Kollen Bulletin

From: "Rich Kollen" - dayofgame@aol.com
Subject: SCCFOA
Date: Thursday, September 08, 2011



This is a quick and simple look at the most important line in football, the goal line. A family anecdote about this line: My mother and father came to this county never having seen a football game. In attendance at my first football game, they kept hearing people around them talking about goal lines and goal posts. Finally, they asked the other people what they were talking about? They saw neither gold lines nor gold posts.

     -The line measures 53yds 4 inches, 4 inches wide, stretching between the pylons.
     -ESPN will capture many videos of players diving, stretching for the line; replay cameras take additional looks and players celebrate when crossing the line.
     -To score a TD, a team must get any part of the ball across their opponent's goal line. Coming out of the end zone, to avoid a possible safety the entire ball must be out!
     -The goal line is a plane from the field to the heavens.
     -One of the worst things can happen on the field is when a runner fumbles the ball into the end zone and it rolls out of bounds there. The team not only doesn't score, but it loses the ball!
     -The goal can be extended out of bounds if a runner gets the ball over the extended line, but the player must able to touch any body part in the end zone or contact the pylon with any body part.
     -If you celebrate before going in to the end zone, you now lose the score
     -For additional information watch SportsCenter on Saturdays and Sundays for the next three months.

I commend the many officials who took the test again to improve their scores. I am happy to report that all officials taking the second test did much better.

Observers' and coaches' reports were very positive after the first week of games. Coaches continue to ask about the new blocking below the waist rule. Some Referees are pointing to the back who does not meet the completely within the tackle box requirement. This could be a good mechanic and we will discuss during the next Referee conference call. I also heard many positive comments on our new uniforms.

Back to basics (all reported last week)

     -HL removed the clip when he moved the chains. Of course, there was a late-reported penalty on the play, requiring the chains to return to the previous spot. Please keep the chain clip on until the next series starts. Use two clips if possible!
     -Referees, when there is no stadium microphone and the crew has decided to pick up a flag, we need to communicate this to the fans, coaches and press box by waiving the flag over your head three times.
     -The only time we blow a play dead for a player losing his helmet is when the runner's helmet comes COMPLETELY off. Remember, the clock doesn't stop (unless for a first down or other administrative reason).
     -Teams watch too much Sunday football and think bringing a kicking ball is OK. Officials are in charge of what balls are used. Do not let the kicker bring the Umpire a ball. All balls should be able to be used for any down. There is no “kicking” ball.
     -We should not have to delay the start of a game for an equipment card. This must be done before or during the warm-up time on the field.
     -When the ball becomes dead between the sidelines and the top of the numbers and the line to gain is in question, spot the ball at that point. Move the ball to the hash mask only after a measurement or the Referee indicates a first down. If short, take the chains with you to the hash marks to spot the ball for the next down.
     -On a kickoff, if the receiver catches the ball with one foot inbounds and one out of bonds, we have a free kick out of bounds, a penalty.

This looks like a very hot Saturday. Therefore, start hydrating today. Having a bottle of water immediately before the game will not suffice.

Over the years, our judgment relating to forward progress and when to blow the play dead has been inconsistent. We have all seen a runner being controlled, restricted and being driven 4/5/8 yards backward by multiple opponents and there is no whistle declaring the ball dead. At our level of college football, nothing good happens when officials allow this action. The key criteria to apply to this situation is when there two or more players "obviously controlling" a runner or the runner's "reasonable opportunity" to progress toward the opponent's goal line or continue the play in a positive manner has ended, we need the end the play. This will prevent tempers from escalating and cheap fumbles. Let's discuss this at your next pre-game and work toward getting everyone on the same page. In addition, make sure to give a runner all the progress he has earned. Studies show that players are shorted on forward progress much more often than they are given too much progress.

Coaches, please know that I have been trying to get on Hudl to view your videos; however, their support staff is having issues.


Rich Kollen
Director of Football Operations
Southern California Football Association

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