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Rules review video: Defensive pass interference, coaches on the field, and defense re-establishing in bounds

National college officiating coordinator Steve Shaw explains some rulings from Week 4



2023 media video #5

National coordinator of football officials Steve Shaw posted his weekly video breaking down rules and interpretations from Week 4 of the college football season.

  • Shaw noted that, on average, there are 10.4 kickoffs per game with only one-third of them being returned. He also indicated that the number of injuries on kickoff plays has been less than scrimmage downs for the second season in a row.
  • On the last play of the first quarter, the defense was flagged for pass interference. The defender was early and made impeding contact with the receiver to stop him from catching the pass. This play also illustrated the new clock rules, as the quarter was not extended for an untimed down.
  • The offense fumbled and was recovered and returned by the defense for a touchdown. The offense’s head coach was on the field and nearly interfered with the return. This is a foul for unsportsmanlike conduct. If the coach had interfered with the play, the referee has the ability to take any action they deem fair, including awarding a score if necessary (palpaby unfair act).
  • Defensive players are allowed to go out of bounds and be the first one to touch the ball, as long as they first re-establish in the field of play. All this means is one foot must be in bounds prior to making contact with the ball.
  • To determine forward progress on a run that ended up out of bounds, the officials look for where the ball is when the runner stepped out of bounds; however, if the runner is striding or airborne forward progress is marked where the ball crossed the sideline.
  • Onside kicks require officials to pay very close attention to the kicking team being offsides. The kicker’s restraining line is viewed as a plane, and kicking team members may not break this plane until the ball is kicked.
  • Shaw discussed the rules on visiting teams not wearing white jerseys. There are a lot of agreements and approvals that need to happen prior to the game, and failure to follow procedure leads to multiple fouls throughout the game and loss of multiple timeouts.
  • If a runner is approaching the goal line and a body part touches the pylon, the ball is dead from that moment. They do however get the goal line extended. This means that if the ball is breaking the plane of the goal line even if it is over the sideline, the play results in a touchdown.