Author Topic: Offensive linemen start play backwards  (Read 6754 times)

Offline bbeagle

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Offensive linemen start play backwards
« on: October 01, 2012, 01:42:07 PM »
Coach around here has an ingenious 'trick' play:

Try for Team A:
Formation: Snapper on far right hash. All the other 6 offensive linemen are on the left side the middle of the field (all outside the free-blocking zone). The remaining 4 players are behind the line. One is a QB, one is a RB, and the other two are lined up as sort of tight-ends/receivers to guard the outsides of the line.

The offensive linemen are all grouped together but are BACKWARDS . The snapper hikes the ball either diagonally to the RB, or back to the QB who pitches or throws to the RB who is behind all the backwards offensive linemen.

The idea is that the defense cannot block the linemen, because this would result in a block-in-the-back penalty. The coach even reminds the referees (in effect, reminding the defense) to watch for blocks in the back.

The running back 'protected' by this 'impenitrable' shield, finds a gap, the offensive linemen let him through, and he runs the few yards into the endzone.

Is there anything illegal about this? It sure confuses the defense as they don't know what to do, and don't try to block the offensive players, thus not getting the push, and 'allowing' this 2 point conversion.


Offline Atlanta Blue

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Re: Offensive linemen start play backwards
« Reply #1 on: October 01, 2012, 02:06:11 PM »
Illegal Formation.  He must have seven players on the line.  A player facing his own goal is not a lineman, and thus is noton the line.

2-32-9:
A lineman is any A player who is facing his opponent’s goal line with
the line of his shoulders approximately parallel thereto and with his head or foot
breaking an imaginary plane drawn parallel to the line of scrimmage through the
waist of the snapper when the ball is snapped.

Offline bbeagle

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Re: Offensive linemen start play backwards
« Reply #2 on: October 01, 2012, 02:11:32 PM »
2-32-9:
A lineman is any A player who is facing his opponent’s goal line

I'll have to check this rule out. Thanks.

Offline Curious

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Re: Offensive linemen start play backwards
« Reply #3 on: October 01, 2012, 02:15:05 PM »
To begin with, to be legally on the line of scrimmage, all 7 players must be FACING THEIR OPPONENT'S GOAL LINE. (2-32-9).

Illegal formation in the OP.

Once the ball is snapped, the defense can certainly push or pull their opponents to get at a runner (2-3-5b)

Not enough info regarding the down and any possible numbering/position issues.

Flag this idiot coach!!!!!!! ^flag ^flag ^flag

Offline Curious

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Re: Offensive linemen start play backwards
« Reply #4 on: October 01, 2012, 02:16:40 PM »


Flag this idiot coach!!!!!!! ^flag ^flag ^flag

I hope this guy hasn't been getting away with this.......

Offline FBUmp

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Re: Offensive linemen start play backwards
« Reply #5 on: October 01, 2012, 04:40:47 PM »
I'll have to check this rule out. Thanks.

Check it out?  He gave you the rule, you don't believe him?  ???

buckshot

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Re: Offensive linemen start play backwards
« Reply #6 on: October 01, 2012, 06:15:09 PM »
Curious is correct, even if the formation had been legal, there is absolutely nothing stopping the defense from pushing in the back, or pulling them out of the way for that matter, to try to get to the ball carrier.

The coach is wrong on all counts.

Offline HLinNC

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Re: Offensive linemen start play backwards
« Reply #7 on: October 01, 2012, 10:00:46 PM »
This one is pretty basic.  What level of ball is this?  I'm betting youth.

Please tell us that he's not getting away with it. ^flag

Offline AFSST

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    • Colorado Springs Football Officials Association
Re: Offensive linemen start play backwards
« Reply #8 on: October 02, 2012, 09:38:08 AM »
We've seen and corrected the following during a Try attempt following a score:

In a "swinging gate" formation, the snapper stands "sideways" and doesn't face the opponents goal line.  This is also an illegal formation by A.
Colorado Springs Football Officials Association
www.cosfoa.com

Offline Livin' in the pit

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Re: Offensive linemen start play backwards
« Reply #9 on: October 02, 2012, 10:54:51 AM »
Interestingly, the Canadian rules - which I work - don't require linemen to be facing the opposition. I actually had to check that.

The counter, however, is that our version of the free block zone, known as the close line play area, allows blocks from behind, and below the waist, at all times, with players who started in the CLP at the snap. Oh, and the CLP is tackle to tackle in width.

On other words, if a coach wants to try that up here, he's gonna have a buncha players face-first in the dirt about a half-second after the snap. Legally.

Offline bbeagle

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Re: Offensive linemen start play backwards
« Reply #10 on: October 02, 2012, 11:16:20 AM »
This one is pretty basic.  What level of ball is this?  I'm betting youth.

Please tell us that he's not getting away with it. ^flag

JV level, and yes, he's been getting away with it.

I've been officiating for 10+ years, and I never knew that linemen had to face forwards. It's not obvious. I've never seen backwards linemen before, but I didn't know there was a rule that stated they must be forwards. I HAVE seen other players backwards at the snap, such as in-motion tight ends. There is nothing in the rulebook that I know of that says players off the line must be forward-facing (like the QB, or holder on a fieldgoal, who sometimes is not looking forwards when the ball is snapped).


Offline bbeagle

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Re: Offensive linemen start play backwards
« Reply #11 on: October 02, 2012, 11:20:59 AM »
Curious is correct, even if the formation had been legal, there is absolutely nothing stopping the defense from pushing in the back, or pulling them out of the way for that matter, to try to get to the ball carrier.

Right, but by the coach saying 'Watch out for blocks in the back!' it gets the defense to question whether they can do it or not, and all this play needs is for the defense to question what to do for a couple of seconds, to get the try to work.

I think it's similar to the 'Hey QB, come here, and get another ball' trick that was tried years ago. Just a different version of it.



Offline maven

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Re: Offensive linemen start play backwards
« Reply #12 on: October 02, 2012, 11:59:57 AM »
I think it's similar to the 'Hey QB, come here, and get another ball' trick that was tried years ago. Just a different version of it.

Not that similar: one's just IF and 5 yards, the other is illegal deception, unsporting, 15 yards, and has an actual case play about it. ;)
Quality is not an act, it is a habit.
Aristotle

Offline Atlanta Blue

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Re: Offensive linemen start play backwards
« Reply #13 on: October 02, 2012, 07:10:30 PM »
Right, but by the coach saying 'Watch out for blocks in the back!' it gets the defense to question whether they can do it or not, and all this play needs is for the defense to question what to do for a couple of seconds, to get the try to work.

Even if this play was legal (and it's not), if the coach yells, "Watch out for the blocks in the back" just to get the defense questioning themselves, just yell back, "Not a problem coach, it's legal for the defense to hit them from behind to get to your runner."

Problem solved.

Offline Bob M.

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Re: Offensive linemen start play backwards
« Reply #14 on: October 02, 2012, 09:07:03 PM »
REPLY: Joe...my guess is that if the officials didn't know that the formation was illegal, it was probably a pretty safe bet that they weren't aware that pushing Team A players in the back to get to the ball carrier was legal either.
Bob M.

Offline HLinNC

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Re: Offensive linemen start play backwards
« Reply #15 on: October 02, 2012, 10:10:32 PM »
Quote
I've been officiating for 10+ years, and I never knew that linemen had to face forwards.

 :!#

As is said here often  READ RULE 2

Offline bbeagle

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Re: Offensive linemen start play backwards
« Reply #16 on: October 03, 2012, 07:56:37 AM »
Even if this play was legal (and it's not), if the coach yells, "Watch out for the blocks in the back" just to get the defense questioning themselves, just yell back, "Not a problem coach, it's legal for the defense to hit them from behind to get to your runner."

Problem solved.

I think that is completely wrong for a referee to do. If you hear a team in the huddle saying 'We're going deep on this play', they line up in a short-yardage situation, the defense yells, 'Stop the run!'. Should we then yell, 'No... they're going to pass!'. What you're saying is the same thing.



Offline bbeagle

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Re: Offensive linemen start play backwards
« Reply #17 on: October 03, 2012, 07:57:53 AM »
To begin with, to be legally on the line of scrimmage, all 7 players must be FACING THEIR OPPONENT'S GOAL LINE. (2-32-9).

Yes, the linemen can have their BODIES backwards, but their heads turned to FACE THEIR OPPONENT'S GOAL LINE, and this play is TECHNICALLY legal based on INTERPRETATION.


Offline HLinNC

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Re: Offensive linemen start play backwards
« Reply #18 on: October 03, 2012, 08:32:24 AM »
Quote
Yes, the linemen can have their BODIES backwards, but their heads turned to FACE THEIR OPPONENT'S GOAL LINE, and this play is TECHNICALLY legal based on INTERPRETATION.

Maybe if they are Linda Blair.  Are you working an exorcism or football?

Offline bbeagle

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Re: Offensive linemen start play backwards
« Reply #19 on: October 03, 2012, 11:12:43 AM »
Maybe if they are Linda Blair.  Are you working an exorcism or football?

It's very easy to 'look over your shoulder' and glance at part of the opponent's goal line on the opposite side of the field. I'm not talking about a 180 degree view. There is nothing in the rule book that states you must see the WHOLE goal line. If I'm standing on the numbers, and looking over my shoulder, I can definately see the far pylon and the goal line opposite of the far numbers.

Offline maven

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Re: Offensive linemen start play backwards
« Reply #20 on: October 03, 2012, 11:23:54 AM »
It's very easy to 'look over your shoulder' and glance at part of the opponent's goal line on the opposite side of the field. I'm not talking about a 180 degree view. There is nothing in the rule book that states you must see the WHOLE goal line. If I'm standing on the numbers, and looking over my shoulder, I can definately see the far pylon and the goal line opposite of the far numbers.


What's your point? That's not the formation presented in the OP, which is clearly illegal. And any lineman looking over his shoulder like that at the snap is going to have an unpleasant experience.
Quality is not an act, it is a habit.
Aristotle

Offline jgf6

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Re: Offensive linemen start play backwards
« Reply #21 on: October 03, 2012, 02:15:03 PM »
Bbeagle, Read Rule 2-Sec. 32 Art. 9, pg. 35: A lineman is any A player who is facing his opponent's goal line with the line of his shoulders approximately parallel thereto and with his head or foot breaking an imaginary plane drawn parallel to the line of scrimmage through the waist of the snapper when the ball is snapped.

It's hard to imagine that a lineman who is facing backwards and turning his head can satisify the definition of a lineman.
 ^no

Offline Atlanta Blue

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Re: Offensive linemen start play backwards
« Reply #22 on: October 03, 2012, 05:38:33 PM »
I think that is completely wrong for a referee to do. If you hear a team in the huddle saying 'We're going deep on this play', they line up in a short-yardage situation, the defense yells, 'Stop the run!'. Should we then yell, 'No... they're going to pass!'. What you're saying is the same thing.

Not even close.  The referee was yelling at YOU, and misquoting a rule.  All you are doing is correcting his misinterpretation.

Offline Atlanta Blue

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Re: Offensive linemen start play backwards
« Reply #23 on: October 03, 2012, 05:41:18 PM »
It's very easy to 'look over your shoulder' and glance at part of the opponent's goal line on the opposite side of the field. I'm not talking about a 180 degree view. There is nothing in the rule book that states you must see the WHOLE goal line. If I'm standing on the numbers, and looking over my shoulder, I can definately see the far pylon and the goal line opposite of the far numbers.

The rule says you must be FACING.  Looking over your shoulder is not FACING.  Just because you are seeing a pylon doens't mean you are satisfying the rule.

Look, it's simple.  Players can't have their backs to the line and be legal linemen.  You didn't know the rule.  Now you do.  Use your new knowledge and quit trying to justify some coach's stupidity.

Offline James

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Re: Offensive linemen start play backwards
« Reply #24 on: October 04, 2012, 12:32:48 AM »
Apart from all the clear and relevant points made, I was wondering....

bbeagle - have you played OL?
Maybe the pads have slimmed down since I last bought a set (6 years ago I think), but they had quite a bit of padding at the shoulder, and between that and the bottom of the face mask, I think you would find it hard to turn your head much more than 90 degrees. Maybe you could 'glace' at the very corner of the EZ, but you would have to turn your back and shoulders really awkwardly to see over your shoulder the way a person without pads can.