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Old Sun Oct 24, 2004, 01:50pm
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Okay, we had this a couple times in a game I did yesterday, and I had to get the experienced guys on the crew to explain it to me. I thought I had it.

Now, I understand that what you see on Sunday has no bearing on what we do most of the time, but the Bears have been flagged twice for leaving their tight end uncovered.

Now, can someone explain to me what the deal is with covered/uncovered at our level, and if you know, can you explain to me why it's a penalty at the NFL level? I can sort of see if the tight end becomes ineligible by virtue of a receiver outside him, but they've called illegal formation and not ineligible downfield (which I would think would be the problem if a tight end becomes ineligible and he goes downfield).

Sorry, this is just one of those things confusing to the new guy.
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Old Sun Oct 24, 2004, 03:20pm
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NFL rules are from www.nfl.com/fans/rules/

Formation - NFHS:
The offense must have a minimum of seven men on the line of scrimmage. Anyone not on the line must clearly be a back (i.e. not breaking the plane of the nearest lineman's waist), except for a QB under center.
Formation - NFL:
Same, except that players not on the line must be one yard behind the line of scrimmage.
Eligibility - NFHS:
All backs are eligible, and linemen on either end of the line are eligible, but only if wearing a number 1-49 or 80-99.
Eligibility - NFL:
Backs are eligible, except for a QB under center. Ends are eligible unless a center, guard, or tackle. (I read this as meaning the snapper, and the two guys to either side of him.)

By "covered," we mean that an offensive lineman has another player outside of him also on the line. A "covered" player is ineligible, since he is not actually on the end. It sounds like the Bears may not have had six men on the line of scrimmage, but of course, I didn't see it, so...
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Old Sun Oct 24, 2004, 04:12pm
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I think you misunderstood what happened in the Bears game. It's perfectly legal for the TE to be uncovered and it's done dozens of times in every game. In the NFL, the formation is illegal if a TE is covered up, or if a lineman who has not reported as eligible is uncovered.

In NFHS, as long as there are 7 players on the LOS and all other players are in the backfield except the QB, the formation is legal. If an eligible number is covered up, he is ineligible.
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Old Sun Oct 24, 2004, 07:14pm
MJT MJT is offline
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I work NFL rules for semi-pro NAFL, and BktBallRef said it pretty well. In the NFL if you are wearing an inelible number, you must report to the referee that you are going to be eligible, which is announced. They must report every play.
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Old Sun Oct 24, 2004, 08:50pm
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Quote:
Originally posted by BktBallRef
I think you misunderstood what happened in the Bears game. It's perfectly legal for the TE to be uncovered and it's done dozens of times in every game.
That's what confused me. I was thinking "So?" because that's the way the referee (Jeff Triplette - they had a bit of a tough game) explained it twice - he just said illegal formation, tight end was uncovered. The gamebook only says "Illegal formation, 5 yards" and one of the two times it's listed as being on #84 Wade, who is a wide receiver.

Quote:

In the NFL, the formation is illegal if a TE is covered up, or if a lineman who has not reported as eligible is uncovered.
So....help me out here. I've been watching the NFL since 1977, you mean to tell me that in all that time a team has never lined up with a wideout on the same side as the tight end being on the line, covering the tight end? That there's never been anything but flankers out there?

Quote:

In NFHS, as long as there are 7 players on the LOS and all other players are in the backfield except the QB, the formation is legal. If an eligible number is covered up, he is ineligible.
Okay, got it for our level. Two more games left in the season, I've got one more thing to watch out for.
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Old Sun Oct 24, 2004, 09:44pm
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Quote:
Originally posted by OverAndBack
Quote:

In NFHS, as long as there are 7 players on the LOS and all other players are in the backfield except the QB, the formation is legal. If an eligible number is covered up, he is ineligible.
Okay, got it for our level. Two more games left in the season, I've got one more thing to watch out for.
One thing to clarify. The offense can have MORE than 7 players on the line. They could have all 11, but you can imagine the problems with that.

They must have 7 players on the line, any players covered up are ineligible. Don't forget the 50-79 numbering requiremnents either.
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