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  #61 (permalink)  
Old Tue Sep 10, 2019, 04:53pm
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Originally Posted by ajmc View Post
Not exactly, but since you asked. The biggest obstacle to consistent Clock operation is....Distractions, which there is an unending, imaginative supply of. Like any other Officiating duty, focus is an acquired skill. Having the advantage (blessing) of working in an area where former Officials (1950s-60s) convinced schools that where field game clocks were used, they would be manned by ONLY certified, active Officials, which has served to minimize problems(and complaints) well.
That would be something that would help us, but often it is some guy that has been around the program or was thrown in to help the clock. I think this would help as we have people then that know or have a great understanding of rules and mechanics. Unfortunately, no one values this position from the school point of view until something bad happens. Even at the college level, we get people that have never played football, let alone know the clock rules. So we are dealing with some interesting issues.

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  #62 (permalink)  
Old Tue Sep 10, 2019, 06:59pm
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Originally Posted by ajmc View Post
In a perfect world, when any official signals "incomplete" or "Stop the clock", ALL their crew mates repeat their signals, which aids the clock operator in seeing the signal. Some fields have MUCH BETTER lights, than others.
My God, no. The covering official signals. He's the only one who blows his whistle, too.

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Originally Posted by ajmc View Post
An extra swipe of a TO signal can be very helpful.
If by extra you mean no more than 2, I agree. [/quote]
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  #63 (permalink)  
Old Tue Sep 10, 2019, 07:01pm
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Originally Posted by JRutledge View Post
That would be something that would help us, but often it is some guy that has been around the program or was thrown in to help the clock. I think this would help as we have people then that know or have a great understanding of rules and mechanics. Unfortunately, no one values this position from the school point of view until something bad happens. Even at the college level, we get people that have never played football, let alone know the clock rules. So we are dealing with some interesting issues.

Peace
I am a HS AD now and I can tell you that we pay our clock operator the exact same as we pay the ticket taker. When I lived in the south, we had a certified official work the clock, but they also got paid as part of the officiating crew. Not going to happen here.

It's a habit for me to look at the clock EVERY TIME it's stopped or started, best I can. And we have to fix the time a fair amount, too. It's just what it is. Changing our mechanics like someone in this thread suggests isn't going to fix this. Hell, I'm always out in the open when I wind the clock and it doesn't always start, either.

The thing that bothers me the most is the operator who thinks he knows better than me and doesn't realize that he gets to make zero judgments -- he doesn't get to say "he hasn't spotted the ball so I won't start the clock" -- when I wind, it should start. That's the operator's job, to do what we tell him to do.
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  #64 (permalink)  
Old Tue Sep 10, 2019, 11:13pm
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Originally Posted by ajmc View Post
Not exactly, but since you asked. The biggest obstacle to consistent Clock operation is....Distractions, which there is an unending, imaginative supply of. Like any other Officiating duty, focus is an acquired skill. Having the advantage (blessing) of working in an area where former Officials (1950s-60s) convinced schools that where field game clocks were used, they would be manned by ONLY certified, active Officials, which has served to minimize problems(and complaints) well.

However some general problems/issues persist and require special attention:

VISIBILITY: Some/many/most HS stadium Press boxes are not as high as we'd like, which causes problems seeing wing officials on both sidelines, especially the closest one, so "signalling" becomes really important. In a perfect world, when any official signals "incomplete" or "Stop the clock", ALL their crew mates repeat their signals, which aids the clock operator in seeing the signal. Some fields have MUCH BETTER lights, than others.

One of everyone's favorite improvements was the conversion to black official's pants, BUT (sadly) they disappear into the background more than the old white knickers, so clear, repetitive signalling has become more important.

Wing officials can get lost in front of either side "Team areas", so the consistently repeated signals of interior field officials is important, especially when the signal may be away from/behind the action. An extra swipe of a TO signal can be very helpful. Some fields allow a lot more people (cheerleaders, special guests, wanderers) along the rest of the sidelines (who tend to congregate along the goal line extended (when allowed to) which further hampers visibility & limits sideline officials movement (and safety)

Although a lot of different people are interested in what & when you signal, remember the ONE you're directing the signal to, is the clock operator. It's not a bad idea, when signalling note the time on the clock, which can help avoid some BS argument efforts. If the clock doesn't stop immediately, KEEP SIGNALLING until it does.

For better, or worse, we're all considered part of the same crew, are dependent on each other, and likely still searching for our FIRST perfect game (no matter how long we've been doing it).
The distraction explanation is very valid. I've heard that many times and the couple times I've sat in a press box helping to run a clock it was easy to get distracted. And the press box wasn't very full when I did it! I'm sure a Friday night varsity game is crazy! I doubt the distraction is any better or worse based on play clock rule used. The silent game clock wind will be an adjustment for the game clock guy because he may rely on the whistle to zone in on starting the clock.
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  #65 (permalink)  
Old Wed Sep 11, 2019, 07:18am
CT1 CT1 is offline
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Originally Posted by Robert Goodman View Post
Ever since the WLAF experimented with this type of play clock 30 years ago, it's insured consistency in one thing at the expense of consistency in another. When you base the time to put the ball in play while the period clock is running on period clock time (which is what the 40 second clock does), you achieve greater consistency in the amount of time team A can take off period time. However, when you base it on the time from the RFP, you achieve greater consistency in the interval during which team A is allowed to put the ball in play.

One of those things matters to a team that's just looking to consume time, and of course to their opponents. The other matters to a team that likes to go no-huddle and use a lot of shifts and motions, threatening to put the ball in play at any moment. When the 40-second clock is in effect, they can't start doing that anyway until the RFP. Depending on when the RFP comes, the 40 second clock provides either more opportunity to team A to do that or more relief to team B in limiting team A's opportunity to do that, compared to the 25-second clock.
That’s just plain wrong.

Assuming that (under the old rule) the RFP was blown within 12-15 seconds after the end of the previous play, that provided a 37-40 second window to snap. The problem was that some R’s weren’t consistent in their pace of game.

Whether the game clock is running or dead has no bearing on the time period between the end of the previous play and the next snap.
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  #66 (permalink)  
Old Wed Sep 11, 2019, 08:05am
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Originally Posted by CT1 View Post
That’s just plain wrong.

Assuming that (under the old rule) the RFP was blown within 12-15 seconds after the end of the previous play, that provided a 37-40 second window to snap.
Even under that generous assumption, that's still a variation of 3 seconds. 3 seconds that one team might want to have, and the other team not want them to have. If it didn't matter, this discussion wouldn't arise. It's not a matter of the time's being sufficient, but of its being fixed.
Quote:
Whether the game clock is running or dead has no bearing on the time period between the end of the previous play and the next snap.
No, but the conditions that determine whether the game clock is running or not do.

If the amount of time allowed in which to play the ball didn't matter, why was that adopted and left unchanged since so long ago? The 40 second clock or something like it could've been adopted in 1940; why wasn't it? What's changed about the game or people's opinions of it? Was it that nobody much noticed until visible clocks came into use?
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  #67 (permalink)  
Old Wed Sep 11, 2019, 10:05am
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Originally Posted by Robert Goodman View Post
If the amount of time allowed in which to play the ball didn't matter, why was that adopted and left unchanged since so long ago? The 40 second clock or something like it could've been adopted in 1940; why wasn't it? What's changed about the game or people's opinions of it? Was it that nobody much noticed until visible clocks came into use?
If I had to venture a guess I would say the assumption was we were generally being consistent if we blew the RFP in 12-15 seconds that was good enough. Then several years ago someone in the NFL came up with the idea of starting a play clock at the end of the play. It's a fairly simple idea but it solves the consistency issue. They did it for several years and then the NCAA adopted it. Everyone there liked it and someone on the rules committee though, "hmmm...that might be a good idea to add to our rules." And they following the process for 4-5 years and it was finally approved.

Things evolve in the game all the time and even though they seem simple and obvious it's sometimes out of the box thinking. A 25-second play clock isn't a bad thing. It generally works fine. But for many the 40/25 provides for a much smoother game and pace. The experiment states all had rave reviews about it. All the new states seem to be a little slower out of the gate and some of that may be resistance to wanting to adopt it. But if done right it really is a smoother and consistent pace.
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  #68 (permalink)  
Old Wed Sep 11, 2019, 02:40pm
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Originally Posted by Rich View Post
My God, no. The covering official signals. He's the only one who blows his whistle, too. If by extra you mean no more than 2, I agree.
[/QUOTE]

I'm surprised, that may be related to which version of Rome you happen to work in. EACH/ALL the locations I've worked in (6) recommended 3 swipes for a TO signal and wanted ALL the field officials to repeat both the whistle & signal when ANY official killed the play (& clock) so that everybody, no matter where they were on the field, knew the play was over, the ball was dead and all the action should STOP.
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  #69 (permalink)  
Old Wed Sep 11, 2019, 02:47pm
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Originally Posted by ajmc View Post

I'm surprised, that may be related to which version of Rome you happen to work in. EACH/ALL the locations I've worked in (6) recommended 3 swipes for a TO signal and wanted ALL the field officials to repeat both the whistle & signal when ANY official killed the play (& clock) so that everybody, no matter where they were on the field, knew the play was over, the ball was dead and all the action should STOP.
Oh God no. Never told to repeat a signal or whistle. If you recognized the ball is dead, we could have multiple whistles, but not unless you are clearly ruling it that way. Otherwise, the calling official will have the only signal and whistle. Now with a first down gained, then it might be multiple officials because you have recognized this takes place, but not just because someone else gives the signal. But for the most part, you do nothing in those cases. Same goes for a TD signal. Only the covering official(s) give the signal. So if that means one official gives the signal, then that is all we need. I even tell the clock people you might have to look for one official doing something, we are not repeating or mirroring such situations.

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  #70 (permalink)  
Old Thu Sep 12, 2019, 07:10am
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Originally Posted by JRutledge View Post
Oh God no. Never told to repeat a signal or whistle. If you recognized the ball is dead, we could have multiple whistles, but not unless you are clearly ruling it that way. we are not repeating or mirroring such situations. Peace
Didn't mean to apply "mirroring" someone else's signals is appropriate, It's generally not, with the exception of STOPPING play. That 1st whistle ENDS the play EVERYWHERE, right, wrong or indifferent. Secondary whistles simply announce to everyone else that the play HAS BEEN ended (so EVERYONE should stop playing, and hopefully avoid doing something unnecessary, now that the ball has been declared DEAD.)

Inside officials (Umpire, Referee, opposite Wing) repeating TO signals can be extremely helpful in avoiding unnecessary problems with delayed clock stoppages caused by the initial signal not being visible to the clock operator (especially when a wing official may be obscured by the congestion in the Team Box area.)
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  #71 (permalink)  
Old Thu Sep 12, 2019, 07:55am
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Originally Posted by ajmc View Post
Didn't mean to apply "mirroring" someone else's signals is appropriate, It's generally not, with the exception of STOPPING play. That 1st whistle ENDS the play EVERYWHERE, right, wrong or indifferent. Secondary whistles simply announce to everyone else that the play HAS BEEN ended (so EVERYONE should stop playing, and hopefully avoid doing something unnecessary, now that the ball has been declared DEAD.)

Inside officials (Umpire, Referee, opposite Wing) repeating TO signals can be extremely helpful in avoiding unnecessary problems with delayed clock stoppages caused by the initial signal not being visible to the clock operator (especially when a wing official may be obscured by the congestion in the Team Box area.)
As a clock operator for college, I can say that having multiple officials stopping the clock can help -- especially when the play ends near one sideline (so I am watching that official to see if the play ended in bounds or out of bounds) and an official not near the play has a stoppage (TO from the "opposite" team, or a flag away from the play, for example). If more officials echo the stop clock, I am more likely to pick it up sooner.

OTOH, it can also be confusing: a fumble, a scrum, the ball ends up near the line to gain, one official peers in the pile and winds the clock; another comes running in and stops the clock; 5 others do nothing (I am sure they are doing something--just nothing that affects the clock).

And, yes, -- there's a lot going on up there, and most of us are wearing multiple hats during the game.
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  #72 (permalink)  
Old Thu Sep 12, 2019, 08:20am
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Originally Posted by bisonlj View Post
several years ago someone in the NFL came up with the idea of starting a play clock at the end of the play.
They tested it first in the WLAF with a 35 second clock. That was one of the reasons for the WLAF: to be a test bed for rules. 35 seconds was found to be unbearably fast, so when the NFL finally did adopt it, they made it 45, which turned out to be unbearably slow.

Whatever, it seems the rules makers have decided that out of this:

DEAD BALL......................................RFP..... ...............................TIME UP

they're more concerned that the total interval be fixed, rather than the interval from RFP to "delay of game".

But then, sometimes they make goofy decisions in that regard. At one time they limited only time in the huddle. Then when they realized time could be wasted "on the line" (officials' judgment as to when that became delay of game), they started limiting both time in the huddle and total time, before someone asked why anyone should care how much of the total time to play the ball the team spent in the huddle.
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  #73 (permalink)  
Old Thu Sep 12, 2019, 08:44am
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Originally Posted by bob jenkins View Post
As a clock operator for college, I can say that having multiple officials stopping the clock can help -- especially when the play ends near one sideline (so I am watching that official to see if the play ended in bounds or out of bounds) and an official not near the play has a stoppage (TO from the "opposite" team, or a flag away from the play, for example). If more officials echo the stop clock, I am more likely to pick it up sooner.
I agree it might be easier to see, but if you have a tight spot where the line to gain is not clearly reached, it would make little sense and would be improper if the Back Judge stops the clock and the player was not out of bounds. You only give that signal as a Back Judge if we are way past that line or it is 4th down, where it does not matter if the LTG is reached. And certainly at the college level we might get asked why we are killing the clock on a play we are not ruling. Just not a good practice for us to use.

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Originally Posted by bob jenkins View Post
OTOH, it can also be confusing: a fumble, a scrum, the ball ends up near the line to gain, one official peers in the pile and winds the clock; another comes running in and stops the clock; 5 others do nothing (I am sure they are doing something--just nothing that affects the clock).
Well on a long delay or clearly a pile after a fumble or loose ball, we are to stop the clock to dig if there is not clear possession beforehand. So you may have an official not near the pile stop the clock.

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Originally Posted by bob jenkins View Post
And, yes, -- there's a lot going on up there, and most of us are wearing multiple hats during the game.
Well, that clearly seems to be the case because of how often we have to correct clock issues at the college level.

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  #74 (permalink)  
Old Thu Sep 12, 2019, 08:53am
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Originally Posted by ajmc View Post
Didn't mean to apply "mirroring" someone else's signals is appropriate, It's generally not, with the exception of STOPPING play. That 1st whistle ENDS the play EVERYWHERE, right, wrong or indifferent. Secondary whistles simply announce to everyone else that the play HAS BEEN ended (so EVERYONE should stop playing, and hopefully avoid doing something unnecessary, now that the ball has been declared DEAD.)
Well I can tell you that again we do not on my crew or most crews I have worked with, blow our whistle on plays we do not see. Even if it is obvious. Players in my experience know when the play is over and often stop. Yes if there are players that are clearly still playing or cannot stop, there might be a whistle from that covering official, but that is not very common. If I do not see leather, I am not blowing my whistle. I am more likely to use my voice or yell at players the "ball is dead" or something so they know what to do at that point. But blowing a whistle for the most part and not ruling on something is a big no-no here. All it takes is that one time.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ajmc View Post
Inside officials (Umpire, Referee, opposite Wing) repeating TO signals can be extremely helpful in avoiding unnecessary problems with delayed clock stoppages caused by the initial signal not being visible to the clock operator (especially when a wing official may be obscured by the congestion in the Team Box area.)
I was a Back Judge on my crew for years with a playoff crew, I probably only blew my whistle on incomplete passes or very long runs. Otherwise, I would never blow my whistle. I am a Referee on the same crew now if the play does not end in the backfield, I do not blow my whistle at all. And even in the backfield it better be at my feet. As I said many plays end without a single whistle.

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  #75 (permalink)  
Old Thu Sep 12, 2019, 01:40pm
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Originally Posted by JRutledge View Post
Well I can tell you that again we do not on my crew or most crews I have worked with, blow our whistle on plays we do not see. Even if it is obvious. Players in my experience know when the play is over and often stop. Yes if there are players that are clearly still playing or cannot stop, there might be a whistle from that covering official, but that is not very common. If I do not see leather, I am not blowing my whistle. I am more likely to use my voice or yell at players the "ball is dead" or something so they know what to do at that point. But blowing a whistle for the most part and not ruling on something is a big no-no here. All it takes is that one time.

I was a Back Judge on my crew for years with a playoff crew, I probably only blew my whistle on incomplete passes or very long runs. Otherwise, I would never blow my whistle. I am a Referee on the same crew now if the play does not end in the backfield, I do not blow my whistle at all. And even in the backfield it better be at my feet. As I said many plays end without a single whistle.

Peace
I am in complete agreement with you here. I'm now an umpire (was an LJ when I created this profile) and I'm sure there are games where I never blow my whistle. Most common instance would be a false start or to alert the crew I had a foul. The only time I do it to signal the end of a play is on a kickoff when I'm the covering official on the return. On regular scrimmage plays I spit out my whistle and use my voice to let players know "plays over!"
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