From: "Rich Kollen" - firstname.lastname@example.org
Date: Tuesday, September 01, 2016
SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA FOOTBALL ASSOCIATION
2016 WEEKLY BULLETIN #1
I would like to welcome administrators, coaches, and officials to the 2016 edition of my weekly bulletin. These bulletins are intended to bring together officials, coaches, and administrators, working as a cohesive unit with the sole purpose of making the Southern California Football Association (SCFA), SCIAC (DIV III), and NAIA a good experience for our student-athletes.
This year, over 4,000 student athletes will be given the opportunity to compete in college football at our 37 member community colleges. SCFA provides for five leagues, determined by competitive balance, and evaluated every two years.
Congratulations to Saddleback College for reaching the state finals last year, and also to the University of La Verne for their SCIAC Championship.
Each year, over 250 of our officials gather for six hours of training, where we go over new rules and interpretations, updates on the association, commissioner report, and zero-tolerance policies. This year we had presentations from Gary Reed and Bill McCabe. The theme was communication with coaches. Hopefully, better communication between coaches and officials will make our game better.
A few new rules for 2016: Restricted lineman may not go more than three yards beyond the neutral zone on pass plays when the pass crosses the LOS. We have instructed officials to use the same philosophy as we do with passer being beyond the LOS, the lineman's entire body must be beyond three yards. A player on defense can no longer trip the ball carrier. Tripping against ANY player is now illegal. (Rule 9-1-2-c) When a ball carrier begins to slide feet-first, he is now a defenseless player and the ball is declared dead at its location when the slide begins. He is defenseless for targeting purposes. (Rule 2-27-14) For a scrimmage kick formation, there must be a player at least 10 yards behind the LOS or a kicker and holder at least 7 yards behind the LOS, and it must be obvious that a kick will be attempted. (Rule 2-16-10) With two minutes or less remaining in either half, if the clock stops to enforce a penalty, the offended team has the option to have the clock start on the snap. Remember, the foul must be the only reason the clock stopped, the fouling team must be ahead, and there must be two minutes or less remaining in the half. (Rule 3-4-3) The "free-blocking zone" has been eliminated, and the tackle box remains. Make sure you know the new blocking-below-the-waist rules. (Rule 9-1-6) If a passer in is in the passing posture, any forcible contact at or below the knees is a foul, regardless of whether the tackler was attempting to wrap up. (Rule 9-1-9-b)
Player safety continues to be of utmost importance in college football. Concussion awareness training is needed and given priority. Additionally, sideline control will be enforced. Remember the "white area" is between the sidelines and two yards off the field from the 25 to the 25: No player or coach should be in that area. Contact with an official by a player or coach will result in an immediate 15-yard penalty (no warnings). Administrators need to give field access only to individuals who have a reason to be on the field, and have been cleared and given credentials.
Recently, Rory Natividad, Dean of Health Science/Athletics at El Camino College, gave me a tour of their new $48 million football stadium and athletic complex. The project includes a state-of-the-art football stadium, press box/presidential suite, high speed Wi-Fi throughout, and a modern athletic training room. Also included are locker rooms for football, men's and women's soccer, softball, and baseball, as well as separate audio visual for each sport. This shows the commitment to athletics many of our California community colleges are making. Congratulations to Rory and his staff for this facility. Southwestern, San Bernardino, Alan Hancock, and LA Valley also have new or remodeled facilities. I apologize if I missed any other facility upgrades.
Coaches and administrators: please check Arbiter to ensure that all five home games are listed and that the game times are correct.
The first month of the season contain the hottest days of the year in Southern California. Most trainers are suggesting that all participants (including officials) begin hydrating at least 24 hours prior to kickoff. In addition, officials need to be cognizant and allow extra discretionary time-outs for heat. Safety is priority one!
Our observation program will continue this year under the direction of Dean Crowley and Steve Coover. This program is invaluable in assisting the SCFA with game management and officiating issues. Colleges: please note that the Southern California Collegiate Football Officials Association pays the $50.00 observers' fee you might see on Arbiter.
The NCAA again is tweaking the blocking below the waist rules. Most feel the NCAA would like to eliminate this dangerous block from college football, and make it similar to high school football. The new rule further restricts when a player can block below the waist. I've reviewed it with the coaches, and told them that when they get a freshman student-athlete from California, they have never learned how to block below the waist.
Coaches, equipment staff, trainers, and administrators are reminded that a player's equipment must meet all safety standards and be worn properly. Please ensure that your players know what is required, and how to wear the required equipment. In addition, make sure they notify the staff if a piece of equipment is damaged or goes missing during a game.
When targeting is called on the field, Referees have been instructed to seek out other officials that could have seen the call. This was not done two of our scrimmages and both calls were incorrect. There is a lot of video now available on targeting, officials and coaches are encouraged to watch. Prior to ejecting a player, please make sure at least two officials who saw the action discuss the contact prior to going to the Referee to make the call.
Remember "luck" is simply the intersection of opportunity and preparation. Best of luck to all of you this season. Safe travels, and THANK YOU for your commitment to this great game and our colleges and student-athletes.
Please send me any plays that you think would help the officiating program. Do not be embarrassed. There are no officials who have never made a mistake. The important thing is to learn from them. Even better is to learn from other people's mistakes. Please send me situations from which you think others can benefit. The ultimate goal is for everyone to get better. The game is bigger than your temporary embarrassment. Regardless, I do not name names.
Director of Football Operations
Southern California Football Association