From: "Rich Kollen" - email@example.com
Date: Friday, September 13, 2019
SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA FOOTBALL ASSOCIATION
2019 WEEKLY BULLETIN #2
The games for the first week went fairly well. We still had issues with dressing rooms not being opened after games for officials. There were clock issues in many locations. I have sent our ADs timing information that should help this week with clock operators. Please review.
We have many newer college officials in our association. At this level, the game is so much quicker, players are bigger and stronger, and coaches are more knowledgeable. Seek out constructive criticism from others on the crew. Veteran officials need to be honest if questions are asked. Taking the road of least resistance -"looked ok to me" - will not help anyone improve.
During a scrimmage kick situation, when there is going to be no return (i.e., fair catch, kick out of bounds, or touchback), do everything you can to avoid an illegal block in the back or a holding foul. These are penalties that have nothing to do with the result of the play.
Duplicate numbers on a team are not are illegal, but they can never be in the game at the same time and cannot play the same position. (Rules 1-4-2-b and 9-2-2-d)
Five of our 18 games had a paid observer last week. They are there to watch officials and to comment to the commissioner on general issues. Some of their comments:
Referees need to speed up penalty enforcement
More hustle by the deep officials in closing in after the play ends
Better control of the sidelines
Timing problems reported at many games
Referees must be aware that if a passer's arm is contacted during the throwing motion of a forward pass (the hand moving forward with the ball firmly in the passer's control), the pass is ruled forward even if the ball lands behind the passer. (Rule 2-19-2-b)
A valid fair catch signal is extending one hand clearly above the head and waiving that hand from side to side more than once. (Rule 2-8-2) There is no penalty for an invalid signal, but any signal causes the ball to be dead when caught or recovered. Pointing to the ball with one or two hands is not an invalid fair catch signal, provided the receiver is not waving his hands.
Coaches often inquire about offensive plays/formations/using substitutions to deceive the defense. The rule is clear: the substitution process may not be used to confuse opponents. (Rule 9-2-2-b) Our officials are better trained than the old days where hide-out plays worked. If you use a hide-out play now, it will result in an unsportsmanlike conduct foul, and a 15-yard previous spot penalty.
The SCFA has no formal rule regarding shaking hands after the game. Before the game, coaches should discuss and develop some type of signal that you're shaking or not shaking hands after the game. Officials do not get involved in this discussion. It's between head coaches. When the game is over, the officials should be hustling off the field.
Line Judge and Head Line Judge: work with the tackles on your side to make sure they are on the line of scrimmage. If you're having issues, be sure to communicate with the coach that his tackle is not breaking the line through the snapper's waist. This is an advantage for the tackles.
Celebration fouls are always subjective. This is not the NFL, which is intended as pure entertainment. Our student-athletes are seeing these actions and have been seen performing demeaning acts towards their opponents. From the NCAA football officiating manual:Remember that the game is one of high emotions played by gifted young adults who are affirmed by playing a game in which they are exceptionally talented.Do not be overly technical in applying the rule. Do allow for a brief spontaneous emotional reaction at the end of a play.Let's get the BIG acts, or anything clearly choreographed with teammates.
We need to continuously work on speeding up penalty enforcements. When there is a contact penalty by the offense behind the line of scrimmage against an opponent (not against the ball), the basic spot is the previous spot (unless in Team A's end zone). (Rule 10-2-2-b)
Directional streamers are legal if attached to the top of the uprights. (Rule 1-2-5-c) (My favorites are the directional streamers on the top of the uprights in indoor stadiums.)
If the play clock expires, and the coach or a player calls timeout at around the same time, grant the timeout. This is true even if there is already a penalty flag down (if the timeout request was close to the same time as the expiration of the play clock).
I need to warn officials each year that what you say to a coach can always be misquoted and/or misinterpreted. A coach has already reported a comment an official made regarding a simple question. Remember, silence can never be misquoted. Don't stop communicating, but remain 100% professional. When discussing rules in depth with a coach, make sure to have two officials present.
The heat is expected to return this weekend, and since most of our games are played on artificial turf, which raises the temperature 15-20 degrees, be sure to start hydrating early in the week.
Determining when forward progress has been stopped is always difficult. One key is when we have a lot of players pushing the pile. One-on-one situations can be played out, but once a pile starts going backwards, progress has been stopped. If the pile is moving forward, progress has not been stopped. A player should not fumble while going backwards in a pile.
"You FAIL all of the time. But you aren't a FAILURE until you start blaming someone else." Bum Phillips
As always, thanks for all you do, and safe travels! Keep sending in those plays.
Director of Football Operations