Author Topic: A few questions from a new official  (Read 2007 times)

Offline jim417

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A few questions from a new official
« on: October 05, 2017, 09:35:52 AM »
I am new to officiating this year.  Thanks to this forum, I have learned a lot. I have a few questions that I am hoping to get some clarification with:

1)  I worked a game where the QB scrambled and then threw the ball out of bounds about 20 feet over everyone's head, clearly looking to avoid a loss of yardage.  I dropped a flag for grounding, but the WH came over and said there was a WR in the area.  We waved it off, but it left me wondering how to interpret the Illegal Forward Pass Rule.  Would this be illegal?

2)  I worked a game last week that was a running clock.  Towards the end of the game the winning team took a knee from the pistol formation.  The WH flagged them for illegal procedure stating that you can not take a knee from this formation, the QB must be under center.  He couldn't give a rule, though, and I can not find anything that confirms his statement.  Is there such a rule?

3?  Lastly, on Monday, I worked the wing on the home team's sideline.  The home team was called for roughing the passer, which brought a lot of "That was a bad call" reactions from the sideline.  A couple of plays later the passer was hit again, this time legally.  I heard a couple of guys behind me mutter "I'm surprised they didn't call roughing".  It was said a couple more times on the same drive, but I let it go as it really had no affect on me.  Just wondering at what point do you address the petty griping?

Also had my first inadvertent whistle this week.  That sucked.

Offline prab

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Re: A few questions from a new official
« Reply #1 on: October 05, 2017, 09:43:45 AM »
1.  Most crews reserve IG calls for the white hat, with "receiver in the area" input from wings.  If you are on the wing and suspect IG, get to the white hat, explain what you saw and then let white hat decide to flag or not.

2.  He couldn't give a rule, because there is no such rule.  A ball carrier can kneel any time and any place.

3.  Don't get involved unless you are SURE that the griping is directed at you and/or the crew, and then probably still better to ignore it.

Offline bmem66

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Re: A few questions from a new official
« Reply #2 on: October 05, 2017, 09:48:57 AM »
Welcome to officiating.   As for your questions, in Ohio we are told that only the R can throw the flag for grounding.  He needs to consult the other officials if there was a receiver in the area (which is actually not part of the rule, I believe) and if the QB was only trying to avoid a sack.   After consulting, he can flag it or not.  I have never seen a QB take a knee in the shotgun but there is nothing wrong with it.   I am not sure what the R was referring to on that one.   How much talking and crap you take on the sidelines is a trickier one.   I probably will take more than most but if the word "you" is used or if it gets personal in nature, it is an easy flag.  I am an R now and recently had an coach yell "F&$% You" to the crew as his player was getting ejected for throwing a punch.  I didn't eject him because at the time, it was his first UNS and 2 UNS gets you ejected.
I used this site to clarify what I could have done and now I know better.   Keep referring to this site.   A lot of knowledge here and posts don't get way off topic like on other officiating sites.   

Offline ChicagoZebra

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Re: A few questions from a new official
« Reply #3 on: October 05, 2017, 09:50:21 AM »
You will learn that when you are new and working a lot of lower levels games, you will hear philosophies and rules from 20+ year vets (a.k.a. guys who have worked their first year 20 times) that are simply not true.

It takes time for you to sort out who knows what they are talking about versus who doesn't. Just take things with a grain of salt for a while.

Offline bawags06

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Re: A few questions from a new official
« Reply #4 on: October 05, 2017, 09:53:41 AM »
1)  I worked a game where the QB scrambled and then threw the ball out of bounds about 20 feet over everyone's head, clearly looking to avoid a loss of yardage.  I dropped a flag for grounding, but the WH came over and said there was a WR in the area.  We waved it off, but it left me wondering how to interpret the Illegal Forward Pass Rule.  Would this be illegal?

I have no problem with the IG flag in this case, but there may be mechanics issues. I assume you were a wing official. You would probably have a better idea of who was in the area than the WH, but the WH is usually going to be primary on an IG call. He knows what type of duress the passer is under. Personally, I think your interpretation is correct, but I don't think that you should be watching the QB scramble.

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2)  I worked a game last week that was a running clock.  Towards the end of the game the winning team took a knee from the pistol formation.  The WH flagged them for illegal procedure stating that you can not take a knee from this formation, the QB must be under center.  He couldn't give a rule, though, and I can not find anything that confirms his statement.  Is there such a rule?

I've never heard of rule that forbids taking a knee from the pistol. Did they announce they were taking a knee so that lineman didn't destroy each other? They don't have to, but most teams usually do. If they say they are taking a knee and do not, then we have a problem.

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3?  Lastly, on Monday, I worked the wing on the home team's sideline.  The home team was called for roughing the passer, which brought a lot of "That was a bad call" reactions from the sideline.  A couple of plays later the passer was hit again, this time legally.  I heard a couple of guys behind me mutter "I'm surprised they didn't call roughing".  It was said a couple more times on the same drive, but I let it go as it really had no affect on me.  Just wondering at what point do you address the petty griping?

Petty griping? Never.  When the word "you" starts being said, my ears perk up a little. "You called it last time," is usually fine, for a few moments. "You don't know the rules," or "You suck," and I'm responding with "That's enough." Flag flies the next time.

Offline bawags06

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Re: A few questions from a new official
« Reply #5 on: October 05, 2017, 09:55:54 AM »
Welcome to officiating.   As for your questions, in Ohio we are told that only the R can throw the flag for grounding.  He needs to consult the other officials if there was a receiver in the area (which is actually not part of the rule, I believe) and if the QB was only trying to avoid a sack.   After consulting, he can flag it or not.  I have never seen a QB take a knee in the shotgun but there is nothing wrong with it.   I am not sure what the R was referring to on that one.   How much talking and crap you take on the sidelines is a trickier one.   I probably will take more than most but if the word "you" is used or if it gets personal in nature, it is an easy flag.  I am an R now and recently had an coach yell "F&$% You" to the crew as his player was getting ejected for throwing a punch.  I didn't eject him because at the time, it was his first UNS and 2 UNS gets you ejected.
I used this site to clarify what I could have done and now I know better.   Keep referring to this site.   A lot of knowledge here and posts don't get way off topic like on other officiating sites.

A receiver in the area is in Rule 7-5-2c. Grounding to save yardage or time is 7-5-2d

Online Ralph Damren

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Re: A few questions from a new official
« Reply #6 on: October 05, 2017, 10:20:50 AM »
Prab gave you excellent advice, Jim. Because of the word "intentional" in intentional grounding, the referee is always the best judge. Many passes ,at our level, turn into lousy passes but the referee may not see the intent. Be ready to respond if the ref asks you about any eligible receivers in the area ,though.

 z^ We of the Zebra kingdom  z^ need to develop thick skin  :) and some sidelines will be yapping game long  :puke: :puke: :puke: :puke: (4 quarters) .
If it isn't personal - "They're (fill in the blank) "- treat it like a barking dog, ignore it and usually it will stop.

If it get's personal - "You are (fill in the blank) - warn first &  ^flag if repeated. Be sure to report to the ref as that person has just received his first USC.

Inadvertent whistles happen to everyone, so don't feel bad and treat it as a learning experience. Three important things to remember before blowing your whistle :
  (1) The fair catch signal kills the ball once caught. The kicking team knows this and will stop. Your tweet is NOT needed until the catch is complete.
  (2) Once an incomplete pass hits the ground, the play is over. Don't tweet until then...it'll be tempting to tweet the second the ball bounces off the receiver's hands, but a tweet followed by a completion/interception of the deflected pass  :-X does not have a good ending.
  (3) If you are marking forward progress, be sure to see the leather of the ball before you tweet. On most plays only one whistle - that of marking forward progress - is needed. DON'T tweet when not needed.

Good luck, Jim, and hope you enjoy your officiating as much as we of your forum do. Let us know how it is going.

Offline jim417

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Re: A few questions from a new official
« Reply #7 on: October 05, 2017, 10:43:01 AM »
Thanks to all for the advice.  The sideline whining didn't bother me, in fact I had to chuckle at some of it, just want to be sure to be consistent with how things are normally done.  Still working on not looking at the ball when it isn't my immediate responsibility. 

Offline Rulesman

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Re: A few questions from a new official
« Reply #8 on: October 05, 2017, 11:44:29 AM »
I’d like for that white hat to explain how a receiver is “in the area” when the ball is thrown OOB and 20 feet over everyone’s head. Sounds to me more like “in the stadium” than “in the area.” ???
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Offline FLAHL

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Re: A few questions from a new official
« Reply #9 on: October 05, 2017, 12:52:44 PM »
Still working on not looking at the ball when it isn't my immediate responsibility. 

It's great that you recognize this as an opportunity to improve.  It's something that almost every new official struggles with.  Think of it this way:  If you're working a wing, and the runner goes to the sideline opposite you, your crew mates are busy.  The other wing is marking the spot and should have his back to the field if the runner went OoB.  The R and the BJ have both moved with the play, and the U is facing that direction as well.  In a 5 man crew, that leaves only you to watch what 10 or more players are doing away from the ball. 

Ralph is right about IWs happening to all of us.  But you still have to buy the first round during the post game debrief meeting.   8]

Offline GA Umpire

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Re: A few questions from a new official
« Reply #10 on: October 06, 2017, 12:20:50 AM »
1.  Most crews reserve IG calls for the white hat, with "receiver in the area" input from wings.  If you are on the wing and suspect IG, get to the white hat, explain what you saw and then let white hat decide to flag or not.


Remember:
On IG fouls, the flag (or at least a beanbag) must be on the spot from where the IFP was thrown.   If the wing throws a flag for IG, you will not have the correct spot of the foul.  Therefore; it is the R's call as previously stated.  You may offer input as a wing, but not a flag.

Offline bama_stripes

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Re: A few questions from a new official
« Reply #11 on: October 06, 2017, 05:56:30 AM »
Quote from: bmem66 link=topic=13548.msg136837#msg136837 date=1507214937.
I probably will take more than most but if I am an R now and recently had an coach yell "F&$% You" to the crew as his player was getting ejected for throwing a punch.  I didn't eject him because at the time, it was his first UNS and 2 UNS gets you ejected.

This definitely qualifies as "flagrant UNS".  The coach's parting gifts include an all-expenses paid trip to the locker room and a nice fine (in our state).

Offline VALJ

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Re: A few questions from a new official
« Reply #12 on: October 06, 2017, 02:46:16 PM »
Jim, welcome to the family!  I'm glad you're getting good info here...

I am new to officiating this year.  Thanks to this forum, I have learned a lot. I have a few questions that I am hoping to get some clarification with:

1)  I worked a game where the QB scrambled and then threw the ball out of bounds about 20 feet over everyone's head, clearly looking to avoid a loss of yardage.  I dropped a flag for grounding, but the WH came over and said there was a WR in the area.  We waved it off, but it left me wondering how to interpret the Illegal Forward Pass Rule.  Would this be illegal?

As others have said, let the WH throw that flag, and be ready to help on whether there was a player in the area or not.  As far as how to interpret - talk to some of the vets in your area, as interpretations can vary from region to region.  In my opinion, just because there's a receiver in the (vaguely) "general area" doesn't give the QB free rein to throw the ball away to avoid loss of yardage, personally.

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2)  I worked a game last week that was a running clock.  Towards the end of the game the winning team took a knee from the pistol formation.  The WH flagged them for illegal procedure stating that you can not take a knee from this formation, the QB must be under center.  He couldn't give a rule, though, and I can not find anything that confirms his statement.  Is there such a rule?

The only thing that being in the shotgun/pistol or being under center for a hand to hand snap affects is whether the QB can legally spike the ball.   

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3?  Lastly, on Monday, I worked the wing on the home team's sideline.  The home team was called for roughing the passer, which brought a lot of "That was a bad call" reactions from the sideline.  A couple of plays later the passer was hit again, this time legally.  I heard a couple of guys behind me mutter "I'm surprised they didn't call roughing".  It was said a couple more times on the same drive, but I let it go as it really had no affect on me.  Just wondering at what point do you address the petty griping?

As a general rule, I try to ignore statements and answer questions.  Obviously, ignoring statements depends on what that statement is and how loudly/demonstratively it's said, and whether they start with the word "you" or not can make a difference, too.  "Man, these guys stink tonight" muttered under his breath will get ignored, while screaming "you guys stink tonight" will probably end up with some laundry down.  Ultimately, it's up to each individual to determine where their line is and when it gets crossed.  Try not to have that be a really low bar, though.

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Also had my first inadvertent whistle this week.  That sucked.

There are two kinds of officials: those that have had an IW, and those that are GOING to have an IW.  Or, if you'd prefer, there are three kinds of officials: those who admit that they have had one, those who lie about not having an IW, and rookies.  :)

My first two were both big ones.  First one happened on a fumble while the ball was loose in A's end zone, and team B had three players about to jump on the ball.  My second one happened in a playoff game in front of the commissioner. 


Offline The Roamin' Umpire

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Re: A few questions from a new official
« Reply #13 on: October 06, 2017, 03:32:51 PM »
I’d like for that white hat to explain how a receiver is “in the area” when the ball is thrown OOB and 20 feet over everyone’s head. Sounds to me more like “in the stadium” than “in the area.” ???

He meant in the area CODE. :D

Offline FLAHL

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Re: A few questions from a new official
« Reply #14 on: October 07, 2017, 09:27:01 AM »

My second one happened in a playoff game in front of the commissioner. 


That's quite a story to tell VA. Probably easier to tell as the years go by.

I had one I'll never forget because of the way my WH handled it. I tooted, and the player who actually had the ball looked at me like "what happened?"
WH - "Is it any good?"
Me - "Is what any good?"
WH - "The game you're watching."

We still laugh about that.

« Last Edit: October 07, 2017, 09:29:29 AM by FLAHL »

Offline Etref

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Re: A few questions from a new official
« Reply #15 on: October 07, 2017, 12:10:03 PM »
That's quite a story to tell VA. Probably easier to tell as the years go by.

I had one I'll never forget because of the way my WH handled it. I tooted, and the player who actually had the ball looked at me like "what happened?"
WH - "Is it any good?"
Me - "Is what any good?"
WH - "The game you're watching."

We still laugh about that.




 LOL
" I don't make the rules coach!"

Offline VALJ

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Re: A few questions from a new official
« Reply #16 on: October 09, 2017, 08:36:45 AM »
That's quite a story to tell VA. Probably easier to tell as the years go by.

Oh, yeah.  Much easier now that it's 7 or 8 years old.  And it probably goes without saying that I didn't sniff the playoffs the next season...

I had one I'll never forget because of the way my WH handled it. I tooted, and the player who actually had the ball looked at me like "what happened?"
WH - "Is it any good?"
Me - "Is what any good?"
WH - "The game you're watching."

We still laugh about that.

That is tremendous.  :)