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  #1 (permalink)  
Old Wed Apr 27, 2005, 08:01pm
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I'm anxious to see the interpretations and case plays regarding the new rule for 7-5-11, where, "Contact by a defender obviously away from the direction of the pass is not considered pass interference."

Most officials, prior to this rule change, I would guess, would not have called pass interference that was "clearly away from the direction of the pass," This would have instead been a "talk to" after the play.

Also, since pass interference restrictions on B are not in effect until the pass is in the air, will we be expected to call holding on the defense, (for example, the contact on an eligible receiver making no attempt to block), even if the contact is "obviously away from the direction of the (eventual) pass?"

It will also be interesting to see if some defensive coaches use this rule change as an opportunity to get in some extra contact on receivers.

Thoughts? Comments?
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Old Thu Apr 28, 2005, 09:52am
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I don't think it's going to do much to change the game. It only relates to pass interference. If you would have called holding or anything else before, you'll still call it, unless it's pass interference. We all tend to overthink rule changes. I see this as a good change - it will be more consistent with the way we actually call the game.
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Old Thu Apr 28, 2005, 10:46am
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If the action is before the pass is thrown you might have holding since this action could affect play by influencing where the ball is thrown. Once the ball is in the air, if the action is away from the pass, it is no longer pass interference and, if it's not flagrant holding (bear hug and drag to the ground), I think the idea behind the rule change is to let it go - it's action away from the ball that does not affect the play. Merely changing a call from PI to holding would not be a reason to change the rule.

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Old Thu Apr 28, 2005, 02:24pm
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Thumbs up Good discussion.

Good Judgement will be our best friend on this one.

I can see calling holding if the defender holds the primary receiver at the line of scrimmage and makes the QB go to his secondary receiver on the other side of the field. This is going to be tough to call because you will be looking at the receiver and defender, and at the same time you need to be aware of what of the QB is doing.

I've seen defenders take a free-shot at an unprotected pass receiver after the pass is clearly not catchable. So that contact should be called also if it is judged unnecessarily rough and the defender was not playing the pass.
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Old Fri Apr 29, 2005, 11:09am
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REPLY: I agree with Mike. I would not let this rule modification change the criteria I use to call holding against an eligible pass receiver. First off, holding must still be a grab or hook or some other means of restraining an opponent, keeping him from moving where he wants to go. A bump, a push, or a block (according to rule 2 definition) is not now going to be ruled a hold simply because PI is ruled out. Secondly, calling holding away from the pass once the ball is in the air is going to get your backside chewed up into little shreds. My advice...don't go there.

All this rule change does is provide a 'baby step' toward the concept of catchability in Federation football. It doesn't change the rules or criteria for holding. I would bet if polled, 90% of the officials out there have been applying this new rule as a matter of course anyway.
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Old Sat Apr 30, 2005, 01:15pm
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Question

This past season I had several situations where defensive backs were using a lot of contact, (mainly a lot of repeated "bumping" trying to knock the receiver off stride), when the receiver was making no attempt to block. In situations where the passer is on the same side of the field (as the receiver being "bumped"), and looking at the same receiver, do you throw the flag (for holding) on this?
If the receiver is not making an attempt to block the def. back then how much "contact" should we allow the def. back in these type of situations?
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Old Sat Apr 30, 2005, 07:25pm
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Once a potential receiver is no longer a potential blocker, the defense shouldn't be allowed to get away with contact. It gives then a huge advantage no matter where they are on the field. With the new rule, it doesn't make any difference where the holding or illegal block takes place - we will (should) still flag it. The new rule only applies to pass interference (I say again). Coaches around here were trying to stretch the rules a few years ago. Our association talked about it at length to make sure everyone knew the rule and we cracked down on it. Took care of the problem.
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Old Sat Apr 30, 2005, 08:52pm
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First and foremost the new rule covers only the defense. Offensive pass interference restrictions remain unchanged.

Offensive restrictions begin at the expanded neutral zone. Defensive restrictions begin once the ball is in the air.

As I read the rule, once the ball is in the air only receivers in the area where the ball is thrown get pass interference protection. For example, a pass thrown to the left sideline, a receiver on the right sideline who is contacted while the ball is in the air would not be interefered according to the rules. However, there may be necessary roughness, holding, illegal blocking, etc.

If you think about it, you are hard pressed to imagine why an official would make such a call.
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Old Sun May 01, 2005, 08:30am
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kentref, in your 2nd post the situation you have described is illegal use of hands. If the receiver clearly trying to run his route and is repeatedly bumped by a defender you can have this particular foul. If the QB rolls to the other side of the field and you see this then perhaps you may want to consider letting the contact go.
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Old Sun May 01, 2005, 10:40pm
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Quote:
Originally posted by kentref
This past season I had several situations where defensive backs were using a lot of contact, (mainly a lot of repeated "bumping" trying to knock the receiver off stride), when the receiver was making no attempt to block. In situations where the passer is on the same side of the field (as the receiver being "bumped"), and looking at the same receiver, do you throw the flag (for holding) on this?
If the receiver is not making an attempt to block the def. back then how much "contact" should we allow the def. back in these type of situations?
Technically, there should be no blocking and/or bumping past the expanded neutral zone.

If the ball is not in the air and you judge the defender gained an advantage by his contact, then flag it. Once the ball is in the air contact that in your judgement gains an advantage, then flag it.

Same for the offensive receivers, of course, their contact becomes pass interference regardless of the ball being in the air.

These are tough calls because often they do not appear on the camera, especially, the illegal use of the hands. I think anytime a defender disrupts a route of a receiver there is an advantage gained because it takes away one possible choice of the QB, primary or secondary receiver, it does not matter.
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Old Mon May 02, 2005, 08:16am
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I think the key is that the NF did not change the rule just to convert a PI call into a holding or an illegal use of the hands call. They wanted to change a PI call into a "no call". As Bob M. said, its a small step toward a catchability rule.

If the ball is on the other side of the field, you probably want to let the contact go.



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Old Mon May 02, 2005, 09:30am
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REPLY: Just my opinion…you can accept or reject as you see fit: Blocking is legal for both offense and defense. Yes…the defense can block. As long as the contact is from the front, inside the frame of the body, above the waist, etc. (see NF 2-3-2, NCAA 9-3-3) any player can use this tactic. The only times this tactic is illegal are defined in NF 9-3-1, i.e. when it’s KCI, PI, or a personal foul. NCAA is similar with some exceptions related to blocking below the waist. With regard to blocking, there are no more restrictions on the defense than on the offense except for the NCAA’s prohibition against BBWs against eligible offensive receivers while a legal forward pass is still possible. Bumping by the defense downfield on eligibles is legal provided it’s done in accordance with NF 2-3-2. If you were to prohibit that, you would move your game into the realm of the NFL’s ‘illegal contact’ rules. Illegal use of the hands against an eligible receiver by the defense is contacting the receiver in a manner other than that described in NF 2-3-2 when the receiver is no longer a blocking ‘threat’ to the defensive player. The NCAA explicitly spells this out in NCAA 9-3-4c by prohibiting use of the hands/arms by the defense against a receiver who “occupies the same yardline as the defender or until the opponent could no longer possibly block him.” The Federation doesn’t spell it out explicitly, but does reference this type of action in their Case Book play 9.2.3. Situation A. I’d be very careful about calling defensive ‘bumps’ of a receiver downfield illegal unless you can either rule them PI or illegal use of the hands as described in play 9.2.3 Situation A. By no means however, would I ever call them holding.
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Old Mon May 02, 2005, 02:19pm
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Quote:
Originally posted by Bob M.
REPLY: Just my opinion…you can accept or reject as you see fit: Blocking is legal for both offense and defense. Yes…the defense can block...The Federation doesn’t spell it out explicitly, but does reference this type of action in their Case Book play 9.2.3. Situation A. I’d be very careful about calling defensive ‘bumps’ of a receiver downfield illegal unless you can either rule them PI or illegal use of the hands as described in play 9.2.3 Situation A. By no means however, would I ever call them holding.
I respectfully believe there is some fallacy in the reasoning you provided.

Downfield contact by the offense is prohibited if a forward pass is thrown beyond the line of scrimmage (NF Table 7-5 2.b, 7-5-8a). Remember, the offense knows or should know if a pass is imminent. An offensive receiver can block if a pass is thrown that does not cross the LOS or the play is a run. A defender does not know whether a pass is imminent

A defender cannot perform pass interference until the ball is in the air (NF 7-5-8b); however, that does not allow a defender to block an opponent. Illegal use of the hands or holding is prohibited on an eligible receiver, in fact, the exact wording is to "...hook, clamp, grasp, encircle or hold in an effort to restrain an opponent other than the runner" (NF 9-2-3c). The word "bump" is not used nor should it be.

I will agree with an earlier statement that calling holding on a receiver away from the ball while it is in the air should not be done because it violates the principle of advantage...no advantage will be gained.

It is impossible to illustrate the difference between holding and bumping in this forum. But let me attempt to describe where this might apply. A potential receiver and a defender running stride for stride jostling for position. Their bodies constantly making momentary contact until the defender uses his elbow by pushing it away from his body such that it disrupts the movement of his opponent. Is it a bump? Yes, it is. Is it illegal?

According to NF 9-2-3d this would be contact on an eligible receiver who is no longer a blocker. The preliminary contact is incidental. The rules makers and interpreters recognize there will be contact. It is only the contact that gains an advantage that should be penalized.

As for Case Book 9.2.3a it requires a careful read as it only offers limited proof of 2-3-5a and 7-5-7 and through a back door substantiates that a defender cannot block downfield.

Lastly, here is a real play where I did call holding. Team A is down by 5 points with less than 30 seconds remaining on the clock. A1 comes to my side and makes a cut inside. B1 grabs his jersey to keep him from getting away. Meanwhile, further downfield A2 makes a leaping catch that sets up the eventual winning TD. I flagged B1 for holding.

I had no idea whether A1 was the primary or secondary receiver. The restraint by B1 kept A1 from running his pattern and no doubt the QB looking downfield seeing that action had to go to another receiver. B1's hold gained an advantage. Of course, the penalty was declined since B2 made the catch.

My point here is a downfield hold can determine what action a QB takes when looking for receivers. To not penalize a downfield hold by a defender gives an advantage to the defense.

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Old Mon May 02, 2005, 08:53pm
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Pick-play

Do we still call PI on an abvious "pick-play" on the LBs or CBs?
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Old Tue May 03, 2005, 06:59am
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Quote:
Originally posted by kentref
...even if the contact is "obviously away from the direction of the (eventual) pass?"


How far away is "obviously"? Say there's a busted route and two recievers, A1 & A2 end up in the same area. The pass goes to A1 but B1 shoves A2 during the pass. Say they are 5 yards apart, 10 yards apart or 15 yards apart. Is this a situation where you know it when you see it or have your assoc's given any sort of rule of thumb?
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