Tuesday, October 01, 2013

Green Stickers

One of the more annoying things about officiating football is running up against specific league rules that don't show up in the NFHS Rules Book.

This most often happens at lower levels when leagues determine that, for safety reasons or time issues, a special rule is needed.  I know you'll find this hard to believe -- but those special rules rarely make it to the officials.

For instance, when I was in Spokane, the middle schools had a rule that the defense couldn't line up in the gaps (in English -- a defensive player had to line up directly across from an offensive player).  Luckily for us, time was kept on the field and the official timer was responsible for enforcing that particular penalty.

I worked a game yesterday for a small school who plays 8-man football.  I don't do much of that where I live now, but that's what I did most of the time in Montana, and I did several schools back in Spokane, so 8-man ball doesn't rattle me like it does some other officials here.

About midway through the first quarter, a player from the home team (after his opponent scored a TD), says to me, "Hey ref -- that guy has a green sticker on the back of his helmet!"

I said, "He sure does," not knowing that a green sticker meant something other than he made a great play in a previous game.

We get into the second quarter and the home coach is beside himself because the players with the green stickers are catching the ball.

As it turns out, this league has a weight limit for backfield players.  If someone weighs over a certain amount, they are not allowed to line up in the backfield.

We had a meeting of the coaches and myself and got it straightened out, but still -- I wish we had some idea of weird rules before we got to the game.


Lady Anne | 9:06 PM, October 01, 2013  

You actually want to know what's going ON out there? It's like real life - you don't know the rules until the game is almost over.

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