From: "Rich Kollen" - firstname.lastname@example.org
Date: Thursday, October 10, 2019
SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA FOOTBALL ASSOCIATION
2019 WEEKLY BULLETIN #6
A very successful coach, who has a good knowledge of the rules, called and the conversation went like this: "That old official who is retiring this year, well, I'm going to miss him." When asked why, this was his answer: "He keeps the flag in his pocket until there is a foul." This official's philosophy is: Make the foul big, call what needs to be called, and communicate with coaches and fellow officials. That is the key to success and something to be learned from a veteran.
PHILOSOPHY - I watched a play on video from last weekend that was ruled a catch-fumble. When I called the official who made the call, he told me the play was "bang-bang." Please know the philosophies. Bang-bang plays should always be ruled incomplete. Will the defensive coach complain? Probably, but we can always sell that call. If in doubt, the receiver did NOT have possession. Incomplete pass. No cheap fumbles. When-in-question, the catch is not completed.
Referees and observers reported on a few learning opportunities from last weekend:
Umpires, you need to turn on passes over the middle in order to help with catch/no catch. You are in the best position to step up and see the ball hitting the ground.
Officials should not be chasing passes and kicks that go out of bounds. This is not high school. Someone will get you a new ball, so don't go chasing. We need your attention on dead-ball action, going through your pre-snap routine, and to be ready for the next down.
When the play ends, raise your right arm above your head for 3-5 sec. We are seeing too many quick up-and-down arm movements. Our timers need all the help they can get.
On fourth down plays, I would like to see each official giving the "squirrel-cage," chest level, signal 19 in the Rulebook, to alert everybody fourth down fumble rules are in place. After a fourth down, the clock will be stopped after the play regardless of what happens.
Once a passer goes beyond the line of scrimmage, if he moves back behind the line of scrimmage and throws a forward pass, this is a penalty (Rule 7-3-2-e).
Remember, under NCAA rules, defensive players may enter the neutral zone without a foul, as long as there is no reaction from the offensive player and the defensive player gets back on his side of the neutral zone before the snap. (Rule 7-1-5-b-1) I have seen plays shut down by our officials using the high school rule.
When the normal play ends, the 40 second play clock should be started immediately. There is no need for the Referee to blow his whistle putting the ball in play like the old days. Simply put, the offense must snap the ball within 40 seconds after the end of the prior play.
Whether a pass is forward or backward is a big call, especially if the ball falls incomplete. The line judge is the primary official responsible. Each crew must work out a signal to alert the official on the opposite side. When in question, forward pass rather than backward pass.
We had a situation on a punt where the receiver signaled fast and early for a fair catch. No official saw the signal. 4-5 defenders gathered around the receiver, knowing there was a signal. The receiver did a hop step, and then ran for a touchdown. This is the call for Back Judges. You must learn how to follow the ball and receiver throughout the play. There are two reasons: a signal kills any return and with any signal, the receiver cannot block. After you clear the kicker, the Referee needs to look downfield and help. I understand there is disagreement about the ethics of this play, but let's worry about getting it right first.
Timing is critical to the game of football, and we have been having issues all season with our timers. We have seven officials on the field that should all be concentrating on timing errors. You can correct the clock at any time that is not properly stopped. We do have a policy to only correct any mistake under five seconds within the last five minutes of each half. Outside of five minutes, let's make sure it is a big mistake before fixing it. Speaking of timing, we had a field goal that went through the uprights with two seconds remaining, and the time ran out in the half. The crew correctly caught the error, but unless the next snap is from scrimmage, the half is over. The crew allowed for a kickoff which is not supported by a rule. It is likely that nothing good is going to happen on a kickoff. Most likely situation is an injury, which none of us want.
I usually don't write about subjective things like holding, but when a coach sends me a video of offensive tackles completely wrapping and throwing a defender to the ground at the point of attack, it's hard to defend. I will support offensive holding any time a defender is wrapped up and taken to the ground, especially at the point of attack. We have to get the ones that affect the play.
To score a touchdown, a team must get any part of the ball across their opponent's goal line, breaking the plane. (Rule 8-2-1-a) Coming out of the end zone, to avoid a possible safety, the entire ball must be out! (Rule 8-5-1-a)
On a kickoff, if the receiver catches the ball with one foot inbounds and one out of bounds, the ruling is a penalty for a free kick out of bounds. (Rule 6-2-1) If a kickoff goes out of bounds, the next snap will always come from the hash closest to the sideline where it went out. The receiving team does not have a location option to start the series. Officials, get into the habit, after a touchback, of asking the coach where he would like to start the series. (Or, if possible, get this information before the kickoff or punt.) Start using numbers with coaches, 1 being hash mark closest to the press box, 5 being hash marks farthest from the press box, 3 middle of the field, 2/4 on the appropriate uprights.
When reporting a foul to the Referee, take your time and give him all the information. Name the team committing the foul, type of foul, status of the ball when the foul was committed, and the result of the play. Many of us are forgetting to let the Referee know the result of the play. The Referee needs all the information to make a correct enforcement and announcement. The Referee should slow the reporting official down and do not let him leave until you have all the information. Try to always have another official in on the discussion.
Director of Football Operations