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Old Tue Mar 09, 2004, 09:38am
ShadowStripes ShadowStripes is offline
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Join Date: Mar 2004
Posts: 116
Agreed, to a certain point. You will get some teams that take advantage of the situation to the extreme, and at some point you cannot penalize a team that is consistently ready at the second horn while the other team dealys for another 10-15 seconds. With that said, I've not put a ball on the floor in years. You've got 2 weapons:
1- After the first delay, take the next opportunity during a dead ball or when you're in front of the coach to ask him to help you out on getting out of the huddle on that first horn. Also, this is one of the rare times when an army of assistant coaches can be helpful to the official. Find one of them who looks responsible standing at the back of the huddle and use him as your intermediary so you don't have to personally bust the huddle. Some of these teams have more assistants than players these days, so there's a good chance you'll find one with nothing to do.
2- If the delays persist, give the whistle an extra long tweet 5 seconds after the second horn until someone in the visiting huddle looks at you. When you get the look, give the body appearance that you're getting ready to put the ball on the floor. This gets them out 95% of the time and usually for the rest of the game as well.

Putting the ball on the floor is one of those situations that an official should not use except in the most egregious circumstances, and if you use your communication and diplomatic skills effectively, you'll only do it a few times in your career.
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