Ask the Official: Year-end Review

It always amazes and disappoints me when I read the comments of many on Monday mornings regarding the alleged mistakes made by the officials in games played the previous day.

In many (but not all) instances, the comments reflect a lack of knowledge on the part of the commenter of the rules or how the NFL wants certain rules interpreted.

Now this is not to absolve the officials who are human and will make mistakes. I know that I made some in 42 years on the field and there is not an official alive who would not like to have certain calls over again. But unlike the members of the media or the contributors to certain websites, the officials have to live with the calls that they made in real time and they do.

Let’s take a look at a few of the calls that have garnered significant attention from Week 17’s games. Continue reading Ask the Official: Year-end Review

Ask the Official: December 20, 2013

I know that personal fouls are added on to the end of a play. However there are sometimes that a 5 yard defensive holding penalty is added on to the end of the play and other times when it is not added on. What decides when a minor/5-yard penalty is added on or not? – Stuart G.

Although there are a number of exceptions (too many to go into here), the basic rule is that if the foul by the defense occurs on a running play that ends beyond the original line of scrimmage, the 5 yards will be tacked on at the end of the run.

If the foul occurs during a passing play, it must be declined if the offensive team wants the play to stand.

If you have a specific play in mind, I would be glad to explain it.