Author Topic: Winding the Clock after a First Down Gained.  (Read 8376 times)

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Offline NVFOA_Ump

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Re: Winding the Clock after a First Down Gained.
« Reply #150 on: November 20, 2019, 08:40:45 AM »
Iím still trying to find the problem this thread was intended to solve.
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The thread was started just after I participated in 2 varsity games in a 2 week period where the R was winding the clock on 1st downs in most cases before the ball was even on the ground, in all cases well before it was ready for play.  In BOTH of those games the clock ran out while in possession of the team that was trailing (2 point differential in both games) while the team was approaching field goal range.

That led me to ask how is this happening when both the NFHS and MIAA had posted multiple guidance documents on how the "new" timing was to be administered.  I was quite surprised that we now have 6 pages of replies to my original post and until I posted those guidance documents (which were originally posted as part of the 2019 rules changes back in June) that there was not a single post pointing out the fact that NFHS and MIAA have clearly told us how to do this.  That's the problem. 
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Offline refjeff

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Re: Winding the Clock after a First Down Gained.
« Reply #151 on: November 20, 2019, 09:08:18 AM »
I love selective readers.  Each time the word immediately is used it is coupled with the term "40 second play clock".  Last time I checked that's not the same as the game clock.

"The Team A (offense) runner is stopped inbounds beyond the line-to-gain (first down). The game clock is stopped for the first down and the 40-second play clock is started immediately.
  Yes, exactly.  That is one of the things being discussed, how quickly the play clock is supposed to start each play.  That is clearly what I was referring to.  So we agree on that point. 

I'm not sure what your snide comment is about.

Offline CalhounLJ

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Re: Winding the Clock after a First Down Gained.
« Reply #152 on: November 20, 2019, 09:21:20 AM »
The thread was started just after I participated in 2 varsity games in a 2 week period where the R was winding the clock on 1st downs in most cases before the ball was even on the ground, in all cases well before it was ready for play.  In BOTH of those games the clock ran out while in possession of the team that was trailing (2 point differential in both games) while the team was approaching field goal range.

That led me to ask how is this happening when both the NFHS and MIAA had posted multiple guidance documents on how the "new" timing was to be administered.  I was quite surprised that we now have 6 pages of replies to my original post and until I posted those guidance documents (which were originally posted as part of the 2019 rules changes back in June) that there was not a single post pointing out the fact that NFHS and MIAA have clearly told us how to do this.  That's the problem.

Gotcha. That may be the problem. This seems to be a Massachusetts problem, as the MIAA document only applies to that state. As noted below, each state is free to adapt official interpretations of the rules and go by those. Clearly, this particular topic is not interpreted the same way in every state. In my state, at least in my officiating association, we have been clearly instructed to wind the clock once the back stake has been set. As I've mentioned in previous posts, this mechanic has proven to be well-accepted by the teams in our area. To my knowledge, we have had zero concerns or complaints from the coaches about this method.

Each state high school association adopting these rules is the sole and exclusive source of binding rules interpretations for contests involving its member schools. Any person having questions about the interpretation of NFHS rules should contact the rules interpreter designated by his or her state high school association. 
« Last Edit: November 20, 2019, 09:32:00 AM by CalhounLJ »

Offline NVFOA_Ump

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Re: Winding the Clock after a First Down Gained.
« Reply #153 on: November 20, 2019, 10:40:19 AM »
  Yes, exactly.  That is one of the things being discussed, how quickly the play clock is supposed to start each play.  That is clearly what I was referring to.  So we agree on that point. 

I'm not sure what your snide comment is about.

We've been discussing when to wind the game clock after Team A has gained a first down for the entire thread, the wind only applies to the game clock.  I don't believe that there is any disagreement regarding the fact that we start the play clock when the ball becomes dead on the previous play - that's a given.
« Last Edit: November 20, 2019, 10:41:54 AM by NVFOA_Ump »
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Offline CalhounLJ

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Re: Winding the Clock after a First Down Gained.
« Reply #154 on: November 20, 2019, 11:22:59 AM »
Gotcha. That may be the problem. This seems to be a Massachusetts problem, as the MIAA document only applies to that state. As noted below, each state is free to adapt official interpretations of the rules and go by those. Clearly, this particular topic is not interpreted the same way in every state. In my state, at least in my officiating association, we have been clearly instructed to wind the clock once the back stake has been set. As I've mentioned in previous posts, this mechanic has proven to be well-accepted by the teams in our area. To my knowledge, we have had zero concerns or complaints from the coaches about this method.

Each state high school association adopting these rules is the sole and exclusive source of binding rules interpretations for contests involving its member schools. Any person having questions about the interpretation of NFHS rules should contact the rules interpreter designated by his or her state high school association. 
Edit: we have been instructed to wind the game clock when the DOWN BOX has been set. Not the back stake.


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Offline AlUpstateNY

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Re: Winding the Clock after a First Down Gained.
« Reply #155 on: November 20, 2019, 12:47:59 PM »
Edit: we have been instructed to wind the game clock when the DOWN BOX has been set. Not the back stake.

Just a suggestion, and apologies to the long dead horse, but wouldn't those decisions be better left to the judgment & wisdom of the REFEREE,(as well as all the potential additional situations covered bt NFHS 3-5 and suggested by the 2019 adjustment to 3-6-1-b-1) and be far more precise,  consistent and universally recognizable to EVERYONE participating, if triggered by the REFEREE'S confirming signal (combination audible(whistle)/visible (wind)) that's worked pretty well and has been effectively understood for generations?

Offline CalhounLJ

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Re: Winding the Clock after a First Down Gained.
« Reply #156 on: November 20, 2019, 01:14:11 PM »
Nope. The best thing to do is carry out the wishes of my assignor. He is the one who decides IF I have a game, WHICH game I have and HOW MANY games I have. If he wants a silent wind when the down box is set, thatís what he gets.


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Offline Ralph Damren

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Re: Winding the Clock after a First Down Gained.
« Reply #157 on: November 22, 2019, 02:00:04 PM »
Our guys treat the wind now as they did in a previous life, when the ball has been spotted and ready for play. If the play clock has drifted under 25", we reset the play clock to 25" then wind the game clock and let the action begin. Being on sidelines @ D-I, I've noticed R cranking an OOB while the ball is being thrown in. He seems to follow the same mechanic when a new series occurs inbounds. Do any of you  guys that do NCAA know if that is considered proper procedure ?

Offline dammitbobby

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Re: Winding the Clock after a First Down Gained.
« Reply #158 on: November 22, 2019, 03:16:55 PM »
Nope. The best thing to do is carry out the wishes of my assignor. He is the one who decides IF I have a game, WHICH game I have and HOW MANY games I have. If he wants a silent wind when the down box is set, thatís what he gets.


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Although a completely separate issue, and one for which I have no remedy, that is jacked up. Game assigners shouldn't have that kind of control over who gets, and does not get, games because they happen to not like a particular person or mechanic they use (which is also separate, and largely correctable, but shouldn't be held over individuals in terms of not getting assignments at all.)  Games should be assigned by experience and maybe some kind of seniority, not a popularity/kool kids club.

Is that the way it's always been?  Probably. 
Will it ever change?  Probably not. 
Does that make it right?  No.
It is what it is.

Offline js in sc

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Re: Winding the Clock after a First Down Gained.
« Reply #159 on: November 22, 2019, 03:22:48 PM »
Although a completely separate issue, and one for which I have no remedy, that is jacked up. Game assigners shouldn't have that kind of control over who gets, and does not get, games because they happen to not like a particular person or mechanic they use (which is also separate, and largely correctable, but shouldn't be held over individuals in terms of not getting assignments at all.)  Games should be assigned by experience and maybe some kind of seniority, not a popularity/kool kids club.

Is that the way it's always been?  Probably. 
Will it ever change?  Probably not. 
Does that make it right?  No.
It is what it is.
In the South we call that the "Good Ole Boy" mechanic.  Yes, it is what it is.  It remains alive, well, and thriving.  We may not like it but that is the way it has been, is, and will be..

Offline Magician

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Re: Winding the Clock after a First Down Gained.
« Reply #160 on: November 26, 2019, 10:02:17 AM »
Our guys treat the wind now as they did in a previous life, when the ball has been spotted and ready for play. If the play clock has drifted under 25", we reset the play clock to 25" then wind the game clock and let the action begin. Being on sidelines @ D-I, I've noticed R cranking an OOB while the ball is being thrown in. He seems to follow the same mechanic when a new series occurs inbounds. Do any of you  guys that do NCAA know if that is considered proper procedure ?

This is the perfectly acceptable and taught mechanic at the NCAA level and for the most part similar to what most states have done at the HS level. The rate of winding isn't quite as fast. In most NCAA conferences they want the game clock going by 34/35. The standard in NFHS I've heard has generally been 30-32. I'm fine with that. If you want to stick hard by the rule and wait until it's actually ready for play I'm OK with that. You are only shaving a handful of seconds each first down so it's not going to have a major impact on the overall length of the game. There may be 30 first downs on average during a game and some of those will have ended OOB and wouldn't apply. Some will also result in scores. I would say 15-20 times you may be cutting 3-5 seconds. The impact to the length of the game is maybe 1-2 minutes.

Offline CalhounLJ

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Re: Winding the Clock after a First Down Gained.
« Reply #161 on: November 26, 2019, 10:33:22 AM »
We had a great game this Friday night. Spun it when the down box was set. Was done and in the car @ 8:58. One hour and 58 minute. Probably could have been one hour and 55 if we hadnít waited on the down box.


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Offline AlUpstateNY

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Re: Winding the Clock after a First Down Gained.
« Reply #162 on: November 26, 2019, 01:03:26 PM »
We had a great game this Friday night. Spun it when the down box was set. Was done and in the car @ 8:58. One hour and 58 minute. Probably could have been one hour and 55 if we hadnít waited on the down box.

Reminds me of an old "Salesman Lesson"; After being criticized for not making ENOUGH sales calls, a salesman led his team the next cycle in volume of calls made.  His manager was happy, and wondered what changed.  The salesman said his focus simply changed, and suggested he could do even better and increase the call volume even more, if only his customers and prospects stopped asking him all those annoying questions about what he was selling and why they should buy his products."

What would you have done with, or what would be the significant benefit of those extra 3 minutes you might have shaved off your game?  Avoiding wasted time and/or achieving better, more consistent "game flow" are both valid objectives, but at what possible cost to (that particular AND UNIQUE) game you're working?  If next week's game has a little slower Chain Crew, or slightly less competent Ball Boys, and somehow the overall time (God forbid) drifts over 2hrs (or whatever the "magic" number becomes), is your crews performance irrevocably tainted?

Your game is YOUR game, does it really matter how it compares, time wise, to another game across town, across the State or across the Nation, presuming it was as well managed and well run as it's, always UNIQUE circumstances, allowed ?
« Last Edit: November 26, 2019, 01:05:45 PM by AlUpstateNY »

Offline CalhounLJ

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Re: Winding the Clock after a First Down Gained.
« Reply #163 on: November 26, 2019, 01:17:52 PM »
Lol. If a butterfly flaps his (or her) wings in Africa, does that trigger a tsunami in Indonesia?


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Offline NVFOA_Ump

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Re: Winding the Clock after a First Down Gained.
« Reply #164 on: November 27, 2019, 10:24:50 AM »
I tend to find the "game time" references totally irrelevant to the what, why, and how we do things.  The real variables that directly impact the length of all games are:

1.  Total points scored
2.  Total flags thrown
3.  Total number of runs ending out of bounds
4.  Total number of INC forward passes
5.  Total number of team TO's used in the game
6.  Total number of clock stoppages for injured players.
7.  etc.

Considering "saving" a few seconds on a 1st down RFP IMHO is tilting at windmills and serves no real purpose other than having videos that the losing team coach sent in following a 22-20 game where the clock ran out with his team approaching field goal range and the R has been winding on 1st downs like he's running late for something.  Not a good look when A is at the line ready to go following a 1st down, and the clock "runs out" with the U still holding the ball.
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Offline Magician

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Re: Winding the Clock after a First Down Gained.
« Reply #165 on: December 02, 2019, 01:23:52 PM »
I tend to find the "game time" references totally irrelevant to the what, why, and how we do things.  The real variables that directly impact the length of all games are:

1.  Total points scored
2.  Total flags thrown
3.  Total number of runs ending out of bounds
4.  Total number of INC forward passes
5.  Total number of team TO's used in the game
6.  Total number of clock stoppages for injured players.
7.  etc.

Considering "saving" a few seconds on a 1st down RFP IMHO is tilting at windmills and serves no real purpose other than having videos that the losing team coach sent in following a 22-20 game where the clock ran out with his team approaching field goal range and the R has been winding on 1st downs like he's running late for something.  Not a good look when A is at the line ready to go following a 1st down, and the clock "runs out" with the U still holding the ball.

You don't do that when time is critical at the end of a half. Then you follow the rule very specifically. I'm not sure if there is a hard and fast rule for when you do that but the referee should have a good feel for when to do that in a game.

I have no problem if a crew wants to follow the rule closely throughout a game but for efficiency purposes doing it a little early is not a bad thing and fairly normal. It doesn't have a huge impact overall on the length of the game.

Offline refjeff

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Re: Winding the Clock after a First Down Gained.
« Reply #166 on: December 02, 2019, 03:57:01 PM »
You don't do that when time is critical at the end of a half. Then you follow the rule very specifically. ...
  As part of our game management, we try to apply the rules correctly and use proper mechanics all of the time, not just when people are paying attention.


Offline PABJNR

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Re: Winding the Clock after a First Down Gained.
« Reply #167 on: December 02, 2019, 05:03:25 PM »
Guy #1 - Hey is that horse breathing

Guy #2 - No hasnít took a breath for weeks

Guy #1 - Here hold my beer.

Guy #1 takes out club hits horse

Guy #2 - I said that horse hasnít took a breath for weeks.

Guy #1 - Youíre right I better give it one more just to make sure.


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Offline Magician

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Re: Winding the Clock after a First Down Gained.
« Reply #168 on: December 04, 2019, 05:45:40 PM »
  As part of our game management, we try to apply the rules correctly and use proper mechanics all of the time, not just when people are paying attention.

You do realize the coaches are well aware of this and have no issue with it? This is how the play clock is managed at every level and with very similar rules being applied. It's called philosophy and officiating WITH the rules and not BY the rules. If your state/assigner/association tells you to wait for the ready for play every time throughout the game then you need to do that.

This is similar to starting each new series on a yard line until you get inside the 10 or after a close measurement on 4th down. The rule states to spot the ball at the foremost point when it became dead. But good officials know and understand the benefit of starting each series on a line if possible.

Offline refjeff

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Re: Winding the Clock after a First Down Gained.
« Reply #169 on: December 04, 2019, 09:11:58 PM »
You do realize the coaches are well aware of this and have no issue with it?
  I know that you don't know what you're talking about.

Offline brettjr2005

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Re: Winding the Clock after a First Down Gained.
« Reply #170 on: December 04, 2019, 09:27:35 PM »
This horse is already being decomposed, but I'll play devil's advocate anyways.

With 10:22 left in the first quarter A runs a play and throws an incomplete pass. When the ball hits the ground you see 10:17 left on the clock but the clock operator stops the clock at 10:16. Do you add that 1 second back in the 1st quarter? Of course you don't, and everyone from the coaches to your assigner would rightfully rip you a new one if you stopped the game to add that 1 second back. Scenario 2: A26 goes out of bounds at 8:16 in the second quarter but the clock stops at 8:15. Do you make that correction? I hope not. The score is 28-0 and a pass hits the ground with 0.3 left in the 4th quarter but the operator let's time expire; do you send both teams back to their sideline and put that 0.3 back on the clock? God, i hope not.

I don't disagree with the "always strictly follow the rules" clan, but that argument by itself is ignoring the fact that sometimes it is our job (as stated by NFHS and by common sense) to use some common sense and act in the best interest of the game instead of always following the strict letter of the rules.

Whether or not rolling the clock a couple seconds early is "in the best interest of the game" or not is another debate, but the argument that we must 100% follow the letter of the rule at all times isn't a great argument on its own.
« Last Edit: December 04, 2019, 09:29:22 PM by brettjr2005 »

Offline dammitbobby

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Re: Winding the Clock after a First Down Gained.
« Reply #171 on: December 04, 2019, 10:06:18 PM »
100% agree with the above.

Offline AlUpstateNY

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Re: Winding the Clock after a First Down Gained.
« Reply #172 on: December 04, 2019, 10:34:11 PM »
  I know that you don't know what you're talking about.

Don't disagree with any thing you suggested, but that wasn't the question.  At least one simple question was "Why do we now stop designating and announcing the exact moment when the ball is declared RFP, with an audible whistle (so everybody, players, coaches & officials are ALL notified of that status change at the same instant), rather than when EVERYBODY is supposed to be focusing on the Umpire placing the ball, instead of a lot of different things they may need to be concentrating on and paying attention to.

It was a simple, universal signal, that proved effective, for MANY years in avoiding confusion about when the ball actually became RFP,
« Last Edit: December 04, 2019, 10:41:26 PM by AlUpstateNY »

Offline Magician

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Re: Winding the Clock after a First Down Gained.
« Reply #173 on: December 04, 2019, 11:41:09 PM »
  I know that you don't know what you're talking about.

I've been officiating with this mechanic for 8-9 years in NCAA and 4 years in HS (we were the initial experiment state) and not once has a coach complained about it. I'm pretty sure I know what I'm talking about.

Offline refjeff

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Re: Winding the Clock after a First Down Gained.
« Reply #174 on: December 05, 2019, 06:02:52 AM »
... not once has a coach complained about it. I'm pretty sure I know what I'm talking about.
  Why would a coach ever complain about something of which he is not aware?

There are a lot of things every game where the coaches have no idea if we are using the correct mechanic or rule.  On our crew we try to do things the right way whether the coach is aware or not. 

I understand that everyone does not agree.
« Last Edit: December 05, 2019, 06:35:52 PM by refjeff »