Shoulder Pad Tackling Is Targeting?

coachsatcher

Active member
Found this on www.ncaa.org:

Seems they realize the importance of getting the call right and hope officials will use discretion and every means possible to correct a call if deemed necessary.

In games where instant replay is not in use, the committee recommended an option to permit on-field officials to review targeting calls during halftime that were made during the first half. This is a permissive rule by conference policy or mutual consent of the teams and is the responsibility of the home team to provide the parameters for the use of video. The review must be conducted by the referee in the officials’ locker room.

Officials could then reverse the targeting call and allow the player to compete in the second half. The committee noted that many Football Championship Subdivision, Division II and Division III games are not played using instant replay so this modification gives those teams greater flexibility to review targeting fouls during a game.
 

OldZebra

New member
Coach, that is in the NCAA rule book but unfortunately it does not apply to high school football per UIL exceptions. I wish it did!

As an official I have had to make these calls and no-calls. It's tough. The last thing I want to do is toss a kid out of a contest (especially on a 6-man team roster) but on the other hand player safety is going to take priority. My conscience would weigh heavy on me if a player were seriously injured by a targeting foul and I did not have a flag on the field due to being hesitant to make an ejection.

The rule was put in place by the NCAA to protect players in certain situations from serious injury. Fundamentally it is a great rule but in its current state is designed for college level play. Several of you have pointed out the enforcement side of the rule is flawed and I totally agree. College games utilize a 7-man officiating crew and video review of all potential targeting fouls. Pretty easy to get it right and make corrections there. In high school games we do not have those luxuries instead we must make split second judgment calls that can have HUGE impacts (no pun intended) on the outcome of the event. Mistakes are inevitable. The rule itself is not that complicated. To have a targeting foul you must have two elements: a defenseless player and contact to the head or neck area. The targeting rule has nothing to do with intent. In fact I’d say 90+% of the fouls I’ve seen were just football players playing hard football.

Until we get video review or UIL rule exceptions to enforcement my recommendation is to coach your young men about awareness on the rule. Know who is considered a “defenseless” player, tackle them low, and you should never see a targeting call. I would wager to say that the majority of coaches & players cannot list all of the players classified as “defenseless”. Most only think of a receiver in the process of catching a pass. I have a quiz. Who can name all of them without digging into the rule book? There are nine of them.
 

coachbronk

Active member
I watched the play, regarding the Calvert player, on film and it wasn't even close to a targeting penalty. He led with his shoulder pads and hit the player in the mid section. In no way was it a shot to the head or even a defenseless player. Official missed it plain and simple and that player was ejected because of it.
 

OldZebra

New member
That is very unfortunate and further demonstrates the serious flaws at this level. The game film should be forwarded to the officiating chapter. As was suggested in an earlier post, better for the game would be to make the ruling a UNR or UNS with a two-strikes and then your out policy.
 

pistol

Active member
coachbronk":bumzyszp said:
I watched the play, regarding the Calvert player, on film and it wasn't even close to a targeting penalty. He led with his shoulder pads and hit the player in the mid section. In no way was it a shot to the head or even a defenseless player. Official missed it plain and simple and that player was ejected because of it.

THen the coach should send the clip in to TASO chapter and hopefully it will be corrected for the official later on down the line. Its not good that it happened and was missed, but at least it was in a game that didnt matter and was not going to be close. Continue to be in contact with chapters and officials so by the time they reach the games that count there are less things than this
 

coachsatcher

Active member
But on a call that has so many flaws, with so many implications; why don't more officials meet and talk it out, so that they can better ensure the proper calls are made? So many times I see officials conversing on the field, and often the four of them come up with a unified stance. My theory has always been, if it's not 100% obvious to more than one official, pick up the flag. It doesn't make them worse officials to consider waiving off a flag; it makes them human. Especially on an ejectable penalty, I think it's worth the extra time to converse. Fortunately, I've never been at a game where this penalty has been called, and I pray everyone stays within the rules so I never do - my players included.
 

OldZebra

New member
Coach you are 100% percent correct and a good crew should always have that discussion. My first action is to talk with the other guys to find out what they saw and I have no issue waving off a flag. However, often not all eyes are on the infraction as we are officiating different zones depending on the play.

Please understand we are also following Points of Emphasis communicated to us from the folks who make the rules. Targeting is at the top of the list. Now don't shoot the messenger here, but the rule book specifically states "When in question, it is a foul." Whether I agree with this statement is irreverent.
 

Shad Kline

Active member
Defenseless players, off the top of my head. You said there were 9, so I will give it a shot.

1. Reciever catching the ball, not yet to have gained control and make a "football" move. This is in effect whether he actually catches the ball or not.
2. A player catching a punt or a kick.
3. A passer, in the act of passing.
4. A punter, in the process of punting or recovering from the motion of punting.
5. A kicker, kicking a field goal or PAT.
6. A holder, holding for a field goal or PAT.
7. .........

that's all I got. I can't think of another. The referee? lol, jk
 

B6MF

Active member
Shad Kline":kepn4s69 said:
Defenseless players, off the top of my head. You said there were 9, so I will give it a shot.

1. Reciever catching the ball, not yet to have gained control and make a "football" move. This is in effect whether he actually catches the ball or not.
2. A player catching a punt or a kick.
3. A passer, in the act of passing.
4. A punter, in the process of punting or recovering from the motion of punting.
5. A kicker, kicking a field goal or PAT.
6. A holder, holding for a field goal or PAT.
7. .........

that's all I got. I can't think of another. The referee? lol, jk
I think another might be the center in the process of snapping the ball.
 

Happy99

Member
Here are the defenseless players

**edited to remove the list ** I finally read back enough to see it wasn't an open-book quiz...

Your points are all well taken -- I think having that much penalty without some kind of review is probably too much. But you get into a grey area with most rules.... Say a player makes a clearly obvious targeting hit, and it's seen by more than one official...something insanely bad. Would you have to give a warning then? Want to go ahead & eject the player and you'll hear from lots of folks about how you should've given the guy a warning first.

I appreciate the work our officials do, I know it's not an easy job..
 

OldZebra

New member
Thanks that is appreciated. I fully support the "warning" notion and IMO wish the UIL would make some changes. When this rule first came out I knew we were all in for rocky ride. I don't get to make the rules though. For flagrant fouls we are always covered. By rule, officials can disqualify a player anytime if the foul is severe enough.
 

Happy99

Member
In that case, what's the need for an ejection on targeting? Why not just have the officials make a flagrant call if it's severe enough?

It's probably like a lot of laws we have today -- cell phone law for example -- What's the need for that? There's always been a distracted driving law that should cover people who are distracted by whatever (cell phones included). Law makers worrying to much about making laws instead of enforcing ones we already have.
 

OldZebra

New member
Happy99":2lkcanss said:
In that case, what's the need for an ejection on targeting? Why not just have the officials make a flagrant call if it's severe enough?

Totally agree there!

The rule was put in place to reduce the vicious hits in college games. To be effective they needed a specific rule with harsh consequences. If the serious injuries continue I fear the lawyers will take over and someday the sport we all know and love will cease to exist.

Its a good rule but as I stated before some tweaks are needed for the high school level.
 

OldZebra

New member
Here is the list of Defenseless Players. The list was expanded in 2013-14 to prevent "cheap shots" in certain situations. Be careful with 7, I've seen many instances of these blocks real close to being targeting fouls.

1. Passer
2. Receiver of pass
3. Kicker
4. Kick returner
5. Player on the ground (includes holder)
6. Player obviously out of the play
7. Player who receives blind-side block
8. Ball carrier in grasp of defenders & forward progress stopped
9. QB after change of possession
 

BE

Active member
Just saw another ejection for Targeting. This call was made during the Florida-Georgia game. The Florida kid came from outside in beyond the LOS and delivered a crack back block from the blindside with his two arms. No head contact and no shoulder pad, just his two arms.
It may have been a block in the back. It can't be a Targeting violation. And it was reviewed. STUPIFIED!

For anyone curious about this trend, what is going on with this call? We all know this was spawned by lawsuits against the NFL. We all know head-to-head blindside hitting is risky and has an element of danger . But isn't the same amount of danger inherent in straight on head to head tackling? A typical runningback and linebacker/secondary players are involved with high impact tackling a dozen times a game. A 220 lb RB running close to full speed thru the LOS hits a 240 lb LBer head on and we are concerned about a two-arm block. Should we give those situations some evaluation if we truly are to the point where football has to be made safer.

Another player was ejected for hitting a defender with his arms. Where are we going with this rule. Maybe we need to go ahead and get there so everyone can adjust.
 

Johnny South

Well-known member
Another targeting ejection this afternoon in the Texas Tech vs. Oklahoma State game. The defensive back hit the receiver of the screen pass two yards behind the line of scrimmage with his facemask and shoulder. No crown of helmet involved. They even reviewed the play, and still confirmed the targeting. Terrible officiating.

I saw the World Cup Rugby match a little earlier. No pads, except for a few un-padded knee braces, and a couple of funny-looking padded helmets (looked like the old leather football helmets from the twenties). There were more vicious hits in that game than most college football games, and a lot rougher than the high school games. They didn't even make them wipe off the blood.
 

BE

Active member
I have a theory on why so many Targeting calls are being made.
Remember the shortage of officials we had two or three years back. Remember?
Well we don't hear about that problem anymore all of a sudden. Here is a theory on why.
In 2013 the United States agreed to accept 25,000 refugees from Iraq. However, before they could come we had to find some way for the men to make a living, to be productive citizens. They started lookin around and saw we didn't need any more Hotels. We had plenty of restaurants serving Old World cuisine, plus "Iraqi King" didn't ring. And Silicon Valley and Longhorn Land had chip engineers running out the ears. Then someone at the university interscholastic league had a brilliant idea: solve the referee shortage by making them high school and college football officials.

Now being from the Middle East where football is spelled futbol, and a yellow card controls all physical contact, these fellows took matters into their own hands. Determined to clean this barbaric game up, while at the same time make a respectable name for themselves, these zealous referees made their mission a jihad on anyone who used a "cheap hit". They began to throw the little yellow flag any time they felt one player was bullying another. And the rest is well known.

If in the mean time their efforts hurt the game, no problem. They figured futbol would fill in the vacuum ...better to work as futbol refs anyway. And there you have it.

This theory was passed over to me by a couple of old American compadres who wish to remain anonymous. In respect of their wishes I will refer to them as Jim and Jack.

Hit who you target but don't Target who you hit. And bye for now.
 
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