Author Topic: Numbering exceptions on last-second FG attempts  (Read 529 times)

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Offline Morningrise

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Numbering exceptions on last-second FG attempts
« on: September 11, 2019, 12:11:29 PM »
7-2-5-b -Exceptions grant numbering exceptions to the entire offensive line only on fourth downs and tries. On first, second, and third downs, only the long snapper can be a numbering exception.

But what if it's a last-second FG attempt and it's not fourth down? What's the philosophy then: Follow what is obviously the spirit and intent of the rule by pretending the rule allows for multiple numbering exceptions in this situation? Or enforce it as written and force K to change their whole FG unit to comply?

Offline CalhounLJ

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Numbering exceptions on last-second FG attempts
« Reply #1 on: September 11, 2019, 12:12:46 PM »
Enforce it as written. If it’s 3rd down, only the snapper can come in under the exception. OR, you could let it go and say no harm no foul as long as they kick it. If they try to run a fake flag it.  That’s probably what would happen in the heat of the moment.


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« Last Edit: September 11, 2019, 12:14:53 PM by CalhounLJ »

Offline FLAHL

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Re: Numbering exceptions on last-second FG attempts
« Reply #2 on: September 11, 2019, 12:54:01 PM »
Although I've never seen a FG attempt on any down except 4th, this is part of our pregame every week.  Our U would look for it and we would enforce it as written.

Offline refjeff

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Re: Numbering exceptions on last-second FG attempts
« Reply #3 on: September 11, 2019, 01:48:35 PM »
It's a poorly conceived rule, but it is black-and-white.  Coaches should know to have linemen 50-79 on the field.

Offline AlUpstateNY

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Re: Numbering exceptions on last-second FG attempts
« Reply #4 on: September 11, 2019, 02:52:04 PM »
It's a poorly conceived rule, but it is black-and-white.  Coaches should know to have linemen 50-79 on the field.

Actually, it's a rule very specifically created and designed to counter, and prevent, a unique creative formation exception that caused potential havoc by eliminating the numbering exception in certain situations.  An example of the danger of underestimating the creative capabilities of the American High School football coach (and/or players)

Offline Magician

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Re: Numbering exceptions on last-second FG attempts
« Reply #5 on: September 11, 2019, 04:54:35 PM »
Enforce it as written. If it’s 3rd down, only the snapper can come in under the exception. OR, you could let it go and say no harm no foul as long as they kick it. If they try to run a fake flag it.  That’s probably what would happen in the heat of the moment.


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You never say never but I'm pretty sure at the end of a half with the clock likely to expire during the down a team isn't going to rush their FG team out for a game winning FG and then run a fake out of it. Even if they do, they aren't likely doing the shifting prescribed in the unnamed offense that necessitated this rule. I'm not getting picky on numbering for a FG attempt at the end of the half on 1st, 2nd or 3rd down. That's not what the rule was intended to address.

Offline refjeff

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Re: Numbering exceptions on last-second FG attempts
« Reply #6 on: September 11, 2019, 05:25:56 PM »
Actually, it's a rule very specifically created and designed to counter, and prevent, a unique creative formation exception that caused potential havoc by eliminating the numbering exception in certain situations.  An example of the danger of underestimating the creative capabilities of the American High School football coach (and/or players)
  Yes I know, but the same result could be achieved by saying that in any scrimmage kick formation the two linemen to the left and the right of the center are ineligible (The five interior linemen.)   Then the coach could put some quicker defensive players on the field.  We can officiate that on 4th down, we should be able to handle it other downs. 

Offline Magician

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Re: Numbering exceptions on last-second FG attempts
« Reply #7 on: September 11, 2019, 11:41:34 PM »
  Yes I know, but the same result could be achieved by saying that in any scrimmage kick formation the two linemen to the left and the right of the center are ineligible (The five interior linemen.)   Then the coach could put some quicker defensive players on the field.  We can officiate that on 4th down, we should be able to handle it other downs. 

If you aren't aware of the A11 offense that triggered this your suggestion wouldn't have worked. What they did was put 11 players on the field all with eligible numbers. The QB would line up 10 yards behind the LOS so they would qualify for a scrimmage kick formation which allowed the use of the numbering exception on any down. The snapper would approach the ball and the QB would be in position, but the other 9 players all stood away from the LOS. Then 6 of them would move to the line of scrimmage set for a second and they would snap the ball. It could have been the guys on either side of the snapper that stayed back or the ends or any other combination so it was hard for the defense to know who to cover. It was also very hard for the officials because we couldn't easily determine and retain the eligible numbers. The coach was fully taking advantage of a loophole not intended.

Offline refjeff

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Re: Numbering exceptions on last-second FG attempts
« Reply #8 on: September 12, 2019, 04:20:33 AM »
If you aren't aware of the A11 offense that triggered this your suggestion wouldn't have worked.
  Yeah, I probably know more about it than you do.  Please explain why my suggestion will not work.

Offline Ump33

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Re: Numbering exceptions on last-second FG attempts
« Reply #9 on: September 12, 2019, 06:49:13 AM »
Would have been much simpler if the “free numbering exception” stated the numbering exception only applies on fourth down or when it is obvious a scrimmage kick might be attempted.  IMO, this would have been sufficient to eliminate the “a11 offense”

Online NVFOA_Ump

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Re: Numbering exceptions on last-second FG attempts
« Reply #10 on: September 12, 2019, 08:16:25 AM »
Don't see any reason refjeff's suggestion with a bit of wordsmithing would not work:

 - scrimmage kick formation
     .  at least 1 player in position to receive snap 7 or more yards behind NZ
     .  all 11 players may have any number
     .  minimum 5 interior linemen
     .  all 5 interior linemen must be inside the ends when the snapper puts his hand(s) on the ball

While this does require the "old" minimum 7 linemen, it would eliminate the current issues resulting from a poorly worded rule and rules changes that were not carefully integrated with existing rules. in my opinion.

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Offline ncwingman

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Re: Numbering exceptions on last-second FG attempts
« Reply #11 on: September 12, 2019, 09:22:44 AM »
Don't see any reason refjeff's suggestion with a bit of wordsmithing would not work:

 - scrimmage kick formation
     .  at least 1 player in position to receive snap 7 or more yards behind NZ
     .  all 11 players may have any number
     .  minimum 5 interior linemen
     .  all 5 interior linemen must be inside the ends when the snapper puts his hand(s) on the ball

While this does require the "old" minimum 7 linemen, it would eliminate the current issues resulting from a poorly worded rule and rules changes that were not carefully integrated with existing rules. in my opinion.



Glibly, "all 5 interior linemen must be inside the ends" is the definition of "interior lineman" -- you can't be "interior" if you're not between the ends.

Secondly, most of this is already in the rules anyway. Currently, you need 5 players on the line ineligible by number (50-79). If they get replaced through a numbering exception, they must be between the ends so that they are ineligible by position. You cannot be in the game under the numbering exception AND an end (or a back).

The problem with this is "Who is (in)eligible? Okay, you've got 1 second to figure it out as we quickly get set in a random formation and then we're going to snap the ball". Scrimmage kick formation only requires the "punter" 10 yards back (or place kicker 7 back with a holder). Everybody else can be wherever they want -- there's a few standard punt formations that tends to be used, but they're not defined by rule.

To prevent this chaos on every play, it's only allowed on obvious kicking downs (4th down and kick tries). Any other down, you can bring in your longsnapper but you still need 4 50-79 players like it was any other down.

Offline CalhounLJ

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Re: Numbering exceptions on last-second FG attempts
« Reply #12 on: September 12, 2019, 09:26:11 AM »
Glibly, "all 5 interior linemen must be inside the ends" is the definition of "interior lineman" -- you can't be "interior" if you're not between the ends.

Secondly, most of this is already in the rules anyway. Currently, you need 5 players on the line ineligible by number (50-79). If they get replaced through a numbering exception, they must be between the ends so that they are ineligible by position. You cannot be in the game under the numbering exception AND an end (or a back).

The problem with this is "Who is (in)eligible? Okay, you've got 1 second to figure it out as we quickly get set in a random formation and then we're going to snap the ball". Scrimmage kick formation only requires the "punter" 10 yards back (or place kicker 7 back with a holder). Everybody else can be wherever they want -- there's a few standard punt formations that tends to be used, but they're not defined by rule.

To prevent this chaos on every play, it's only allowed on obvious kicking downs (4th down and kick tries). Any other down, you can bring in your longsnapper but you still need 4 50-79 players like it was any other down.
Agree completely. No sense fixing a problem that isn't broken

Offline ncwingman

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Re: Numbering exceptions on last-second FG attempts
« Reply #13 on: September 12, 2019, 09:35:09 AM »
  Yes I know, but the same result could be achieved by saying that in any scrimmage kick formation the two linemen to the left and the right of the center are ineligible (The five interior linemen.)   Then the coach could put some quicker defensive players on the field.  We can officiate that on 4th down, we should be able to handle it other downs.

As long as you remember that the "center" and the "snapper" can be different people. The snapper can be an end, which makes him NOT an interior lineman.

If you need 5 interior lineman, then we're back to the old rule requiring 7 on the line.

What I'm getting is that you seem to think that the rule requiring 5 players number 50-79 is unneeded and should just be eliminated? Why bother with scrimmage kick formation loopholes, we can keep track of eligible numbers on every down, every time and never get confused during a hurry up offense or with multiple substitutions.

Offline Morningrise

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Re: Numbering exceptions on last-second FG attempts
« Reply #14 on: September 12, 2019, 10:42:07 AM »
I was originally just asking whether the rules seriously intended one of the most obvious of kicking situations - say, 3/10 @ B-30 with 0:02 left and a holder on his knee and a skinny guy with jersey number 1 lining up behind him - to be illegal just because the guard's number is 99 and some coach ten years ago exploited the previous loophole.

Sounds like if there's a consensus, it's "yup, enforce it as written, take away the game-winning walkoff FG." And my state rules interpreter has now agreed - so I guess that's good enough for me.

Still not sure why the NFHS rules committee can't just allow numbering exceptions "whenever it's obvious a scrimmage kick may be attempted" like NCAA says. Why the reluctance? It's not as if it's a hard concept to parse. It's not as if officials are too dumb to know a kicking situation when we see one. It's not as if the difference between the A11 offense, and a FG special teams unit coming onto the field, is some broad, fuzzy, gray area. And lastly, it's not as if the NCAA language has inadvertently spawned an epidemic of A11 offenses in the college game.
« Last Edit: September 12, 2019, 10:45:22 AM by Morningrise »

Online NVFOA_Ump

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Re: Numbering exceptions on last-second FG attempts
« Reply #15 on: September 12, 2019, 11:35:03 AM »
Agree completely. No sense fixing a problem that isn't broken

Actually not 100% true.  The "redundant" interior linemen language is intentional here.  We've had several lengthy threads about what happens when there are less than 7 on the line and we have all eligible numbers on the field - ie:  when we have less than 11 on the field and somebody's "missing".  In that case based on the longwinded threads it's definitely broken.  I believe that the proposed fix would address all cases with 11 or less in the game.  It would simply mean that any "missing players" would have to be backs and we would always have 7 on the line with 5 clearly identifiable "interior linemen".
« Last Edit: September 12, 2019, 11:39:53 AM by NVFOA_Ump »
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Offline CalhounLJ

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Re: Numbering exceptions on last-second FG attempts
« Reply #16 on: September 12, 2019, 12:15:36 PM »
Agree. But the problem is not with the numbering exception. It’s with the formation rule change.


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Offline ncwingman

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Re: Numbering exceptions on last-second FG attempts
« Reply #17 on: September 12, 2019, 12:28:18 PM »
Actually not 100% true.  The "redundant" interior linemen language is intentional here.  We've had several lengthy threads about what happens when there are less than 7 on the line and we have all eligible numbers on the field - ie:  when we have less than 11 on the field and somebody's "missing".  In that case based on the longwinded threads it's definitely broken.  I believe that the proposed fix would address all cases with 11 or less in the game.  It would simply mean that any "missing players" would have to be backs and we would always have 7 on the line with 5 clearly identifiable "interior linemen".

As I mentioned in another comment, the current rules state that you need 5 players on the line ineligible by number -- if one or more get replaced by the numbering exception, those eligible numbers must be ineligible by position. If you only have 10 players on the field, 5 of them must be ineligible by number or position. If you only have 6 on the field, it's impossible to have 5 ineligible by position, so some of them must be ineligible by number and you can't use the numbering exception for all of them.

If you only have six players on the line and they're all wearing eligible numbers, than that's an illegal formation because you don't have five players ineligible by number and/or position. There's nothing to fix in the rule, other than mass confusion over what the rule says.

Now, maybe we could go through the rule book and tighten up a bunch of language that's come to pass over years of iterations and revisions and hopefully make things more clear, but it will probably just lead to more confusion because we've changed things again.

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Re: Numbering exceptions on last-second FG attempts
« Reply #18 on: September 12, 2019, 12:34:55 PM »
http://www.refstripes.com/forum/index.php?topic=14459.0

That's one of the threads and there's a couple of others.  Pretty clear that there is no consensus agreement that we must have "5 ineligible" on the line when we have less than 11 on the field, and additionally if they are all numbered 80 something how do we identify them?  If there's only 5 then are they all ineligible?  Even the players on the "end"?
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Offline ncwingman

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Re: Numbering exceptions on last-second FG attempts
« Reply #19 on: September 12, 2019, 12:46:33 PM »
http://www.refstripes.com/forum/index.php?topic=14459.0

That's one of the threads and there's a couple of others.  Pretty clear that there is no consensus agreement that we must have "5 ineligible" on the line when we have less than 11 on the field, and additionally if they are all numbered 80 something how do we identify them?  If there's only 5 then are they all ineligible?  Even the players on the "end"?

I'm quite aware of the previous threads.

There's no consensus because they don't understand the rule. 7-2-5b -- "At the snap, at least five A players on their line of scrimmage must be numbered 50-79" (aka, ineligible by number). Exception -- "... A player in the game under this exception must assume an initial position on his line of scrimmage between the ends..." (aka, ineligible by position).

You cannot be in the game under the numbering exception AND an eligible receiver.

If you've got fewer than 7 on the line and everybody is numbered 80 something, then you are not meeting the requirements of 7-2-5b,  ^flag

Offline ncwingman

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Re: Numbering exceptions on last-second FG attempts
« Reply #20 on: September 12, 2019, 01:07:18 PM »
I was originally just asking whether the rules seriously intended one of the most obvious of kicking situations - say, 3/10 @ B-30 with 0:02 left and a holder on his knee and a skinny guy with jersey number 1 lining up behind him - to be illegal just because the guard's number is 99 and some coach ten years ago exploited the previous loophole.

Sounds like if there's a consensus, it's "yup, enforce it as written, take away the game-winning walkoff FG." And my state rules interpreter has now agreed - so I guess that's good enough for me.

Still not sure why the NFHS rules committee can't just allow numbering exceptions "whenever it's obvious a scrimmage kick may be attempted" like NCAA says. Why the reluctance? It's not as if it's a hard concept to parse. It's not as if officials are too dumb to know a kicking situation when we see one. It's not as if the difference between the A11 offense, and a FG special teams unit coming onto the field, is some broad, fuzzy, gray area. And lastly, it's not as if the NCAA language has inadvertently spawned an epidemic of A11 offenses in the college game.

Yeah, this is getting a little sidetracked, but *by rule* you can bring in your longsnapper for the last second FG attempt on 3rd down but not the rest of your eligiblely numbered FG unit.

In practice, in the obvious last second FG attempt, there's no attempt at deception going on... something like that might be easy to miss...  ;)

If they then fake the FG and try to run a trick play... that's another story.

Offline CalhounLJ

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Re: Numbering exceptions on last-second FG attempts
« Reply #21 on: September 12, 2019, 01:35:55 PM »
Another thought just occurred to me - I'm not sure the field goal unit would necessarily need to use the same personnel as the punt team. There is no need to get down the field quickly to cover. In fact, some big ole bubbas may be more beneficial in keeping potential blockers from blocking the kick. It may be a moot argument. Just keep the normal line in there. Swap out the snapper and let 'er rip.

Offline Magician

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Re: Numbering exceptions on last-second FG attempts
« Reply #22 on: September 12, 2019, 03:11:03 PM »
Another thought just occurred to me - I'm not sure the field goal unit would necessarily need to use the same personnel as the punt team. There is no need to get down the field quickly to cover. In fact, some big ole bubbas may be more beneficial in keeping potential blockers from blocking the kick. It may be a moot argument. Just keep the normal line in there. Swap out the snapper and let 'er rip.

That's what most teams do. The FG/try unit is usually either 5 big guys or 4 big guys and a snapper. But not always.

Offline Ralph Damren

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Re: Numbering exceptions on last-second FG attempts
« Reply #23 on: September 12, 2019, 03:25:28 PM »
If a team kicks a PAT earlier, take a note of their use of the numbering exceptions as they are probably the same group as the field goal unit. I learned this from experience as I dropped the ball on this with a "hurry up" on 1st down to end the half.

Offline Rich

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Re: Numbering exceptions on last-second FG attempts
« Reply #24 on: September 15, 2019, 02:22:22 AM »
We have a team that doesn't understand this:

A starts in a swinging gate formation on a try down.  A is not in a scrimmage kick formation (there is no holder and the person in place to receive the snap is not 10 yards deep).  They do not have 5 players numbered 50-79 on the field.

Usually, they shift into a scrimmage kick formation and they're legal.

But I've seen them snap from that formation to the quarterback who's 5-7 yards deep and they get away with it.