From: "Rich Kollen" - firstname.lastname@example.org
Date: Thursday, October 09, 2008
SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA COLLEGIATE FOOTBALL OFFICIALS ASSOCIATION
This past weekend, the games were very competitive, as expected. Also expected were the positive reports from the coaches and observers. Great job. To be nitpicky, we must continue to improve our judgment; the timing of our calls and correctly making the BIG calls. We can do this by working within our philosophies. Overall, we all need to (1) concentrate and anticipate before the snap, (2) see the start of the play, (3) watch the play develop, (4) let the play finish, and then (5) make the call.
Delay on Kickoff
We had a situation last week that could have been prevented. On a free kick, the Back Judge handed the ball to the kicker and ran to the sidelines with the kicking team still huddled near the bench. The Referee started the 25-second clock, which ran out with a resulting delay of game penalty. Let's prevent this from happening. Get the teams on the field in a timely manner, ready to kick. Remember, the time following a score is not a charged time-out. Get the players ready to go. Use common sense on these issues. Unless it is unreasonable, why would we ever have a delay of game on a kickoff?
In our last Referee conference call, I discussed my observations of recent games. The time spent handling penalties and getting teams back on the field after scoring plays is taking too long. Referees, I challenged you to enforce penalties more quickly (especially line-of-scrimmage fouls). In your pregame conferences this week, please discuss how the calling officials can use signals prior to reaching the Referee to speed up the enforcement process.
We are taking too much verbal abuse from assistant coaches and others on the sideline. This is not to be tolerated. If the head coach will not help control the sidelines, use a flag to get their attention. However, when you do so, make sure to inform the head coach which person has drawn the flag.
Enforcing the sidelines helps us do our jobs, and prevents injuries. We have had two officials recently injured due to contact with coaches on the sideline. Please continue to enforce the sideline rules and keep your lanes clear. The SCFA Commissioner will be addressing these issues with the administrators.
Point of Attack
A defensive holding does not need to be in the direction of the pass. HOWEVER, if you are going to call holding on a receiver opposite of the direction of the play, make sure it a BIG hold. Most of the QBs you will see will only throw to a receiver in the direction in which they are running. If the QB is running away from the receiver, any defensive holding must be egregious. If everyone in the stadium didn't see it, it probably wasn't big enough.
I often relay negative comments from coaches, all in a single effort to make each of us better officials. However, in the interest of fairness, I wanted to relay to you that I received a very positive note from an AD this week complimenting our professionalism.
I also received a note from an AD this week who noticed that all the officials arrived in the same SCCFOA polo shirt. He said that they looked very professional. Keep up the good work.
Before calling an illegal formation penalty, lets make sure we warn the coach. In a professional and courteous manner, inform the coach of the formation problem (making sure to include the player's number). Mention that you have warned the player about his alignment. Professionalism is the key. There is no reason to tell a coach: "Get him back or the next time it will be a foul". A better statement would be: "Coach, I warned #75 to get up on the line of scrimmage and I need your help with this". We want to be treated with professionalism, let's give the coaches the same courtesy.
* Remember this year for the passer to be over the line his entire body must be over the line. Do not nitpick this call. When in doubt, it is a legal forward pass.
* Do not discuss uniform/equipment issues with head coaches before the game. They have enough to worry about. Go directly to the equipment people and trainers with these problems. Let them earn their pay. Referees, please note any major equipment problems on your foul report.
* This past week, a crew improperly enforced a penalty on a live-ball unsporting foul by the scoring team by not giving the defense the option to carry it over to the kickoff. One of the seven officials should have known the rule. Be a crew-saver!
Finally, the following is from ex-NFL Referee Jim Tunney's book Impartial Judgment:
"Each week, before the next game, every official-by himself as well as with his crew-studies the game film of their previous week's game looking for ways to improve. Each crew member must be honest to admit a blown call, a missed play, and that he was in the right position to make the call (called mechanics). Only when officials learn from their mistakes will improvement take place."
"Successful officials have the courage to take action where other hesitate"
Director of Football Operations
California Community College Athletic Association