Get Ready for Fall 2022

From: "Rich Kollen" -
Subject: SCCFOA
Date: Friday, October 01, 2021



In 1984, a young computer programmer in the state of Utah answered an ad to develop a program to assign sports officials for the state of Utah. He has developed the program, naming it “Arbiter” after an arbitrator (a person empowered to decide matters at issue; judge; umpire). Marketing the software was an excellent decision. It started as Doss, quickly went to Windows, and in 2002, launched the online version. Going online completely changed the way sports officials were assigned to games. Today, this is the most widely used platform for assigning sports officials in sports all over the world. Currently, there are over 7,000 assignors worldwide, including all community college conferences in Southern California and the NCAA for post-season assignments.

Officials, please make sure you are checking Arbiter daily for new assignments. Due to the COVID issues, I am forced to change a lot of assignments, so be sure to accept them as soon as possible. We are lucky to have locker rooms this year, but I had a report from one athletic director that the locker room was left with food and beverage containers all over. Come on guys, let’s pick up your stuff. Leave it nicer than it was when you got there.

If a runner's helmet comes off, blow the play dead immediately. This is an obvious safety issue. If any other player's helmet comes off, he is only allowed to finish his immediate engagement, and then must stop in place, or risk a penalty. (Rule 9-1-17) In addition, the player must leave the game for one play, unless his team is granted a charged timeout. If the helmet comes off as the direct result of a foul, the player does not need to leave the game. (Rule 3-3-9-a)

AD’s, please remind your announcers that they are not to announce any play-by-play. Let’s stick to who carried the ball, who threw and caught the pass, down and distance, name of the tackler, what the foul was (but not who committed the foul), and of course, “another (school nickname) first down!” Avoid “QB looks right, throws left, sensational catch inbounds.” Be informative, but this should not be a radio broadcast over the loudspeakers.

Just a reminder that a player who targets his opponent (Rule 9-1-3 or 9-1-4), results in a disqualification, but not an ejection. He may stay on the sideline. The SCFA ejection report does not have to be submitted. If there is any doubt on the targeting call, it’s not targeting. Referees, if you’re using a stadium mic, and targeting is called, I think it would be helpful to announce the reason for the targeting penalty (i.e., “Targeting. Number 32 defense. Using the crown of the helmet to make forcible contact against an opponent.” or “Targeting. Number 32 defense. Making forcible contact to the head or neck area of a defenseless opponent.”).

I had a report that one of our timers was commenting about the calls on the field. Timers/announcers/chain crew/ball personnel/etc., should never offer any opinions about any officials' calls during the game. Silence can never be misquoted! If you want to cheer for the team, they usually have plenty of tickets left to sit in the stands and cheer.

These weekly memos are done for the sole purpose of making officials better and coaches and administrators develop a better understanding of game management. I welcome any information, positive or negative, on something that happens in a game. Video is always an excellent way of asking questions. The majority of our college video is high grade and easy to share on the HUDL platform. Coaches, please continue to share these videos, as they are all reviewed.

A question came up about face-guarding. It was a foul in high school but was changed a few years ago. In the NCAA, as long as there’s no contact, a defender can waive his hands in front of the receiver’s face. Contact is the key. Any contact that impedes an eligible receiver when the defender is not playing the ball is defensive pass interference (DPI). (Rule 7-3-8-c)

Northern California Football Conference, NCFC, is our counterpart for community football college. NCFC did a recent study of fouls. They found that 41.6% of all fouls were in the area of false start, delay of game, and defensive offside. These are commonly called “coaching fouls.” Hopefully, we all can work to eliminate these kinds of fouls. They disrupt the flow of the game. Holding and pass interference, together, make up the majority of total fouls called.

On our conference call last week, I discussed with the Referees the need to do a better job of speeding up the games. They have been told that there’s no need to delay winding the clock immediately after a play. When a player goes out of bounds creating a first down, start the clock immediately. When the ball comes back in, be ready to put it in play quickly. After a touchdown is not a time-out. Get the teams on the field immediately. There should be never more than one minute between the end of the try and the kickoff. (Rule 3-3-7-h) FYI, the NCAA starts the 40-second play clock immediately after the touchdown and before the try. We’re OK giving a few extra seconds, but not too many.

From Dave Weinstein: Plus 5 Seconds. We’ve all heard it on the field. We can’t be ball-watchers, we can’t be football fans. We each have important responsibilities before, during, and after every play, plus 5 seconds. If you look away from your responsibility, the crew is weaker for it. Sideline officials (HL, LJ, SJ, FJ), where are you looking at the end of the play plus 5 seconds? Dead ball plus 5 seconds might be the most important part of the play. Don’t lose focus after signaling the end of the play. If there is action in the bench area, get there, especially deep officials, and use your voice to make your presence known. Escort players out from an opponent’s bench area. Even if there is no tussling, don’t doze. Turn and watch players out of bounds. Otherwise, everyone will see the unsporting act but you.

“Pressure is something you feel when you don’t know what the hell you’re doing.” – Peyton Manning

Rich Kollen
Director of Football Operations