# What are "field markers"?

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#1

Interesting situation came up last night, and made me realize that there are two very different ways of seeing what constitutes a line on an unlined field. The question in a nutshell: is it right to consider the secondary cones on the sideline (those that signify the depth of the brick mark or the centre of the field) as part of the sideline, or should we just look at the line between the "brightly colored, flexible cones" at the corners of the endzones? What's the consensus?

The following are (as far as I can tell) the only relevant references in the 11th Edition:
III.Playing field: E. The corners of the playing field proper and the end zones are marked by brightly colored, flexible cones.
II.Definitions: J. Line: A boundary defining the playing areas. On an unlined field, the boundary is an imaginary line segment between two field markers with the thickness of said markers. Line segments are not extrapolated beyond the defining markers.

By nep

Field markers are just that -- anything used to mark the playing field. If you put extra markers down, and someone wants to make an out of bounds call, the closest two markers define the line that's the boundary.

While there are only a few official markers in the rules (brick marks are standard), extra markers are optional. But when they are in place, it's assumed to be because of a tacit agreement of the captains, so the captains clause kicks in. You can put 100 cones around the field if the captains agree, and the closest two define the boundary at that point.

Side note, that's why it drives me crazy when someone says, on a poorly constructed field, "Well, I'm in by that cone but out by that one" -- No you aren't, that's literally impossible because if you're referring to the two closest cones, there's only one boundary line between them.

ps In sub-on-the-fly, if you mark the subs entrance to the playing field with cones, you could cause confusion about the sideline especially if it's not actually on a drawn line, so be precise.

Is there a consensus on what the "closest cones" are? Is it the two closest cones on either side of the player, or is it the two closest cones period?

For example on a field with only endzones and bricks, if I am 5 yards from the brick, the two closest cones are the nearest brick, and the endzone cone 10 yards from it. But if it's the two closest on either side, then it's the two bricks.

Check out Womble's extract above that defines a line. It is the 2 cones that bound the line segment that you are considering. You cannot extend the line segment beyond the cones.

So in your example use the 2 brick cones to define the line.

Ahh yes, I didn't think that line (no pun intended) through. Thanks!