New football rules -- good changes

White hat

VaPreps Honorable Mention
Aug 17, 2001
1,322
87
48
The football rules changes were announced today. I'm really pleased with a couple of them.

The first is that there is now a 40-second play clock that starts when the last play ends. No longer does a referee have to signal a ready for play. This will speed up the game.

There's also a change that's years overdue. The old rule that required seven players on the line of scrimmage has been scrapped. The new rule just says there cannot be more than four players in the offensive backfield. So if a team has only 10 players on the field, it's no longer going to be a foul. It shouldn't be illegal to play at a disadvantage.

The horsecollar rule has expanded to include grabbing the nameplate on the back of the jersey. Previously, the hand had to be inside the collar of the jersey.

In my many years of officiating, I've only seen a runner purposely tripped on two occasions, but it was legal. No longer. A player cannot intentionally use a foot or leg to trio anyone.

Also, state who want to use limited instant replay in the playoffs will be allowed. I don't see Virginia doing this, but who knows.

http://nfhs.org/articles/40-second-play-clock-postseason-instant-replay-among-football-changes/http://nfhs.org/articles/40-second-play-clock-postseason-instant-replay-among-football-changes/
 

VAHSFootballFan

VaPreps Rookie
Sep 8, 2017
263
197
43
In the article it says that sometimes it will be a 25 sec playclock depending on certain situations. How does this affect teams that display the playclock on the field? Will the person running it need to change it back and forth? Is there a signal for which to use (25 or 40)?
 
Aug 30, 2016
19
11
3
In the article it says that sometimes it will be a 25 sec playclock depending on certain situations. How does this affect teams that display the playclock on the field? Will the person running it need to change it back and forth? Is there a signal for which to use (25 or 40)?
Many of the clocks will have a separate trigger or button. Single click for 40 or double click for 25. Some clocks will default to 40 if they run all the way down to 0. As you said though this will depend on the stadium having "visible" play clocks. Don't think that's a FED requirement yet. It is a requirement for NCAA games.
 

White hat

VaPreps Honorable Mention
Aug 17, 2001
1,322
87
48
It will be interesting to see how the final rule is written and what the new mechanics manual says.

The 40 second clock will start when the previous play ends and there is no break in the game. There are plenty of times, however, when there are breaks and an indeterminate amount of time before the next play, such as a charged time out or an officials time out, end of quarter, things like that. In those cases, the referee will signal a ready for play signal and there will be 25 seconds, as has always been the case.
 

DinwiddieProud

VaPreps All Region
Gold Member
Dec 9, 2013
6,723
4,609
113
Interesting changes. I assume some "nameplates" are such that it can be gripped in the same manner as the collar? Is there a distinction between grabbing a nameplate and grabbing a handful of jersey in the same area?

Like you said, how often does tripping really occur? And why is it any less dangerous to reach out with a hand or arm, as it is with a foot or leg?
 

Hampton Roads 6

VaPreps Hall of Famer
Feb 22, 2003
34,980
981
113
Hopefully this will eliminate teams trying to run out clock in first quarter. Force them to play faster is great.
 

HighestPoint

VaPreps Rookie
Oct 10, 2016
282
218
43
Hopefully this will eliminate teams trying to run out clock in first quarter. Force them to play faster is great.
It will be interesting to see if this actually makes teams go any faster. I guess it would depend on the officials under the old rule. If they took more than 15 seconds to spot the ball it will now be faster. But if they spotted the ball in under 15 seconds the new rule will in theory allow teams some extra time they could run off.
The biggest thing is that it will make every game consistent. The speed at which the officials spot the ball will not matter as much because it's straight 40 seconds from the end of the previous play
 
  • Like
Reactions: Hampton Roads 6

White hat

VaPreps Honorable Mention
Aug 17, 2001
1,322
87
48
I just hope it prevents the QB from going to sideline to get the play call.
I hope so, too. It should.

The big worry is that the play clock operators will be slow on the start button. We played with this rule last season in the benefit games and the game I worked had a PC operator who sometimes waited 5-7 seconds to get it started. No big deal in the benefit game, but in a regular season game this will not work at all.

Some of the chain crews known for dragging their feet will have to move with some purpose.
 

DinwiddieProud

VaPreps All Region
Gold Member
Dec 9, 2013
6,723
4,609
113
I hope so, too. It should.

The big worry is that the play clock operators will be slow on the start button. We played with this rule last season in the benefit games and the game I worked had a PC operator who sometimes waited 5-7 seconds to get it started. No big deal in the benefit game, but in a regular season game this will not work at all.

Some of the chain crews known for dragging their feet will have to move with some purpose.
I remember a playoff game in 2013. Somebody knew somebody that knew an NFL chain gang. They got them to work this playoff game. The level of speed and professionalism they exhibited was a show in itself. The officials were outstanding, but the chain gang was phenomenal.

We have a very veteran clock keeper. He will adapt without missing a beat. But man, I've seen a lot of them that are so far behind the action that it's sad.
 

Hampton Roads 6

VaPreps Hall of Famer
Feb 22, 2003
34,980
981
113
I don't know why , but I have always been a "play clock watcher". In college games, they start play clock IMMEDIATELY after play ends. Sometimes it almost looks as if they start it before play ends.
I hope this new rule is enforced down to the millionth of a second, and force everyone to speed their game up. No more clock draining.
 

falcettik

VaPreps Honorable Mention
Nov 3, 2004
1,259
404
83
The football rules changes were announced today. I'm really pleased with a couple of them.

The first is that there is now a 40-second play clock that starts when the last play ends. No longer does a referee have to signal a ready for play. This will speed up the game.?
My question: What defines "when the last play ends"? Does the 40 seconds start when the ref who spots the ball has the ball in his hands? Or any ref has the ball in his hands, where ever he might be on the field? Do the 40 seconds start when the ball is set at the LOS? 40 seconds should be plenty of time for a team to huddle, call a play, get to the line, and snap the ball. However, what happens in this type of situation: There is a long pass downfield that is not caught or the ball bounces a long way off or the play runs into the opponents bench and the refs go in to assure player safety. The ref crew now has to move the ball back up field to the original LOS. Depending on what happens this could take 10-12 seconds, maybe more. Is this time counted in the 40 seconds? Does the white hat compensate for this type of situation?
 
Last edited:
  • Like
Reactions: WP02alum

FBRef

VaPreps Hall of Famer
Nov 8, 2001
24,300
16
38
My question: What defines "when the last play ends"? Does the 40 seconds start when the ref who spots the ball has the ball in his hands? Or any ref has the ball in his hands, where ever he might be on the field? Do the 40 seconds start when the ball is set at the LOS? 40 seconds should be plenty of time for a team to huddle, call a play, get to the line, and snap the ball.
The 40 seconds begins as soon as the covering official raises his hand.

However, what happens in this type of situation: There is a long pass downfield that is not caught or the ball bounces a long way off or the play runs into the opponents bench and the refs go in to assure player safety. The ref crew now has to move the ball back up field to the original LOS. Depending on what happens this could take 10-12 seconds, maybe more. Is this time counted in the 40 seconds? Does the white hat compensate for this type of situation?
The 40 seconds begins as soon as the covering official signals incomplete. Yes, it will take some time to get a new ball and get it spotted and yes, this time is counted in the 40 seconds.If the clock falls below 25 seconds before the ball is spotted, the referee will restart the play clock at 25.

The change is not designed to speed the game up. It's designed to make the timing more consistent every Friday night. Even when a team gets a first down, the game clock will be stopped but the play clock will be reset to 40 seconds immediately and will begin to tick down, even though the game clock has stopped. The referee will wind the game clock without a whistle but the play clock will already be running.

The play clock will be reset to 40 seconds after every play, unless there's an team or officials timeout of any type (injury, penalty, change of possession, etc.).
 

Hampton Roads 6

VaPreps Hall of Famer
Feb 22, 2003
34,980
981
113
It was only a scrimmage, but Friday night I timed a team to see how this new rule is. This team took from 1:04 to 2:40 to get off a play, after previous play ended. They apparently designed their plays in huddle.
 

White hat

VaPreps Honorable Mention
Aug 17, 2001
1,322
87
48
It was only a scrimmage, but Friday night I timed a team to see how this new rule is. This team took from 1:04 to 2:40 to get off a play, after previous play ended. They apparently designed their plays in huddle.
That's common in the first scrimmages. Coaches on the field. Figuring things out as they go along. Counting plays.

I hate the first scrimmages so much, but they are necessary fpr officials as well as teams.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Hampton Roads 6

FBRef

VaPreps Hall of Famer
Nov 8, 2001
24,300
16
38
It was only a scrimmage, but Friday night I timed a team to see how this new rule is. This team took from 1:04 to 2:40 to get off a play, after previous play ended. They apparently designed their plays in huddle.
Scrimmages are practice. No one is concerned about the play clock.
 
  • Like
Reactions: WP02alum