5-Person Mechanics

2023 5 Officials Mechanics
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COIN TOSS PROCEDURES

  1. The REFEREE and UMPIRE only will meet with the captains at the center of the field for the coin toss

  2. LINE JUDGE escorts captains from the press box side to the top of the numbers /nine-yard marks

  3. BACK JUDGE and HEAD LINESMAN escort captains from chains side to the top of the numbers /nine-yard marks. The captains will continue to the middle of the field, and the BACK JUDGE, HEAD LINESMAN, and LINE JUDGE will remain at the top of the numbers / nine-yard marks. The LINE JUDGE and BACK JUDGE will have a legal ball for their respective team

  4. LINE JUDGE, BACK JUDGE, and HEAD LINESMAN make certain your team is either in their respective team box or in their end zone during the coin toss

  5. REFEREE instructs captains. Visiting captains will call the coin toss. The visiting captain is required to indicate heads or tails prior to the toss of the coin

  6. Once both teams have made the choices, move the captains, so their backs are to the goal they’re defending. The REFEREE will indicate winning captains and choice or option deferred.  If the captain’s choice is to defer, the REFEREE will give the proper signal (signal #10) then move to the other captains and give the signal for the appropriate choice

  7. After the toss, all officials will meet in the middle of the field, record results, then jog to their specific kickoff positions.

QUARTER

REFEREE and UMPIRE

  1. Be aware of the last-minute of play. If the ball is not in play when the clock runs out, step in to prevent the snap

  2. Announce the end of the quarter by holding the ball over your head, record the down and distance, and release the HEAD LINESMAN

  3. Jog to the new spot on the opposite side of the field and spot the ball

  4. Check to make certain the down, distance, and yard line is correct

  5. When officials are ready, and the BACK JUDGE indicates the intermission is over, declare the ball ready for play.

HEAD LINESMAN

  1. Prepare the chains to move to the new location on the REFEREE’S Make certain the clip is located appropriately on the nearest yard line, and take note.

  2. Grab the clip and chain at the same time, reverse the chain crew, jog to the new position and place the chain on the new spot

  3. Place your heel at the front of the ball for the down box.

LINE JUDGE

  1. Verify that the ball placement is correct

  2. Prepare to go to the spot where the ball should be put into play at the start of the next quarter

BACK JUDGE

  1. Time the one-minute intermission and notify REFEREE when 45 seconds have elapsed.

  2. Stay between the teams to show presence as you move to the new spot

  3. Verify that the ball placement is correct

HALFTIME

ALL OFFICIALS

Will meet away from teams, coaches, and fans to review the first-half.

REFEREE

As soon as teams leave the field, look at the timer and wind to start the half-time clock.

HEAD LINESMAN and LINE JUDGE

  1. Extend a 5-minute courtesy call to each team

  2. Confer with the coach who has the second-half decision on which way they would like to kick the ball. Do this as they either leave the field or when you provide the 5-minute courtesy call

  3. Provide the information to fellow officials during the mandatory three-minute warm-up period or before the crew leaves for the appropriate kick-off positions.

BACK JUDGE

Keep the unofficial halftime clock for the crew.

FREE KICK MECHANICS – 5-MAN

PRE-KICK MECHANICS

ALL OFFICIALS

  1. Ensure each team has 11 players on the field before the kick.

  2. Hustle to positions and get teams on the field promptly after a score.

  3. Covering official(s) signal game clock to start when the kick is touched, other than first touching by K.

  4. Kick out of bounds between goal lines:

    1. Sound whistle.

    2. Give the time-out signal twice and mark the spot.

    3. Determine if R had touched.

    4. Toss the penalty marker if R did not touch the ball.

  5. Maintain position on the sideline at all times except for referee.

  6. Sound a whistle when the ball becomes dead in your area and give a time-out signal

  7. Free kick following safety:

    1. Each game official assumes the same relative position and has the same duties as on kickoff.

    2. The ball may be put in play by a drop kick, place kick, or punt.

REFEREE

  1. Position: R’s goal yard line on the HEAD LINESMAN’S side between the center of the field and hash marks

  2. Count R players and confirm with UMPIRE and HEAD LINESMAN

  3. Check positions of other game officials

  4. After ready signs have been received from other game officials, declare the ball ready for play, sound whistle, and verify at least four K players are on each side of the kicker when the ball is kicked

  5. If a short free-kick is anticipated:

    1. Take position near R's 10-yard line if there is no R player deep

    2. Be alert to assist other game officials and be aware of the game clock

UMPIRE

  1. Be certain coaches, players, substitutions, and other individuals are in proper locations

  2. Position: On R's 20-yard line outside sideline opposite HEAD LINESMAN. If K's free-kick line is relocated due to penalty or the situation dictates, UMPIRE may take a position anywhere from the R-10 to the R-30, preferably 10 yards downfield of HEAD LINESMAN

  3. Count R players and confirm with REFEREE

  4. Hold arm above head to indicate you are ready

  5. If a short kick is anticipated, position on R's free-kick line

    1. Be alert for first touching by K or kick which does not cross R's free-kick line

    2. Watch for any infractions involving R's free-kick line

    3. Hold bean bag to mark first touching by K

    4. Observe legality of blocks and action away from the ball

HEAD LINESMAN

  1. Take charge of getting your team on the field promptly.

  2. Be certain coaches, players, substitutes, and other individuals are in a proper location

  3. Position: R's 30-yard line outside the same sideline as the line-to gain indicator. If K's free-kick line is relocated due to penalty or the situation dictates, H may take a position anywhere from the R-20 to R-40, preferably 10 yards up the field of U

  4. Count R players and confirm with REFEREE

  5. Hold arm above head to indicate you are ready

  6. If a short free-kick is anticipated, position on R's free-kick line:

    1. Be alert for first touching by K or kick which does not cross R's free-kick line

    2. Watch for any infractions involving R's free-kick line

    3. Hold bean bag to mark first touching by K

    4. Observe legality of blocks and action away from the ball

LINE JUDGE

  1. Take charge of getting your team on the field promptly.

  2. Be certain coaches, players, substitutes, and other individuals are in proper locations

  3. Position: R's free-kick line, outside sideline opposite head linesman

  4. Temporarily move to 9-yard marks, then count K players and confirm with Back Judge; identify the R free-kick line.

  5. Hold arm above head to indicate you are ready

  6. Hold bean bag to mark first touching by K.

  7. Watch for any infractions involving R's free-kick line

  8. If a short free-kick is anticipated:

    1. Position on K's free-kick line

    2. Be alert for first touching by K or kick which does not cross R's free-kick line

    3. Watch for any infractions involving K's free-kick line

    4. Hold bean bag to mark first touching by K

    5. Observe the legality of K’s blocks within the neutral zone

    6. Rule on illegal pop-up kicks

BACK JUDGE

  1. Take charge of the ball

  2. Position: K's free-kick line outside sideline to monitor bench area and assist kicking team in getting into position

  3. Check the legality of kicking tee and ball, hand kicker ball, point out the REFEREE and instruct the kicker to wait for the REFEREE's signal before kicking. If the kicker is not ready, place the ball on the ground and proceed to the sideline

  4. Count K players and confirm with Line Judge

  5. Use preventative officiating by initially having all K players within 5 yards of K’s free-kick line and at least 4 on each side of the kicker

  6. Move to a position just outside the sideline on K's free-kick line on the line-to-gain indicator side

  7. Be certain coaches, players, substitutes, and other individuals are in proper locations, and no K players, with the exception of the kicker, may be more than 5 yards behind the kicking team's free-kick line

  8. Hold arm above head to indicate you are ready

  9. If the ball falls or blows off the tee, sound whistle to prevent action. Move to the kicker to give instructions

  10. Watch for any infractions involving K's free-kick line

  11. Time play clock

  12. If a short free-kick is anticipated:

    1. Position on K's free-kick line.

    2. Be alert for first touching by K or kick, which does not cross R's free-kick line.

    3. Hold bean bag to mark first touching by K.

    4. Watch for any infractions involving K's free-kick and 5-yd restraining lines

    5. Observe the legality of K’s blocks within the neutral zone

    6. Rule on illegal pop-up kicks

Pilot - 2023 ONLY

At the REFEREE’s discretion and after discussion with the crew, modifying the free-kick position and mechanics for the Umpire and the Line Judge is an option.  This should only be done on crews with experienced Line Judges and Umpires.

FREE KICK FOLLOWING A FAIR CATCH

REFEREE – Position with the kicker.

UMPIRE – Position on the receiving team’s restraining line.

HEAD LINESMAN – Position on the kicking team’s restraining line.

LINE JUDGE – Position under the goal post on your side of the field.

BACK JUDGE – Position under the goal post opposite the LINE JUDGE.

FREE-KICK MECHANICS

ALL OFFICIALS

  1. Covering official(s) signal game clock to start (S #2) when kick is touched, other than first touching by K

  2. Kick out of bounds between goal lines:

    1. Sound whistle

    2. Give a time-out signal (S #3) twice and mark spot

    3. Determine if R had touched

    4. Toss penalty marker if R did not touch the ball

  3. Maintain position on the sideline at all times except for referee and back judge.

  4. Sound a whistle when the ball becomes dead in your area and give a time-out signal

  5. Carry bean bag in hand

  6. Free kick following safety:

    1. Each game official assumes the same relative position and has the same duties as on kickoff

    2. Ball put in play by a dropkick, place kick, or punt.

REFEREE

  1. Signal game clock to start when a kick is legally touched in your area in the field of play

  2. Kick down the middle:

    1. Pick up the runner and follow until releasing to the covering official

    2. Observe action with an inside-out view of blocks in front of the runner

    3. Serve as clean-up behind, to the side of, and around the runner

  3. Deep kick:

    1. While standing on the goal line, rule on a touchback

    2. If the kick is caught inside the 5-yard line and the player is downed in the end zone, rule on whether the momentum rule applies. If momentum applies, mark the spot of catch with a bean bag

  4. Kick outside opposite hash mark:

    1. Move cautiously with play

    2. Observe the action of other players in the vicinity of the runner

    3. Serve as clean-up behind, to the side of, and around the runner

  5. Mark the out-of-bounds spot if the kick goes out-of-bounds in your area. Be sure to communicate with UMPIRE or HEAD LINESMAN before making a ruling.

    1. Drop penalty marker if untouched inbounds by REFEREE

    2. Be prepared to rule at the goal line pylon

UMPIRE

  1. Kick to your side:

    1. Signal game clock to start when a kick is legally touched in your area

    2. Remain stationary for optimal viewing of blocks between the R-20 and R-30

    3. Pick up the runner and follow along the sideline. Allow the action to pass before moving upfield and trail the play by approximately 10 yards

    4. Responsibility for the progress of the runner from the R goal line to the R-35-yard line

    5. When the ball becomes dead, sound a whistle and give a time-out signal, obtain the offense’s game ball from the sideline if applicable

    6. If the ball is kicked outside the numbers beyond your starting position, turn and officiate the ball, returner, and sideline

  2. Kick to the opposite side of the field:

    1. Move cautiously with play along the sideline

    2. Observe the action of other players in the vicinity of the runner

    3. Serve as clean-up behind, to the side of, and around the runner

    4. Use cross-field mechanics when appropriate to assist the HEAD LINESMAN with progress spot

  3. Maintain position, enabling coverage of your sideline at all times.

  4. Observe the legality of blocks and action away from the ball when you are not covering the runner

  5. Mark out-of-bounds spot if the kick goes out of bounds in your area:

    1. Drop penalty marker if untouched inbounds by R

    2. If the goal line pylon is threatened, communicate with Referee before making a ruling

HEAD LINESMAN

  1. Kick to your side:

    1. Signal game clock to start when the kick is legally touched in your area

    2. Remain stationary for optimal viewing of blocks between the R-20 and R-30

    3. Pick up the runner and follow along the sideline

    4. Responsibility for the progress of the runner from the goal line to the goal line

    5. When the ball becomes dead, sound a whistle and give a time-out signal

    6. If the ball is kicked outside the numbers behind your starting position, turn and officiate the ball, returner, and sideline

  2. Kick to the opposite side of the field:

    1. Move cautiously with play along the sideline

    2. Observe the action of other players in the vicinity of the runner

    3. Serve as clean-up behind, to the side of, and around the runner

    4. Use cross-field mechanics when appropriate to assist the UMPIRE or LINE JUDGE with progress spot

  3. Maintain position, enabling coverage of your sideline at all times.

  4. Observe the legality of blocks and action away from the ball when you are not covering the runner

  5. Mark the spot where the kick goes out-of-bounds on your side of the field:

    1. Drop penalty marker if untouched inbounds by R

    2. If applicable, obtain the foul decision from the head coach and communicate to the REFEREE

    3. If the goal line pylon is threatened, communicate with Referee before making a ruling

LINE JUDGE

  1. Be alert for first touching by K - mark spot with bean bag

  2. Move downfield approximately 5-10 yards after the ball is kicked while staying on the sideline to maintain a 20-25 yard cushion between the Umpire

  3. As the return starts, use a reverse or "fade" mechanic, allowing for a front side, outside-in view of blocks in front of the runner

  4. Watch initial blocks in your area

    1. If the ball is kicked outside the numbers on your side of the field behind the UMPIRE’s starting position, pick up first-line blocks in front of the UMPIRE

  5. Signal game clock to start when the kick is touched in your area other than first touching by K

  6. If the ball becomes dead in your area, sound a whistle and give a time-out signal

    1. Mark the spot where the kick goes out of bounds on your side of the field with a penalty marker if untouched inbounds by R

    2. If applicable, obtain the foul decision from the head coach and communicate it to the REFEREE

  7. Responsible for the progress of the runner beyond the R-35-yard line to the K goal line. Note: It is acceptable to officiate progress from in front of the runner while maintaining a cushion with the UMPIRE and keeping goal-line responsibility.

  8. Be in a position to take over coverage of runners in your area on long return.

  9. Kick to the opposite side of the field:

    1. Move cautiously with play along the sidelines.

    2. Observe the action of other players in the vicinity of the runner

    3. Serve as clean-up behind the action

    4. Takeover spot from HEAD LINESMAN so HEAD LINESMAN can setup chains/box

BACK JUDGE

  1. Be alert for first touching by K and mark spot with bean bag

  2. Be alert for a kick that does not cross R's free-kick line

  3. If there is a penalty for a foul requiring a re-kick, administer the penalty and place the ball ready

  4. Mark the spot where the kick goes out of bounds in your area with a penalty marker if untouched inbounds by R

  5. Watch initial blocks by players near R's free-kick line and action against the kicker and holder (if used). Cover to the opposite 45-yard line

  6. After the ball has gone downfield, move quickly to the center of the field on or near R's restraining line

    1. Maintain a cushion of approximately 25 yards from the runner

    2. Maintain an inside-out view of action during the return

    3. As the play dictates, shading to one side of the field is acceptable to ensure adequate coverage of the return

    4. If the ball is kicked outside the numbers behind the H’s starting position, pick up first-line blocks in front of the H

  7. Responsible for K’s goal line

  8. Be in a position to take over coverage of runners in your area on long return.

  9. Observe the legality of blocks and action away from the ball

  10. Ensure kicking tee is removed and kicking the ball is returned to the sideline

POINTS OF EMPHASIS

REFEREE and UMPIRE

  1. Touchback and kick out of bounds

  2. Fair catch, including illegal signal

  3. Knee on the ground on catch

  4. Forward handing during return

  5. Batting

  6. Blocking below the waist and clipping

  7. Interlocked interference

  8. Action on the wedge when coming towards you

  9. Continuing action dead ball action out of bounds

  10. Momentum exception

  11. Short free-kick support

BACK JUDGE, LINE JUDGE, HEAD LINESMAN

  1. Short free-kick

  2. First touching (subsequent first touches) – USE BEAN BAG

  3. Starting-stopping the clock

  4. Blocking below the waist and clipping

  5. Legal substitutions

  6. Kick catch interference and fair catch interference

  7. Knee on the ground on catch

  8. Forward handing, illegal forward pass

  9. Batting

  10. Interlocked interference and illegal blocking

  11. Continuing action out of bounds

  12. Players going out of bounds during a kick

SCRIMMAGE PLAY MECHANICS – 5-MAN

PRE-SNAP MECHANICS

ALL OFFICIALS

  1. HUSTLE and assist in obtaining the ball/a new ball for spotting

  2. Note status of the clock (running/stopped)

  3. Note down, distance, and game situation

  4. Back into position, keeping a wide view of all players and dead ball action

REFEREE

  1. Signal up coming down to HEAD LINESMAN and then to the rest of the crew

  2. Make visual contact with all officials to determine if they are ready, verify the BACK JUDGE is ready to start the 25-second play clock

  3. Indicate “Ready for Play” with a short whistle and hack or a long whistle and wind (two times). Be sure to stay in view of the press box when giving the signal

  4. Assume a position about 12-15 yards behind the neutral zone and outside the tackle. REFEREE will be allowed to stay on the QB’s right side, even if the QB is left-handed.  This must be discussed and confirmed with the entire crew during the crew’s pre-game conference

  5. Count Team A players (in the huddle, if possible) and signal to UMPIRE

  6. Identify formation and observe initial keys: QB hard count and head bob, and false starts

UMPIRE

  1. Retrieve the ball from the runner or obtain a new ball from another official or ball boy. Hustle outside the inbounds marks as needed to assist in retrieving the ball and spotting it

  2. After REFEREE signals next down, signal next down. Drop the signal after the REFEREE drops their signal

  3. If team A is in a hurry-up offense, stay at the ball until signaled off by the REFEREE. Otherwise, after the “ready-for-play” whistle, back away from the ball to your pre-snap position while keeping the ball in sight

  4. Count Team A players and confirm with REFEREE when team A breaks the huddle

  5. Count Team A players numbered 50-79. Know ineligibles

  6. Assume a ready position 7-10 yards beyond the neutral zone, typically between the inside shade of the guard and outside shade of the tackle, opposite side of the Referee.  The U starting position may vary throughout the game depending on game/play needs

  7. Identify and observe your initial keys, (a) snap, (b) center, and (c) guard(s).

HEAD LINESMAN

  1. Signal up coming down and confirm with BACK JUDGE and LINE JUDGE. Drop the signal after the referee drops his signal.

  2. Once the REFEREE confirms the next down, move box/chains as necessary for the correct down and distance

  3. Assume a position straddling the neutral zone, outside the sideline opposite the LINE JUDGE

  4. During pre-snap, identify the down and distance (goal line mechanics?), the line to gain (pick play on short yardage), formation, tendencies, and location of best player(s), and your initial key.

  5. Identify the formation and count no more than 4 players in the backfield

  6. Signal status of eligible receivers on your side of snapper (crew decides if signals will be used)

  7. Be prepared to indicate LOS to team A wide receiver with your downfield foot

  8. Signal status of eligible receivers on your side of snapper (crew decides if signals will be used)

  9. Identify your initial keys.

  10. Motion – if a motion man is going away from you, have primary responsibility for knowing if the motion is legal or illegal. If motion man is coming to your side and motion is forward, call it if you see it

LINE JUDGE

  1. Signal up coming down and confirm with HEAD LINESMAN and BACK JUDGE. Drop the signal after the REFEREE drops his signal

  2. Communicate with the REFEREE if necessary to indicate the status of the game clock (on the ready with wind signal at the waist or, on the snap with arms crossed at the chest)

  3. Identify the formation and count no more than 4 players in the backfield

  4. Signal status of eligible receivers on your side of snapper (crew decides if signals will be used)

  5. Assume a position straddling the neutral zone outside the sideline opposite the HEAD LINESMAN. If directed by a signal from the REFEREE in a “Hail Mary” situation, the LINE JUDGE may establish his position at the goal line or up to 15 yards down the field in anticipation of a last-second desperation play

  6. Count Team B players, confirm count with BACK JUDGE when Team A breaks the huddle

  7. Be prepared to indicate LOS to team A wide receiver with your downfield foot

  8. Identify the formation and signal status of eligible receivers on your side of the snapper

  9. Know eligible receivers on your side of snapper and identify your initial keys

  10. Motion – if a motion man is going away from you, have primary responsibility for knowing if the motion is legal or illegal. If motion man is coming to your side and motion is forward, call it if you see it

BACK JUDGE

  1. Signal up coming down and confirm with HEAD LINESMAN and LINE JUDGE. Drop the signal after the REFEREE drops his signal

  2. Communicate with the REFEREE if necessary to indicate the status of the game clock (on the ready with wind signal at the waist or, on the snap with arms crossed at the chest)

  3. Time the 40-second or 25-second play clock and provide a raised arm when five (5) seconds remain. Provide a visible countdown of each remaining second by moving your arm from your chest to an extended position to the side or slightly above your shoulder each second

  4. Assume a ready position 20-25 yards beyond the neutral zone, between the inbounds marks and shading the wide side of the field

  5. Count Team B players, confirm count with LINE JUDGE when Team A breaks the huddle

  6. Identify all eligible receivers and formation, know your keys and strong side of the formation

RUN MECHANICS – 5-MAN

RESPONSIBILITIES AT THE SNAP

ALL OFFICIALS

  1. Concentrate on your area of responsibility. “Fish in your own pond.”

  2. Verify no false starts or encroachment, legal snap (except BACK JUDGE)

REFEREE

  1. Observe the snap, then read the action of the Quarterback, Backs, and Lineman to determine the type of play

  2. Allow your reads to help you identify the point of attack while maintaining primary responsibility for action on and by the quarterback

UMPIRE

  1. Observe the snap, then read run/pass by observing the block(s) by the guard(s) or center (block down, cross block, pass block, pulling, reach block, etc.)

  2. Allow your reads to help you identify the point of attack

HEAD LINESMAN

  1. Observe the snap, then momentarily read run/pass by observing the block by the near tackle (block toward, pass block, pull, etc.)

  2. Locate the ball and the point of attack but do not focus on it

  3. On plays beginning at or within the five-yard line, going into the end zone, move to the goal line, and officiate back to the line of scrimmage

  4. On plays beginning at or within the three-yard line, going out of the end zone, move back to the goal line and officiate forward to the line of scrimmage

LINE JUDGE

  1. Observe the snap, then momentarily read run/pass by observing the block by the near tackle (block toward, pass block, pull, etc.)

  2. Locate the ball and the point of attack but do not focus on it

  3. On plays beginning at or within the five-yard line, going into the end zone, move to the goal line, and officiate back to the line of scrimmage

  4. On plays beginning at or within the three-yard line, going out of the end zone, move back to the goal line and officiate forward to the line of scrimmage

BACK JUDGE

Observe action on your intimal key if threatened by an opponent defensive position

RESPONSIBILITIES AFTER THE SNAP

ALL OFFICIALS

  1. Know when you have responsibility for the runner and progress and when you have responsibility for action away from the ball

  2. Maintain separation from the players and other officials and keep a wide view, even when you have responsibility for the runner and progress

REFEREE

  1. After determining the point of attack, shift your focus to the appropriate run zone. Know where the runner is, but he should not be your focus once he is beyond the line of scrimmage

    1. If the point of attack is toward you, you have responsibility for the legality of blocks in Zone 2

    2. If the point of attack is away from you, you have responsibility for the legality of blocks in Zone 3

    3. If the point of attack is up the middle, you and the umpire both have responsibility for the legality of blocks in Zone 2

    4. If the point of attack is outside the inbounds marks, move to that side while maintaining your view of the action behind and around the runner

    5. If the point of attack is between the inbounds marks, box in from the rear, again focusing on blocks behind at the point of attack and around the runner

  2. If the down requires the use of a 25-second play clock (see new 40-25 Second Play Clock Mechanics Insert), make visual contact with all officials to determine if they are ready and verify the BACK JUDGE is ready to start the 25-second play clock. Indicate “Ready for Play” with a short whistle and hack or a long whistle and wind (two times).  Be sure to stay in view of the press box when giving the signal

  3. If the game clock was running and a first down was achieved inbounds, re-start the game clock with the use of a silent wind

  4. After the runner is down, maintain a wide view of the dead ball action. If the play ends out of bounds, hustle to the sideline and ensure players separate and return inbounds. Assist with getting the ball to the UMPIRE

  5. If the ball is dead between the inbounds marks, hustle to that spot while keeping your head up to observe the action around the pile. If you declare the ball dead, inbounds well into the backfield, raise your arm to signal the start of the 40-second play clock to the BACK JUDGE.  Assist the UMPIRE if necessary

UMPIRE

  1. After determining that the initial blocks of the center and guards are legal and determining the point of attack, shift your focus to the appropriate Run Zone. Know where the runner is, but he should not be your focus

    1. If the point of attack is away from you, you have responsibility for judging the legality of blocks in Zone 3

    2. If the point of attack is toward you, you have responsibility for judging the legality of blocks in Zone 2

    3. If the point of attack is up the middle, you and the referee both have responsibility for judging the legality of blocks in Zone 2.

  2. If the ball is dead outside the inbounds marks, hustle to the dead-ball spot while maintaining a wide view of the dead ball action. The umpire must go outside the inbounds marks to assist in retrieving the ball and spotting it

  3. If the ball is dead between the inbounds marks, hustle to that spot while keeping your head up to observe the action around the pile

  4. You are responsible for maintaining control around the pile. Talk to players as they un-pile, encouraging them to do so in a sportsmanlike manner

  5. Communicate to the flank officials with “I’VE GOT BALL” on a goal-line play if the flank officials look for assistance and you are certain the ball is across the goal line and in possession

LINE JUDGE and HEAD LINESMAN

  1. After reading the block of the near tackle, momentarily locate the point of attack, and the runner

  2. You always have the progress spot all the way until the runner crosses the goal line. This includes an accurate spot when the runner goes out of bounds

  3. On plays within the 10-yard line, if a play threatens the goal line, be prepared to be at the goal line to make the appropriate call

  4. If the point of attack is away from you, you have responsibility for judging the legality of blocks and action in Zone 4, maintain a wide view of the action while paralleling the progress spot, observing player conduct away from the play

  5. If the point of attack is toward you, you have responsibility for judging the legality of blocks in Zone 1; observe blocks in front of the runner until you take over responsibility for the runner at the line of scrimmage. If the runner is headed toward your sideline, allow the play to go past you (move into the offensive backfield, if necessary), then trail the play. If the runner crosses the sideline, hustle to the spot and mark progress. Signal timeout while observing the out-of-bounds dead ball action. Do not look at the ground. If the runner crosses the goal line and continues out of bounds, signal touchdown while observing all dead ball action

  6. After the ball is dead, close to the dead-ball spot, after the ball is dead, you must move into the field on every play (unless safety prohibits) to show presence until the colors separate. Do not pass players and do not close beyond the near inbounds mark unless:

    1. The line to gain is threatened

    2. The goal line is threatened

    3. The ball is loose then recovered

    4. In these three cases, hustle to the dead-ball spot

BACK JUDGE

  1. Read the play before moving, then slowly backpedal while identifying the point of attack

  2. Observe blocks and other actions in front of the runner at the second level. Look for holding, blocks below the waist, and clips

  3. Maintain a large cushion as the runner moves downfield to the goal line

  4. Maintain your “inside out” view of the action

  5. After the runner is down, maintain a wide view of the dead ball action. If the play ends out of bounds, more than three yards downfield, hustle to the sideline and ensure players separate and return inbounds. Escort players back in bounds if in the opponent’s team area

  6. Assist in getting the ball / a new ball to the umpire so it can be spotted

POINTS OF EMPHASIS

REFEREE

  1. False starts

  2. Illegal shifts

  3. Motion

  4. Blocking around the runner and by team A backs

  5. Illegal acts around the runner

  6. Reverses and trick plays

  7. Free blocking zone

UMPIRE

  1. False starts

  2. Illegal snaps

  3. Illegal use of hands and other illegal blocks

  4. Free blocking zone

LINE JUDGE and HEAD LINESMAN

  1. Encroachment

  2. False Starts

  3. Illegal motion, shifts, formations

  4. Clipping, blocks in back, and use of hands

BACK JUDGE

  1. Illegal use of hands and other illegal blocks

  2. Blocking in front of the runner by team A receivers and pulling linemen

  3. Reverses and trick plays

  4. Blindside blocks

PASS MECHANICS – 5-MAN

COVERAGE MECHANICS (In addition to Running Play)

REFEREE

  1. Assist in relay/spotting the ball only if necessary. Maintain wide vision, including a view of the clock, substitutions, movement of the box and chains, and the readiness of the crew to officiate the next play.

  2. Accordion back out to your regular position

  3. View the legal cadence and movement of the QB

  4. Observe initial blocking of off-side tackle while determining the type and direction of the play

  5. Be alert for blocks by backs as you transition to “read/soft vision” and identify any threats (“bad color”)

  6. On QB scrambles toward LOS, determine the forward point where the ball is released

  7. Announce “ball is away” and protect QB until immediate action is complete or QB moves to participate. You have all calls on QB behind the line of scrimmage

  8. Use tip ball signal if pass is touched in or behind the neutral zone.

  9. ANTICIPATE:

    1. Forward or backward pass

    2. Pass attempt vs. fumble

    3. Roughing passer

    4. Illegal pass (beyond LOS or intentional grounding)

  10. Continue to provide wide-vision of play until the ball is declared dead.

  11. If you declare the ball dead, inbounds well into the backfield, raise your arm to signal to the BACK JUDGE to start the 40-second play clock.

  12. Dead ball officiate.

UMPIRE

  1. Following the spotting of the ball, be prepared to prevent the center from prematurely snapping the ball when the offense is in a hurry-up and the REFEREE has not signaled you off the ball

  2. Start at your usual position and rule on the legality of the snap

  3. Observe your initial keys (G-C-G) as you read the pass and move forward toward the LOS

  4. You might stop your forward movement and set up 3-yards from the LOS so as to avoid crossing routes and be in a position to rule on ineligible downfield beyond the expanded neutral zone (2 yards)

  5. Transition to” read/soft vision” and identify any defensive linemen who are successfully penetrating through the offensive blockers (especially to the referee’s side of the center as the referee’s view is more generally to his opposite side of the center). Move vision away from double-team blocks to one-on-one conflicts

  6. Rule on pass blocking technique of offensive linemen

  7. On roll-outs & scrambles toward LOS, assist REFEREE in determining if the ball is released beyond LOS

  8. Know uncovered offensive lineman on your side, determine pass vs. run

  9. Move toward the spot of snap (on LOS)

  10. Rule on any ineligible downfield

  11. Use tip ball signal if pass is touched in or behind the neutral zone. Know if the pass crosses the neutral zone

  12. Pivot on all passes to assist with catch/no catch, illegal personal contact, illegal helmet contact, and illegal blocks

  13. Dead ball officiate

LINE JUDGE and HEAD LINESMAN

  1. During pre-snap, identify the down and distance (goal line mechanics?), the line to gain (pick play on short yardage), formation, tendencies, and location of best player(s), and your initial key

  2. Read through the key receiver to the nearest offensive lineman to read the play

  3. If the initial key is threatened/pressed, observe his release and observe for holding, OPI, DPI

  4. Remain near LOS until a pass is thrown unless all receivers are deep, stay underneath the shortest receiver (EXCEPTION: Goal-line coverage when signaled by BACK JUDGE- responsible for the goal-line on snaps inside 15-yard line, snap from inside 5-yard line, move immediately to the goal-line)

  5. If a pass is thrown away from you, you have primary responsibility for knowing if the pass's initial direction was forward or backward. You will signal to the opposite flank by punching forward or backward accordingly

  6. If the pass is to your side, you will relay the signal provided by the opposite flank

  7. If the pass is to your side and you do not receive help from the opposite flank, you will rule forward or backward and signal accordingly

  8. It is preferred that the flank official quickly identify that the QB is throwing a quick pass to the opposite away flank take one or two slide steps into the offensive backfield, giving a better view for the ruling on forward or backward and more visibility to your opposite flank.

  9. If initial key is free of foul, transition to zone coverage and maintain underneath coverage and focus on short receiver.

  10. On catch attempts near the sideline, focus on feet then hands. Near end line, focus on hands, then feet

  11. Keep your focus on the receivers and defenders downfield while only quickly glancing back at QB to read the play. Do not watch the QB throughout the play, thereby disregarding the actions in the secondary. Do not focus on the flight of the ball

  12. Maintain Outside-in coverage, move parallel to sideline, responsible for sideline from end line to end line

  13. If a pass is caught in bounds and then the player goes out of bounds, blow the whistle, stop the clock, mark the spot, continue to officiate

  14. On catch attempts near the intersection of the sideline and end line, make eye contact with BACK JUDGE before signaling

  15. If a pass is caught in bounds and then the player goes out of bounds, blow the whistle, stop the clock, mark the spot, continue to officiate

  16. If the receiver catches the ball out of bounds and the covering official wants to “sell the call,” he/she may signal incomplete and then, using both hands, make a sweeping motion toward the sideline

  17. If the pass is completed and there is a need to “sell the call” and communicate that the ball was caught, the official shall raise both arms and then lower them in unison in a manner that mimics the actual catching of the ball. This signal must be performed in an exaggerated manner and is usually reserved for catches at the sideline

  18. Do not mark the spot of passes caught out of bounds

  19. You are responsible for progress to the goal line. If you declare progress is stopped inbounds, short of the line-to-gain, raise your arm to signal the start of the 40-second play clock to the BACK JUDGE

  20. Off-ball officiate on plays away. Come into the numbers on plays into the opposite side zone. Be prepared to offer cross-field spot if necessary on push-backs or when the opposite flank uses the “wind the clock” signal to request your assistance with a cross-field spot

  21. Be prepared to communicate with the REFEREE when a pass is incomplete and intentional grounding may be in question. If there is a receiver in the area, move to an open area as you signal by pointing demonstratively toward the eligible receiver.  If there is no receiver in the pass area, run to the referee and verbally communicate that information.  The referee is responsible for the final decision and will throw his flag if necessary

  22. Dead ball officiate

BACK JUDGE

  1. During pre-snap, identify the down and distance, line to gain, formation, tendencies, and location of best player(s), and your initial key

  2. Communicate with flanks, as necessary, your position on the end line? Goal-line mechanics? Possible pick play on short yardage? etc

  3. If the initial key is threatened/pressed, observe his release and observe for holding, OPI, DPI

  4. If the initial key is free of foul, transition to zone coverage and maintain inside-out coverage always deeper than the deepest receiver

  5. Keep your focus on the receivers and defenders downfield while only quickly glancing back at QB to read the play. Do not watch the QB throughout the play, thereby disregarding the actions in the secondary.  Do not focus on the flight of the ball

  6. Go towards the ball when a ball is in the air

  7. Be at goal-line if receiver crosses (EXCEPTION: if play starts inside 15-yard line, you are responsible for the end-line. Prior to play, signal to FLANKS by positioning on the end-line and pointing to corner pylons)

  8. On catch attempts near the sideline, focus on the hands. On catch attempts near the end-line, focus on feet then hands

  9. If a pass is caught in bounds and then the player goes out of bounds, blow the whistle, stop the clock, mark the spot, continue to officiate

  10. If the receiver catches the ball out of bounds and the covering official wants to “sell the call” he/she may signal incomplete and then, using both hands, make a sweeping motion toward the sideline

  11. If the pass is completed and there is a need to “sell the call” and communicate that the ball was caught, the official shall raise both arms and then lower them in unison in a manner that mimics the actual catching of the ball. This signal must be performed in an exaggerated manner and is usually reserved for catches at the sideline

  12. Do not signal a trapped ball by slapping the ground, rather “sell” the incomplete pass with two or three strong incomplete signals

  13. We do not use the “juggling” signal on a ball that is not controlled as the receiver goes out of bounds.

  14. On catch attempts near the intersection of the sideline and end line, make eye contact with FLANK official before signaling, unless you know it is incomplete

  15. You are responsible for progress to the goal line

  16. May assist with progress on a long run or pass

  17. Be prepared to communicate with, and assist flank officials when a pass is incomplete and intentional grounding may be in question. In most cases, the flank official will have the best information, and your information will not be required.  But, if the flank official is not signaling and there appears to be a serious question of intentional grounding, assert yourself and offer information about eligible receivers in the area of the pass to the flank official and referee if there is consensus with the flank official. The referee is responsible for the final decision and will throw his flag if necessary

  18. Assist with relay/spot ball on long completions

  19. Dead ball officiate

    POINTS OF EMPHASIS

    REFEREE

    1. Forward or backward pass

    2. Pass attempt vs. fumble

    3. Roughing the passer

    4. Illegal pass (beyond LOS or intentional grounding)

    UMPIRE

    1. Holding, clipping, illegal blocks

    2. Ineligibles downfield

    3. Assist in illegal pass determination

    4. Touching of a pass in or behind the neutral zone

    5. Illegal personal contact, illegal helmet contact

    HEAD LINESMAN and LINE JUDGE

    1. Forward/backward pass

    2. Holding

    3. Catch/no-catch

    4. Pass interference

    5. Unnecessary contact / personal foul

    6. Illegal participation

    BACK JUDGE

    1. Delay of game

    2. Holding

    3. Catch/no-catch

    4. Pass interference

    5. Unnecessary contact / personal foul

    6. Illegal participation

    PASS RECEIVER COVERAGE KEYS

    Definitions

    Receiver – End or back lined up outside of offensive tackles

    Strength of the formation – Determined by the number of eligible receivers on a particular side of the offensive formation. The strong side is the side with the most eligible receivers outside the tackles

    Tight end – The end man on the line of scrimmage lined up no more than 4 yards from the nearest offensive lineman. If he is lined up wider, then he is a split end

    Back in the backfield – A player in the backfield between the tackles at the snap

    Trips – Three or more receivers on one side of the offensive formation outside the tackles

    Widest receiver – If players are stacked one behind another, the one nearest the line of scrimmage is considered to be the widest

    1. The FLANK officials key on the widest player of the offensive formation on their side of the field

      1. The BACK JUDGE always keys on the inside eligible receiver(s) outside the tackles on the strong side of the formation

      2. If the formation is balanced and there is only one eligible receiver to each side, the BACK JUDGE takes the first back on a pass route out of the backfield

      3. If the formation is balanced and there are two eligible receivers on each side of the formation, then the Back Judge will key on the inside receiver to the Line Judge’s side of the formation.

      4. Note: The Back Judge might switch this initial key if the slot receiver on the Line Judge’s side is not being “pressed” and the slot receiver on the Head Linesman’s side of the formation is being pressed by his defender.

      5. If there are three eligible receivers on one side, the FLANK official takes the outside receiver. The two inside receivers are the responsibility of the BACK JUDGE

    2. Your keys are established at the snap by taking a snapshot of the formation, regardless of changes in the information before the snap

    SCRIMMAGE KICK MECHANICS – 5-MAN

    PRE-KICK MECHANICS

    ALL OFFICIALS

    1. Observe substitutions as you hustle to your scrimmage kick positions (Diagram)

    2. Strange things happen on kicks. Be mentally prepared for various scenarios by reviewing the Points of Emphasis for your position

    REFEREE

    1. Position to the LINE JUDGE side of the field and slightly behind the kicker (approximately 7 yards to the side and 5 yards deeper than the kicker)

    2. Count the kicking team and confirm with the UMPIRE and the HEAD LINESMAN

    3. View the lineman and know numbering exceptions

    UMPIRE

    1. Position approximately seven (7-10) yards from the line of scrimmage and favor the LINE JUDGE side of the field

    2. Count the kicking team and confirm with the REFEREE

    3. View the lineman and know numbering exceptions

    4. Tell the receiving team lineman, “DO NOT HIT THE SNAPPER”

    HEAD LINESMAN

    1. Position on the line of scrimmage in front of the down marker

    2. Count the kicking team and look for confirmation from REFEREE that he has eleven players

    3. View the formation to see that there are no more than 4 kicking team players in the backfield

    4. View the position of the outside kicking team players. Know who is eligible to catch a pass

    LINE JUDGE

    1. Position even with the deepest receiver and on your sideline. On kicks from inside the receiving team’s 40-yard line, take a position on the goal line at the sideline

    2. Count the receiving team and confirm with the BACK JUDGE

    3. View the position of the outside kicking team players. Know who is eligible to catch a pass

    BACK JUDGE

    1. Position slightly behind and to the side of the deepest receiver on the same side of the field as the HEAD LINESMAN (approximately 7-12 yards to the side and 3-5 yards behind the receiver but always within the hash marks). If the position of the ball at the snap, and the position of the returner, places you outside the hash marks on the HEAD LINESMAN’S side of the field, adjust your starting position to the LINE JUDGE’S side of the field (approximately 7-12 yards to the side and 3-5 yards behind the receiver but always within the hash marks. If two receivers, field position may require you to take a position between the receivers. On kicks from inside the receiving team’s 40-yard line, take a position on the goal line at the sideline. When the ball is possessed, move to a position in the middle of the field, keeping the runner between you and the sideline. You are responsible for coverage of runner from an inside-out view favoring the chain's side of the field, if possible

    2. Count the receiving team and confirm with the LINE JUDGE

    3. Provide fair catch instructions to the receiver(s) if possible and ask the receiver(s) to show you their signal. Remind the receiver that if they are going to make a fair catch, make sure it’s a good signal.

    4. Hold a beanbag in your hand

    SCRIMMAGE KICK COVERAGE MECHANICS

    ALL OFFICIALS

    Strange things happen on kicks. Be mentally prepared for various scenarios based on your position.  See points of emphasis at the end of this section.

    REFEREE

    1. Normal Kick – Watch blocking by Team A backs and protect the kicker. Stay with the kicker until all is clear. Be the last official down the field and box in all players from behind with wide vision. If the return breaks through the defense, be prepared to take the runner all the way to the goal line

    2. Bad Snap – When there is a bad snap on a scrimmage kick, and the play goes deep into the backfield, you will follow the ball back and bracket with HEAD LINESMAN

    3. Kick Out of Bounds – If the kick goes out of bounds in flight, move to the spot of the kick and then proceed to line up the out-of-bounds spot with the covering official by signaling with a hack

    4. After the Play – Indicate to HEAD LINESMAN when to move chains, hustle to the new spot, and indicate the first down and direction of the ball

    UMPIRE

    1. Watch the action on the SNAPPER

    2. Normal Kick – Initially, view line play action and action on the ground in front of the ball. Pivot and release down the field, watching the action of the players and blocking. Do not “ball watch”. On returns up middle and to the other side, maintain a wide inside-out vision

    3. Bad Snap – When there is a bad snap on a scrimmage kick, and the play goes deep into the backfield, you will move up to the line of scrimmage and rule on whether the ball crossed the line of scrimmage

    4. At the end of the play, dead ball officiate. Spot the incoming ball to be ready for play

    HEAD LINESMAN

    1. Glance quickly at the kick to determine direction and distance. Do not continue to watch the ball

    2. Determine if the ball has crossed the line of scrimmage.

    3. Normal Kick – View the blocking and action around the kicking team’s eligible players (the widest players on your side) and view line action until the ball clears. After the ball has crossed the line of scrimmage, quickly release down the field and parallel the play from the outside with wide vision. Continue to watch the action as the players and ball move toward the receiver. Observe blocking down the field and in front of the runner. Mark first touching with a bean bag

    4. Bad Snap – When there is a bad snap on a scrimmage kick, and the play goes deep into the backfield, you will follow the ball back and bracket with REFEREE (the UMPIRE will then have kick crossing or not crossing the line)

    5. If you are the covering officials, at the end of the play, spot progress and square-up with the LINE JUDGE, stop the clock and signal the direction of the team in possession

    6. Kick Out of Bounds – You are responsible for obtaining the proper spot on extremely short kicks that bounce out of bounds near you or land within two yards of the sideline near you. On punts that are shanked out of bounds near you, you should be prepared to line up deeper than where the ball went out of bounds on the sideline with your outside arm straight above your head.  Make eye contact with the REFEREE and begin to walk toward the original line of scrimmage.  The REFEREE will hack when you have reached the out-of-bounds spot. Signal the direction of the team in possession.

    7. If you are holding the spot, cover the ball until you are relieved by another official

    8. Look to the REFEREE for confirmation to move the chains

    9. Dead ball officiate

    LINE JUDGE

    1. Glance quickly at the kick to determine direction and distance. Do not continue to watch the ball

    2. Normal Kick – View the blocking and action around the kicking team’s eligible players (the widest players on your side). Continue to watch the action as the players and ball move toward the receiver

    3. Keep the runner between you and the BACK JUDGE. You are responsible for your sideline coverage and progress. Watch the action immediately around the runner

    4. Fair Catch - Be alert for fair catch signals by teammates of the main receiver. View action and blocks in front of, and around the receiver. Be alert for blocks that force the kicking team member into the receiver. Assist with the spot of a completed fair catch and stop the clock.  Do not rush - make certain that the receiver completes the catch and does not muff it.

    5. First Touch Violation – Use your beanbag if there is a first touching violation by the kicking team. Note: there may be more than one spot of the first touching violation

    6. If you are one of the covering officials, at the end of the play, spot progress and square-up with the HEAD LINESMAN, stop the clock, and signal the direction of the team in possession. Dead ball officiate

    7. Kick Out of Bounds – You are responsible for obtaining the proper spot for your sideline. Determine the out-of-bounds spot on kicks that bounce out of bounds or land within two yards of the sideline.   On punts that are kicked well out of bounds, you should be prepared to line up deeper than where the ball went out of bounds on the sideline with an outside arm straight above your head.  Make eye contact with the REFEREE and begin to walk toward the original line of scrimmage.  The REFEREE will hack when you have reached the out-of-bounds spot. Signal the direction of the team in possession.

    8. Dead ball officiate

    BACK JUDGE

    1. Glance quickly at the kick to determine direction and distance. Do not continue to watch the ball

    2. Normal Kick – View the receiver and run up to be even with the receiver as he prepares to catch the ball. Your only view is the receiver, and stay to the side of him by 7-12 yards. Look to see that the receiver catches the ball cleanly and that there was no kick catch interference or to rule on a fair catch

    3. Drop your beanbag where the kick ends. Remember that the kick ends when any player gains possession or the ball dies. If the kick crosses the goal line, blow your whistle and signal touchback

    4. Keep the runner between you and the flank official. You are responsible for coverage of the runner from an inside-out view.

    5. Fair Catch - View the receiver and run up to be even with the receiver as he prepares to catch the ball. View the fair catch signal (valid or invalid?). Ensure the receiver catches the ball cleanly and does not go through his hands. With a confirmed catch, determine the spot of the fair catch and toss your bean bag to identify that spot. Signal to stop the clock, and you’re your whistle.  Signal the direction of the team in possession.

    6. First Touch Violation – Use a beanbag if there is a first touching violation by the kicking team. Note: there may be more than one spot of the first touching violation

    7. If you are the covering official, stop the clock at the end of the play and signal the team's direction in possession.

    8. Kick Out of Bounds – Determine the out-of-bounds spot on medium or long kicks out of bounds that bounce out of bounds or land within two yards of the sideline. On medium or long kicks that are kicked well out of bounds, you should be prepared to line up deeper than where the ball went out of bounds on the sideline with an outside arm straight above your head.  Make eye contact with the REFEREE and begin to walk toward the original line of scrimmage.  The REFEREE will hack when you have reached the out-of-bounds spot. Signal the direction of the team in possession.

    9. Dead ball officiate

    10. Communicate possession and direction to the REFEREE

    POINTS OF EMPHASIS
    REFEREE

    1. Fake kicks

    2. Bad Snaps

    3. Blocked Punt

    4. Roughing or Running Into the Kicker; Incidental Contact

    5. Illegal Blocks

    6. Illegal Use of Hands

    7. Clock Status before and after the play

    UMPIRE

    1. Snapper

    2. Blocking; legal or illegal, illegal use of hands

    3. Numbering exceptions

    4. Check first touches, forced touching, muffs, fumbles, blocked punts

    HEAD LINESMAN

    1. Blocking

    2. Touching of ball; beyond line of scrimmage

    3. Illegal Kicking

    4. Interference

    5. Muff and First Touching Violations

    6. Ineligible players downfield

    BACK JUDGE and LINE JUDGE

    1. Fair Catch Signals

    2. Blocking

    3. Goal Line

    4. Illegal Batting or Forward Handing

    5. Muff and First Touching Violations

    6. Fair Catch or Kick Catch Interference

    7. Ball Out of Bounds in Flight

    FIELD GOAL & PAT MECHANICS – 5-MAN

    PRE-SNAP MECHANICS

    ALL OFFICIALS

    Prior to all field goal attempts, all officials should remind themselves of live ball by using the illegal procedure signal (#S19)

    REFEREE

    1. Take a wide position, 10–15 yards (or more) wider than the potential kicker and 2–3 yards deeper, on the open side of the holder. Help direct the appropriate official to be under the goal post with the BACK JUDGE

    2. Count the kicking team and confirm with the UMPIRE

    3. Beware of a fake field goal or PAT. On a kick from beyond the 10-yard line, be ready to assist in covering the open sideline/pylon

    4. Before the snap, observe any linebackers that may be attempting to shoot the gap to block the kick

    5. Before the snap, check for any illegal locking of legs by offensive linemen

    UMPIRE

    1. Stay over the ball until the Referee waves you off. This is especially true on a field goal with the clock running

    2. Count the kicking team and confirm with REFEREE

    3. On a kick when the LOS is at the 10-yard line and in, take a position under the goal post on the LINE JUDGE side of the field

    4. On a kick from beyond the 10-yard line, shade to the same side of the field as the REFEREE, 5–8 yards on the defensive side of the neutral zone

    5. You always have sole responsibility for the protection of the snapper

    6. Check for the use of numbering exception by team A

    HEAD LINESMAN

    1. Take a position on the sideline when the LOS is at the 10-yard line and in (on PAT, move in to numbers) and observe the neutral zone

    OR (if facing the back of the REFEREE on a kick from beyond the 10-yard line)

    2. Line up six feet or less behind the goal post on your side of the field. Count defense and orally communicate with the BACK JUDGE of your count. Callout the numbers of the eligible receivers on your side of the offensive formation

    LINE JUDGE

    1. Take a position on the sideline when the LOS is at the 10-yard line and in (on PAT, move in to numbers) and observe the neutral zone

    OR (if facing the back of the REFEREE on a kick from beyond the 10-yard line)

    2. Line up six feet or less behind the goal post on your side of the field. Count defense and orally communicate with the BACK JUDGE of your count. Callout the numbers of the eligible receivers on your side of the offensive formation

    3. Count the receiving team and confirm with the BACK JUDGE

    BACK JUDGE

    1. Line up six feet or less behind the goal post closest to the opposite side of the official that is under the goal post with you

    2. Count receiving team and confirm with UMPIRE / LINE JUDGE / HEAD LINESMAN of your count

    3. Callout the numbers of the eligible receivers on your side of the offensive formation

    4. Remind UMPIRE / LINE JUDGE / HEAD LINESMAN that you solely have the crossbar and the whistle

    ALL OFFICIALS – SWINGING GATE

    1. All officials will be in their regular positions for a scrimmage down. Suppose team A shifts to a formation normally used for a PAT or attempted field goal. In that case, the HEAD LINESMAN and LINE JUDGE will stay in their regular scrimmage down positions, and the UMPIRE will move to the unoccupied goal post to rule on the kick success or failure. UMPIRE will still maintain responsibility for protecting the snapper

    2. The BACK JUDGE will retain primary responsibility for the whistle

    3. Prior to the snap, the UMPIRE and BACK JUDGE will establish eligible receivers on their respective sides of the offensive formation

    4. If the play is a fake kick, the UMPIRE will attempt to get to his normal scrimmage position while the remaining officials maintain their usual scrimmage play responsibilities

    FIELD GOAL & PAT KICK COVERAGES

    REFEREE

    1. At the snap, observe the cadence of the holder with a wide vision of all kicking team members looking for any false starts

    2. Immediately following a successful snap, mentally rule if the holder’s knee was down upon receiving the snap

    3. You are solely responsible if the kicker or holder is roughed or has been run into

    4. Do not blow any blocked field goal dead as the ball is still live. If it is obvious that a PAT kick has been blocked and grounded, blow the play dead immediately.

    5. After the kick, the kicker and the holder are free of any foul, shift your observation to the offensive line to dead ball officiate. Do not hurry to see if the kick was judged successful by the officials under the goal post.  Continue to dead ball officiate until the players cease their action and begin to move to their benches

    6. After you have observed the signals from the officials under the goal post, turn to the press box and repeat their signal

    7. If a field goal is blocked, or a PAT or field goal is faked, or a bad snap causes the kicking team to abort the attempt, move so that all players are bracketed in and cover as you would any run or pass. You have primary responsibility for ruling on plays ending at the pylon if no flank official is present. The UMPIRE and flank officials will hustle and provide support if possible

    UMPIRE

    1. You always have sole responsibility for protecting the snapper and holding by interior linemen by both offensive and defensive players (pull & shoot)

    2. If underneath the goalpost when the LOS is at the 10-yard line and in, or after the kicking team shifts our of a Swinging Gate Formation into a scrimmage kick formation;

    3. As the ball arrives at the goal post, step-up and look straight-up to determine if the ball was kicked between the uprights and not directly over the goal post

    4. Orally communicate with BACK JUDGE as to the success or failure of the kick

    5. Both should withhold any signal but immediately step to the end line, where you both simultaneously give the signal ruling on the kick.

    6. Give an incomplete signal if the kick fails

    7. Give a touchdown signal if the kick is good

    8. Hold your signal until the referee turns to repeat your signal to the press box

    9. On a fake or broken play, move to your normal position and be alert for any ineligible downfield

    10. If you are not underneath the goalpost, watch line play until well after the kick ends, and all players cease their action and move to their benches

    HEAD LINESMAN

    1. IF UNDER THE GOAL POST

      1. As the ball arrives at the goal post, step-up and look straight-up to determine if the ball was kicked between the uprights and not directly over the goal post

      2. Orally communicate with BACK JUDGE as to the success or failure of the kick.

      3. Both should withhold any signal but immediately step to the end line where you both simultaneously give the signal ruling on the kick.

      4. Give an incomplete signal if the kick fails.

      5. Give a touchdown signal if the kick is good

      6. Hold your signal until the referee turns to repeat your signal to the press box

      7. On fake plays or broken plays, be ready to cover passes or runs as usual. You are responsible for the goal line and sideline

      8. Dead ball officiate after the play ends

    2. IF ON THE LINE OF SCRIMMAGE

      1. After the snap, observe the legality of the blocks of the backs

      2. After the kick, sprint inside the hash to dead ball officiate

      3. If a field goal is blocked, you are responsible for determining if the kick crossed the neutral zone and where it is recovered, and by whom

      4. On fake plays or broken plays, observe any ineligible lineman downfield. This is your responsibility, along with the UMPIRE. You are responsible for the goal line and sideline

      5. Dead ball officiate after the play ends

    LINE JUDGE

    1. IF UNDER THE GOAL POST

      1. As the ball arrives at the goal post, step-up and look straight-up to determine if the ball was kicked between the uprights and not directly over the goal post

      2. Orally communicate with BACK JUDGE as to the success or failure of the kick

      3. Both should withhold any signal, but immediately step to the end line where you both simultaneously give the signal ruling on the kick

      4. Give incomplete signal if kick fails

      5. Give touchdown signal if kick is good

      6. Hold your signal until the referee turns to repeat your signal to the press box

      7. On fake plays or broken plays, be ready to cover passes or runs as usual. You are responsible for the goal line and sideline

      8. Dead ball officiate after the play ends

    2. IF ON THE LINE OF SCRIMMAGE

      1. After the snap, observe the legality of the blocks of the backs.

      2. After the kick, sprint inside the hash to dead ball officiate.

      3. If a field goal is blocked, you are responsible in determining if the kick crossed the neutral zone and where it is recovered and by whom

      4. On fake plays or broken plays, observe any ineligible lineman downfield. This is your responsibility along with the umpire. You are responsible for the goal line and sideline.

      5. Dead ball officiate after the play ends

    BACK JUDGE

    1. You have responsibility for blowing your whistle once the ball has crossed the goal line and the kick has ended

    2. As the ball arrives at the goal post, step-up and look straight-up to determine if the ball was kicked between the uprights and not directly over the goal post

    3. Orally communicate with your fellow official, underneath the opposite upright, as to the success or failure of the kick

    4. Both should withhold any signal, but immediately step to the end line where you both simultaneously give the signal ruling on the kick.

    5. Give incomplete signal if the kick fails

    6. Give touchdown signal if the kick is good

    7. Hold your signal until the referee turns to repeat your signal to the press box

    8. If a field goal is short of the goal line, you must hustle to the goal line and determine if the scrimmage kick has broken the plane of the goal line and is a touchback, just as you would do on a punt

    9. On fake plays or broken plays, be ready to cover passes or runs as usual. You have sole responsibility for the end line

    10. Dead ball officiate after the play ends