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  #1 (permalink)  
Old Sun Nov 24, 2002, 10:56pm
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Need input from other officials--legal or illegal: Center is the last player at the end of the line of scrimmage and has been declared an eligible receiver. Center snaps the ball and then goes out for a pass. Is this legal?
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Old Mon Nov 25, 2002, 06:42am
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Quote:
Originally posted by Derock1986
Need input from other officials--legal or illegal: Center is the last player at the end of the line of scrimmage and has been declared an eligible receiver. Center snaps the ball and then goes out for a pass. Is this legal?
Under NFHS rules, this is legal. As long as the team has 5 OTHER players number 50-79 on the line AND as long as the snapper has an eligible number.
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Old Mon Nov 25, 2002, 06:45am
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NFHS:

As long as the center is on the end of the line and wearing an eligible number, 1-49, 80-99, he is eligible. In HS you can not be "declared". Numbers and position are the controling factors.

A number of schools run the "swinging gate". Everybody but the center kicker & holder line up to one l side of the center. If B does not adjust A runs the ball, usually a pass to the center. Now every team expects it so it doesn't happen all that often.
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Old Sat Nov 30, 2002, 06:00am
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Quote:
Originally posted by mikesears
Quote:
Originally posted by Derock1986
Need input from other officials--legal or illegal: Center is the last player at the end of the line of scrimmage and has been declared an eligible receiver. Center snaps the ball and then goes out for a pass. Is this legal?
Under NFHS rules, this is legal. As long as the team has 5 OTHER players number 50-79 on the line AND as long as the snapper has an eligible number.
In youth football, numbers has no bearing on positions. In my judgement, the center cannot be both a snapper and pass receiver. The center is a unique lineman position because his status NEVER changes--he is the snapper. Tackle, Guard positions--yes but center? Not while I'm wearing the white hat. Something else to consider, if the center is eligible this also means the defender cannot make any contact with the center because he is an eligible receiver. True or not true?
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Old Sat Nov 30, 2002, 06:25am
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Derock,

You should reconsider your last statement. If the youth league waives the numbering requirement (most do), then the only requirement to be an eligible receiver is to be on the end of the line or in the backfield. Your opnion of this rule should have no bearing on your enforcement of it during a game. We are there to ENFORCE the rules, not to make them up.

As far as contact on the center, all normal contact is allowed, except if the team is in scrimmage kick formation. Then he has the extra protection afforded by the rules.
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Old Sat Nov 30, 2002, 07:45am
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Quote:
Originally posted by STEVED21
Derock,

You should reconsider your last statement. If the youth league waives the numbering requirement (most do), then the only requirement to be an eligible receiver is to be on the end of the line or in the backfield. Your opnion of this rule should have no bearing on your enforcement of it during a game. We are there to ENFORCE the rules, not to make them up.

As far as contact on the center, all normal contact is allowed, except if the team is in scrimmage kick formation. Then he has the extra protection afforded by the rules.
I agree we should not make a rule up and I also understand that my argument is not supported in the rule book. But the rule book does not specifically address the eligibility of the center as a pass receiver (I know you're probably thinking it doesn't specifically address the guard or tackle either but they can be eligible--read on and I will try to explain my logic). Any attempt by the offense to intentionally deceive the defense on the eligibility of a player is a foul. This is why the player pretending to run off the field and then goes out for a pass is a foul. Linemen are generally understood not to be receivers. Position numbering helps the defense identify positions AND eligibility. The players on the end of both sides (left and right) of the line are eligible receivers. The center position indicates the middle of the line of scrimmage and is therefore ineligible. Again, the rule book does NOT support my argument but the rule book illustrations are more supportive of my interpretation than anyone who says the center can be an eligible receiver. I know I will have some, most, or maybe even ALL officials disagree with me but its my understanding that end of the line eligible rule does not include the center.
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Old Sat Nov 30, 2002, 08:26am
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The player pretending to run off the field is guilty of a foul because of the use of a substitution or pretended substitution to deceive the defense, not deception by position. Take our word for it the snapper is eligible as long as he fulfills all of the other requirements. Legal number and on the end of the line. Obviously he fulfills the requirement of being within 15 yards of the ball between the ready signal and the snap.

[Edited by WVREF on Nov 30th, 2002 at 08:29 AM]
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Old Sat Nov 30, 2002, 08:35am
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Derock:
You are WAY OFF base here. I realize you may be in the difficult situation where this issue has become major in your youth league and you have stated your position publicly to 1 or more coaches. But one of the greatest attributes an official can have is to admit when he is wrong. You need to do that. If you have any input with your League you can ask them to make a league-specific rule that makes the snapper ineligible.

I used to coach in a youth league where "numbers didn't matter". I had the kids plaing man to man pass defense so it was crucial we knew who was eligible and who was not. Due to the numbering problems, I convinced the League to force any team using an "ineligible number" on an eligible receiver to put a red sleeveless jersey over his regular jersey. that put an end to all the craziness.
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Old Sat Nov 30, 2002, 08:58am
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Understanding?

Derock,
You stated that its your "understanding" that the center isn't included for being eligible on the end of the line. Where exactly did you gain that understanding? If it wasn't in the rule book, then its not a place to gain that understanding. And I also agree with the other guys in the opinion that this just doesn't compare to the deception play at all. The center on the end of the line is just a play that conforms to the rules, thats all.

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Old Sat Nov 30, 2002, 12:35pm
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Derock,

I don't know where you are coming up with your "understanding" of the rules. In almost half the HS games I have done in the last 20 years on all levels, one team employs yhe swinging gate play on the try. Sometimes they actually fool B and score 2 pts. off it. Hard to imagine since it is so common but it happens. Please get over your problem with this formation, as you will see it many times in your career.
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Old Sat Nov 30, 2002, 07:25pm
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Quote:
Originally posted by Derock1986
Need input from other officials--legal or illegal: Center is the last player at the end of the line of scrimmage and has been declared an eligible receiver. Center snaps the ball and then goes out for a pass. Is this legal?
### You have been provided input from several, yet you say in your judgement the center cannot be an eligible receiver because the rules specifically do not address this. They do address this with the words by number and by position on the line. No other words are needed.

Have you ever seen the "swinging gate" formation used on a TRY? It's part of about every teams playbook and guess what? The snapper (notice I did not say center) is wearing an eligible number and is on the end of the line. Guess what again, this is a legal formation and by rule, yes by rule this snapper can be an eligible receiver if he wears a number 1-49, or 80-99 as he is on the end of the line.
You'll not find anything in the rule books regarding swinging gate plays.

You do not need specific rules that say the center can be eiligible. The term center is a coaching term as is guard or tackle terminoligy. They define relative positions on the line.
Never seen an END playing guard? By formation definition, he is right next to the "center" and that is the "guard" position but he is the only person on that side and that makes him the "end" as the same time. Is he eligible to catch a pass? Maybe, if he is wearing the right number on his jersey and the other numbering requirments are meet.

From years back, I know that youth football people can modify rules as they see fit. So if they say the center cannot be eligible they have to be more specific in what they are saying. They have to say the snapper is not eligible no matter what number he is wearing and his postion on the line relative to the other six people on the line.

Otherwise, if they say we play NFHS rules (or ncaa rules) the snapper can be eligible under certain formations.
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Old Sun Dec 01, 2002, 12:26am
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Thumbs down

Hard to figure. I'm sorry but you're a white hat and you don't understand this situation?

The player is on the end of the line and he is eligible by number. There is no deception. The requirements of the rule have been met.
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Old Sun Dec 01, 2002, 06:30am
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I have heard enough replies to reverse my position on this call. While I still do not agree with the center being an eligible receiver (strictly opinionated), the forum is overwhelming clear that this is a legal play. I will NOT call this illegal in a game situation. By the way, I never called this illegal in a game situation just questioned in my mind if it was legal. Thanks for everyone's input. The team that ran this play tried a few other trick plays that involved the center. The other play they ran was a center sneak. The center snaps the ball to touch the QB hands and then tucks the ball and runs. I blew this one dead before he took 3 steps and called false start on the center. This is clearly a snap infraction because the center must release the ball in order to be a legal snap. This call I'm 100% certain!
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Old Sun Dec 01, 2002, 07:09am
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Quote:
Originally posted by Derock1986
The other play they ran was a center sneak. The center snaps the ball to touch the QB hands and then tucks the ball and runs. I blew this one dead before he took 3 steps and called false start on the center. This is clearly a snap infraction because the center must release the ball in order to be a legal snap. This call I'm 100% certain!
Congrats for seeing the light!!! As for the "center sneak", under NCAA rules that is not a "false start on the center" but is an "illegal snap". Signal and the penalty are the same for both but just to be accurate, it is an illegal snap.
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Old Sun Dec 01, 2002, 01:17pm
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Quote:
Originally posted by Derock1986
I have heard enough replies to reverse my position on this call. While I still do not agree with the center being an eligible receiver (strictly opinionated), the forum is overwhelming clear that this is a legal play. I will NOT call this illegal in a game situation. By the way, I never called this illegal in a game situation just questioned in my mind if it was legal. Thanks for everyone's input. The team that ran this play tried a few other trick plays that involved the center. The other play they ran was a center sneak. The center snaps the ball to touch the QB hands and then tucks the ball and runs. I blew this one dead before he took 3 steps and called false start on the center. This is clearly a snap infraction because the center must release the ball in order to be a legal snap. This call I'm 100% certain!
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