From: "Rich Kollen" - email@example.com
Date: Thursday, October 13, 2011
SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA FOOTBALL ASSOCIATION
2011 WEEKLY BULLETIN #7
On Wednesday night, Commissioner Jim Sartoris and I conducted the first conference call during the season with the head coaches. The purpose was to get input from our coaches on the issues they notice in our officiating. The coaches have been generally positive, and they are aware that our games are difficult to officiate. Their input will be used in our training program.
We had a situation where a crew suspected a player feigned an injury to stop the clock. The crew granted the time-out and the player was replaced. I think we must always err on the side of player safety. This is a coaching ethics issue. Coaches are reminded that, according to the statement on coaching ethics, "feigning an injury for any reason is unethical. An injured player must be given full protection under the rules, but feigning injury is dishonest, unsportsmanlike and contrary to the spirit of the rules. Such tactics cannot be tolerated among sportsmen ofintegrity." If you feel a player has feigned an injury, put it in your game report. I will discuss it with the head coach.
Many coaches submit a weekly game report on the officials who did their game. Communication is one of the ratings categories. Many have been very positive on the information they get from the officials. Keep up the good work and try each week to improve in dealing with coaches' concerns. Invariably, lack of communication is #1 on the list of coaches' pet peeves.
I have heard of a number of situations in which officials have stepped up when penalties were being enforced incorrectly. This is excellent officiating and it has not gone unnoticed. If you know a mistake is being made, show courage and be a crew-saver. Step up and get it right.
Officials are again reminded that headsets are not covered by our rules. Therefore, I remind you that, should the Referee be notified that one team's headsets are not working, the Referee should take the time to notify the opponents and suggest that, in the spirit of fairness, they remove their headsets until the problem is fixed. That's as far as we can go. The headsets do not fall within the rules we are charged with enforcing. This is a game management issue. Please note it in the game reports.
There is no numbering requirement determining eligibility for a backward pass. Although numbers 50-79 are ineligible to touch a forward pass, they are permitted to catch a backward pass.
Fumble/down is one of the hardest calls in football. I encourage you to use our philosophy. Studies show that over 90% of the time, on a close call, the ball was fumbled before a body part hit the ground. If you are not 100% certain that the runner is down, rule a fumble. If the player doesn't want to lose the ball, he should hold onto it.
We must always be aware of hits on passers, kickers, holders and other defenseless players. Remember that a lot of these players are indispensible to their teams. Let's make sure we protect these key players.
I understand that we ask you to watch a lot of things on each play. However, when you have a foul, we MUST get the number of the offending player. Coaches properly expect us to give them a number on all fouls. They need that number to help them coach their players. This is especially true on the major fouls. When we can't give the coach a number, we lose credibility.
As we enter the second half of the season, I would like to address the process and challenge of assigning games. With over 240 officials (40 of whom are in their first- or second-year), it is a challenge. First, we rely on our area coordinators for their input. Then, our Referees give their recommendations. We then must determine positions for each official. In the past, you might work a Back Judge one Saturday, and then as an Umpire the next week. We now do our best to keep officials in similar positions (deeps, flanks, Umpire or Referee). Our crews have been a successful program and we will expand that process again next year. Please know that we work very hard on the assignments. We try to put the best officials on all of our games. Please be patient. The cream will rise to the top.
Have a great weekend! Thanks for all you do!
Football officiating is a team game -- you're all members of the same crew.
The game is either well-officiated or poorly-officiated.
Director of Football Operations
Southern California Football Association