From: "Rich Kollen" - firstname.lastname@example.org
Date: Friday, October 11, 2014
SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA FOOTBALL ASSOCIATION
2014 WEEKLY BULLETIN #6
Here's a big shout out to two of our SCCFOA members, Darren Winkley and Bob Wucetich. The Red River Shootout between Oklahoma and Texas will be played at the Cotton Bowl in Dallas, Texas, this Saturday. The game, assigned by the Big 12 Conference, is one of the biggest rivalry games in all of college football. Congrats to Darren (CJ) and Bob (replay communicator) on a GREAT officiating assignment.
If you are going to be a "crew saver" and overrule another official, you had better be right! We had a few instances recently of officials going into another official's area and changing a ruling. Videos show that the intervening official was wrong in changing the official's call. Again, sometimes another angle on a catch or penalty can help; just make sure that the video will support the changing of the call. If you aren't 100% certain, don't bring doubt into the situation.
HL and LJ, you need to remind the person clipping the chains on first downs not to remove the old clip until the ready signal is given for the next down. Too many times, clips are removed early, the ruling is changed, and officials do not know were the original spot was, because the chains were moved. It is an easy mechanic, but we need to remind them.
As a reminder, a receiving team player attempting to catch a kick, and located such that he could have caught a free kick or a scrimmage kick beyond the neutral zone, must be given an unimpeded opportunity to catch the kick. Read that again. CATCH the kick, not touch it. (Rule 6-4-1-a). If a player is hit simultaneously with touching the ball, and the hit separates him from the ball, this is interfering with the opportunity to catch the kick (and may be a personal foul, depending on the hit...remember that the receiver is defenseless).
Referees, if you find yourself spending an excessive amount of time explaining a situation to one coach, always go to the other coach and explain the purpose of the extended dialogue. This will go a long way in establishing and maintaining your credibility. The other coach tends to think the worst, and can get jealous if you spend too much time with the opposing coach.
Want to be a better football official at this level? Think about the following points:
Be decisive and understanding, especially with players and coaches.
Keep your composure.
Demonstrate a lot of common sense.
Learn to resolve conflict.
Do not promote yourself. Let your actions show how good you are.
Be a good listener.
Help other officials.
Have a real passion for the game (be obsessed).
Know the rules (be the "go-to" official for the Referee).
With the increased use of Hudl, the association's video coordinator and I have evaluated many more plays than in previous years. In evaluating plays, I have noticed many times that the officials are out of position. There is no substitute for good mechanics. Being out of position is the first step in missing the call. Like knowing the rules, knowing where to be and how to get there are equally important. Watch yourself on video. Watch any game on TV...NFL/Major College. We are generally following the same mechanics. If you are in the right position, you'll be amazed how much easier the game is to officiate. If you aren't, it can be impossible.
In a recent game, the crew erred by awarding the ball back to Team A after an apparent change of possession, A-B-A. There was no possession by team B creating the A-B-A, and the resulting first down for A. It gets better. The flank official informed the coach we had an A-B-A. The coach had no idea what that meant. Because it was a third-down play, he put in the punt return team. If there is a unique or unusual situation that occurs, or there is an unusual penalty situation that occurs, it is imperative that all of the information is communicated to the coach. Lesson learned. When in doubt, slow down! Do not be afraid to stop the game and ask questions.
Good officials have the ability to communicate with players and coaches so that they have a clear understanding of all of the events taking place, and the rules being enforced. That allows them to make the most informed decision possible.
In another recent game, the team was in the process of throwing backward passes with no time left on the clock, as they were down three points. As one of the players went to the ground, he fumbled. Believing the game was over, the leading team came off the bench. The ball was then recovered, and the runner was tackled shortly thereafter. The officials properly penalized the team for coming onto the field during a live ball. If this happens, know the rules. During the game, bench personnel are not allowed to be on the field of play or outside the 25-yard lines. Penalty is a dead-ball foul, 15 yards from the succeeding spot. (Rule 9-2-1-b-1). If, however, any of these people interfere in any way with the ball, player or an official, it comes under Rule 9-2-3-a. The penalty is any action that the Referee considers equitable. In this case, because the team interfered with the official, the Referee properly gave the other team one untimed down. It resulted in an incomplete pass; however, neither team can say they got cheated.
Hand checking by both receiver and defender is NOT pass interference. Snap/snap feel/feel is OK. One player "materially affecting" the other is pass interference. I am seeing too many flags that are not fouls. Remember, DPI requires contact with the intent to impede an eligible opponent and such that it could prevent the opponent the opportunity of receiving a forward pass. (Rule 7-3-8-c) There is a lot of incidental contact in college. We need to let that go.
One of the oldest community colleges in California is Fullerton College. They opened in 1913, and began playing football in 1916 with a 7-3 loss to Whittier College. Next year they will be celebrating 100 years of community college football. What a milestone!
Thanks for all you do for our student-athletes and this great game!
Director of Football Operations
Southern California Football Association