The Official Forum  

Go Back   The Official Forum > Football

Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Rate Thread Display Modes
  #1 (permalink)  
Old Fri May 28, 2004, 08:52pm
Official Forum Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: Omaha, Nebraska
Posts: 260
NFHS rules question re: 2-27-2 that states, "The neutral zone may be expanded following the snap up to a maximum of 2 yards behind the defensive line of scrimmage, in the field of play, during any scrimmage down."

Since the definition says, "may be expanded..." my question is: Are there any situations where the neutral zone would not be expanded during a scrimmage play, (other than it can't be expanded into the end zone).
For example, I've noticed officials calling illegal forward passes by A when, on an option play, the QB is slightly behind the back he's pitching the ball to and both are within the "expanded neutral zone." So in a forward passing situation like this where does the foul occur? When the QB is beyond the defensive line of scrimmage, or when the QB is beyond the "expanded neutral zone" (up to 2 yards behind the defensive line of scrimmage)?

__________________
kentref
Reply With Quote
  #2 (permalink)  
Old Fri May 28, 2004, 11:27pm
Official Forum Member
 
Join Date: May 2003
Location: Kirkland, Washington
Posts: 422
Send a message via ICQ to Jim S Send a message via AIM to Jim S
Ah, you've fallen into the trap!
The passer may throw a legal pass from in or behind the neutral zone......but not the expanded neutral zone.
The expanded neutral zone is for blocking purposes.
It allows an offensive lineman to make immediate contact with a B player and drive them backwards as long as they stay in the expanded neutral zone.
Even if contact is maintained, if the player proceeds beyond the expanded zone, he is now downfield illegally.
The passer is restricted to the neutral zone as defined by the ball at the start of the play. In other words his feet can't go beyond the down box before the pass. (well if they do he CAN go back.....)
__________________
Jim Schroeder

Read Rule 2, Read Rule 2, Read Rule 2!
Reply With Quote
  #3 (permalink)  
Old Tue Jun 01, 2004, 08:01am
Official Forum Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: Ten Mile, Tn
Posts: 236
Quote:
Originally posted by Jim S

Even if contact is maintained, if the player proceeds beyond the expanded zone, he is now downfield illegally.
This would be pass interference.
Reply With Quote
  #4 (permalink)  
Old Tue Jun 01, 2004, 11:59am
Official Forum Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: Omaha, Nebraska
Posts: 260
One reason I posted this is to bring attention to the use of the word "may" as opposed to "shall." 2-27-2 uses the word "may," meaning, (or at least appearing to mean), that the neutral zone is not always expanded. I agree with JimS that the expanded neutral zone is a "blocking" phenomenon. I'm still looking for clarification about other situations, (other than not expanding into the end zone), where the neutral zone would not be expanded.

If there aren't any other situations, and the "may" is simply in the rule because line blocking sometimes does not extend past the defensive line of scrimmage, then I'd like confirmation of that. Is that the case?
__________________
kentref
Reply With Quote
  #5 (permalink)  
Old Tue Jun 01, 2004, 12:19pm
Official Forum Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2001
Location: Clinton Township, NJ
Posts: 2,065
REPLY: Another consideration is that the neutral zone is expanded only for offensive players who at the snap immediately contact a B lineman and the contact does not continue beyond the expanded neutral zone. This provides an exception (a "dirty" word in Fed rules) to the rules restricting ineligibles from proceeding beyond the neutral zone on a legal forward pass play before the last pass which crosses the neutral zone. So, it is possible the guard will have the neutral zone expanded, but the tackle next to him may not. PLAY: During a play in which a legal forward pass crosses the neutral zone, guard A67 fires out and contacts defensive tackle B74. He drives him 1.5 yards off the defensive line of scrimmage. Offensive tackle A77 has no defender in front of him, but drifts 1 yard downfield. RULING: A67 is legally downfield (i.e. his neutral zone is expanded); A77 is illegally downfield (i.e. his neutral zone does not expand).
__________________
Bob M.
Reply With Quote
  #6 (permalink)  
Old Tue Jun 01, 2004, 12:31pm
Official Forum Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2000
Posts: 14,614
Quote:
Originally posted by Smiley
Quote:
Originally posted by Jim S

Even if contact is maintained, if the player proceeds beyond the expanded zone, he is now downfield illegally.
This would be pass interference.
And you've called that how many times?
Reply With Quote
  #7 (permalink)  
Old Tue Jun 01, 2004, 01:10pm
Official Forum Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: Ten Mile, Tn
Posts: 236
At this time of year, I am in "book mode". We take our annual test in July. "Grass" football doesn't start until August.
Reply With Quote
  #8 (permalink)  
Old Tue Jun 01, 2004, 01:36pm
Official Forum Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2002
Posts: 489
Smile OPI versus IRIDF

Last season (during the game from Hell!) I read pass, then got up to the line like I'm supposed to (as the umpire) when I saw one of the interior linemen drive block his opponent down the field about 5 yards past me when the pass was thrown into the end-zone (about 20 yards away). I went to my referee and told him I had OPI on number so and so and then he looks at me with a smile and says "I'm going to change that to an ineligible receiver illegally down-field".

I know this is not by the letter of NFHS rules but I understand and accepted what he did.

How do the rest of you feel about this one? I can see making a case for OPI if the pass is thrown near the lineman blocking illegally past the expanded neutral zone or illegally beyond the unexpanded neutral zone with no contact.

In our case the pass was thrown to the corner of the endzone and the block was taking place in the middle of the field near the 20 yard line.

The good thing is I had a nice chat with the coach and explained the rules and he knew that his player committed a foul: his player got an A for effort but an F for rules knowledge! So we both had a good smile and the kids learned something.

Just interested in how you guys feel about this.
__________________
Mike Simonds
Reply With Quote
  #9 (permalink)  
Old Tue Jun 01, 2004, 02:26pm
Official Forum Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2002
Posts: 710
Sounds like a wise white hat. Did A recover and score? They did get an extra down since he waved off the OPI.

Most of the OPI's that I see happen are either swing passes or screens that cross the LOS and they've already got guys blocking downfield for them, or those quick hit plays where there are twin receivers and at the snap, one drives into the other's defender and the other one takes a quick throw - sometimes it crosses the LOS and there will be a flag there, too.

That and the blatant push in the back by the offensive guy on a jump ball.

Oh, and the covered guy who touches the pass downfield.
Reply With Quote
  #10 (permalink)  
Old Tue Jun 01, 2004, 03:36pm
Official Forum Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: Cheyenne, wyoming
Posts: 1,493
while I completely understand and agree that by the letter the drive blocking lineman was down field...would we all have had a flag or more of a warning. In the context of effect on the play, this sounds like calling holding on the side of the field away from a sweep. Just my opinion and looking for discussion not trying to diss anyone
Reply With Quote
  #11 (permalink)  
Old Tue Jun 01, 2004, 04:08pm
JMN JMN is offline
Official Forum Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Posts: 296
To flag or not to flag....

Quote:
Originally posted by cmathews
while I completely understand and agree that by the letter the drive blocking lineman was down field...would we all have had a flag or more of a warning.
Cmatthews,

I was thinking the same thing. Although I would also have to see it, my inclination is to stretch the expanded neutral zone to include this action for that play and issue a stern warning to the offensive lineman.

I'm not sure that I would consider a block 5 yds downfield to have an impact on the play unless it was a short pass over the middle or the defensive player was defending the receiver.

Mike, I'm not criticizing your call. Just thinking out loud.
Reply With Quote
  #12 (permalink)  
Old Tue Jun 01, 2004, 08:30pm
Official Forum Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: Omaha, Nebraska
Posts: 260
I actually had an OPI call on an ineligible lineman blocking downfield. I called it OPI because the guy blocked, then stopped, and then, at a point at least 10 yards downfield, started blocking again. This was in the middle of the field and the pass went to the left side and further down the field (for a TD). Had the lineman stopped after the initial charge I probably would have just talked to him afterwards. My white hat questioned whether I should have flagged it and I can understand why he did so, but an offensive lineman 10 yards downfield, and then blocking away like it's a running play was just too blatant for me not to flag.
As it turned out the rest of his teammates gave him a good verbal butt kicking when he got back to the huddle.
__________________
kentref
Reply With Quote
  #13 (permalink)  
Old Thu Jun 03, 2004, 01:18pm
Official Forum Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2002
Posts: 489
Smile Thanks guys!

I appreciate all your comments...

Upon further review, I felt very good about upholding the penalty for ineligible receiver illegally down-field on a forward pass that crossed the neutral zone.

It would be OPI if the pass was anyway near the blocker who was downfield.

In my view, it just looks too obvious to have an offensive lineman downfield beyond the expanded neutral zone (in this case, I remember he was at least 5 to 8 yards past the line of scrimmage when the pass was in the air).

Its like those obvious calls like false starts, illegal formations, etc.; sometimes an advantage is not gained but the action is so obvious you just have to call it...
__________________
Mike Simonds
Reply With Quote
  #14 (permalink)  
Old Sat Jun 05, 2004, 12:15am
Official Forum Member
 
Join Date: May 2003
Location: Kirkland, Washington
Posts: 422
Send a message via ICQ to Jim S Send a message via AIM to Jim S
Quote:
Originally posted by cmathews
In the context of effect on the play, this sounds like calling holding on the side of the field away from a sweep.
Have to disagree that these are the same. While a hold away from the play almost always will not affect the play, having a player downfield, and especially blocking downfield, could affect the play and you would never know irt. ie: a defensive back see the blocking and thinks "Aha! Blocking downfield....no pass here." And leaves his receiver to come up to cover the run.
__________________
Jim Schroeder

Read Rule 2, Read Rule 2, Read Rule 2!
Reply With Quote
  #15 (permalink)  
Old Sat Jun 05, 2004, 10:30am
Official Forum Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: Omaha, Nebraska
Posts: 260
JimS - excellent point.
__________________
kentref
Reply With Quote
Reply

Bookmarks

Thread Tools
Display Modes Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On



All times are GMT -5. The time now is 07:08am.



Search Engine Friendly URLs by vBSEO 3.3.0 RC1