As you all know and understand, the kick rules are different and complex. They require extra study and understanding. We seem to have recurring problems with two related plays in particular that occur every other week, if not every week.
1- The kicking team cannot advance a kick. That means the kicking team cannot score a TD unless they recover a fumble.
2- Once a non-scoring kick enters R’s EZ it is dead and a TB. Whenever a muffed punt is recovered in the EZ by the kicking team, it seems there is always at least one person on the crew who thinks it’s a touchdown.
3- 12 players in the huddle can be a foul if the 12-man huddle lasts for more than three seconds. Practically speaking, if you can count 12 in the huddle twice, call the foul. If the R and U wait for the huddle to break before counting, they will miss this foul. The coach will yell that is illegal to break the huddle with 12. That is technically incorrect so the officials will downplay the remark and of a sudden, no one is happy.
4- 6- and 8-man teams cannot have more than three backs. They left that out of the rule book when the line requirement was changed. At least one 8-man team runs plays with five in the backfield and the officials have allowed it. 11-man teams cannot do that, why would we allow an 8-man to do it?
5- The five-yard facemask foul is still on the books, but it is best to avoid calling unless there is 100% certainty. It is too difficult to discern between a grasp and a touch, especially in night games. Touching the facemask is not a foul. There are no safety issues involved; helmets are touched frequently. The explanation to the coach is ”he just touched it.”
6- The Horse Collar rule change regarding the nameplate area is merely a switch from philosophy to rule, but please be cognizant that some coaches still don’t understand it.
7- The distances for a scrimmage-kick formation are prescribed in Rule 2-14: 10 yards for a punt and seven yards for a FG. Please treat those as guidelines and do not nit-pick.
8- We’ve had multiple instances where the referee had the correct call/enforcement, but was talked out of it by crewmates. That emphasizes the need for rules knowledge by all officials.