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  #1 (permalink)  
Old Mon Sep 20, 2010, 11:49am
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Facemask on the runner?

I was watching the Indiana v Western Ky game... the IU running back is running down the field and the WKU player moves in to make the tackle and of course here comes the stiffarm.

Except in this case the runners hands are in the facemask of the WKU player and he has shoved the helmet nearly 90 degrees and up to the point of the chin guard was under the WKU players nose and pushing it up even more.

The Louisville Courier Journal had a great shot of the play. It was obvious during the game, and even more blatantly obvious in the photo..

Over my 20+ years I have called facemask on the runner maybe 2 or 3 times, and each time the coach went nuts, telling me you can not call that on the runner.

What say the rest of you? Have some of you made that call? Is it a call that should not be made?
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Old Mon Sep 20, 2010, 11:51am
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I haven't called it before but what you describe does not sound like a facemask foul. There needs to be a grasping of the facemask or helmet opening and a pull or twist for there to be a foul. An open hand does not meet the criteria.
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Old Mon Sep 20, 2010, 12:09pm
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Found a photo

Look and see what you think..

Indiana at WKU | courier-journal.com | Louisville Kentuckiana Colleges | The Courier-Journal

Last edited by ShadowRef; Mon Sep 20, 2010 at 12:13pm. Reason: spelling correction
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Old Mon Sep 20, 2010, 12:27pm
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Still photos are often dangerous to rule on for officials since they don't tell the whole picture (pun intended). I'll comment on what I see here. It looks like he has his hand on the bottom of the face mask and is pushing up. I don't see an obvious "grasp" of the face mask which is required for a foul. That doesn't mean there wasn't a grasp before or after this but I don't see enough in this picture to say this was an obvious miss.

Also, if the defender's helmet was properly fitted, this kind of contact would not push the helmet off so easily. We are seeing more and more helmets coming off in games because they are not wearing them propely. They shouldn't be so easy to put on and remove.
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Old Mon Sep 20, 2010, 12:56pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ShadowRef View Post
I was watching the Indiana v Western Ky game... the IU running back is running down the field and the WKU player moves in to make the tackle and of course here comes the stiffarm.

Except in this case the runners hands are in the facemask of the WKU player and he has shoved the helmet nearly 90 degrees and up to the point of the chin guard was under the WKU players nose and pushing it up even more.

The Louisville Courier Journal had a great shot of the play. It was obvious during the game, and even more blatantly obvious in the photo..

Over my 20+ years I have called facemask on the runner maybe 2 or 3 times, and each time the coach went nuts, telling me you can not call that on the runner.

What say the rest of you? Have some of you made that call? Is it a call that should not be made?
I see it ~ once a year (6 month season). I call it against A every time I see it.

In the above photo, I'll say that there's a good chance that this was a facemask by A.
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Old Mon Sep 20, 2010, 01:18pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JugglingReferee View Post
I see it ~ once a year (6 month season). I call it against A every time I see it.

In the above photo, I'll say that there's a good chance that this was a facemask by A.
Really? How come? Just from the photo, it looks like a perfectly legal (if somewhat painful) stiffarm. Facemask requires at the VERY least a grasp - and then action coming from that grasp (twist, yank, etc). I got nothing based on both the OP description and the photo.

Only time I've called this, both were runners grasping the facemask and throwing the defender straight down by pulling on the facemask.
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Old Mon Sep 20, 2010, 01:30pm
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Originally Posted by mbcrowder View Post
Really? How come? Just from the photo, it looks like a perfectly legal (if somewhat painful) stiffarm. Facemask requires at the VERY least a grasp - and then action coming from that grasp (twist, yank, etc). I got nothing based on both the OP description and the photo.

Only time I've called this, both were runners grasping the facemask and throwing the defender straight down by pulling on the facemask.
Just my experience. I can easily accept that a facemask did happen on this play. Naturally, video tells all.
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Old Mon Sep 20, 2010, 01:35pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mbcrowder View Post
Really? How come? Just from the photo, it looks like a perfectly legal (if somewhat painful) stiffarm. Facemask requires at the VERY least a grasp - and then action coming from that grasp (twist, yank, etc). I got nothing based on both the OP description and the photo.

Only time I've called this, both were runners grasping the facemask and throwing the defender straight down by pulling on the facemask.
Wow, from the photo it looks like a face mask, not sure what your looking at. I blew the photo up & you can see is pinkiw & ring finger in the mask. I agree you can't tell all the facts from a photo. I called this for the first time in about a 1000 games last week when the runner was trying to stiff arm/go around the defender & pulled the defenders mask straight down as he was tackled, he puller the defender so hard it looked like the first thing that hit the ground from the defender was his chin & the runner still had a good hold of the mask. It should be a no doubter if your gonna call it.
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Old Mon Sep 20, 2010, 01:40pm
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Originally Posted by Coach Jinx View Post
Wow, from the photo it looks like a face mask, not sure what your looking at. I blew the photo up & you can see is pinkiw & ring finger in the mask. I agree you can't tell all the facts from a photo. I called this for the first time in about a 1000 games last week when the runner was trying to stiff arm/go around the defender & pulled the defenders mask straight down as he was tackled, he puller the defender so hard it looked like the first thing that hit the ground from the defender was his chin & the runner still had a good hold of the mask. It should be a no doubter if your gonna call it.
I'm looking at the same photo you are. Even if there is a grasp ... this appears to be a simple facemask - pushing the player's head up and back is not a facemask. His pinky may be in there, but the movement you're getting is not due to the grasp (apparently, at least). The sitch you describe above (pulling down on the mask) is exactly where I'd call it - the picture, no. There's no yank, pull, twist, etc. (Again ... apparently).
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Old Mon Sep 20, 2010, 02:10pm
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I would like to see the whole play or see several pictures before I can say that was absolutely the right call. Then again that is why still pictures are not very good to determine fouls. That is just a very brief time compared to several seconds that help make these calls in real life.

Also I have seen this at least once a season. I think with the gloves players us now and the nature of the material, you see payers not able to get their hand off of the mask as easy. Also I think a lot of technique is off and I am seeing this more. Runners used to be taught to kind of "strike" with the stiff arm and know players keep their arm out there and the mask will be grabbed even if it is not intentional. In the picture the runner has a glove on and it is clear the pinky got caught up in the mask. But whether that is a foul or not is up for debate.

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Old Mon Sep 20, 2010, 02:38pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Coach Jinx View Post
It should be a no doubter if your gonna call it.
Exactly. And this is not a "no doubter." He's pushing against the mask, open handed. I got nothing.

Also, there are no 5 yarders under NCAA rules.
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Old Mon Sep 20, 2010, 07:56pm
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Is facemasking an opponent with only the pinky finger a technique being coached in the US?
American players must have pretty strong pinky fingers.

But to be serious, you can't judge 100% from a still photo. This photo could just as easily show the end of a facemask foul as it could a legal straight arm.
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Old Tue Sep 21, 2010, 08:01am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ShadowRef View Post
Over my 20+ years I have called facemask on the runner maybe 2 or 3 times, and each time the coach went nuts, telling me you can not call that on the runner.

What say the rest of you? Have some of you made that call? Is it a call that should not be made?
I've had it about the same number of times, with the same result. In each case, the runner either pulled the defender down by the mask, or twisted his hand at the wrist to turn the defender aside.
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Old Tue Sep 21, 2010, 09:54am
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In codes which ban hits to the head or helmet, does pushing the face mask such that it results in neck movement count as one or the other?
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Old Tue Sep 21, 2010, 01:24pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Robert Goodman View Post
In codes which ban hits to the head or helmet, does pushing the face mask such that it results in neck movement count as one or the other?
We have a ruling as such, in terms of stiff arms:

A stiff arm that is stiff before contact is legal. I stiff arms that becomes stiff after hitting the facemask/head area is a foul.
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