You've been around the game of football your entire life. You couldn't count the number of hours you've spent watching football, but it's above five digits. With all that time accrued watching the game, you mastered the rules of football a long time ago.
You sure about that?
The Oklahoman columnist Berry Tramel embedded himself with Big 12 referees as the conference's annual officiating clinic in July. Part of the training included a 25 question quiz, with two bonus questions. The questions proved to be trickier than he anticipated.
Here are a few samples:
1. Team A has 2nd-and-10 at the Team B 27-yard line. Immediately at the snap, the center attempts to release downfield to the block. The nose guard reaches out and initiates contact with the center with his left hand, but the center does not make any overt move to block him. At the same time as the contact between the center and nose guard, the offensive left guard blocks the nose guard at the knees. The tailback stumbles and falls to the ground at the Team B 28-yard line.
2. With 58 seconds left in the game, Team A leads 49-41. Team B is out of the timeouts. With the game clock running down to 38 and Team A facing 2nd-and-12 at the Team B 40-yard line, and both teams on the line of scrimmage, the nose guard reaches across the line and knocks the ball from the center’s hand prior to the snap.
3. Team A first down at the Team B 48. Team A is at the line of scrimmage after making the first down but does not substitute and lines up with a five-receiver set. Team B is confused about what personnel it wants on the field after the referee had made the ball ready for play and wound the clock. A linebacker runs on the field and a teammate immediately starts to run off but is not off the field when all Team A players except the center (who remains motionless with the ball) simulate the start of a play in an abrupt manner.
4. Team A faces 2nd-and-9 at the Team B 35-yard line. Team A has substituted and Team B is in the process of replacing players to match up as Team A sets in position. The umpire is in front of the center with his hand up in a STOP position, and the referee has his arms extended, holding up play by rule, allowing Team to substitute. As Team B players are going off the field and Team B substitutes are moving to their position, a wide receiver false starts by abruptly starting downfield.
1. No foul for offensive chop block, since contact was initiated by the defensive player.
2. The game is over, if the offense so chooses. The play clock resets at 40 seconds, and there only 38 seconds left on the clock.
3. Illegal procedure on the offense. The defense can't have too many men on the field for a play that never happened.
4. No foul.
If you got all for correct, congrats. Now take the full quiz and compare your answers with Trammel's (he went 18-for-27, by the way). If you ace that test, maybe it's time to put on your zebra stripes, strap on a whistle and make some calls in real time in front of 80,000 spectators.