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06 Chain Crew

Chain Crew – Pregame

Chapter 6. Chain Crew
Pg. 24

Before the Game
It is important for the Linesman to
have a thorough pregame meeting with
the chain crew. He should introduce
himself to the entire crew, thank them
for their participation, get their names
and write them on his game card. A
complete review of responsibilities
should be conducted with the chain
crew and box man. Officials will often
encounter a chain crew that “has been
doing this for 30 years” and needs
no instruction. In those cases, the
Linesman can remind the chain crew
that not all crews do things the exact
same way, thus creating the need for
the meeting. Request they please bear
with you while you review the required
A four-person chain crew is
preferable. If the crew consists of only
three members, the person working
the box can perform most of the duties
involving the clip while the trail chain
holder temporarily holds the box. It
is recommended that the members
of the crew wear distinctive vests or
jackets furnished by home or game
management. No one on the chain crew
should double as a ball person or any
other function.
The chain crew is part of the
officiating crew and must remain
impartial. If they are dressed in home
team garb, not much can be done
about it, but they should not be allowed
to cheer or criticize the officials and
must refrain from remarks relating to
players and coaches and expressing
opinions concerning any ruling or calls
made by the officials. They are not to
communicate with the visiting team
and may not use cell phones or other
electronic devices. That will avoid the
impression that they are communicating
information to the home team.
Any problems or situations the chain
crew encounters while performing their
job is to be brought to the Linesman’s
attention. Remind them that you will
resolve the situation, not them. If
members of the chain crew are unable/
unwilling to perform their duties, inform
the Referee and the home team coach/
athletic director.