The cry bellows out above the roar of the crowd: "Hey, that guy doesn't know what he's doing out there!"
"Read the rule book, ref!"
Do you, like most of the fans who attend the games on Fridays and Saturdays, think you know the rules governing high school football? We're going to give you a chance to show it by answering the questions listed below.
Unlike the guys who make their calls on the field, nobody is going to boo you for any wrong answers. And if you answer enough of them correctly, maybe you have a future blowing whistles and tossing yellow flags about in public.
At any rate, here are some questions based on an exam given to certified area officials prior to the current season.
Answer either true or false. The answers appear at the bottom of the story.
Here's your chance. You make the call!
1. If an official calls timeout for an apparently injured player and, after examination, it is determined the player is not injured, the player need not leave the game.
2. If a ball-carrier is touched by a defender who is out of bounds, the ball-carrier is ruled out of bounds also.
3. An official's inadvertent whistle causes the ball to become dead.
4. After a successful field goal, the team that was scored upon shall designate which team will kick off.
5. On a defensive pass interference penalty, the ball is spotted at the point of the foul.
6. A substitute who goes on the field but is unable to complete the substitution prior to the ball being snapped may return to his team's bench legally, provided he is off the field when the ball is snapped.
7. Substitute players and coaches are confined to the "team box" which extends from the 35-yard line to the other 35-yard line.
8. The penalty for an illegal forward pass is 10 yards and a loss of down.
9. If a member of the punting team holds a member of the receiving team in the punting team's end zone to prevent the receiving team from recovering a blocked punt, it will be ruled a safety, if the penalty is accepted.
10. If a receiver controls the ball in the opposition's end zone, but prior to touching the ground brushes against the upright of the goal post, it is a touchdown.
11. A disqualified player must be removed from the game, even if the penalty for the foul is declined.
12. Only one receiver may give a signal for a fair catch while any legal kick is in flight.
13. If a forward pass hits an ineligible receiver in the back while he is in or behind the neutral zone, such a pass is illegal.
14. It is illegal participation if a player is lying on the ground to deceive the opponents immediately before the snap or free kick.
15. The referee must honor a captain's request for measurement, even though he judges it is obvious the line to gain either has or has not been reached.
16. If a field-goal attempt does not break the plane of the receiving team's goal line, a member of the receiving team may catch or recover the kick and advance the ball.
17. If on a sweep play, two pulling linemen simultaneously block a defensive player below the waist outside the area where the offensive tackle was lined up to start the play, the block is illegal.
18. When a receiver and defensive player leap near the sideline and gain simultaneous possession of a pass and each come down with the ball, with the receiver hitting the ground inbounds and the defender coming down out of bounds, it is a legal catch with possession going to the receiver.
19. When over the ball, if the snapper has one hand on the ball, the other hand may be extended into the neutral zone.
20. On a kickoff, it is encroachment when, after the ball has been declared ready for play, a player other than the kicker and the holder for a place-kick is beyond his team's free-kick line.
ANSWERS: 1. False, 2. False, 3. True, 4. True, 5. False (15 yards from line of scrimmage), 6. True, 7. False (30-yard line to 30-yard line), 8. False (15 yards and loss of down), 9. True, 10. False (incomplete pass), 11. True, 12. False, 13. False, 14. True, 15. False, 16. True, 17. True, 18. False (incomplete pass), 19. False, 20. True.