From: "Rich Kollen" - firstname.lastname@example.org
Date: Thursday, October 1, 2015
SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA FOOTBALL ASSOCIATION
2015 WEEKLY BULLETIN #5
I have been writing these weekly bulletins during the football season to help officials, coaches, and administrators better understand the rules and philosophies of officiating. Each week, coaches call and send in plays to be evaluated in order to better coach their team on the football rules. Unfortunately, when writing this bulletin, it may at times appear that I am too negative. I know I am highlighting mostly mistakes. While "atta boys" are always nice, it is the errors with which I normally have to deal to help all of us get better. Rarely, if ever, do I get a video or a call from a coach telling me of a great call. Our games average 185 plays each. With 18 games per week, that results in an average of 3,330 plays each and every week. I review an average of roughly 40 plays sent in by coaches weekly. You should all know that means that the large majority of calls are correct. SCFA officials work hard to get calls correct by reviewing their games using Hudl, attending classes, conference calls, and a pre-game meeting each week. I applaud all of the hard work!
Remember, with the hurry-up offenses we are seeing, and the 40-second play clock, we should not be waiting for the chains or the down box prior to marking the ball ready for play. If necessary, L and H, use your bean bag to hold the spot.
I am still hearing complaints from play clock operators that they are not always seeing the official's arm up after the play ends. We are in week five with this mechanic.
Referees, let's be consistent in blowing the whistle when the ball is ready for play.
During a kick-off, punt return, or any other change of possession, remember that no player may block below the waist. Rules 9-1-6(c) and (d). Officials need to be alert for these illegal and dangerous blocks. Coaches are seeing these illegal blocks on video, and officials need to see and call the foul on the field. Discuss coverage on change of possession plays this week in pre-game.
After a play was over, U sent the starting left tackle, #78, off the field for one play due to his helmet coming off. The coach questioned this, since they were in the red zone. Obviously, this is the right call...if the helmet comes off! The video showed that #78 had very long hair that flipped over his helmet, but his helmet never came off. Could any other official have helped get this right? Be that crew-saver!
L, you need to be primary if a pass is forward or backward when a passer throws that quick pass. The decision needs to be made quickly. Looking for help will not work. These are big calls. Develop a feel for what the offense is attempting, and try to rule it as intended by the offense.
Remember the differences between NFHS and NCAA rules on missed field goal attempts. In college, an unsuccessful field goal attempt untouched by Team B beyond the neutral zone that is snapped from on or inside the 20-yard line results in the ball being placed anywhere along the 20-yard line, at the discretion of Team B. An unsuccessful field goal attempt untouched by Team B beyond the neutral zone that is snapped from outside the 20-yard line is next put in play by Team B at the previous spot. No option to move it. Rule 8-4-2.
After the ball has been snapped, if any player, either offense or defense, enters the field (whether he is the 10th, 11th, 12th or any other player), it is a live-ball substitution foul and a five-yard penalty from the previous spot. Rule 3-5-2-a. If they come off the sideline and participate, the penalty could be enforced under Rule 9-2-3(c) "An obviously unfair act not specifically covered by the rules occurs during the game." PENALTY-The referee may take any action he considers equitable, including awarding a score. Obviously, we lean toward a five-yard penalty. If the player truly interferes with the game that is deemed to be unfair, R can take other action.
Last week we had a kickoff that hit the ground in the end zone, untouched, which was recovered by Team B and advanced to the 18-yard line. A stat person called me to inquire as to why it was not a touchback with the ball placed at the 25-yard line. I had no good answer for him. It should have been. In another end zone-learning moment, a receiver caught the kickoff eight yards deep in the end zone, simulated taking a knee, and then advanced. Remember, someone can simulate spiking the ball, but if someone simulates taking a knee, the ball is dead immediately. In this case, it would have been a touchback. Rule 4-1-3(o).
If targeting is called, make sure to have the calling official meet with at least one other official prior to making the call. Other officials, come in with any information you may have. We don't have replay to take this call off, so it is very important we get it right. These are big calls and need to be called correctly. Disqualification deserves the extra time.
B - Some of you are getting too close to the receivers. In a few cases, the B is interfering with pass receivers and defenders. Know your own abilities, and work hard to get into proper position in order to see the play and to avoid becoming part of the play.
R - There is no need to run away from all players to report a penalty. The camera will find you. Simply step away from a crowd, and give your signals and announcement.
I am seeing officials chasing passes and kicks that go out of bounds. Someone will get you a new ball. Don't chase these balls. We need your attention on the dead ball action. Don't be in a hurry to get a ball until the two colors have separated.
Good luck, and travel safe! Thank you for your hard work and dedication to our student-athletes.
Believe me, you need good people if you want to make good players. - Gordon Strachan
Director of Football Operations
Southern California Football Association