Posted Sep 24, 2019
This edition of Ask the Ref
Q: On an onside kick Can you overload a side? If so, how is it legal to shift players? NFL, high schools and ncaa have made changes to the rules in the last couple of years. Coach G.
A: On any kickoff, whether it is onsides or not, you must have a minimum of 4 players on each side of the kicker. This will allow you to either have 5 players on each side of the kicker or 6 players on one side of the kicker and 4 on the other side of the kicker.
You may shift players from one side of the kicker to the other side of the kicker as long as you satisfy the rule that there are at least 4 players on each side of the kicker during the kick or until the kick is made
Coach M: "I have received conflicting info during games regarding the 'A-Gap' rule during punts and extra points. Some officials say you can line up there but cannot rush. Others say we cannot lineup in the a-gaps at all. Which is correct?
The A-Gap rule was a rule that many had difficulty grasping and enforcing correctly. The rule stated that a defensive player could not line up in the A Gap when the offense was in a kick formation. That was it. It did not say you couldn’t rush the A Gap after the snap, this was part of people’s interpretation of the rule. Going forward into this season we will not have to deal with the A-Gap rule as it has been removed from the rules we follow.
We will follow the current rule of Roughing the snapper. This rule states that a defensive player shall not charge directly into the snapper when the offense is in a punt/kick formation. With this rule, you may
1. Line up in the a gap and rush the a gap with out hitting the center DIRECTLY,
2. Line up over the center without rushing and hitting the center. Key words for this rule; DONT HIT THE CENTER on punts or extra points.
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