Get Ready for Fall 2022

From: "Rich Kollen" -
Subject: SCCFOA
Date: Thursday, September 16, 2021



With week two in the books, and only one game postponed last week due to COVID, things are looking good. Many of our colleges’ fans are back on campus. Hopefully, we are on our way to the new normal! There was an interesting play last week and we can all learn from it. A defensive player is focused, with his eyes on the ball carrier. The offensive blocker uses his arms and hands and extends with a violent shove at the side of the defender. A flag was thrown for an illegal blindside block. By rule, if the blocker uses his arms and hands and extends, it is not considered a blindside block because it is not “forcible contact.” Rule 9-1-18.

Let’s continue to work hard on coaching players out of trash-talking and unsportsmanlike acts. Many times, a strong statement, such as “knock the crap off,” is better than the foul, and has the same desired effect going forward.

We had a couple of chop blocks called last week by our line of scrimmage officials. Wing officials should concentrate on the man at the end of the line of scrimmage. Ask yourself how the ball carrier turned the corner. If possible, leave the chop blocks to the Umpires, whose responsibility is tackle to tackle, which is usually where chop blocks happen. I’m not saying not to call the obvious chop blocks, but don’t go fishing for them.

When there is discussion on the field, there’s a lot going on in the Referee’s head. He is thinking about enforcement, what team fouled, what if a coach asks a question, etc. If you can insert credible information into a discussion, please do so. That said, do not come in and open up a can of doubts that only serve to further confuse the Referee and the crew.

There’s an old saying that you can call holding on every play. At our level of college football, we need to avoid marginal holding calls. Let’s look for takedowns, twist and turns, and make holding BIG. If a player doesn’t go to the ground, and the hold was not at the point of attack helping the runner get free, let’s stay away from them. Call the MUST haves, not the COULD haves.

In my last bulletin, we discussed shortening games with mutual agreement from both coaches. Last weekend, a coach informed me that his halftime was shortened to 15 minutes. The length of halftime is a safety issue, and I cannot defend the action of the officials. Halftime can only be shortened BEFORE the game by mutual agreement of the administrations of both schools. Rule 3-2-1-b. If you haven’t been informed by me of a shortened halftime before the game, you can assume that halftime must be 20 minutes. We are doing a very good job recognizing substitutions coming on late and officials are correctly putting up the iron cross, both arms extended. As soon as the Referee recognizes the substitution and he puts up his iron cross, there’s no need for other officials to continue to show the cross. At this point the Referee and the Umpire will work together to get the snap off legally. Once the Referee recognizes the substitution, it is in his hands.

Just remember that ALL live ball fouls by B on a play that ends behind the line of scrimmage are enforced at the previous spot. Rule 10-2-2-d-1(a). This is the basic spot. We had a play this week where two defenders were rushing the punter to attempt to block the scrimmage kick. The ball was tipped by one of the players, and the other player ran over the kicker. This was correctly flagged by the crew. By rule, to avoid a foul for roughing or running into the kicker, the person making contact with the kicker must be the one who touched the ball. Great job on the field getting the play correct. Rule 9-1-16-a-7.

Remember, when a player’s helmet comes completely off through play, the game clock must be stopped at the end of the down. That player must leave for the next down, unless the helmet came off as a result of a foul. The player may remain in the game if their team is granted a charged timeout. Rule 3-3-9-a. We can’t simply instruct a player to leave the field without stopping the clock and informing him and his coaches. There is no excuse for starting a play with 10 players because we sent off a player and didn’t inform the coaches.

I would like to commend the coaches, as there has been a reduction in targeting fouls in the first two weeks. At the national level, it seems like there is an increase, but our coaches are teaching our student-athletes proper blocking and tackling techniques. Keeping the head up is always the safest way for players making the hit. Lowering the head and using the crown of the helmet is the most common targeting foul. Rule 9-1.3

Weinstein on Communication: Officials are not 7 one-person crews. Crews need to work to communicate amongst themselves, as do offensive and defensive teams. We are really one of three teams on the field, and just like the offense and defense have to communicate among themselves and back each other up, so do officials. Foul information, penalty enforcement and coach’s questions are all critical to this communication. Other important crew communication issues are the correct down and ball placement. In addition, communicate to help with player alignment to avoid an unnecessary foul.

Congratulations to former Mt. SAC football coach Donte Williams, who was named interim head football coach at USC. Donte was the secondary coach on the 2009 Mt SAC National Championship team.

Due to COVID, athletic eligibility rules were relaxed. 3,284 college student-athletes who have already earned their undergraduate degrees will be playing college football this fall while pursuing second diplomas.

I pray not for victory, but to do my best.

Rich Kollen
Director of Football Operations