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  #1 (permalink)  
Old Tue Oct 03, 2017, 08:23pm
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NCAA Targeting Rule

If anyone has some free time and cares to watch this:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5hCJmDMMF_Q

This video is at least a year old. Have any of the rules regarding targeting changed in that time?

I assume that since these calls survive a review, and in a lot of cases are actually "confirmed," that they're correct as the rule is written?

I don't watch a lot of college football, and calls like this don't make me want to. I'm looking for clarification and potentially some explanations.
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Old Tue Oct 03, 2017, 08:53pm
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Instant replay starts with the underlying assumption the ruling on the field is CORRECT.

After a replay, the referee will announce one of three results:
"Confirmed" means that the video evidence shows conclusively that the ruling on the field was correct.
"Reversed" or "Overturned" means that the video shows conclusively that the ruling on the field was incorrect.
"Stands" means that there was not enough video evidence to prove that the call was correct OR to prove that the call was incorrect, and therefore the ruling on the field will remain as it was called on the field.

I don't know when these plays occurred, but the video was posted in December 2016, so they were in the 2016 season or before. There was a change to the targeting rule in the 2016 season that required an "indicator of targeting" to be present for a targeting foul to be called.

Indicators of targeting are:
Launch - player leaving his feet to attack an opponent
Crouch followed by upward thrust (even if the players feet remain on the ground)
Leading with helmet, forearm, fist, hand, or elbow to attack the head/neck area.
Lowering the head before attacking with the crown of the helmet.

When in question, it IS a foul.
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Old Tue Oct 03, 2017, 10:17pm
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And most of those were clearly targeting.
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Old Tue Oct 03, 2017, 11:36pm
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Originally Posted by Rich View Post
And most of those were clearly targeting.
Can I ask which one(s) you feel weren't?

Is a quarterback "defenseless" by rule? Or would the tackle of the QB that was flagged in the video have been considered targeting regardless of who the runner was?

The indicators that were posted suggest to me that intent is a requirement, but there are a couple plays in that video that just seems like a good tackle with minimal, incidental contact.

It's obvious why they're emphasizing targeting the way they are, but I feel ejecting players for hits that aren't in any way malicious is excessive. Unfortunately a lot of people probably see ejections like the ones in the video and blame the officials for it when they're just enforcing the rule.

I don't watch football for the big hits, but it takes a lot away from the game for me seeing players get ejected for tackles that I don't feel should warrant ejection. Just my rambling opinion.
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Old Wed Oct 04, 2017, 06:53am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FormerUmp View Post
Can I ask which one(s) you feel weren't?
I don't watch football for the big hits, but it takes a lot away from the game for me seeing players get ejected for tackles that I don't feel should warrant ejection. Just my rambling opinion.
This is why ALL targeting fouls are now automatically reviewed in NCAA. (It's also why targeting doesn't carry an automatic ejection in HS)

Players must learn to lower their "strike zone" to avoid targeting penalties.
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Old Wed Oct 04, 2017, 08:40am
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I guess part of the problem I have is the automatic ejection if it's deemed targeting. I'm going to go through the plays as I see them as a fan with minimal rules knowledge specific to targeting.

The first play (0:00) I can see being penalized. He didn't use great form, essentially leading with his shoulder in a way that had him going in somewhat blindly, but as the commentators said, the blow to the head was a result of the bracing for impact, not the defender head-hunting. An ejection is undeserved there.

The second play (0:43) I don't believe should be a penalty at all. The quarterback lowered his head and shoulder into the contact as well. How do they penalize one and not the other?

The third play (2:39) I can see where the flag is thrown as there was helmet-to-helmet contact, but it certainly wasn't malicious. It was facemask to chest contact primarily.

The fourth play (4:33) is just inexcusably bad. I can understand that watching the play live, the official may not have seen that the player was essentially pushed into the quarterback on the ground by an offensive lineman. But to uphold that call on review is absolutely shameful.

The fifth play (5:45) is just a great football play. I don't see it meeting the wording in jTheUmp's post, so I assume there's some interpretation being utilized? It's a shame that the play resulted in a penalty and it's made even worse by an ejection.

As I've stated in a previous post, jTheUmp's post, and the penalty being called "targeting," suggests to me that there's supposed to be some level of intent to justify an ejection. I just don't see that in any of these five plays.

One other opinion I'd like to throw out there. I personally feel these calls should be reviewed differently. The call should be made entirely based on replay. Either it's targeting or it's not. There should be no "call stands" when it's determining whether or not a player is allowed to stay in the game.
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Old Wed Oct 04, 2017, 10:39am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FormerUmp View Post
I guess part of the problem I have is the automatic ejection if it's deemed targeting. I'm going to go through the plays as I see them as a fan with minimal rules knowledge specific to targeting.

The first play (0:00) I can see being penalized. He didn't use great form, essentially leading with his shoulder in a way that had him going in somewhat blindly, but as the commentators said, the blow to the head was a result of the bracing for impact, not the defender head-hunting. An ejection is undeserved there.

The second play (0:43) I don't believe should be a penalty at all. The quarterback lowered his head and shoulder into the contact as well. How do they penalize one and not the other?

The third play (2:39) I can see where the flag is thrown as there was helmet-to-helmet contact, but it certainly wasn't malicious. It was facemask to chest contact primarily.

The fourth play (4:33) is just inexcusably bad. I can understand that watching the play live, the official may not have seen that the player was essentially pushed into the quarterback on the ground by an offensive lineman. But to uphold that call on review is absolutely shameful.

The fifth play (5:45) is just a great football play. I don't see it meeting the wording in jTheUmp's post, so I assume there's some interpretation being utilized? It's a shame that the play resulted in a penalty and it's made even worse by an ejection.

As I've stated in a previous post, jTheUmp's post, and the penalty being called "targeting," suggests to me that there's supposed to be some level of intent to justify an ejection. I just don't see that in any of these five plays.

One other opinion I'd like to throw out there. I personally feel these calls should be reviewed differently. The call should be made entirely based on replay. Either it's targeting or it's not. There should be no "call stands" when it's determining whether or not a player is allowed to stay in the game.
Your title is former ump. Things are changing in football officiating. As our state director says, hits that used to cause the coach to give out an award is now causing a player to be ejected.

No matter what any of us think, football will cease to exist if we don't clean up high hits. Moms, not doctors, will decide their beloveds will not be allowed to play. I think the game is safer today but I also think additional safeguards are coming in future years.
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Old Wed Oct 04, 2017, 11:05am
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1st play: I understand the flag on the field but thought it should be picked up on replay, the receiver lowered the target area into the defender, who didn't really initiate the contact up high. But still, the defender is just going in blind, dipping the head. This is the behavior they're trying to eliminate - for boths

2nd play: Ok, I'll give you this one , but this clip is from 2013, I believe, the first year of the rule. They were still feeling their way and erring on the side of safety. But still, the defender chose to stay relatively high and put himself in the danger zone of a tight call going against him. And it did.

3rd play: Yea, I have no problem with this call at all. Upward crouch, defender looking to do nothing but punish the receiver. Maybe the contact did start in the upper chest, but it continued to the face. Good enough for me.

4th play: I've never understood why this call wasn't reversed in replay. But I don't really worry about injustices that happen to Meatchicken!

5th play: Similar to play 2, I feel for the kid - but play lower and you're less likely for it to happen. Err on the side of safety, get lower. He did hit the receiver with his shoulder in the face mask. Maybe he didn't mean to - but he did. I support this call.
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Old Wed Oct 04, 2017, 11:54am
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The 4th play. I believe by rule video replay at that time could only rule if the contact was to the head/neck area. They were not allowed to review anything else. The rule has been changed so they can review all aspects of targeting.
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Old Wed Oct 04, 2017, 02:58pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brettdj View Post
The 4th play. I believe by rule video replay at that time could only rule if the contact was to the head/neck area. They were not allowed to review anything else. The rule has been changed so they can review all aspects of targeting.
The specifics of the targeting rule as it relates to replay has not changed this year. The last two years at least the rule is basically the same. So if the video from last year would apply to the basic rule. Beforehand you had to keep the penalty but they would review if it was targeting and rule that targeting did not take place and overturn the ejection only.

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Old Thu Oct 05, 2017, 01:17am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SE Minnestoa Re View Post
Your title is former ump. Things are changing in football officiating. As our state director says, hits that used to cause the coach to give out an award is now causing a player to be ejected.

No matter what any of us think, football will cease to exist if we don't clean up high hits. Moms, not doctors, will decide their beloveds will not be allowed to play. I think the game is safer today but I also think additional safeguards are coming in future years.
I've officiated baseball in the past, but not football.

I'd certainly say I have a higher than average rules knowledge of football, but not to the level of someone who officiates the sport.
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Old Tue Oct 10, 2017, 04:09pm
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How does replay miss this so badly?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pgZ_mpb_nGg
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Old Tue Oct 10, 2017, 08:55pm
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Probably the same way that low, inside slider sometimes just catches/just misses the corner of the plate.
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Old Tue Oct 10, 2017, 09:50pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FormerUmp View Post
How does replay miss this so badly?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pgZ_mpb_nGg
You make it sound like this wasn't even close, it's 2 to 3 inches away from being a very valid call. I didn't think it was targeting - and today the Big 10 office agreed that it wasn't - but I think the call is absolutely supportable.

And I'm a massive Ohio State fan, but I can set that aside to watch this with my eyes, not my heart, and know that this was a very close call.
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Old Wed Oct 11, 2017, 02:44am
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Originally Posted by scrounge View Post
You make it sound like this wasn't even close, it's 2 to 3 inches away from being a very valid call. I didn't think it was targeting - and today the Big 10 office agreed that it wasn't - but I think the call is absolutely supportable.

And I'm a massive Ohio State fan, but I can set that aside to watch this with my eyes, not my heart, and know that this was a very close call.
Live, absolutely. Not on replay.
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