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The officials serve as the Guardians of the Game, with the emphasis on player safety. The official’s role is to ensure a fairly played game and a game that is safe for all of the participants. Each Official is in charge of the fouls that take place in his or her area of the field. Officials have the responsibility to keep track of the Game Clock, Time Outs, Players’ equipment, Number of players, and Ball placement. They blow the whistle to signal the end of the play.
The Breakdown of a penalty is as follows: On any penalty the Game Clock Stops; The Referee signals and Announces the Penalty; The Referee signals and announces the team responsible for the penalty, Offense or Defense; The Referee signals and announces the yardage and the down
A foul is an infraction. A penalty is the result of the infraction or foul. Some of the penalties that may occur during a game are:
Holding – Holding is the illegal use of hands or arms to grasp, lock, hook, or hold an opponent. A call during the game might sound like this…Holding, Offense, 10 yard penalty repeat 2nd down.
Blocking Below the Waist – Blocking below the waist is an illegal block that occurs below the waist. The call during a game might sound like this…Illegal block below the waist on the Offense, 15-yard penalty, repeat 3rd down.
Block in the Back – An illegal block in the back is a block from behind and above the waist. An example of a call during a game would be the following…Illegal block in the back on a return, 10 yard penalty, first down.
Tripping – Tripping is using the foot or leg to trip an opponent other than the runner. A call might sound like this…Tripping, Offense, 15-yard penalty, repeat 1st down.
Face Mask – A facemask is used for the grasping of an opponent’s facemask or helmet opening. The call might sound like this… Facemask- Defense, 15-yard penalty tacked on to the end of the run, 1st down.
Roughing the Passer – Roughing the Passer is charging into the passer after it is clear the ball has been thrown. An example of a call during a game would be the following… Roughing the passer, Defense, 15-yard penalty tacked onto the end of the run, and an automatic first down.
Unsportsmanlike Conduct – Unsportsmanlike Conduct is baiting, taunting or acts that are prolonged, excessive, or call attention to an individual. The call might sound like this… Unsportsmanlike Conduct, Defense, 15-yard penalty from the succeeding spot.
False Start – False Start is action by an offensive player prior to the snap that simulates the start of a play. The call in a game might sound like this.. False start on the Offense, 5-yard penalty, 3rd down.
Delay of Game – Delay of Game is the failure to start a play within the time limit on the Play Clock. The call during a game might sound like this…Delay of Game, Offense, 5-yard penalty, 3rd down.
Pass Interference – Pass Interference is interfering with an eligible opponent’s opportunity to move toward or catch a legal forward pass. A call during a game might sound something like this…Pass Interference Defense, 15-yard penalty from the previous spot and an automatic 1st down, if the foul is committed by the Offense it might sound like this…Pass Interference, Offense, 15-yard penalty.