From: "Rich Kollen" - firstname.lastname@example.org
Date: Thursday, September 25, 2015
SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA FOOTBALL ASSOCIATION
2015 WEEKLY BULLETIN #4
We started this season with a challenge to have "Zero Tolerance" for profanity, displays of unsportsmanlike conduct, and expressions of vulgarity. This is a big cultural change; however, after the first three weeks, players and coaches are getting the message. Athletic Directors and other college administrators are also a big part of changing the culture. Coaches' behavior and language directed to players on the sidelines are the responsibility of such administrators. Officials have their hands full officiating 22 talented student-athletes during live- and dead-ball situations. We don't want them to have to focus on off-the-field issues as well.
The first three weeks games have been very competitive. In this week's state poll, Riverside is #1, and four other SCFA colleges are in the top ten. 18 of our colleges are in the top 25.
Some issues for the officials:
Marginal facemask fouls are being called. Let's make sure that we see a good pull, twist, and/or turn to make it worthy of a penalty.
At the clinic, we discussed coaches trying to have a conversation with officials during a time out. Remember, coaches are not allowed on the field. Let's make sure to have any meetings outside of the numbers.
If there is chicken fighting, trash talking, etc. between two players, penalize both teams (offsetting), unless the second action is much later. This is the reason the rule was changed to require unsportsmanlike conduct fouls for action well after the play. That way, both players are penalized with an unsportsmanlike conduct foul (counting against the two UNS fouls requiring disqualification) rather than offsetting personal fouls.
L/H: When a sweep play comes right at you, give ground by backing away into the offensive backfield. Do not drift downfield. We had a very lucky Head Linesman last weekend.
Referees: Roughing the passer for a low hit on a player in a passing posture is your call. If you look for help from other officials, you appear doubtful. The offensive player must be in a passing posture with one or both feet on the ground, and the defensive player must be rushing unabated to be a foul. Remember, it is not a foul if (1) if the offensive player is a runner and not in a passing posture, (2) the defender grabs or wraps the opponent in an attempt to make a conventional tackle, or (3) the defender is not rushing unabated or is blocked or fouled into the opponent. Rule 9-1-9(b).
There appears to be a new action players are using to taunt their opponents after delivering a block or other hard hit. The player gestures by moving his hand to his mouth like he is eating cereal. Apparently, the action is meant to suggest that his opponent eat more "Wheaties" before taking him on. Let's give one warning, and then it is an unsportsmanlike conduct foul for taunting. Although this might seem harmless, it can lead to more serious problems.
There is some confusion as to when we go into goal line mechanics. When the ball is snapped from the seven-yard line and in, F/S should move to the end line pylon. H/L have goal line responsibility. Remember, in order to rule on a score, we need two officials on the goal line.
When you are in the "red zone" and time is a factor, make sure to be aware of a coach's potential request for a timeout. Officials not covering the previous play should be alert for a timeout request from a coach. In addition, do not penalize a coach if he has to run down to get close to you to call timeout. He should not be on the field, but don't worry about him being outside the team box, if he is simply trying to get your attention for a timeout.
This week, a coach called the commissioner to say that the coin toss was incorrectly done. The Referee said it was done correctly. There needs to be better communication with the head coach. Make sure they know the procedures you will be using.
In addition, during the coin toss, there are two available mechanics. The SCFA will use the following mechanic. When the captains approach, turn them to their right, and have them stand with their backs to the goal lines, with the Referee facing the press box on the 50 yard line. After the flip, if the winner chooses to defer their choice to the second half, the Referee should tap that team on the shoulder pad, and indicate the defer signal (similar to incomplete pass). Once you know which team will receive and which direction the teams will be going, make sure the captains have their backs to the proper goal line, and indicate which team will receive.
Coaches, it is important that we start games on time. Officials need captains at five minutes prior to kickoff. Last week, an official asked for captains and was told by an assistant that he would "let the captains go when the coach is ready." This is not the way to start the game.
We have discussed instructing the defense not to rush the line late in a game when the winning team decides to take a knee. We call that "winning with honor." Last week, at the end of the first half, Team A punted and downed the ball at Team A's 3-yard line with 18 seconds remaining, and two time outs. The first kneel down placed the ball at the half-yard line. The coach indicated that the officials instructed the defensive players that any rush would result in an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty, since the offense was taking a knee. In this situation, it should be common sense that the defense may wish to rush and either tackle a player for a safety or recover a potential fumble. This is not UNS.
During my time on the field, my crew always heard the word "comportment." I was trying to instill positive body language, no hesitation when making a call, and overall demeanor of an official. SCFA officials need to continue to excel in their commitment to comportment. Coaches, players, and officials should all treat each other with the utmost respect and professionalism.
"You have to give 100 percent in the first half of the game. If that isn't enough, in the second half, you have to give what's left." - Yogi Berra (1925 - 2015)
Good luck this week. Thank you for your hard work, and travel safely.
Director of Football Operations
Southern California Football Association