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Thread: Football Rules & Interpretations

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    Football Rules & Interpretations

    I haven't been around much the last few months, just checking in from time to time. My Father passed away on June 3, so its been a rough summer. Anyway, several here seem to enjoy this thread every year, so I had to come back and post it again.

    For those that don't know, I've been officiating high school and semi-pro football for approx. 27 years. Thought this would be a good time to to post the rule changes for high school and for college. I know a lot of people try to hit a high school game on friday night and some of the rules and penalty enforcements are different between the two. First the rule changes. High School (National Federation) first, then the College Rule changes.


    National Federation 2017 Football Rules Changes


    2-3-10 (NEW), 9-4-3n (NEW), 9-4 PENALTY
    : Added a new definition for a blindside block and specifies a penalty for an illegal blindside block.

    Rationale: Continuing with the focus on risk minimization, the committee created a definition for a blindside block. This block involves contact by a blocker against an opponent who, because of physical positioning and focus of concentration, is vulnerable to injury. Unless initiated with open hands, it is a foul for excessive and unnecessary contact when the block is forceful and outside of the free-blocking zone.

    2-16-2h: Clarified that illegal participation fouls by R occurring during the kick are now enforced under post-scrimmage kick fouls.

    Rationale: Illegal participation fouls by R occurring during the kick are now enforced under post-scrimmage kick fouls. Illegal substitution and illegal participation fouls by R occurring at the snap continue to be enforced from the previous spot.

    2-24-10 (NEW), 6-1-11 (NEW), 6-1 PENALTY: Added a new definition for a pop-up kick and specifies a penalty for a pop-up kick.

    Rationale: Continuing with the committee’s efforts to minimize risk, a pop-up kickoff has been defined. A pop-up kick is a free kick in which the kicker drives the ball immediately to the ground, the ball strikes the ground once and goes into the air in the manner of a ball kicked directly off the tee. Such kicks will be penalized as a dead-ball free-kick infraction.

    2-32-16
    : Expands the definition of a defenseless player by incorporating specific examples.

    Rationale: The committee adopted specific examples of a defenseless player. By adding these examples, the committee continues to focus on risk minimization and responded to requests on the annual NFHS football rules questionnaire from participating coaches, game officials and state association representatives.

    3-4-7 (NEW): Added a new option to the offended team to start the clock on the snap for an accepted penalty inside the last two minutes of either half.

    Rationale: The committee added an option for the offended team on an accepted penalty inside the last two minutes of either half. The referee continues to have the authority to start or stop the clock if a team attempts to conserve or consume time illegally.

    7-1-6: Now stipulates that it is encroachment to strike the ball or the snapper’s hand/arm prior to the snapper releasing the ball.

    Rationale: Defensive players are restricted from contacting the ball or the snapper’s hand(s) or arm(s) until the snapper has released the ball.

    7-5-10: Removes non-contact face guarding from the pass interference restrictions.

    Rationale: This change eliminates the previous foul for non-contact face guarding forward-pass interference.

    2017 NCAA Football Rules Changes

    It is now illegal for defensive players who run toward the line of scrimmage to leap or hurdle offensive linemen on field goal and point-after-touchdown attempts.

    Players are now required to wear knee pads and pants that cover the knees. .

    The nameplate area of the jersey is now included in the horse-collar tackle rule. So, it’s not just the inside (back and side) collar of the jersey OR shoulder pads, but also includes the nameplate on the jersey as well.


    We'll get into some rule interpretations later.

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    Re: Football Rules & Interpretations

    Questi0ns.
    1. Why is a pop up kick dangerous? Isn't that the typical onside kick?

    It is now illegal for defensive players who run toward the line of scrimmage to leap or hurdle offensive linemen on field goal and point-after-touchdown attempts.
    How is this different than the Boss Bailey rule?
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    Re: Football Rules & Interpretations

    I'm sorry to hear of your father's passing, AB.

    Thanks for the rules into. Always nice to go into the season fully educated.

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    Re: Football Rules & Interpretations

    Quote Originally Posted by Herchel View Post
    Questi0ns.
    1. Why is a pop up kick dangerous? Isn't that the typical onside kick? Not anymore. Several years ago the NCAA put in a provision for the receiving team to actually fair catch those pop up kicks which really eliminated the use of the kick in college. National Federation just took the other side of it and made the type of kick illegal. Personally, I think its a bit excessive, but we just enforce the rules, we don't write them. lol.



    How is this different than the Boss Bailey rule?
    Have no idea what you are referring to here. You're going to have to give me the details first. My take on that rule you quoted on the FG block, is that it was already illegal based on the hurdling penalty that is in place. Once a snapper has snapped the ball, no part of his body is touching the ground except his feet. Therefore, if anybody leaps over him (whether he lands on the opponent or not) is HURDLING and that has been a penalty for YEARS and YEARS. IMO, There was no reason at all to add this rule/penalty. It was already covered under the hurdling provision. In college only the ball carrier is allowed to hurdle an opponent. In high school, NOBODY is allowed to hurdle an opponent.

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    Re: Football Rules & Interpretations

    "Players are now required to wear knee pads and pants that cover the knees. ."

    It has seemed strange to me that in recent years basketball players have been wearing shorts that cover the knees (and then some) while many football players have been wearing pants that don't.
    Go Dawgs!

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    Re: Football Rules & Interpretations

    7-1-6: Now stipulates that it is encroachment to strike the ball or the snapper’s hand/arm prior to the snapper releasing the ball.

    Rationale: Defensive players are restricted from contacting the ball or the snapper’s hand(s) or arm(s) until the snapper has released the ball.

    Huh!? Can't believe that wasn't always encroachment. Heck, in basketball that is a technical foul on a throw-in.

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    Re: Football Rules & Interpretations

    Quote Originally Posted by ALA2262 View Post
    7-1-6: Now stipulates that it is encroachment to strike the ball or the snapper’s hand/arm prior to the snapper releasing the ball.

    Rationale: Defensive players are restricted from contacting the ball or the snapper’s hand(s) or arm(s) until the snapper has released the ball.

    Huh!? Can't believe that wasn't always encroachment. Heck, in basketball that is a technical foul on a throw-in.
    It wasn't because when the ball moves it was always fair game. Now, the defense has to allow the snapper to complete the snap. Believe it or not, this didn't happen near as often as the casual fan may think it does.

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    Re: Football Rules & Interpretations

    Here's a play for some of you to digest.

    This happened either last year or the year before. Opening kickoff between Western Illinois and Wisconsin. Wisconsin kicks off to Western Illinois. The kick is approx. 2 yards deep in the endzone. The returner attempts to field the ball and he muffs it. If deflects off his chest, forward to about the half yard line.. The player with his feet still standing on the goal line or in the endzone, reaches out to gain possession of the ball, and pull it back into his body while staying in the endzone. RULING: SAFETY. While the player never left the endzone, the ball did and in college (and high school) the location of the ball is all that matters. Super easy call here, although they did check the replay to be sure. SAFETY - 2 points for Wisconsin. Note: In High school rules this is a touchback because kicks can't be run out of the endzone. The kick is blown dead the second it breaks the plane of the goal line and securing possession doesn't matter.

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    Re: Football Rules & Interpretations

    Quote Originally Posted by AlienBeans View Post
    Have no idea what you are referring to here. You're going to have to give me the details first. My take on that rule you quoted on the FG block, is that it was already illegal based on the hurdling penalty that is in place. Once a snapper has snapped the ball, no part of his body is touching the ground except his feet. Therefore, if anybody leaps over him (whether he lands on the opponent or not) is HURDLING and that has been a penalty for YEARS and YEARS. IMO, There was no reason at all to add this rule/penalty. It was already covered under the hurdling provision. In college only the ball carrier is allowed to hurdle an opponent. In high school, NOBODY is allowed to hurdle an opponent.
    Boss bailey had a 46" vertical. He blocked 4 field goals one year and the NCAA made a new rule. Our D line would drive a guard back, Boss would run toward the line and jump straight up.
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    Re: Football Rules & Interpretations

    New play:

    Opening kickoff between Western Illinois and Wisconsin. Wisconsin kicks off to Western Illinois. The kick is approx. 2 yards deep in the endzone. The returner attempts to field the ball and he muffs it. If deflects off his chest, forward to about the half yard line.. The player with his feet still standing on the goal line or in the endzone, reaches out to gain possession of the ball, and pull it back into his body while staying in the endzone. RULING: SAFETY. While the player never left the endzone, the ball did and in college (and high school) the location of the ball is all that matters. Super easy call here, although they did check the replay to be sure. SAFETY - 2 points for Wisconsin. Note: In High school rules this is a touchback because kicks can't be run out of the endzone. The kick is blown dead the second it breaks the plane of the goal line and securing possession doesn't matter.

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