Get Ready for Fall 2021

From: "Rich Kollen" -
Subject: SCCFOA
Date: Thursday, September 05, 2019



I would like to welcome everyone to the new football season. Much like the past few seasons, this season is starting out with a lot of discussion on making the game safer for the student-athletes. It is being said that the game is under attack and its rules and enforcements need to clean up the game and make it safer. The NCAA rules committee has gone to a two-year cycle. This year, no new playing rules are permitted. The only changes allowed are related to safety.

I enjoy writing these weekly bulletins to help the average (and not-so-average) fan, AD, official, coach and others better understand college football rules. I attempt to keep it simple and not go too deep into the "weeds." NCAA football rules, enforcements, mechanics, etc., can get very complex. I want to try to make it as easy as possible. I base these bulletins on plays I hear about (or that are sent to me) from our coaches and officials. As always, they are not intended to embarrass anyone. They are intended solely to make us all better.

The Southern California Football Association (SCFA) is made up of 37 California community colleges divided into five conferences. 2018 saw the following conference champions: Canyons, El Camino, Riverside, Chaffey, San Bernardino, and Allan Hancock. Ventura College advanced during the playoffs to represent the south in the state finals. Claremont-Mudd-Scripps/Redlands tied for the Div. III, SCIAC Championship. Many of our officials worked those games. Congratulations to all the teams, student-athletes, coaches and officials.

College football is celebrating its sesquicentennial (that's 150 years). Collegiate football players and officials will all be wearing patches to celebrate the anniversary. The NFL celebrates 100 years. For your information, California community college football started around 1912.

The following are some new safety changes that affect us at the community college level:
On the third targeting call on the same player in a season, he must sit out the entire next game. That suspension carries over if it is during the last game of the season against a player with remaining eligibility. (Rules 9-1-3 and 9-1-4 PENALTY description)
Beginning with the fifth series of overtime, each team's possession series will consist of one play for a two-point try from the three-yard line (unless relocated by penalty). (Rule 3-1-3-e)
Blocking a player with forcible contact from the blind side is now a personal foul, carrying a 15-yard penalty. Most high schools have had this rule for years, so it should hopefully come as no surprise to most players. In general, open-handed blocks are usually not "forcible." (Rule 9-1-18)
The illegal wedge block during free kicks has been changed from three to two players. If two or more members of the receiving team intentionally form a wedge for the purpose of blocking for the ball carrier, it is a live-ball foul, whether or not there is contact. Note that there is no foul if it is from an obvious onside kick formation, or if the play results in a touchback, free kick out of bounds or a fair catch. The signal for this is S27 (UNS), but it is not charged to a specific player for disqualification purposes. (Rule 6-1-10) Let's not go searching for this penalty. If it isn't taught, it likely won't be a problem.
Last year the NCAA wanted officials to strictly enforce the rule requiring kneepads to actually cover the knee. Our officials worked diligently for the 10 weeks reminding players that kneepads must cover the knee. In 2019, the NCAA has indicated that the kneepad must at least touch the top of the knee. I guess the only thing that will not meet the new rule is biker shorts. We aren't the uniform police, but we do have rules. We don't write them; we just enforce them. (Rule 1-4-4-d)

If a player's helmet comes off, he must quit playing immediately. If he continues to play (past the immediate action), it is a 15-yard personal foul penalty. In addition, such player must leave the game for one play, unless the helmet came off directly due to foul. A charged timeout by his team will buy him back into the game. (Rules 9-1-17 and 3-3-9-a)

Starting in the fall of 2019, we will have 18 full-time crews in our organization. This is quite an accomplishment, not done anywhere else in the state, and probably not anywhere in the nation. FYI, the NFL only has 17 crews. The crews have a crew chief (white hat) that provides the leadership so desperately needed during game management. The white hat has the microphone, but all officials have their jobs to do. Do your job!

- College football officials used red penalty flags until about the early 1970's. The reason for the change to yellow? Better visibility on TV.
- During the NFL players' strike of 1982, CBS broadcasted a Sunday nationally televised small college game between Occidental College and the University of San Diego.
- Bakersfield College annually hosted the Potato Bowl from 1947- 2005. The game had crowds of 18,000-20,000 and supported the Shiners charities. Bakersfield College officials tell me it was a great football atmosphere. Lots of tailgating, cheering and nice crowds. We are privileged to have Bakersfield College host our State Championship game for the next two years.

Last May, we lost Dean Crowley, a long-time commissioner of the CIF and later Foothill Conference. He was a Division I football official and continued to help our association in the evaluation of officials and training. Dean will be missed. He was truly one of the good ones, and he did so much for Southern California football over the years.

Coaches/officials, please help me keep these bulletins fresh by emailing me play situations that will help us all better understand the rules of this great game of college football.

"Finally, I challenge officials to look at every play in every game as another opportunity to excel." - Rogers Redding, National Coordinator of NCAA Football Officials

Safe travels, and thank you for all you do! These student-athletes deserve our best.

Rich Kollen
Director of Football Operations