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  #1 (permalink)  
Old Sun Oct 04, 2009, 09:54pm
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Illegal Formation

How tight are you guys on this, and at what level do you maybe stop giving breaks??

I was working a freshman game this weekend, and on a two point conversion I had QB, two RBs, slot receiver, and the guy closest to me was off the line (there might have been a sixth man off the line). Conversion was no good, and I warned the coach that the formation was illegal.

Later they came out in that same formation, and I still had five in the backfield (I moved the guy closest to me up), and again told the coach. It happened a third time, and I threw the flag which nullified about an 8 yard gain.

I was thinking later, 'this is freshman ball, half these kids don't know where they are supposed to line up.'

Your thoughts?
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Old Sun Oct 04, 2009, 10:19pm
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I get this at least a few times a week in a frosh game and even more when I work youth. If you keep hankying the illegal formation, sooner or later the coach will get it in their heads that they need more than 5 or 6 men on the LOS. You shouldn't have to say it twice at any HS level IMO.
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Old Sun Oct 04, 2009, 10:21pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Canned Heat View Post
I get this at least a few times a week in a frosh game and even more when I work youth. If you keep hankying the illegal formation, sooner or later the coach will get it in their heads that they need more than 5 or 6 men on the LOS. You shouldn't have to say it twice at any HS level IMO.
Fair point. Even when I was moving the player up, I felt like I was coaching.
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Old Sun Oct 04, 2009, 10:35pm
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Originally Posted by ChicagoLJ View Post
Fair point. Even when I was moving the player up, I felt like I was coaching.
Ends have gotten so accustomed to relying on wing officials for that now, that you'll most likely never shake it. Almost all coaching staff tell their kids straight out to ask the official if you're okay. The stumper is always a QB who's always in a constant hurry and gets the snap off as your guy is creeping forward or back after you told him where he's gotta be.
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Old Sun Oct 04, 2009, 10:40pm
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Flag the illegal formation every time. They should know where to line up.
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Old Sun Oct 04, 2009, 11:57pm
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By the time they are in the 7th or 8th grade, they should know how to line up.
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Old Mon Oct 05, 2009, 05:44am
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Flag it the first time. And the second.

Don't move the receiver. Tell him he's on or punch him back and tell him he's off. If he doesn't move up and there's only 6 on the line, throw a flag simultaneous with the snap.
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Old Mon Oct 05, 2009, 06:54am
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Originally Posted by Canned Heat View Post
Almost all coaching staff tell their kids straight out to ask the official if you're okay.
I do not answer this question, as I do not know whether he's "OK." As Rich suggests, I tell him whether he's on or off. That's officiating, not coaching: telling him he's "OK" is coaching, which requires evaluating whether everyone is in the correct position.
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Old Tue Oct 06, 2009, 10:30am
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I agree. When we meet with the coaches we tell them that the wingmen are only signalling for the guy guy closest to him (twins,trips, etc...) and that an answer to the question "Am I OK?" would indicate we know what the formation is supposed to be....

If they ask am I on or off we answer them yes or no....

seems to have stopped some chirpping for the coaches, but not all... not sure anything will :-D
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That looked just ugly enough to be legal.
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Old Tue Oct 06, 2009, 10:48am
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For varsity, my crew goes over this in the pregame meeting with the Head Coach. We explicitly state that a punch back means the closest receiver is off the line, hands at our sides means he's on the line. We also explicitly tell the coach that if the receiver asks "Am I ok?" that we can't answer that question, since we don't know where he's supposed to be. If the player asks "Am I on?" or "Am I off?", we will give the appropriate response.

For lower-level games, I tend to be more and more lenient as the players are younger and younger... Varsity, no tolerance. JV, almost no tolerance. 9th grade, maybe slight tolerance. 7th and 8th grade, I'll give them a bit of leeway, especially if the field markings are faded or crappy (I've worked games on fields with yard marks every 10 yards only, originally painted 3-4 weeks ago and not re-painted since despite a couple of mowings and a rain shower or two. If I'm having trouble discerning where the LOS should be, I'm not going to get too worried about if the players are a foot or so out of position).
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Old Tue Oct 06, 2009, 11:29am
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Freshman B game, same thing. 5 in the backfield. I flagged it the first time, the coaches were all over me, asking why I didn't say anything to them. I said it was the first time, and I'm not going to coddle your players, since they should already know how to line up. Assistant coach started to go off, and my backup flag went flying. What an ugly game.
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Old Tue Oct 06, 2009, 12:16pm
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you set yourself up

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ref Ump Welsch View Post
Freshman B game, same thing. 5 in the backfield. I flagged it the first time, the coaches were all over me, asking why I didn't say anything to them. I said it was the first time, and I'm not going to coddle your players, since they should already know how to line up. Assistant coach started to go off, and my backup flag went flying. What an ugly game.
you set yourself up for an ugly game....first by not preventively officiating and second by telling the coach they should already know where to line up. Even in the NCAA the philosophies are to "make em where they are supposed to be". Linemen are to be warned first to move up, unless their head is clearly behind the snapper, wideouts are to be given leeway to make them where they are supposed to be...don't be too technical...only flag after a warning unless it is material to the play...and very very obvious...as my whitehat says, lets not pick boogers here...
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Old Tue Oct 06, 2009, 01:01pm
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Originally Posted by cmathews View Post
you set yourself up for an ugly game....first by not preventively officiating and second by telling the coach they should already know where to line up. Even in the NCAA the philosophies are to "make em where they are supposed to be". Linemen are to be warned first to move up, unless their head is clearly behind the snapper, wideouts are to be given leeway to make them where they are supposed to be...don't be too technical...only flag after a warning unless it is material to the play...and very very obvious...as my whitehat says, lets not pick boogers here...
I've been taught only to tap my backside leg, and say "back side of the neutral zone" or give the off the line signal. I gave the off the line signal, and was right in front of the coach when that happened. This wasn't the first "ticky-tack" penalty in the game, because I had already flagged them for lining up in the neutral zone on offense. This team wanted a warning for EACH type of foul or infraction before we flagged them. My white hat said we'll do what we can, but there's only three sets of eyes. I was a little more lenient with those on the other side of the line, but my side of the line, the coach was there to say something to his players. That was our philosophy, and they just wouldn't accept it. The head coach actually used the penalties as a teaching moment, while the assistant was being the a**.
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Old Tue Oct 06, 2009, 02:28pm
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ahhhh

running good cop bad cop on ya hu LOL those nasty little coaches
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The officials lament, or the coaches excuses as it were: "I didn't say it was your fault, I said I was going to blame you"
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Old Tue Oct 06, 2009, 02:45pm
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I indicate the line and say "this is the line". When they line up I say: "You are on/off the line"
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