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General Rule Clarification

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Geoketc
(@geoketc)
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I am new so this is probably a dumb question. It has always been my understanding that 7 men are required on the line of scrimmage and the remaining 4 are required to be behind the line of scrimmage. I am reading Jerry Vallotton's book "The Toss" which is very insightful and I am learning a lot about offense and blocking. Vallotton makes a statement though that has confused me. In regarding an overloaded defensive front he says to bring the wings onto the line of scrimmage. He says that the rule states that the minimum number of players on the line of scrimmage is 7 but it does not state a maximum. My question is are you allowed to have more than 7 on the line of scrimmage? I thought that would be an illegal formation.

Thanks coaches - George


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CoachSugg
(@coachsugg)
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Yes.  You can have up to 10 on the LOS.  Only the two guys on each end are eligible receivers.

So when trying to force an alignment from a defense, if you go Wing-On you can widen out the EMLOS.

Kent Sugg
Bridge Creek, OK


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Geoketc
(@geoketc)
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Topic starter  

Yes.  You can have up to 10 on the LOS.  Only the two guys on each end are eligible receivers.

So when trying to force an alignment from a defense, if you go Wing-On you can widen out the EMLOS.

Wow, this just opened up a whole new world!

Thanks Coach


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CoachDP
(@coachdp)
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I am new so this is probably a dumb question.

--The only dumb question is the one that's left unasked.

My question is are you allowed to have more than 7 on the line of scrimmage? I thought that would be an illegal formation.

--George, there is no maximum number rule for the line of scrimmage.  However, you do need to be careful about "covering" your receivers, meaning that your only eligible pass receivers on the line of scrimmage are the EMLOS (End Men on the Line Of Scrimmage).  So if you have a Wingback ON the line of scrimmage and he is lined up outside of the Tight End on the same side, the Tight End is not eligible to catch the football; he is "covered" by the Wingback.  Conversely, you could run an unbalanced set where you only have a Guard and Tackle to one side of your Center and thus the Tackle would be eligible as a receiver because he is an EMLOS.  (Check your league rules about jersey number eligibility.)

Secondly, offensive personnel has to either be on the line of scrimmage, or in the backfield.  Evidently, there is a zone between the LOS and the backfield that only the Quarterback is allowed to stand.  When we offset our Fullback, we have been told on numerous occasions that he must be deeper in the backfield, otherwise it's a penalty.

--Dave

"The Greater the Teacher, the More Powerful the Player."

The Mission Statement: "I want to show any young man that he is far tougher than he thinks, that he can accomplish more than what he dreamed and that his work ethic will take him wherever he wants to go."

#BattleReady newhope


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ZACH
 ZACH
(@bucksweep58)
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Wow, this just opened up a whole new world!

Thanks Coach

I had 2 wrs and 2 rbs go down with flu in the semi finals and made this lil monster we now call our titan package

Base
---------h--F--0--0--#--0--0--x--y
-------------------------q
-------------------------R

+1
-------------F--0--0--#--0--0--x--y--H
-------------------------q
-------------------------R

+2
----------------y--0--#--0--0--x--0--f--h
-------------------------q
-------------------------R

In pop warner we cant have less than 2 guys to one side of center so there isnt anymore than 6 to a side.

We ran our base, wide zone, tight zone the same way ...truck toss, and play action.

Fun times.

I can explain it to you, I can't understand if for you.


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gumby_in_co
(@gumby_in_co)
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An easier way for me to think about it is that your eligible receivers are your backs and your 2 ends. Ends can be split wide or Tight Ends or anything in between. If you have more than 4 backs, then you don't have enough guys on the line of scrimmage. If you have fewer than 4 backs, you are "wasting" an eligible receiver, which may be okay depending on what you are doing. On a pass play where the forward pass crosses the LOS, only the eligible receivers are allowed to go more than a yard downfield.

Many coaches and refs do not know this rule. We had a team throw a TD to the third guy from the Center. They had a WR on the same side. We knew they were going to do this from watching film so we protested. The refs went and talked to their coach, who explained the receiver was in the backfield (he wasn't). So we said, "Fine. Then they had 5 in the backfield. Flag them for illegal formation." We might as well have been showing a magic trick to a couple of dogs.

Few refs seem to know the "screen pass" rule where anyone can go downfield if the pass is caught behind the LOS.

The NFL has a rule about "covering the TE". Not sure what that rule is other than you're not allowed to do it. No idea what the college rules are.

When in doot . . . glass and oot.


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Bob Goodman
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I am new so

so you'll eventually notice there's a rules discussion section.

It has always been my understanding that 7 men are required on the line of scrimmage and the remaining 4 are required to be behind the line of scrimmage.

Close, but not exactly.  When the ball is snapped, the team snapping it must have no more than 4 not on the line in NCAA rules, or at least 7 on the line in Federation rules.  Of those not on the line, all must be in the backfield, except 1 may be not in the backfield if he's in position to take a hand-to-hand snap from between the snapper's legs.

I am reading Jerry Vallotton's book "The Toss" which is very insightful and I am learning a lot about offense and blocking. Vallotton makes a statement though that has confused me. In regarding an overloaded defensive front he says to bring the wings onto the line of scrimmage. He says that the rule states that the minimum number of players on the line of scrimmage is 7 but it does not state a maximum. My question is are you allowed to have more than 7 on the line of scrimmage?

Yes.

I thought that would be an illegal formation.

No.  They've never specified a max # of players on the line, except of course for the # of players in the game at all.


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Bob Goodman
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The NFL has a rule about "covering the TE". Not sure what that rule is other than you're not allowed to do it.

NFL makes it illegal to have an eligible receiver's number in an ineligible position or vice versa.

And I still think of covering the TE as the SS or a LB's responsibility!  Why'd the NFL have to introduce this confusing meaning of "cover", & then use field mics to promote it?


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PSLCOACHROB
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Yes.  You can have up to 10 on the LOS.  Only the two guys on each end are eligible receivers.

So when trying to force an alignment from a defense, if you go Wing-On you can widen out the EMLOS.

You can actually put all 11 on the los. I would not advise it but the rule in Fed states a minimum only. You want to really screw with the dfront, go tackle over, nasty split the te and put the wing on or out wide but off. Put him in a slot and teams will often put a corner on him and either move the de out to split the difference or walk a backer out.


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CoachDP
(@coachdp)
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You can actually put all 11 on the los.

Yep, you could.  It be interesting to start with 11 on the LOS and then shift to a formation.

--Dave

"The Greater the Teacher, the More Powerful the Player."

The Mission Statement: "I want to show any young man that he is far tougher than he thinks, that he can accomplish more than what he dreamed and that his work ethic will take him wherever he wants to go."

#BattleReady newhope


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32wedge
(@32wedge)
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You can actually put all 11 on the los.

You can't snap the ball to another lineman.


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bignose
(@bignose)
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Yes.  You can have up to 10 on the LOS.  Only the two guys on each end are eligible receivers.

You still need to have one player in position to receive a snap to start the play.
With very small squads, you can continue to play with less than 11 players (injuries, etc.) until you get down to 7.
Once you get down to seven, you can no longer meet the requirement of having 7 on the LOS, plus one who is able to receive a snap, and the game becomes a forfeit.

You rush a miracle man, you get rotten miracles!


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Bob Goodman
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You can't snap the ball to another lineman.

No, but I saw an adult team line up all 11 on the O line & snap thru the end zone to concede a safety.


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PSLCOACHROB
(@pslcoachrob)
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You can't snap the ball to another lineman.

Be a little creative. There are ways to do this. Just shift an end to wing. Or just snap it to nobody. I'm being ridiculous I know.


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SingleWingGoombah
(@singlewinggoombah)
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Be a little creative. There are ways to do this. Just shift an end to wing. Or just snap it to nobody. I'm being ridiculous I know.

You could line up with 9 players to one side, that would make the one guy to the other side right next to the center, and eligible.  You could make it happen if you really wanted. 


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