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Old Thu Oct 05, 2006, 08:59pm
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NC State vs. Florida State

I'm not totally clear on college mechanics, but this couldn't possibly have been the proper mechanic. An NC State running back broke a long run (beyond the first down line) and at the end of the run he was tackled and the ball came out. It appeared to me that he was down first, but the Linejudge never blew the whistle, so I thought maybe it was a fumble.

Following the fumble(?) the Linejudge just stood there as players scrambled for the loose ball. After a few seconds, a Florida State defender recovered the ball. At this time the Linejudge blew his whistle, stopped the clock and pointed to the ground and gave the first down signal for NC State.

Is that the proper mechanic, or should the Linejudge have immediately signalled that the runner was down? Seems like a dumb question to me, but maybe I truly don't understand the proper mechanics.
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Old Thu Oct 05, 2006, 09:51pm
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Good observation. Seems the LJ was having the replay session going on in his mind. When he finally made the call, there was absolutely no doubt. The LJ made the call with authority.

Not a dumb question. Why the delay? Dunno.
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Old Thu Oct 05, 2006, 10:26pm
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I didn't see the game, but here's a guess at what happened.

He probably wanted to hold his whistle in case the play was reviewed and reversed. He may not have wanted to blow the whistle, kill the play and have the replay not be able to review the call.

He got the best of both worlds. Wait until the action is over, blow the whistle, make the ruling and if it really was a fumble, there was no whistle to kill the play and nullify a defensive recovery.
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Old Fri Oct 06, 2006, 12:45am
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I think maybe he was looking over at the Umpire to see if he saw anything, and after a while he just made the call. Good thing it was the right one.
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Old Fri Oct 06, 2006, 07:08am
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My understanding (as a fan, not a college official) is that whether or not he holds his whistle, if it is ruled down on the field there cannot be a replay. If he was 80% sure it was down and wanted to hold for a possible replay, he would have needed to rule fumble on the field and then allow the replay to show it was truly down.
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Old Fri Oct 06, 2006, 07:53am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SC Ump
My understanding (as a fan, not a college official) is that whether or not he holds his whistle, if it is ruled down on the field there cannot be a replay. If he was 80% sure it was down and wanted to hold for a possible replay, he would have needed to rule fumble on the field and then allow the replay to show it was truly down.
Your understanding is incorrect. The reason this is usually not reviewable is because of the whistle - the whistle kills the play if it turns out in retrospect that the play was not dead... anything that happens after the whistle didn't really happen.

But in this sitch, or a sitch where there is no significant timing difference between fumble and recovery, and the whistle comes after the recovery, it IS a reviewable play if the official rules the player down.
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Old Fri Oct 06, 2006, 08:37am
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If the replay clearly shows the player was down, does the clock get reset to when the player was down? Or does it stay showing the time the whistle was blown?
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Old Fri Oct 06, 2006, 09:00am
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If you mean does the clock start on the RFP after the review overturned the call, then yes it will.

I saw this play and one other I'd like to comment on. This was a good overturn of the call on the field. If I were the L, I'd probably have made the same initial call base on full speed one time look at the play.

The other play that was reviewed and left as a TD was a pass play where it was clear the left foot was down inbounds, but the right foot comes down on the sideline right between the 1/2 yard-line and the goal-line. The FSU receiver had his back to the goal-line at the time.
While this was a tough call to make at the time, I did think replay showed the ball had not broken the plan of the goal-line at the time the right foot was on the sideline.
I can live with the call, but I wondered first if the back judge unless screened could have helped out on this.
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Old Fri Oct 06, 2006, 09:17am
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I also asked this question on an NCAA discussion board and was told the same - blowing the whistle would have negated the ability to overturn by replay.

As an avid opponent of replay, I think this is yet another reason to do away with it. By allowing the play to continue, there is unnecessary exposure to possible injury (yes I know there is possibility for injury on *every* play) and also it forces an official to be hesitant and second guess himself about his call. I would much prefer for the play to be instantly killed...

...but then again who asked me, I'm just a lowly high school official.
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Old Fri Oct 06, 2006, 01:25pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GPC2
I also asked this question on an NCAA discussion board and was told the same - blowing the whistle would have negated the ability to overturn by replay.

As an avid opponent of replay, I think this is yet another reason to do away with it. By allowing the play to continue, there is unnecessary exposure to possible injury (yes I know there is possibility for injury on *every* play) and also it forces an official to be hesitant and second guess himself about his call. I would much prefer for the play to be instantly killed...

...but then again who asked me, I'm just a lowly high school official.
I agree...if you think the player is down, you have to blow the whistle. Whats the saying, the whistle rarely kills the play? In this instance the official believed the play to be over, but held the whistle which give the opportunity for a PF. How can the official make the ball down after a delay indicating that the play was over, yet not throw a flag if you havce a viscious hit ont eh runner (who is still going)?

This is very similar to the forward progress arguement...you have a player that is hit by two or three players and driven back. As soon as his progress is stopped and he starts to be driven back you give him that furthest spot as progress, yet hold the whistle incase he make some spectacular move to get out of the tackle. It would see that by indicating the frorward progress the play sho ld be dead and the whistle blown, yet we don't usually do that.
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Old Fri Oct 06, 2006, 01:31pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sloth
I agree...if you think the player is down, you have to blow the whistle. Whats the saying, the whistle rarely kills the play? In this instance the official believed the play to be over, but held the whistle which give the opportunity for a PF. How can the official make the ball down after a delay indicating that the play was over, yet not throw a flag if you havce a viscious hit ont eh runner (who is still going)?

This is very similar to the forward progress arguement...you have a player that is hit by two or three players and driven back. As soon as his progress is stopped and he starts to be driven back you give him that furthest spot as progress, yet hold the whistle incase he make some spectacular move to get out of the tackle. It would see that by indicating the frorward progress the play sho ld be dead and the whistle blown, yet we don't usually do that.
If you listen carefully and pay attention, you'll find that there are NCAA crews that DO NOT blow the whistle on many plays. If the play is over, what's the need for the whistle (most of the time)? Perhaps this crew worked this way.
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Old Fri Oct 06, 2006, 07:23pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mcrowder
If you listen carefully and pay attention, you'll find that there are NCAA crews that DO NOT blow the whistle on many plays. If the play is over, what's the need for the whistle (most of the time)? Perhaps this crew worked this way.
mcrowder, definitely agreed. I had the opportunity to work a college intra-squad scrimmage in my area and that was one of the main things the official who brought me along told me - get out of the habit of blowing your whistle so much. He said you rarely need to blow it because the players know when the play is over.

HOWEVER - in this situation, I thought that the whistle was *definitely* needed because whether the play was over or not was in question.
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Old Fri Oct 06, 2006, 11:09pm
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Quote:
if you think the player is down, you have to blow the whistle.
NOT TRUE. The play kills itself. I try to keep from blowing it if I can.
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