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Media tape: 10-sec runoffs, holding by hair, no touchback on ‘force-out’



ImageDean Blandino, vice president of officiating at the NFL, has released his weekly tape for the media on rules clarifications (140 MB download). Here are the items under discussion:

  • During the final minute of the second quarter of the Seahawks-Cardinals game, the discussion of a 10-second runoff came up twice. The first was properly applied by referee Terry McAulay, when a replay decision changes the status of the clock from stopped to running (in this case, incomplete to complete). This is by rule under one minute in either half.
  • The second instance was correctly not a 10-second runoff. A holding penalty, or any other penalty that does not give a time advantage, is not subject to a 10-second runoff. Fouls such as false start, illegal forward pass, or intentional grounding aid the offense by stopping the clock if it is running.
  • A player’s long hair does factor into the rules as any other body part. A player can’t grab and hold an opponent’s hair, if the action would constrict the opponent the same as a holding foul on the uniform or any other body part. A player can be ruled down or out of bounds even if it is only his hair that touches the ground.
  • A reminder that forward progress only counts towards a player’s own end line. When a Bills player intercepts a ball in the end zone, he is tackled immediately. However, in the takedown by the Dolphins receiver, the Bills player lands at the 1½-yard line. FJ 25 Bob Waggoner correctly ruled the ball dead at the 1½, and not a touchback, because the ball moved away from the ball carrier’s end line, even though it was disadvantageous to the Bills.