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Old Sun Aug 17, 2008, 08:54am
JugglingReferee JugglingReferee is offline
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Join Date: Nov 2000
Location: Near Dog River (sorta)
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Remember the dicker-rod?

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.
Pope Francis
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