Questions of the Week – Week 5

By Bruce Maurer

1. During a play in which the quarterback (wearing a prosthetic device) became the ball carrier, his device became unattached thus rendering him unable to avoid severe contact and placing him into a precarious situation.

Currently the NFHS nor OHSAA have any rule satisfying the need for additional protections to insure the safety of this extremely vulnerable player. It was our agreement that a whistle and stoppage of play, similar to the ball carrier’s helmet rule, would be an appropriate solution.

I checked with the NFHS Editor of the Football Rules and he agrees that the whistle should be blown and this treated the same as the helmet rule.

2. On a scrimmage kick for a field goal that breaks the plane of the goal line but does not score, are the officials to give the no score signal followed by the touchback signal (S10-7) or just the touchback signal (S7)?

No score then TB Signal.

3. Third quarter, point differential rule in effect. Time expires during the play and: (a) A commits a block in the back, or (b) B is called for a facemask foul, or (c) there are offsetting fouls. I can’t find this addressed in the play situations under the point differential rule in the Gold Book. Since time expired during the play I believe that in (a) and (b) the period is extended if the foul is accepted. In (c) the period would be extended since you have offsetting fouls. If A’s foul would have been an illegal forward pass in (a) or in (c) the period would not be extended by rule. Had the clock expired while the officials were discussing the foul(s) the period would not be extended since time did not expire during the down.

Whether the point differential is in effect or not, if time expires during the down and we have a foul that extends, we extend. If the fould does not extend, we don’t.

4. When we have a running clock in the second half due to a 30 point differential, can we/should we turn off the play clock when it is used on the field?

No, keep it running. The only thing that changes is the GC and the timing Rules.

5. Last Friday we had a running clock in the 4th quarter. The team that was ahead was called for a delay of game. My thought was with a running clock could you ever have a situation where you would stop the clock from running? We stopped it to penalize A and then wound it on the ready. What if A delays again ?

See GB, P.34, # 10. When the first DOG is called the GC continues to run. If they delay again then invoke # 10. This happened once several years ago where the HC told the Crew with several minutes left that he was not going to snap the ball again.

6. A first and 10 at B 25. A1 throws a pass into the end zone where B23 intercept, started to run with the ball, (didn’t come out) and decided to toss the ball back to B25, who than tossed the ball over the end line.

It is a TB as the player threw a backward pass and rule 7-4-1 says a player may make a backward pass during any down . Rule 7-4-4 states that “If a fumble or a backward pass is OOB behind a GL the ball belongs to the team defending that GL and the result is either a TB or a safety.” The force which put the ball into the EZ was the pass by A. Unless B commits a foul in the EZ, you have a TB. Rule 8-5-3d states that it’s a TB when: “A forward pass is intercepted in B’s EZ and becomes dead there in B’s possession.” That’s what happened. If the runner had run out of the back of the EZ or out of the EZ across the SL you would have the same thing.

6. During a Varsity game, a coach asked for explanation of a penalty. It was during the time-out after an extra point so I went over towards the sideline to discuss the penalty. During the conference, he stated that everything we say is being recorded. At that point, I noticed that an Assistant coach was standing next to us with phone recording audio. A few seconds later, the Assistant stated that he was video recording our conference. Are coaches allowed to audio or video record an officials conference? Another general question, is recording devices allowed on the field during timeouts?

You have the right to respectfully refuse to be taped in this situation. I would not allow it unless I was taping also. See Rule1, Section 6 for communication devices.