Author Topic: Spirit of the Rule vs Letter of the Law  (Read 2142 times)

Offline fudilligas

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Spirit of the Rule vs Letter of the Law
« on: October 01, 2017, 11:53:28 AM »
I would like opinions on the following:  PAT...constant drizzle....wet field....holder catches ball from snapper and as he puts the ball on the ground the point of the ball slides on the ground and the holder loses control...the kicker is already in his motion to kick and proceeds to kick the ball which is lying  1. motionless on the ground or 2.on the ground with the holders hand on top of the ball.  My questions is do we penalize the kicker for kicking a loose ball which has slipped out the hands of the holder?  I know what the "letter of the law" states, but was it meant for this situation.

Offline prab

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Re: Spirit of the Rule vs Letter of the Law
« Reply #1 on: October 01, 2017, 12:02:20 PM »
I would like opinions on the following:  PAT...constant drizzle....wet field....holder catches ball from snapper and as he puts the ball on the ground the point of the ball slides on the ground and the holder loses control...the kicker is already in his motion to kick and proceeds to kick the ball which is lying  1. motionless on the ground or 2.on the ground with the holders hand on top of the ball.  My questions is do we penalize the kicker for kicking a loose ball which has slipped out the hands of the holder?  I know what the "letter of the law" states, but was it meant for this situation.

Go with the "letter of the law".  Maybe, just maybe, "one size does fit all" in this situation.  The law writers are all knowing and wise. 

Offline bigjohn

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Re: Spirit of the Rule vs Letter of the Law
« Reply #2 on: October 01, 2017, 02:12:07 PM »
No one makes outside receivers go inside the numbers even though the letter of the law says they must.

Online CalhounLJ

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Spirit of the Rule vs Letter of the Law
« Reply #3 on: October 01, 2017, 02:27:53 PM »
I would like opinions on the following:  PAT...constant drizzle....wet field....holder catches ball from snapper and as he puts the ball on the ground the point of the ball slides on the ground and the holder loses control...the kicker is already in his motion to kick and proceeds to kick the ball which is lying  1. motionless on the ground or 2.on the ground with the holders hand on top of the ball.  My questions is do we penalize the kicker for kicking a loose ball which has slipped out the hands of the holder?  I know what the "letter of the law" states, but was it meant for this situation.
Why would you allow K to benefit from its own mistake? R has the right to the spirit of the rule’s intent as much as K does. Instead of looking at it as either/or, maybe it’s best to take both/and approach and apply the latter of the law according to the spirit of the rule. In situation A I have a flag. In situation B I have nothing.


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Offline prab

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Re: Spirit of the Rule vs Letter of the Law
« Reply #4 on: October 01, 2017, 04:05:37 PM »
No one makes outside receivers go inside the numbers even though the letter of the law says they must.

No official is supposed to make outside receivers go inside the numbers!  However they CAN toss a flag if they don't.
« Last Edit: October 01, 2017, 05:35:13 PM by prab »

Offline VA Official

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Re: Spirit of the Rule vs Letter of the Law
« Reply #5 on: October 01, 2017, 04:58:56 PM »
No official is supposed to make outside receivers go inside the numbers!  However they are supposed to toss a flag if they don't.

Off topic from the OP, but on this if the receiver is covered by a defender Iím not flagging it. The spirit of this rule is to not allow a team to sneak a substitute on the field and benefit from it. If the substituting player is covered by a defender, heís gained no advantage. Iíve noticed most of the time in this scenario the defense picks up on the substitute coming on and covers him. No harm, no foul.

Offline prab

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Re: Spirit of the Rule vs Letter of the Law
« Reply #6 on: October 01, 2017, 05:34:24 PM »
Off topic from the OP, but on this if the receiver is covered by a defender I’m not flagging it. The spirit of this rule is to not allow a team to sneak a substitute on the field and benefit from it. If the substituting player is covered by a defender, he’s gained no advantage. I’ve noticed most of the time in this scenario the defense picks up on the substitute coming on and covers him. No harm, no foul.

As previous posts have stated, this is the accepted way to deal with wide receivers who, although they have not moved within the 9 yard marks, are nevertheless covered.  I have edited my post from SUPPOSED TO to CAN.
« Last Edit: October 01, 2017, 05:35:59 PM by prab »

Offline sir55

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Re: Spirit of the Rule vs Letter of the Law
« Reply #7 on: October 01, 2017, 09:05:21 PM »
All these rules that get in the way of what an official thinks the rule should be. Maybe we can get Ralph to get a new rule that allows any official to ignore any rule he doesn't agree with, and we can explain that to the coaches who tell us that the crew that was here last week didn't call that a foul.
Towels, play cards on the belt, face paint, come inside the 9 yard marks, necklaces, watches, class rings, lets ignore all of these written rules that don't give the other team an advantage.

Offline Rulesman

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Re: Spirit of the Rule vs Letter of the Law
« Reply #8 on: October 01, 2017, 09:15:38 PM »
If the substituting player is covered by a defender, heís gained no advantage.
Great. What if he catches the game winning pass after being covered up? How many ďlegalĒ receivers are you going to let Team A have? Try explaining that to Team Bís coach.
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Offline bawags06

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Re: Spirit of the Rule vs Letter of the Law
« Reply #9 on: October 01, 2017, 09:58:29 PM »
Great. What if he catches the game winning pass after being covered up? How many ďlegalĒ receivers are you going to let Team A have? Try explaining that to Team Bís coach.

I think you're thinking of a different "covered." If I have a receiver outside the nines and a defensive back head up on him looking him in the eyes and getting ready to follow him downfield, I'm not throwing a flag.


If he's on the line and covered by another receiver, that flag gets thrown all day if the pass crosses the NZ.  That's deception, intentional or not. I don't care if he's "covered" by a DB on his route.

Offline VA Official

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Re: Spirit of the Rule vs Letter of the Law
« Reply #10 on: October 01, 2017, 10:11:31 PM »
I think you're thinking of a different "covered." If I have a receiver outside the nines and a defensive back head up on him looking him in the eyes and getting ready to follow him downfield, I'm not throwing a flag.


If he's on the line and covered by another receiver, that flag gets thrown all day if the pass crosses the NZ.  That's deception, intentional or not. I don't care if he's "covered" by a DB on his route.
Just some miscommunication between me and Rulesman I think. I meant covered in the sense of covered by a defender head up on him, not covered up by another receiver on the end of his line (just as you stated).

All these rules that get in the way of what an official thinks the rule should be. Maybe we can get Ralph to get a new rule that allows any official to ignore any rule he doesn't agree with, and we can explain that to the coaches who tell us that the crew that was here last week didn't call that a foul.
Towels, play cards on the belt, face paint, come inside the 9 yard marks, necklaces, watches, class rings, lets ignore all of these written rules that don't give the other team an advantage.

Safety fouls are not a good comparison for this situation. This is more equivalent to a hold taking place on the opposite side of the field from the play. By the book itís a foul, but good officiating practice says no advantage was gained.
« Last Edit: October 01, 2017, 11:00:28 PM by VA Official »

Offline Ralph Damren

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Re: Spirit of the Rule vs Letter of the Law
« Reply #11 on: October 02, 2017, 08:40:14 AM »
I'm for letting the kids play, but feel I need to ALWAYS flag the following :

(1) If safety is involved, a flag on a late hit early in the game often prevents later hits later in the game.

(2) If an advantage is gained by the fouling team. If holding opens a hole for the runner, it will draw my attention more than one that occurs on the opposite side of the field.

(3) The obvious fouls. Big Ole' Bubba tips over into the neutral zone. Everyone saw it, I did too.

Use common sense and the game will go much smoother.

PS : In the OP, I would flag kicking the ball if it was just sitting there, but would not if the holder had his hand on top of it. I would then congratulate the offensive line for holding their blocks long enough for this to occur.

DISCLAIMER : Only my opinion, not that of any organization ,political body, or country.
« Last Edit: October 02, 2017, 08:42:07 AM by Ralph Damren »

Offline SCHSref

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Re: Spirit of the Rule vs Letter of the Law
« Reply #12 on: October 02, 2017, 09:50:43 AM »
Does anyone call holding on the opposite side of the field away from the play and point of attack?
If you didn't see it, you can't call it

Online NVFOA_Ump

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Re: Spirit of the Rule vs Letter of the Law
« Reply #13 on: October 02, 2017, 01:30:29 PM »
Does anyone call holding on the opposite side of the field away from the play and point of attack?
If it's a flagrant hold and/or take down in open space where even the fans in the cheap seats see it we've been told to throw the flag.  We tend to talk to the majority of the "away from the play holders" and let them know that they have to block legally, and if it gets repetitive we'll then flag it.
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Online CalhounLJ

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Re: Spirit of the Rule vs Letter of the Law
« Reply #14 on: October 02, 2017, 02:28:21 PM »
Does anyone call holding on the opposite side of the field away from the play and point of attack?
Not on my crew. We only throw "stupid" flags away from the play; targeting, excessive hits on defensive players, clipping, etc...

Offline bama_stripes

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Re: Spirit of the Rule vs Letter of the Law
« Reply #15 on: October 02, 2017, 05:53:51 PM »
I would want my crew to flag a "take down" to prevent a frustration or retaliation foul by the opponent on the next play, or later in the game.  We let the minor holds go & give a "Hey, watch your hands" to the offender.

Offline BIG UMP

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Re: Spirit of the Rule vs Letter of the Law
« Reply #16 on: October 04, 2017, 09:58:03 AM »
safety related and take down holds away from the play.  Most everything else is a talk to.

Back to OP,  flag for 1st situation and no flag for 2nd. 
Big Ump
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