Author Topic: Holding Philosophy  (Read 3412 times)

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Holding Philosophy
« on: August 05, 2012, 08:23:23 AM »
Hello, this is my first post.  I'm an official from Colorado Springs and discovered Refstripes just a month or so ago.  My son and I are creating a website "" that will feature a series of articles from Ray Lutz, a veteran football, basketball, and track & field official from the Springs.  Here is an example of one of his daily (during the season) posts to our association:

Focus on Philosophy...Calling holding
Holding - Pause - Read - React
Officiating holding is often best determined by watching the disengagement.
1 What effect does it have on the play?
2  Grasping of an opponents' shirt doesn't necessarily mean holding. When the shirt is stretched because a defensive player is trying to get away, it's a hold.
3  Did the hold restrict the movement of the defender who is trying to make a tackle?
4  Was the defender still able to make penetration up field?
5  Was the defender still able to make or participate in the play?
6  Was the runner already past the point where the supposed hold took place?
7 Takedowns on defenders trying to get away are holding fouls.
PAUSE - See the act
READ - Digest the Results
REACT - Make the Decision
Take downs:
They are Fouls!  Throw the flag.
Potential Offensive Hold
Opponent being blocked tackles runner behind the LOS or near the spot of the potential hold.
NO call! The hold had no effect on the play.
Potential Offensive Hold
Another defensive player is tackling runner behind the LOS.
NO call!  The hold had no effect on the play.
Potential Offensive Hold
Player being held is involved in making the tackle or another defensive player is tackling runner.
NO call! The hold had no effect on the play.
Potential Offensive Hold
Action clearly occurs after the pass has been thrown to a downfield receiver.
NO call!! The hold had no effect on the play.
Potential Offensive Hold
Action occurs away from the point of attack and has no effect on the play.
Potential Offensive Hold
Action happens away from the point of attack but restricts pursuit which may have made the tackle.
Hold!  Throw the flag
Potential Offensive Hold
Part of a double team block.
NO call !!!!-  Unless the opponent is pulled to the ground by one of the blockers
Potential Offensive Hold
During a defensive charge a defensive player uses a rip technique that puts an offensive player in a position that would normally be called holding.
NO call !!!  Unless the defender's feet are taken away from him by the offensive player's actions.
Parting Shots
Begin to watch the feet of blockers.  When their feet are beat, they will cheat.  The blockers feet must be pointed toward the frame of the player being blocked.


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Re: Holding Philosophy
« Reply #1 on: August 05, 2012, 08:31:19 AM »
and another re: holding

I got to watch a tape of a game played locally last weekend.  There were 7 holding calls and one official had 5 of these calls.  Now tape is not all knowing.  The look you get is not always "valid" or open like they say in basketball.  However, something should show up on the tape that says "Yep, that looks like a hold."  That happened only once as I watched this game.
This was a pretty good game.  Two  good teams.  One a finesse team operating out of the gun, and the other a basic veer offense.  Both offenses were sharp and both moved the ball quite well.  The one thing that in my opinion  ruined this game was the line judge.  There were 12 total flags in this game and the line judge had seven of them. Of the seven fouls called,  five were holding calls, one an illegal procedure and one an illegal substitution foul.
After re-running the tape numerous times, I could count the 12 players on the defense, but for the life of me I could not see the illegal procedure, nor could I agree with any of the five holding calls.  If you as an official are going to call holding, make sure the call screams to be called.  Make sure there is a demonstrated restriction.  Make sure the holding is not part of a double team.  Make sure the player being held tries to get away from the hold and gives you a good look at the restriction.  Make sure the holding is at the point of attack.  Make sure the holding had an effect on the play.  Make sure Helen Keller would have stood up and screamed holding.  Make sure it will show up on the game tape.
If the holding infraction is a tackle or take down at the point of attack or "attack zone" a term that is becoming popular when philosophizing about judgment, then call it.  And if you want to embrace the philosophy that a take down anywhere is a hold, so be it. But if it is a wide out and a corner back playing "paddy cake" pass on it.
If the snapper and the guard double team the nose there is no holding.  If the offense commits two blockers to one defenseman they should not be called for holding.  If the defensive end succeeds in turning the sweep into the linebackers, he probably wasn't held very much.  Pass on it.  If the player being held is ok with it and doesn't try to get free or to make a play, pass on it.  If the holding takes place at the same time the ball carrier is being tackled, 5 yards up field, pass on it. If the tailback losses two yards up the middle, the hold probably was not too effective.
Also, remember that you have a couple of seconds to evaluate whether or not the hold had any effect on the play.  You don't have to call the hold the instant it occurs.
Make them count, make them scream, make them affect the play.  Or is it "effect"?
Parting Shots
Everyone be aware of the LTG.  I just watched a tape sent to me by a valued Florida reader.  On this tape there were several times that no one was immediately aware that the spot was close to the LTG.

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Re: Holding Philosophy
« Reply #2 on: August 05, 2012, 09:11:13 AM »
No such thing as "illegal procedure." Just saying...
"Gentlemen, we are going to relentlessly chase perfection, knowing full well we will not catch it, because nothing is perfect. But we are going to relentlessly chase it, because in the process we will catch excellence. I am not remotely interested in just being good."
- Vince Lombardi