From: "Rich Kollen" - email@example.com
Date: Thursday, September 25, 2008
Southern California Collegiate Football Officials Association
Week 4 Bulletin
Once again, thank you for your hard work this past weekend. Things have been going very well this season. Keep up the good work. Please use this bulletin for its intended use: to make us all better officials. Please continue to focus on every play, make the big calls only, and continue to communicate.
First Conference Call
This past Monday night, we had our first Referee/Observer conference call. I was able to share with the Referees some concerns from the coaches and the Observers. Our next Referee/Observer conference call will be Sunday, October 5th at 8:00 p.m. I will discuss some of the discussion items from the call in later bulletins.
From Jim Blackwood, WAC Coordinator of Officials (note that this is also the SCCFOA procedure): When there is an injury timeout, especially if an extended time, players are allowed to go to their sidelines to confer with coaches. Coaches and trainers who come onto the field are allowed to attend to the injured player only. When they are finished doing that, they need to return to the sideline. If a coach feels the need to discuss something with an uninjured player during an injury timeout, it must be done at the sideline. Coaches are not allowed to coach uninjured players while attending to an injured player.
The ability to communicate with players should not be abused by coaches. We as officials need to understand the rules, but also need to know that there are appropriate and professional ways to handle this situation. Do not let coaches break the rules, but enforce them professionally, using common sense.
New National Mechanics Change
The personal foul signal (#38) should now be given before the following: roughing the passer, face mask, horse collar tackle (Referee should also signal a horse collar tackle by grabbing the collar), roughing the kicker/snapper/holder, and chop block. These are all serious fouls, and the personal foul signal should be used to emphasize their seriousness.
Protection of Defenseless Player
The following are situations in which defenseless players are susceptible to serious injury. They are all major points of emphasis for 2008. Please remember them, and enforce them accordingly.
· The quarterback who has handed or pitched the ball to a teammate, and then makes no attempt to participate further in the play
· The kicker who is in the act of kicking the ball, or who has not had a reasonable length of time to regain his balance following the kick
· The passer who is in the act of throwing the ball, or who has not had a reasonable length of time to participate in the play after releasing the ball
· The pass receiver who has clearly relaxed when the pass is no longer catchable
· The kick receiver whose attention is on the downward flight of the ball
· The kick receiver who has just touched the ball
· The player who has relaxed once the ball has become dead
Remember that these players are all in a very vulnerable position, and are more susceptible to injury. We must make every effort to protect them within the rules.
If a runner approaches the pylon marking the goal line, and there is an explosion (ball/player/pylon) in the process of getting tackled near the sideline, don't nitpick. It is a touchdown. We are not good enough to mark it at the 6-inch line, and we have no replay to tell us if we're right or wrong. Chances are, it is a touchdown anyway. Remember, the pylon is in the end zone!
Rule 9-1-2 Exception 1(a) makes it a foul to block a player from behind at or below the knees, even in the rectangular area. Many of us improperly refer to this area as the free-blocking or clipping zone. Please be aware that even in this zone a player may not block from behind at or below the knees. Watch for these low, dangerous and illegal blocks.
We have had many sideline interference calls this season. I commend you for enforcing this rule, as it helps all flank officials do their jobs freely. However, use common sense. I received a Sunday morning call from a coach about a sideline interference call on a ball snapped from inside the 5 yard line going into the end zone. I then talked to the Referee, who confirmed the coach's recollection. Similar to last week's bulletin about celebration fouls, use common sense and understand the intent of the rules before calling penalties. This one was hard to defend, as it appeared that the coach was not interfering with play or the officials.
Use caution in your communications with coaches and administrators. I received a call from an AD who relayed that an official told his timer not to blow the horn when the quarter/half ends. Knowing what was meant, I called the official to confirm what was said. The official told me that he told the timer not to blow the horn if a play is in progress. Although this is a good idea, it rarely causes a problem and I happen to think that the confusion outweighs the gain. Along the lines of communicating, always remember that silence can never be misquoted (not to be interpreted as telling you not to communicate freely with coaches; just use caution and understand that everything can be twisted and misinterpreted).
Good luck this week. Thank you for your service to the Southern California Collegiate Football Officials Association!
"Better be a role model than a critic"
Director of Football Operations
California Community College Athletic Association