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Old Sat Aug 12, 2017, 09:27pm
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Flag vs. Whistle and Flag, Linesman, NFHS

I would Just like to go through all plays where a Linesman would have a flag only vs. whistle and flag, at the start of a play. Please add any I miss to the list and correct any errors.

1. Encroachment, both offense and defense = whistle and flag.
2. Illegal Motion, when one A player in motion moves towards the line of scrimmage prior to the snap. Flag, but NO whistle.
3. Illegal Motion, when two A players go in motion at the same time. Flag, (Whistle or not Whistle?) Who throws the flag and has primary responsibility for this? Referee or Linesman?
4, Other plays?

?Does a Linesman ever call the center for a snap infraction, or is that only the umpires responsibility? = whistle and flag.
?Does a Linesman ever flag and whistle a false start in the backfield? Or is that Referee only?
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Old Sat Aug 12, 2017, 09:42pm
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Wing officials can throw flags in numerous situations. Wings are certainly going to flag illegal motion (which the referee cannot judge very well) and snap infractions if they see them. Referees are generally primary on false starts by a back between the tackles, but line of scrimmage officials will flag false starts by wings or flankers who are also backs, when they are outside the tackles.

Wing officials are responsible for the Tackle on their side after the snap, so may throw a flag for a holding foul or for another illegal block by either offense or defense. The wing official also picks up the runner when he gets to the line, and is responsible for fouls by or against the runner, as well as any fouls in the immediate vicinity of the runner. Before the runner gets to the line, the wing is responsible for blocks in front of the runner. On passing plays, the wing is responsible for illegal forward passes, pass interference, holding by either team, illegal touching, etc. The wing is also responsible to assist the referee on intentional grounding fouls, though the referee will have the flag in that case.

No foul will cause a live ball to become dead, so whistles will ONLY be blown if the ball is dead or the dead ball was attempting to be put into play by an illegal snap or illegal kick. Most fouls are live ball fouls and the official must continue to officiate after throwing the flag.

I think your task will be very difficult. I can't see how to make a short, yet comprehensive, list of all situations that a wing official will react to with a flag or with a whistle.

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Old Sat Aug 12, 2017, 09:48pm
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All good comments. Thanks.
I was really concentrating on infractions that occur at or before the snap.
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Old Sat Aug 12, 2017, 10:04pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by johnyd View Post
I would Just like to go through all plays where a Linesman would have a flag only vs. whistle and flag, at the start of a play. Please add any I miss to the list and correct any errors.

1. Encroachment, both offense and defense = whistle and flag.
2. Illegal Motion, when one A player in motion moves towards the line of scrimmage prior to the snap. Flag, but NO whistle.
3. Illegal Motion, when two A players go in motion at the same time. Flag, (Whistle or not Whistle?) Who throws the flag and has primary responsibility for this? Referee or Linesman?
4, Other plays?

?Does a Linesman ever call the center for a snap infraction, or is that only the umpires responsibility? = whistle and flag.
?Does a Linesman ever flag and whistle a false start in the backfield? Or is that Referee only?
The easiest way to put it is dead ball fouls = "whistle and flag," live ball fouls/fouls simultaneous with the snap = "flag only." Here are the most common scenarios for short wing officials near the time of the snap.

Whistle/Flag: Encroachment, False Start, Snap Infraction (this is the umpire's primary, wing's secondary)
Flag Only: Illegal Formation, Illegal Shift, Illegal Motion

Responsibility on shift and motion can fall on either the R or wing, depending on whose key is moving. R has responsibility on false starts by backs, but wings can definitely pick this up if the R misses it.
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Old Sun Aug 13, 2017, 08:11am
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If a player can correct the problem before the snap, it's only a foul when the ball is snapped. Illegal Motion, Illegal Shift, and Illegal Formation are the most common of these.

If it's always going to be a foul regardless of what the offender does afterward, it's a foul before the snap. False Start, Encroachment, and Illegal Substitution are the most common here.
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Old Sun Aug 13, 2017, 08:44pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by johnyd View Post
2. Illegal Motion, when one A player in motion moves towards the line of scrimmage prior to the snap
...and continues thru the time of the snap....
Quote:
Flag, but NO whistle.

3. Illegal Motion, when two A players go in motion at the same time
...and do not subsequently come to a stop for a second, before the ball is snapped...
Quote:
Flag, (Whistle or not Whistle?)
No whistle.

The way it works in all the major codes is that if there's some condition that becomes illegal at, and only at, the time the snap begins, there's no justif'n for flagging, let alone stopping play, until the ball's snapped, and also the rules makers didn't want the snap itself to trigger the condition for a whistle. So AFAIK in all major codes these "fouls occurring at the time of the snap" all require play to continue.

But those are cases where part of the condition is something occurring prior to the snap, and then the snap makes them illegal. There are now cases that require whistling because of something that occurs only during the snap, constituting illegal snap or interference with the snap. The fiction is that the ball remained dead, even though a short period of time must've elapsed starting when the snapper moved the ball -- so it's a slightly retroactive dead ball.

Last edited by Robert Goodman; Sun Aug 13, 2017 at 08:48pm.
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