Kollen Bulletin

From: "Rich Kollen" - dayofgame@me.com
Subject: SCCFOA
Date: Thursday, September 05, 2013



I would like to welcome everyone to the new football season. This season is starting out with a lot of discussion on making the game safer for the student-athletes. The theme of player safety is also a big issue with the NFL, resulting in the recent lawsuits by many ex-players and a recent settlement between the NFL and the NFLPA. Many say the game is under attack and its rules and enforcements need to clean up the game or legislators and college administrators will be forced to change it. Announcers will now start to use terms we've been using for years, such as targeting, defensiveness players, and crown of the helmet. The NCAA rules committee has not changed any rules already in place related to targeting (except by adding some players to the definition of "defenseless"), but has added additional penalties. If a player is flagged for these hits, the penalty will be disqualification for the game if it happens in the first half. If it occurs in the second half, the player will also sit out the first half of the next game. Officials have been studying video in order to ascertain what qualifies for these fouls and the devastating consequences related to them. The rules committee has made it clear that these rules must be enforced.

The rule book defines targeting as "taking aim at an opponent for the purposes of attacking with an apparent intent that goes beyond making a legal tackle or a legal block or playing the ball." It is this intentional act of players through very specific actions that we want to work to eliminate from the game.

I often hear coaches and officials talking about helmet-to-helmet contact. Incidental contact to the head/helmet is going to occur at times, and we have to be able to recognize and not overreact to something that does not meet the spirit and intent of the targeting rules. A tip for coaches is to teach players to keep their heads up and target low when making contact with their opponent.

"Because the penalty is so severe, officials have been given a mechanical tool to encourage communication on the field. Any official who has a flag for targeting is required to have direct, verbal communication with at least one other official prior to reporting the targeting foul to the Referee. Rarely does true targeting occur in which there are not multiple views of the event, as these do not happen spontaneously, but are clearly telegraphed by the actions of players. By requiring this interaction on the field, we want to be sure we are encouraging the type of communication that is important to our being sure that this rule is properly enforced." Walt Anderson, Big 12 Coordinators of Officials.

Looking back at the 2012 season, I want to congratulate Bakersfield College for winning the California State Championship and California Lutheran University for winning the SCIAC. The University of Redlands also qualified for the NCAA Div III playoffs in 2012. The State Championship game, Bakersfield vs. College of San Francisco, was played in front of over 12,000 fans in Bakersfield. Our 37 community colleges in the SCFA are all to be congratulated for the high level of play last year. As proof of the talent level in SCFA, there were two first- and second-round NFL draft choices that have competed in our programs. Larry Allen, who played at Butte Community College in Northern California, has been inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Most importantly, 78% of our California Community College student-athletes have matriculated to four-year colleges.

I have advocated for many years that officials blow their whistle at the end of every play. In the past, officials have been reluctant to blow the whistle out of fear of the inadvertent whistle. Coaches have coached players to play to the whistle; so late hits on plays without a whistle were hard to defend. The new philosophy on whistles will help our game. Please blow whistles at the end of plays.

    A few good communication tips for coaches when addressing officials this season.
  • "Can you watch for holding on #72?" is a good question.
  • "If you are not going to call holding tonight, just let me know" is bad communication.
  • "Can you check #81? He pushing off my linebacker." - good question.
  • "Call it both ways" - implies officials are favoring one team - bad communication

    Officials' preparation for Saturday's first kickoff should start early in the week. We are no different than the players - it's been a long off-season and anticipation for the first kickoff is peaking. Temperatures will be high. Last year we had officials who went down in games during the first four hot weeks. Here are a few tips:
  • Get yourself in the best shape possible to start the season.
  • Start to hydrate on Thursday. Limit caffeine and consume more water and sports drinks.
  • Food is energy. You need to eat on game day. I don't eat anything heavy for breakfast, and I bring something to eat at halftime: protein bar or energy gel pack. Some guys even bring the ingredients and make peanut butter and jelly sandwiches.

Athletic administrators are trying to make your game day at their college a positive experience. You can help by having a W-9 form already printed out when you get to the college. It is available at irs.gov. If they are on Ref Pay, be sure you have signed up correctly before you call the college. Thank them for drinks/snacks they make available. Leave the dressing facilities cleaner than you found them.

The SCFA will be providing "vests" for members of the chain crew. These are professional vests with the SCFA logo and will make our game look much more professional. Speaking of sidelines and game management, our AD's need to start with the first game keeping sidelines clear of fans, ex-players, and boosters. This will make it better for officiating and protect our schools from liability issues.

As we start the season always remember how lucky we are to be a part of the great game of football. Last March we lost Greg Willard to cancer. Greg was 54 years old and at the peak of his career as a NBA official. Greg started his officiating career as a community college football, basketball and baseball official. I feel Greg also had the ability to become an NFL or MLB official. His local assistance to young officials and his community will be missed. Good luck this week and this season. Let's make it the best yet!

Rich Kollen
Director of Football Operations
Southern California Football Association

2015 SCCFOA - Southern California Collegiate Football Officials Association