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Old Tue Sep 07, 2010, 12:06pm
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Spot enforcement

I have one: The line of scrimmage is the 30 of B. Quarterback for A is in the pocket on the 37 when he is grabbed by the earhole of the helmet and his head is twisted. He is subsequently tackled on the 35.

Is there a penalty, if so, for what? Where is the enforcement spot?

We flagged for "face-masking" and marked of 15 from the spot of the foul (ie 37) to make it 1st and 10 on the 22.

This is a high school game.
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Old Tue Sep 07, 2010, 01:32pm
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You were correct on the penalty and the enforcement. The enforcement spot is the end of the run which is also the spot of the foul. However, had A fumbled the ball then it is a loose ball play and the spot of enforcement is the previous spot.

Under NFHS rules grabbing a player by any helmet opening or the chin strap is the same as if the opposing player had grabbed the facemask.
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Old Tue Sep 07, 2010, 02:12pm
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Originally Posted by bkdow View Post
I have one: The line of scrimmage is the 30 of B. Quarterback for A is in the pocket on the 37 when he is grabbed by the earhole of the helmet and his head is twisted. He is subsequently tackled on the 35.

Is there a penalty, if so, for what? Where is the enforcement spot?

We flagged for "face-masking" and marked of 15 from the spot of the foul (ie 37) to make it 1st and 10 on the 22.

This is a high school game.
The foul should've been from the end of the run. 15 yard penalty to the 20. You didn't mention down and distance on the original play. It's only a first down if the yardage makes it a first down.
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Old Tue Sep 07, 2010, 02:14pm
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Originally Posted by MRH View Post
You were correct on the penalty and the enforcement. The enforcement spot is the end of the run which is also the spot of the foul. However, had A fumbled the ball then it is a loose ball play and the spot of enforcement is the previous spot.

Under NFHS rules grabbing a player by any helmet opening or the chin strap is the same as if the opposing player had grabbed the facemask.
Reread the play. The end of the run was the 35, not the 37.
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Old Tue Sep 07, 2010, 02:50pm
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Originally Posted by BroKen62 View Post
Something doesn't sound right here. If the facemask happened while the ball was loose, then yes, I agree, previous spot enforcement. But if the facemask happened before the fumble, then it's still the end of the run, right?

No, it would be previous spot because the face mask is considered to have happened during a loose ball play. Remember on a loose ball play, all action prior to it becoming a loose ball play is considered to be a part of the play. Same thing if you were to have something like defensive holding on a receiver before a forward pass is thrown.
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Old Tue Sep 07, 2010, 02:53pm
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Originally Posted by Welpe View Post
No, it would be previous spot because the face mask is considered to have happened during a loose ball play. Remember on a loose ball play, all action prior to it becoming a loose ball play is considered to be a part of the play. Same thing if you were to have something like defensive holding on a receiver before a forward pass is thrown.
As you can tell, I'm just a lowly line judge. All I do is report the foul and let the WH figure it out.

Seriously, how can I wrap my mind around this rule? It gives me fits every time I think about it.

Would I be correct in saying that if the foul happened before or during a loose ball, then previous spot, but if the foul happened after the loose ball, then end of run? I'm thoroughly confused.
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Old Tue Sep 07, 2010, 03:14pm
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Originally Posted by Welpe View Post
No, it would be previous spot because the face mask is considered to have happened during a loose ball play. Remember on a loose ball play, all action prior to it becoming a loose ball play is considered to be a part of the play. Same thing if you were to have something like defensive holding on a receiver before a forward pass is thrown.
(Quoting you, but talking to the OP) :

Same thing if the A player was to escape the "tackle" and throw a pass. It would be a loose ball play and the basic spot is the previous spot.

The best thing that could happen here for A would be to fumble the ball on this play and therefore the basic spot would be the previous spot. It's why I think the AB1 enforcement on a play like this is misguided. B benefits from illegally tackling A by a helmet opening or facemask.
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Old Tue Sep 07, 2010, 03:15pm
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As you can tell, I'm just a lowly line judge. All I do is report the foul and let the WH figure it out.
Don't get me started....
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Old Tue Sep 07, 2010, 03:29pm
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The ball was not loose and stayed in the QB's possession. Does that change anything?

The down and distance made it a first down.
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Old Tue Sep 07, 2010, 04:12pm
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Originally Posted by bkdow View Post
The ball was not loose and stayed in the QB's possession. Does that change anything?

The down and distance made it a first down.
Pardon me for getting everybody off point. In the case of the OP, the foul would be marked off from the end of the run - which in this case is the 35. As has already been stated, facemask is not Auto-1st down. Since you give the information above, it's 1st and 10.

p.s. - thanks to all for the help with the loose ball. now maybe i can report the foul AND give spot/down/distance.
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Old Wed Sep 08, 2010, 06:32am
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Originally Posted by BroKen62 View Post
Seriously, how can I wrap my mind around this rule? It gives me fits every time I think about it.

Would I be correct in saying that if the foul happened before or during a loose ball, then previous spot, but if the foul happened after the loose ball, then end of run? I'm thoroughly confused.
I gather that the rule frustrating your mind is the basic spot rule, which relies on the distinction between loose ball plays and running plays.

One helpful thing to remember is that a down can have at most ONE loose ball play, namely the last one. All action prior to that last loose ball is treated as part of the loose ball play.

So if you have a pass followed by a fumble followed by a backward pass, it's all one big loose ball play until the last loose ball is caught or recovered. The basic spot for a foul during any of that action would be the previous spot.

A down can comprise any number of running plays, each of which has its own basic spot (the end of that run). That's why when a runner fumbles beyond the LOS, we mark the end of the run with a beanbag. That's our basic spot for fouls that occurred during that run. If the foul occurs when the ball is loose, then we're back to a loose ball play with a different basic spot.
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Old Wed Sep 08, 2010, 08:29am
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Originally Posted by mbyron View Post
I gather that the rule frustrating your mind is the basic spot rule, which relies on the distinction between loose ball plays and running plays.

One helpful thing to remember is that a down can have at most ONE loose ball play, namely the last one. All action prior to that last loose ball is treated as part of the loose ball play.

So if you have a pass followed by a fumble followed by a backward pass, it's all one big loose ball play until the last loose ball is caught or recovered. The basic spot for a foul during any of that action would be the previous spot.

A down can comprise any number of running plays, each of which has its own basic spot (the end of that run). That's why when a runner fumbles beyond the LOS, we mark the end of the run with a beanbag. That's our basic spot for fouls that occurred during that run. If the foul occurs when the ball is loose, then we're back to a loose ball play with a different basic spot.
I understand the first explanation - a pass followed by a fumble, followed by a backward pass - all one big loose ball play - but I'm still confused about the second example - a runner fumbling beyond the LOS, the basic spot is end of run. How is that different from MRH's example? Facemask foul, then fumble, then recovered by A?
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Old Wed Sep 08, 2010, 08:48am
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Originally Posted by RichMSN View Post
Don't get me started....
Go ahead, start. This is bad thinking. Everyone on the field is responsible for knowing penalty enforcement.
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Old Wed Sep 08, 2010, 08:49am
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Originally Posted by BroKen62 View Post
I understand the first explanation - a pass followed by a fumble, followed by a backward pass - all one big loose ball play - but I'm still confused about the second example - a runner fumbling beyond the LOS, the basic spot is end of run. How is that different from MRH's example? Facemask foul, then fumble, then recovered by A?
It's considered a loose ball play if the fumble is behind the line of scrimmage -- the basic spot is the previous spot (this is why we don't bag fumbles behind the line of scrimmage).

It's considered a running play if the fumble is beyond the line of scrimmage -- the basic spot is then the end of the associated run.

I know this is confusing if you're not used to enforcing these. There's a great breakdown of this in the Redding Guide, BTW. Best money you'll ever spend -- I bought 5 of them this year, one for each member of my crew.

Last edited by Rich; Wed Sep 08, 2010 at 08:54am.
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Old Wed Sep 08, 2010, 08:53am
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Go ahead, start. This is bad thinking. Everyone on the field is responsible for knowing penalty enforcement.
I was thrust into a 3-man game last Saturday. I haven't knowingly taken a 3-man game in years, but the 4th official backed out....

I prefer 2 wings and an R 3-man, so that's what we did. I was the Referpire. On a dead ball personal foul that I flagged (on the offense), the play had already reached the LTG. Because I knew I had to signal and also march off the yardage, I hurried and didn't (at first) notice the chains. My L called across and made me aware and as soon as I saw the chains knew why he was calling across.

Rules mistakes are crew mistakes. All 5 officials (or 3 or 4) should know enforcements of every flag they could possibly throw (which means they should know the rules as well as I do).

And I hate to admit it, I had fun working 3-man as I got a good workout (although I'm sure things were missed in the middle, which on a Saturday JV game isn't the worst thing in the world).
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