From: "Rich Kollen" - email@example.com
Date: Thursday, September 15, 2016
SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA FOOTBALL ASSOCIATION
2016 WEEKLY BULLETIN #3
The SCFA's "Compete with Respect, Sportsmanship, and Integrity" is still a work in progress. I encourage you to view the video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YfcV1ZF11Q4&feature=em-share_video_user
Athletic directors and administrators, please monitor your football teams during games to assure that all players and coaches are living up to the basic principles of the agreement signed by all of them, including without limitation, decorum requirements. Schools will be held responsible for actions of the athletes.
Coaches: Line of Scrimmage (LOS) officials are signaling the position of the widest receiver on their side of the formation. If they have their closest receiver off the LOS, they extend their arm back. The other LOS official will also extend his arm back if his widest player is off. If his closest player is not off the LOS, they acknowledge the other official's signal with a point or tip of the hat.
LOS officials, when we have a play inside the seven, and there is a line to gain before the goal line, after the snap get to that line, not the goal line. The line to gain is important too! In addition, if snapping outside the seven-yard line, and there is a line to gain between the one- and two-yard lines, LOS and deep officials need to discuss in pregame who will take that line to gain, in the event there is a tackle made at that spot. Although the deep official should take plays that end inside the two, if there is a line to gain near that spot, just make sure we communicate with each other as to who will take that spot and the possible first down.
Officials: when you receive an email from me through Arbiter, it is a mass email to over 270 officials. If it does not affect you, there is no need to respond. I appreciate your prompt attention, but you can imagine what 270 responses would do to my sanity if most of them are irrelevant.
When a coach asks a question, the best way to answer him is, "Coach, by rule X..." Please work on this method of communicating with our coaches. "By rule" gets us out of a lot of trouble. Of course, to do this, we have to KNOW the rule! I expect you to know all the rules. I hope that isn't too much to ask.
Jim Tunney, a former high school administrator, NFL referee and noted speaker, writes a weekly article on athletics and society. The following is from one of his recent articles: "First and foremost, officials are at the scene of the action to ensure that the game is played within the established rules and is conducted under fair and equal (as humanly possible) conditions. Second, they are there to maintain the integrity of the game. Third, and not of any lesser importance, is to ensure the best possible safety conditions for players and coaches. And fourth, game officials operate with preventive maintenance, working with (not against) players and coaches. None of the above can be effectively done via video replay. Trust of the human element is essential. Game officials don't create the rules but (and in the most trying conditions of time and movement) ensure that all of the above are held to the highest standard. It has been my privilege to be associated with sports officials for over six decades; thousands of men and women officiate because they love the game. They have no interest in who wins or loses; only that is conducted within the rules. Trusting their judgment and their integrity is vital in sports." I ask all of our players, coaches, ADs, administrators, fans, and other attendees to observe game officials with that in mind. To contact Jim, go to www.jimtunney.com or contact him by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
We need to do a better job assisting each other on catchable passes. The official focusing on a possible DPI should always welcome the opinions of other officials who have observed the action. We are always looking for officials who can step up in order to get the call correct.
Last week we had a Referee stop the clock with time running out (less than 25 seconds) to put the correct team's ball into the game. This gave the team an extra play. Although it is an official's responsibility to get the correct ball into the game, we must use common sense when time is an issue.
Every year a coach asks can if he can run a "tackle-eligible" play. Yes, but to be eligible to catch a pass, numbers must be 1-49, 80-99, and there still needs to be five players numbered 50-79 on the line of scrimmage (except in scrimmage kick formation). No player numbered 50-79 may ever catch a forward pass until it has touched an opponent or an official. (Rule 7-3-11)
We need to be concerned that games are lasting too long. 3:45 for a non-media game is way too long. I have discussed ways to speed up the game with Referees. During pregame and halftime, when the clock reaches 1:00, make sure that the game clock operators reset it to 15:00 to get the teams off the field and ready for kickoff. After a scoring play, it is not a timeout. The intermission after the score shall not be more than one minute. (Rule 3-3-7-h). Get both teams away from the sidelines quickly and be ready for the kick-off. Referees, when the clock is stopped due to a ball carrier going out of bounds (outside of 2:00 minutes in each half), start the clock again when the Umpire has control. You don't have to wait until it is down on the field. On first downs, wind the clock quickly. There is no need to wait for the chains to be set. Once the box is there, get it started. The chains can catch up as long as the box is there. Speed up penalty enforcement. 90% of fouls do not require a conference. We are calling a lot of fouls. Are they all needed? Call the big ones that have a competitive effect on the game! An old adage is to call the train wrecks, and leave the fender-benders alone. Call what NEEDS to be called.
Hopefully I don't have to remind anyone of this rule after this past weekend, but an accepted live ball foul extends any period, with certain exceptions! For instance, if the penalty statement includes "loss of down," and the foul is by the team in possession, then the period is not extended. (Rule 3-2-3-1 excep.)
I do not like to see intentional grounding called on long passes that land in the field of play. Ask yourself, could the receiver have run the wrong pattern? Passers generally don't ground the ball by throwing it downfield and having it land in the field of play. It is a judgement call, but when in doubt, no foul.
I understand that we like to get the ball on a big line for a new series. That is a good habit, and the Umpires especially appreciate it. That said, many coaches, players and fans do not understand this practice and why we do it. So, when you are in a close game, and a coach demands a measurement on a close call (even though you know it is either short or beyond the line to gain because it is short or beyond the big yard line), let's have a PR measurement. This is simply managing the game.
When a difficult situation develops for which you are not prepared, two thoughts will pass through your mind: "this is a chance to screw this up" or "this is a chance to step up and show that I can handle this!" Choose the right approach.
Coaches, equipment personnel and trainers, please help the officials enforce uniform issues. Officials don't write the rules. They simply are tasked with enforcing them. Jerseys must be tucked in. (Rule 1-4-5-a-1). T-shirts may not show beyond the bottom of the jersey. Hip pads are required, with tailbone protectors. (Rule 1-4-4-b) All towels MUST be white. No black towels. (Rule 1-4-6-a) Officials, let's get all this cleaned up. We don't want to be "uniform police," but the rules are specific.
Thank you again for all you do for this great game and our student-athletes. Travel safe!
Good luck this weekend. Safe Travels!
Director of Football Operations
Southern California Football Association