Kollen Bulletin

From: "Rich Kollen" - dayofgame@aol.com
Subject: SCCFOA
Date: Thursday, October 01, 2009



The first four weeks have shown that the SCFA is a very competitive community college football conference. This week, all five conferences in the SCFA will be in conference play. The success of our officiating program will be heavily evaluated in the next six weeks. Players and coaches are ready for their conference challenges, and we must be at our best. Keep working to get better each week and continue to help other members of your crew improve.

With experience, staying with our philosophies, rules knowledge and good mechanics, officials will have the best chance at calling all plays correctly. Good judgment starts with the ability to see the whole play. We then must evaluate the action and the effect on the game. If you follow this simple philosophy on each and every play, you will become a more consistent official in determining when to throw the flag and when to keep it in your pocket.

When we have a fumble with players piling on top of each other attempting to recover the ball, we need an official to get into the pile. The clock should be stopped by the other officials. When the official in the pile determines possession, he needs to communicate who has the ball to the nearest official. The person who signals direction should first take a deep breath, which will give your mind the time needed to point in the right direction. There is nothing more embarrassing than pointing a possession in the wrong direction. Unless you see the player on the ground securely controlling the ball (wrapped in his body), the best ruling is the team who comes out of the pile with the ball gets it. These teams lift weights for a reason, and the best ruling is to reward the one who comes out of the pile with the ball. In essence, it is the ONLY ruling, as we have no other option.

Here are a few ideas that might help officials better communicate with coaches. Remember all good officials must have the ability to deal, and communicate, with coaches. There are many techniques, and the following are some to consider:
* Deal with the coach’s behavior first
* Be in control and speak in calm tones; NEVER yell at a coach
* Maintain positive and confident body language
* Make eye contact with the coach when the situation allows
* Answer only questions, not statements (“That’s the worst call I’ve ever seen” does not need any answer from the official)
* Try to use football terms when talking to coaches (the rule book is your friend)
* DO NOT debate the coach

After reviewing a play sent in by a coach, we need to discuss philosophy. On a scrimmage kick, R puts two men on the gunner so they can force him out of bounds. While the gunner is clearly out of bounds, K continues to block him. In this situation, the official threw a flag for a personal foul. Question: Can R legally block a K player who is out of bounds? If a K player voluntarily goes out of bounds and returns, we have a five-yard penalty. If a K player is forced out of bounds, he may return inbounds legally. Therefore, my philosophy is that a K player can be legally blocked while out of bounds. That said, USE COMMON SENSE! He cannot be fouled! If the K player is so far out as to be in the team box, this may be a personal foul on R. If the K player is barely out of bounds, let R block him. Let’s not get too technical here. In addition, if R double-teams a player, we should always lean toward no flag. So long as there is no personal foul, our philosophy is not to have a foul on a double-team block.

For many officials, correct ball mechanics do not come easy. It comes with more snaps at this level. After watching video, it is apparent that many officials are in too much of a hurry to get a new ball in after a play. These officials are missing (or forced to guess) on dead-ball fouls. We must stay with the whole play FIRST. Only when players have separated should we look for a new ball. Always make sure the old ball after a change of possession is going out on the LJ/FJ side and a new ball is coming in the same way, no matter where we are on the field. The HL has to get his chains ready for the new possession.

One of the hardest calls we officials are asked to make is whether a runner is down or the runner fumbled the ball. At the community college level, officials have no replay to help them out. Therefore, our philosophies are there to help us on these types of plays. In developing our philosophy on the down/fumble call, we have research done by the NFL showing that over 90% of the time, the runner fumbles the ball. Keep this in mind when ruling on these important plays.

I had one interesting report from a coach stating that the crew came together after a DPI call. The coach reported that one official told him that once DPI was called, it could not be changed. Two things on this: 1) Make sure we get the correct information to our coaches. 2) ANY call can be changed on the field. Referees, talk in your pre-games this week about the procedure for picking up a flag. DPI is a great example of a call in which a flag may be picked up after getting additional information (ball not catchable, ball tipped, etc.). Get the call right! Good officials work together on the field. Good officials leave their egos in the locker room.

Referees, if you feel that an injury may take some time, (more than a minute), you can release the teams to the sidelines. Let the coaches talk to their teams at the sidelines. Remember, during an injury timeout, the coaches are not allowed to “coach” on the field. The loophole is that the team can go to the sideline, and the coach can talk to them there. Let them use that loophole. Once the injured player is removed, get the game started quickly.

Remember that we no longer have a “sideline warning” in college football. There have been too many injuries to coaches and officials on the sidelines. Therefore, the rules committee has decided to do away with the warning, and issue a five-yard penalty for the first offense. Flanks, within the first few minutes of the game, feel free to give a courtesy warning to your sideline and the coaches. However, you should not be pleading with the team all game to stay back. This is a safety issue for coaches, players and officials. Help out the crews who have this team later in the season. If they do not stay out of the restricted area, throw a flag.

Referees, please talk in your pre-games about the mechanics on kicking tries and field goal attempts. If a kick is good, the officials under the goalposts should communicate that fact to each other and BOTH should signal. If a kick is no good, only the ruling official should signal. A coach turned in a play in which a kick was ruled no good (coach felt it was ruled incorrectly). The official under the threatened upright did NOT signal, and other official signaled no good. The crew lost credibility, and it is difficult to defend you to the coach.

     Show respect to your opponent - win or lose

Have a Great Weekend

Rich Kollen
Director of Football Operations
Southern California Football Association

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