Author Topic: You Make the Call  (Read 1910 times)

Offline Rulesman

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You Make the Call
« on: December 10, 2017, 12:13:20 PM »
12 seconds left in the 4th quarter with the clock running. Team A has the ball 3nd/Goal on the Team B 8-yard line. They have no time outs left and are down (losing) by 2, well-within FG range.

A non-player (identified as a student attending Team A's school) runs on the field from Team A's sideline forcing the officials to stop the clock. The non-player is removed from the stadium.

You make the call. (This play actually happened in a state final over the weekend). I'll tell you what the crew ruled and how they arrived at that conclusion later.
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Offline ncwingman

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Re: You Make the Call
« Reply #1 on: December 10, 2017, 12:28:34 PM »
If the answer is not "Clock starts on ready", then the officials deemed some other outcome that was equitable as there is no specific rules coverage for actions of fans (no matter how 'identifiable' they are, they are not persons subject to the rules).

Depending on the exact circumstances, I might be able to see a DOG or USC penalty enforced. I really hope they didn't just declare the game over.

Offline refjeff

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Re: You Make the Call
« Reply #2 on: December 10, 2017, 12:56:16 PM »
Even considering rule 9.10.1, I do not see a foul as the scenario is described.  Start the clock on the RFP.

Offline AlUpstateNY

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Re: You Make the Call
« Reply #3 on: December 10, 2017, 01:12:56 PM »
Here's where 1-1-6 can help, and "The referee has authority to rule promptly, and in the spirit of good sportsmanship......"

Presuming the excitable fan will be dealt with separately, it seems an equitable solution would be to simply ignore the inappropriate interruption, return the actual circumstances to (as close as humanly possible) to what existed prior to the interruption, allow the teams to resume their previous positions (and focus), insure both teams understood what was going to unfold, declare the ball RFP as re-starting the clock, and allow fate to decide the outcome.

Offline NVFOA_Ump

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Re: You Make the Call
« Reply #4 on: December 11, 2017, 04:58:50 AM »
I'd go with Al's solution here.  It comes as close as possible to minimizing the impact of one bonehead fan.
It's easy to get the players, getting 'em to play together, that's the hard part. - Casey Stengel

Offline CalhounLJ

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Re: You Make the Call
« Reply #5 on: December 11, 2017, 07:19:16 AM »
Every suggestion sounds plausible, unless -- during the time it took to remove the fan, Team A is able to get into a scrimmage kick formation and kick the winning field goal. If I'm B's coach, I'm ballistic... But then again, it's 3rd down so A could legally spike the ball and do the same thing..

Another question to consider - why was the fan on the sideline? If he (she) came onto the field from the sideline, I'm assuming connection with the team, because where I'm from, all our "fans" are in the stands. Only people connected with the team/media allowed on the sideline.

I would love to see the rest of the story.

Offline Curious

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Re: You Make the Call
« Reply #6 on: December 11, 2017, 09:54:51 AM »
I like Calhoun's suggestion that a non-player coming onto the field - especially from A's sideline - has SOME connection to Team A.  Therefore, IMHO, it would warrant a 15 yard penalty for an Unfair Act.  While the enforcement doesn't change the down, and might allow A to get their FG team on the field, it does move A back the maximum allowable distance (unless the Team A coach get's another if, and when, he starts screaming). Efficient enforcement and immediate starting of the clock (allowing no time for "discussion") could also send an appropriate message and catch A unprepared.. 

Not penalizing this act sends the wrong (or no) message regarding the involvement in the game by extraneous folks on the sideline. 

If, however, there were ANY, even remote, evidence that this was a planned act, I think we w be within our discretion to declare the game over (making a travesty of the game)!
 

Offline Ralph Damren

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Re: You Make the Call
« Reply #7 on: December 11, 2017, 10:18:05 AM »
Could we apply the "dog bites ball" case, and treat it as an inadvertent whistle ? - Maybe

Could we apply a USC or DOG against A ? - Hard to prove that the fanatic fan belonged to A.

Could we end the game ? - With A having a spike down available, it would be a tough sell.

IMHO, I would:
 (1) Stop the clock;
 (2)  P_S send student/fan to detention;
 (3) announce to both sides that clock will start on RFP
 (4) A will now:
     (a) shift into FG formation;
     (b) or spike to stop clock.

I would then announce to the frenzied masses:

"Where the offense still had a down to spare, we will continue the game as if this incident hadn't occurred. We have the authority under Rule 1-1-6."

...or something there such :sTiR: :sTiR:

It seems the fairest way out of this.

Offline AlUpstateNY

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Re: You Make the Call
« Reply #8 on: December 11, 2017, 11:00:35 AM »
Every suggestion sounds plausible, unless -- during the time it took to remove the fan, Team A is able to get into a scrimmage kick formation and kick the winning field goal. If I'm B's coach, I'm ballistic... But then again, it's 3rd down so A could legally spike the ball and do the same thing..

Another question to consider - why was the fan on the sideline? If he (she) came onto the field from the sideline, I'm assuming connection with the team, because where I'm from, all our "fans" are in the stands. Only people connected with the team/media allowed on the sideline.

I would love to see the rest of the story.

There is a difference between "understandably emotionally excited", "confused" "excessively inquisitive" and "ballistic", much like the difference between "ignorant" and "stupid".  Every Referee establishes "The line", that NOBODY can cross, for ANY reason, without suffering DIRE consequences.  Keeping everyone on the right side of "The line" can be a challenge and requires managerial skill, but allowing (tolerating, excusing, ignoring) "The line" to be crossed is always a mistake.

Hopefully, someday I'll work a sideline that has absolute security, and is willing, and capable, to monitor and enforce it absolutely.

Invoking an "Unfair Act (NF:9-10) against either team, for the irrational behavior of a spectator/fan(atic) may well obliterate "The line" creating unnecessary and uncontrollable chaos. 

Offline CalhounLJ

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You Make the Call
« Reply #9 on: December 11, 2017, 11:26:59 AM »
There is a difference between "understandably emotionally excited", "confused" "excessively inquisitive" and "ballistic", much like the difference between "ignorant" and "stupid".  Every Referee establishes "The line", that NOBODY can cross, for ANY reason, without suffering DIRE consequences.  Keeping everyone on the right side of "The line" can be a challenge and requires managerial skill, but allowing (tolerating, excusing, ignoring) "The line" to be crossed is always a mistake.

Hopefully, someday I'll work a sideline that has absolute security, and is willing, and capable, to monitor and enforce it absolutely.

Invoking an "Unfair Act (NF:9-10) against either team, for the irrational behavior of a spectator/fan(atic) may well obliterate "The line" creating unnecessary and uncontrollable chaos.
FYI, the unfair act suggestion wasn’t mine. As for security, the majority of schools in our state do an excellent job of keeping fans and team personnel separated. We have secure fences completely surrounding the playing field with law enforcement presence at every game. At least the ones I’ve officiated. We have zero problems with fans on the field.


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Offline BIG UMP

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Re: You Make the Call
« Reply #10 on: December 11, 2017, 11:45:38 AM »
Fan comes off of A's sideline, how do we know it is an A fan and not a B fan over there and just running amok. 

1) stop the clock
2) get fan outta-here
3) inform teams clock is hot
4) start the clock on the RFP

This is the least impact we can have on the game under the circumstances.
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Offline bossman72

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Re: You Make the Call
« Reply #11 on: December 11, 2017, 12:25:38 PM »
Fan comes off of A's sideline, how do we know it is an A fan and not a B fan over there and just running amok. 

1) stop the clock
2) get fan outta-here
3) inform teams clock is hot
4) start the clock on the RFP

This is the least impact we can have on the game under the circumstances.


I agree.  The teams are NOT responsible for their fans, from a UNS perspective (they are not part of the team).  Remove him, start it up.

Offline Rulesman

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Re: You Make the Call
« Reply #12 on: December 11, 2017, 02:34:27 PM »
The unfair act provision is exactly what they used - Rule 9-10-1: "No player or non-player or person(s) not subject to the rules shall not hinder play by an unfair act which has no specific rules coverage.. PENALTY: the referee enforces any penalty he/she considers equitable... In this case, 15 yards for UNS and start the clock on the RFP. I'd back that decision in a heartbeat.

Stopping the clock penalizes Team B and gives Team A a chance to get the FG unit on the field or set up one more Hail Mary play.

I've since learned prior to all of this (1) Team A had already been penalized TWICE for sideline personnel being out on the field, (2) the individual entered the field from the team box (somewhere around the 30 yard line), (3) he was dressed similarly to the others from Team A, and (4) nobody knew he jumped over an 8 foot wall to get the to field until AFTER the game. Basically he cost his team a potential state championship.
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Offline chaoslord

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Re: You Make the Call
« Reply #13 on: December 11, 2017, 04:14:03 PM »
I like it, the more I think about it. With Team A lining up in shotgun formation, they were running a play, not spiking the ball. Got the snap off with four seconds left so I'm not sure there would have been time left for a FG after the play. I have a hard time seeing it being fair if Team A changes their mind and uses the free time out from their own fan running onto the field to kick a FG they were previously not likely to be able to kick.

That kid pretty clearly made a mistake but I hope nothing bad happens to him physically. I know how seriously some of the smaller communities takes their Friday football and how kids can react badly to things. Probably smart to just send him on his winter break early and hope everything's calmed down when school starts back in January.

Offline NVFOA_Ump

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Re: You Make the Call
« Reply #14 on: December 12, 2017, 04:46:08 AM »
   ......  nobody knew he jumped over an 8 foot wall to get the to field until AFTER the game. Basically he cost his team a potential state championship.

That's just the problem here - we don't know who the bonehead is.  It's 3rd down, A could spike the ball or try a pass play and were already in formation.  I would have gone with Al's recommendation:  " ..... return the actual circumstances to (as close as humanly possible) to what existed prior to the interruption."  I really don't like impacting the outcome of a contest by penalizing a team for the actions of a non-participant.
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Offline refjeff

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Re: You Make the Call
« Reply #15 on: December 12, 2017, 07:24:14 AM »
Stopping the clock penalizes Team B and gives Team A a chance to get the FG unit on the field or set up one more Hail Mary play.
  I understand, but if there are 12 seconds on the clock A has time to get their FG team on the field or run another offensive play, maybe two. 

Backing the offense up 15 yards impacted the game much more than the fan out of the stands did.

Offline Ralph Damren

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Re: You Make the Call
« Reply #16 on: December 12, 2017, 09:14:42 AM »
Personally, I don't want to become a major player in the outcome of the game. If there wasn't a spike-down available, I would lean towards applying 9-10-1 but, with :12 remaining, there was plenty of time to spike the ball and bring in the FG unit. It is certainly a subjective call and could be decided by going in either direction. Continuing the game as if nothing occurred, IMHO, keeps us out of the final results. We had a fan-interference situation a couple of years ago that warranted an application of 1-1-6/ 9-10-1 :
 
(1) Visiting team throws a pass;
(2) Kid in a gorilla suit runs onto field from home sidelines and bumps receiver about to make a catch - home mascot was A Ram;
(3) Home linebacker levels the gorilla;
(4) gorilla's head comes off ,revealing that it was a girl.

 z^ z^ z^ z^ z^ (5-man crew) discuss....

Treat as an inadvertent whistle and replay the down ?
Rule pass interference and enforce as such ?
Apply 1-1-6 and award A's ball at spot of gorilla contact - 30 yds downfield?
                         and...
Should the linebacker be punished for knocking down a girl gorilla?

After further review, it was decided to apply the 1-1-6 choice as the pass appeared catchable and it would have been unfair to replay the down.

It was reported that the principal, superintendent and athletic director were in attendance and would deal with the linebacker and gorilla when school resumed on Monday. Applying 1-1-6 or 9-10-1 is a subjective call, when applying, our job is to try to keep it as equitable as possible. Rarely is there a right or wrong way to look at this in print, we really need to be present and involved to decide which way to go.

DISCLAIMER : This is not the opinion of NFHS, NCAA, NFL, CFL or the like; but merely the mutterings of a grumpy ole' man whose Patriots lost, Celtics lost and had to shovel snow off his car.
                           
« Last Edit: December 12, 2017, 09:19:50 AM by Ralph Damren »

Offline AlUpstateNY

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Re: You Make the Call
« Reply #17 on: December 12, 2017, 09:36:58 AM »
Personally, I don't want to become a major player in the outcome of the game.
 
 z^ z^ z^ z^ z^ (5-man crew) discuss....

After further review, it was decided to apply the 1-1-6 choice as the pass appeared catchable and it would have been unfair to replay the down.

DISCLAIMER : This is not the opinion of NFHS, NCAA, NFL, CFL or the like; but merely the mutterings of a grumpy ole' man whose Patriots lost, Celtics lost and had to shovel snow off his car.                         

Sometimes, being Game Officials requires, in addition to being "grumpy ole" men, adds the burden of being "the Adults", and NFHS 1-1-6 provides that unique authority, with the caveat, "in the spirit of good sportsmanship".

Offline KWH

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Re: You Make the Call
« Reply #18 on: December 15, 2017, 02:41:23 PM »
This is a (hopefully) once in a lifetime situation that has no specific Rules Coverage.
I have no intention of allowing some JackWagon to determine the outcome of a ball game.

Because 1-1-6 grants the Referee the authority to rule promptly, and in the spirit of good sportsmanship, I believe the solution is fairly simple:

I would put the game clock back to 0:12 of the 4th,
if I have positive knowledge of the time on the play clock I would set it accordingly,
I would make sure the down and distance was 3rd and goal on the B8,
I would inform both coaches and both teams that I will be starting the game clock on the ready for play.

I would return to my position, make sure all other officials are in their position, and, I would blow my whistle and wind the clock.
Whatever happens, happens.  But, the outcome of the game will then be determined by the players.

With all due respect to the officials (And dont get me wrong, this situation would suck rocks) The officials on the game chose to penalized Team A with a USC foul.  I do not know why, however,  I am surmising they did so because the JackWagon was likely wearing Team A apparel.
So this opens the door!  All you have to do is go purchase a shirt from the opposing team, pull this crap, and determine who the state champion is?

Nope - Not in my game, I believe we should do what we are paid to do! Let the players determine the outcome.

« Last Edit: December 15, 2017, 03:58:27 PM by KWH »

Offline CalhounLJ

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You Make the Call
« Reply #19 on: December 16, 2017, 06:22:56 AM »
This is a (hopefully) once in a lifetime situation that has no specific Rules Coverage.
I have no intention of allowing some JackWagon to determine the outcome of a ball game.

Because 1-1-6 grants the Referee the authority to rule promptly, and in the spirit of good sportsmanship, I believe the solution is fairly simple:

I would put the game clock back to 0:12 of the 4th,
if I have positive knowledge of the time on the play clock I would set it accordingly,
I would make sure the down and distance was 3rd and goal on the B8,
I would inform both coaches and both teams that I will be starting the game clock on the ready for play.

I would return to my position, make sure all other officials are in their position, and, I would blow my whistle and wind the clock.
Whatever happens, happens.  But, the outcome of the game will then be determined by the players.

With all due respect to the officials (And dont get me wrong, this situation would suck rocks) The officials on the game chose to penalized Team A with a USC foul.  I do not know why, however,  I am surmising they did so because the JackWagon was likely wearing Team A apparel.
So this opens the door!  All you have to do is go purchase a shirt from the opposing team, pull this crap, and determine who the state champion is?

Nope - Not in my game, I believe we should do what we are paid to do! Let the players determine the outcome.
You would also have to work your way onto the opposing teams sideline. And know that what you’re planning will aid your team. I highly doubt the common fan would go to all that trouble. They all come to the state championship game thinking their team is going to blow the other team out.

I’m afraid, in the heat of the moment, with no prior knowledge of who this guy is, I would do what this crew did. He came off the sideline, was dressed like team personnel, and he impacted the game. The flag would come before the investigation.

Moral to the story: game administration and security has to police the sidelines more effectively.


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Offline goodgrr

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Re: You Make the Call
« Reply #20 on: December 16, 2017, 07:28:08 AM »

Moral to the story: game administration and security has to police the sidelines more effectively.

So hypothetically, if it's game administration and security who are responsible (home team) and the issue comes from the away sideline then what?

Offline AlUpstateNY

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Re: You Make the Call
« Reply #21 on: December 16, 2017, 12:01:41 PM »
So hypothetically, if it's game administration and security who are responsible (home team) and the issue comes from the away sideline then what?

Yes, Home Administration is responsible for security, BUT are they automatically culpable for this particular and specific violation?  Was their preparations, precautions and enforcement appropriate for this event, or was it demonstrably lacking, to the extent it contributed to the violation?  Don't confuse appropriate and reasonable with absolute perfection (it doesn't exist).

You could track down the offending student, drag him/her onto the field, take his/her pants down and spank him/her in front of the crowd (not really a terrible idea), but unlikely to happen and might be viewed as somewhat excessive, but that wouldn't alter of eliminate what happened, as far as the game is concerned, whereas replicating reality when the interruption started, as closely as possible, insuring that both teams were informed and ready to resume play, just might (and as a contributing sage might opine, "allow the band to play on".)

Offline BIG DON

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Re: You Make the Call
« Reply #22 on: December 16, 2017, 05:16:17 PM »
Let me add a couple of other things to this

1. this was a a neutral site  the home team if from 90 Miles away the Visiting team is approximately 60 miles away so with that info does it affect the thinking on home team security? the kid jumped the wall on the southwest end of the stadium, the action was taking place on the north end, he walked the length of the team box and entered the field at the northern 30   

2. Even though team A was in field goal range the kicker was a sophomore,  the winds were out of the North west at 15 miles a hour,  the winds were swirling on the field of the stadium with gust of 25 miles a hour so basically the wind would have been in his face if the kick was attempted. Does that change any opinions on how you all would handle this situation?   
 
 
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Offline CalhounLJ

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Re: You Make the Call
« Reply #23 on: December 16, 2017, 05:27:50 PM »
So hypothetically, if it's game administration and security who are responsible (home team) and the issue comes from the away sideline then what?

I'm not sure I understand your question, but my comment was not meant to be a "one-size-fits all" solution to this problem. But, the teams in my area don't allow unhindered access to the sideline either. To be able to be on the sideline, a person has to be cleared by the coaching staff, either home or away. I know this because periodically my son will travel with me to watch me call a ballgame, and before he is allowed to walk the sideline, I have to get clearance from the coaching staff of the particular sideline he wants to walk. As far as security goes, no one is allowed within the confines of the field without official clearance. I had the privilege of officiating the state championship game this year, and there were 3 security guards stationed on each sideline about 30 yds apart, watching the stands. We were in an SEC stadium, so there was a 8ft wall separating the field from the stands. Nobody, including an over-excited fan, could have possibly jumped that fence and run onto the field undetected. That's what I meant by game administration and security being able to stop something like this from happening. Like I said earlier, if this situation had happened in the game I called, I would have been pretty sure the non player was connected with the team.
« Last Edit: December 16, 2017, 05:29:37 PM by CalhounLJ »

Offline KWH

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Re: You Make the Call
« Reply #24 on: December 17, 2017, 12:31:10 PM »

If my murky memory serves me correctly,  when an Auburn player returned an short Alabama field goal 109 for the game winning TD in the Iron Bowl,
several fans successfully made an 8 foot leap.

Just because something out of the ordinary occurs in a high school football game which momentarily delays the game,
does not automatically mean the Officials need to create a foul.

Listen to the marching band! They are "playing on!"