Safety Stoppages

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#1

Turf is winding down, but I have witnessed recurring safety problems in various games, so I would like to remind captains and players of how to properly deal with them. The rules are extensive, so I will not cover all provisions here. I recommend reviewing sections III, VI, XIX in detail.

1) There is a person/object/animal on the field that should not be there.

Examples: Players from a neighbouring field lay out and spill into your game. Somebody's dog is tripping the light fantastic across your endzone. A child decides to embark on a field trip through your offense. An umbrella catches the wind and goes tumbling on its merry way into the path of certain disaster.

As soon as you recognize a potentially dangerous condition, please call a TIME-OUT(VI.B) or a VIOLATION(III.D,III.G) as appropriate. In general, calling a technical time-out is more likely to be correct, but it doesn't really matter. The point is to stop play, and you'll probably be forgiven. Remember: ANY player is entitled to call a technical time-out.

Calling nebulous things like "Careful!" or "Watch out!" will most likely be misinterpreted as regular sideline chatter. Even slightly more descriptive things like "There's a dog!" or "Kid on the field!" will get lost on tired players, and even the ones who understand will be too confused to stop the game. Keywords like "time-out" and "violation" will be recognized by everyone; they will know how to respond, even if they don't know why the call was made.

2) There is an injury on the field.

ANY player on the team of an INJURED PLAYER is entitled to call an injury time-out. But NO ONE on the other team is so entitled. This is important. Many an argument has arisen from someone mistakenly making an inappropriate injury call on behalf of someone else. This means that the other team must assume that play is ongoing until they hear an appropriate call.

So please get in the habit of making the appropriate call. We are all concerned for your safety if it is genuinely at risk.
-If you are hurt, and you want to stop play (you have a choice), and you are still able to speak, please call "injury" as soon as possible.
-If you realize that a teammate is badly hurt, and is unable to call a time-out, please call "injury" on his/her behalf.