Extension of Periods

By Bruce Maurer

One of the marks of a great Crew is how they handle the last two minutes of each quarter. Among the critical mechanics is the one involving extending or not extending the period when a foul occurs. The BJ has primary responsibility for determining whether a period is extended or not & communicating to the R, but a great Crew will communicate after each play in the last one minute of each period as to whether we had a foul and an extension of the period may be necessary.

A couple of critical things to remember is that in order to extend the period, (1) time must expire during the last down of the period & (2) the foul must occur during the down. This means dead ball fouls along with fouls that are enforced as dead ball fouls never extend the period.

Rule 3­3­3 defines when a period must be extended: If during the last timed down of the period, one of the following occurs:

a) There was a foul by either team & the penalty is accepted. Note: It does not matter which team fouls. It is the replay of the down which mandates the extension of the period.

Play: Last play of the first quarter. A, 2/7 at A’s 35. A10 throws a pass that (a) is complete for 10 yards, but there is holding by A66 at A’s 32, (b) is complete for 10 yards and B4 commits a personal foul face mask penalty on the tackle, (c) the pass is complete but B4 commits pass interference and the play gains 25 yards to B’s 40 YL. In (a), and (b) the penalty is accepted, but in (c) the penalty is declined. The clock expired during the play. Ruling: In (a) and (b) the period is extended because we had a foul that was accepted by each team. In (c) since the penalty will be declined, because the play gained more yardage, the period will not be extended.

The period must also be extended if:

b) There was a double foul, or

c) There was an inadvertent whistle or

d) If a touchdown was scored, the Try is attempted as part of the period unless the TD is scored during the last down of the fourth period & the point(s) would not affect the outcome of the game.

Just as important as it is to know when to extend the period, it is equally important to know when not to extend a period. Rule 3­3­4 lists those situations. Remember, these must occur during a down in which time expires.

a) When the defense fouls during a successful Try/field goal & the offended team accepts the results of the play with enforcement of the penalty from the succeeding spot.

b) There was a foul by either team & the penalty is accepted for:

  • Unsportsmanlike fouls
  • Non‐player fouls
  • Fouls that specify a loss of down
  • Fouls that are enforced on the subsequent kickoff (8‐2‐2, 8‐2‐3, 8‐2‐4 or 8‐2‐5) or
  • Fouls for which enforcement, by rule, result in a safety
  • Play: A22 runs for a TD on the last play of the first quarter. During the play, the LJ makes contact with A’s coaching staff on the side line. Ruling: The TD counts & the period is not extended, except for the Try. Fouls for non­player & unsportsmanlike acts do not extend the period.

    Play: A, 1/10 on B’s 35. QB A10 rolls to his right and throws a pass from B’s 34 that is caught for a TD. Ruling: The period is not extended because the illegal forward pass foul includes loss of down.

    Play: A, 1/G on B’s 9. A12 throws a pass that is intercepted by B36 in B’s EZ. B36 returns the ball to B’s 30. During the return B17 clips in B’s EZ & time expires during the play. Ruling: If A accepts the penalty, it results in a safety for A; however the period is not extended since we have a foul for which enforcement, by rule, results in a safety. If there is an accepted penalty for a foul by the non­scoring team during a play that ends in a TD as time expires in the quarter, the period is not extended for the kickoff. The penalty either carries over to the try, for which the period is extended, or to the kickoff in the next quarter, if there is one, but there would be no extension of the period for a kickoff.

    Play: A26 runs for a TD. During the run, B23 commits a five­yard face mask penalty. Time expires for the first quarter during the run. Ruling: A can either have the penalty enforced on the Try or on the succeeding kickoff. If enforced on the Try the period is extended for the Try. If enforced on the succeeding kickoff the period is not extended for a kickoff.

    The entire Crew is responsible for proper rule enforcement; therefore, it is imperative for all members to know & understand how to handle fouls during the last play of each period.