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"Targeting"


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Who can help me understand the "Targeting" foul as it relates to high school football? Is it only for contact shoulders and above on defenseless players? I've seen it called on hits to the mid-section of receivers and really don't understand what defenders can and can't do. I would assume it would also apply to offensive players on a "peel back" block?

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Who can help me understand the "Targeting" foul as it relates to high school football? Is it only for contact shoulders and above on defenseless players? I've seen it called on hits to the mid-section of receivers and really don't understand what defenders can and can't do. I would assume it would also apply to offensive players on a "peel back" block?

 

I would interpret it as hits above the shoulders as well as whenever a player leads with the crown of his helmet. But really a lot of the calls end up being a judgement call by the official so there is definitely a gray area.

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I saw one called last year that I just didn't understand what was expected of the defensive back. Receiver jumps along sideline to attempt a catch (defenseless) and the safety put shoulder right on receiver's chest to break up the catch. It was violent, without question but below shoulders and not with the helmet.

 

Obviously, most violations are judgment calls and open to the officials' interpretations, but I wanted to see if the high school rule was more restrictive than the college/pro version.

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I'm not a big fan of the targeting rule either. I can see it in certain circumstances though. Kickoff return and someone lays a crack back 30-40 yards behind the ball. There's no point in that. With that said, football is a physical sport. If you don't want to get hit, don't play.

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I can see it in certain circumstances though. Kickoff return and someone lays a crack back 30-40 yards behind the ball. There's no point in that.

 

You bring up a good point. To me, this is targeting. A play on the ball shouldn't be considered targeting. Of course that person is targeted, they have the ball for crying out loud! Too many times this has been called where incidental contact was made with the helmets and somebody got ejected.

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You bring up a good point. To me, this is targeting. A play on the ball shouldn't be considered targeting. Of course that person is targeted, they have the ball for crying out loud! Too many times this has been called where incidental contact was made with the helmets and somebody got ejected.

 

This. Isn't the object of the game to target the person with the ball?

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A targeting call was made at a jv game last year. A receiver caught the ball, advanced the ball, and was in the grasp of a defender. The receiver was making progress. A safety came over and tackled the receiver around the waste with a form tackle using his shoulder. It was not a big hit by any definition. The safety was called for targeting. The safety told the ref he did not know why he got a penalty. The ref simply told the safety he was targeting. The safety replied, "Of course I was targeting him. He had the ball." If you are confused about targeting, you are not alone.

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I'm not a big fan of the targeting rule either. I can see it in certain circumstances though. Kickoff return and someone lays a crack back 30-40 yards behind the ball. There's no point in that. With that said, football is a physical sport. If you don't want to get hit, don't play.

 

With a player 30-40 yards behind the play with no chance of making a play, and get's a cheap shot, then your statement of "If you don't want to get hit, don't play" is one of the most ridiculous statements I have ever heard. Kid has given up on the play and you have a "thug" who is wanting to get a hit in, should be flagged and ejected. There is no place for that kind of hit in football period!

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