Kollen Bulletin

From: "Rich Kollen" - dayofgame@aol.com
Subject: SCCFOA
Date: Thursday, September 11, 2008


From most reports, the first week's games went well. There were a few concerns from coaches and administrators.

TIMING RULE: The new timing rule is confusing the coaches, and will continue to do so for the next few weeks. The official closest to the head coach should inform him when the Referee will be winding the clock after a runner goes out of bounds, fumbles, etc. Communication on this will help the coaches, and will make us look a lot better in their eyes.

Referees, please go over the new timing rules with your coaches prior to the game. When a runner goes out of bounds, try to remind the coaches that we will be winding on the ready-for-play (if outside of 2:00 in the half). It is understandable that it will take the coaches a few weeks to adjust. Remember, if a play ends with the clock showing 2:00 in each half we will wind; 1:59 we will not wind.

WHISTLES: As discussed at the clinic, coaches and players need a whistle to end every play. Although I (personally) don't always agree with that, I have been fighting a losing battle over the years. I hope that someone on the crew will blow a whistle after every play, only after the play is CLEARLY over. Coaches tell me it will help with dead-ball officiating. Remember our new rules. In 2008, your hand up in the air is a signal that also kills the play. Simply be careful to not have an inadvertent whistle, OR "inadvertent raising of hand".

LOCATION ON FIELD: Over the years there has been many discussions on catch/no-catch when a receiver comes down in the field of play or the end zone. We must have consistency on these plays among all officials. Receivers must maintain control after striking the ground to have a catch. Remember, this is true in the field of play, end zone or near a sideline. There is no difference in the rule based on where the play happens. When in doubt? Incomplete.

KICK OFF MECHANICS: With the new kickoff mechanic, the Referee is the only official that is in a position to enforce the rule requiring 4 players on each side of the kicker.

CALL THE BIG ONES: Remember, fouls must show up on the coach's video. Make the BIG call that everyone can see and requires a flag. Unless related to safety, the foul should have a significant affect on the play. There's nothing worse than a play running downfield with a flag being thrown 30 yards away. No phantom calls. If you think it was a foul, it should not be called. Usually, a "no-call" is the best call we can make. All that said, safety-related calls NEED to be called.

COMMUNICATION: This comes up year-after-year. When a coach calls me to complain, it usually begins with a story about the call. However, not surprisingly, it almost never ends there. The real complaint is about the official's attitude, lack of communication, lack of respect, etc. I almost always hear, "he wouldn't talk to me." I'll keep saying it every year with the hope that eventually I won't have to say it anymore. PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE help me in 2008. Communicate. It will help me receive fewer complaints, and is one of the most important things (in addition to the obvious rule knowledge and philosophical approach) that can help all of you progress in your officiating careers.

FROM THE GREAT NEWS PILE: I received the following email from a coach: "Rich, I thought I would write this email to let you know how helpful the officials were throughout the game. As you know, I am a first year head coach and have heard nothing but horror stories about officials. I believe that this is not true. The officials working our game went out of their way to be professional and very helpful. I understand officials have a very difficult job and never get any positive feedback, but this crew deserves a pat on the back. Once again, thank you for having professional people working for you and taking care of the players and the game." As with the coaches who complain, I will not name this coach, but I hope to get emails from all the coaches to the same extent this year. (Wishful thinking with some of our coaches, to be sure, but it's something to strive for.)

PHILOSOPHY!!! I watched a play on video from last weekend which was ruled as a catch-fumble. When I called the official who made the ruling, he told me the play was "bang-bang." Please know our philosophies. BANG-BANG plays should always be ruled incomplete. Will the defensive coach complain? Probably, but we can always sell that call. If in doubt, the receiver did NOT have possession. Incomplete pass. Keep the play from getting too messy.

PROFESSIONALISM: An Athletic Director called me to complain that the officials left their dressing room in a mess. I was terribly embarrassed. Let's make life as easy as possible for these administrators. Their lives are hard enough as it is. Let's be adults and clean up our messes.

Good luck this week!


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