Rules Question of the Week?
In this week's rules question I have posted the Timing/OT Rules that come directly from the FNL Rules Manual. Please read them and message me if you have any questions.
Games are played with 10 minute running quarters (40minutes), 1 minute water break between quarters and a 5 minute halftime. If the score is tied at the end of 40 minutes, teams move directly into overtime.
The following tie-breaker system will be used for all overtime games.
• Coin flip determines possession
• Ball is placed at Midfield
• After 3 plays, the referee will mark where the ball ended up (cone, flag, etc)
• Opposing team will now take over at Midfield run their 3 plays going in the same direction.
• Whichever team gains the most yards on 3 plays wins the game
• If both teams are tied after 3 plays, we do it again until there is a winner.
• Negative net yards on offense will count against you. Other team must still run their 3 plays.
• If the ball is intercepted and the runner’s flags are pulled before they reach the end zone. The ball is spotted at mid field and the team only needs to gain one yard. If they gain one yard on the first play, the team can take knee the ball twice and they will win the game.
• If ball is intercepted and returned for a touchdown, game is over.
• Overtime is only for all Premier Games, 5th and 6th, 7th and 8th, and playoff games.
- Each time the ball is spotted, a team has 30 seconds to snap the ball.
- Teams will receive one warning before a delay of game penalty is enforced.
- 2 timeouts per half and they do not carry over to 2nd half if unused.
Guys & Gals it is Playoff's Week and we need to be on our "A game." Please review the "Know The Rules?" blog posts and send me any questions you have. This season has shaped up to be a great one at both Murrieta and Temecula and the teams are vying to win it all, so let's make sure we hustle and are in the right spots to make the correct calls. That said we have a couple of reminders to improve upon before the season is over.
It has been mentioned in past posts, but needs to be brought up again we need to be placing markers on both the rush line and LOS. It is not just you as a ref who needs to be aware of the lines but the players and coaches do too. It is not fair to tell a quarterback that they threw an illegal forward pass when you don't have the marker on the LOS to show them how far they can run before throwing the ball. Also it is very hard to argue that a player committed an illegal rush or illegal forward pass when I see the video and their are no markers signifying the spot on the ground. Please don't make me have to tell you on the field as this is something we all need to be doing no matter how much experience we have refereeing.
This rule is similar to the first one in that as the offensive referee you must signal the Ready-for-Play whistle. Once you have both markers set and the ball placed at the LOS marker hack and blow you whistle. The Ready-for-Play whistle starts the 30 second play clock for each offensive play. It is hard to penalize a team for delay of game when you never whistled to signal the start of the play clock. It is your job to make sure both markers are set and the ball is placed correctly and both officials are ready before blowing the Ready-for-Play whistle. Again if a team violates the delay of game the first time it is a warning, afterward any additional penalties for delay of game will be loss of down + yardage. Remember some teams take advantage of you not blowing the whistle as a tactic to keep the opposing team from having the ball, so let's be fair and make sure we are the one's controlling the start of every play.
Please remember to have thick skin and ignore comments that don't need to be answered. When a coach complains let them, but if those complaints go beyond what is acceptable it is your job to tell the coach that it is enough and warn them they will receive a penalty for unsportsmanlike conduct if they continue. However, with that said if a coach blatantly says something that is not tolerated, whether it is a threat, foul language or anything personal in nature, you have every right to flag them on the first occurrence and/or eject them if it is warranted. Please know that any ejection must be followed up in writing to me within 24 hours of the end of the game and you will need to explain the whole situation. Also remember everyone is recording you so no matter what a coach, player or fan does your job is to be professional and respond respectfully. Playoffs is always intense as fans, players and coaches want to win, so have some thick skin, but also take charge and control of your game from the start of your pregame talks with the coaches. If you do these things mentioned above you will set yourself and your game up for success.
Organizing member of iCanReferee & Head Offiicial of Friday Night Lights flag football league. Over 12 years experience with youth flag & tackle football. Major responsibilities are education, on-field training, game assignments, rules interpretation & expanding the organization.