From: "Rich Kollen" - firstname.lastname@example.org
Date: Friday, September 18, 2009
SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA COLLEGIATE FOOTBALL OFFICIALS ASSOCIATION
2009 WEEKLY BULLETIN #3
As we prepare for this week's games, please take a moment to honor the life of the Orange County high school football player who died on the field last Friday night. From the media reports, he loved the game of football, exercised daily and was a healthy eater. God has a way of bringing us all back to the important things in life. This young man played for the love of the game. Had he not died on the field, he would be like so many other student-athletes, without ever having a story written in the paper about his touchdowns or stats. As coaches and officials, I ask you all to remember football is a game that teaches us all more about the game of life.
Here are some situations from recent games. Hopefully we can all learn from them.
1. After an unsportsmanlike conduct foul, the Referee lost focus and awarded a first down. On the next down the Line Judge stepped up and advised the Referee that the penalty should not have resulted in an automatic first down, and the crew corrected the situation. Great job by the Line Judge to stop play when he saw something that didn’t seem right. Unsportsmanlike conduct fouls never carry an automatic first down. (BTW: If I can report my own errors, please put your egos aside and do the same to make it a learning situation for everyone.)
2. We have had too many problems with clock operators and chain crews this season. Athletic Directors and site administrators, please understand how important clock operators and chain crews are to a smoothly-run game. Officials, please take extra time when instructing these people before this week’s games. Begin instructing these people immediately upon taking the field (if available).
3. A question came up this past weekend from a head coach: Can a #50-79 ever catch a pass? Answer: Technically yes. Although we all consider a “pass” to constitute a forward pass, technically a backward pass is still a pass. A #50-79 can catch a backward pass. In addition, a player ineligible by number (i.e., #50-79) can catch a forward pass after it has been touched by B. or an official However, a #50-79 can NEVER catch a forward pass that is untouched by B. There is no such thing as a player “declaring” to be eligible. That is a Sunday rule.
4. Once the game is over, leave the field quickly as a crew. Please wait until you enter the locker room before congratulating the other officials on the crew’s performance. Coaches and spectators seeing this could misinterpret these actions.
5. On a couple of game reports, chop blocks were discussed with references to blocking zones, rectangles, 5yd long, etc. Please remember that a chop block can happen ANYWHERE on the field and is always a foul, even in the blocking zone. A chop block is any high-low or low–high block with or without a delay ANYWHERE on the field. (Rule 2-3-3) Referees, please discuss this at the next pre-game.
6. I must commend all the officials on the communication with coaches. The coaches continuously comment on the improved communication. That said, I have been informed of a few instances in which officials felt it necessary to explain calls to a coach after a heated game. Once the game is over, please leave the field quickly and return to your locker room. Your jurisdiction has ended. It is not the time or place to have a discussion with the coaches or any players. The last thing we need is a heated discussion on the field or in a team’s locker room.
7. There seems to be some misunderstanding about the enforcement of dead-ball fouls. During a dead-ball period, if there are dead-ball fouls against both teams, the fouls offset, the down established before the fouls occurred is unaffected, and the penalties are canceled. (Rule 10-5-1) The question lies in what happens if there are two dead-ball fouls against A and only one against B? Does A’s second foul get enforced separately. Answer: NO! The rule states that when there are dead-ball fouls against both teams, the fouls offset. It doesn’t matter if there are ten against A and one against B. Keep things simple. It may not seem equitable, but it is the rule.
8. Officials continue to arrive late to games. This is unacceptable! We have all lived in Southern California long enough to know the unpredictability of traffic. There is no excuse for being late. Referees should be emailing you each week with the time to arrive for the pre-game conference. If you cannot make it on time, I will find you a replacement. Remember that we need to be on the field 45 minutes before kickoff. “If you’re not going to be on time...BE EARLY.” John Wooden
9. If you throw a flag, don't pick it up until the penalty has been enforced. We don't want to lose this point of reference should the crew need to confirm a penalty spot. It is a good practice for another official to stay with the flag until the calling official and return to pick up the flag.
10. Referees, please discuss the kickoff mechanics with your crews this weekend. There are many ways to cover the kickoff. Simply be sure that someone is coving all areas of receivers since they normally commit the fouls. Also be especially aware of kickers blocking low to break up the wedge. Remember, low blocks are illegal on scrimmage kick downs and kickoffs.
11. In order to speed up the game, put the ball in play immediately when the Back Judge gives the kicker the ball. Back Judge, inform the kicker that he has 25 seconds to kick the ball, and run to the sideline. You should have plenty of time to get back to the sideline before the kick. There is hardly ever a situation in which we should have a delay of game on a kickoff.
Remember, there are times in life when we face a "set back," or get knocked down or just want to give up. But as Frank Sinatra sings in his epic That's Life, "many times I wanted to quit, but my heart just wouldn't buy it." And that's what it really is - HEART!
Director of Football Operations
Southern California Football Association