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  #1 (permalink)  
Old Sun Aug 22, 2004, 05:18pm
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This happen in scrimmage I worked yesterday.

We were working the freshman and sophomore teams. The freshman snapper right before his lineman got to the line completely picked up the ball and was adjusting it while completely off the ground. Since it was a scrimmage I just told the snapper that you "might not want to do that." I had a fellow officials disagree with me and he had a point. Rule 7-1-3d says that a snapper shall not "Following adjustments, lift or move the ball other than in a legal snap." His point of view was that the snapper could adjust the ball by completely lifting the ball off the ground. I say that he cannot, but it is not completely clear in the casebook what the conclusion is. I have always considered this illegal and have not run into anyone until yesterday that thought it was. He referenced the rules and made a good point. But I would also think that if the snapper moved the ball, that would be a foul.

Does anyone have a clearer ruling or a rule of thumb that works for them? Or is it just left to each crew to come up with their definition of what the rule means?

The rules at play are also 7-1-2 as well.

Peace
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Old Sun Aug 22, 2004, 06:15pm
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Hmm... I had an occurance of this happen in a youth scrimmage yesterday. One of my colleagues told the linemen that if the center lifted the ball, he could hit 'em.

That was wrong.

Rule 7.1.2 clearly states "the snapper may lift the ball. . . but may not rotate it end-for-end or change location or fail to keep the long axis [parallel to] the line of scrimmage."
--Clearly this means that the snapper may lift the ball to make an adjustment.

Rule 7.1.3: The snapper shall not: d) *following adjustment* (see rule 7.1.2), life or move the ball other than in a legal snap.

I would say that the center, preparing to snap the ball, may lift the ball to rotate it or place it on end if he sees fit.

This year's casebook only sites rule 7.1.3, but it clearly states in the ruling that those fouls only apply AFTER preliminary adjustments, which may include lifting the ball off the ground to rotate it.

-Craig
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Old Sun Aug 22, 2004, 06:52pm
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Interesting argument, I looked through the rulebook and it seems like your partner is right. The only thing you could argue in some situations is that picking up the ball is movement which simulates the snap. Other than that I don't see anything else.
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Old Sun Aug 22, 2004, 06:59pm
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Lightbulb Putting it back wrong?

So if the snapper lifts the ball completely off the ground, what do we do if they put in back in the wrong place?

Peace
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Old Sun Aug 22, 2004, 07:18pm
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How far off could he conceivably move it? Enough to materially affect the play?

I could see some pickup/adjustment to get the laces where an individual center might feel most comfortable getting ready for the exchange. And as the rules read above, it sounds like he'd be okay.

But after that adjustment, keep it still until the actual exchange.
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Old Sun Aug 22, 2004, 07:30pm
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Quote:
Originally posted by OverAndBack
How far off could he conceivably move it? Enough to materially affect the play?
If you have 4th and inches, I could easy see the LOS moved a half a yard. That could be a great advantage for the offense.

I wish I could show everyone the tape that our association shows every year. There was a play in a college game where the center picked up the ball and put the ball over the goal line. He changed the LOS and he did nothing that I suggested. He was just getting ready to snap the ball. He did not pick the ball completely off the ground and put it back down in the tape.

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Old Sun Aug 22, 2004, 07:48pm
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I've seen centers adjust the ball over the opponent's goal line. I give a degree of freedom on long snaps since this is when you will see the ball moved the most, but on close situations (i.e. goal line or inches from a first down) I keep a close eye on it to make sure it doesn't become an advantage. U's are supposed to call center infractions, but advancing the ball is very tough to catch unless you're on the wing.
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Old Sun Aug 22, 2004, 08:06pm
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Rule 7.1.2 clearly states "the snapper may lift the ball. . . (but may not rotate it end-for-end or change location) or fail to keep the long axis [parallel to] the line of scrimmage."
--Clearly this means that the snapper may lift the ball to make an adjustment

If a snapper may not change location of the ball, how could he possibly lift it off the ground without changing its location? As soon as its in the air the location has changed from the ground to "not on the ground". I feel its a snap infraction.
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Old Sun Aug 22, 2004, 09:01pm
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Here is how Demetriou and Redding say it in "Officials Study Guide to NFHS Football Rules, 2004 Ed., Pg. 7.

"The snapper, after touching the ball, may not do anything that makes it look as if the play is about to begin before he actually snaps the ball. He is not allowed to move the ball forward, lift it, roll it, rotate it end-for-end, fail to keep the long axis of the ball perpendicular to the line of scrimmage or take both his hands off it. He may lift the ball for lateral rotation, tilt to a 90 degree angle, or remove one hand (if he has placed both hands on it) as long as he does so smoothly and slowly. And after all of this, he must clearly pause before the snap.

When I umpired and still now as a referee I tell the snapper that he may spin (moving the laces to the left or right) the ball, but he may not lift it up. The way the rule reads and the way Demetriou and Redding interpret the snapper would be able to lift the ball when he first touches the ball to adjust it and then he can do no other adjustments or lifting of the ball.
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Old Sun Aug 22, 2004, 09:11pm
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Quote:
Originally posted by keystoneref
Rule 7.1.2 clearly states "the snapper may lift the ball. . . (but may not rotate it end-for-end or change location) or fail to keep the long axis [parallel to] the line of scrimmage."
...snip...
Parallel?? surely you meant perpendicular to.

I'm sure the rule about lifting means to allow the center to pick it up a few inches off the ground at most so he can adjust it. Maybe he wants the laces on the left and the Ump set the laces on the right. I believe thats the intent of the rule which is not to let him reach down and raise it up to his midsection. As far as I'm concerned, he just started the snap with that action.
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Old Mon Aug 23, 2004, 02:14am
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I think good officiating from the U would be to get with the centers of each team and ask them where they want the laces to keep the center from having to do much of any adjustments. The less the center has to adjust, the better.

As far as picking it up, just enough to be able to spin it. Anything more than that could warrent a false snap. I mainly say could because if the center moves it forward of where the ball was marked then that would constitute a flag.
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Old Mon Aug 23, 2004, 02:38am
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[QUOTE]Originally posted by Theisey
Quote:
Parallel?? surely you meant perpendicular to.
LOL!

Good eye! I mean to say sidelines, so parallel was correct, but perpendicular is correct when saying LOS.

And don't call me Shirley. ;o)

-Craig
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Old Mon Aug 23, 2004, 09:41am
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cowboyfan has a good point and one that I follow. Of course that means there's more for this feeble mind to remember.

I determine from the centers which side they prefer the laces on, to minimize the amount of ball manuevering. As to the legality of lifting or not, I have always instructed the centers/snappers they can rotate the ball to position the laces, but are not allowed to lift it. The aforementioned rule sitations seem to make that a wrong instruction on my part.
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Old Mon Aug 23, 2004, 11:10am
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I think the spirt of the rule does not allow a player to complete take the ball off the ground. I think this rule is worded to allow some adjustment and slightly take the ball off the ground.

I know on the crews I have worked with over the years they would make sure they put the ball down so that the center would not have to adjust the ball. I am not an umpire but that is what my umpires have done in the past. That helps to not make that much of an issue.
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Old Mon Aug 23, 2004, 12:29pm
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Thanks Guys.....

for the constructive conversation. I thought I was the only one that would see it that way. I can see there is some conflict in at the very least the interpretation of the rule. It sounds like there could be more information from the NF on this. I do not work the NCAA level. Does anyone have a rule for those rules? I would be curious to know what those are for the sake of argument.

Peace
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