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

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.


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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