Thursday, November 08, 2007

Question on Penalties

Why don't referees enforce offsetting penalties at separate times?

Two guys scuffle. Two flags thrown. Offsetting 15 yard personal foul penalties called. Because they offset, neither team suffers.

In basketball, two guys scuffle. Both guys would be assessed technical fouls. Both teams suffer.

In hockey, two guys scuffle. Both guys would be sent to the penalty box. Both teams suffer.

In baseball, two guys scuffle. Rare, but both would probably be ejected. Both teams suffer.

In soccer, two guys scuffle. Both given yellow cards at a minimum, probably red cards and ejected. Both teams suffer.

So in football, why not assess a 15 yard penalty on the team with possession of the ball immediately, and assess a 15 yard penalty on the defending team immediately upon that team obtaining possession? If that defending team were to get the ball on a turnover that's returned for a touchdown, assess it on the kickoff or continue delaying the penalty until that team begins their next typical drive. If the game ends before that team can get their penalty, I suppose that's the one downside (Team X on offense is down by 4 with a minute to go - their penalty assessed crushes them)

What do you think?

6 comments:

Andrew said...

Wow. Very strange post. I don't think referees should determine the outcome of the game by subjectively calling personal fouls in the first place. The next ref that calls a personal foul for roughing the passer should be drawn and quartered. So in summary, there is no place for your new plan in my world.

Plus you would have teams like miami that might stack up personal fouls while on defense. What if they get three during the course of a defensive stand. Do you crush them for 45 yards on one play later?

LD said...

Only talking about offsetting fouls - not enforcing defensive fouls on the defensive team once they get possession of the ball.

If a defender gets called for a personal foul and there's no offsetting personal foul by an offender, they'd mark off 15 yards immediately.

But if there are offsetting personal fouls, I wonder if instead of canceling out the two penalties, they should enforce both of them, just not at the same time. There's already a precedent for enforcement of a penalty on a later play (excessive celebration after a TD can be enforced on the kickoff, rather than the extra point).

As for your scenario, I suppose it's possible that a defense could rack up a number of fouls. But those would only be offset by matching 15 yard penalties on the offense.

Hypothetical: Ball at midfield, 1st and 10. Team X on Offense, Team Y on defense. Dead ball, Scuffle happens, offsetting personal foul penalties. Team X is marked back 15 yards immediately. 1st and 25 on the 35 yard line for Team X. Say Team X throws three incomplete passes and punts the ball. Net punt of 40 yards. Team Y would get the ball normally on the 25. The refs then enforce that inchoate penalty. Team Y instead would start 1st and 25 from the 10 yard line. Here's the next problem - do you use 1/2 the distance if Team Y starts inside their 30? What if they started inside their own 15? And does Team Y start always 1st and 25 or, in the event of a half the distance markoff would they start 1st and 17 or something to that effect?

I agree in some principle that personal foul penalties are problematic - my personal pet peeve is the roughing the kicker penalty. If a defender nicks the ball he can plow through the kicker in an outrageously violent manner, but if the defender misses the ball by an 1/8th of an inch he can't breathe on the kicker. Also, facemask penalties are frequently errant calls (ignoring facemasks among linesmen, stiffarming RBS, a large percentage of 15 yard PFs were accidental). But since these penalties do exist, I just wonder why some are simply written off as offsetting, rather than doubly enforced.

Andrew said...

my mistake. I wasnt thinking it through with the multiple penalties on one drive. However, you still could have multiple offsetting penalties on one drive, thereby putting yourself in the situation I first described.

I get so frustrated watching a game and seeing referees dictate the outcome through tickytack garbage penalties. The roughing the kicker b.s. penalty you described is the worse. That call can completely change the outcome of an entire game. New drive, new set of downs, and you were about to give the ball away.

I think there should be serious discussion about the over protection of QB's, kickers and the ridiculous calls against celebration. At least you can still horse collar in college. Oh well.

TheUnknownStuntman said...

The OSU and Michigan losses are not doing any favors for ESPN's narrative.

Jared said...

I don't have a comment per se about the offsetting penalties, but it definitely looked like the refs had it in for Georgia on Saturday...as though they were told at a meeting to stick it to em after what they did at the Florida game or something. Did you see the ref following Mimbs off the field? WTF?

LD said...

Yep. Same crew that worked the Florida game.

And that the SEC has had to apologize for on at least 3 other occasions, including 2 games in 2004 where subjective calls changed the outcome of the game (LSU-Alabama, Tennessee-Florida).

Head ref (guy who was yelling at Mimbs) is named Penn Wagers. Ironic?