Author Topic: Measurement mechanics  (Read 1269 times)

Offline ElvisLives

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Measurement mechanics
« on: January 13, 2019, 06:21:19 PM »
Before we get into this, this discussion will be about the actual mechanics of a measurement.  This is not a discussion on the merits of when to have one, or, “we never have measurements,” or any of that crap.  Take those comments somewhere else.

A measurement taken in the Chargers-Patriots game showed part of what is starting to get preached more and more, and I hope it gets universally accepted, sooner than later.
If you saw it, you noticed the Back Judge move to to offensive end of the ball to hold it.  That’s the best way, because it keeps the Back Judge’s arm from interfering with the view of the ball by either the referee, or from the pressbox, as it tends to do when the B is on the defensive end of the ball, reaching across the forward stake to hold the ball.  Yes, the latter way is how it was done for a very long time.  But, the B’s arm would get in the way of the Referee’s view of the ball and stake.  And, with TV coverage at various levels of football - including high school - there became a need to ensure that the TV camera got a good look at the measurement.  The only way to accomplish both requires that the B hold the ball from the offensive end of the ball.
In 2010, back in my FBS days, I realized my view kept getting blocked by my B’s arm.  So, I unilaterally had my B move to the offensive end of the ball.  Problem solved; no issues.
Then, in 2011, we had some pre-season “on-field” training by Tony Corrente, and he wanted to review measurement mechanics.  Lo and behold, he presented to the entire staff, that the B should hold the ball from the offensive end of the ball.  Wow.  We were already doing that.  Since Corrente was promoting this, I figured all of the NFL would be doing this.  Curiously, though, I still see it being done both ways in the NFL.  And those that that hold the ball on the defensive end, indeed, tend to obscure the view from the pressbox.
So, I submit to all that the best way, and the only way we should all execute measurements, is:

1) B always holds the ball on the offensive end of the ball, and from the side of the ball opposite the pressbox (with his body at about a 30 degree angle to the chains).
2) The chains are always set on the pressbox side of the ball for the measurement.
3) The R should view the measurement from the side of the ball OPPOSITE the pressbox (facing the pressbox).

When I talk about this with folks that are used to the “traditional” technique, they frequently argue that the B is in the way of the chains when they moving into position.  That assumes the chains need to stay stretched out while they move into position, which they simply do NOT have to.  The forward stake man simply moves a step or two toward the back stake, hands the stake to the U, who is standing a few steps toward the back stake, awaiting the arrival of stake, who then carefully pulls the chains (on the pressbox side of the ball) to the defensive end of the ball, stretches it taught, and sets the stake on the ground.
Everybody - teams, referee, pressbox, TV - gets a perfect view.  Easy.

I attached a very crude sketch of the arrangement, but it gives the idea.

In the Chargers-Patriots game, unfortunately, the R observed the measurement from the pressbox side.  So, so much better if done while facing the pressbox from the side of the ball opposite the pressbox.

Robert

Offline bossman72

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Re: Measurement mechanics
« Reply #1 on: January 14, 2019, 08:21:47 AM »
I wouldn't be opposed to that.

The thing is, if you get a conscientious BJ who goes and holds the ball right away, the U would have to grab the stick early, take it all the way around the BJ toward the back stick, then back up to the football.  He would then have to stretch it and make sure his body is beyond the ball so it doesn't obstruct TV's or the R's view.

B on the defensive side gives the U and the chains a lot more room to work.

But I agree, the view is blocked by the BJ's arm sometimes.

Offline bossman72

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Re: Measurement mechanics
« Reply #2 on: January 14, 2019, 08:22:58 AM »
*Also note for NFHS officials reading*

NCAA mechanics require us to take the sticks to the press box side of the ball before measuring.  So the sticks have to go past the ball toward the other sideline before we stretch them.

Offline HLinNC

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Re: Measurement mechanics
« Reply #3 on: January 14, 2019, 01:18:46 PM »
Sounds as if the U has to be proactive and go get the stake instead of waiting for the front stake man to bring it to him.

As an HL, once I have the clip set under LJ's foot, I'm just monitoring players until R let's me know what we have.  Of course, I can remember a time when the BJ wasn't involved at all and stayed out of the way.

You're "drawing" looks fine.  I would have had to draw stick figures.

Offline azsteam

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Re: Measurement mechanics
« Reply #4 on: January 14, 2019, 01:32:45 PM »
ElvisLives you should submit this to the NCAA mechanics committee.   I hate having my arm in the way when the Umpire crosses over the chains and the ball is short of the line to gain.   Keep us out of sight. ;D

Offline ElvisLives

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Re: Measurement mechanics
« Reply #5 on: January 14, 2019, 02:28:45 PM »
Sounds as if the U has to be proactive and go get the stake instead of waiting for the front stake man to bring it to him.

Well, no, the U doesn't have to be any more pro-active than normal.  He just takes the initial position shown - slightly toward the rear stake (between the B and the rear stake), just a little on the pressbox side of the ball - then waits for the forward stake guy to bring the stake to him.  That's the point I was trying to make.  Nothing says the forward stake man has to move purely perpendicular to the sidelines.  As he is moving onto the field, he just moves (angles) back toward the rear stake a little, passes by the B holding the ball, and hands the stake to the U.  Then backs out of the way.  Then the U moves to the front end of the ball, carefully stretches the chain, and sets the stake on the ground.  Voila.

Robert
« Last Edit: January 17, 2019, 12:36:36 PM by ElvisLives »

Offline ElvisLives

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Re: Measurement mechanics
« Reply #6 on: January 14, 2019, 02:38:20 PM »
The thing is, if you get a conscientious BJ who goes and holds the ball right away, the U would have to grab the stick early, take it all the way around the BJ toward the back stick, then back up to the football.  He would then have to stretch it and make sure his body is beyond the ball so it doesn't obstruct TV's or the R's view.

Bossman, see my comment to HLinNC.  Same here.  We're all fixed on traditional mechanics, where the U would move immediately to the defensive end of the ball while waiting for the chains to arrive.  Now, instead, he moves the a spot between the B and the rear stake, and waits for the forward stake man to bring him the stake (let the chain crew do the work!), then stretches and sets. 

Robert

Offline ElvisLives

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Re: Measurement mechanics
« Reply #7 on: January 14, 2019, 02:46:30 PM »
ElvisLives you should submit this to the NCAA mechanics committee.   I hate having my arm in the way when the Umpire crosses over the chains and the ball is short of the line to gain.   Keep us out of sight. ;D

I'm not in FBS - or any NCAA level - any more, so I have no credibility.  Probably never did, but certainly not now.  Maybe some of you active FBSers can present this to your coordinators, for referral to the CCA.

Sometimes there is a "down side" to a mechanics change.  There is absolutely no down side to this technique.  Let's push this forward!

Robert

Offline Ralph Damren

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Re: Measurement mechanics
« Reply #8 on: January 17, 2019, 12:00:14 PM »
Thanks, Robert, for not have been eaten by sharks and for your impressive measurement mechanic. I'm on the NFHS Manual Committee and will bring your suggestion  to the table at next year's January meeting.

Offline ElvisLives

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Re: Measurement mechanics
« Reply #9 on: January 17, 2019, 01:13:50 PM »
Thanks, Robert, for not have been eaten by sharks ....

Now that may be impressive, I'll admit.  I probably do look pretty tasty.

I would be honored to know I helped the NFHS make a change that benefits all officials, as well as the teams, spectators, and media.  I neither claim ownership nor copyright on anything, so please feel free to promote this as you see fit.

Thank you.

Robert

PS  I have formally submitted this to our TASO leadership.  I'll advise if anything positive develops.

Offline ElvisLives

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Re: Measurement mechanics
« Reply #10 on: January 21, 2019, 08:26:37 AM »
In the NE/KC game, there were two measurements, and they displayed the technique I have described.  The biggest difference for the NFL is that the chains are one side of the field one half, then the other side of the field in the second half.  But that is irrelevant.  The measurement is always 'presented' to the pressbox side of the field.
In both cases, the ball was outside the hash mark, and, when measured, was short of the LTG. So the R, obviously, had to move the chains to the hash mark to position a replacement ball at the hash mark.  Unfortunately, in both cases, the B took his hand off the measured ball and stood up.  The B should continue to hold the ball exactly in place until the replacement ball is successfully spotted at the succeeding spot, and everybody is satisfied that the replacement ball is where it needs to be.  If the R should lose his grip on the chains while moving to the hash mark, the measured ball needs to be exactly where it was when measured, so they can bring the chains back to that ball and re-establish the forward point of the ball on the chains.  If the ball gets moved during this interval, we're screwed.
You say, "But, the B is in the way of moving the chains to the hash mark."  Again, that's only if you think the chains must stay fully stretched out while moving to the hash mark.  They don't.  Once the R gets his grip on the chain, he and the U simply step around the B (who is still kneeling at the measured ball and holding it securely), toward the rear stake and move to the hash mark.  Easy. And the measured ball stays secure.
R: If the measured ball is outside the hash mark opposite the pressbox, then you don't have to change your position.  Just get a grip on the chain, then, on your signal, everybody moves to the hash mark.  You really don't even have to step around the B - he's not in the way at all.
Now, if the measured ball is outside the hash mark to the pressbox side, observe the measurement from the side opposite the pressbox, and, if short, then, after your "short" signal to the pressbox, step around to the pressbox side of the ball, grasp the chain, then you and the U step toward the rear stake a step or two to get around the B, and move to the hash mark.  Easy.  And the measured ball stays secure.

As I have discovered in the past 65 years, it takes a lot of words to describe even the simplest things.

Robert

Offline Magician

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Re: Measurement mechanics
« Reply #11 on: April 16, 2019, 09:20:08 AM »
I agree this is fine but it really depends on the location of the R. I believe we've always had the R standing on the press box side. That way when he gives his signal he's not doing it through the front stake, umpire, and back judge. If the R is on the press box side it really doesn't matter if the B is on the offensive or defensive side, but it easier if he's on the defensive side. If the R is going to be opposite the press box then it definitely makes sense to have the BJ on the offensive side.

Offline ElvisLives

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Re: Measurement mechanics
« Reply #12 on: April 16, 2019, 03:42:39 PM »
I agree this is fine but it really depends on the location of the R. I believe we've always had the R standing on the press box side. That way when he gives his signal he's not doing it through the front stake, umpire, and back judge. If the R is on the press box side it really doesn't matter if the B is on the offensive or defensive side, but it easier if he's on the defensive side. If the R is going to be opposite the press box then it definitely makes sense to have the BJ on the offensive side.

Admittedly, this is something prompted by televised games - specifically, the NFL.  They want the R to always be facing the camera (pressbox side).  With so many FBS - and FCS - games being televised nowadays, the same holds true for those levels for certain. Even when there are no TV cameras (al ANY level of play), there is the pressbox, with PA announcer, media, and video cameras, etc.  So, if it works for NFL/NCAA, why not do it at ALL levels?

I'm not sure how the U gets in the way, if he is pulling the chains from the defensive end of the ball, as he should be.  If the B is holding the ball while kneeling, he shouldn't be in the way, either (from the offensive end of the ball).  To avoid the stake, as he is rising to stand upright, the R simply needs to take that side or back step toward the rear stake, look to the pressbox, and then give his signal.

Robert


 

Offline Magician

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Re: Measurement mechanics
« Reply #13 on: April 16, 2019, 10:07:12 PM »
Maybe "in the way" isn't completely accurate, but they are all between the R and the press box using this mechanic. Using the mechanic we have always used there is nothing between him and the press box.

Offline ElvisLives

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Re: Measurement mechanics
« Reply #14 on: April 17, 2019, 07:05:48 AM »
In the “way we have always done it,” the R shows his back side to the camera/pressbox while he is observing the measurement, and has to turn around to face the pressbox to give his signal.  Nobody wants to see our backsides, especially when we might have to bend over a bit.  That’s also why Cs and Us spot the ball “north-south,” to keep their hind ends away from the camera.
And, as previously mentioned, if on the pressbox side of the chains, the R, himself, blocks the view of the measurement from the camera/pressbox, which is exactly the purpose of having the R opposite the pressbox. 
Again, if this works best for NFL/FBS folks, and there is no compelling reason to do it differently at any other level, let’s all do it the same way.  A side benefit is that the transition to NCAA football, and then to the NFL, for those guys that aspire to those things, becomes seamless and transparent.

Robert

Offline TexDoc

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Re: Measurement mechanics
« Reply #15 on: April 17, 2019, 07:46:02 AM »
On my crew, we never have measurements.

Sorry, I could not resist.

 ;D ;D ;D

Offline ElvisLives

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Re: Measurement mechanics
« Reply #16 on: April 17, 2019, 09:12:06 AM »
Sorry, I could not resist.

I feel the same about chocolate...

Offline TexDoc

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Re: Measurement mechanics
« Reply #17 on: April 17, 2019, 12:32:34 PM »
I feel the same about chocolate...

 ^good