From: "Rich Kollen" - firstname.lastname@example.org
Date: Thursday, September 29, 2011
SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA FOOTBALL ASSOCIATION
2011 WEEKLY BULLETIN #5
We have heard the saying "Playing college football is a PRIVILEGE, not a right." We often hear this when discussing athletes who fall prey to the many outside influences of drugs, agents, money, cars, skipping class, etc. I would like us all to remember that the vast majority of our student-athletes understand and enjoy the privilege of playing college football. Data shows that in California community colleges, our student-athletes do better in comparison to non-athlete students. This includes grades, retention and units completed. Although the news only highlights the bad actors in our world, please remember that the large majority of our student-athletes relish the privilege of competing at the collegiate level and excel on and off the field.
A few learning moments from last week's games:
I received a video from a coach and while I was reviewing it, I noticed the sideline (about the 20 yard line) was full of spectators. Game management must work to clean this up. It is dangerous to fans, players and officials, and it severely inhibits our officials' ability to get in the right position to make the right call.
The ball persons are there to help us facilitate the game. At times, they may not be in the right place. Occasionally, they donŐt have a ball ready for us. Things happen. However, it is the official's job to properly instruct these people so as to make the game go as smoothly as possible. In this case, an official got frustrated, and treated the ball person and a photographer unprofessionally. Others on the sideline noticed and brought it to my attention. This person claimed that he has been on the sideline at this school for over 20 years and had never experienced anything like this before. Although I hope there is another side to this story, we have to remember that we are professionals. Everything doesnŐt always go according to plan, but there should be seven of us who act professionally in all of our dealings with other officials, players, coaches, fans, ball persons, chain crew, etc. Please be aware that everyone is watching. They are just waiting for us to screw up. Don't give them the satisfaction.
After a try or a successful field goal, wing officials must accordion all the way in to assist the Umpire and Side Judge in dealing with any potential scuffles.
We had a very spirited game in which players were trash-talking and pushing after a play. The officials called dead ball offsetting personal fouls. I'd rather that we call these dead ball unsportsmanlike fouls. That should get their attention. If you make this call, please make sure you talk to both coaches to let them know that the player has received an unsportsmanlike foul, and if he gets another one, he will be disqualified. (See Rule 9-2-6)
During the last minute of the half, after a scrimmage kick, the receiving team threw an illegal forward pass that fell incomplete. The play was properly ruled dead as an incomplete pass, and a flag for illegal forward pass was thrown. However, remember our new rules. With the game clock running (it was), and less than one minute remaining in either half, if a player of either team commits a foul that causes the clock to stop, the officials may subtract ten seconds from the game clock at the option of the offended team. Such fouls include an illegal forward pass. There should have been a ten second run-off in this situation with the clock starting on the next snap.
Several of our colleges are now providing Referees with an on-field microphone. When used correctly, this is wonderful tool to help officials explain what happened on penalties and other usual situations. We must simply remember to turn off the microphone after we make our announcement. Last week, we had an unsportsmanlike foul called. The coach asked the Referee what his player said, and properly, the Referee reported the vulgar remarks word-for-word, to the coach. Improperly, he also mistakenly reported the vulgar remarks to the whole stadium over his open microphone. The AD had several complaints about the language used by the Referee.
A 1st and 10 at the B 30. A ran for five yards. Although the ball was placed at that spot, the down box never moved. 2nd down, the pass fell incomplete. 3rd down, the ball was spotted on the box, at the original line of scrimmage. There was another incomplete pass. 4th down from the incorrect spot. A's field goal attempt fell 3 yards short of the crossbar. Head Linesman, you should have a great relationship with your chain crew, and especially the person holding the box. That person should be right behind you on every snap. Line Judge also should have noticed something was wrong. He's looking right at the box. This is a pure lack of concentration, and it is impossible for me to defend you. This shouldn't happen at any level, and especially college football.
A kicked a free kick out of bounds. The crew spotted the ball at B's 35 yard line. When the coach questioned the officials about the spot, he was told this was not Friday Night Lights. I can't defend this. If none of the seven of us know the rules, or if we are all too afraid to step up and save the crew, we shouldn't be out there.
QB scrambles and runs 10 yards downfield. He pitches the ball to his back, who catches the ball about 1/2 yard ahead of the runner. This is too close for us to determine at live speed. When it is that close, make it what it was intended to be. It is backward.
QB takes the snap in shotgun, and attempts a shovel pass in the middle of the line. The ball is batted into the ground by B. Referee properly rules an incomplete pass, but then throws a flag for intentional grounding. It is true that the pass did not get to the line of scrimmage, and the passer was within the tackle box. However, it is impossible to know where the pass would have landed if it had not been batted. Use common sense. If a ball is batted, it is probably not intentionally grounded.
Forward progress is an important call in relation to the line to gain and late in halves in determining whether a player stepped out of bounds or had his forward progress stopped. Remember our philosophies:
o Always give a ball carrier all the progress they deserve. We short guys much more than we give them too much.
o Cross-field mechanics can help with any forward progress. Make sure to look.
o If a player is trying to get out of bounds at the end of a half, and is driven back a little bit but ends up out of bounds, make him out of bounds. Let's use some common sense. If it is close, make him what he is supposed to be.
Don't strive to be perfect. Strive for excellence.
Director of Football Operations
Southern California Football Association