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Old Wed Jul 04, 2012, 08:33am
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College mechanics between plays

Our local college coach asked me about the timing between plays - specifically how long they should expect to wait for officials before they can snap the ball. They like to "fast break" and were often waiting for officials to wait for the ball relay in from side zone, place the ball, set chains/downmarkers, etc. I told him my experience is that we usually have the ball ready by between 25 to 30 seconds left on the play clock and that we must assure that the downmarkers and chains are in place, otherwise there would be chaos.

Any thoughts out there? Any mechanics or processes out there that are written down?
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Old Wed Jul 04, 2012, 12:41pm
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I do not think you will find a written standard. Considering that each play could be unique based on if a team is a no-huddle team or just running the clock normally, that time would vary drastically in some cases. And a sideline play could take longer than a two yard dive. And that does not include all the times with ball mechanics where you are sometimes at the mercy of the ball boys.

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Old Wed Jul 04, 2012, 04:55pm
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Required to have it set by 20 seconds

Our crew's goal is to have the ball spotted when the clock is no lower than 30 seconds. If the crew doesn't get the ball set by 20 seconds the referee (by rule) is required to stop the game and reset the PC to 25 seconds.

On occasion we'll get it set around 25 seconds but that's very rare and usually due to a "sleeping" ballboy. On long incomplete passes we make sure the ballboy gives the ball to the LJ and between the BJ and myself (the FJ) we get the dead ball off the field while the new ball is being set. Works well.
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Old Wed Jul 04, 2012, 05:47pm
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Our local HS coach is wanting to go to an up tempo pace this year so myself and a newer WH went to one of their workouts and spotted the ball and mimicked between play mechanics for about 20 min.
One of the things we told him that can help is to instruct his players to hand the ball to the nearest official. I heard on some tv broadcast last fall that the offensive players for one of the teams were told to identify the umpire and give the ball to him.
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Old Mon Jul 16, 2012, 01:49pm
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Originally Posted by ljudge View Post
myself (the FJ)

Pope Francis
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Old Mon Jul 16, 2012, 03:02pm
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hand the ball to the nearest official.
I tell coaches to tell their players to hand the ball to the nearest guy that has his hands up -- waiting to receive it. If the play ends anywhere near the LOS, there should be no fewer than 3 officials (5 or 7 man) waiting for the ball.

Anyway, I don't understand why something this simple escapes coaches.
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