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Old Sat Aug 16, 2008, 10:43pm
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Old down box photo

Found this on the UniWatch blog. Does this mean the linesman never moved?

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Old Sun Aug 17, 2008, 08:54am
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Remember the dicker-rod?

http://home.cogeco.ca/~hfoa/HFOA%20W...cker%20rod.htm

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dicker-rod

Quote:
The dicker-rod

The dicker-rod was used by the now defunct World Football League for their 1974 season. When you think about it, it's a pretty simple idea that allowed for one man to measure a first down instead of two.

The dicker-rod was a 2 yard rod with the WFL symbol on top. The dicker-rod had a marker (a small stick that extended out of the rod) on the rod which was used to mark the distance from the gridline (5,10,15,20 ... yard lines). The dicker-rod was used by one individual, and replaced the two-man first-down chains.

Example of its use: A team has a 1st & 10 on it's own 23. The dicker-rod is placed on the 23. Keeping the bottom on the ground, the rod is put on the ground to intersect the nearest gridline (25 yard-line). The marker is placed on the rod at the gridline intersection (2 yards up the rod). The rod was then brought up field, the marker on the rod was placed on the 35 yard-line. The bottom of the rod was put on the ground, the rod was stood up-right. Now, the rod is at the 33 yard-line.

When measuring for a first-down the rod was brought out and the marker on the rod was used to measure the distance from the 35 yard-line to the 33 yard-line. When measuring for a first down the dicker-rod was actually faster. The operator did not have to wait to be ushered onto the field by a referee, and players did not have to get out of the way of a 10 yard chain. The operator simply ran out with the rod and the first-down was measured.
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Old Mon Aug 18, 2008, 10:50am
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Quote:
Found this on the UniWatch blog. Does this mean the linesman never moved?
This photo looks like it is from the 1920's or 1930's. A few years ago I obtained a reprint of a 1930's book called Football Officiating by E. C. Krieger via some friends in Ohio (Jack Winter, Gary Arthur). Krieger was a Big Ten official and Secretary of the Rules Committee 1945-47. If you struggle with PSK rules, blame him!

The book includes a section about the Linesman's assistants (chain crew) and how to instruct them not to move till instructed to do so. It then goes on to talk about the Linesman's stick (the item in the photo that HL in NC posted)......

"Why it is necessary for the Linesman to encumber himself with a useless piece of equipment such as a stick carried on the field is quite beyond my understanding. With the necessary points marked at all times on the sideline and the Linesman stationed at the point of the next down on every down, the only point to the entire procedure is the sharp point of the stick, this point being more in the nature of a menace to the safety of players than a help to officiating."

This was illustrated with photos of a Linesman following a running play carrying his stick akin to a matador looking to stab a bull.

My understanding is that the Lineman stuck the stick into the turf to hold the forward progress spot enabling him to relay in a ball, physically bring up the box man, etc. They clearly did not have the same grasp of Health and Safety legislation back then as we do today. It goes on to suggest that the only use for the stick was a weapon to discipline unruly players or for the Linesman's self protection.

The final word by E C Krieger about the stick was this...
"If the Linesman feels he needs protection, a small automatic is more effective and much easier to carry."
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Old Mon Aug 18, 2008, 11:33pm
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His bow-tie is crooked. I kinda like his hat.

This must be the era when the wing would "punch" his arm towards the goal line to indicate the ball had crossed into the EZ and the R, seeing this, would give the TD signal. I've also seen films of wings literally jumping into the air as they raised their arms to signal a TD.
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Old Tue Aug 19, 2008, 01:53am
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I have a few videos from 1904 and they only had 2 officials. I'm not sure if they were set positions, but it looks basically like a R and an U. I wouldn't be surprised if this wasn't the Umpire.
I would also venture to guess it is from the 20's - he isn't wearing a jacket and stove-top hat like in the videos I've seen.
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Old Tue Aug 19, 2008, 02:51pm
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I haven't seen a photo of the dickerrod yet, and the description of it confuses the hell out of me.
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Old Tue Aug 19, 2008, 03:01pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Forksref
This must be the era when the wing would "punch" his arm towards the goal line to indicate the ball had crossed into the EZ and the R, seeing this, would give the TD signal. I've also seen films of wings literally jumping into the air as they raised their arms to signal a TD.
The touchdown was the same as the signal we still have for dead ball: one hand (some used a fist) straight up. I last saw it used at a televised Hula Bowl game in the 1970s; apparently up-to-date signals took a while to make it to Hawaii. (Before that, at an Ivy League game in the late 1960s.) It could be accompanied by pointing with the index finger on the other hand downward to the location; if you want to see this today, it survives as the signal for a try in rugby.

Wing officials, if they wanted to "sell" the call -- for instance, if the runner got the ball over and was thrown back -- would stand on the goal line and swing the arm overhead, sometimes with a body sway, slowly from the field of play to the end zone, rapidly back. They looked like cheerleaders doing that.

The two hand TD signal was originally used only for field goals and successfully kicked tries. It simulates the goal posts.

Robert
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Old Tue Aug 19, 2008, 03:19pm
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Is it me, or does the linesman look like Colonel Sanders?

It's called a box because it actually was a box with 4 sides, numbered 1, 2, 3, and 4. The number facing the field was the down.

Last edited by Rich; Tue Aug 19, 2008 at 03:31pm.
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