Author Topic: Ball Spotting and Measurement  (Read 1333 times)

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Offline ElvisLives

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Ball Spotting and Measurement
« on: May 11, 2021, 03:05:36 PM »
OK, for all you "I ain't never measurin' " folks out there, please respond.

Both teams have exhausted their times-out. Following a touchback on a kickoff, at the ready-for-play signal:

1/10, A-25, 1:20 (4), snap (40 and running), A=7, B=10. A11 gains 3 yards, and is down inbounds.

2/7, A-28, clock running (40 and running). A11 gains 3 yards, and is down, inbounds.

3/4, A-31, clock running (40 and running). A11 gains 3 yards and is down inbounds.

4/1, A-34, clock running (40 and running). A11 advances approximately 1 yard, is tackled, and falls to the ground with the ball in his right arm (his right arm being the first part of his body, other than his feet, to touch the ground), and the forward point of the ball is approximately 6 inches beyond the entire width of the A-35 yard line, clearly visible to all participants in the game. The Head Line Judge marks forward progress to A-35 plus approximately 6 inches, while the Line Judge signals for the clock to stop (0:38), for the first down for A.

1/10, A-35+6", ready (40 and running). A11 throws an incomplete forward pass.

2/10, A-35+6", snap (40 and running). A11 throws an incomplete forward pass.

3/10, A35+6", snap (40 and running). A11 throws an incomplete forward pass.

4/10, A-35+6", snap (40 and running). A11 advances approximately 10 yards, is tackled, near the pressbox sideline and falls to the ground inbounds with the ball in his left arm (his left arm being the first part of his body, other than his feet, to touch the ground), and the forward point of the ball is approximately 6 inches beyond the A-45, clearly visible to all participants in the game. The Line Judge marks forward progress to the A-45 plus approximately 6 inches, and signals for the clock to stop (0:08) for a first down for one team or the other.

Fill in the blank:
The Referee ____________________________________________________________________________________________________
« Last Edit: May 11, 2021, 04:45:33 PM by ElvisLives »

Offline Grant - AR

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Re: Ball Spotting and Measurement
« Reply #1 on: May 11, 2021, 03:27:54 PM »
I'm not in the "I'm never measuring" crowd.  I'm in the "don't measure unless absolutely necessary" crowd.  This situation falls into the latter category.  Measure and give the ball to the proper team.

Offline oklahomaRef

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Re: Ball Spotting and Measurement
« Reply #2 on: May 11, 2021, 03:38:32 PM »
I have been the white hat on my crew for 7 years and I have never been one of the "never measure" guys, but I will give it a go anyway.

on the first scenario I am signalling first down, winding the play and the game clock as soon as the chains are set, if a coach wants an explanation I will signal an official's TO and explain that the series started on a line, the 25, and since the end of the run was spotted just past the line, the 35, and the point of the ball is clearly past that line there is no reason to measure. Chop the play clock for 25 and wind the game clock.

On the second scenario, since the line judge stopped the clock I have time to quickly get on the radio and ask both the H and the L if they see a first down and if not conclusive from discussion I will bring out the chains and measure.

There are some lines of thinking to always, if at all possible, start a series on a line, but I do not agree with that thinking and this is a good example of why. Since on the first scenario we didn't measure because the series started on a line and ended 6 inches past one it would have given a coach a reason to want a conversation (argue) if we had started the series on the 35 instead of just past where we marked the first down on the previous series.

Offline AlUpstateNY

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Re: Ball Spotting and Measurement
« Reply #3 on: May 11, 2021, 04:11:59 PM »
I'm not in the "I'm never measuring" crowd.  I'm in the "don't measure unless absolutely necessary" crowd.  This situation falls into the latter category.  Measure and give the ball to the proper team.

Agree, "Common Sense" dictates.  If you are "SURE" one way or the other, That's it.  If there is ANY doubt, better to measure and be sure.  In a really critical situation, you might consider calling the Captain of the team your decision will not favor, to observe from your vantage point and get his concurrence, or convince him of why you reached your decision ( to deter any further disagreement from the sideline).

If a Head Coach, however, insists on debating your decision, NFHS 3-5-10-c allows for requesting an Official's TO, for clarification.  Explaining/confirming the absolute certainty of your judgment, at the sideline (Team area), eliminates any need for re-measurement, and should be completed as quickly as possible to avoid any unnecessary delay.

Offline bossman72

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Re: Ball Spotting and Measurement
« Reply #4 on: May 11, 2021, 10:38:53 PM »
1st scenario, absolutely not.  Never ever measure after a touchback.  You start at the 25 (or 20 for NFHS), LTG is the front edge of the 35 (or 30).  There is a chance the sticks could be off by an inch or so if the HL is not anal about checking to see the sticks are set up correctly.  If the coach wants to complain, just say we started on the 25/20 for the touchback and need to get to the 35/30.  There's no need to measure.

2nd scenario you could (and should) definitely measure since you didn't start on a line.

Offline ElvisLives

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Re: Ball Spotting and Measurement
« Reply #5 on: May 12, 2021, 06:08:15 AM »
That is a single scenario. The first series gives us the hard line-to-gain of the edge of the A-25 nearest Aís goal line. With the ball clearly - and highly visibly - becoming dead at a point some 10 inches beyond that edge. The new series then begins at that point, i.e., not on a hard - and marked - yard line. Thus, neither is the line-to-gain on a hard - and marked - yard line.
This illustrates a real-life scenario in which the new series cannot start on a hard - and marked - yard line, despite some people that would want to place the ball on a marked yard line for every - EVERY - new series - so they wonít ever have to be bothered with a measurement. That is an irresponsible attitude that disrespects the game and the players immeasurably (no pun intended).

Yes, we have a published philosophy that allows placement of the ball (succeeding spot) on a marked yard line when a new series is awarded to a team after the previous series is broken during a down (i.e., interception, fumble recovery, etc.), or when a new series begins following a free kick. I donít think anybody has any heartburn with that.

The exception to that is when the ball is Ďdownedí by Team A clearly between marked yard lines inside Bís 5 yard line following a punt - especially within inches of Bís goal line. Such a visible spot canít be ignored, and moving of the ball to the next marked yard line canít be justified to Team A.

But, to consciously ignore proper spotting of the ball, simply for our convenience, is a disgusting and irresponsible practice, that disrespects the players. This isnít our game. It is their game. They deserve better. Letís be better.





Offline bossman72

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Re: Ball Spotting and Measurement
« Reply #6 on: May 12, 2021, 07:59:13 AM »
With that being said, if the LTG is clearly gained by a few yards, set 1st and 10 on a tick.  I see no problem with that.  Your scenario where it's close to the LTG, put it where it is.

Offline ElvisLives

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Re: Ball Spotting and Measurement
« Reply #7 on: May 12, 2021, 11:40:44 AM »
Öif the LTG is clearly gained by a few yards, set 1st and 10 on a tick.

Why?

Offline Covid 22

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Re: Ball Spotting and Measurement
« Reply #8 on: May 12, 2021, 01:52:00 PM »
1) Why was there a RFP signal after the touchback?

2) Both teams have no time outs.   If my guys are sure that the line to gain was made we are spotting the ball inside the hash.   Once moved, I will not measure.   I also don't want to give the "B" coach a free chance to strategize or substitute.   If my wing has any (ANY) question that it might be close, He will keep the spot and in come the chains.

Just my thoughts.

Now on a 7 or 8 man crew where one of the deep wings is bringing in a new football and the wing is holding his spot, I might allow for a measurement.

Online Legacy Zebra

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Re: Ball Spotting and Measurement
« Reply #9 on: May 12, 2021, 02:48:22 PM »
Why?

Let me just sum up how the rest of this thread is going to go so we can skip the back and forth and get on with our lives.

Side 1: Spot it on a yard line for 1st down whenever possible. The only times not to spot it in a yard line are when Team A gets a first down by less than a yard, or when thereís a change of possession inside the 10. This method is taught in the NFL and NCAA as a way to manage the game better and more efficiently. It reduces the need for measurements and provides a simple way to judge if the line to gain has been made on close plays. Coaches donít care about 6Ē on first down in the middle of the field and neither should we.

Side 2: The spot is the spot. If the runner gains 20.654 yards after a touchback, spot it at the A-45.654. Putting the ball anywhere other than the exact spot is lazy and lacks integrity. 

Both sides think they have a better understanding of officiating than the other side, neither side changes their mind. Do what your supervisor says.



There. Saved us a couple pages of arguing.

Offline ElvisLives

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Re: Ball Spotting and Measurement
« Reply #10 on: May 12, 2021, 03:01:09 PM »
1) Why was there a RFP signal after the touchback?
Good catch. Should have just said, "After the ball is ready for play." In this case the ball is, indeed, ready for play - without a signal - when the ball gets spotted and we are in position to officiate. That is needed to change former Team B to - now - Team A.

2) Both teams have no time outs.   If my guys are sure that the line to gain was made we are spotting the ball inside the hash.   Once moved, I will not measure.   I also don't want to give the "B" coach a free chance to strategize or substitute.   If my wing has any (ANY) question that it might be close, He will keep the spot and in come the chains.
Concur that any measurement must be done at the dead-ball spot. Once the ball gets moved to the hash mark from the side zone, we can't measure. If close, wings must 'crash' in to the spot - even to mid-field, if necessary - get a ball and get it spotted AT THE DEAD-BALL SPOT. We can not toss the ball to a wing outside the numbers with the dead-ball spot inside the numbers (for example). Don't be lazy, wings. Crash to the spot.
Close, but "sure" would be if the line-to gain is on one side of a yard line, and the dead-ball spot is on the other side of that yard line. "No, Coach. I don't need to measure that." But with both between two hash marks, especially if in the side zone on the pressbox side of the field, and within a half-length of the ball, that justifies a measurement.


Just my thoughts.

Now on a 7 or 8 man crew where one of the deep wings is bringing in a new football and the wing is holding his spot, I might allow for a measurement.
Hmmm. I don't understand this statement. Please elucidate.

Offline ElvisLives

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Re: Ball Spotting and Measurement
« Reply #11 on: May 12, 2021, 03:22:14 PM »
Mission accomplished. Its been too quiet around here. I got people to talkin'.
We shouldn't give a rip about what coaches care about, like, or think. We should always do what is right and good for the game, and the players. Spottin' on yard lines can be good, but it gets carried to extreme by far too many misguided folks, to the detriment of the game, and the players.
Be judicious. Close to a yard line (within 6"), in non-time critical situations, sure - put it on a line. But, in time/distance critical situations, mark a good spot. Neither team needs our help.

I raised this issue, because I have seen some folks mark EVERY dead ball spot on a yard line, obviating numerous good defensive plays, in particular. And that is simply wrong. Know and understand the philosophy, and its intended purpose, and be true to the spirit of the game and the players. 

Online Ralph Damren

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Re: Ball Spotting and Measurement
« Reply #12 on: May 12, 2021, 06:20:15 PM »
In our pre-game field check , if on a grass field, the HL & I  stretch the chains from the 20 to the 30 and from the 35 to the 45 at each end as the 20 & 35 are the starting point after a touchback or untouched OOB free kick. If any of those 4 measurements don't meet the line to gain yardline, it's better to know now then in a game situation. The HL is usually the rookie of the crew and this gets him active and gives me a chance to chat with him. On field turf (very few in Maine) our worry would be the length of the chains. Some may consider this as looking for fly poop in the pepper shaker, but I don't feel it differs much from verifying that the PAT line is in line with the 3rd yard lines on the hashes.
« Last Edit: May 13, 2021, 03:47:20 AM by Ralph Damren »

Offline HLinNC

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Re: Ball Spotting and Measurement
« Reply #13 on: May 13, 2021, 07:18:48 AM »
Quote
1) Why was there a RFP signal after the touchback?
Good catch. Should have just said, "After the ball is ready for play." In this case the ball is, indeed, ready for play - without a signal - when the ball gets spotted and we are in position to officiate. That is needed to change former Team B to - now - Team A.

The rule code wasn't specified, just assumed NCAA due to the 40 sec clock on a touchback, but if this were NFHS, there would be a RFP blown but it would be :25.

Offline bossman72

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Re: Ball Spotting and Measurement
« Reply #14 on: May 16, 2021, 07:10:16 PM »
Why?


Using the field to our advantage.  We can memorize the line to gain as LOS officials and know exactly where it is.  Fudging the ball by a half yard when you are giving him a 1/10 doesn't make a lick of difference in the grand scheme of things.  It also gives replay a reference point to use for the LTG, for those of us that are so lucky.

Offline ncwingman

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Re: Ball Spotting and Measurement
« Reply #15 on: May 17, 2021, 12:34:31 PM »
I believe that the number of people who are strongly in the "I will never *EVER* measure for *ANY REASON*!" camp are an exceedingly small minority.

If you've got 4th down, with 8 seconds to go and that measurement will decide the game -- you drag out the sticks and prove to both coaches what the ruling is, even if it's clearly on one side of the line by a ball length. It's the big dramatic reveal moment. Put on the show.

I raised this issue, because I have seen some folks mark EVERY dead ball spot on a yard line, obviating numerous good defensive plays, in particular. And that is simply wrong. Know and understand the philosophy, and its intended purpose, and be true to the spirit of the game and the players. 

I worked with an umpire a few years ago who did this and it got us into trouble on a couple plays. LTG was the 32, ball carrier was down beyond the 31, but clearly short of the 32. I run in, give a hard spot at the 31.5 saying "He's short! He's short!" -- umpire rounds up and puts the ball on the 32 as I'm getting back into position. Offensive HC sees this and calls for a measurement, and now it looks *really bad* if I go drag the ball back half a yard to where I had spotted it.

Offline HLinNC

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Re: Ball Spotting and Measurement
« Reply #16 on: May 17, 2021, 05:03:04 PM »
I'll usually start yelling for the U to put it on my toe on a hard, tight spot or to give the ball to me and I'll place it.  I'm not moving away until he puts it down or I've put it down myself.

Offline ncwingman

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Re: Ball Spotting and Measurement
« Reply #17 on: May 19, 2021, 12:40:40 PM »
I'll usually start yelling for the U to put it on my toe on a hard, tight spot or to give the ball to me and I'll place it.  I'm not moving away until he puts it down or I've put it down myself.

Don't get me wrong, I learned my lesson on that one. However, the ball was dead just outside the hash, I have a hard foot *on* the ball. I toss the ball to the U who is mirroring my spot with his foot in a manner that *looks* like he knows where to put it. I didn't turn to move back, but my focus went to the defensive substitutions and when I came back to the ball to get the LOS, it was half a yard forward from where I thought he was going to place it.

I thought I had communicated the spot well. I was wrong.

Offline AlUpstateNY

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Re: Ball Spotting and Measurement
« Reply #18 on: May 19, 2021, 03:58:49 PM »
I'll usually start yelling for the U to put it on my toe on a hard, tight spot or to give the ball to me and I'll place it.  I'm not moving away until he puts it down or I've put it down myself.

Just to second a suggestion made before, If you think there just might be a measurement, LEAVE THE BALL AT THE DB SPOT, until the R declares 1st Down (Move the chains to the ball, NOT the ball).  When it's an obvious (declared) 1st Down, OK to toss the ball into, or take it to the hash. 

Offline justbill13

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Re: Ball Spotting and Measurement
« Reply #19 on: May 20, 2021, 01:44:36 PM »
Many years ago, I worked an 8 man game in a small town playing their biggest rival from a neighboring small town to end the season.  Both teams had losing records and the playoffs were not in the picture for either of them.   Field was not well marked (no yard marks) and one of the chain guys was working his last game after over 40 years.  He told my HL before the game they never had a measurement.  In the 3rd quarter, the visiting team got close to a first down.  I called for a measurement.  As the old guy and the rest of the chain crew ran in with the chains, he got a standing ovation from the fans of both schools.

I have never regretted calling for that measurement.

Online Ralph Damren

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Re: Ball Spotting and Measurement
« Reply #20 on: May 21, 2021, 07:58:05 AM »
Many years ago, I worked an 8 man game in a small town playing their biggest rival from a neighboring small town to end the season.  Both teams had losing records and the playoffs were not in the picture for either of them.   Field was not well marked (no yard marks) and one of the chain guys was working his last game after over 40 years.  He told my HL before the game they never had a measurement.  In the 3rd quarter, the visiting team got close to a first down.  I called for a measurement.  As the old guy and the rest of the chain crew ran in with the chains, he got a standing ovation from the fans of both schools.

I have never regretted calling for that measurement.
Great story, JustBill, he must have really loved football and his team to do that thankless job for all those years  aWaRd . This was probably a moment that he will remember for the rest of his life. I hope the home team gave him the game ball. aWaRd
« Last Edit: May 21, 2021, 09:05:58 AM by Ralph Damren »

Offline refjeff

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Re: Ball Spotting and Measurement
« Reply #21 on: August 11, 2021, 11:32:00 AM »

If you've got 4th down, with 8 seconds to go and that measurement will decide the game -- you drag out the sticks and prove to both coaches what the ruling is, even if it's clearly on one side of the line by a ball length. It's the big dramatic reveal moment. Put on the show.
  I was in the stands at a state finals game with that exact situation, except for a little more time.  Brought the chain crew out.  Put on the show.  2 1/2 yards short.

That might have been overdoing it.