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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.

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Ben Austro
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)

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3 thoughts on “Giants crew confused with penalty at :02

  1. It deserves more scrutiny for another reason…it is the same rule in college so if all these guys were working college last year they should have had no problems with the play.

  2. The :10 second run rule is more to it… The rule has two parts and all parts have to be fulfilled. I will explain: yes it was a foul for throwing the the pass beyond the neutral zone [5 yards from the spot of the foul and lost of down] but it was NOT done to conserve time. So this play was officiated and ruled correctly.

    And even if it was conceived to be an effort to conserve time, it is not automatic the defense has the option to accept the :10 second run off or not.

  3. I see what you’re saying, but the “conserving time” rule is not a 2-part test. It is, instead, grouped as conserving time, not because it has the intent of conserving time, but it has the effect of conserving time. Since the penalty stopped the clock (receiver was tackled in bounds), it conserved time. If the rule was to judge intent, the cited rule would be bloated with descriptions of intentional and nonintentional acts.

    You are correct, the 10 seconds can be declined, and in this case there would be no reason to do so. That is in the next sentence of Rule 4-7-1 which I did not include in the citation.

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