0204 – Monday thoughts

Welcome back to the regular FFL Monday thoughts. Let’s start with the news.


The word is that last year’s FFL and BFL runner-up, the Brussels Black Angels, will have a new head coach for the upcoming season. Former head coach Georgy will take over the special teams coaching duties and former defensive coördinator Romauld Derys will step up to the head coaching role. You may have read Coach Romauld’s name around here before – he was the All-FFL Defensive coördinator from last season.

The schedule for the Diamond Bowl is available. It’s a three team tournament on Sunday, September 18, and will be the first competitive football this season, so get out to Berendrecht and have a look (or have a play if your team is involved). The timing is as follows :

12:00 – Antwerp Diamonds v Leuven Lions
14:00 – Lelystad Commanders v Leuven Lions
16:00 – Antwerp Diamonds v Lelystad Commanders

This reporter is rather honoured as I’ve been asked to choose the MVPs of the tournament as well, so I’ll have to keep my eyes open all afternoon!


I spent yesterday joining in with the referee’s meeting in Brussels, dicsussing about the new rules and interpretations (of which there are many) and looking at videos coming from NCAA officials with things to look for while officiating in the next season. I like to think of myself as someone who knows the rules of the game, but a lot of the definitions and descriptions in the rule book are way over my head!
Anyway, here’s a look at the major changes to the rules.

– On kicks, the defensive team are no longer allowed to engage any one offensive player with three players. This was a relatively common move to block field goals so teams will have to try something else.

– Gloves may be any color.

– The offensive team has to be completely set before any player may go in motion.

-You may not block a player who is out of bounds (this actually wasn’t a rule before, although quite why anyone would want to do this is beyond me).

– The rules for intentional grounding are relaxed for the quarterback while he’s still in the pocket. Now a receiver doesn’t have to have a reasonable chance to catch the ball, it’s enough that there was just a receiver somewhere in the area.

– This is perhaps a little hard to explain, but a wide receiver (or tight end/running back split wide/player in motion as the ball is snapped) may block below the waist only either straight ahead, or towards the sideline on the side that he’s on when the ball is snapped. He may not block below the waist towards the opposite sideline.

– The biggest change is for unsportsmanlike conduct penalties, especially when scoring a touchdown. Someone who is going to score a touchdown, who celebrates before crossing the goalline will be flagged for unsportsmanlike conduct. This was true before, except that now, it’s a live ball foul, not a dead ball foul.
In short, if you celebrate too early (including diving into the endzone when it’s not required), then the touchdown WILL NOT count and it will be a 15-yard penalty from the spot of the foul. FFL – you have been warned.
Oh, and by the way, spiking of the ball after scoring isn’t allowed either. Just give the ball to the ref, ok?

– This isn’t a rule change, but do be aware that the ref doesn’t have to blow the whistle for a play to be over. If a player runs with the ball and he goes out of bounds and you hit him, it’s going to be a late hit penalty. You have to see that the guy was out of bounds and not hit him. “I didn’t hear a whistle” is actually not an excuse. There may not have been a whistle and there does not have to be.

There will be a meeting between the officials and the coaches in a couple of weeks, so you’ll be able to direct your questions to your coach so he can get them clarified by the officials.


I believe that that’s just about all there is to say for this week. I hope that you’re all enjoying the football now that it’s back on TV, I sure am! Until next time

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23 Responses to 0204 – Monday thoughts

  1. Titan58 says:

    Those celebration penalties are getting more messed up every year. Nobody on any team wants this kind of nonsense. Taking away a TD because the ballcarrier jumped into the endzone???? Are we really trying to destroy the passion/joy in the game? OH NO! He’s happy because he scored! Flag him! ….ridiculous. I understand you have to draw a line somewhere, but this is just a bridge too far.

    • Bart says:

      You can still jump around like a happy kid but no taunting and no spiking because spiking delays the game and officials don’t want to go get the ball. Just give the ball or let it fall on the ground.

      • X-Man says:

        I don’t think you can. remember last year, Rashidi got flagged after a TD, just “body shaking”, no spiking, no taunting …

    • dalehousden says:

      I don’t agree with the rules either. I just don’t want to see anyone get a touchdown taken away because they celebrated too early, and I guarantee that the officials are going to flag it. Just cross the line first, at least that way the penalty will be on the kickoff 😉

  2. mathias says:

    I must say im not suprised… We know what to do and what not to do. i just hope that the other and worse taunting fouls get flagged aswell…

  3. mathias says:

    I must say im not suprised… We know what to do and what not to do. i just hope that the other and worse taunting fouls get flagged aswell…

    the fact im not suprised doesnt mean im pleased with it

  4. people have to realise this is the nfl or the ncaa , its not a semi pro league . most of the people play this game for the fun of it so to take away a simple thing as celebration its just too damn ridiculous . Its really a good way to take away a fun part of the game , and to make less attractif . okay i understand that they should have a limits to the celebration but that s just tooo damn ridiculous

    • dalehousden says:

      It’s an NCAA rule and we use those rules. I don’t like it either but the refs are going to call it if it happens. You can still do a chest bump or whatever with your teammates, just cross the goal line first 🙂

      • Oshe #3 says:

        I’ve been told last year during a game by a referee that we are using;
        the FFL rules in FFL division.
        the FFLAB rules in the LFFAB division.
        the BFL rules in a FFL vs LFFAB game.

        Where can we find the FFL, LFFAB, BFL rule-book? The NCAA rule-book being useless since some rules have been changed.

      • dalehousden says:

        Well, I know that the FFL rules are just the NCAA rules with a few modifications (I think that’s available on the FFL website). As for the others, well, I don’t really know what the actual differences are. LFFAB has no mercy rule, that’s for certain. But 3 rule sets for 1 game.. typically Belgian! 🙂

      • Oshe #3 says:

        BAFOC website under study material – NCAA rule-book 2009-2010.
        BFL website – No materials.
        FFL website under downloads; BFL – 8 man football rules 2008.
        NCAA – NCAA rule-book 2009-2010.
        LFFAB website – under rules: “Football 101” 😉 nothing special for a player.
        – under documents: error page.

    • Oshe #3 says:

      Alright, I’ll stop here. My point was; The BFL should just stick to the NCAA rules, impose it to the LFFAB and FFL, and should stop making “typically Belgian” rules by changing even a few of them.

      After that, BFL players can complain as much as the want… It becomes their personal problem, but at least a come back from the BFL to a complain would be: “NCAA rules, players in the US play under the same rules and they play!”

      (thinking of a BFL lockout :-p)

  5. Chubby says:

    I really think that celebration rule is crap.
    If you score, you score. Simple as that. If you must, you can penalize 15 yards for the PAT or whatever but denying a score? Common on!
    You train hard, and if you finally score in a game, you can’t be happy?
    As a defensive player, I couldn’t care less if a player celebrates a yard before or after the goal line.
    He scored and that pissed me off every time, dance or no dance 🙂

    On the hitting out of bounds, i hope they make an exception for people bumping into the runner because of the speed they have. Sometimes if you run fast, it’s not easy to avoid a collision.
    If it’s not meant to really hit an offensive player, no fault should be called.

    • dalehousden says:

      If you can’t stop and just bump into a runner out of bounds then it’s no penalty. My point is really that there doesn’t have to be a whistle for a play to be over (all that “play to the whistle” talk from coaches is actually incorrect). This wasn’t a rule change – it’s always been this way
      As for the celebrations, well, I agree, it’s a dumb rule but it will be enforced. Just trying to spread the word so nobody gets points taken away

  6. X-Man says:

    Maybe there is a more important point of emphasis than that ridicule ‘No Fun Rule’: direct helmet to helmet hits. It is’nt a new rule either but never flagged or even cared by the referees …

    • dalehousden says:

      Good point Xavier, helmet to helmet hits and hits on defenseless players (mostly receivers trying to catch a ball) were also discussed at the meeting with a video from the ncaa, so hopefully the refs will be all over that this season

  7. Titan58 says:

    Well, if I score this season. I’ll just drop my pants and take the penalty. A fun way to protest 🙂

  8. Coach Curtis says:

    Hi Dale, just to offer a “different” opinion about the Celebration Penalty. 99.9 percent of NCAA players control their TD celebrations, and its NOT because of the fear of a penalty. They are following a GOLDEN RULE of Football, which is “You NEVER bring attention to yourself as an Individual”. Even the ones that don’t believe in the rule, follow it or face the WRATH of their Coaches. The new rule, which I agree with, is to apply to the .01 percent of players that lose all common sense to the point that they do something wrong even before they score a TD. I know in Belgium I’m in the minority, but I know of at least one team in the BFL that celebrating like a fool gets you more than a 15 yarder, it gets you ejected from the game. Thanks as always.

    • Dorian Vermeir says:

      I like that. It’s a valuable thought that applies to the fundamentals of playing football. You know, they kind of have this philosophy at St. John’s University, Wisconsin (D3) with head coaching legend John Gagliardi (read the book ‘The Sweet Season’ if you can!). Although they apply somewhat different reasoning, the concept is the same. Still you can see Johnies celebrating but it’s all about the team and never anything ridiculous. They just expect to play like that.

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