Author Topic: Illegal shift vs motion  (Read 651 times)

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Online dammitbobby

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Illegal shift vs motion
« on: January 22, 2021, 01:00:51 PM »
OK, writing this out to help me understand, tell me what I am missing.

Illegal shift - 7-1-2-a - a shift is when 2 or more offensive players are in motion at the same time.  The shift becomes illegal if they do not both reset prior to the snap.  Flag it, play continues.  5 yard penalty.

Illegal motion - 7-1-4-b - a single player in motion, who is not set when the ball is snapped.  Per 7-1-5, this converts to a false start.  Flag it, dead ball foul, 5 yards from previous spot.

I'm getting mentally hung up on the distinction between these illegal motion and illegal shift, and why one (motion) converts to a false start but the other (shift) does not.



kind of related (this is what I was working on when I started getting mixed up)

Listing of fouls that we stop play on, prior to snap:
1. False Start
2. Illegal snap
3. Delay of game
4. Encroachment resulting in movement of offense (requirements must be met for this to be encroachment, around proximity to the defender/have to threatened)
5. Free Kick infraction
6. Illegal substitution

Anything missing?


Offline Legacy Zebra

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Re: Illegal shift vs motion
« Reply #1 on: January 22, 2021, 01:53:18 PM »
Illegal motion never converts to a false start. Illegal motion is one player moving illegally at the snap. That is typically moving forward at the snap, but could also be starting his motion from the line of scrimmage and not resetting as a back.

Illegal shift converts to a false start if and only if all 11 players never come to a stop prior to the snap. This could be coming out of the huddle, just coming to the line in a no huddle situation, or even a substitute coming on to the field. Any illegal shift after the offense has all been set is a live ball foul.

About your list:

4. Encroachment is a dead ball foul, but it is an offensive foul. If the foul is on the defense, it is offside. This can be a dead ball foul if the defense makes contact with the offense, enters the neutral zone and causes a protected lineman to react, or crosses the neutral zone and is unabated to the QB. It can also be a live ball foul if the defense is simply in the neutral zone at the snap.

6. Illegal substitution is only a dead ball foul if it’s on the offense now. If the defense has more than 11 players, it is always a live ball foul at the snap.

Online dammitbobby

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Re: Illegal shift vs motion
« Reply #2 on: January 22, 2021, 02:06:57 PM »
Illegal motion never converts to a false start. Illegal motion is one player moving illegally at the snap. That is typically moving forward at the snap, but could also be starting his motion from the line of scrimmage and not resetting as a back.

Illegal shift converts to a false start if and only if all 11 players never come to a stop prior to the snap. This could be coming out of the huddle, just coming to the line in a no huddle situation, or even a substitute coming on to the field. Any illegal shift after the offense has all been set is a live ball foul.


AR 7-1-V:
Team A is in a no-huddle offense and is moving to the line when the ball is made ready for play. Although some players settle into their positions and stop, at least one player never stops and is still moving when the ball is snapped. RULING: Dead-ball foul: Illegal shift that converts to a false start. Team A never satisfied the one-second rule before the snap. Officials should shut the play down and penalize Team A five yards.

As I read this, one or more, not all 11, illegally shifting qualifies the foul to convert to a false start. (Hence my confusion)


Offline Kalle

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Re: Illegal shift vs motion
« Reply #3 on: January 22, 2021, 02:30:15 PM »
AR 7-1-V:
Team A is in a no-huddle offense and is moving to the line when the ball is made ready for play. Although some players settle into their positions and stop, at least one player never stops and is still moving when the ball is snapped. RULING: Dead-ball foul: Illegal shift that converts to a false start. Team A never satisfied the one-second rule before the snap. Officials should shut the play down and penalize Team A five yards.

As I read this, one or more, not all 11, illegally shifting qualifies the foul to convert to a false start. (Hence my confusion)

Yes, remember that a shift starts when more than one player is in motion and ends when all players have stopped. So, in the A.R., you have "all" players in motion, and then some of them stop, leaving at least one player still moving, so it is still a shift. Now, if all players stop for a second, the false start conversion clause is gone for the down, and if more than one player are then in motion at any one time and the entire team does not stop for a moment (can be less than a second) before the snap, you again have an illegal shift, but it would be a live ball foul.

To break this down:

1. The ball is RFP; team A moves to the line; at least one player remains in motion; ball is snapped -> ball remains dead, team A false start
2. The ball is RFP; team A moves to the line; all players stop for less than one second; ball is snapped -> ball remains dead, team A false start
3. The ball is RFP; team A moves to the line; all players stop for one second; ball is snapped -> legal
4. The ball is RFP; team A moves to the line; all players stop for one second; A88 starts in legal motion; A99 starts in legal motion; A88 stops; ball is snapped -> team A live-ball illegal shift
5. The ball is RFP; team A moves to the line; all players stop for one second; A88 starts in legal motion; A88 stops; A99 starts in legal motion immediately after A88 stopped; ball is snapped -> legal
6. The ball is RFP; team A moves to the line; all players stop for one second; lineman A55 starts in motion; ball is snapped -> team A live-ball illegal motion

Offline Legacy Zebra

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Re: Illegal shift vs motion
« Reply #4 on: January 22, 2021, 02:31:03 PM »
This AR is an illegal shift that converts to a false start. A shift ends when all players involved in that shift have come to a stop for 1 second. What this AR is saying is that if even one player never gets set, the whole offense is still in the original shift, thus it converts to a false start. If the whole team had come set and then that one player moved, it would not be a shift and would no longer convert to a false start.

Online dammitbobby

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Re: Illegal shift vs motion
« Reply #5 on: January 22, 2021, 07:42:50 PM »
OK, those two explanations made it click for me, I think.  Thanks!

Offline sj_31

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Re: Illegal shift vs motion
« Reply #6 on: January 29, 2021, 11:20:56 PM »
Another thing to remember is that you can never have a foul for illegal motion until all shift parameters have been met. Once the offense has satisfied the requirements for a legal shift, then one player can go in motion subject to the legality of motion rules. If two or more players move, the entire process starts over again and shift rules need to again be met before ILM can occur.
All of the preceding assumes all movement does not constitute a false start.


Offline ElvisLives

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Re: Illegal shift vs motion
« Reply #7 on: January 30, 2021, 01:39:29 PM »
Another thing to remember is that you can never have a foul for illegal motion until all shift parameters have been met. Once the offense has satisfied the requirements for a legal shift, then one player can go in motion subject to the legality of motion rules. If two or more players move, the entire process starts over again and shift rules need to again be met before ILM can occur.
All of the preceding assumes all movement does not constitute a false start.


If all Team A players are stopped (not including a huddle) at the moment the ball is declared/deemed ready for play - either the Referee’s signal, or by all conditions for the ball to be considered ready being met - everything is as you described.
But to clarify the special ILS/FST situation, if not all Team A players are stopped when the ball is declared/deemed ready for play, all A players - even a single moving player - must come to a stop for one full second before anything else can happen (and be legal at the snap). If the snapper begins to move the ball for a snap, the ball becomes dead, and this is an illegal shift that converts to a False Start. An announcement might go something like: “False Start, offense. Not all players were set for one second after the ball was ready for play. 5- yard penalty,
  • down.”