Penalty flag

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. 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 vs. the Jacksonville Jaguars, causing a serious injury to Brown, who later attacked Triplette and threw him to the ground. 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.

The idea for the penalty flag came from Youngstown State coach Dwight Beede[1] and 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.[2]

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.

Officials point at a penalty flag lying on the field.


  1. ^ NATIONAL FOOTBALL FOUNDATION / COLLEGE HALL OF FAME Archived 2001-04-10 at the Wayback Machine "Hawk's Huddle"
  2. ^ Golden Rankings Archived 2008-09-07 at the Wayback Machine "Interesting football stories"

External links

1941 Oklahoma City vs. Youngstown football game

The 1941 Oklahoma City vs. Youngstown football game was a college football game between the Oklahoma City University Goldbugs and the Youngstown College Penguins (now called Youngstown State University) played on October 16, 1941. The game was played in Rayen Stadium in Youngstown, Ohio. The game marks the first use of the penalty flag in American football.Youngstown was highly favored against Oklahoma City in the press, based on their undefeated record up to that point.Youngstown defeated Oklahoma City by a score of 48 to 7.

1941 in sports

1941 in sports describes the year's events in world sport.

Note — many sporting events did not take place because of World War II

California Interscholastic Federation

The California Interscholastic Federation (CIF) is the governing body for high school sports in the U.S. state of California. CIF membership includes both public and private high schools. Unlike most other state organizations, it does not have a single, statewide championships for all sports; instead, for some sports, the CIF's 10 Sections each have their own championships.

Six schools near the state border are members of adjacent state's associations. San Pasqual Valley High School is part of the Arizona Interscholastic Association. Coleville High School, Needles High School, North Tahoe High School, South Tahoe High School and Truckee High School are part of the Nevada Interscholastic Activities Association.

Claude Humphrey

Claude B. Humphrey (born June 29, 1944) is a former American football defensive end in the National Football League (NFL) for the Atlanta Falcons and Philadelphia Eagles. Humphrey was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2014.


A cornerback (CB), also referred to as a corner or defensive halfback in older parlance, is a member of the defensive backfield or secondary in American and Canadian football. Cornerbacks cover receivers most of the time, to defend against offensive plays, i.e create turnovers in best case or (more common) deflect a forward pass or rather make a tackle. Other members of the defensive backfield include the safeties and occasionally linebackers. The cornerback position requires speed, agility, and strength. A cornerback's skillset typically requires proficiency in anticipating the quarterback, backpedaling, executing single and zone coverage, disrupting pass routes, block shedding, and tackling. Cornerbacks are among the fastest players on the field.

Dike Beede

Dwight V. "Dike" Beede (January 23, 1903 – December 10, 19) served as the first head football coach of Youngstown State University (then Youngstown College). He served there from 1937 to 1972. In the course of his entire professional coaching career, Beede counted 175 career wins, 146 losses and 20 ties. In 1941, he invented and introduced the penalty flag, now a common fixture of American football.Some sources spell his name "Dyke" Beede.

Jeff Triplette

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.

Marcus Peters

Marcus Peters (born January 9, 1993) is an American football cornerback for the Los Angeles Rams of the National Football League (NFL). He was drafted by the Kansas City Chiefs in the first round of the 2015 NFL Draft. He played college football at Washington.

Muffed punt

In gridiron football, a muffed punt is defined as "touching of the ball prior to possessing the ball.”

A muffed punt occurs when there is an "uncontrolled touch" of the football by a player on the returning team after it is punted. This can occur when:

The kicking team interferes with the other team's right to catch the punt

A player on the kicking team is struck unaware by the football running down-field to cover the punt.

A player attempts to return the ball, makes contact with it but cannot retain the ball in his hands and it comes loose.

To be a fumble, the receiving team must possess the football, then lose control. In the case of a fumble, the ball is live and can be returned by the team that recovers the ball. In the case of a muffed punt, it is possible for the punting team to recover the ball and continue the drive, but at least in NCAA and NFL rules, they cannot advance the ball on that same play. Rules vary by league about how to handle a muffed punt.

Nonetheless, a muffed punt is a turnover. In the NFL, a muffed punt recovered by the kicking team cannot be challenged by a coach for review because all turnovers are automatically reviewed.

Oklahoma City Stars

The Oklahoma City Stars are the athletic teams that represent Oklahoma City University, located in Oklahoma City, in the U.S. state of Oklahoma. The university fields 17 varsity sports teams, and these teams compete in the NAIA and the Sooner Athletic Conference in all sports except women's wrestling which competes in the Women's College Wrestling Association.

Until 1985, the Stars competed in the NCAA Division I Horizon League, which was known as the Midwestern City Conference at that time.

Os Doenges

H. Oswald "Os" Doenges (October 18, 1905 – March 1987) was an American football player and coach. Doenges was known for his creativity in the sport with several attempts to improve the game by making it faster and more enjoyable to watch.

Penalty (gridiron football)

In American football and Canadian 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 (American football) or orange (Canadian football) 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.

Pete Morelli

Peter Danie Morelli (born November 18, 1951) 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.As an official in the NFL, Morelli is known for working Super Bowl XXXVI in 2002 as a field judge.

Phil McKinnely

Philip Byron "Phil" McKinnely (born July 8, 1954) is a former American football offensive tackle who played seven seasons in the National Football League (NFL), mainly for the Atlanta Falcons, and then in the United States Football League (USFL) for the Memphis Showboats and Birmingham Stallions. After retiring as a player, McKinnely became an American football official, working in college football's Southeastern Conference and NFL Europe before joining the NFL in 2002 as a head linesman. As an official, he wears uniform number 110 and was on the 2018 NFL officiating crew headed by referee Bill Vinovich that is famously known for a blatant non-call that would alter the course of the NFC Championship game, although he was replaced before the start of the game by Patrick Turner. McKinnely was not present in the Mercedes-Benz Superdome when the play happened. The missed pass interference call and helmet to helmet hit has called into question the league office’s integrity and stemming the wave of violent helmet hits to the head.

He was accused by Samari Rolle of calling him "boy" on December 3, 2007, during a game between the Baltimore Ravens and the New England Patriots. The alleged exchange occurred late in the game when the Patriots retook the lead with 44 seconds remaining. Several penalties occurred in the closing minutes, including an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty when Raven Linebacker Bart Scott picked up a penalty flag and threw it into the stands in frustration of hearing the banter of Rolle and McKinnely. After the game, Rolle vented in the locker room to the reporters, "The refs called me a boy. No. 110 called me a boy, I will be calling my agent in the morning and sending my complaint. I have a wife and three kids. Don't call me a boy. Don't call me a boy on the field during a game because I said, 'You've never played football before." The NFL investigated the accusation.

Play clock

A play clock, also called a delay-of-game timer, is a countdown clock intended to speed up the pace of the game, and hopefully the scoring, in American football and Canadian 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 (American football) or time count violation (Canadian football; that code's "delay of game" is a different infraction) 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.

In all levels of Canadian football, the offensive team must run a play within 20 seconds of the referee whistling the play in; in amateur American football, teams have 25 seconds from the time the ball is declared ready for play.In the NFL, teams have 40 seconds timed from the end of the previous down. Before 2008, in college football, the play clock was 25 seconds after the ball was set, but the clock was not stopped for the ball to be set unless the previous play resulted in a stoppage of the clock. Now, the same intervals as the NFL are used, with minor differences for the final two minutes of each half. In

high school football, starting with the 2019 season, teams will use the 40-second play clock as in the NCAA and NFL, with minor exceptions. Various professional leagues have used their own standards; the XFL, for instance, used a 35-second play clock to encourage faster play. Arena football uses a 32-second play clock.

Also in the Canadian Football League, a time count is enforced differently at certain points of the game. If the time count occurs before the three-minute mark of a half, the penalty is five yards and the down is repeated. In the final three minutes, the penalty is a loss of down on first and second down or 10 yards, with the down repeated, on third down. If the referee deems a time count committed on third down in the last three minutes of a half to be deliberate, he also has the right to require the offensive team to put the ball in play legally within 20 seconds or else forfeit possession. (Time counts during convert attempts, during which the ball is live but the clock does not run, are 5-yard penalties with the down repeated at all times in the game.)In the strategy of clock management, a team can slow the pace of a game by taking the maximum amount of time allotted between plays. A team wishing to do so would wait to snap the ball until there is one second left on the play clock.

In many football games, the play clock is managed by the back judge who is positioned behind the defense and faces the quarterback. When the play clock counts down to 5 seconds remaining, some back judges will raise their arm over their head to warn the quarterback, and rotate their arm downward to their leg, counting down the final seconds. A penalty flag for delay is thrown afterward. The infraction typically results in a five-yard penalty.


The RUF/NEKS are an all-male spirit squad for the University of Oklahoma.

Rayen High School

The Rayen School (also known as Rayen High School and colloquially as simply Rayen) was a public high school in Youngstown, Ohio, United States. At the time it was closed in 2007, it was the oldest of the three high schools in the city. The high school's most recent physical plant opened in 1923, when the institution was relocated from a 19th-century structure located at 120 W Wood Street in Youngstown that currently houses Youngstown's Board of Education.Rayen closed permanently in June 2007, to make way for the opening of a consolidated East High School. The former Rayen building was scheduled for demolition, and the municipal school board announced that a middle school would be erected on the site. The 87-year-old school building was razed, and although plans were made to build a middle school on the site, the plans were later abandoned because of declining enrollment.In the wake of this development, trustees of the Judge William Rayen Foundation publicly expressed concern that the Youngstown Board of Education would dispose of the 19th century structure that housed the original Rayen School. The board, however, denied that it had any plans to sell the building or move the school board to new offices. In a February 2009 meeting, school board president Anthony Catale stated, "The Rayen building isn't going anywhere".

Wide receiver

A wide receiver, also referred to as wideouts or simply receivers, is an offensive position in American and Canadian football, and is a key player. They get their name because they are split out "wide" (near the sidelines), farthest away from the rest of the team. Wide receivers are among the fastest players on the field. The wide receiver functions as the pass-catching specialist.

Youngstown State Penguins

The Youngstown State Penguins are the athletic teams of Youngstown State University of Youngstown, Ohio. The university is a member of the National Collegiate Athletic Association's (NCAA) Division I, and the Penguins compete in football as members of the Missouri Valley Football Conference. Most other sports compete as members of the Horizon League

Levels of play
Play clock
5-yard penalties
10-yard penalties
15-yard penalties

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