Last night I watched my first two games of the Crosstown Showdown in Cincinnati. Really good games and some really talented players on the field. Actually saw a call that I have never seen before.
Emphasis over the last few years has been put on players and coaches staying in the team box and 2 yards(I think) from the sideline. First a bench warning, and then a penalty. If contact is made with an official, automatic 15 yards from the spot.
Here is the story. A Wyoming RB broke through the LOS and showed burst and quickness running up the sidelines on his way to a 90 yard touchdown run. Wyoming was behind and score brought them to within a touchdown. But during the run, a sideline official threw this flag near the Wyoming bench. A penalty on Wyoming's bench.
Following the play up the sidelines, a sideline official was hit from behind by a player from Wyoming. His call was that a bench player was too close to the sidelines and made contact with him. Automatic -- 15 yards from the spot. Of course, the touchdown was called back. The proper call.
A sports reporter covering the game had the complete play on his video. According the to the video, a Wyoming player was blocking a player from Fenwick. The block started in the field of play and continued to the sidelines. The official who made the call was hit by a player from the field of play. The Wyoming team was, obviously, very excited during the run, but a Wyoming player involved in the play made contact with the official, not a bench player. Legal play--wrong call.
The rule was put in the book, because of a situation in Texas three years ago. A player was hit by an official who was running down the sideline. The player was out of bounds and was not involved in the play. The player was injured, and his parents sued everybody, including the official.
I understand the intent of the rule. Colleges and the NFL have the rule. Actually, the coaches in the NFL nad in college do a better job of following it than high school coaches.
If you are a football coach at any level keep your players in the team box. As a coach, times have changed about being on the field. Stay back while the ball is in play. Enforce and obey the sideline rule. As player, discipline yourself, and always be undercontrol.
As an official, do not make the call , or any call for that matter, unless you see it from start to finish. Do not guess. Most of all, if it is late in a close game, and a high school player is running 90 yards down the field, make sure you see the complete play.
I will say that I am taking the word of a person who watched the play on his video. Did not see the complete play. I was on the sidelines, as Terrell Dailey, all 5'7-160, sprinted past me on the way to a TD.