Kollen Bulletin

From: "Rich Kollen" - dayofgame@aol.com
Subject: SCCFOA
Date: Thursday, September 15, 2011



After all the 9/11 events last weekend, we should take a moment to thank all of our military and first responders who put their lives on the line every day to protect us and our country, states, counties and cities. It is because of them that we are each able to enjoy football every weekend. Thank you to these everyday heroes.

First time in my memory that we had a game canceled because of lighting. Bob YoakumÕs crew handed it correctly, right out of the rulebook. Bob explained the lighting rule to game management and properly let both AD's make the decision on waiting out the strikes before the cancellation. Great job Bob and crew!

Last Monday was a celebration of life for Don Wilson. Don was a PAC-8 football official, college football assignor and commissioner. For those of you who knew him, you can attest to his love and dedication to the game of football. He was a great man and will be missed. Our success is greatly dependent on those who came before us.

Getting all officials on the same page in regards to judgment, philosophy, game management and mechanics is difficult. I get emails and calls all the time wanting a black-and-white answer to any game situation you can imagine. Many times, this is impossible. Our officials are all different. However, the SCCFOA training gives you the tools to get in the best position and the insight to correctly make these judgment calls. Take as an example the new rule on unsportsmanlike conduct as a live ball foul. Our philosophy is as follows: taunting, one inch before the TD, is a live ball foul canceling the score; on celebration, when in doubt, it is a dead ball foul and the TD counts. There is obviously no bright line rule. We simply have the philosophies to help us get it right. You are expected to have a good feel for the game and manage this as any other judgment call. Evaluate the act, game situation, the effect the call has on the game and other situations before ruling. Referees, in your pre-games this week, please work on getting your crew consistent on this call.

The following are situations from the first two weeks from which we can all learn:

Vests and/or a second jersey worn concurrently during a game are prohibited. No penalty. Just send the player out of the game and donÕt allow him to participate with it. Report it on the game report.

I know we all want to believe that college students are smart enough to not make a mistake on the coin toss. They are, but players get nervous. Never allow a team to elect to "kick" after winning the toss unless you have explained it to them and tried hard to get them to Òdefer.Ó I find it impossible to believe that any team would want to kick-off to start both halves. Help the athletes out.

In watching games, I am noticing too many two-handed shoves by players immediately after the ball is dead and on the passer after a pass. These two-handed shoves that result in a player going to the ground need to be treated the same as a late hit. Passing on these calls only leads to problems later.

Umpires, during kicking downs, you need to remind the defensive players lining up over the center to "lay off the center." They need to know you are watching for roughing the snapper. This simple technique of preventive officiating can help keep the kicking game clean.

Keep working on your substitution mechanics. Coaches are now picking up on these signals. Although this is still relatively new at our level, it is a great pre-snap routine to get into. Let's be consistent. If A substitutes, signal that substitution and give B time to match-up, if they wish. (See Rule 3-5-2-e)

Remember our philosophy on 12 men on the field. If either team has 12 on the field and the snap is imminent or occurring, shut the play down (even if immediately after the snap). This is an illegal substitution. Remember, if a player's next step takes him off the field, our philosophy is that he is off.

Remember the differences between NFHS and NCAA rules with regard to holders. In our rules, a holder can hand off or pass while on his knee, or rise to fake the kick. The only rule is that a kicker must either simulate a kick or be in position to kick the ball. (See Rule 4-1-3-b Exception)

This year, every player can wear a towel. There are no more limitations on the number of towels. The towels must be white, maximum size of 4" by 12", and may have a team logo but no other words, symbols, letters or numbers. (See Rule 1-4-6-a)

Remember that fumble or forward pass by a passer is the Referee's call only. We had a situation in which a passer rolled out to the HL side of the field, and fumbled (open hand). Referee ruled fumble, and HL ruled incomplete pass. Please remember your keys and your calls. Everyone gets paid the same amount. You donÕt have to make their calls for them. In the same light, Referees are the sole arbiter on intentional grounding. Flanks should give the Referee any information they deem important (ball didn't reach the LOS and there was no eligible receiver in the area), but the ultimate decision-maker is the Referee.

Some of our more experienced coaches still permit a hide-out play. Keep it simple. Any time the offense uses a substitution to deceive the defense, it is a foul. If the defense matches up, and the play is unsuccessful, use common sense. Talk to the head coach and warn him that hide-out plays will be penalized. (See Rule 9-2-2-b)

Our concept on developing crews a few years ago has proven successful. The virtual crews are still a work in progress and I commend the Referees and officials who have bought into this new program. Crews will always take on the character and personality of the Referee. Some crew members are good fits, and some are not. Referees will be discussing crew development this week on a special conference call. Thank you to Bill McCabe for running this call. Bill has extensive experience as a crew chief, Division I supervisor and corporate executive. He knows how to lead others.

Good luck this week. Thank you to all of our officials and administrators for making the CFOA a great experience for our student-athletes.

John Wooden on character: "Talent is God-given; be humble. Fame is man-given; be grateful. Conceit (being a legend in your own mind) is self-given; be careful."

Rich Kollen
Director of Football Operations
Southern California Football Association

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