Rules Question

Re: Time count violation ruling....

Guys, I could use a little help regarding the 20 second time count violation rule. In last night's game between the Lions and Edmonton in the 3rd quarter the Lions QB Lulay was called for a time count violation.

But here's the issue....

The Lions centre was about to snap the ball and the Esk's defender Odell Willis casually walked across the scrimmage line pointing to the 20 second clock which had expired. Willis was pointing the 20 second clock saying it had expired while also showing the ref signal for the time count violation to the fans.

I did not hear a whistle. I saw no red flag anywhere on the field. The play did not appear to be whistled dead by any official.

It appears that Willis called the play dead and not one of the officials. If I'm correct is this allowed? If it isn't shouldn't Willis have been called for being off-side which would have helped to off-set the time count violation?

After Willis' theatrics the ref explained that B.C. was charged with a time count violation and receive a penalty.

I may be wrong but after playing the video back several times I saw no red flag and I heard no whistle. It was as if Willis was showing the officials that they blew it and were not paying attention to the 20 second clock so he decided to "end" the play. But even if that is true was Willis in the right to "end" the play?

I didn't see that particular play but no player has the "right" to end a play...without penalty anyway. What probably happened is that about the same time the FJ/BJ started to call the 20 clock (it's their responsibility, not the R) Willis noted it as well and started to make a fuss about it so the play was likely getting killed anyway.

So, time count to BC, nothing on Willis and yet another stupid challenge.

The backside officials who are in charge of watching the play clock usually give it an extra second as it's start is not an exact science (this is part of the "let the boys play" philosophy) so sometimes the play takes a second or two to get killed as the whistle is coming from 25 yards into the D backfield.

Tough to call a penalty for offside if the clock is expired or there is a timeout. You see this happen a few times a season where a defender will do this for various presnap fouls. They better be pretty confident because yes...the ref could call them offside or simply let the play carry on. Players know the risk, but it is there only way of forcing a decision onto the refs if they feel something is being missed. As far as the red flag...not needed. All they need to do is tell the line judge standing beside them they want to take a timeout

"Willis noted it as well and started to make a fuss about it so the play was likely getting killed anyway."

That's my point. It was at the 4:52 remaining in the 3rd quarter if you ever do find the clip. Yes, the play WAS killed but it was only killed because Willis casually walked across the line of scrimmage while pointed to the expired 20 second clock and then when into his personal rendition of a ref signalling the infraction. Like I said, I saw no red nylon on the field and didn't hear a whistle. As soon as Willis sauntered across the line of scrimmage and began doing his thing one of the officials could be seen walking towards the guys lined up. The announcers seem to get a kick out of the whole thing. It may well be that I didn't hear a whistle so I could be mistaken but I don't think so.

When the ref announced the penalty he appeared sheepish, " Like oops, who was sleeping on the job?"

Thanks depop. That explains the no need for the red nylon to be thrown. But you also said, "Tough to call a penalty for offside if the clock is expired or there is a timeout." Why would it be hard to call this particular penalty against Willis for being off-side? If play was blown in and there was no whistle to blow the play dead then everything is good to go. In fact had the Lions centre snapped the ball, Lulay would have gotten a free play out of the deal.

Even with the ball not having been snapped, the ref could have penalized Willis for being off-side or even given him an unsportsmanlike penalty since Willis was showboating.

Big deal, Willis caught them napping, a tad, but like a cat, this would have been called.

Willis just beat them to it and good for him, From now on in you'll see more exactness on this type of time count violation, believe me. You don't think the officials will be discussing this in the regular weekly meetings? I think so.

I don't like Willis and his "in your face" type of player, but he's not stupid, that's for sure.

Well said.