Kollen Bulletin

From: "Rich Kollen" - dayofgame@aol.com
Subject: SCCFOA
Date: Thursday, September 24, 2009



Five years ago all Southern California conferences competing in football agreed to use seven officials. Seven officials is the standard in Division I college football and in the NFL. With seven officials, all receivers are covered by an official and it gives us coverage on dead-ball activities that if not addressed can cause problems later in the game. Since we began using seven officials, we have had less decorum issues and fewer problems after games. All that said, with the state’s current financial problems, all cost-saving ideas will be considered, including reducing the number of officials on our games. We need to officiate at a high level and continue to improve so that our colleges will see the benefits of using seven officials.

Referees, please keep up the good work on your game reports. Commissioner Jim Sartoris reads each one of them carefully, and immediately addresses any game management and unsportsmanlike behavior issues with the ADs. Let’s get these problems stopped early. We cannot have any negative behavior by players and coaches which may shine any negative light on California community college football.

I just need to vent. After the first three weeks of the 2009 season, we have had far too many officials canceling assignments. We spend a lot of time putting crews and assignments together. Any time we get a cancellation, a crew is weakened. If you have accepted a game, please act professionally and keep the assignment unless a true emergency arises.

If a team’s headsets are not working, protocol (a gentlemen’s agreement not covered by NCAA rules) says that the other team will shut down their radios. Referees, please inform both teams of the situation, but there is no enforcement for you to take. It is up to the team to make a decision. Cell phones can be used as a substitute.

On two coaches’ reports last weekend, there were complaints of blocks below the waist by the kicking team on kickoffs (in an attempt to break up a wedge). Remember that during any change of possession, no players of either team are permitted to block below the waist. In last week’s email, we discussed kickoff coverage. I suggested we concentrate on the receivers. We need to refocus and watch for any blocks below the waist. Especially watch those gunners attempting to break up the wedge.

It is unfortunate that I have to discuss this each year. I received a call from an AD to report that the game officials ate a coach’s food in the locker room. Perhaps I am asking too much when I expect us to have the most professional and courteous people as officials. If there is a doubt whether food or drinks are for you, please ask the game administrator. In addition, I expect you to always leave the locker room cleaner than you found it, including throwing away all trash.

We had a situation where the defense lined up with only ten on the field. Several assistant coaches requested a time out. After the officials granted a time out, the head coach argued that, by rule, only he could be granted a time out from the sideline. This coach is correct by rule. However, I support the officials’ decision to grant the time out. When several assistants request a time out, don’t be too picky about finding the head coach. In addition, remember that we always grant a time out to save a foul (i.e. 12th player running off the field or as the play clock expires). If the flag and the time out are within the same general timeframe, grant the time out and pick up the flag. For many teams, losing a time out is akin to being penalized.

Deep officials, we need to do a better job counting defensive players. Make sure you talk with each other before the game to develop a signal confirming your count (whether the count is 10, 11 or 12). I have gotten too many reports of 12 players on defense without the play being shut down. Unless someone runs in off the sideline DURING the play, we should never have a foul for illegal participation. ALWAYS count and shut it down before the snap.

Remember that there is no requirement that a kicker place the ball on a tee for a free kick. A kicker may place the ball (1) on a tee, (2) on the ground, or (3) on the ground contacting a tee.

If a defensive lineman jumps and gets even with or beyond the offensive line with or without contact before the snap shut the play down and rule DOF. Nothing good can happen by letting the play go.

There has been some discussion on the old “swinging gate” play. First, the snapper can be an eligible receiver if he has an eligible number and is on the end of the line. The concern seems to be the snapper’s requirement to have his shoulder parallel to the LOS. Rule 2.27.4 states that, to be on the LOS, a player’s shoulders must be approximately parallel to the LOS. Use common sense here. What is the advantage for a player to have his shoulders at a 45 degree angle to the LOS? Don’t be overly technical.

Making the Right Call - This is a euphemism for "judgment". How do you get “good judgment"? Answer: "By learning from your bad judgments". Learning from your mistakes is important to making the right call - next time! No one makes correct decisions EVERY time. The question to ask yourself is: Can you set your ego aside to allow learning to take place, or is it important for you to stick to a pompous attitude just to be "right"? Be willing to admit to yourself that, indeed, it was a mistake. It will serve you better the next time." Jim Tunney

I hope all officials are enjoying the national training tapes available to you online. Any community college coach that is interested in viewing the videos, please email me and I will set you up on the website. Remember that these videos are from high-level Division I games. The rules are the same, but we need to exercise some common sense when relating it to our games.

I hope everyone has a great weekend and that the Southern California fires end soon. May the ball bounce right for you this weekend.

Rich Kollen
Director of Football Operations
Southern California Football Association

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