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2013-11-10 10:37 PM

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Supersonicus Idioticus
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Subject: Quick (American) football question
Hey guys... I am just getting into football. I used to hate the game, but now it is very interesting.

I have a question though. How do the refs determine where the line of scrimmage is placed after a gain of some yardage? Sometimes the players are knocked backwards during a tackle. Other times, I see the refs awarding a first down if the ball crosses the imaginary plane of 10yards, even if both their knees and the football touch the ground short of the 10y line.

Additionally, if every yard is so important, how come people don't pay attention to where exactly (i.e. within 6 inches) the ball should be placed for the next play?

I am sure I can google this, but I would rather discuss with my fellow BT'ers.


2013-11-11 3:59 AM
in reply to: So Fresh So Clean

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Subject: RE: Quick (American) football question
For line of scrimmage, the ball is everything. Where the ball was when the knee/elbow/butt hit the ground or the guy went out of bounds or forward progress was stopped is the new line of scrimmage. Not the person's body, where the ball was.


"forward progress" is a primary reason the new line of scrimmage is forward of where the guy came to rest during a play. The most forward point the ball reached during the course of play.

Wherever the refs place it is accepted as the new line. Everyone tends to accept that because the refs generally are pretty good about it and any wiggle room tends to even out over the course of a game, some you get the 6" some you get hosed by 6" but the other guy does too.

2013-11-11 6:53 AM
in reply to: So Fresh So Clean

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Champion
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Subject: RE: Quick (American) football question
Also they have sorta of officials on the sidelines that hold up little Orange Flags that indicate where the line of scrimage is and two others hold a poles connected with a 10 yards of chain indicating the first down yardage.
2013-11-11 7:43 AM
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Resident Curmudgeon
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Subject: RE: Quick (American) football question

Originally posted by BellinghamSpence Also they have sorta of officials on the sidelines that hold up little Orange Flags that indicate where the line of scrimage is and two others hold a poles connected with a 10 yards of chain indicating the first down yardage.

The offense has four downs to make that ten yards, if they do so they are awarded a new "first down" and set of downs and re-start the cycle.

You probably knew that, but I wanted the opportunity to point out that the Saints last night achieved an NFL record 40 first downs against Dallas. Also need to note that the Cowgirls ran all of 43 plays during the game,

40 first downs vs 43 plays is what we here in 'Murica call "domination." 

 

2013-11-11 7:58 AM
in reply to: the bear

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Subject: RE: Quick (American) football question
Originally posted by the bear

Originally posted by BellinghamSpence Also they have sorta of officials on the sidelines that hold up little Orange Flags that indicate where the line of scrimage is and two others hold a poles connected with a 10 yards of chain indicating the first down yardage.

The offense has four downs to make that ten yards, if they do so they are awarded a new "first down" and set of downs and re-start the cycle.

You probably knew that, but I wanted the opportunity to point out that the Saints last night achieved an NFL record 40 first downs against Dallas. Also need to note that the Cowgirls ran all of 43 plays during the game,

40 first downs vs 43 plays is what we here in 'Murica call "domination." 

 




Forward progress is awarded by a ref when the ball carrier is stopped (yet still standing up) and it is evident that he cannot go any further, but is not on the ground. However, if a player (before the whistle blows) runs backwards on his own and is tackled behind where he was initially stopped, forward progess usually isn't awarded.

For example....last night, there was hardly any forward progress called when the Saints had the ball because the good-for-nothing Cowboys couldn't get their act together and let Mark Ingram, who hasn't don't jack-squat since college run like he was Barry-Flippin-Sanders......

Uggghhh......

2013-11-11 8:29 AM
in reply to: So Fresh So Clean

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Champion
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Subject: RE: Quick (American) football question
Originally posted by So Fresh So Clean

Hey guys... I am just getting into football. I used to hate the game, but now it is very interesting.

I have a question though. How do the refs determine where the line of scrimmage is placed after a gain of some yardage? Sometimes the players are knocked backwards during a tackle. Other times, I see the refs awarding a first down if the ball crosses the imaginary plane of 10yards, even if both their knees and the football touch the ground short of the 10y line.

Additionally, if every yard is so important, how come people don't pay attention to where exactly (i.e. within 6 inches) the ball should be placed for the next play?

I am sure I can google this, but I would rather discuss with my fellow BT'ers.


The exact location of the ball is very important and is oftentimes a point of contention between the teams. They have a `first down marker' that indicate where the first down should be -- they use a chain that's exactly 10 yards long to determine if the ball has gone far enough to constitute a first down.

For example, last night they didn't need to use the chains because the Saints would get 20 or 30 yards each time they ran a play, making it easy for the refs to know that the Saints indeed got the first down. The Cowboys inability to even slow down the Saints was a lesson on how many first downs a team can get in a game. The Cowboys, on the other hand, never got even close to 10 yards in any four downs, so they didn't need the chains, either.


2013-11-11 9:04 AM
in reply to: mr2tony

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Master
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Subject: RE: Quick (American) football question

And then you have the subjectivity of the ball placement.  Sometimes there is a home-team bias.  Frequently, actually.  For the home team, they get an extra half-yard on the ball mark.  For the visiting team, sometimes the ball gets marked a bit short of the actual forward progress.  This seems to happen when the ball is close to the first-down marker for whatever reason.  Go figure.  Especially in Pac-12 college games.  Maybe the SEC is similar. 

2013-11-11 10:03 AM
in reply to: the bear

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Subject: RE: Quick (American) football question

Originally posted by the bear

Originally posted by BellinghamSpence Also they have sorta of officials on the sidelines that hold up little Orange Flags that indicate where the line of scrimage is and two others hold a poles connected with a 10 yards of chain indicating the first down yardage.

The offense has four downs to make that ten yards, if they do so they are awarded a new "first down" and set of downs and re-start the cycle.

You probably knew that, but I wanted the opportunity to point out that the Saints last night achieved an NFL record 40 first downs against Dallas. Also need to note that the Cowgirls ran all of 43 plays during the game,

40 first downs vs 43 plays is what we here in 'Murica call "domination." 

As a Iggles fan I called it happy happy joy joy

I can see how American football would be a bit confusing if you hadn't grown up watching. Heck, some of the calls seem arbitrary at times.

2013-11-11 11:56 AM
in reply to: So Fresh So Clean

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Sensei
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Subject: RE: Quick (American) football question

Originally posted by So Fresh So Clean Hey guys... I am just getting into football. I used to hate the game, but now it is very interesting. I have a question though. How do the refs determine where the line of scrimmage is placed after a gain of some yardage? Sometimes the players are knocked backwards during a tackle. The ball is placed as far as forward as the carrier brought it under their own power.  If they get knocked back, it's were they made "forward progress".  If they ran backwards on their own accord, then it's marked further back.  Other times, I see the refs awarding a first down if the ball crosses the imaginary plane of 10yards, even if both their knees and the football touch the ground short of the 10y line.  The ball is marked where it was when a point of contact hits the ground - usually the knee.  If someone's knee hits, the ball is marked where it was at the point of time the knee hit.  Sometimes the knee is down and they lunge forward, so the bring the ball back to where it was when the player was downed  Additionally, if every yard is so important, how come people don't pay attention to where exactly (i.e. within 6 inches) the ball should be placed for the next play? They TRY to be exact, but it's subjective and up to the referees.  They are pretty good at it.  But yes, because is subjective (like a strike zone in baseball) sometimes you get a break, and sometimes you get screwed.  You can also challenge if you really don't like it.  I am sure I can google this, but I would rather discuss with my fellow BT'ers.

A couple other notes.  A player is not down unless touched by the defense (there are some exceptions for the quarterback).  So a player could fall down, even on their knees, get up and keep running.  Sometimes you see someone catch and fall, then the defense runs over and just touches them to end the play.  OTHER times you see crazy things like a ball carrier land on other players and LOOK down, but if they never touched the ground, they are still live.

I'm really am surprised how close refs get it.  They show it on replay a lot and they are easily withing inches and THEY see it at full speed. 

2013-11-11 12:13 PM
in reply to: the bear

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Master
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Subject: RE: Quick (American) football question
Originally posted by the bear

Originally posted by BellinghamSpence Also they have sorta of officials on the sidelines that hold up little Orange Flags that indicate where the line of scrimage is and two others hold a poles connected with a 10 yards of chain indicating the first down yardage.

The offense has four downs to make that ten yards, if they do so they are awarded a new "first down" and set of downs and re-start the cycle.

You probably knew that, but I wanted the opportunity to point out that the Saints last night achieved an NFL record 40 first downs against Dallas. Also need to note that the Cowgirls ran all of 43 plays during the game,

40 first downs vs 43 plays is what we here in 'Murica call "domination." 

 




To be fair, those 40 first downs were made against basically a JV front seven.

Next week we can see what the Saints can do against a real defense (and against a JV offense). The 49ers offense looked terrible this week. Playing in the Superdome isn't going to help. UnfortunateIy I don't see this one even being particularly close.
2013-11-11 7:10 PM
in reply to: Kido

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Silver member
Subject: RE: Quick (American) football question
Originally posted by Kido

Originally posted by So Fresh So Clean Hey guys... I am just getting into football. I used to hate the game, but now it is very interesting. I have a question though. How do the refs determine where the line of scrimmage is placed after a gain of some yardage? Sometimes the players are knocked backwards during a tackle. The ball is placed as far as forward as the carrier brought it under their own power.  If they get knocked back, it's were they made "forward progress".  If they ran backwards on their own accord, then it's marked further back.  Other times, I see the refs awarding a first down if the ball crosses the imaginary plane of 10yards, even if both their knees and the football touch the ground short of the 10y line.  The ball is marked where it was when a point of contact hits the ground - usually the knee.  If someone's knee hits, the ball is marked where it was at the point of time the knee hit.  Sometimes the knee is down and they lunge forward, so the bring the ball back to where it was when the player was downed  Additionally, if every yard is so important, how come people don't pay attention to where exactly (i.e. within 6 inches) the ball should be placed for the next play? They TRY to be exact, but it's subjective and up to the referees.  They are pretty good at it.  But yes, because is subjective (like a strike zone in baseball) sometimes you get a break, and sometimes you get screwed.  You can also challenge if you really don't like it.  I am sure I can google this, but I would rather discuss with my fellow BT'ers.

A couple other notes.  A player is not down unless touched by the defense (there are some exceptions for the quarterback).  So a player could fall down, even on their knees, get up and keep running.  Sometimes you see someone catch and fall, then the defense runs over and just touches them to end the play.  OTHER times you see crazy things like a ball carrier land on other players and LOOK down, but if they never touched the ground, they are still live.

I'm really am surprised how close refs get it.  They show it on replay a lot and they are easily withing inches and THEY see it at full speed. 




In the pros. In college if the knee/elbow/butt touches the guy's down no matter if someone touches him or not.



2013-11-11 10:06 PM
in reply to: DanielG

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Supersonicus Idioticus
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Subject: RE: Quick (American) football question
Yeah, this sort of thing doesn't come naturally to me, but I can spot the puck in any hockey game, on the tiniest of tv screens.

I didn't see the Saints game, but I saw the highlights of the Colts

So let me ask, when the runner is frozen and can't move, does that constitute the end of a play even though he hasn't hit the ground?
2013-11-11 10:45 PM
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Subject: RE: Quick (American) football question
Originally posted by So Fresh So Clean

Additionally, if every yard is so important, how come people don't pay attention to where exactly (i.e. within 6 inches) the ball should be placed for the next play?



I don't know if this part of the question was answered. And it's similar to something that I have wondered about. Everyone that has watched football is familiar with the scene where the chains are brought on to the field to determine if the offense has reached a new first down. It's done very precisely and the officials can use a clip attached to the chain at one of the five yard markers to make sure that the chain is accurately transferred from the side line to the field.

But how is the chain location determined on the sideline when the offense reaches an obvious first down? The measurement for a close first down is only as good as the initial chain placement. For a new first down, it seems to me like they just determine the chain location by eyeballing the football from the sideline. The officials don't bring the chain on to the field and place one of the sticks at the forward end of the balls so that they can attach the clip at the next five yard marker. Or do they?

Don

Edited by donw 2013-11-11 10:47 PM
2013-11-12 2:51 AM
in reply to: So Fresh So Clean

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Subject: RE: Quick (American) football question
Originally posted by So Fresh So Clean


So let me ask, when the runner is frozen and can't move, does that constitute the end of a play even though he hasn't hit the ground?



That is the forward progress spoken of above a few times. The runner has ceased forward progress due to the opposing team so it's a stop and the runner is "down"

2013-11-12 7:58 AM
in reply to: donw

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Pro
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Subject: RE: Quick (American) football question
Originally posted by donw

Originally posted by So Fresh So Clean

Additionally, if every yard is so important, how come people don't pay attention to where exactly (i.e. within 6 inches) the ball should be placed for the next play?



I don't know if this part of the question was answered. And it's similar to something that I have wondered about. Everyone that has watched football is familiar with the scene where the chains are brought on to the field to determine if the offense has reached a new first down. It's done very precisely and the officials can use a clip attached to the chain at one of the five yard markers to make sure that the chain is accurately transferred from the side line to the field.

But how is the chain location determined on the sideline when the offense reaches an obvious first down? The measurement for a close first down is only as good as the initial chain placement. For a new first down, it seems to me like they just determine the chain location by eyeballing the football from the sideline. The officials don't bring the chain on to the field and place one of the sticks at the forward end of the balls so that they can attach the clip at the next five yard marker. Or do they?

Don


No. When it's an obvious first down (like what the Saints got on pretty much every play), the "stick" is placed where the ball is and the other "stick" (whish is connected by a 10 yard chain) is moved those 10 yards. It's not a scientific or exact science, but like someone said it goes both ways so there is no clear advantage.

There is a little orange marker that is clipped to the chains on a particular yard line (it changes every first down....place on a yard stripe). This is used to determine what the refs will use to make sure that their measurement is as accurate as possible. They only bring the chains out when it is too close to eye or whenever there is a question on a play.

You'll also see a "yard marker" sign (with the numbers 1, 2, 3, or 4). This is what down it is. This is a free standing "stick" that is, again, approximate placement of the ball each play. So....if a pass is thrown and it is incomplete....the refs can look at the yard marker to replace the ball for the next down.



What if you Canadians really know all about football, but are playing dumb to hear us explain things. haha

2013-11-12 8:15 AM
in reply to: bradleyd3

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Subject: RE: Quick (American) football question

Originally posted by bradleyd3
Originally posted by donw
Originally posted by So Fresh So Clean Additionally, if every yard is so important, how come people don't pay attention to where exactly (i.e. within 6 inches) the ball should be placed for the next play?
I don't know if this part of the question was answered. And it's similar to something that I have wondered about. Everyone that has watched football is familiar with the scene where the chains are brought on to the field to determine if the offense has reached a new first down. It's done very precisely and the officials can use a clip attached to the chain at one of the five yard markers to make sure that the chain is accurately transferred from the side line to the field. But how is the chain location determined on the sideline when the offense reaches an obvious first down? The measurement for a close first down is only as good as the initial chain placement. For a new first down, it seems to me like they just determine the chain location by eyeballing the football from the sideline. The officials don't bring the chain on to the field and place one of the sticks at the forward end of the balls so that they can attach the clip at the next five yard marker. Or do they? Don
No. When it's an obvious first down (like what the Saints got on pretty much every play), the "stick" is placed where the ball is and the other "stick" (whish is connected by a 10 yard chain) is moved those 10 yards. It's not a scientific or exact science, but like someone said it goes both ways so there is no clear advantage. There is a little orange marker that is clipped to the chains on a particular yard line (it changes every first down....place on a yard stripe). This is used to determine what the refs will use to make sure that their measurement is as accurate as possible. They only bring the chains out when it is too close to eye or whenever there is a question on a play. You'll also see a "yard marker" sign (with the numbers 1, 2, 3, or 4). This is what down it is. This is a free standing "stick" that is, again, approximate placement of the ball each play. So....if a pass is thrown and it is incomplete....the refs can look at the yard marker to replace the ball for the next down. What if you Canadians really know all about football, but are playing dumb to hear us explain things. haha

Have you seen a game of Canadian football?  Safe to say they're not just playing dumb to hear us talk.



2013-11-12 9:10 AM
in reply to: kevin_trapp

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Subject: RE: Quick (American) football question
I played football in high school and I've watched my share of football on TV - both CFL and NFL. But the only time the camera pays much attention to what the sticks are doing is when they're measuring for a close first down. So I didn't really know how the initial stick location was determined when they're back to first and ten. It seemed like they just eyeballed from the sideline (which you have confirmed) - this seems a little inconsistent given the importance of precise stick location when the officials need to determine whether to award a new first down.

And my odds of seeing an exciting football game are a lot better watching the Grey Cup than they are watching the Super Bowl.

Don
2013-11-12 9:39 AM
in reply to: donw

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Subject: RE: Quick (American) football question

Originally posted by donw I played football in high school and I've watched my share of football on TV - both CFL and NFL. But the only time the camera pays much attention to what the sticks are doing is when they're measuring for a close first down. So I didn't really know how the initial stick location was determined when they're back to first and ten. It seemed like they just eyeballed from the sideline (which you have confirmed) - this seems a little inconsistent given the importance of precise stick location when the officials need to determine whether to award a new first down. And my odds of seeing an exciting football game are a lot better watching the Grey Cup than they are watching the Super Bowl. Don

 

You really are confused, the Stanley cup is silver not grey....

2013-11-13 5:10 PM
in reply to: DanielG


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Subject: RE: Quick (American) football question
Originally posted by DanielG

Originally posted by So Fresh So Clean


So let me ask, when the runner is frozen and can't move, does that constitute the end of a play even though he hasn't hit the ground?



That is the forward progress spoken of above a few times. The runner has ceased forward progress due to the opposing team so it's a stop and the runner is "down"




I believe the reason for this is to prevent a defense from literally picking up the ball carrier and carrying him backwards for huge losses. So, once it's obvious to the refs that the ball carrier isn't going to make any more forward progress, or the defense starts to push him backwards, they call the play dead.
2013-11-14 9:04 PM
in reply to: kevkelsar

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Supersonicus Idioticus
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Subject: RE: Quick (American) football question
Suppose the ball carrier wasn't frozen.

And let's say he gets wallop'ed backward on his bum 2 yards backward. Is the scrimmage line placed where he was before the wallop'ing? Or at the place of maximum forward progress?

- Greg
2013-11-14 9:52 PM
in reply to: So Fresh So Clean

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Supersonicus Idioticus
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Subject: RE: Quick (American) football question
... never mind. Just got my answer watching the Colts game.


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