The penalty flag (or just "flag") is a yellow cloth used in several field sports including American football and lacrosse by game officials to identify and sometimes mark the location of penalties or infractions that occur during regular play. It is usually wrapped around a weight, such as sand or beans so it can be thrown accurately over greater distances and cannot easily be blown away. Many officials previously weighted flags with ball bearings, but the practice was largely discontinued after a flag thrown by NFL referee Jeff Triplette struck Cleveland Browns offensive tackle Orlando Brown Sr. in the eye during a 1999 game, causing a serious injury to Brown. Brown was forced to sit out three seasons because of the eye injury and settled with the NFL for a reported amount of $25 million.
The flag is colored orange in Canadian football. NFL penalty flags were colored white until 1965, when the color was changed to yellow. Penalty flags in college football were red until the 1970s, before also being changed to yellow. To mark field position after a change in possession, such as after an interception or punt, a small bean bag is used to mark where the change of possession took place. These bean bags are typically black, blue, or white; other colors such as orange have occasionally been used.
The idea for the penalty flag came from Youngstown State coach Dwight Beedeand first used in a game against Oklahoma City University on October 17, 1941. Prior to the use of flags, officials used horns and whistles to signal a penalty. Official adoption of the use of the flag occurred at the 1948 American Football Coaches rules session. The National Football League first used flags on September 17, 1948 when the Green Bay Packers played the Boston Yanks.
In October 2013, the NFL planned to use pink penalty flags throughout the month as part of the league's breast cancer awareness initiative. This was changed after two weeks, due to confusion with other pink apparel on players and game officials.
In some football leagues, coaches are given a challenge flag of similar construction as a penalty flag. The flag is red in American football and yellow in Canadian football, so it contrasts with the officials' penalty flags. This is thrown by a coach when he wishes to contest (challenge) a referee's decision.
Game play in American football consists of a series of downs, individual plays of short duration, outside of which the ball is dead or not in play. These can be plays from scrimmage – passes, runs, punts, or field goal attempts – or free kicks such as kickoffs and fair catch kicks. Substitutions can be made between downs, which allows for a great deal of specialization as coaches choose the players best suited for each particular situation. During a play, each team should have no more than 11 players on the field, and each of them has specific tasks assigned for that specific play.
In gridiron football, the chain crew is a crew that manages signal poles on one of the sidelines.
In American football, an official is a person who has responsibility in enforcing the rules and maintaining the order of the game.
Instant replay or action replay is a video reproduction of something that recently occurred which was both shot and broadcast live. The video, having already been shown live, is replayed in order for viewers to see again and analyze what had just taken place. Some sports allow officiating calls to be overturned after the review of a play. Instant replay is most commonly used in sports, but is also used in other fields of live TV. While the first near-instant replay system was developed and used in Canada, the first instant replay was developed and deployed in the United States.
The 2005 NFL season was the 86th regular season of the National Football League.
The 1999 NFL season was the 80th regular season of the National Football League. The Cleveland Browns returned to the field for the first time since the 1995 season, while the Tennessee Oilers changed their name to "Tennessee Titans," with the league retiring the name “Oilers.”
The 1975 NFL season was the 56th regular season of the National Football League. It was the first NFL season without a tie game. The league made two significant changes to increase the appeal of the game:
The 1968 NFL season was the 49th regular season of the National Football League. As per the agreement made during the 1967 realignment, the New Orleans Saints and the New York Giants switched divisions; the Saints joined the Century Division while the Giants became part of the Capitol Division.
In the sport of association football, fouls and misconduct are acts committed by players which are deemed by the referee to be unfair and are subsequently penalised. An offence may be a foul, misconduct or both depending on the nature of the offence and the circumstances in which it occurs. Fouls and misconduct are addressed in Law 12 of the Laws of the Game.
A play clock, also called a delay-of-game timer, is a countdown clock intended to speed up the pace of the game in gridiron football. The offensive team must put the ball in play by either snapping the ball during a scrimmage down or kicking the ball during a free kick down before the time expires, or else they will be assessed a 5-yard delay of game or time count violation penalty. If a visible clock is not available or not functioning, game officials on the field will use a stopwatch or other similar device to enforce the rule.
Jeff Triplette is a retired American football official in the National Football League (NFL) from the 1996 season through the 2017 season. He wore uniform number 42.
Peter Danie Morelli is a former American football official in the National Football League (NFL) since the 1997 NFL season and the president of Saint Mary's High School in Stockton, California. He wore uniform number 135.
Unsportsmanlike conduct is a foul or offense in many sports that violates the sport's generally accepted rules of sportsmanship and participant conduct. Examples include verbal abuse or taunting of an opponent, an excessive celebration following a scoring play, or feigning injury. The official rules of many sports include a general provision whereby participants or an entire team may be penalized or otherwise sanctioned for unsportsmanlike conduct.
An official in Canadian football is a person who has responsibility in enforcing the rules and maintaining the order of the game, like their counterparts in the American game. In the Canadian Football League, seven officials operate on the field. Lower levels of play up to the university level use less than the standard seven.
In gridiron football, a penalty is a sanction called against a team for a violation of the rules, called a foul. Officials initially signal penalties by tossing a bright yellow or orange colored penalty flag onto the field toward or at the spot of a foul. Many penalties result in moving the football toward the offending team's end zone, usually either 5, 10, or 15 yards, depending on the penalty. Most penalties against the defensive team also result in giving the offense an automatic first down, while a few penalties against the offensive team cause them to automatically lose a down. In some cases, depending on the spot of the foul, the ball is moved half the distance to the goal line rather than the usual number of yards, or the defense scores an automatic safety.
In gridiron football, replay review is a method of reviewing a play using cameras at various angles to determine the accuracy of the initial call of the officials. An instant replay can take place in the event of a close or otherwise controversial call, either at the request of a team's head coach or the officials themselves.
The Fail Mary, sometimes known as the Inaccurate Reception, was the final play of an American football game between the Green Bay Packers and Seattle Seahawks of the National Football League (NFL) that occurred on September 24, 2012 at CenturyLink Field in Seattle, Washington. In a nationally televised game on ESPN's Monday Night Football, the Seahawks defeated the Packers, 14–12 in controversial fashion.
The 2012 NFL referee lockout was a labor dispute between the National Football League (NFL) and the NFL Referees Association that resulted in the use of replacement officials through Week 3 of the 2012 NFL season. The lockout began in June 2012 after both sides failed to reach consensus on a collective bargaining agreement. On September 26, 2012, an agreement was reached to end the lockout after increasing criticism of the NFL and the performance of the replacement officials.
The 2018 NFC Championship Game was a National Football League (NFL) game played on January 20, 2019, to determine the National Football Conference (NFC) champion for the 2018 NFL season. The visiting Los Angeles Rams defeated the New Orleans Saints 26–23 in sudden death overtime to advance to their first Super Bowl since the 2001 season. Prior to the game, the Saints were considered the favorite team to win. The two teams had previously faced each other in the regular season, also at the Superdome, where the Saints won 45–35.
Bottlegate, also referred to as The Beer Bottle Game, was an officiating controversy in an American football game in the 2001 season of the National Football League between the visiting Jacksonville Jaguars and the Cleveland Browns. It occurred in week 14 with the Browns sitting at 6–6, desperate for a win to keep their playoff hopes alive. Down 15–10 with 1:08 remaining, the Browns were forced to try to convert on 4th and 2 at the Jaguars' 12 yard line. Tim Couch took the snap and passed short to Quincy Morgan, who caught the ball for a 3 yard gain and a first down. Although Morgan appeared to bobble the football, officials called it a complete pass. Couch hurried the offense to the line of scrimmage and spiked the ball with :48 remaining. The officials announced that they would review the 4th down conversion two plays earlier and overturned it, giving the ball to the Jaguars. Enraged, the fans began throwing objects onto the field, mainly beer bottles. A few especially rowdy fans began throwing the stadium's trash cans down to the field. After a few minutes, the officials announced that the game would end 48 seconds early and the officials and players exited the field. However, the league office called, telling them to finish the game. The teams and officials came back onto the field and, after two quarterback kneels by the Jaguars, the game was over, 15–10.