Author Topic: 5 Man Mechanics on Kickoff - Umpire responsibilities  (Read 468 times)

Offline BG5

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5 Man Mechanics on Kickoff - Umpire responsibilities
« on: October 06, 2018, 10:11:03 AM »
Gents,

Looking for 5 man mechanics on Kickoffs specifically what the Umpire should be doing.  We had a play last night that could of potentially caused us alot of trouble.  BJ is positioned at 40 yard line facing Press Box.  Umpire is positioned at 50 yard line on press box side.  LJ is on same side of field as Umpire - Kick goes to LJ and U side and they bust a long play that goes nearly to the house with runner going out at around the 10 yard line and we had nobody in position to rule if the runner was in or out. 

So here are my questions

1.  What is the umpire supposed to do after the ball is kicked? 
2.  Does umpire move into field of play in 5 man or stay on sideline?
3.  We understand that BJ has goal line on opposite side but on this particular play the BJ is of little use because the play described above is on other side of field.
4.  IS the LJ or U responsible for goal line on this play?


Any feedback would be greatly appreciated.

Offline brettjr2005

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Re: 5 Man Mechanics on Kickoff - Umpire responsibilities
« Reply #1 on: October 06, 2018, 11:46:33 AM »
The official's manual covers this pretty well, although in your description it sounds like your association has the U and LJ positions flipped, so you would need to look at the typical LJ responsibilities in the manual since the LJ is typically on the 50 (R's restraining line) and the U is usually further down field on the same side.  I don't actually have the manual handy at the moment, but basically the BJ should move to the middle of the field after the ball goes down field and he will cover deep returns to the goal line.  The official on R's restraining line (U for your case) should move slowly towards the kick and then be ready for a big play up his side of the field at which point he will have everything up his sideline.  To directly answer your questions

1. The official on R's restraining line (your U) should move slowly towards the ball and watch the blocks ahead of the returner, or around the action if it's a short kick in his area.  Once the run starts to break, you basically treat it like a running play and cover action to the goalline as you typically would.  The difference here being that with your alignment the U would basically have the LJ's typical coverage (sideline and pursuing to the goalline).

2. No, definitely not in your alignment where the U is on R's restraining line.  Whoever has R's restraining line (normally LJ) is responsible for the sideline to K's goalline and the L is responsible for the other sideline to K's goalline. 

3. The BJ should be in the middle of the field.  The flanks should have sideline coverage to the goalline while the BJ will have the goalline.  On a run along the sideline, the BJ should make eye contact with the flank on that side to verify that the player didn't step out of bounds before signaling TD. 

4.  The flanks that are furthest up field (it sounds like you guys have the U furthest up field for some reason) are responsible for covering the sideline.  They won't beat the returner to the goalline on a long run, that's the BJ's job in the middle of the field to beat the returner to the goalline.  The flank's responsibility on this is to pursue and make sure the runner doesn't step out of bounds, as well as the usual coverage stuff like watching for bad blocks in his area.

Offline FLAHL

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Re: 5 Man Mechanics on Kickoff - Umpire responsibilities
« Reply #2 on: October 06, 2018, 01:53:10 PM »
Well said Brett. Our mechanic is LJ on the receivers line and U on the 20.

Offline bawags06

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Re: 5 Man Mechanics on Kickoff - Umpire responsibilities
« Reply #3 on: October 06, 2018, 02:05:46 PM »
Brett is spot on. I'm an LJ and I have R's restraining line. Last night, we had a home sideline kick return for a touchdown to open the 2nd half. I knew the receiver was athletic so I didn't even really move toward the ball.

I turned with the kick to watch the cover team's initial charge, then started backing up (towards Ks end). As the play developed I started moving back faster, then turned and ran. I was at the pylon to signal TD before the runner got there. (Or at least I'm gonna tell myself that, even if it was a tie.)

Offline bama_stripes

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Re: 5 Man Mechanics on Kickoff - Umpire responsibilities
« Reply #4 on: October 07, 2018, 07:26:53 AM »
Our mechanic is LJ on the receivers line and U on the 20.

Us too.

Offline HLinNC

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Re: 5 Man Mechanics on Kickoff - Umpire responsibilities
« Reply #5 on: October 07, 2018, 07:32:42 PM »
I don't understand.  You have a 5 man crew and you aren't using Federation mechanics.   So who designed your mechanics and how is it articulated to your group?  Your question is better directed to them.  I will say that officials in whatever formation you use that are on each sideline closest to K's goal line are going to take the runner to that goal line.

Online js in sc

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Re: 5 Man Mechanics on Kickoff - Umpire responsibilities
« Reply #6 on: October 07, 2018, 08:34:58 PM »
In South Carolina, the umpire remains with the kicker and does not go to the sideline.  On a long return, K's goal line primarily is his responsibility.

Offline CalhounLJ

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Re: 5 Man Mechanics on Kickoff - Umpire responsibilities
« Reply #7 on: October 07, 2018, 08:43:12 PM »
Has there been an official explanation as to why y’all deviate from the Fed mechanic? Just curious.


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Online js in sc

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Re: 5 Man Mechanics on Kickoff - Umpire responsibilities
« Reply #8 on: October 07, 2018, 09:12:40 PM »
Has there been an official explanation as to why y’all deviate from the Fed mechanic? Just curious.


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Only that the SCFOA has developed its own Mechanics Manual and we use that instead of the Fed mechanic.  They were using it long before I started.  Have never seen the Fed mechanic.  Don't know why.  Maybe someone else from SC does.

Offline HLinNC

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Re: 5 Man Mechanics on Kickoff - Umpire responsibilities
« Reply #9 on: October 08, 2018, 07:01:09 AM »
Sounds as if SC is still using the "old" Federation mechanic by keeping U with the kicker.  We were using that back in the 90's when I started.  The wings were in the "box" on each sideline and R and B took the deep receivers.  While U would stay in the middle of the field and move with the play once the kicker was no longer in jeopardy, the wings were expected to take the runner all the way to K's goal line if necessary.

Offline BG5

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Re: 5 Man Mechanics on Kickoff - Umpire responsibilities
« Reply #10 on: October 10, 2018, 11:24:00 AM »
Thanks for all the replies as this forum continues to be extremely helpful and a quick place to get answers from some of the best officials in the country so thanks.

Michigan has different mechanics than what the federation suggests. 

Our U is at the 50 and comes onto the field to help see blocks.  On a play like I described above it puts the LJ in a bad spot (especially if they dont move well) to get to the goal line.

We will continue to pregame this and discuss what info others have offered.

Thanks