Football Officials Long for Solon to Settle Gridiron Laws as They Meet in Conference at Biltmore Tonight
New York, Sept. 20--With the first game of this fall's football schedule only two weeks off, football officials from all over the country are still wondering what the rules for 1924 will be. Puzzled referees and linesmen are now gathering in New York for the annual rules interpretation meeting at the Hotel Biltmore tonight.
When the copies of the rule book for 1924 were sent to the officials for the big college football games for this fall, they hoped that they would find that their tasks had been simplified. Instead, they found that the rules of the game, already sufficiently complicated, had been made even more battling than before. Since 1923 old rules have been altered and new rules introduced and with rare exceptions, each alteration has brought its complication or series of complications.
To the befuddled officials the mootest point of all is that of shoulder pads. There is a new rule which specifically states that shoulder guards must be as carefully padded on the outside as on the inner surface. The shoulder guard generally used has a leather surface with felt an inch thick on the under side. The majority of teams have already been equipped with this style of guard at considerable expense. And as far as is known, no sports goods manufacturing company has manufactured or is manufacturing a guard which complies with the new rule. And, according to that new rule, all such guards must be discarded, or immediately equipped with a top layer of one inch felt before they can be worn in play.
Disqualification is the penalty for the players who do not have the surface padding, and if officials are to be guided by the letter of the rule, whole squads will be disqualified or forced to play without shoulder pads.
That is but one of the problems to be solved at tonight's conference. Others involve the prohibition of artificial tees, and the regulation of shift plays and the screening of forward passes. The temporary rewriting of these laws, will come tonight at the Biltmore, and the session promises to be the most interesting in years.