1 6-Man Mechanics Manual as adopted by PIAA The basic philosophy for adding a sixth man to officiating crews is to provide additional coverage downfield. Because of the expanded passing attacks and increasingly spread offensive formations being implemented by conference coaches and teams, many areas of the state requested the addition of a sixth man to the officiating crews. By adding a Side Judge (SJ) downfield on the Head Linesman s (HL) side of the field, another set of eyes will allow increased coverage and assistance to the Back Judge (BJ) in passing situations. The classic 5-Man crew positions, duties and responsibilities remain almost unchanged and most officials will only make minor adjustments in adapting to the sixth man (SJ) in the officiating crew. Following are diagrams and condensed explanations of the 6-man mechanics as adapted from the NFHS and NCAA (CCA) manuals and adopted by PIAA.
2 Pre-Game Responsibilities 90 Minutes prior to Kick-Off: Crew arrives at the game site and reports to the game (home team) administrator. 75 Minutes prior to Kick-Off: Pre-game conference begins 60 Minutes prior to Kick-Off: R and U leave to visit with the respective head coaches; home team head coach first, then the visiting team head coach. ECO should report at this time to the officials locker room for pre-game instructions from the BJ and SJ. BJ and SJ, HL and LJ will discuss downfield coverage and kicking play mechanics as well as reviewing keys and responsibilities on scrimmage downs. 45 Minutes prior to Kick-Off: R and U return to locker room. U will inspect the game balls and mark them for use during the game. Pre-game conference resumes. 15 Minutes prior to Kick-Off: R, U, HL and LJ report to (arrive on) the game field for their pre-game duties. BJ reports to the home team locker room and prepares to escort the game captains and home team personnel to the playing field and their team box. SJ reports to the visiting team locker room and prepares to escort the game captains and visiting team personnel to the playing field and their team box. R and LJ walk the field and inspect it for proper markings and safety risk issues. BJ and SJ will locate the ball boys and instruct them in their duties. HL gives last minute instructions to his chain crew and inspects the line-to-gain equipment. 5 Minutes prior to Kick-Off: BJ and SJ arrive on the playing field with their respective teams, coaches and captains. BJ will introduce home team captains to the Referee. SJ will introduce visiting team captains to the Umpire.
3 3 Minutes prior to Kick-Off: Coin toss ceremony is held at mid-field. R escorts home team captains (4 maximum) from their team box to mid-field. U escorts visiting team captains (4 maximum) from their team box to mid-field. HL and SJ ensure all visiting team personnel and attendants remain within the limits of their team box during, throughout and after the coin toss ceremony. LJ and BJ ensure all home team personnel and attendants remain within the limits of their team box during, throughout and after the coin toss ceremony. R will position himself so that he is facing the scoreboard during the coin toss. U will position himself so that his back is to the scoreboard during the coin toss. All Officials: Meet at mid-field following the conclusion of the coin toss to mark their game cards and then break and hustle (brisk jog) to their respective free kick positions.
4 COIN TOSS CEREMONY BJ & SJ escort captains, coaches and all respective team personnel from their locker rooms to arrive on the playing field NO LATER THAN 5 minutes before the scheduled kick-off time. BJ escorts home team personnel and SJ escorts visiting team personnel. Both BJ and SJ introduce their team captains to the R and U respectively. R escorts no more than 4 home team captains to mid-field at 3 minutes prior to kick-off, faces the scoreboard and conducts the coin toss ceremony. Upon selection of the team options, signal to the Press Box the results of the toss and the captains selected options. U escorts no more than 4 visiting team captains to mid-field at 3 minutes prior to kick-off and introduces his captains to the R and then positions himself with his back to the scoreboard while the coin toss is held. He ensures that R gives the appropriate signals to the Press Box side of the field and that all choices made by the team captains are properly executed. HL & SJ position themselves between the 9 yard marks and the visiting team sideline to patrol the visiting team box and to ensure that all visiting team personnel and attendants remain within their team box limits throughout, during and after the ceremony and that no one is on the playing field until the kick-off is about to be made.
5 BL & LJ execute the same duties as listed above for the HL & SJ on the home team side of the field. ALL officials meet at mid-field at the conclusion of the coin toss and mark their game cards with the appropriate information and then break and hustle (brisk jog) to their respective kick-off positions. Official Coin Toss: It is recommended to have the official coin toss, in the home team end zone, 30 minutes prior to contest with the Head Coaches and Captains of each team. Officials are to read the PIAA Sportsmanship Message at this time and get legally equipped confirmation from each head coach. Give the visiting speaking captain their option of taking heads or tails before the coin is tossed. Once you have the result of the toss, give the winner of the toss their options. After the winner of the toss selects their option, give the other team their options of which way they want to kick. After Halftime Eliminate ceremonial toss to press box and just go to each respective sideline and give instructions to line-up for kickoff based on your pre-game coin toss decisions.
6 FREE KICKS & KICK-OFFS R: Position yourself between the receivers 5 yard line and the goal line in the middle of the field. Count the receiving teams players and then give and acknowledge the extended first signal with the U and HL to indicate that eleven R players are on the field. Check to ensure that all officials are ready and prepared for kick-off by securing the raised arm signal from the U and HL. When all are ready, give the ready for play signal and sound your whistle long and hard to indicate play may begin: DO NOT ALLOW play to begin with more than eleven R players on the field. Be responsible for the kick penetrating the goal line plane and for possible momentum exception rule situations. Remember to wind the clock if the kick is touched by any receiver in the field of play and be responsible for the ball carrier when he is in the middle third of the field deep in his own territory. U & HL: Take a position off of the sideline at about the 15 yard line -or- adjust this depth relative to the kicker s strength. The U takes his position off of the home team sideline. HL takes his position off of the visiting team sideline. Make sure that all team personnel are in the team box and that no one is in the area between the sideline and the team box to interfere with your coverage of the play. This includes all trainers, doctors, statisticians, ball boys, dignitaries, cameramen, media and anyone else that may be on the sideline prior to and during the kick. Count all R players and give the extended fist signal to the R when eleven R players are present on the playing field.
7 Give the raised arm Ready signal to the R after checking that this same signal has been relayed to you by the LJ and SJ respectively up field. DO NOT ALLOW and DO NOT GIVE THE SIGNAL to allow the play to begin with more than eleven R players on the field. If the kick is made to your third of the field, give the wind the clock signal when the kick is touched in the field of play by any R player and be responsible for the ball carrier if he is in your area. U & HL: Be responsible for knowing if the kick crosses the sideline touched or untouched by the R and also be alert to and responsible for the pylon on our side of the field for determining in-bounds or out of bounds as well as touchback status of the kick and/or any R players. Cover and then trail the ball carrier to mark forward progress when he is in your area and have the dead ball spot from the end of the kick to the end of the run in your area of coverage. The SJ/LJ have break away responsibility and they are also responsible for the K s goal line. LJ: Position yourself on the R s restraining line off the home team sideline, count K s players and give the extended fist signal to BJ when eleven K players are present on the field of play. Do not allow play to proceed with more than eleven K players on the field. SJ: Position yourself on R s restraining line off the visiting team sideline, count R players and give the extended fist signal to HL when eleven R players are on the field. Do not allow play to proceed with more than eleven R players on the field. LJ & SJ: After counting players and after you have cleared our sideline and coaches box of all personnel that may interfere with your ability to cover the play, give the raised arm Ready to the downfield official (HL/U) on your side of the field to indicate that you are ready for play to begin. Ensure that no R players are beyond their restraining line before the kick is made. Make sure that the kick travels 10 yards and touches the ground, or is touched by any R player before being touched by K. Watch and be alert for either an on-side or Pooch kick. When the kick is made proceed cautiously downfield to no more than R s 35 yard line while observing all of R s blockers in your area of responsibility. The forward progress spot belongs to the HL/U on all routine returns. On long returns and/or break away runs, lead the ball carrier to the goal line and be there before he is. Allow the trailing official (HL/U) to mark the forward progress spot as well as the out of bounds spot on most returns. Be alert for any and all illegal blocks by R players during the return.
8 BJ: Secure a game ball and proceed to the middle of the field at K s restraining line in order to instruct the kicker and also to count all K players. After counting K s players signal the LJ by using an extended fist to indicate that eleven K players are on the field. Do not proceed with any other duties when more than eleven K players are on the field. Instruct the kicker and then hand him the ball and move to a position on K s restraining line beyond the sideline to the LJ s side of the field. Give the raised arm ready signal to indicate that you are prepared for play to begin. Time all intervals as well as the 25 second count. If K players and/or the kicker are not ready to accept the ball at the expiration of the one minute interval, place the ball on the ground at K s restraining line and move to your pre-kick position. When the kick is made, protect the kicker until he has traveled 5 yards downfield or until the ball has touched the ground or any other player. Watch for first touching of the kick by K and be prepared to wind the clock if the kick is touched by any R player in the neutral zone. When the kick travels downfield, move into the field of play to a position at about mid-field and cover the play using an inside-out technique while being aware of all illegal blocks and activity away from the ball carrier. On break away returns, lead the ball carrier to the goal line. Be there before he is.
9 On-Side & Short Free Kicks R: Take a position on or about R s yard line and in the middle of the field. Be at least 5 yards deeper than the deepest receiver. Execute all duties as on any other free kick or kick-off. Be prepared to retreat quickly in order to cover any deep or Pooch kick. U: Clear your sideline and team box area of all personnel. PERIOD. Take a position off the sideline at about R s yard line and be prepared to retreat quickly to cover any deep or Pooch kick. Work with your bean bag in your hand in order to mark any spot that needs marked or that may be integral to the play. Execute all duties as on any other free kick or kick-off. HL & LJ: Clear your sideline and coaches box of all personnel. PERIOD. Take a position off of the sideline at the receiving team s restraining line on your side of the field. Work with a bean bag in your hand to mark any spot that may integral to the play and that may determine touching, possession, loss of possession or out of bounds. Wind the clock when the kick is touched by the receivers or when it has traveled 10 yards and has touched the ground. Be prepared to move quickly downfield to assist in covering any deep or Pooch kick. Execute all other duties as on any other kick-off or free kick.
10 BJ & SJ: Take a position off of the sideline at the kicking team s restraining line and on your side of the field. Clear your sideline and coaches box of all personnel. PERIOD. Be prepared to wind the clock when and if appropriate. Work with a bean bag in your hand to mark any spot that may be integral to the outcome of the play. Be prepared to assist the HL & LJ in determining whether the kick has traveled 10 yards and has touched the ground or if it was touched by any player of either team. Execute all other duties as on any other routine free kick or kick-off.
11 SCRIMMAGE DOWNS R: Mark the ball ready for play and wind the clock when appropriate. Take a position at least yards from the LOS and be at least as wide as the tight end on the QB s throwing arm side of the field. Count offensive team players and give the extended fist signal to the U when eleven A players are present. Be alert for all possible offensive team substitutions and possible violations of the substitution rules. Ensure the legality of the snap and be alert for any false starts. Protect the QB at all costs and at all times. Work as you would in any situation following the NFHS rules, regulations and mechanics. U: Cover the ball while counting offensive team players and give the extended fist signal to the R as soon as you determine that eleven A players are on the field. Be aware of all offensive team substitutions and possible violations of the substitution rules. After the ready for play signal is given, or when it is appropriate to do so, move to a position at least 5-7 yards from the defensive LOS by leaving the ball and briskly turning toward the offensive team s sideline. Be positioned somewhere between the offensive team s tackles and usually away from the tight end. Be deep enough to avoid any interference with the LB s movement and play. Ensure the legality of the snap and be aware of any false starts and snap infractions.
12 Concentrate on the 5 interior offensive linemen and use the guards as your key to the play. Be aware of the numbering on the ineligible receivers and their positioning at all times. On passing plays, move to a position at the offensive LOS and be able to rule on all ineligibles downfield, passes that do or do not cross the LOS, and passes thrown from beyond the line. Also know whether the pass is tipped by any B players in or behind the neutral zone and give the appropriate tip signal when called for. Work as you would in any and all situations according to NFHS rules, regulations, and mechanics. HL & LJ: Take a position off the sideline and begin in the paint on all plays from scrimmage. Be prepared to adjust your position according to the offensive team s formations and tendencies. Never be closer than 9 yards from the widest man in the offensive formation and on the field of play. Always know how many men are on the offensive LOS and be able to recognize unbalanced line formations. Be prepared to rule on the positioning of all eligible offensive receivers. Observe and rule on the legality of all offensive formations as well as the entrance of all substitutes and the exit of all replaced players. Control your sideline area at all times keeping team members and attendants in their team box and not allowing more than 3 coaches to occupy to coaching area at any time before a live ball. Once the ball is live, all coaches must be in the team box. Use the sideline warning and penalize all sideline interference occurrences when necessary. Communicate with the head coach as much as possible. Always be polite, professional, and courteous but firm at all times. Identify and utilize the Get Back coach. Ask him to help control his sideline and again be cooperative, courteous, professional and firm. Ensure the legality of the snap. Be prepared to rule on false starts and encroachments. Be responsible for men in motion, illegal shifts, illegal formations and illegal positioning of team A players. Rule and mark all forward progress spots not leaving our spot until the ball has been placed at the succeeding spot. Use the 6 yard line stripes as well as any one yard extensions that may be on the field especially when marking the beginning of a new series. Remember, The lines are your friends. Be aware of the 9 yard marks. Use soft spots to assist your fellow officials whenever possible. Never quibble over the dead ball spot. Yield your forward progress spot to your opposite wingman whenever the situation dictates. Your keys and their order of progression are: Snap, tackle, 2 nd receiver inside.
13 Be aware of all action by the tight end. On running plays, observe the blockers until the ball carrier is released to you by the R. Allow the runner to advance toward you and then pass you while you trail him down the field to mark his forward progress. HL, the dead ball spot is yours from the LOS to B s 1 yard line. LJ, the entire sideline from end line to end line is yours throughout the game. HL: Ensure that line to gain equipment is positioned no closer than 6 feet off of your sideline at all times. On drop back pass plays, hold the LOS and be prepared to rule on ineligible players downfield, passes thrown from beyond the line, passes that do or do not cross the line, and whether a pass is thrown forward or backward. On roll-out action passes toward the LJ s side of the field, be prepared to move downfield cautiously while covering mid-range receivers to your side of the field, allowing the LJ to hold his position on the LOS. LJ: On drop back pass plays, drift to a mid-range position downfield and be able to rule on receivers and passes thrown into your third of the field. Allow the HL to hold his position on the LOS. On roll-out action passes to the HL side of the field, be more aggressive on your movement downfield and be prepared to not only cover passes thrown into your third, but also to assist the BJ on passes thrown deep into the middle of the field. Rotate toward the BJ and toward the 9 yard marks and, perhaps, as far as the inbounds line. Remember to always make eye contact with other crew members before ruling on any gray area situations. On roll-out action passes to your side of the field, hold your position on the LOS allowing the BJ, SJ and HL to rotate toward your third in the attempt to cover passes thrown downfield. Also be prepared to assist in ruling on ineligibles downfield, passes that cross or do not cross the LOS, whether or not a pass is thrown from beyond the line, and whether a pass is thrown forward or backward. HL & LJ: Follow and execute NFHS rules, regulations and mechanics at all times and in all situations. Use ONLY APPROVED NFHS signals in all situations. SJ: Take a position off of the sideline and on the HL side of the field approximately yards downfield. Begin every play in the paint. Count defensive team players and give the extended fist signal to the BJ when eleven team B players are present on the field. Be aware of all team B substitutions and be prepared to rule on their legality.
14 Carry and maintain an alternate game clock in case the scoreboard clock fails. If the scoreboard clock fails, you are responsible for keeping the game clock. Your main key is the widest man in the offensive formation to your side. Read run -or- pass and then react from that point. Begin each play, run -or- pass play, by taking three steps backward and away from the LOS. On short running plays, after taking your three backward steps, move in toward the action in an attempt to help control the action immediately following the dead ball. On long runs or breakaways, after your 3 initial steps backward, react to the play and lead the runner to the goal line and be there when and if he breaks the goal line plane. Forward progress spots are the responsibility of the HL until the ball carrier reaches the B one yard line. On drop back passes you are responsible for all long passes thrown into your third of the field as well as for coverage of medium range passes to your side of the field. Be prepared to assist the HL on short passes to his area if necessary and to also help the BJ on long passes over the middle when he is screened or otherwise occupied. Always make eye contact with your fellow officials whenever rulings on gray area situations need to be made. On roll-out pass action toward your side of the field, hold your position and concentrate on the mid-range passes thrown to your side. Allow the HL to hold his position on the LOS. The BJ and LJ will rotate toward you in order to help on long passes thrown downfield to your third and over the middle. When roll-out action is away from you, rotate toward the BJ and move into and toward the 9 yard marks and even possibly to the inbounds line to assist the BJ on deep passes over the middle. Use ONLY APPROVED NFHS signals at all times, and always work according to approved NFHS rules, regulations and mechanics. BJ: Time every one minute interval. Be responsible for the 25 second count on all plays. Raise one arm over your head when 20 seconds have elapsed. Sound your whistle loudly, stop the game clock with the time-out signal, and throw your penalty flag when the last 5 seconds expire. Take a position at the inbounds line (hash marks) toward the LJ s side of the field on all plays from scrimmage. Be at least 17 yards from the LOS and never be closer than 5 yards from the deepest defender. Count team B players and give the extended fist signal to the SJ when eleven team B players are present. Be aware of all team B substitutions and be prepared to rule on any possible violations of the substitution rules.
15 Your main key is the widest man in the offensive formation to the LJ s side and your main responsibility is the pass play. Your first three steps on every snap from scrimmage should be backward away from the LOS and then react from there. On short running plays, after your initial three backward steps, move in toward the dead ball spot in and attempt to help control the action immediately following the dead ball. On breakaway runs from scrimmage, work inside-out and lead the ball carrier to the goal line. Be there when and if he breaks the goal line plane. Be aware of all action and potential illegal blocks away from and surrounding the ball carrier. On drop back pass plays, you are responsible for all deep passes thrown to the middle of the field as well as being prepared to assist in ruling on long passes to the LJ s outside third. You will always work using an inside-out technique. On roll-out passes rotate toward the side of the action and be prepared to rule on mid-range as well as long range passes to the LJ s side of the field. On roll-out action toward the SJ, you are responsible for deep middle as well as long passes to the SJ s third of the field. Use ONLY APPROVED NFHS signals and always work according to the NFHS rules, regulations and mechanics. NEVER GET BEAT DEEP!!!
16 SCRIMMAGE KICKS -PUNTS- R: Always work on the side of the field corresponding with the kicker s foot. Your position may be either slightly forward of and to the kicker s foot side of the kicker s position -OR- slightly behind the kicker looking through the kicker s actions favoring the kicker s food side of the field. Always protect the kicker at all costs. Be prepared to rule on roughing or running into the kicker by the defense. Follow and execute all other scrimmage down duties and responsibilities. Be the last man downfield following the change of possession and routine kick returns by team R. On long and breakaway returns, work using an inside-out technique and lead the runner to the goal line. Be there when and if the ball carrier breaks the goal line plane. U: Take a position yards behind the defensive LOS and somewhere away from the line backers and advancing kick coverage players. Protect yourself at all times. Positioning opposite the R in these situations is preferred. Be aware of team K s ineligibles and any numbering exception rule situations. Protect the snapper at all costs. After the kick is made and it crosses the LOS, and after all players have advanced beyond your position, turn and slowly move toward the dead ball spot on the side opposite the R s advancing downfield.
17 On long breakaway returns, work using an inside-out technique and be aware of all illegal blocks and action away from and surrounding the ball carrier. Follow and execute all other scrimmage down duties and responsibilities. HL & LJ: Rule on the legality of team K s formation. Know who the eligible team K receivers are. Hold your position on the LOS until any kick made crosses the line. After kick crosses the line, proceed cautiously downfield to assist in ruling on illegal blocks and all action away from and surrounding the ball carrier. HL & LJ: On long breakaway returns lead the ball carrier to the goal line and be there when and if he breaks the goal line plane. Allow the SJ/BJ to mark forward progress and the dead ball spot. (Use reverse mechanics. ) In the case of a blocked kick or bad snap, the man positioned opposite the R in coverage will retreat to assist the R in coverage of all action behind the line. The wingman on the same side as the R will hold his position on the LOS until the action of the play releases him for downfield coverage and duties. Be alert for passes made after this play breaks down and know who the eligible receivers are when and if this happens. Follow and execute all other normal scrimmage down duties and responsibilities. SJ: Take a position off of your sideline approximately even or slightly in front of any short receivers. Be approximately 15 yards downfield. Be responsible for all action and possible illegal blocks in the area in front of the deepest receiver(s). Also observe the actions, legal or illegal, against and involving the team K gunners. If the ball carrier enters your third of the field, be responsible for marking the dead ball and/or the forward progress spot while trailing him up the field. (Use reverse mechanics ). Whenever the snap for a scrimmage kick is made from R s 40 yard line or closer, move directly to the pylon at the goal line on your side of the field and be prepared to rule on whether the kick is in-bounds or out of bounds and if you have a touchback situation. Also be aware of any possible momentum exception rule occurrences. Work with a bean bag in your hand to mark the spot where the kick ends when any short kick is possessed in your area of responsibility. Follow and execute all other scrimmage down duties and responsibilities. BJ: Take a position slightly in front of end to the LJ s side of the deepest receiver. Be prepared to rule on any fair catch signal given by members of team R. Work with a bean bag in your hand and be ready to mark the yard line where the kick ends on all deep kicks from sideline to sideline.
18 Protect any potential receiver whenever he is in a position to catch the kick. Be aware of any kick penetrating the goal line plan as well as any momentum exception rule situations. Whenever the ball is snapped for the scrimmage kick from R s 40 yard line or closer, take a position at the pylon at the intersection of the goal line and the LJ s sideline and be prepared to rule on any and all touchback situations or momentum exception rule possibilities. When any R player gains possession of the kick, mark the dead ball spot and be responsible for the out of bounds spot to the LJ s side of the field on routine returns. Train the ball carrier and use reverse mechanics in conjunction with the LJ. Follow and execute all other scrimmage down duties and responsibilities.
19 FIELD GOALS & TRYS - PAT s- R: Take a position slightly in front of and 8-10 yards to the side of the potential kicker and facing the place kick holder. Protect the kicker and holder at all costs. Be alert for any blocked or faked kick situations. After the play ends, signal to the Press Box on either the success or failure of the kick to score. U: Take a position 5-7 yards from the defensive LOS and between the offensive tackles. Protect the snapper at all costs. Be alert for any false starts and/or snap infractions and sound your whistle loudly and immediately when these infractions are observed. Be aware of any blocked kick and/or faked kick situations and be prepared to assist in their coverage. HL & LJ: Take your normal position as you would for any other scrimmage down. Be alert for any false starts or encroachment violations. Be prepared to assist on ruling the legality of the snap.
20 Whenever the ball is snapped from the 5 yard line or closer and the play breaks down or a kick is faked, move immediately to the goal line pylon and work back to the field of play to mark any forward progress or dead ball spot. In the case of a blocked kick, the official opposite the R moves to assist in coverage of the play behind the line. BJ & SJ: Take a position beyond the end line and behind the upright on your side of the field to rule on whether or not the kick scores. In the case of a blocked or faked kick, or in case of any trick play, move immediately and directly to the pylon at the intersection of the end line and the sideline to your respective side of the field to rule on the status of any play involving the end line and sideline. BJ sound your whistle loudly and sharply whenever the kick ends beyond the field of play or is successful in any scoring attempt. Also be responsible for the crossbar of the goal. ALL OFFICIALS: Execute all other normal scrimmage down responsibilities.
21 GOAL LINE PLAYS -From the 15 Yard Line & Closer- BJ: Take a position on the end line and at the inbounds pylon and be responsible for all actions at or near the end line and it s intersections with the respective sideline. Goal line responsibility from this point forward belongs to the HL & LJ. SJ: Takes initial position on goal line at sideline and be responsible for all initial actions at or near goal line and move closer to end line if play dictates. HL & LJ: Be responsible for the goal line from this point forward thus allowing the BJ/SJ to cover the end line and the entire end zone area. Be prepared to mark forward progress and to rule on the penetration of the goal line plane when necessary. Be responsible for the sideline on your side of the field the entire length to the end line. ALL OFFICIALS: Follow and execute all other scrimmage down duties and responsibilities. Remember to use eye contact before ruling on any gray area situations. NOTE: If using a 25 second clock BJ/SJ take initial position at goal line. If no 25 second clock, then BJ is on the end line in direct line of hash marks and SJ will be alone on the goal line prepared to move to endline if play necessitates.
22 GOAL LINE PLAYS -From the 5 Yard Line & Closer- HL & LJ: Take a position off of the sideline at the succeeding spot and on the LOS. Immediately at the snap move sharply to the goal line pylon and work from the goal line back to the field of play to mark forward progress spots. Beat any ball carrier and/or pass receiver to the goal line. Get there before he does to rule on whether or not the goal line plane is penetrated. NO EXCEPTIONS!!! ALL OFFICIALS: Work with the same mechanics and responsibilities that you implemented during goal line situations from the 15 yard line and closer. Use and execute ONLY APPROVED NFHS signals, procedures and mechanics in all situations. The goal line is the most important line on the field. Never forget its importance and never let it go uncovered. Someone should ALWAYS be there before the ball carrier or pass receiver arrives. If using a 25 second clock BJ/SJ take initial position at corner pylon on end line. If no 25 second clock, then BJ is on the end line in direct line of hash marks. SJ will be on corner pylon.
23 TIME-OUT RESPONSIBILITIES R: Take a position near team A s huddle if the conference is held on the field. If the conference is held at the 9 yard marks take a position at the inbounds line nearest the team A sideline. Sound your whistle curtly at the conclusion of the time-out interval and summon the respective teams back to the succeeding spot to prepare for the next play. Mark the ball ready for play. U: Take a position over the football and do not allow its status or position to be altered. HL & LJ: Assume a position on your sideline near the respective teams conference if it is held near the 9 yard marks. If the conference is held at the inbounds line, stay between the huddle and near the team box to monitor any and all player exchanges. Make sure to inform your respective head coaches as to the number of time-outs remaining for each team. BJ & SJ: Assume a position somewhere between the team box located on your side of the field and the inbounds line. Monitor any activity during the conference if held at the inbounds lines. BJ: Time the time-out interval and alert the R when it has expired. ALL OFFICIALS: Mark your game card and communicate with each other to assure that all members of the crew are aware of the proper number of time-outs available for each team before the conference period has expired.
24 MEASUREMENTS R: Observe the measurement and rule on whether the line to gain has or has not been reached. Remember that Line-to-Line is a first down and does not require any measurement. Give the appropriate signal to the Press Box indicating the result of the measurement. If the ball must be moved from a side zone to the inbounds lines, leave the measured ball with the BJ and grasp the chain appropriately and then move to the hash marks and spot an alternate game ball at the succeeding spot. Mark the ball ready for play and wind the clock when appropriate. U: Secure the front stake from the chain crew and stretch the chain to measure for the first down. If measuring in a side zone, move with the R to the inbounds line and again stretch the chain for placement of an alternate game ball. HL: Grasp the chain and clip at the point intersecting the 5 yard stripe closest to the rear stake and then move into the field of play to place the chain with the clip at the spot indicated by the LJ for the measurement. If the line to gain is not reached, return the chain to the sideline using the clip for replacement at the proper spot. LJ: Mark the spot for the placement of the chain with the clip by the HL. Ensure that this spot is perpendicular to the yard line at which the dead ball has been marked. SJ: If measuring in a side zone, secure an alternate game ball for placement by the R at the inbounds spot if necessary. If the line to gain has been reached, place this alternate game ball at the proper inbounds spot or hand the ball to the U for such placement. BJ: Hold the ball during the measurement and do not allow its position to be disturbed throughout this administration or until an alternate game ball has been placed at the inbounds line at the succeeding spot.
25 PENALTY ADMINISTRATION R: Give a preliminary signal to the Press Box on all fouls other than false starts and/or encroachment infractions. Meet with the offended captain and relay his choice of acceptance or refusal to the U before measurement of the foul. After the foul has been measured, signal the Press Box again to inform them as to the nature and result of the enforcement. If the penalty is refused, inform the Press Box by using the proper signals. Mark the ball ready for play and wind the clock when appropriate. U: When the R informs you of the foul and the offended team search out the appropriate team captain and escort him to the R in order for the penalty options to be given to him for evaluation and decision. If necessary, measure the penalty from the proper enforcement spot and place the ball at the succeeding spot in order for it to be marked ready for play. Check with HL to ensure that any measurement has been marked at the proper distance. HL: Move to the enforcement spot and measure the proper distance of the penalty at your sideline. Make eye contact with the U before he places the ball at the succeeding spot and ensure that he has measured the proper distance. LJ: Hold the enforcement spot until the measurement is completed to ensure proper enforcement. SJ & BJ: One will mark the dead ball spot and cover the game ball until an alternate ball has been placed by the U at the succeeding spot. The other will cover the dropped flag and when measurement and enforcement have been completed, return it to the calling official.
From Whistle to Snap This document is intended to supplement to the 2014 edition of Mechanics Illustrated (MI). Many of the chapters of MI include information about dead ball officiating; however, officials
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