of a time out while I was still counting. He gained no advantage and I'd treat you the same if it occurred to your team."

DISCLAIMER : This is only my opinion.

Online CalhounLJ

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"It's a penalty, they broke the huddle with 12."
« Reply #9 on: September 21, 2017, 09:02:14 AM »
This has been my policy as well. If he can realize the problem before I wake up and discover it he can fix it with the TO. In defense of the breaking huddle with 12 syndrome, many times I'm not through counting until the huddle breaks. This gives the impression it wasn't a foul until the huddle broke.  OAN, I can't remember the last game I called where either team huddled. 😬


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