Kollen Bulletin

From: "Rich Kollen" - dayofgame@aol.com
Subject: SCCFOA
Date: Thursday, September 27, 2013



The majority of our games are officiated by "crews." By this, I mean a group of seven or eight officials who officiate together each Saturday. The referee ("white hat") is the crew chief. His task is to prepare the crew to officiate the game. My philosophy is that crews do a better job because they learn each other's strengths and weaknesses. Egos should be left in the parking lot, creating an atmosphere where the only goal is to be in the right position and get the calls correct. With the complexity of the rules and speed of the game, it is a challenge each week. My involvement in community college officiating in numerous sports dates back over thirty-five years, and I can say that football officials are the most dedicated. They arrive early for games, attend additional study sessions, review video each week, and read these bulletins. Football officials are dedicated like officials in no other sport.

This past summer, the NCAA Football rules committee reminded officials that they need to blow the whistle when they rule the ball dead. This has been hard for some officials who were not using their whistle for fear of blowing an inadvertent one. This past weekend, David Warden, Coordinator of Replay Officials for the Big 12 Conference, discussed whistles and said the following, with which I totally agree: "If officials are so concerned that they cannot rule a play over, and use their whistle, maybe they should not be officiating college football."

If you are calling holding on a receiver opposite of the direction of the play, make sure it is a BIG hold. Most of the QBs you see only throw to a receiver in the direction in which they are running. If the QB is running away from the receiver, the hold has to be egregious and truly affect the play.

When officials huddle, it indicates indecisiveness and confusion to coaches, players, and fans. I support officials coming together to get the call correct, but long and frequent conferences should be avoided. I encourage officials who have information to add to a conference to step up; however, if you have nothing to add, help the head coach understand what is being discussed.

Because we now have four of our colleges playing home games at high school fields, we need to discuss some issues. High school goal posts are wider than NCAA, so we have to accept that. Hash marks are also wider. I have instructed officials to move the ball to where it should be spotted on the hash marks and add an additional four yards when officiating on a high school field.

In first three weeks there have been games where many fouls were called. Looking at the breakdown on the types of fouls being called, however, I see over 50 percent are what I refer to as coaching fouls. Some examples are false starts, offsides, illegal formations, and delay of game. These are fouls that officials cannot ignore, but they do break up the flow of the game. If players can correct these types of fouls our games will play better.

When officials arrive on the field 45 minutes before kickoff, teams must warm-up in the area from their 45-yard line through their end zone. The area between the 45-yard lines should not be used by ether team during the warm-up time. Don't be too lenient, especially as the intense conference competition begins. DO NOT permit kickers to warm up by kicking into their opponent's area.

When you are on the field before the game, look active. Don't just stand around, and don't talk excessively to players and coaches (or each other). Find something constructive to do such as looking at lineups, look at receivers catch passes, observe punt receivers catch (or muff) punts. Check the field. R - find out if QBs are left or right-handed. Same for kickers (punter and try/FG kicker). U - spot check equipment.

After viewing a play sent in by a coach, I called the official to discuss what his thought process was for throwing the flag. His comment was, "I was not very fond of the call." These are the calls we need to eliminate. If the calling official was not "fond" of the call, maybe one of the other six officials should have stepped in to get it correct.

Interesting, unimportant, facts about the football...early footballs were made out of animal bladders, more specifically, pigs bladders, thus given the nickname "pig skin". NCAA balls are 10 7/8 to 11 7/16 inches long by 6.7 inches max diameter. The NFL ball, which is a little larger, is 6.7 to 6.8 inches in diameter with a length of 11.9 inches. The NCAA ball has two white strips around the ball making it easier to see. Air pressure for both balls is 12 1/2-13 1/2 pounds. Each has eight equally placed laces. Officials inspect and approve 6 - 8 near new balls for each game. The NCAA does not permit a special ball to be used for kickers.

A few quick tips: A no call can be the best call. A defensive player blocked into the kicker or holder is not a foul. Understands that the block component required to take the defender off of a foul has to be more than just touching him. If a defensive lineman penetrates completely past the offensive line, shut the play down for defensive offsides. When in question, the pass is forward.

Build up your weaknesses until they become your strong points. Good luck this week. Safe travels, and as always, thank you for your dedication to this great game!

Rich Kollen
Director of Football Operations
Southern California Football Association

2015 SCCFOA - Southern California Collegiate Football Officials Association