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Sports NotebookSports Notebook: Penalties and huddles

Sports Notebook: Penalties and huddles

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If it’s the early season in high-school football, that means two things.

There will be multiple yellow penalty flags thrown in about every game, then the contest officials will annoyingly often huddle to discuss such infractions before the yardage is stepped off and the ball is officially put back into play.

Penalties are so prevalent in early-season games because players are still learning or adjusting to all the rules, regarding what they can and can’t do. Of all the penalties, the most are called for holding and blocking in the back. Sooooo many early on.

One wonders how many holding or blocking-in-the-back penalties the officials see but don’t call early in the season.

But what’s the deal with all of those official huddles after penalties? What are they talking about? A penalty is a penalty. Don’t they know the rules, and how much yardage goes with each infraction, or the specifics of each penalty? Maybe they are reviewing or double checking all of that, since it’s the early season.

As the season goes on, penalties and huddles do tend to decline.

There were seven such huddles during one recent Saturday afternoon game, all taking time and adding to the length of the contest. One huddle lasted 4:37 to work out all of the details for one particular penalty when there were four yellow flags and one official’s hat thrown on the field during an interception return.

That was so frustrating. All that talking, and the players were just waiting and wanting to resume play.

  • Dave Facinoli
    dfacinoli@sungazette.net
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