Football Officiating > NCAA Discussion

False Start ?

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These are both tough. In the first one, the defensive guys jump into/across the NZ, but DON'T cause a reaction, and are back out of the NZ well before the ball is snapped. I don't see any A players starting before the snap. As ugly as it looks, I have no foul.

In the second one, definitely not a false start, but you could go with illegal shift, because one of the 'shifters' did not come to a complete stop for a full second before the ball was snapped. It wasn't 'huge,' like we would like it to be, but he definitely never fully stopped, and is moving at the snap  (His movement is forward, but it wouldn't matter if it was sideways, or backward; he, and the rest of the team, is required to come to a full stop for one full second before the snap.)

In the first one (assuming your talking about the slot, not the action by the snapper), I say yes.  While the slot's movement is slight and in reaction to the defense, the player that moves is not covered as an "immediately threatened lineman" by the DL in the neutral zone.

In the 2nd one, I say no, but given that this is 3/2, "situational awareness" has to come into play. While A's shift appears somewhat abrupt, nobody on B reacts and enters the NZ.  The wing on A's sideline should have a chat with the head coach and let him know that if they continue to do that and B reacts, you're pinning that on them.

In the first one, I agree with the slot should have gotten flagged as he clearly moved before the snap and as refbuz noted, he is not afforded protection.  The CB saw it and pointed to it as well (not that that impacts whether or not you throw the flag, but it was discernible enough that it should be been flagged, IMO.)  That said, while it is a foul, I'd like to see the rule changed to allow twitches like this scenario, where it was clearly in reaction to a defensive move, neutral zone or not, and there is no advantage gained from the movement.  Had he had a defender directly over him, that would be a different story, IMO.  But, rules are rules, and I have a foul here.

For the second, the wing did flag it - you can see him put his hand on it as soon as the both started their shift.  I'd be curious as to whether he thought it was illegal from the start, and (correctly) waited until the snap to throw or if he saw the 2nd motion man still moving at the snap.  I'm guessing he recognized the likelihood of the foul, and was being proactive in having the flag at the ready. 

In the first one, I missed the flinch of the slot man. As tough as this is, thatís a false start, since he isnít threatened by the defensive players that jumped into/across the NZ.


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