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Officially Speaking: Bye Week Edition

Lost in the action of last week’s close, hard-fought Huskie win over UBC was the excellent job done by the officiating crew. The game was evenly and not overly officiated, and for the most part the officials were invisible, which is what they aim for.

But it wouldn’t be a Huskie game without a few comments and some jeering from the crowd. A few of those situations stuck out, so we thought we would ask our friend and veteran official White Hat, who was on the field for this game, why these penalties were called as they were.

The official watches as Jon De Witt tackles Brady Aulie in the September 9 game against Regina (photo by Liam Richards)

Huskie Outsider: There were a couple occaisions where a punt was caught by the UBC returner in the air where it appeared the Huskie defender was attempting to get out of the five-yard restraining zone. Can you explain why these were assessed as 15-yard no yards penalties, and in what situations would no yards result in 15 yards as opposed to the regular five-yard variety?

White Hat: Any punt caught in the air draws a 15 yard penalty – no exceptions. If the ball bounces, a player is trying to withdraw, and does not get involved in the immediate tackle, it is a five yard penalty. If he tries to withdraw, but the is involved in the tackle, it becomes a fifteen yard mark-off.

Huskie Outsider: There was also a situation late in the game where a UBC receiver made a long catch but stayed down after the tackle with an injury. After leaving the field, he was allowed to come back after missing only one play. Some people noticed this and thought he should have sat out at least three plays. Can you explain why he was allowed to come back so quickly?

White Hat: The CIS has their own rule, whereby an injured player must only stay out for one play. A team may also call a time-out, which would allow the player to return immediately.

Huskie Outsider:
Although I covered the rule in the comments section of the game review, can you explain the intent of rule to give the team that has just been scored on the option to kick off rather than to receive the kickoff? Have you ever seen this option exercised before?

White Hat: The team being scored upon has the option, and may exercise it for
a few reasons:

  • To run out the clock, without giving up possession on a short kick-off, and automatic field position, as the Huskies did against U.B.C.
  • It may be the last play of a quarter, and they have the benefit of a very strong wind, which would allow them to pin a team deep in their own end.
  • They may have a defense playing much better than their offense is performing.

It was the first time we could recall the option ever being exercised.


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