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2004 Football Meeting 10/6/04 Games – Tom Frieder Where’s the Spot Special Rules for PAT Goal Line and Short Yardage Plays Not Getting Picked? Punts – Not Just Another Play Some Tips for Working the Wings Spot, Spot – Where’s the Spot Where’s The Spot? A B

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2004 Football Meeting 10/6/04

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2004 Football Meeting10/6/04

Games – Tom Frieder

Where’s the Spot

Special Rules for PAT

Goal Line and Short Yardage Plays

Not Getting Picked?

Punts – Not Just Another Play

Some Tips for Working the Wings

Spot, Spot – Where’s the Spot

Where’s The Spot?



4th down, black throws incomplete pass. Where does the front of the ball go?

A or B

Black is going this way

3rddown, Black 32 is tackled

A or B

Onside kick. 40 is R’s free kick line after penalty. Black (K) touches ball at spot A. You bring in A’s ball and place the nose of the ball where?

A or B

4th down, Black 32 is tackled

A or B

Turned over on downs, now is White’s ball

A or B

Spot, Spot – Where’s the Spot

On Change of Possession, Spots Move –

the Ball Doesn’t

On Change of Possession, The Down Box Moves – the Ball Doesn’t


Special Rules for PAT

PAT Differences

  • Clock does not run

  • There is no line to gain

  • Kicks are dead when “obviously not successful”

  • Special penalty enforcements apply

  • Successful kick is worth 1 point

  • Successful run or pass is worth 2 points

  • Only the offense can score

Before the Play

  • The try is part of the previous series so the same ball must be used

    • Except for obvious situations like weather

  • Fouls by the defense on the touchdown play may be carried over to the try (but not to the ensuing kickoff)

    • The try is the “succeeding spot”

  • If a touchdown is scored on the final play of a quarter, the try is attempted as part of that quarter

    • A quarter may not begin with a try

    • If a touchdown is scored on the last play of regulation, the try is not attempted unless it has an impact on the outcome of the game

    • If a touchdown in overtime determines the outcome of the game, the try is not attempted

  • The offense has the choice of position of the ball between hash marks

    • If there a replay of the try, the offense can change the location

    • If there is a timeout, the offense can change the location

During the Play

  • Fouls during the try may be carried over to the kickoff

    • Dead ball fouls after the try are enforced on the kickoff

  • Ball is dead if B gains possession

  • If the kicked ball touches a K player beyond the expanded neutral zone, it is dead

    • The neutral zone cannot be expanded into the end zone


Goal Line and Short Yardage Plays

Great Goal Line Coverage

  • Wings pinch in if there are no wide outs

    • Be ready for the play coming at you

  • Inside the 5 yard line, wings go to the goal line at the snap and work back

  • Wings make eye contact before a signal

  • Umpire should be as tight to the line as possible

  • Referee should be within 10 yards of the LOS

    • Be ready to move back!

  • Consider using the Back Judge as a second Umpire

    • Move up 5 yards. You still have time to cover the end line

  • Umpire RARELY makes a touchdown signal

    • He can still help with a nod of the head to the wings if he’s certain the ball crossed the plane

    • Umpire is closest to digging for the ball if its location is unknown. The final decision is still up to the wings

  • Hustle and sell the call

    • If it’s close, wings should be hustling in to sell the call

Short Yardage

  • Very much like a goal line play

    • Wings pinch

    • Umpire pinches

    • Referee pinches

    • Back Judge stays in normal position

  • Treat the front stake like the goal line

  • Make sure the offense (including QB) is set

    • They may be in a hurry or try to get a rolling start

  • Shifts are more likely

    • Defensive foul results in a first down so make sure offensive shifts aren’t false starts

  • Long counts are more likely

    • Hard counts are okay – but watch for false start

      • Head bob, shoulder hunch, thrusting arms at snapper

    • Offensive fouls are more likely

      • Watch for subtle body movement and snap enfractions

  • Substitutions

    • Specialty players may come in

      • Make sure subsititutions are legal

      • Make sure both teams are counted

      • Be mindful of deception

  • Helping the runner

    • More likely in short yardage situations

    • Offense can push pile, but not the runner (discussion?)

  • Be aware of the stake

    • Line judge has best view

      • Yell “Hold the Spot”

    • Don’t toss the ball around

      • Leave it where it is or get it to the wing


Not Getting Picked?Some Key Reasons Why You May Not Be Getting Those GamesFrom Referee Magazine

  • Not meant to be rude – but realistic


  • Dress sloppily

  • Uniform not clean and crisp

  • Flags are too evident

    • Tuck them in your pocket

    • If worn in waist, tape the ball white

  • Hat is old, dirty, out of shape

  • Your whites are gray

  • Socks are dingy or ragged

  • Shoes not clean and polished

  • Hair too long

    • Facial hair is generally frowned upon

    • If you have facial hair, keep it neat and trimmed

Lack of Hustle

  • Don’t hustle during live ball plays to get into position

    • You should usually end up closer to the ball than you started

  • Lack of hustle during dead ball period

    • Don’t walk when you can jog or run

      • Especially to free kick position or quarter breaks

    • Hustle during ball relay

  • Overly relaxed during dead ball periods

    • Dead ball time is not rest time

  • Out of shape

Play Coverage

  • Don’t anticipate

    • Field position

    • Down and distance

    • Yard line

    • Score

    • Time remaining

    • Defensive and offensive line ups

    • Tendencies

  • Poor Position

    • At snap and during play

  • Poor off-ball coverage

    • Know your mop-up responsibilities

  • Slow reaction to surprises

Running Plays

  • Slow reaction and catching up to the play

  • Don’t cover your bubble

    • Ball and couple of yards around it

    • 5 to 10 yards around ball

    • Mop up

  • Poor or no signal at end of play

    • Clock stop

    • Crank and stop

  • Poor spotting

Passing Plays

  • Poor read of keys

    • Puts you out of position from the start

  • Lack of thorough passing rule knowledge

    • Ineligibles

    • Pass interference restrictions

    • Intent of rule

      • Both have equal right to the ball

  • Back Judge lets players behind him

  • Umpire doesn’t get to the line of scrimmage


  • Inefficient during dead ball periods

  • Poor communication with crew, coaches and players

  • Distracted by non-game events

    • Geese, crowd

    • Talking about non-game items during game

  • Low test scores

    • Indicates lack of preparation or interest

  • Poor meeting attendance

  • Cancel too many games

  • Don’t return phone calls or e-mails

  • Habitually late


  • Throw too many flags

    • Are you too picky?

    • Understand philosophy?

    • Understand advantage gained?

    • You’re job is not to find penalties, it’s to make sure the game is played fairly

  • Poor communication skills

    • Talking harshly or rudely to players/coaches

    • Barking

    • Making threats

    • Not talking

    • Attitude, appearance, demeanor does not instill confidence

    • Poor or wrong mechanics


  • Feeling that it’s just a popularity contest

  • Thinking evaluators or system not fair

    • Watch yourself on tape

    • Discuss your performance with trusted official

  • Unwilling to learn or change

  • Unwilling to be a member of the team

    • A crew is a team and you have to fit in

Litmus Test

You Might Have a Problem if

Right now you are feeling that most of this was crap

Punts – Not Just Another Play


  • Must be made from in or behind the neutral zone before team possession has changed

  • Any receiver may catch or recover and advance

  • Receivers may not advance after a fair catch signal (valid or invalid)

  • Kickers may catch or recover in or behind the neutral zone and advance

  • Kickers may catch or recover beyond the neutral zone but may not advance

    • May catch if not kick catching interference

  • If the punt is touched first by R beyond the line, a new series is award to the team in possession at the end of the down

  • If the punt is touched first by K beyond the line, it is a violation for first touching. R may take the ball at the spot unless a subsequent foul by R is accepted

Deviations From Routine

  • Blocked Punt

  • Punter Contacted by Defense

  • Punt Receiver Contacted by Kickers

  • Kick first touched by Kickers

  • Muff - Fumble

Blocked Punts

  • Blocked punt that is in or behind the neutral zone is simply a loose ball

    • Applies if kick went beyond neutral zone and then came back behind neutral zone

    • Same as a fumble

    • Anyone can recover and advance

    • Kickers must reach the line-to-gain to retain possession

Contacting the Punter

  • Roughing the kicker is a 15 yard penalty and an automatic first down

  • Running into the kicker is a 5 yard penalty without a first down

    • Running into = displacing without roughing

  • If the kick is blocked or partially blocked, kicker loses protection

  • Incidental contact is not a foul

  • It is not incidental if the contact is sufficient (displaces) and could have been avoided regardless of whether or not it was apparent a kick would be made

    • Kicker does not lose protection because of a bad snap

  • Player becomes a kicker once the ball is kicked and continues to be a kicker until he regains his balance and moves to participate in the play

Receiver Contacted

  • While any scrimmage kick is in flight beyond the neutral zone, the receiver must be given an unhindered opportunity to catch the kick.

  • Violation is a foul with a 15 yard penalty

    • 15 yards from the previous spot and replay the down

    • Awarded fair catch at the spot of the foul with no distance penalty

  • The right exists whether or not R signals for a fair catch

  • K may catch a scrimmage kick (or touch in flight) if no R players are in a position to catch it (i.e: in the vicinity)

  • Physical contact is not necessary for kick catching interference

First Touching

  • It is first touching if K touches the kick beyond the neutral zone expanded before R touches it or before it comes to rest

    • Ball remains alive

  • After first touching, R may still recover and advance without giving up the right of taking the ball at the spot of first touching

  • It IS NOT first touching if K touches a kick at rest

    • Ball is dead

Muff - Fumble

  • A kick begins when the ball is kicked and ends when the ball is possessed or declared dead

  • Touching by R in an attempt to block the kick is ignored

  • Muff = R touches a scrimmage kick beyond the neutral zone without gaining possession

    • R may recover and advance

    • K may recover but may not advance

      • K get new series

  • It is impossible to fumble a kick!!!!!

  • Fumble = Losing possession after gaining possession

    • Anyone may recover and anyone may advance


Some Tips for Working the Wings

  • If possible, rule a substitution infraction rather than illegal participation

  • Monitor the scoreboard and clock

  • Head Linesman, give the Referee a “5 will get you 1” signal

    • Less than 5 yards to go for first down

      • Check the tape on the chains

  • Line Judge, discreetly inform the Referee as to down and clock status as he faces you giving the signal for a foul

  • Know what constitutes in bounds and out of bounds

    • Landing out of bounds doesn’t necessarily mean the clock should stop

      • Forward Progress

      • Down ends in field of play

    • When time matters – runner is out of bounds if you aren’t sure

  • Give the juggle signal when appropriate

  • It is almost never necessary to give the “catch” signal

  • Rule of thumb for hit out of bounds

    • One foot out of bounds: marginal, probably a “talk-to”

    • Two feet out of bounds: Usually a foul unless contact is minimal or defense is trying to hold up or avoid contact

    • Intensity of the hit is a factor in your decision

  • On touchdown and short yardage play, pinch in toward the ball to sell the call

  • When Referee has flag for intentional grounding and you see an eligible in the area, let him know immediately

  • Coach getting close to a flag? Use the “Would you like to repeat that, coach?” technique

  • Be mentally prepared for the ball carrier’s last reach at the goal line

  • Stop the clock on close first down situations, don’t wait for the Referee

  • Learn the “crank and stop” technique for first downs near the sideline

  • Don’t drift off the line of scrimmage unless the play calls for it

    • Read your keys

  • On sweeps, let the play get slightly past you

  • Learn how to square off your corners

  • Use the room you have on the sideline

    • Back up instead of bailing out

  • Your spot isn’t going to move – keep your eyes on the players

  • On out of bounds plays, always turn to the pile rather than facing the field

    • Use your bean bag if you have to

  • Be prepared to give or receive an “across the field” spot from your other wing official

    • He sometimes has a better view

  • Run in your spot to about the hash mark

    • Further to sell it


Stuff Happens!

Stuff Happens – Learn From It

  • Any odd plays, lessons learned, questions?

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