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Illegal Offensive Formations?

 
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NFL Rules


Joined: 30 Jun 2011
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 24, 2011 3:08 pm    Post subject: Illegal Offensive Formations? Reply with quote

Hi guys just wanted to know what constituted an illegal formation as I know you have to have an offensive formation that has a mandatory of 7 players lined up across the ball e.g. it can be 5 offensive lineman, a TE and a WR. I am curious to know if the TE can be lined up behind the tackle and then just have another WR line up on the line of scrimmage to make the mandatory 7? I am always confused when I see penalities for illegal formations when the ref says the Tackle wasn't covered?
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mse326


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PostPosted: Sun Jul 24, 2011 3:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

You need to have 7 guys on the line.

Further the tackles have to be covered (that means someone outside them on the line of scrimmage).

I believe 5 of them have to actually be offensive lineman with the designated numbers for offensive lineman.
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NFL Rules


Joined: 30 Jun 2011
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 24, 2011 4:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

mse326 wrote:
You need to have 7 guys on the line.

Further the tackles have to be covered (that means someone outside them on the line of scrimmage).

I believe 5 of them have to actually be offensive lineman with the designated numbers for offensive lineman.


So does that mean both the RT and LT have to be covered by either a TE or an WR? What about an overload formation where all the receivers are alligned to only 1 side of the line of scrimmage meaning the opposite side has no one to cover that tackle?
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mse326


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PostPosted: Sun Jul 24, 2011 4:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

NFL Rules wrote:
mse326 wrote:
You need to have 7 guys on the line.

Further the tackles have to be covered (that means someone outside them on the line of scrimmage).

I believe 5 of them have to actually be offensive lineman with the designated numbers for offensive lineman.


So does that mean both the RT and LT have to be covered by either a TE or an WR? What about an overload formation where all the receivers are alligned to only 1 side of the line of scrimmage meaning the opposite side has no one to cover that tackle?


An ineligible receiver (anyone whereing the OL numbers) have to be covered UNLESS they report before the play to the ref that they are eligible.

I guess in theory you can do it but you'd have to make the tackle eligible and cover up the TE on the otherside who would then be an ineligible receiver. (you are always ineligible if you are covered).
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NFL Rules


Joined: 30 Jun 2011
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 24, 2011 4:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

mse326 wrote:
NFL Rules wrote:
mse326 wrote:
You need to have 7 guys on the line.

Further the tackles have to be covered (that means someone outside them on the line of scrimmage).

I believe 5 of them have to actually be offensive lineman with the designated numbers for offensive lineman.


So does that mean both the RT and LT have to be covered by either a TE or an WR? What about an overload formation where all the receivers are alligned to only 1 side of the line of scrimmage meaning the opposite side has no one to cover that tackle?


An ineligible receiver (anyone whereing the OL numbers) have to be covered UNLESS they report before the play to the ref that they are eligible.

I guess in theory you can do it but you'd have to make the tackle eligible and cover up the TE on the otherside who would then be an ineligible receiver. (you are always ineligible if you are covered).


Also another question is what constitutes covering the Tackle e.g. how far wide can the TE or WR be split? Lets say the WR has the Tackled covered but he is split way wide towards the sidelines but still on the line of scrimage does he still count as having the tackle covered?
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james.mcmurry13


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PostPosted: Sun Jul 24, 2011 6:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

NFL Rules wrote:
mse326 wrote:
NFL Rules wrote:
mse326 wrote:
You need to have 7 guys on the line.

Further the tackles have to be covered (that means someone outside them on the line of scrimmage).

I believe 5 of them have to actually be offensive lineman with the designated numbers for offensive lineman.


So does that mean both the RT and LT have to be covered by either a TE or an WR? What about an overload formation where all the receivers are alligned to only 1 side of the line of scrimmage meaning the opposite side has no one to cover that tackle?


An ineligible receiver (anyone whereing the OL numbers) have to be covered UNLESS they report before the play to the ref that they are eligible.

I guess in theory you can do it but you'd have to make the tackle eligible and cover up the TE on the otherside who would then be an ineligible receiver. (you are always ineligible if you are covered).


Also another question is what constitutes covering the Tackle e.g. how far wide can the TE or WR be split? Lets say the WR has the Tackled covered but he is split way wide towards the sidelines but still on the line of scrimage does he still count as having the tackle covered?


Yeah. The splits don't matter, you just have to have an eligible receiver on the line to the left of the left tackle and to the right of the right tackle.
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 24, 2011 6:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ok cools thanks guys. You'd also think at the professional level the players would no that but every week I would see atleast 1 illegal formation when a tackle is not covered and I would scratch my head as why these guys are so dumb and I know alot of it is the coaching that goes on during practice week.
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james.mcmurry13


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PostPosted: Sun Jul 24, 2011 6:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

NFL Rules wrote:
Ok cools thanks guys. You'd also think at the professional level the players would no that but every week I would see atleast 1 illegal formation when a tackle is not covered and I would scratch my head as why these guys are so dumb and I know alot of it is the coaching that goes on during practice week.


Sometimes receivers try to cheat back a step to help beat press coverage. Some of the illegal formations you'll see are just a receiver finally pushing it too far with that strategy. Another common reason for the call is a tackle lining up too deep, which they often do to help against speed rushers. There are also some illegal shifts that cause an illegal formation, but even with all these other reasons, probably about half of those calls are simply someone lining up in the wrong spot.
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 24, 2011 10:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

james.mcmurry13 wrote:
NFL Rules wrote:
Ok cools thanks guys. You'd also think at the professional level the players would no that but every week I would see atleast 1 illegal formation when a tackle is not covered and I would scratch my head as why these guys are so dumb and I know alot of it is the coaching that goes on during practice week.


Sometimes receivers try to cheat back a step to help beat press coverage. Some of the illegal formations you'll see are just a receiver finally pushing it too far with that strategy. Another common reason for the call is a tackle lining up too deep, which they often do to help against speed rushers. There are also some illegal shifts that cause an illegal formation, but even with all these other reasons, probably about half of those calls are simply someone lining up in the wrong spot.


Another question is how far are the Tackles allowed to line up away from the Guard if allowed?
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james.mcmurry13


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PostPosted: Sun Jul 24, 2011 10:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

NFL Rules wrote:
james.mcmurry13 wrote:
NFL Rules wrote:
Ok cools thanks guys. You'd also think at the professional level the players would no that but every week I would see atleast 1 illegal formation when a tackle is not covered and I would scratch my head as why these guys are so dumb and I know alot of it is the coaching that goes on during practice week.


Sometimes receivers try to cheat back a step to help beat press coverage. Some of the illegal formations you'll see are just a receiver finally pushing it too far with that strategy. Another common reason for the call is a tackle lining up too deep, which they often do to help against speed rushers. There are also some illegal shifts that cause an illegal formation, but even with all these other reasons, probably about half of those calls are simply someone lining up in the wrong spot.


Another question is how far are the Tackles allowed to line up away from the Guard if allowed?


The split between the guard and tackle (or guard and center) can be as far as they want, they just have to be within "a reasonable distance" of the line of scrimmage. Its usually a judgement call by the ref on how far back they can be, but they can be as wide as they like.
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burlow


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PostPosted: Sun Jul 24, 2011 11:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have officiated high school ball, and although many of the rules are slightly different I think this aspect is the same.

you must have 7 people on the line of scrimmage, the ones at the end of the line (not covered) are eligible receivers, the other four off the line are also eligible. To be considered on the line of scrimmage the persons body has to break the plane of the center (so when tackles line up deep and are not breaking the center they make it an illegal formation). There also must be 5 lineman numbers on the field who are covered, so you can only have an uncovered lineman if there are 6 lineman numbers and one reports eligible.

The QB although breaking the plane of the center (when under center not shotgun) is considered to be off the line of scrimmage.

I believe that there could be more than 7 on the line (I think, people never try to do it), you would just be reducing the number of eligible receivers as anybody who is covered on the line becomes ineligible.

Hope that helps you.
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