Kollen Bulletin

From: "Rich Kollen" - dayofgame@aol.com
Subject: SCCFOA
Date: Thursday, October 08, 2009



Last Saturday was another day of competitive games requiring officials to concentrate and focus on every play. After last week’s games we still have six SCFA teams undefeated at 5-0. Remember that you only have to concentrate for approximately seven seconds at a time for 150 times per game to have a good game. I did get five calls from coaches about last week’s games. I appreciate their questions on rules and concerns about judgment calls. The plays discussed in this email are aimed solely at making each of us better officials.

There was a big celebration call in the LSU/Georgia last Saturday. The call came after Georgia scored with 1:09 in the game to take a one-point lead. As always seems to happen, the good field position resulting from the penalty led to LSU scoring for the win. The call was not supported by the conference supervisor. In his statement, he said "The video doesn't support what the official called." He went on to say that the blown call would be treated like any other—a chance to educate the officials so they'll get it right the next time. This is the same philosophy I try to instill each week. What SCCFOA officials can learn from this is that all calls must be big and must be supported by video.

Flanks and Umpires: If guards and tackles (including any lineman, other than the snapper, wearing number 50-79) have their hands on their knees or near the ground (below their knees), they may not move their hands or make any quick movement (including flexing). (Rule 7-1-3-4-c, pg. FR-94) Shut down the play and flag the false start. If you do this consistently it will clean up what happens after the movement.

We had two IWs reported last weekend. Although this can happen to any of us (and I can assume it has happened to a large majority of us at one time or another), it usually happens when we aren't concentrating and staying focused during the play. What concerns me is that one official did not want to admit it was him. I have been around a long time. When an IW occurs, everyone knows who blew the whistle. Let’s make sure we all own up to mistakes.

In one of our games, during a pile-up and while whistles are being blown and the players are fighting for a loose ball, a player comes very late and dives on the top of the pile. I watched this same thing in a NFL game a few weeks ago. Former SCCFOA referee Tony Corrente called the foul and in his announcement said “this was totally unnecessary.” We made the same correct call in one of our SCCFOA games last weekend. Clean them up early. Good job crew.

We are still calling too many ineligible players downfield. When the NCAA changes a rule, they are making a statement. The rule change this year regarding ineligible players downfield says that they don’t want this called much. Do not nit-pick, make it BIG! Use the same philosophy on passers beyond the LOS. To call an illegal forward pass for the passer being beyond the LOS, the passers WHOLE body must clearly be beyond the LOS.

Too many observer reports are stating that the deep flanks are losing their cushions and getting beat to the goal line. When a runner or receiver is within five yards of you and they have a clear path to the goal line, you will not arrive there before a college athlete. You must keep your cushion. You can work on this mechanic by watching tapes, reading the play and doing a little conditioning work during the week.

A coach emailed me this play wanting to know if would be legal: On tries and field goals, have three defenders line up about twenty yards outside the offensive formation. As the kicker settles into his routine, they start a defender running toward the formation. As each defender reaches the formation, he decides whether to stop or continue the sprint into the backfield. The running start allows him to easily rush past the outside blocker and into the backfield. As long as these sprinting players are not offsides and do not leap and land on any player, there is no prohibition against this defensive strategy. The only rules addressing what the defense can't do to block a kick are 9-1-2-n (FR-119) and 9-3-5-b (FR-129).

We had a coach’s concern about Umpires talking to players. As I told the coach, we encourage our Umpires to be vocal when dealing with linemen after the play. His concern was his players said the Umpire was encouraging a team to do better, i.e. “you are better than this, I had you before and you can play better,” etc. Umpires, keep control of the middle but think about what you are saying, try to avoid coaching phrases.

Referees: the hardest call you have is determining if a passer’s arm is moving forward or ruling fumble. Stick to our philosophies and rule incomplete pass if there is any doubt. Another difficult call is intentional grounding. If the QB is being hit, or being pulled down and the pass does not land near a receiver or the LOS, stay away from calling a foul.

The last play for the week is an interesting one. During a scrimmage kick, the ball is going in the direction of the sideline. It takes a few bounces and the receiver, while attempting to pick up the ball, goes OB (but does not touch the ball while OB ). The ball stays on the field and the receiver comes back in bounds and runs for a TD. Coach wanted it to be illegal. I told him the receivers can legally go out of bounds and come back in. The coach then wanted a call for illegal batting on the play. Of course, that would change the outcome. I am waiting on the video. Verdict next week.

Have a great weekend and as I tell my crew, there is always ONE play in each game you need to get correct to have a good game. It might be the first play of the game or the last. It is best to be ready at all times to get it correct.

Rich Kollen
Director of Football Operations
Southern California Football Association

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