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Old Wed Oct 06, 2010, 10:46am
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Taking A Knee

We've all been there when a team is winning and they plan on taking a knee. Typically the HC will tell you that they are going to take a knee.

When you know they are going to do so, do you say anything to the defense?
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Old Wed Oct 06, 2010, 10:56am
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IF I say anything it's something to the effect of "be cool everyone".
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Old Wed Oct 06, 2010, 11:02am
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I tell the defense that "they're taking a knee".

If A doesn't, then I blow it dead and issue a misleading tactics penatly.
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Old Wed Oct 06, 2010, 11:05am
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This is an annual topic.

Some say nothing, some find a way to penalize A, some shut it down anyway, some say "be smart, be cool, if he takes a knee don't hit him, etc."

Then we argue about it.
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Old Wed Oct 06, 2010, 11:09am
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NEVER tell the defense what to do. Go into EVERY kneeling situation as if the offense is going to fake it. This might only happen to you once in a lifetime, or never, but if you aren't ready and/or you've told the defense what to do, then any fallout is your fault.

AT MOST - tell them something like, "If they take a knee, no nonsense." Or "Don't hit anyone after the whistle, boys." AT MOST.

At youth ball, you might want to be more specific, but unless the league has a sportsmanship rule forbidding fake knee-plays, you better preface your warning with IF.
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Old Wed Oct 06, 2010, 11:15am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mbcrowder View Post
NEVER tell the defense what to do. Go into EVERY kneeling situation as if the offense is going to fake it. This might only happen to you once in a lifetime, or never, but if you aren't ready and/or you've told the defense what to do, then any fallout is your fault.

AT MOST - tell them something like, "If they take a knee, no nonsense." Or "Don't hit anyone after the whistle, boys." AT MOST.

At youth ball, you might want to be more specific, but unless the league has a sportsmanship rule forbidding fake knee-plays, you better preface your warning with IF.
I always ask and if they tell me they are taking a knee I am telling everyone. If they fake it I am blowing it dead and flagging them for unsporting behavior.
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Old Wed Oct 06, 2010, 11:33am
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When Team A tells me that they are taking a knee, I tell Team A that they still have to block and Team B to stop on the whistle. I don't want a situation where A bobbles the snap and Team B would have had a chance to regain possession, but we told them to play differently.
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Old Wed Oct 06, 2010, 12:05pm
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Clearly we have 2 schools of thought here:

1. Facilitate a smooth and injury-free end of the game by publicizing A's intention to take a knee, and penalize A if they fail to follow through. The rationale for this policy is game management and player safety.

2. Never tell players what to do or put a team in a position where it cannot execute an otherwise legal play. The rationale for this policy is that the rules don't change at the end of a game.

Both rationales are legitimate, though obviously the policies are incompatible and neither finds support in the rule book. The best approach would be to consult your local association, find or establish an association policy for games in your area, and follow that policy.
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Old Wed Oct 06, 2010, 12:53pm
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Originally Posted by GoodwillRef View Post
I always ask and if they tell me they are taking a knee I am telling everyone. If they fake it I am blowing it dead and flagging them for unsporting behavior.
So, basically you invent a rule to cover your own game mismanagement?

First off ... why would you ask? When do we ever ask the teams what the next play will be?

Second - if you tell defense not to play, and the ball is mishandled, you've put them at a disadvantage.

Third - if for some reason there is a reason offense needs to keep playing in what appears to YOU to be a knee situation, and you ask, and they say no - you've put THEM at a disadvantage. (Perhaps they are up by 6, but must win by 10 to make the playoffs)

Fourth - what if (3) above is true, and all week they worked on a fake-knee play for this VERY scenario ... now you've eliminated that option.

Granted 99% of the time you've done no harm. But it's the one time in 100 where your mismanagement of the situation affects the game in a negative way. No need to put yourself or the teams in this situation.
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Old Wed Oct 06, 2010, 12:57pm
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Originally Posted by mbyron View Post
Clearly we have 2 schools of thought here:

1. Facilitate a smooth and injury-free end of the game by publicizing A's intention to take a knee, and penalize A if they fail to follow through. The rationale for this policy is game management and player safety.

2. Never tell players what to do or put a team in a position where it cannot execute an otherwise legal play. The rationale for this policy is that the rules don't change at the end of a game.

Both rationales are legitimate, though obviously the policies are incompatible and neither finds support in the rule book. The best approach would be to consult your local association, find or establish an association policy for games in your area, and follow that policy.
Just out of curiosity --- in what way is #2 not supported in the rule book? And a note - you are implying that if you use #2 you are failing to facilitate an injury-free end of game. I don't believe that to be true. If offense actually does take a knee, and we've either done nothing or said, "If they take a knee, nothing after the whistle!!" or somesuch - I don't think there's a very strong chance for an injury. I would say the opposite is more likely. Tell the defense to relax, and when offense runs a play, you've got 4 defenseless DL's on their backs.
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Old Wed Oct 06, 2010, 12:58pm
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We ask the coach if they are taking a knee, then we tell the defense they are taking a knee. My umpire does tell the defense not to fire out, if the offense does not take a knee we shut it down (happened about 4 weeks ago). Then we penalize the offense for deception. Almost never a problem and what works for us.

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Old Wed Oct 06, 2010, 01:00pm
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Just out of curiosity --- in what way is #2 not supported in the rule book?
Well, um, the rule book (or the manual) doesn't say to do it this way. I'm not saying that they both violate the book, just that the book doesn't decide between them.

Look, all I'm saying is that they're both very common ways to handle the end of a game. I suspect that #2 is more common the higher one works.
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Old Wed Oct 06, 2010, 01:09pm
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Originally Posted by mbyron View Post
Well, um, the rule book (or the manual) doesn't say to do it this way. I'm not saying that they both violate the book, just that the book doesn't decide between them.

Look, all I'm saying is that they're both very common ways to handle the end of a game. I suspect that #2 is more common the higher one works.
Wasn't really arguing with you - you and I usually see eye to eye. I think number 2 is completely supported by the rulebook. If the rulesmakers wanted us to behave differently at the end of the game vs the rest of the game, they would say so. The rules apply to the entire game, otherwise they are worthless.

I totally agree with your 2nd paragraph.
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Old Wed Oct 06, 2010, 01:11pm
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Originally Posted by JRutledge View Post
We ask the coach if they are taking a knee, then we tell the defense they are taking a knee. My umpire does tell the defense not to fire out, if the offense does not take a knee we shut it down (happened about 4 weeks ago). Then we penalize the offense for deception. Almost never a problem and what works for us.

Peace
Wow. I should have never unignored you. Post the rule for "deception" again and tell me how it applies. Nevermind, I know you won't - you'll just resume-whip me instead. Love the "almost never a problem" though. Great mechanic. Two choices - one is to use the same rules all game, the other is "almost never a problem" and not supported by rule. Does it surprise anyone which your crew chose? To those supporting this side of the argument, I truly believe JR's support of it should have you all thinking twice.
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Old Wed Oct 06, 2010, 01:12pm
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Originally Posted by mbcrowder View Post
Wasn't really arguing with you - you and I usually see eye to eye. I think number 2 is completely supported by the rulebook. If the rulesmakers wanted us to behave differently at the end of the game vs the rest of the game, they would say so. The rules apply to the entire game, otherwise they are worthless.

I totally agree with your 2nd paragraph.
Everything is not about the rules makers. The rules makers are not the ones that hire us or give interpretations for each state. Just try to call the NF and they will tell you to direct all rules questions to your state. And what we do for example is not about the rules makers, it is about what is custom and expected where we are when the game is clearly over.

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