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Old Wed Nov 03, 2004, 11:41am
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Unhappy

OK this I know has been beaten to death but one last time please. Here in Iowa we have our 1st Round State Playoff games tonight so want to make sure I have a clear mind.

Time and time again I hear the infamous they are breaking the huddle with 12 players. From my reading and understanding as substitute enters the huddle the replaced player must leave the huddle in a timely manner. As the White Hat it is my judgement to determine that timely manner. At times coaches get the play in late as we all know and they hurry the play call and the sub is leaving as the huddle is breaking.

My interpretation as long as he leaves in the "timely/immediate" mannner he is alright.

Some states go with the NCAA rules and I think (not sure) that if they break with 12 it is an instant flag.

Fed rule as I read states they are given the opportunity to complete the substitution.

OK sorry for bringing up again but fire away at me.
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Old Wed Nov 03, 2004, 11:50am
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All I am going to say, there is no rule that says it is illegal to break the huddle with 12. All you have to do is make a substitution in a timely manner. That is all judgment and your personal discretion. I would say if they break the huddle with 12, you might try to have a talk with the QB or the players to make sure it does not happen again (preventative officiating). But whatever you do, be consistent. If you consider one team breaking the huddle with 12, you better do the same if the other team does it too.

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Old Wed Nov 03, 2004, 11:59am
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Well that is the way I have been handling it all year. I politely explain to the opposing coach that the substituting team is given the opportunity to complete their substitution.

Generally I will guess it may happen once or twice a game. If I see it being a constant problem then I will address it with the "offending" coach and tell him he needs to get his subs in and out quicker because he is starting to take advantage of the rule.

The formation that we all see I bet is the punting/punt return teams coming on and off. These are usually just a cluster-(you know what). At these times I try and do a little preventive by taking an extra second or two to set the ball ready for play so nobobdy is taken advantage of and also help the guys in my crew.
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Old Wed Nov 03, 2004, 12:29pm
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Speaking of the punting situation, it sure seems that this year there were more substitutions where the wide out on the line for the kicking team comes off the sideline with all of the others and takes his position without coming within 15 yards of the ball after the ready.

You can't call this penalty until after the snap since he might shift. But it's then a picky call if the defense does cover the guy and nothing strange happens.
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Old Wed Nov 03, 2004, 12:31pm
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REPLY: Your interpretation of the Fed rules and your method for dealing with the situation appear to be right on the mark. And you are right about the NCAA rule where Team A (only) is prohibited from breaking the huddle with more than 11.
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Old Wed Nov 03, 2004, 04:31pm
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Like Rut said, it's not illegal to break the huddle with 12 players but I'd watch their actions after breaking the huddle. If they do so in a manner designed to confused the defense I'd flag it. If the 12th player simply jogged to his sideline and did so in a manner that didn't cause the defense to wonder if he was a player or not I'd let it go.
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Old Sat Nov 06, 2004, 12:55am
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Quote:
Originally posted by rdfox
Speaking of the punting situation, it sure seems that this year there were more substitutions where the wide out on the line for the kicking team comes off the sideline with all of the others and takes his position without coming within 15 yards of the ball after the ready.

You can't call this penalty until after the snap since he might shift. But it's then a picky call if the defense does cover the guy and nothing strange happens.
Yes, it might be picky, but I think that would be a call that has to be made. That guy might be the one who "downs" the ball at the one yard line. To make it even less obvious, he might not of made the tackle, but since he was not blocked coming off the line, he was blocked downfield, which meant someone else was "free" to tackle the punt returner after he made just a short return.
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