Author Topic: Pulling the Pile  (Read 1335 times)

Offline NVFOA_Ump

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Pulling the Pile
« on: October 07, 2017, 08:30:46 AM »
Score is A 39, B 21 under 2 minutes in the game with the clock running and B has no TO's remaining.  1st and goal from the B-5 yard line following an interception return.

Game is getting a bit verbal as it's clear that A can now run out the clock.  A is in "victory formation" with all 11 players in tight when they run a QB sneak pretty clearly intending to put another score on the board.

Center A51 turns his back and starts pulling the pile toward the EZ.  He's partly got the QB (QB and A51 have each others arms interlocked) and nose tackle B59 (he's got B59 by the back inside collar of his shoulder pads while B59 is on his knees with both legs of the QB wrapped up) as he backs into the EZ pulling the pile (he's directly in front of me and I'm backing in to avoid contact). Other A players are pushing the pile from behind at the same time. The QB ends up in the EZ and I've got a flag on the ground.

What foul would you call here?
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Offline FLAHL

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Re: Pulling the Pile
« Reply #1 on: October 07, 2017, 08:44:16 AM »
You have several choices. I'd go with 9-2-2 - the runner shall not grasp a teammate.

« Last Edit: October 07, 2017, 09:09:25 AM by FLAHL »
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Offline AlUpstateNY

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Re: Pulling the Pile
« Reply #2 on: October 08, 2017, 12:38:55 PM »
Another option, which may serve to avoid needless discussion or argument, is to simply declare "forward progress" has ended when external assistance is applied to moving the ball forward.

Offline Ralph Damren

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Re: Pulling the Pile
« Reply #3 on: October 11, 2017, 12:25:54 PM »
IMHO, you've got three choices:

 (1) Grin and do nothing 8] ;

 (2)  ^flag and then decide where the runner was helped;

 (3) As Yankee Al suggested, blow the play dead and rule on forward progress being stopped. ^no


IMHO, Al's choice is the best, for three reasons :

 (1) It results in the spirit of the rule without flagging.

 (2) Stopping the play in the field of play allows the clock to continue running.

 (3) I've never heard a winning coach complain in the last moments of a winning game of a "quick whistle".


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« Last Edit: October 11, 2017, 12:30:19 PM by Ralph Damren »

Offline NVFOA_Ump

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Re: Pulling the Pile
« Reply #4 on: October 11, 2017, 12:58:14 PM »
Another option, which may serve to avoid needless discussion or argument, is to simply declare "forward progress" has ended when external assistance is applied to moving the ball forward.

I like this option.  Forward progress stopped outside the EZ and the clock continues to run.  And, just maybe, we could convince team A that it's really time to take a knee.  Also I agree with Ralph here, IMHO this comes very close to meeting the intent of the rule.   :thumbup
It's easy to get the players, getting 'em to play together, that's the hard part. - Casey Stengel

Offline Ralph Damren

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Re: Pulling the Pile
« Reply #5 on: October 11, 2017, 01:37:13 PM »
I like this option.  Forward progress stopped outside the EZ and the clock continues to run.  And, just maybe, we could convince team A that it's really time to take a knee.  Also I agree with Ralph here, IMHO this comes very close to meeting the intent of the rule.   :thumbup

I've used this several times over the years and have had an coach yell : "BUT, HE WASN'T STOPPED......"

Response : "Coach, he was stopped, but his teammates weren't. I had to choose between flagging for helping the runner OR ruling that his forward progress had stopped. I prefer to end the play than to throw the flag."

Coach : "AYUH, 'spect so."

GO CUBBIES!!!

Offline Ia-Ref

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Re: Pulling the Pile
« Reply #6 on: October 11, 2017, 08:14:48 PM »
I suggest a new rule.

The down ends when the runner is pushed, pulled or carried by a teammate.

Eliminate the assisting penalty since many do not want to call it even when obvious.
"Because you can referee wrong, make a mistake, but what you can not do is create your own sense of justice and, even worse, invent a very personal application of the rules."   Dutch legend (soccer coach) Johan Cruyff

Offline AlUpstateNY

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Re: Pulling the Pile
« Reply #7 on: October 11, 2017, 10:09:48 PM »
I suggest a new rule.

The down ends when the runner is pushed, pulled or carried by a teammate.

Eliminate the assisting penalty since many do not want to call it even when obvious.

I believe that is EXACTLY the current NFHS rule.  Stopping play when the RUNNER'S forward progress has ceased, eliminates the opportunity to push, pull or carry a teammate, unless/until it's done to the extent of DOG.

Online prab

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Re: Pulling the Pile
« Reply #8 on: October 18, 2017, 03:40:03 PM »
Why does there seem to be a general reluctance to calling it "helping the runner" when everyone seems to agree that that is exactly what it is?

Offline FLAHL

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Re: Pulling the Pile
« Reply #9 on: October 18, 2017, 05:59:49 PM »
Why does there seem to be a general reluctance to calling it "helping the runner" when everyone seems to agree that that is exactly what it is?

Great question prab. I called it in a youth game years ago when I was a new official. The RB pushed the QB with both hands like you'd push a car with a dead battery.  The white hat told me I wouldn't be officiating very long if I continued to call that.

If you google "Norte Dame USC Reggie Bush helping the runner" you'll see that our NCAA colleagues don't call this either.
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Offline VA Official

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Re: Pulling the Pile
« Reply #10 on: October 18, 2017, 06:31:18 PM »
Great question prab. I called it in a youth game years ago when I was a new official. The RB pushed the QB with both hands like you'd push a car with a dead battery.  The white hat told me I wouldn't be officiating very long if I continued to call that.

If you google "Norte Dame USC Reggie Bush helping the runner" you'll see that our NCAA colleagues don't call this either.

NCAA allows pushing. I don’t know if it did at the time of the Bush play, but as it currently sits in NCAA they are only not allowed to “grasp, pull, or lift.”

Offline Ralph Damren

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Re: Pulling the Pile
« Reply #11 on: October 19, 2017, 11:02:18 AM »
A few decades ago helping the runner was a 15 -yarder. It was then reduced to a 5-yarder as it wasn't being called enough. Should we reduce it to a 2 yarder  :o ??? ::) :P ^flag ^talk ^flag ?

Offline AlUpstateNY

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Re: Pulling the Pile
« Reply #12 on: October 19, 2017, 11:06:31 AM »
NFHS 9-1 simply states, " An offensive player shall not push, pull or lift the runner to assist his forward progress".  Sometimes simple common sense can successfully supersede rigid, or excessive "interpretation" of written instructions. 

Forward Progress (NFHS 2-15-1) is defined as, "end of advancement of the ball, toward the opponent's goal, in a runner's possession....".

There is no NFHS definition for, or of, "a pile", so it seems reasonable to accept the judgment of a competent calling game official whether Forward Progress, of a runner, was continuing on it's own volition, or had ended at which point it may have been Illegally assisted by another offensive player (or players in a "pile"). 

When Forward Progress has ended, NFHS 9-1, does not appear to apply to a dead ball situation, and a "protective officiating " tool of reminding players  to "Don't do that" (or something similar) seems a practical instruction to avoid potential danger and unnecessary penalty in light of the fact any unearned advantage/disadvantage has been eliminated by promptly establishing the end of forward progress. 

Should similar behavior persist, or be unusually flagrant after forward progress ending has been indicated,  alternate remedies are available.
« Last Edit: October 19, 2017, 11:09:34 AM by AlUpstateNY »