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13 Flags and Penalties

Foul Communication

Chapter 13. Flags and Penalties
Pg. 49

Fouls and the number of the fouling
player must be reported to the press box
and both coaches. Additionally, all fouls
must be communicated to all members
of the officiating crew as each official
has a role in penalty enforcement. Your
signals and sequence speak a language.
Using signals to report is just like talking
to the press box and spectators, only
you’re using signals instead of words.
Once the flag is thrown, the official
who threw it must ensure both the
Referee and Linesman are aware as
soon as possible after the play ends. It
is recommended that three short blasts
on the whistle are made after the ball is
dead to bring the flag to the Referee’s
attention. The Referee should do the
same if he has a foul during a punt while
everyone else is downfield.
The Linesman will ensure the chains
and box are not moved and the Referee
will prepare for the steps that follow.
The Referee’s first step in quality
communication is to get an accurate
report from the official who threw the
flag. When wing officials throw a flag for
a dead-ball foul prior to the snap, they
should hustle toward the middle of the
field to report the foul to the Referee if
necessary. Remember to practice good
dead-ball officiating during the jog; if a
player has crossed the neutral zone and
contacted an opponent, the contacted
opponent may try to retaliate.
When only one flag is thrown for
obvious false starts or encroachments,
signaling the foul rather than reporting
the foul to the Referee can be utilized.
Assurances must be made that another
official does not have a different foul.
When necessary, the calling officials
should get together to discuss what
each official has seen, then report their
decision to the Referee. Nothing will
discredit a crew faster than overturning
the initial signal on a dead- ball foul. The
delay of game and illegal substitution
signals from the Back Judge lend
themselves to signaling instead of
running all the way to the Referee to
report the foul.
The Back Judge covers the spot of the
foul or the dead ball spot while the calling
official is reporting a foul to the Referee
and should help keep players away from
conferring officials.

Giving the Explanation (Pg. 50)

1. Clarify fouls that do not require consultation with the offended team before the penalty is announced: a. Where the choice is obvious for a live-ball foul b. Dead-ball foul c. Double foul

2. Change the occasion when it is needed to consult with the offended team for penalty options from the captain to the coach.

3. Change the requirement from when the “Umpire” assists the Referee in locating the coach for penalty options to the “Umpire and/or wing” official will assist the Referee. It is permissible to move toward sideline and allow the coach to make the decision.