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Giants crew confused with penalty at :02



Preseason Week 1: Giants at Jaguars

4th Qtr | :12 | Jaguars 32-31 | NYG ball | 3rd & 3 @ JAX 45

Giants quarterback (wait, let me google it) Ryan Perrilloux completed a pass but was beyond the line of scrimmage, which is a five-yard penalty and requires 10 seconds to be subtracted from the clock. At the conclusion of the play, only two seconds remained, which means the penalty enforcement ends the game immediately. (We will cite the rule at the end of this post.)

Referee Jerry Hughes before an ECAC postseason game in 2011. Credit: Eastern
Association of Intercollegiate Football Officials

Replacement referee Jerry Hughes seemed confused and conferred with his crew, then ran to the replay equipment. Hughes confirmed on the replay that the pass was illegal; it is a reviewable call, as it relates to the line of scrimmage. But, in the exchange with the replay official, there was no mention of the 10-second runoff.

While some of the mistakes made by the replacement crews may be silly and sometimes amateurish, this particular call deserves a little more scrutiny than the rest.

Because the replay officials are covered by a different collective bargaining agreement than the on-field officials, the replay booth is staffed with the regular personnel. For this game, a former official with 30 years experience, Al Hynes, was in the booth. When a decision is made, the status and the time of the clock are discussed between the referee and the replay official. Hynes was responsible for indicating the 10-second runoff was required, even if Hughes was unaware.

The Giants ran a play with the remaining two seconds, which they lost yardage, and thankfully no one was hurt on the play.

Rule 4, Section 7, Article 1 governs the 10-second runoff:

A team is not permitted to conserve time inside of one minute of either half by committing any of the following acts:

(a) a foul by either team that prevents the snap (i.e., false start, encroachment, etc.)

(b) intentional grounding;

(c) an illegal forward pass thrown from beyond the line of scrimmage;

(d) throwing a backward pass out of bounds;

(e) spiking or throwing the ball in the field of play after a down has ended, except after a touchdown; or

(f) any other intentional foul that causes the clock to stop.

Penalty: For Illegally Conserving Time: Loss of five yards unless a larger distance penalty is applicable.

When actions referred to above are committed by the offensive team while time is in, officials will run 10 seconds off the game clock.

Ben Austro is the editor and founder of Football Zebras and the author of So You Think You Know Football?: The Armchair Ref's Guide to the Official Rules (on sale now)