Kollen Bulletin

From: "Rich Kollen" - dayofgame@me.com
Subject: SCCFOA
Date: Thursday, September 04, 2014



I would like to welcome athletic administrators, coaches, officials, and other interested parties to my weekly bulletin on community college football in Southern California. These weekly emails are intended to discuss football rules, game management, and student-athlete success for the purpose of making the Southern California Football Association a good experience for all involved. I have a number of discussion items as we kickoff the season. They are never meant to embarrass, but only to help improve the officiating and the game of football.

We started this season on a sad note. Two College of the Canyon football players were killed in an auto accident and a Chaffey player was killed in a random shooting. Our thoughts and prayers go out to the families of these athletes, and the coaches and players of their respective colleges.

Congratulations to Fullerton College for reaching the state finals last season. The outcome was not what they wanted, but the experience and memories are most important, and will last forever. The University of Redlands won our local NCAA Div III conference championship. Congrats!

Last season, when the NCAA increased the penalty for "targeting,” the main concern was whether the officials would make the call consistently, or would shy away from the call because of the enhanced penalty. I commend the coaches who taught their players to refrain from illegal hits to the head and neck area and never use the top of the helmet to punish an opponent. Last year, there were 11 targeting calls made in 155 SCFA games, and the commissioner correctly overturned 4 such calls. Congrats to all for making our game safer. These hits will continue to be a point of emphasis.

The NCAA rulebook is now printed for all sports every other season. This was the “off” year for football rule changes. However, there can always be changes made for player safety purposes and editorial reasons. I have spoken to each of the coaches about these changes. One change I would like to address is the position of officials. The two officials on each side of the field will switch to the opposite side after halftime. This will give our coaches an opportunity to meet more officials. The chains will continue to be located opposite the press box for the entire game. Additionally, athletic directors need to be concerned with correct marking of the team area. When the snap is imminent, players and coaches are required to be four and two yards off the field, respectively. The two yards nearest the field of play are for officials’ use only. This is not a rule change, but will be a point of emphasis for officials across the country. A correctly marked field will help enforcement. To prevent injury, and allow officials to be in the proper position, please adhere to this rule.

During the first month of the season, officials and players must concern themselves with heat and dehydration. Many of our facilities have artificial turf. These surfaces have a tendency to increase the on-field temperature by 20 degrees or more. Officials are faced with two choices, hydrate or dehydrate. Doctors have told us that hydrating starts at least two days before the game. I'm asking the athletic directors to instruct the athletic trainers and other attendants to ensure that our officials get plenty of water during games, especially during intermissions and time-outs. In extreme heat conditions, we encourage the crew chiefs to call as many official time-outs as needed for the safety of players and officials.

In addition to the standard sportsmanship form required by the SCFA for coaches and players, this year, Commissioner Jim Sartoris addressed coaches and officials about winning with honor. Simply put, I would suggest teams avoid running up the score, know when the game is over by taking a knee, coach players not to charge across the line in these situations, etc. Win with honor.

Officials do not want to become fashion police; however, they need to enforce the rules. Long streamers hanging off players’ belts, tailbone protectors flopping around, jerseys tied in knots, jerseys not tucked into the pants, face paint, etc., bring down the perception of our game. Notice the very strict regulations put on NFL players, and their appearance. Next time you watch football on Sunday, notice that all players wear long matching socks. In the NCAA, all players of a team must wear socks or leg coverings that are identical in color and design. (Rule 1-4-4-h) We have not been too strict about this rule, but I have asked our game observers and officials to note issues in their respective game reports. I will be contacting the ADs of these programs to clean up uniform issues.

The host institution is responsible for and shall provide the ball persons to assist the game officials for all home games; provided, however, that the visiting institution may utilize its own ball persons upon prior approval by the host institution. Regardless of who assigns the ball persons, their duty shall be making available to the game officials the balls specified by the participating teams. A minimum of four ball persons should be available to work each game, with two stationed on either side of the field. Ball persons will receive game instructions from the Side Judge and the Field Judge 30 minutes prior to each contest at the home team bench area. Please make sure they are on time.

The officials association and the SCFA upgraded our access to HUDL, the video-sharing program used by all of our colleges. Coaches, if your video coordinator lists the SCCFOA to “share” video each week, it will give the commissioner, the crew chiefs (white hats), and me easy access to evaluate officials' performances and helps in training. Coaches were emailed instructions on the process.

I am always looking for a way to keep these weekly community college football bulletins interesting. I will be highlighting a few individuals I have met during my 40+ year involvement with Southern California CC Football. With this kick-off bulletin, I would like to introduce Frank Mazzotta of Cerritos College to anyone who hasn't met him. Coach Mazzotta has been the head coach at Cerritos College for an unbelievable 37 years. His overall record is 229-145-6; but more importantly, under his tutelage, the program has matriculated more than 511 athletes to four-year colleges. The Cerritos sideline is always lively. Coach Mazzotta and game officials have had many discussions over the years. With the new mechanics this year, where officials will switch sides of the field at half-time, Coach Mazzotta will have to remember two extra names each game. He is the perfect example of the dedicated coaches in the SCFA. Can you guess who has the second longest tenure as an SCFA coach? Answer next week.

I would like to wish each of our 37 community college football programs success this season.

"If better is possible, then good is not enough"- Walter Jones (2014 NFL Hall of Famer)

Rich Kollen
Director of Football Operations
Southern California Football Association

2015 SCCFOA - Southern California Collegiate Football Officials Association