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15161 Views 45 Replies Latest reply: Dec 30, 2011 2:15 PM by Michael_Taylor RSS 1 2 3 4 Previous Next
BlueBeak Legend 300 posts since
Nov 26, 2002
Currently Being Moderated

Dec 11, 2011 9:23 AM

Overly Officious?

So OK, this is a baseball rules board but here is a football scenario. Some of you from the Mass area already have seen this. It was Superbwl time last weekend and 2 teams from the Boston area are vying for the Division 4-A superbowl championship. Late in the game, the Cathedral High QB breaks off a run and is heading for the endzone. On about the 24 yard line he raisies his left hand toward the sky for about 2 seconds, then goes on to score. Or did he? One of the officails throws a flag for UC and nullifies the TD, putting the ball back onthe 24 yard line. The TD would have put Cathedral High ahead, but no. And they go on to lose. I'm sure that the Blue Hills players would not prefer to win that way.

 

The MIAA (Mass Interscholastic Atheletic Associaction) rules in part read,..."bans any celebratory or taunting behavior by someone scoring a touchdown". A post game statement released the next day by officials at MIAA reads:

 

STATEMENT REGARDING DIVISION IV-A FOOTBALL CHAMPIONSHIP

Franklin, MA Dec. 7, 2011 - - In response to inquiries regarding an unsportsmanlike penalty called in the

Division IV-A football game the Massachusetts Interscholastic Athletic Association (MIAA) issued the

following statement:

The official involved reported he had determined a violation of NCAA Football Rules and Interpretations of

Rule 9, Section 2 covering Unsportsmanlike Conduct Section A. He called the violation and assessed the

penalty.

There is no provision in MIAA rules (or rules for any other sport at any other level) to overturn an official’s

call after a game has been concluded. Once the final whistle is sounded the game is over. (Reference –

MIAA Handbook Rule #17, Page 24) The Cathedral coach chose not to protest the call when it was made.

At the start of the season the MIAA and football officials took comprehensive measures to ensure that

everyone understood this rule. In fact, the officials at this game reminded the captains and coaches that there

would be zero tolerance for any unsportsmanlike actions. Likewise, this message was communicated in the

pre-playoff game administrative meeting, as well as the MIAA’s Super Bowl Breakfast with coaches and

captains.

Anyone may parse the language of rules and apply them as they see fit. Contest officials must familiarize

themselves with the rules, both the letter and the sprit, and bring their judgment to bear in calling the game.

Per the Points of Emphasis in the NCAA Rulebook: "When an official imposes a penalty or makes a

decision he is simply doing his duty as he sees it. He is on the field to uphold the integrity of the game of

football, and his decisions are final and conclusive and should be accepted by players and coaches."

The MIAA Philosophy reflects that high school students who participate in educational athletics learn many

things from that experience including lessons that will be helpful as they go forward in life. While we hope

and wish they would all be from positive experiences, sometimes that is not the case.

Losing a game or having an official’s call go against you or your team are all part of sports. Just like athletes

and coaches, officials try hard to do the best job possible. Athletes must learn to put these things behind

them and move forward. During their lifetime they will experience similar situations where they feel

"wronged" by a superior or authority figure and they must learn to deal with that situation.

Finally, we would hope that in peoples’ reaction to this situation they would consider the students and

coaches at Blue Hills Regional Vocational Technical School who feel their properly won championship is

being tarnished and discredited.

 

Hopefully you can view the video here. Comments?

 

http://www.businessinsider.com/high-school-loses-state-championship-on-penalty-2011-12





Time wounds all heels.....

  • NELL_blue Legend 303 posts since
    May 21, 2010
    Currently Being Moderated
    1. Dec 11, 2011 9:36 AM (in response to BlueBeak)
    Overly Officious?

    I watched the video various times this week, and I have to say I was appalled that the penalty was called.

    He was not taunting, or flagrantly offending anyone, INHO, he simply celebrated a late victory to himself.

     

    I hate to see emotion and natural instinct attempted to be removed from the game.

     

    I never question a officials ruling during a game. This is not to say that privately alone after said game we don't often have a long constructive discussion on his or MY mistakes.





    Better to have it and not need it, than need it and not have it!

  • Mark__P Pro 112 posts since
    Jun 26, 2007
    Currently Being Moderated
    2. Dec 11, 2011 8:02 PM (in response to BlueBeak)
    Overly Officious?

    The first I heard of this was from this story on NPR - http://www.npr.org/2011/12/07/143301576/in-mass-a-football-call-draws-controversy

     

    The guy being interviewed, a newspaper columnist , seems to be sure of two things:

    1. On this rule (at least), the MIAA is using the NCAA rule.

    2. The NCAA rule has a specific policy against the ball carrier raising their hand over their head (but not non-ball carriers).

     

    If these are both true, then this seems to be a case of "complain to the rule writer, not the game official"

     

    The statement by the MIAA seems to support #1.

     

    The NCAA Football rulebook, Rule 9 Section 2, contains some specific language but nothing about raising one's hand over one's head. Does anyone know if the NCAA has additional published policies (like the MLBUM) that would support #2 above?

     

    I wonder if the subsequent reaction would have been different if he had done something more commonly known to be illegal (and more specifically covered by the rule) like strutting or diving over the goal line. (From the NCAA Rule 9 Sec 2, "(e) An unopposed ball carrier obviously altering stride as he approaches the opponent’s goal line or diving into the end zone.")


    Thanks,

    Mark

  • NELL_blue Legend 303 posts since
    May 21, 2010
    Currently Being Moderated
    3. Dec 12, 2011 5:02 AM (in response to Mark__P)
    Overly Officious?

    Again, just my opinion, but there is an obvious difference between blatant showboating and personal emotional satisfaction!  I know it when I see it! 





    Better to have it and not need it, than need it and not have it!

  • Mason_Dixon_Blue Legend 250 posts since
    May 25, 2007
    Currently Being Moderated
    4. Dec 12, 2011 7:32 AM (in response to BlueBeak)
    Overly Officious?

    The official called the penalty correctly.

    It's against the rules to celebrate before you score.

     

    Whether or not I agree with the rule, is a different story.

    But it was called correctly, as the rule is currently written.

  • Mark__P Pro 112 posts since
    Jun 26, 2007
    Currently Being Moderated
    5. Dec 12, 2011 10:16 AM (in response to NELL_blue)
    Overly Officious?

    NELL_blue wrote:

     

    Again, just my opinion, but there is an obvious difference between blatant showboating and personal emotional satisfaction!  I know it when I see it! 

    I am not necessarily disagreeing with your opinion. My question was whether your difference of opinion was with the rule writer or the referee who interpreted the rule.


    This brings up a larger question, though. If there is a black-letter rule that we strongly feel is unfair to enforce in a particular situation ("we know it when we see it"), what latitude, as game officials, do we have. In practice, there is often a lot of gray area and we often feel "there oughta be a law" or, perhaps in this case, "oughtn't" but in general I find myself advocating some mix of the expected call (e.g. if the ball is there and the tag is down but doesn't quite get the foot) vs enforcing the black letter rule (the batter manages to avoid the pitch at his face but fails to get the bat out of the way - play the bounce).

     

    One final word on taunting and celebrating in football - it still amazes me that they have outlawed the post-touchdown spike. This seemed like such an institutionalized aspect of the game for so many years - how did it fall out of favor?

  • NELL_blue Legend 303 posts since
    May 21, 2010
    Currently Being Moderated
    6. Dec 12, 2011 4:41 PM (in response to Mark__P)
    Re: Overly Officious?

    I think in this case the referee made the wrong call based on the rules INTENT which was to stop intentional taunting.

    The rule writer did just that, but the intent was to stop showboating, hot dogging, taunting and "unsportsmanlike" conduct. This video shows that none of that occurred!

     

    Mason Dixon Blue says it was called correctly, I respect him and his view but that's that's his read on the situation. Only one of the 4 officials flagged it.

    I hated it and I would NOT have called it.

     

    But I'm a rebel that will ump a team with only 8 kids.  Sometimes the rules get in the way of integrity!





    Better to have it and not need it, than need it and not have it!

  • Michael_Taylor Community Moderator 318 posts since
    May 25, 2007
    Currently Being Moderated
    7. Dec 13, 2011 9:27 AM (in response to Mark__P)
    Overly Officious?

    <quote>

    NELL_blue wrote:

     

    Again, just my opinion, but there is an obvious difference between blatant showboating and personal emotional satisfaction! I know it when I see it!

    I am not necessarily disagreeing with your opinion. My question was whether your difference of opinion was with the rule writer or the referee who interpreted the rule.


    This brings up a larger question, though. If there is a black-letter rule that we strongly feel is unfair to enforce in a particular situation ("we know it when we see it"), what latitude, as game officials, do we have. In practice, there is often a lot of gray area and we often feel "there oughta be a law" or, perhaps in this case, "oughtn't" but in general I find myself advocating some mix of the expected call (e.g. if the ball is there and the tag is down but doesn't quite get the foot) vs enforcing the black letter rule (the batter manages to avoid the pitch at his face but fails to get the bat out of the way - play the bounce).

     

    One final word on taunting and celebrating in football - it still amazes me that they have outlawed the post-touchdown spike. This seemed like such an institutionalized aspect of the game for so many years - how did it fall out of favor?</quote>

     

    It fell out of favor because idiots that took it higher and higher levels of stupidity. Of course I am speaking of the pro level but it translates down to our ranks. The other side is you have to remember that NFHS wants the field to be considered an extension of the classroom. Celebrating before the score is considered taunting which is a penalty.

    Good or bad the participants have brought it on themselves. Unfortunately this young man was the recipient of a rule that has been forced to be tougher than needed.





    Michael S. Taylor

  • beowulf37 Legend 219 posts since
    May 25, 2007
    Currently Being Moderated
    8. Dec 13, 2011 12:49 PM (in response to BlueBeak)
    Overly Officious?

    Whether I agree with the rule or not, and if I were the official (which I would most certainly not be, as I can't really stomach foosball), I know that ALL athletes playing under MIAA jurisdiction are warned repeatedly throughout the season about this penalty.  As an MIAA ice hockey official, I am required to visit each locker room prior to each game and reinforce this - it is a point of emphasis - we tell all participants SPECIFICALLY that taunting WILL NOT be tolerated.  People, what is so hard to effing understand here?  You don't like the rule?  Fine.  What OTHER rules are officials supposed to ignore?

     

    The firestorm that this created in Mass is beyond belief.   The morons that are complaining about this are the same dimwits that insist that screaming at officials is part of the game.  It's all BS. 

  • Michael_Taylor Community Moderator 318 posts since
    May 25, 2007
    Currently Being Moderated
    10. Dec 13, 2011 7:53 PM (in response to BlueBeak)
    Overly Officious?

    Yeah, I might have messed up the html tags. As far as whether that is taunting or not, it may not have been his intention but enough knuckleheads have preceded him and enough officials have ignored these knuckleheads that Fed has taken a lot of the judgment out of our hands and made it hard not to call.





    Michael S. Taylor

  • NELL_blue Legend 303 posts since
    May 21, 2010
    Currently Being Moderated
    11. Dec 14, 2011 5:49 AM (in response to Michael_Taylor)
    Overly Officious?

    But don't we always have to look at intent?  He did not taunt, he didn't look at the sideline or any other player to instigate trouble. As a matter of fact, it looks to me like he got caught up in natural human emotion of the moment, that he was going to score and his team win these game remarkably. He placed his hand up when that became apparent, and immediatley lowered it when his brain kicked in.  No malicious intent in any way!

     

    Listen you strict by the rules guys stick to the letter of the law, and I respect that, I just don't appreciate it.  I try to always view the intent of the words in the book, the WHY of it in there.

    Again, only 1 of the officials threw the flag, not even sure he was the closest, as I think maybe the back judge was. 

    I sure wish the 4 man team had a conference and decided what was fair. 

    By the letter of the law, the rule book, it was the correct call, but every minimally football knowledgable, normal, person knows who truly won that game! That would be my message to the "official" losing team!





    Better to have it and not need it, than need it and not have it!

  • beowulf37 Legend 219 posts since
    May 25, 2007
    Currently Being Moderated
    12. Dec 14, 2011 7:12 AM (in response to NELL_blue)
    Re: Overly Officious?

    "But don't we always have to look at intent?"  No. No. No. 

     

    Let's use a football analogy.  Helmet to helmet contact on a defenseless player.  Do we have to judge intent?  How about a baseball analogy?  Offensive interference.  Do we have to judge intent by the baserunner?  No - the fielder has absolute protection. 

     

    I could go on.  The point here is that the players and coaches have been warned all season long about this and they chose to ignore those warnings.  The poor little darlings.....  I bet they don't do it again next year, although who knows.....

     

    Again, how effing hard is this to understand?  When there's a rule and the official tells you before the game "DO NOT do this!" and the player goes ahead and does it anyway, there's no mystery involved here. 

     

    I think STL and I had this conversation earlier this year.  YOU are the problem.  When I enforce a black-letter rule next game and I hear "The ref last game let us do it", you have created the situation I now have to deal with.  If you don't want to enforce the rules, please go away and make my life easier. 

  • NELL_blue Legend 303 posts since
    May 21, 2010
    Currently Being Moderated
    13. Dec 15, 2011 5:02 AM (in response to beowulf37)
    Re: Overly Officious?

    There is quite a bit of difference from the two scenerios you chose, Wolf!  Right?  One is a safety issue, intent to lesson injury, the other interferes with the play on the ball, injury avoidance, unsportsmanlike, also?  Give me something that falls close to this game ending TOUCHDOWN?  Go ahead, I will wait.............  Was he showboating? Was he gloating? Did he incite? Was he taunting? OR did he have a moment of exaltation? Exaltation for him, his team, their accomplishment?!!? That is how I see it. Wonderful display of good ole human nature. 

     

    Let me toss this up to you. Botttom of the 6th, and a player hits a walk off homerun to win it.  He is dancing and jumping and having a great time rounding the bases, shakes the third base coaches hand, and is met by the whole team who help hoist him up for him to land on home plate. In footballs mindset this would be excessive celebration. Imagine us having to send him back to first, which is where the celebration started. But we allow it in baseball, don't we?  But you are a rule stickler, I get that! I like to try to seek clarification on rules like these, to get why these rules are written and for what reason/s they should be enforced. I think that is why they have HUMAN officials. I believe the football gods will revisit the writing of this rule, to disallow travesties like this to not occur in the future. 

     

    In this particular scenerio, his gesture was not to invoke anything but human joy. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!  JOY to the World!!





    Better to have it and not need it, than need it and not have it!

  • Mason_Dixon_Blue Legend 250 posts since
    May 25, 2007
    Currently Being Moderated
    14. Dec 15, 2011 5:20 AM (in response to NELL_blue)
    Re: Overly Officious?

    We can argue this one till the cows come home, and not come to an agreeable conclusion.

    1. Did he violate a rule?  Yes.  As the rule is currently written.

    2. Did he intend to taunt anyone.  I don't believe so.  He was celebrating.

    3. Was his celebration malicious in intent.  No.  He got caught up in the moment.

     

    I believe the football gods will revisit the writing of this rule, to disallow travesties like this to not occur in the future.

    Maybe not the "Football Gods", but the NFHS Football Rules Committee will probably take a look at the rule.

    The NCAA rule (which NFHS mirrors) was written to eliminate the celebratory dive into the endzone.  A fist-pump pales in comparision.

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