From: "Rich Kollen" - firstname.lastname@example.org
Date: Friday, September 25, 2014
SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA FOOTBALL ASSOCIATION
2014 WEEKLY BULLETIN #4
On close sideline and end line plays, when a receiver ends up with the ball and you rule the pass incomplete, give the appropriate signal as to why you ruled incomplete. The "juggle" signal (if the receiver was bobbling the ball as he crossed the sideline/end line) or the "sweep" (if the receiver's feet were out of bounds when he possessed the ball). This will help silence the critics and help the observers.
In a game last week, during the intermission between first and second quarters, it was 2nd down and 5 on the A10. After switching ends of the field, it became 2nd and 10 on the A10. The chains were off by five yards. A play ran before A complained to the sideline official, and the correction was made. With seven officials, this is hard to defend. Each official should record the spot, down, and distance before switching ends. Make sure to do it this week. All seven should confirm by looking at the chains prior to the snap. I have a hard time explaining to a coach how this can happen with seven officials.
Please review the mechanics manual regarding the counting of players. It needs to be done each and every play. Do not just signal 11 because your crewmates do. How do I defend our officials to a coach who loses a game on a touchdown scored with 12 players on offense? Review your responsibilities before the games this week. As a reminder, on a scrimmage play, (i) S, B, and F count the defense, and (ii) R and U count the offense (with H and L backup to count offense). H and L should have counted the offense on this play, as a backup. What's worse is that the team had seven on the line, which means...you guessed it: they had five in the backfield, which was also not called.
In a recent game, one of the crews awarded a team a fifth down during a series. None of the seven officials or the coaches recognized it at the time. Seven officials, and no one knew there was a problem? I doubt that is the case. I have a feeling someone was suspicious, but afraid to step up. R - create an atmosphere of trust and support on the crew. Encourage all members of the crew to step up if they sense something might not be right. If there is no problem, it wastes a few seconds. If there is a problem, this could be a crew-saver. Do not be afraid to step up. I commend the referee who had the courage to report this after reviewing the game on Hudl. I appreciate your willingness to point it out. That's how we learn.
During a recent high-profile TV game, the team who won the toss elected to defer. The team losing the toss elected to kick! Do not permit this to happen. If the captain is adamant that he wants to kick, remind him that he will be forced to kick in both halves. If that still doesn't work, get the head coach's approval. Don't let a team make this mistake. Guess who gets blamed?
Pursuant to the approved game clock mechanics, game management is responsible for ensuring that the game clock counts down the 60 minutes prior to the start time of the game. This needs to be accurate. All officials should confirm the proper time when arriving on the field. The field must be cleared at the five-minute mark to allow the coin toss at three minutes. It is important that we start games on time. One more suggestion: instruct the clock operator that once the clock gets down to one minute prior to kick-off for either half, reset the clock to 15 minutes. That puts the onus on the officials to make sure the half is started on time.
Coaches: most of our colleges are sharing game video with the SCCFOA through Hudl. If you wish to have any plays evaluated by me, please send me an email listing the Hudl play number (i.e., "please look at plays 12, 56, and 98"). That will help save me a lot of time. This will result in me being able to review and respond to your questions quicker.
During a punt play, when a rushing lineman makes contact with the punter, that doesn't automatically mean there is a foul. When the contact is caused by an opponent's block (legal or illegal), there is no foul. (Rule 9-1-16-a-5). The key is that the contact is caused by the block. Being blocked does not automatically mean that the block caused the contact to the kicker. In addition, a player who makes contact with the kicker after touching the kick has not fouled. (Rule 9-1-16-a-6).
Last year, the NCAA rules committee requested that officials blow a whistle to signal when the play is over. I know officials are concerned with inadvertent whistles. However, this is the official mechanic. Coaches teach their players to continue until they hear a whistle. Although that isn't always right, we know that is what is taught. In addition, using the whistle helps clean up dead-ball situations.
If an official declares a timeout for an injury, the injured player must leave the game for at least one down. (Rule 3-3-5) Unlike other sports, a charged team timeout does not permit the player to remain in the game. If the helmet comes off, a charged timeout to that team will allow the player to stay in the game (Rule 3-3-9-a). That is not the case with injuries. He must sit for one play.
Since the NCAA began using the term targeting, I think officials are so concerned about getting it called correctly that personal fouls are being overlooked. Personal fouls and flagrant personal fouls (which call for an ejection) have been in the rulebook since the game started. Officials: if the act is not part of the game, call the foul and then you can evaluate the targeting component. A flagrant foul calls for disqualification. Don't just look for targeting.
I have seen and continue to hear about dead-ball personal fouls when two players push and shove each other after a play. Penalizing offsetting fouls distracts from the game, and rarely has the desired effect on the players. A stern "knock that crap off!" usually does the job. Let them know you're there. If it is enough to call a foul, remember that if it is not part of the game action, it is an unsportsmanlike conduct foul, rather than a personal foul. (Rule 9-2-1-a-1-j) The player is then disqualified if he gets another.
Good luck this week! Thanks for all you do!
"You need two out of three things to be successful coach, an understanding wife, a good QB, and a dog. My wife would not let me have a dog." - Prep coach
Director of Football Operations
Southern California Football Association