Yard to gain questions?

DinwiddieProud

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The clip added to the chain, lines up on which side of the painted yard line?

When can a team ask for a measurement. Who can ask? Can the defensive team ask for a measurement after a first down has been declared?

When the measurement is so close that it's not evident if a first down was obtained, what is the procedure? Use of acredit card?

How often do you encounter a close measurement?
 

White hat

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The clip added to the chain, lines up on which side of the painted yard line?

When can a team ask for a measurement. Who can ask? Can the defensive team ask for a measurement after a first down has been declared?

When the measurement is so close that it's not evident if a first down was obtained, what is the procedure? Use of acredit card?

How often do you encounter a close measurement?
Doesn't matter which side of the line the clip is set, so long as the linesman knows where it was and uses the same side of the line on the field.

A team can request a measurement any time, typically it's a coach or, sometimes, a captain, The officials are not required to honor the request. (Prevents teams from asking for a free time out just because the ball is somewhere near the line to gain.)

I suppose a team could ask for a measurement after one was awarded, but if it was so close that a measurement would be warranted, I would think the measurement would have been called for by the referee.

I'm not using a card to check whether the ball is touching the stake. We might spot a ball well, but we're not within an eighth of an inch, so if it's so close that I might need to use a card on the pole, I'm awarding the first down.
 
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Measurements can be a misunderstood part of the game for many fans. The game officials almost always know the result of the measurement before the chains are stretched. Majority of measurements are "political" opportunities to spread goodwill. On well marked fields (especially turf fields) there is rarely a need to measure particularly when a series starts on a whole line (example 1st and 10 from the 27 as opposed to the 27.5 yard line). If we start at the 27 and the ball is short of the 37 then no measurement necessary even if its inches.It is not a coincidence that new possessions nearly always start on a "whole" line. Next time you watch a televised game notice how often new possessions and 1st and 10's begin on a whole line.
 
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DinwiddieProud

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I have paid special attention to where the ball is spotted since you made this post. I'm amazed how often the ball is placed with the nose on a yard line. It's such a suttle thing that I've never even noticed it before.
 

White hat

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That started in the NFL and trickled down. When I started there were zero turf fields in high school (at least in my neck of the woods) and a lot of fields were pretty rough. It was a rare luxury to have hash marks painted.

Turf has changed the game, but even the grass fields are much better than they used to be. The hash marks are on almost every field and the lines rarely look like they're painted by the town drunk anymore. Starting on a yard line might cost a team inches here or award them a foot there, but it doesn't really matter. It will all even out. Plus, they have 10 yards to gain regardless.

It helps chain crews, too. A linesman can just point or call out the yard line and the chain crew knows exactly where to put the stake. When I mde my living "working the sticks" I would go to the sideline every first down and put my heel on the sideline where the stake should be placed. (Back when the chains were on the sideline. Now they are at least one yard off and usually two yards off)
 
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It wasn't emphasized by my HS association but as soon as I broke into college football it was an expectation. I haven't worked HS in years but I assume its trickled down.