ID Organization Name Type
105775 aso Other

Pass Interference Clarification

Friday, September 28, 2012
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Pass Interference Clarification

Officials need to remember that there is no provision in NFHS rules for "contact in the first five yards." If an eligible receiver is no longer a potential blocker, he cannot be contacted. So if the QB drops back, or the receiver is trying to move downfield, then this provision applies. You could have holding if the QB hasn't released the ball, or defensive pass interference if the ball is in the air. Remember, any time we have pass interference we MUST also have either an automatic first down (penalty on the defense), or a loss of down (penalty on the offense). 

Likewise, we often hear coaches complain about the QB being "out of the pocket" on an intentional grounding call. Any pass thrown into an area not occupied by an ELIGIBLE OFFENSIVE RECEIVER, or thrown intentionally incomplete to save loss of yardage or conserve time is intentional grounding. (5 yards from the spot, plus loss of down). That's it. Nothing about it getting back to the line of scrimmage, the pocket, or any other pro rule! This should be the referee's flag. If the L or U have a better look at it, get to the R after the play and discuss it. Then let the R throw the flag if you both agree.
 
Keep in mind that we are officiating football at an instructional level of play, and use your best judgement on these calls -- did someone gain an advantage? Was there an ELIGIBLE receiver who might have turned the wrong way or tripped? Did the QB simply throw it too hard or too soft? If the QB wasn't threatened at the time of the throw, it has to be huge to be grounding. 
 
Establish your mechanics, your understanding of the rules, and your observation of the play with the coaches when you explain the call. Remember that to call a penalty, you have to see it from start to finish. There's no shame, especially in 3-man, in telling the coach he might be correct, but that you were prevented from seeing it from start to finish. Just make sure it's true and don't use it too often.
 
--
Buck Bartolik
ASO Rules Interpreter
(720) 984-0467
 
 
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