From: "Rich Kollen" - firstname.lastname@example.org
Date: Fri, 03 Nov 2006
The season is winding down and we must finish strong since many playoff and bowl games will be determined in these final two weeks. Jack, Dean, Bill and I would like to thank you for the tremendous job that each of you has done to date this season. We will be meeting next week to discuss playoff and bowl assignments. They will be released on Tuesday November 14th on Arbiter.
There have been some questions regarding defensive offsides. Please review what must happen to have offsides on a Team B player during a scrimmage down: (1) a Team B player is in the neutral zone at the snap (live-ball foul), (2) a Team B player contacts a Team A player prior to the snap (dead-ball foul), (3) a Team B player enters the neutral zone causing a threatened Team A lineman to react immediately (dead-ball foul) (note the restrictions on this act on FI-36 in the note at the bottom of the page), or (4) a Team B player crosses through the neutral zone, is behind the offensive line, and is threatening the QB, holder or kicker without slowing (dead-ball foul).
If the Team B player has not contacted a Team A player, no Team A player has reacted to the offsides, and the Team B player is not running unevaded toward the QB, holder or kicker, Team B will be afforded every opportunity to get back onto his side of the line of scrimmage prior to the snap. If they don't make it back to their side of the LOS, it is a live-ball offsides penalty.
If a Team B player is clearly in the neutral zone at the snap, he is offsides even if he is attempting to move back to his side of the zone.
If a Team B player enters the neutral zone prior to the snap without committing a dead-ball foul as outlined above, and a Team A back reacts, the foul will be on Team A for a false start. Only a threatened lineman may react to an offsides Team B player for it to be offsides on Team B.
Here is a play situation that was sent to me. Near the end of the third quarter, Team A attempts a field goal from the B-30 yard line. The kick is short of the end zone, untouched by Team B, and is downed by Team A at the B-2 yard line. Where is the ball next put in play? Remember the college rules! The ball is returned to the previous spot. Please review 8-4-2-b on FR-111. This is the type of play in a game that we must get correct. When we try to put a missed field goal in play inside the 20, without a penalty, we are doing something wrong (unless it was touched by Team B).
We have already had a number of overtime games this season. Expect a few more during these last two weeks with the competitiveness and parity within the conferences. Referees, please discuss overtime procedures during your pre-game conferences this week.
We want to emphasize again the role and process of communication between the Referee and other officials in play situations where the passer attempts to throw the ball away to avoid a loss of yardage. I would like to have the Referee stay focused on the action surrounding the passer during the play. If another official feels the pass was thrown into an area with no eligible receiver, then relay that information to the Referee and let him make the decision. Late flags are just fine in this situation. Let's just get it right.
Don't be too technical on ineligibles downfield. Please make sure that the lineman is 3-5 yds downfield before throwing the flag (I know the rule but lets use some commen sense and remember advantage/disadvantage). Also, remember that if the pass is thrown behind the line of scrimmage, there is NO foul for ineligibles downfield.
Finally, I was contacted by a coach this week with the following situation. On field goals and tries, he has his kicker come into the game. The snapper is an eligible number, which is legal as a scrimmage kick formation exception to the numbering requirements. However, the QB is also in the game and in a position to receive a hand-to-hand snap. If the defense reacts, the QB switches to a holder position for the kick. However, if the defense doesn't react, the snap goes to the QB, who throws it to a receiver in the endzone. Review the numbering rules for lineman. In a non-scrimmage kick formation, there must be five lineman numbered 50-79. If the QB is in a position to receive a hand-to-hand snap, this is NOT a scrimmage kick formation, no matter how far back the kicker is lined up. Just review the numbering requirements, and the requirements for a scrimmage kick formation exception. It must be clear that a kick may be attempted. Don't be too technical, but under no circumstance can a player be in a position to receive a hand-to-hand snap, and still qualify as a scrimmage kick formation. I would like to compliment the crew and umpire James Taplin for correctly calling this illegal formation.