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Old 12-02-2009, 12:06 AM   #1
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Default The chains

Excuse my ignorance but how long can the chains be unwound?
I`ve tried to find the answer on the internet but to no avail.
Thanks for any info on this.
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Old 12-02-2009, 12:10 AM   #2
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Default Re: The chains

huh ?
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Old 12-02-2009, 12:22 AM   #3
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Default Re: The chains

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huh ?
Thinking about it, i don`t really know anything about the anatomy or mechanics of the chains.
I mean could they be used to measure a close call on a 3 and 30 down for example?
Bear with me here MOP!
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Old 12-02-2009, 07:05 AM   #4
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Default Re: The chains

The chains themselves are only 10 yards - post to post. If you notice during the game, there is another marker that moves to where the ball is located.

SO in your example if it's 3rd and 30, the sticks would at the first down line and 10 yards back. Then 20 yards behind that would be the individual marker locating the current ball location.
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Old 12-02-2009, 10:30 AM   #5
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Default Re: The chains

Why don't they set up a system of laser beams? You could have two devices that shoot a beam across the field. When the ball is spotted after a first down, they use the first beam to set the location on the sideline. Then the second one is placed 10 yards upfield. If you need to measure, you just hit a button and it turns on the beam so you know right away.

Plus it would be more accurate.
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Old 12-02-2009, 11:09 AM   #6
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Default Re: The chains

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Originally Posted by sherlock View Post
Thinking about it, i don`t really know anything about the anatomy or mechanics of the chains.
I mean could they be used to measure a close call on a 3 and 30 down for example?
Bear with me here MOP!
To elaborate on what someone else said: The chains are exactly 10 yards and don't move at all unless you make a first down.

So if it was first-and-10 and you lost 10 yards, the chains stay where they are, and a separate marker moves back 10 yards.

You might also be interested to know that to make the measurements exact, they have a little marker like this that they attach in the middle of the chain at the nearest 5-yard line (e.g. if it was first-and-10 at your own 20-yard line and you had to make it to the 30, they'd put the marker at the 25). Then when they bring the chains out to measure, the referee puts that marker in the right place and they stretch it forward. Otherwise, every time they ran the chains out to the middle of the field, the guy holding the back end of the chain would lose his position and it would be pretty inaccurate.
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Old 12-02-2009, 11:10 AM   #7
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Default Re: The chains

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Originally Posted by stlrtruck View Post
The chains themselves are only 10 yards - post to post. If you notice during the game, there is another marker that moves to where the ball is located.

SO in your example if it's 3rd and 30, the sticks would at the first down line and 10 yards back. Then 20 yards behind that would be the individual marker locating the current ball location.
Thanks stlrtruck,I had no idea.
When watching on TV all they seem to show is a shot of the ball and then the chains come in to view.
Perhaps they should zoom out just for AF beginners.
Anyway,I`ll be attending my first ever game on Sunday so hopefully will get a good idea of what actually goes on!
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Old 12-02-2009, 11:18 AM   #8
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Default Re: The chains

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Originally Posted by steelreserve View Post
To elaborate on what someone else said: The chains are exactly 10 yards and don't move at all unless you make a first down.

So if it was first-and-10 and you lost 10 yards, the chains stay where they are, and a separate marker moves back 10 yards.

You might also be interested to know that to make the measurements exact, they have a little marker like this that they attach in the middle of the chain at the nearest 5-yard line (e.g. if it was first-and-10 at your own 20-yard line and you had to make it to the 30, they'd put the marker at the 25). Then when they bring the chains out to measure, the referee puts that marker in the right place and they stretch it forward. Otherwise, every time they ran the chains out to the middle of the field, the guy holding the back end of the chain would lose his position and it would be pretty inaccurate.
Thank you for that answer and also for the link steelreserve
This will sound stupid but I kinda thought that the chains could be unwound the length of the field.Embarassing but true!
I`m flying to Pittsburgh tomorrow morning and will see the Steelers play the Raiders on Sunday.
Will come back an expert no doubt!
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Old 12-02-2009, 11:18 AM   #9
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Default Re: The chains

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Originally Posted by Godfather View Post
Why don't they set up a system of laser beams? You could have two devices that shoot a beam across the field. When the ball is spotted after a first down, they use the first beam to set the location on the sideline. Then the second one is placed 10 yards upfield. If you need to measure, you just hit a button and it turns on the beam so you know right away.

Plus it would be more accurate.
That's actually an interesting thought.
Alternatively, you could put a small microchip in the football (like the ones they use for dogs--it's pretty small), and accurately determine field position by GPS. It would take away the question of the Actual "spot" of the ball.
Probably wouldn't work, tho' because "Civilian" GPS isn't quite as accurate as "military" GPS
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Old 12-04-2009, 01:14 PM   #10
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Default Re: The chains

Quote:
Originally Posted by Godfather View Post
Why don't they set up a system of laser beams? You could have two devices that shoot a beam across the field. When the ball is spotted after a first down, they use the first beam to set the location on the sideline. Then the second one is placed 10 yards upfield. If you need to measure, you just hit a button and it turns on the beam so you know right away.

Plus it would be more accurate.
Something tells me that people would always be stepping on that or falling on it and breaking it. A guy holding a chain is a lot more durable, even if it is old-fashioned.
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