Author Topic: Offense Alignment  (Read 4933 times)

Offline BoBo

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Offense Alignment
« on: August 22, 2010, 11:27:33 AM »
 No mans land??
The offense lines up with the wing back in no mans land. He is next to the tackle with a player outside of him that is clearly on the line.

He is not really on the line of scrimmage and yet is not clearly in the backfield.

Causing some confusion to the defense as to how the offense is lining up.

Is this a penalty for not aligning properly and the player being definitively either on the line or not?

Do you flag it? Does it matter if its a running play or passing play?

Please include a rule reference or case book reference please.


Whether that player is eligible or not.

Offline VALJ

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Re: Offense Alignment
« Reply #1 on: August 22, 2010, 04:58:02 PM »
Illegal formation at the snap.  Five yards from the previous spot.  7-2-3.

On a pass play, it's an ineligible downfield; if he touches the forward pass before a B player touches it, it's illegal touching.  7.2.3.B in the case book.

LarryW60

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Re: Offense Alignment
« Reply #2 on: August 23, 2010, 09:59:48 AM »
If he's overlapping the nearest player on the line (which sounds like the tackle in this case) then I'll usually have him on the line as well.  We actually see this a lot on planned running plays.  The team gets miffed when I flag them on a pass play if he goes out, though.  If it's the team on my sideline, I'll warn the coaches the first time I see it that, (Coach, #xx needs to be clearly in the backfield or he'll be an ineligable receiver."  They usually fix it.  If not, there'll probably be a flag sometime later in the game because they did it on a pass play and the covered player went downfield.

Offline busman

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Re: Offense Alignment
« Reply #3 on: August 26, 2010, 11:29:45 AM »
Is it illegal formation if there are seven others on the line and it is a straight forward running play?  What criteria do you use to determine if it is no man's land?  Do you use the "daylight rule" (if I see daylight between him and the lineman, he's okay)?  At levels below varsity, do you help him get lined up?  If you are a wing and it happens on your side on a running play, would you say something to the coach?

Offline The Roamin' Umpire

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Re: Offense Alignment
« Reply #4 on: August 30, 2010, 09:04:55 AM »
Is it illegal formation if there are seven others on the line and it is a straight forward running play?  What criteria do you use to determine if it is no man's land?  Do you use the "daylight rule" (if I see daylight between him and the lineman, he's okay)?  At levels below varsity, do you help him get lined up?  If you are a wing and it happens on your side on a running play, would you say something to the coach?

Technically, yes. Anytime a player is in "no man's land", it's an illegal formation foul.

In practice, unless it's clearly causing confusion for the defense, I'm going to talk to the coach and player and get this fixed before it DOES cause a disadvantage.

Offline Jackhammer

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Re: Offense Alignment
« Reply #5 on: August 30, 2010, 03:06:48 PM »
Technically, yes. Anytime a player is in "no man's land", it's an illegal formation foul.

In practice, unless it's clearly causing confusion for the defense, I'm going to talk to the coach and player and get this fixed before it DOES cause a disadvantage.

Roamin,
Not sure I get this, it's not necessarily an automatic foul, the foul is dependent upon the actions that occur.  There is not a "no man's land."  Technically, he's either a lineman or a back and it's up to you to judge.  If you judge him to be a lineman, then you enforce accordingly with all appropriate numbering and positioning requirments.  If you judge him to be a back, then you enforce accordingly with all appropriate numbering, position, motion and eligibility requirements. 


"The only whistle that kills a play is an inadvertent one"

"The only thing black and white in officiating is the uniform"

Offline The Roamin' Umpire

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Re: Offense Alignment
« Reply #6 on: August 31, 2010, 11:52:07 AM »
There is not a "no man's land."  Technically, he's either a lineman or a back and it's up to you to judge. 

Not true. A lineman must be breaking the plane of the waist of the snapper and must be facing his opponents' goal line. A back (if not under center) must NOT be breaking the plane of waist of the nearest lineman. So if you have an offensive line that's bowing a bit (guards half a step behind the center, tackles another half-step back), you can easily have a flanker who is clearly not on the line but is breaking the plane of the waist of one of the tackles. By definition, he's neither a lineman nor a back, and thus in violation of the last sentence of 7-2-3, which makes it illegal formation.

Is this something that comes up often? No. Is this something we want to be flagging instantly when we see it? Again, no. If I've asked the coach to fix this and it hasn't happened, or if it's confusing the defense about who's eligible, then we'll have a flag, but I'm going to try very hard to not let it get to that point.

Offline BoBo

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Re: Offense Alignment
« Reply #7 on: September 01, 2010, 10:09:30 AM »
Roamin that is how we handled it we tried to prevent it, spoke to coach twice and i as a the white hat spoke to the kids in the huddle as to the alignment. finally we just had to flag it.  once we did problem was solved. of course as luck would have it the play we flag they score a td and called back, it seems to always work that way. but it was mid 2nd quarter so we got it resolved early in my mind.

Offline VALJ

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Re: Offense Alignment
« Reply #8 on: September 01, 2010, 03:16:10 PM »
I'd definitely say something to at least the kid once (and probably the coach too, as soon as I get a chance).  If he doesn't listen to a couple of warnings, though, some times the only way they'll learn is a flag.  It's a shame that the flag nullified a TD, but I'd be willing to bet that he doesn't make the same mistake again, either...

Offline TampaSteve

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Re: Offense Alignment
« Reply #9 on: September 02, 2010, 08:23:52 PM »
To paraphrase NCAA axioms and NCAA clinicians.  When WR are out wide, why split hairs to whether someone is on/off/ et al?  When in dobut, it's legal.  Who are they fooling out there?

On the other hand with linemen and wing back, allow once if they are in 'no man's land' (in the backfield) as there can certainly be an advantage gained (i.e. pass play) - although I can never remember a wing back lining up incorrectly.  After the one play, communicate to A's coach and maybe R can pass along the word to A in the huddle.  After that, flag it.  Once a few flags fly, they will get the hint and adjust.

LarryW60

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Re: Offense Alignment
« Reply #10 on: September 04, 2010, 05:38:21 PM »
Hey let's ditch the entire NFHS rulebook and only play by the TV-revenue-driven non-rules in the NCAA!  ^flag