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Old Fri Sep 10, 2010, 01:07pm
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Back judge - back pedal or turn and run

When working back judge, if a runner breaks free and starts sprinting towards the end zone, is it better to back pedal or turn and run and look over your shoulder? I had to back pedal pretty fast the other night in a JV game and I thought to myself, "Man, I'm going to look like an idiot if I trip and fall on my arse."
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Old Fri Sep 10, 2010, 01:13pm
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Backpeddle. It gives you a full view of the action. At some point they may catch up to you and you will have no choice but to turn and run to make it to the goalline before the runner.
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Old Fri Sep 10, 2010, 01:14pm
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Always start with a back peddle. Then you will have to turn if the play is coming directly at you or they are about to outrun you.

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Old Fri Sep 10, 2010, 01:20pm
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When to turn?

So when do you stop back peddling and turn to run? When they are even with you?
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Old Fri Sep 10, 2010, 01:40pm
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Originally Posted by stegenref View Post
So when do you stop back peddling and turn to run? When they are even with you?
I usually pivot out of my backpedal when (a) it's clear the runner is free to the goal line and (b) I know I'm not going to get the goal line in time if I don't.
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Old Fri Sep 10, 2010, 01:54pm
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Just don't turn and lose all of the blocking around the runner -- officiating that is more important than getting to the goal line if the runner isn't being challenged.
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Old Sat Sep 11, 2010, 07:08am
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Originally Posted by RichMSN View Post
Just don't turn and lose all of the blocking around the runner -- officiating that is more important than getting to the goal line if the runner isn't being challenged.
A reason not to run toward the play.
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Old Sat Sep 11, 2010, 10:18am
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Originally Posted by stegenref View Post
When working back judge, if a runner breaks free and starts sprinting towards the end zone, is it better to back pedal or turn and run and look over your shoulder? I had to back pedal pretty fast the other night in a JV game and I thought to myself, "Man, I'm going to look like an idiot if I trip and fall on my arse."
Backpedal as much as you can, but if you have to turn, then turn.

At some point, you'll have to consider if you read the play properly. That is, that you read pass and positioned yourself accordingly.
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Old Sat Sep 11, 2010, 11:14am
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I'm normally an umpire, but once in a blow out JV game I worked as the back judge for the last series of the game. I found that if you work about 45 yards off the ball that it eliminates the need to back peddle, plus it's virtually impossible to get beat deep!
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Old Sat Sep 11, 2010, 11:51am
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OK, I waited to see it about 10 times in one thread: the word everyone wants is 'backpedal'. The OP almost had it right.

"Backpeddling" is something like returning stuff to a store.

So far nobody has come up with "backpetal," but I imagine somebody will before long. Might be part of a flower.
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Old Sat Sep 11, 2010, 05:07pm
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Well, at 45 yards, you have goal line coverage on long plays and can still run the play clock. Hmm, that is about it.

The rule of thumb is to keep your shoulders parallel to the action as much as you can. That gives you the best peripheral view. That is why BJ (and SJ and FJ) usually end up backpedalling and HL and LJ sidestep. But at no time do you want to either get too close or too far from the action. In those cases, you need to turn (pivoting to keep the action in your site).

Usually what happens to me is those speedsters in the middle of the field aim for me, which is the worst case scenario because you have to turn to run and they are at your back shoulder.
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Old Sat Sep 11, 2010, 05:47pm
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In a 5 man mechanic your first steps should be backwards no matter what. Then when you read the play you adjust accordingly. I will never say you will never get beat or likely get beat, but you give yourself a better chance on a very long run. What many BJs do is stay flat footed and they find themselves having to get out of the way or get up field faster than they anticipate. Easier said than done, and it took me a long time to understand that as I would just use my athleticism to get up field. Now I know how to get in better position. But because often you do not work these games unless it is a varsity night contest, this takes longer to get this movement down.

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Old Sun Sep 12, 2010, 08:23am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ppaltice View Post
Usually what happens to me is those speedsters in the middle of the field aim for me, which is the worst case scenario because you have to turn to run and they are at your back shoulder.
Not a worse feeling than seeing that back hit a hole through the line, put an ankle-breaker move on an LB and the only thing between him and the end zone is you and he's running right at you. But it does get worse, because you are still swiveling your eyes side to side, a DB has an angle on the back to make a tackle. However, that is also right where you are! I had this happen Friday night. I turned and ran toward the pylon, guessing where the play would end. I was close, I stopped around the 10 and the tackle was at the 15. As per the new Ohio mechanics, I was wrong, the BJ should stay between the uprights until the ball becomes dead. If I did, I would have been...
-run over or never saw the play end.
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