Author Topic: What's the right call?  (Read 3127 times)

Offline mostripes

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What's the right call?
« on: October 03, 2017, 08:54:22 AM »
Our crew was having a pretty interesting discussion on a play last night and we wanted to get some additional opinions.
A lines up for a PAT in a swinging gate formation, however, the snapper lines up with his shoulder and feet perpendicular to the LOS (almost like a flag/touch football player would snap), reaches down and "snaps" the ball to the holder.

Our discussion centered on if this would be enchroachment, since by definition, the player is not the snapper and has enchroached into the NZ when touching the ball (2-32-14; 7-1-5), is it an illegal snap (7-1-1) or is it something different?


Offline VA Official

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Re: What's the right call?
« Reply #1 on: October 03, 2017, 11:04:30 AM »
Our crew was having a pretty interesting discussion on a play last night and we wanted to get some additional opinions.
A lines up for a PAT in a swinging gate formation, however, the snapper lines up with his shoulder and feet perpendicular to the LOS (almost like a flag/touch football player would snap), reaches down and "snaps" the ball to the holder.

Our discussion centered on if this would be enchroachment, since by definition, the player is not the snapper and has enchroached into the NZ when touching the ball (2-32-14; 7-1-5), is it an illegal snap (7-1-1) or is it something different?

By the strict definition of the rule, snap infractions can only occur by the snapper. So, the rules book answer is encroachment per 7-1-5.

Offline jpresler

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Re: What's the right call?
« Reply #2 on: October 03, 2017, 12:57:02 PM »
A snapper is in general supposed to be facing with should to the B's goal, but a side snap is still legal as long as it meets the requirements of 2-40. For the encroachment the snapper is allowed to have his hands in the NZ but his feet must remain behind.

Offline The Roamin' Umpire

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Re: What's the right call?
« Reply #3 on: October 03, 2017, 01:04:47 PM »
I think the short answer here is "don't let this happen". This is not a legal position for the snapper - as soon as he lines up like this, I'd want a whistle and the R or U to ask him "Young man, what in tarnation are you doing?" ("Snapping the ball, sir." "Not like that you're not.")

If they catch us by surprise and snap the ball before this can happen, shut it down. I'd probably call it an illegal snap, since 2-40-2 says a legal snap must come from the snapper, and this player doesn't meet the requirements for being a snapper. But you could also correctly call it encroachment. But I think snap infraction will be a slightly easier/shorter explanation to the coach than encroachment. ("So Coach, when we asked earlier if you had any unusual plays and you said 'no' ...")

Offline VA Official

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Re: What's the right call?
« Reply #4 on: October 03, 2017, 02:44:16 PM »
I think the short answer here is "don't let this happen". This is not a legal position for the snapper - as soon as he lines up like this, I'd want a whistle and the R or U to ask him "Young man, what in tarnation are you doing?" ("Snapping the ball, sir." "Not like that you're not.")

If they catch us by surprise and snap the ball before this can happen, shut it down. I'd probably call it an illegal snap, since 2-40-2 says a legal snap must come from the snapper, and this player doesn't meet the requirements for being a snapper. But you could also correctly call it encroachment. But I think snap infraction will be a slightly easier/shorter explanation to the coach than encroachment. ("So Coach, when we asked earlier if you had any unusual plays and you said 'no' ...")

I agree with this. Rules book says encroachment, but illegal snap is a much easier and more sensible explanation.

Offline bossman72

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Re: What's the right call?
« Reply #5 on: October 03, 2017, 02:55:40 PM »
Would Illegal Formation be the better choice here since the shoulders are not parallel to the LOS?

Offline VA Official

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Re: What's the right call?
« Reply #6 on: October 03, 2017, 03:08:05 PM »
Would Illegal Formation be the better choice here since the shoulders are not parallel to the LOS?

I would say no because this would allow the play to go on, and since the ball was not legally snapped I think it needs to be killed. Also, 7-2-5a only requires 7 players to be on the LOS rather than 7 linemen, and 7-2-3 starts with "of the players of A who are not on their line," which also doesn't specify linemen.
« Last Edit: October 03, 2017, 03:19:06 PM by VA Official »

Offline CalhounLJ

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What's the right call?
« Reply #7 on: October 03, 2017, 04:19:54 PM »
If this player didn’t snap the ball, what would the foul be?


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Offline CalhounLJ

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What's the right call?
« Reply #8 on: October 03, 2017, 04:22:14 PM »
I would say no because this would allow the play to go on, and since the ball was not legally snapped I think it needs to be killed. Also, 7-2-5a only requires 7 players to be on the LOS rather than 7 linemen, and 7-2-3 starts with "of the players of A who are not on their line," which also doesn't specify linemen.
Why was it not legally snapped? Other than the fact that it was snapped by a player not in proper position, the snap itself appears to be legal. 


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Offline CalhounLJ

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What's the right call?
« Reply #9 on: October 03, 2017, 04:24:09 PM »
If this player didn’t snap the ball, what would the foul be?
In other words, if another player snapped then ball, what flag would u throw on the guy who’s shoulders are perpendicular rather than parallel to the LOS?

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Offline Rulesman

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Re: What's the right call?
« Reply #10 on: October 03, 2017, 04:52:03 PM »
Illegal formation.
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Offline CalhounLJ

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What's the right call?
« Reply #11 on: October 03, 2017, 06:44:50 PM »
Illegal formation.
I’m inclined to believe that’s the same foul here. The only difference between a lineman and the snapper is that the snapper is the one who snaps the ball. Just like a kicker doesn’t become a kicker until he kicks the ball. Since a lineman has an opportunity to correct his erroneous position until the snap, we should give this person the same opportunity. Flag it, let the play play out, and then penalize. What’s the harm in that?


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Offline CalhounLJ

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What's the right call?
« Reply #12 on: October 03, 2017, 07:38:18 PM »
I would say no because this would allow the play to go on, and since the ball was not legally snapped I think it needs to be killed. Also, 7-2-5a only requires 7 players to be on the LOS rather than 7 linemen, and 7-2-3 starts with "of the players of A who are not on their line," which also doesn't specify linemen.
This is simply a Symantics problem. A player on the line of scrimmage IS a lineman, whether there are 10 or 2.


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Offline NVFOA_Ump

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Re: What's the right call?
« Reply #13 on: October 03, 2017, 08:28:45 PM »
This is simply a Symantics problem. A player on the line of scrimmage IS a lineman, whether there are 10 or 2.

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A player "on the line of scrimmage" is not a lineman by definition unless he complies with 2-32-9.

I don't believe that we can have a legal snap in this case play since a player who is 90deg to the NZ does not satisfy the definition of snapper (2-32-14), and only a "snapper" can legally snap the ball since his hand(s) must be in the NZ (touching the ball) to snap it (7-1-1).  He doesn't even meet the legal definition of a lineman (2-32-9).  Any type of illegal snap or snap infraction causes the ball to remain dead (7-1-4).  Since mugwumps can't legally snap the ball I'd have a DB  ^flag
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Offline VA Official

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Re: What's the right call?
« Reply #14 on: October 03, 2017, 08:36:51 PM »
A player "on the line of scrimmage" is not a lineman by definition unless he complies with 2-32-9.

I don't believe that we can have a legal snap in this case play since a player who is 90deg to the NZ does not satisfy the definition of snapper (2-32-14), and only a "snapper" can legally snap the ball since his hand(s) must be in the NZ (touching the ball) to snap it (7-1-1).  He doesn't even meet the legal definition of a lineman (2-32-9).  Any type of illegal snap or snap infraction causes the ball to remain dead (7-1-4).  Since mugwumps can't legally snap the ball I'd have a DB  ^flag

This was my rationale as well for saying the ball wasn’t snapped legally and why it couldn’t be a formation penalty. The rules book provides a specific definition for a lineman, so if the committee meant for 7-2-5a and 7-2-3 (illegal formations) to cover “linemen” specifically, they would’ve said linemen rather than players on the line. They are well aware of the “no-man’s land” concept that Rulesman alluded to.
« Last Edit: October 03, 2017, 08:50:44 PM by VA Official »

Offline NorCalMike

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Re: What's the right call?
« Reply #15 on: October 04, 2017, 01:21:21 AM »
Just to play devil's advocate here 7-1-6 says: Following the ready-for-play and after the snapper has placed his hand( s) on the ball, encroachment occurs if any other player breaks the plane of the neutral zone.

Since you are saying that this player doesn't meet the requirements to be called the snapper, then encroachment can't be used because it can only occur after the snapper has placed his hand(s) on the ball.  :sTiR:

I have always called this as illegal formation live ball foul.
 

Offline CalhounLJ

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Re: What's the right call?
« Reply #16 on: October 04, 2017, 06:56:12 AM »
This was my rationale as well for saying the ball wasn’t snapped legally and why it couldn’t be a formation penalty. The rules book provides a specific definition for a lineman, so if the committee meant for 7-2-5a and 7-2-3 (illegal formations) to cover “linemen” specifically, they would’ve said linemen rather than players on the line. They are well aware of the “no-man’s land” concept that Rulesman alluded to.

So then, the player in question is legal in the formation as long as he doesn't snap the ball?
While he's not a lineman by definition, he is on the line of scrimmage? How is that possible, unless we have a snapper? Because to be on the line of scrimmage at the snap, he must have his head breaking the plane of the snapper. Also, there must be at least 7A players on the line of scrimmage, and according to 7-2-3, any other player(s) must be in a legal position as a back. So, if he's not a lineman by rule, then he's not on the LOS, therefore, he's not a player on the line. If he's not a back either, then he is illegal in the formation at the snap. The fact that he was the one who snapped the ball is irrelevant. it was not the snap that was illegal, it was the player that snapped the ball that was illegal. if the snap immediately left his hand(s) and touched a back or the ground before it touched an A lineman, it was legal. The player being illegal in the formation caused the foul. IMHO.
« Last Edit: October 04, 2017, 07:05:52 AM by CalhounLJ »

Offline CalhounLJ

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Re: What's the right call?
« Reply #17 on: October 04, 2017, 07:09:35 AM »
I'm still having trouble understanding how a player can be legal on the line of scrimmage without satisfying the requirements of a lineman.

Offline Ralph Damren

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Re: What's the right call?
« Reply #18 on: October 04, 2017, 09:08:19 AM »
I would lean towards illegal formation for two reasons :

(1) It's easier to explain, "A lineman's shoulders has to be parallel to the line of scrimmage, and your snapper's were not." then ,"Because the ball has to be snapped by a lineman and, by definition, was not; it becomes a snap infraction and a dead ball foul."

(2) Illegal formation is a live ball foul and the play may not score even with the illegal act.

A couple of things to think of when the swinging gate appears :

(1) The snapper doesn't have to snap between his legs as long as the snap immediately leaves the hands of the snapper (7-2-4)

(2) Usually this is ran from the holder's vision side and the wing whose duty is that pipe should hold on LOS unless linemen then reset. We need goal line coverage for potential PAT and if the big ole' Bubbas decide to reset, the wing will have ample time to get to his post before they rumble to their new position.

IMHO, it doesn't hurt to ask the coach in pregame : "Do you run reverses on kickoffs or punts or do you run the 'swinging gate' on PATs ?" ---I don't like surprises :) 

Offline The Roamin' Umpire

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Re: What's the right call?
« Reply #19 on: October 04, 2017, 09:31:32 AM »
I have always called this as illegal formation live ball foul.

... wait, does that mean you've actually seen this?!

Offline mostripes

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Re: What's the right call?
« Reply #20 on: October 04, 2017, 10:25:53 AM »
I can't speak for NorCalMike, but my Umpire happened to see this play in a freshman level game Monday night.

Offline NVFOA_Ump

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Re: What's the right call?
« Reply #21 on: October 04, 2017, 12:08:10 PM »
Way overthinking this:

1.  Only a snapper can legally snap the ball
2.  The player with his hands on the ball is not a legal snapper in this case play
3.  Since he's not a legal snapper, he's encroaching on the NZ (hand(s) in the NZ on the ball)
4.  If he snaps the ball from that position we have a foul for several supportable reasons:
      a.  He is not a snapper and in the NZ - that's a DB foul at the snap
      b.  We have an illegal snap - also a DB foul at the snap

A lineman or not IMHO is immaterial here, he's not a snapper and he snapped the ball.  That's at least 2 rules violations that are both DB fouls and kill the play immediately.
« Last Edit: October 04, 2017, 05:05:19 PM by NVFOA_Ump »
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Offline js in sc

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Re: What's the right call?
« Reply #22 on: October 04, 2017, 01:32:43 PM »
Way overthinking this:

1.  Only a snapper can legally snap the ball
2.  The player with his hands on the ball is not a legal snapper in this case play
3.  Since he's not a legal snapper, he's encroaching on the NZ (hand(s) in the NZ on the ball)
4.  If he snaps the ball from that position we have a foul for several supportable reasons:
      a.  He is not a snapper and in the NZ - that's a DB foul at the snap
      b.  We have an illegal snap - also a DB foul

A lineman or not IMHO is immaterial here, he's not a snapper and he snapped the ball.  That's at least 2 rules violations that are both DB fouls.
Agree totally with NVFOA_Ump.  Rule 2-32-14 defines the snapper as "the player who is facing his opponents goal line with his shoulders approximately parallel thereto and who snaps the ball".
Since his shoulders are perpendicular to the LOS, he is not a snapper and the snap is illegal.  Also, since he is not a snapper and touching the ball, he is guilty of encroachment.  ^flag

Offline CalhounLJ

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What's the right call?
« Reply #23 on: October 04, 2017, 02:07:09 PM »
I agree it’s overthinking.  The way I read the definition, the ball may be snapped by ANY legal player in the line. The ONLY thing that makes a snapper a snapper is when a player snaps the ball. Just like a player is not a passer until he passes the ball, and a kicker is not a kicker until he has kicked the ball. In those cases those are simply legal players until that happens. Same way in this case. The problem is not that the player has committed an illegal act by snapping the ball, he committed an illegal act by lining up wrongly in the formation. What if, the player lines up as described, reached down, and as he touches the ball, turned his shoulders parallel to the line before he snapped it? It would be legal. That’s why it’s not a foul until the snap.


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Offline NVFOA_Ump

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Re: What's the right call?
« Reply #24 on: October 04, 2017, 04:52:29 PM »
What if, the player lines up as described, reached down, and as he touches the ball, turned his shoulders parallel to the line before he snapped it? It would be legal. That’s why it’s not a foul until the snap.

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Agreed it's not a foul until the snap since the "snapper" can square up before he actually snaps the ball, but since he doesn't in this play the foul is both encroachment (he's illegally in the NZ) and/or illegal snap (he by definition is not the snapper per rule 2) and those are both by rule DB violations that immediately kill the play.
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