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Old Mon Oct 18, 2004, 10:42pm
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Had to happen eventually, right?

First play of the fourth quarter in a freshman game today. Team A runs for a touchdown. They kick off.

Runner is coming up with the return, and R2 blocks K2 in the back, absolutely no question about it. Right in the rear number.

I throw the flag. Then my brain says, "Would you like a whistle with that?" And for some reason, I say, "Why yes, I would, thank you."

Just as I throw the flag, I hear K2's coach behind me (I'm on the wing) say "Great call!" and the play continued because I didn't blow the whistle strong and only blew it once. I was hoping no one noticed. But they did. So they stopped eventually.

I learned a valuable lesson: Keep your whistle out of your mouth. Our referee said "If you're going to blow it, really blow it." He was cool about it, we went on. I felt bad, but I know that it's happened to almost everybody, and that I'm glad it happened in my 10th game and not my 1,100th, and that it didn't cost anybody bigtime or get anybody hurt.

I know better. I knew better then. I have no idea why it happened except that it was a rookie mistake. But it was a good learning experience.
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Old Mon Oct 18, 2004, 11:07pm
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THat's good, we've all had our Inadvertant whistles, some of us our luckier than others, I have not had one this year, atleast not yet, I am pretty luck this year.

I often run with the whistle in my mouth and don't have problems. The only IW's I had were because I meant to blow the whistle, I've never been running down field and accidentally blew one. I do spit the whistle out on sweeps to the other side but most of the play the whistle is in my mouth. Does anyone think that's a bad habbit?
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Old Mon Oct 18, 2004, 11:31pm
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I had my first one in 8 years this year. It happens to the best of us.

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Old Mon Oct 18, 2004, 11:39pm
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Red face

I've had two inadvertent whistles so far.
(Knock on wood!)

1. Long run going away from me with two blockers ahead. Two defenders coming across the field. Defenders hit the offensive blockers and all go out of bounds. I blow the whistle and then see the runner still in bounds headed for the TD. White hat comes up and says he saw it, he was out of bounds (just backing me up). Worst part was I was on the offense's sideline and they were down 40-0 and they never did score during this game.

2. Sweep to my side on b's 20. I stay ahead and set up on the GL (I think!) Runner goes by and I blow my whistle and get ready to signal TD when I realize I am standing on 5. Luckily, they scored on the next play.

Both happened during first 3 weeks of the season on a Jr. High league.

I learned quickly not to blow my whistle until I was 110% sure the play had ended.

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Old Tue Oct 19, 2004, 12:41am
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Welcome to the club, OAB.

You're now a better official.
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Old Tue Oct 19, 2004, 03:27am
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I have had 2 so far in my, soon to be 4 year career. First one was a fake hand off up the middle. Fullback goes in and is down. I see a brown point and think there's the ball. I start to blow my whistle and the QB blows by me with ball in hand. I could not stop in time. Whistle lasted all of .1 seconds, but long enough to be heard. About 4 defenders had picked up on the QB on the naked bootleg so no major harm done there.

The other was on a kick off in a youth game. Kid dropped to him knees to recover the on-side and I blew my whistle just before he recovered it. He did end up grabbing the ball so no harm there at least.
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Old Tue Oct 19, 2004, 06:59am
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So this brings up a poll I've been wondering about. In my board, we are required to use a finger whistle in the first year, then are strongly recommended to use one after that. I thought that the "bigtime" referees would use lanyard whistles, but I've begun to notice on TV that it may be about half and half. In the pros, I've noticed that most have both and use both especially umpires. The lanyard whistle, they have in their mouth to quickly stop dead ball fouls, then they spit it out and use the finger whistle for the remainder of the play.

What do you guys use and are there any prevailing ideas about which one should be used?
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Old Tue Oct 19, 2004, 07:22am
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Working as an umpire on my varsity crew, I usually wear only a wrist lanyard and whistle. When I was working the wing posisitons I'd use a lanyard around my neck and put the whistle in my mouth when the teams came to the line. At the snap I'd spit it out and revert to my wrist whistle.

Having the whistle around your neck is nice for TD signals though. Following a long run or pass that I was covering I would put the whistle back in my mouth and give a complete signal while blowing instead of a one-armed TD signal.
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Old Tue Oct 19, 2004, 08:29am
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Quote:
Originally posted by waltjp
Working as an umpire on my varsity crew, I usually wear only a wrist lanyard and whistle. When I was working the wing posisitons I'd use a lanyard around my neck and put the whistle in my mouth when the teams came to the line. At the snap I'd spit it out and revert to my wrist whistle.

Having the whistle around your neck is nice for TD signals though. Following a long run or pass that I was covering I would put the whistle back in my mouth and give a complete signal while blowing instead of a one-armed TD signal.
In my second year and had my first IW a few games back. Talk about embarrassing. It was my first game as LJ and as some has said elsewhere " I went fishing in someone else's pond". Learned a valuable lesson though, to wait and verify that I have leather.

As an aside, I have been using a lanyard whistle, but as Ump I think a finger whistle would be better suited. I never have my whistle in my mouth, and then when there is a Time out requested, I always seem to be struggling to find the whistle, especially when placing the ball, etc.
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Old Tue Oct 19, 2004, 08:35am
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I've had 2 ever. The first was in my 10th game or so, and was just like yours. Half-hearted timid whistle that I knew was wrong as soon as I blew it. Got the same speech, "If you blow it, BLOW it." etc.

The second was last Saturday. PW game, offense down by 2 TDs with seconds to go. Dive play up the middle, runner hits the pack, bounces out, sweeps right as I follow, and gets tackled. Blow the whistle. OOOOOPS - my guy didn't have the ball. Apparently they'd practiced this numerous times, and when he hit the pack, he handed it back to the QB, facing away from the defense, who just stood there.

He was free and clear to the EZ when I blew it. I felt AWFUL - but it would have been worse had they been down by just 1 TD.

We all have them - and hopefully we all learn from them. I know I did.
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Old Tue Oct 19, 2004, 09:01am
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I've tried the two whistle approach, lanyard whistle in mouth until snap the spit it out, but when I run, the lanyard whistle hits me in the face. Quite disconcerting.

I just go finger whistle - if you're on the wing and signal TD, the BJ will have your whistle anyway.
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Old Tue Oct 19, 2004, 11:06am
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Never had one in tackle football [my day will come indeed], but have had 3 in flag football (I think it's easier to have one in flag but I digress).

I use the two whistle approach. Lanyard whistle until snap, spit out... play digresses, finger whistle after the play. My crew gives me a hard time because I often either a) don't blow a whistle or b) have a late whistle. This includes plays to my side (I don't blow it if it's on the other side).

One of my mentors in officiating taught me this statement "See the man down with possession of the football". So on dive plays, even though I KNOW, that I KNOW, that I KNOW that the FB has the football, I'm not going to blow my whistle until I see the football as well. It saved me last week on the goal line when they did a dive play into the endzone. Thank goodness I wasn't on my whistle, because out came the ball (before crossing the plane).
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Old Tue Oct 19, 2004, 11:26am
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Our senior officials tell us a late whistle is better than an early one. They also tell us not to blow the whistle unless the ball is in our area. "Echo whistles" are loathed in my board.
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Old Tue Oct 19, 2004, 11:31am
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I think most IW's occur because we blow the whistle when we don't see the ball. For some reason it is hard for us to learn this simple idea, it took a while for me, but now if I don't see the ball I will not blow the whistle.
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Old Tue Oct 19, 2004, 11:47am
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I had an inadvertant whistle this year. Pretty embarrasing. It almost cost the team the game, and I thought we wouldnt get out alive if the team lost. It was on a punt and the receiver signaled for a fair catch. I tried protecting the receiver because several players on K was bearing down on him. Well I blew my whistle as the receiver was about the catch the ball. However, the ball slipped through the receivers hands and the kicking team recovered the ball. Of course, the ball had to be rekicked, and this time the punt was blocked and R returned it for a touchdown. Luckily in the final minute, the team had an interception and saved the game, as well my crew's butt.

The most valuable lesson I learned is to have a slow whistle. If there is a late hit, well you have a flag. But as I learned, it is best to have a late hit than to have and inadvertant whistle.
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