Author Topic: Winding the Clock after a First Down Gained.  (Read 18968 times)

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Offline AlUpstateNY

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Re: Winding the Clock after a First Down Gained.
« Reply #25 on: October 28, 2019, 05:22:35 PM »
Acknowledge that the difference is small, but when a team is running a no-huddle and the clock is being wound before the ball is ready for play, it's a bad visual.  Especially so when you realize that we're stretching the rules when we are doing that.  The original post came from watching some videos online of a NFHS game and the R was simply walking up to exactly 5 yards from the new box yard line, signaling 1st down and immediately winding without ever even looking toward the box or the U.  Consistent 100% of the time but the visual when team A is at the line waiting for a ball to be placed and the clock is already running is not good.

Really NOT looking to beat a dead horse, but is shaving 1-2 seconds THAT important (either way). If the Offense is seeking an advantage by being instantly ready, are we required to assist them?  The Defense has to be alert, but would it be "unfair" to give them (and EVERYBODY ELSE) precise notification WHEN the the ball was being declared RFP (by the simple, consistent recognizably toot of a whistle)? 

That would eliminate the necessity that EVERYBODY (on both teams) had to focus on the Umpire to determine the exact moment he placed the ball down, as opposed to an audible signal that successfully alerts EVERYONE, and has done so successfully, for 100 or so years.

Am I missing something?  Is there a logical, practical, necessary reason for converting that EXACT designation to a silent signal? (Aside from, "That's the way the bigger guys do it").
« Last Edit: October 28, 2019, 05:25:07 PM by AlUpstateNY »

Offline Magician

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Re: Winding the Clock after a First Down Gained.
« Reply #26 on: October 28, 2019, 11:30:21 PM »
I’ll pass this along to my assignor. He has instructed us to do it the way I’m doing it. Still, I haven’t noticed a measurable difference.

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Your description is exactly how our experiment was run for the past 3 years. Go ahead and wind the game clock 5-7 seconds after the play clock starts regardless of location of the ball and status of RFP for most of the half other than the last couple minutes when time is more critical. Nobody but the game clock operator is paying attention to the clock at that point so there is no negative visual to worry about. They are paying attention when time is critical. It sounds like your assigner is instructing as designed. The rule is a little more technical, but I think that's the way you have to handle it so you can apply it when time is more critical.

If other states/areas are being more technical they aren't wrong and shouldn't be criticized. They just aren't taking advantage of an opportunity to keep the game flowing.

As for the consistency factor, it has very little to do with consistent time from dead ball to RFP and everything to do with dead ball to DOG. That's where the consistency is important. Whether the ball is RFP at 35 seconds or 23 seconds due to ball rotation or coach/player instruction doesn't matter. The offense still has 40 seconds to call their play, make subs, get into formation, shift/motion and snap the ball. It's not going to be 30 seconds one play and 42 seconds the next play using the examples above. I know I'm a broken record on this but many people still don't seem to realize this.

Offline CalhounLJ

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Re: Winding the Clock after a First Down Gained.
« Reply #27 on: October 29, 2019, 12:00:56 AM »
That’s exactly what I thought I learned through this process. You and other veteran officials all said the same thing. I’ve been trying to implement this as you guys have advised and think it has gone well in my games. Once again, thank you for the input.


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Offline NVFOA_Ump

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Re: Winding the Clock after a First Down Gained.
« Reply #28 on: October 29, 2019, 07:01:33 AM »
If the Offense is seeking an advantage by being instantly ready, are we required to assist them?

According to the rules yes.  We've got under 1 minute, team A out of timeouts, behind by 2 points, throwing 12-15 yards outs to WR's.  3 consecutive completions in-bounds with the R doing the same mechanics and winding at 4-5 seconds without the ball or the box down.  Each time team A is in position and waiting for the ball to be placed.  Team A is hustling and under center at the B12 waiting to snap then spike the ball to then attempt the winning field goal and the clock runs out as the U is just starting to put the ball down.

I've got no issues with "shaving a few" before the ball is down when team A is going back into the huddle and using more than 30 seconds of play clock repeatedly, although technically that is not supported by rule, but we should not be shaving when were in a 1 score game and a team is in hurry-up.  We're not assisting them in that case we're simply following the rules.

And to respond to the oft repeated broken record question, I would be strongly in favor of an "audible wind" at all times when the game clock has been stopped  to notify everyone of what we are doing since IMO one problem with the silent wind is way too many people do not understand what we're doing.  And I don't understand why we're doing it other than to obscure when we're starting the clock to the 98% of the people, including coaching staffs who, unlike the CO, are not locked in on the R.
« Last Edit: October 29, 2019, 07:48:20 AM by NVFOA_Ump »
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Offline AlUpstateNY

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Re: Winding the Clock after a First Down Gained.
« Reply #29 on: October 29, 2019, 09:28:32 AM »
According to the rules yes. 

And to respond to the oft repeated broken record question, I would be strongly in favor of an "audible wind" at all times when the game clock has been stopped  to notify everyone of what we are doing since IMO one problem with the silent wind is way too many people do not understand what we're doing.  And I don't understand why we're doing it other than to obscure when we're starting the clock to the 98% of the people, including coaching staffs who, unlike the CO, are not locked in on the R.

When/Why have we CHANGED the BASIC PREMISE that "The game is designed to COMPLY with the RULES, rather than the RULES should ADJUST to better suit certain SITUATIONS (Designed to FAVOR either team)? Rules are usually designed NOT to favor any specific participation.

RFP (Ready for Play) should be exact, consistent and RECOGNIZABLE to BOTH TEAMS (and everyone else). The Current designation: "the ball has been placed on the ground by a game official and the game official has stepped away to position as in 3-6-1a(2)" as written leaves unnecessary margin for error (dropped or ended physical contact, safely removed himself, no longer an obstacle, etc) ALL of which could be eliminated by the REQUIRED CONFIRMATION of a Referee's whistle signal (which has proven it's viability over the past 100, or so, years).

The problem is NOT with the conversion to a 40 second play clock, rather than with the elimination of the, long established, specific CONFIRMATION, declaring that the RFP has occurred. 

« Last Edit: October 29, 2019, 09:32:57 AM by AlUpstateNY »

Offline Morningrise

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Re: Winding the Clock after a First Down Gained.
« Reply #30 on: October 29, 2019, 03:30:36 PM »
For most of the game, wind it when the ball gets to the U's hands. If not before.

Yes, the rulebook says it's supposed to start when the ball is ready for play. No, it's not truly ready for play until the U spots it and steps away.

Wind it anyway.

In ten years of D3 college games plus one year of NFHS silent winds, I've never had a single coach complain that the clock was starting too fast.

Whereas I *have* had observers, not to mention veteran crewmates, tell me that my white-hat game could stand to be a little bit faster, i.e. winding the clock a little bit sooner.

But. When seconds matter - or any time Team A is running a hurry-up - then don't wind it until the U spots the ball.

To me, this is just like the adage about always starting a series on a "tick" except at those points in the game when inches matter. Yes, the rulebook says the ball is supposed to be spotted right where it became dead. No, it rarely becomes dead on an integer yard line. Spot it there anyway. When a team has made a first down by inches, or when the goal line is nearby, then we revert to doing it "exact." The rest of the time, do what every other level of "40/25 football" does: Wind that sucker and then spot it on a tick.

Offline AlUpstateNY

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Re: Winding the Clock after a First Down Gained.
« Reply #31 on: October 29, 2019, 03:53:20 PM »
For most of the game, wind it when the ball gets to the U's hands. If not before.
Yes, the rulebook says it's supposed to start when the ball is ready for play. No, it's not truly ready for play until the U spots it and steps away.Wind it anyway.

But. When seconds matter - or any time Team A is running a hurry-up - then don't wind it until the U spots the ball.

Agree with your assessments, but why are we trying to hide what we're doing?  The Referee assesses EACH situation and DECIDES (exclusively) when to DECLARE the RFP.  WHY did we stop announcing that designation moment to the world ( avoiding POTENTIAL argument, complaint, confusion).
« Last Edit: October 29, 2019, 03:57:04 PM by AlUpstateNY »

Offline CalhounLJ

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Re: Winding the Clock after a First Down Gained.
« Reply #32 on: October 29, 2019, 07:25:38 PM »
For goodness sake, somebody PLEASE give Al a whistle.


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Offline Magician

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Re: Winding the Clock after a First Down Gained.
« Reply #33 on: October 29, 2019, 08:51:04 PM »
For most of the game, wind it when the ball gets to the U's hands. If not before.

Yes, the rulebook says it's supposed to start when the ball is ready for play. No, it's not truly ready for play until the U spots it and steps away.

Wind it anyway.

In ten years of D3 college games plus one year of NFHS silent winds, I've never had a single coach complain that the clock was starting too fast.

Whereas I *have* had observers, not to mention veteran crewmates, tell me that my white-hat game could stand to be a little bit faster, i.e. winding the clock a little bit sooner.

But. When seconds matter - or any time Team A is running a hurry-up - then don't wind it until the U spots the ball.

To me, this is just like the adage about always starting a series on a "tick" except at those points in the game when inches matter. Yes, the rulebook says the ball is supposed to be spotted right where it became dead. No, it rarely becomes dead on an integer yard line. Spot it there anyway. When a team has made a first down by inches, or when the goal line is nearby, then we revert to doing it "exact." The rest of the time, do what every other level of "40/25 football" does: Wind that sucker and then spot it on a tick.

These are comments made by a learned, veteran official who understands what it means to officiate WITH the book and not BY the book. You effectively manage the game doing this and keep things moving along in an efficient manner without bastardizing the rules. Good job!

Offline Magician

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Re: Winding the Clock after a First Down Gained.
« Reply #34 on: October 29, 2019, 08:54:59 PM »
For goodness sake, somebody PLEASE give Al a whistle.


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The press box probably wouldn't like it if he was blowing a whistle when running the clock!

Offline zebrastripes

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Re: Winding the Clock after a First Down Gained.
« Reply #35 on: October 30, 2019, 07:20:31 AM »
Agree with your assessments, but why are we trying to hide what we're doing?  The Referee assesses EACH situation and DECIDES (exclusively) when to DECLARE the RFP.  WHY did we stop announcing that designation moment to the world ( avoiding POTENTIAL argument, complaint, confusion).
No amount of bold, capitalized, italicized, and/or underlined text is going to make you seem like anything other than an old-timer who can't adapt with the times and needs everything spelled out.

It's really not complicated. U places ball down, it's RFP when the :40 is running. You are making a mountain out of a molehill, as usual.

I know you probably think "because this is INTERSCHOLASTIC football" that the participants need a whistle each time to know they can snap it. Fortunately, the current rules have worked at other levels for years now and there's no reason they can't work at the INTERSCHOLASTIC level. There will be growing pains of course, but there's no indicator that they won't be overcome.

The reality for you is, you may not agree with the NFHS's rationale for changing rules or may long to have every detail spelled out for you instead of applying common sense, but guess what? The NFHS does not answer to you or any of us.

Offline AlUpstateNY

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Re: Winding the Clock after a First Down Gained.
« Reply #36 on: October 30, 2019, 09:42:58 AM »
Thanks Zebrastripes for (what I presume was your best effort at Constructive criticism).  Actually I usually agree, and eagerly accept, "the NFHS's rationale for changing rules" and don't really need, " to have every detail spelled out for you", although the better I'm able to understand adjustments, the better I've been able to apply them and appreciate the intentions of the NFHS in making the adjustment.

I may have missed it, but unfortunately, I don't recall EVER SEEING a common sense reference to why the declaration of the RFP was changed to a silent application, and rather than guess and presume, was asking for and would simply appreciate clarification.  Apparently, you have no idea either, otherwise you could have explained it clearly, eliminating my concerns.

Although enjoying having worked at multiple "other levels" I've learned that "What may even be extremely effective, for the goose, may not be all that practical, or applicable for the gander", which believe it or not, may even be a simple oversight.  One proven way to overcome ignorance, is to request clarifying, explanatory detail. 

Rather that speculate on what you presume, "I may think", should you ever have a relevant question, please feel free to ask, and I'll do my best to provide you with an accurate clarification.  For the record, I actually do, and have always understood, "The NFHS does not answer to you or any of us." but it's always been my understanding that they are genuinely interested in, appreciate and consider relevant and constructive question and feedback.

 "Growing pains" actually come in different sizes, some are necessary, instructional and ultimately beneficial while others too often prove to be unnecessary, counterproductive and even stupid. Should you last long enough to becoming an "Old Timer", You might also learn to consider that the benefit and value of adapting is directly related to the quality and improvement of the adaption.  Football rules are a perfect example of "One size NEVER fits all (at least as well).

Online js in sc

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Re: Winding the Clock after a First Down Gained.
« Reply #37 on: October 30, 2019, 10:12:11 AM »
I have been told that once the play clock starts (on the dead ball signal with the 40 sec clock), any subsequent whistle will stop the clock and be considered an inadvertant whistle.  4-2-3: "an inadvertant whistle ends the down".

Offline NVFOA_Ump

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Re: Winding the Clock after a First Down Gained.
« Reply #38 on: October 30, 2019, 10:37:45 AM »
I have been told that once the play clock starts (on the dead ball signal with the 40 sec clock), any subsequent whistle will stop the clock and be considered an inadvertant whistle.  4-2-3: "an inadvertant whistle ends the down".

By definition and by rule the ball has to be live before you can have an Inadvertent Whistle.  Somebody is telling you fairy tales.   ;D
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Offline chriscwilson

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Re: Winding the Clock after a First Down Gained.
« Reply #39 on: October 30, 2019, 11:29:18 AM »
We (Michigan) just started using the 40-second clock as a standard this year.  We were instructed to wind when the box is set.

Offline PABJNR

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Re: Winding the Clock after a First Down Gained.
« Reply #40 on: October 30, 2019, 11:49:52 AM »
In PA we were instructed to not wait for the box.  This has been a hot topic and I don’t understand why. How many times has a team almost snapped the ball before it’s ready. I had one all year and it was in a 25 off of a COP.  In hurry up all that needs done is tell the center and or QB don’t snap it until the U tells you, points at you or whatever other signal is used.

I like the silent wind personally, my ears no longer ring after a varsity game from blowing the whistle all night. I think the games pace is also a lot smoother from the change.




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Offline CalhounLJ

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Re: Winding the Clock after a First Down Gained.
« Reply #41 on: October 30, 2019, 01:08:44 PM »
I'm eating more crow than usual over this. I was completely and passionately against the :40 when it came out, and now I would not want to go back to the "old way" under any circumstances. I scoffed at Magician for suggesting the benefit of not having to blow the whistle so much, and that is one the best things I have discovered!! That, and consistent administration when the game/half is winding down. It has taken virtually all the load off us and placed time management squarely on the shoulders of the coaches, which is where it belongs. In our game two weeks ago, the home team was ahead 35-34 when the visitors threw an interception. there was 1:24 left on the clock. the coach told my wing, "According to my chart, we should be able to run it out from here by taking a knee." He did, and we all went home happy. Back in the days of the :25, a quick whistle and RFP could have made him punt.
« Last Edit: October 30, 2019, 01:11:37 PM by CalhounLJ »

Offline Magician

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Re: Winding the Clock after a First Down Gained.
« Reply #42 on: October 30, 2019, 06:08:18 PM »
I'm eating more crow than usual over this. I was completely and passionately against the :40 when it came out, and now I would not want to go back to the "old way" under any circumstances. I scoffed at Magician for suggesting the benefit of not having to blow the whistle so much, and that is one the best things I have discovered!! That, and consistent administration when the game/half is winding down. It has taken virtually all the load off us and placed time management squarely on the shoulders of the coaches, which is where it belongs. In our game two weeks ago, the home team was ahead 35-34 when the visitors threw an interception. there was 1:24 left on the clock. the coach told my wing, "According to my chart, we should be able to run it out from here by taking a knee." He did, and we all went home happy. Back in the days of the :25, a quick whistle and RFP could have made him punt.

I'm glad you enjoy the change. No need to eat any crow. This is the third time I've been through this and every time the opposition you and others mentioned were the same as those from previous transitions. I believe the transition can be a little more difficult with no visible play clocks, but they also have the benefit of being a little more flexible when necessary.

As for the reason of a silent wind, I believe it's because the game clock often starts before the actual RFP (by philosophy and not by rule). The whistle may be confusing to those on the field because it doesn't affect them at all. The offense knows the ball is ready for play because the umpire is not standing over the ball. If we are at the end of a half though and the offense wants to snap as soon as possible after the game clock starts I think it makes perfect sense to add a whistle at that point so the offense knows. It will be a second or two after the U steps back so he can get into a safe position. I'm also perfectly fine if they want to allow the R to give a quick tweet if he's starting the game clock after a first down in bounds. It's not that many more whistles during the game.

Offline refjeff

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Re: Winding the Clock after a First Down Gained.
« Reply #43 on: October 30, 2019, 07:08:47 PM »
If we are winding and/or declaring the ball RFP before the ball and/or chains are set, why do we still stop the clock at all?

How many times a game do I; stop the clock 2X, signal 1st down, and then wind it?  Three signals and my arms never stop moving.

Change the rule, keep the game clock running. 

No more silent wind.  No more silent wind.

Sounds better every time I say it.

Offline CalhounLJ

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Re: Winding the Clock after a First Down Gained.
« Reply #44 on: October 30, 2019, 07:09:54 PM »
I vote for this.


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Offline Magician

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Re: Winding the Clock after a First Down Gained.
« Reply #45 on: October 30, 2019, 09:52:09 PM »
If we are winding and/or declaring the ball RFP before the ball and/or chains are set, why do we still stop the clock at all?

How many times a game do I; stop the clock 2X, signal 1st down, and then wind it?  Three signals and my arms never stop moving.

Change the rule, keep the game clock running. 

No more silent wind.  No more silent wind.

Sounds better every time I say it.

I would be OK with that as long as we go back to current clock status on first downs in the last 2 minutes of a half. We probably start the game clock around 32-34 on the play clock so it's still 6-8 seconds after the previous play. RFP can range anywhere from 25-35 most plays.

Offline SCline

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Re: Winding the Clock after a First Down Gained.
« Reply #46 on: October 30, 2019, 09:57:35 PM »
If we are winding and/or declaring the ball RFP before the ball and/or chains are set, why do we still stop the clock at all?

How many times a game do I; stop the clock 2X, signal 1st down, and then wind it?  Three signals and my arms never stop moving.

Change the rule, keep the game clock running. 

No more silent wind.  No more silent wind.

Sounds better every time I say it.

I wouldn’t mind this

Offline NVFOA_Ump

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Re: Winding the Clock after a First Down Gained.
« Reply #47 on: October 31, 2019, 05:43:30 AM »
How many times a game do I; stop the clock 2X, signal 1st down, and then wind it?  Three signals and my arms never stop moving.

Except we're not supposed to be doing that.  The rule is crystal clear and unambiguous, the silent wind is in fact the RFP and should follow the ball being placed down and actually ready for play.  The only "exception" is we don't need to wait for the box to be set.  If you're giving 3 consecutive signals and your "arm never stops moving" then slow down.
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Offline refjeff

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Re: Winding the Clock after a First Down Gained.
« Reply #48 on: October 31, 2019, 05:58:02 AM »
Except we're not supposed to be doing that.  The rule is crystal clear and unambiguous, ...
I am doing exactly what I am supposed to do.  I am following the rule and the specified mechanics. 

A run up the middle ends at the feet of the U.

I observe the players around the ball for a second or two and then look at the LJ.  He is stopping he clock and signaling 1st down.

I mirror his signal and announce "1st down."  While doing so, I do not look at the chains or down box because that no longer matters. 

I am watching the U, and he has already spotted the ball is is stepping away.

Silent wind.





« Last Edit: October 31, 2019, 06:13:19 AM by refjeff »

Offline CalhounLJ

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Re: Winding the Clock after a First Down Gained.
« Reply #49 on: October 31, 2019, 06:07:58 AM »
Except we're not supposed to be doing that.  The rule is crystal clear and unambiguous, the silent wind is in fact the RFP and should follow the ball being placed down and actually ready for play.  The only "exception" is we don't need to wait for the box to be set.  If you're giving 3 consecutive signals and your "arm never stops moving" then slow down.
Which is it? Are we supposed to be “shaving seconds off the game” by starting the clock as soon as possible without having to wait for the down box? Or are we supposed to slow down and wait until everything and everybody is RFP? I think your quest for wanting to call it “by the book” instead of “with the book” is becoming confusing.


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