Kollen Bulletin

From: "Rich Kollen" - dayofgame@aol.com
Subject: SCCFOA
Date: Friday, October 18, 2013



Without getting into a philosophical debate on out-of-state student-athletes attending our colleges, I recently overheard a conversation at the airport in Dallas. A couple was discussing their son’s future in football. It went from the cost of a recruiting service, to trying to get the son a scholarship, to the father saying he was told of the benefits of playing at a community college in California. The parents, of course, were hoping for the scholarship, but were in agreement that two years at a community college would be a good opportunity for their son. Before boarding the plane, I had to ask where they lived and how they had come to learn about community college football in California. They were from Utah and said that everyone knows about the opportunities to play football for a community college in California. This is a testament to community college system, that so many from out-of-state are interested in attending.

In a recent call, an athletic director asked about the pep band playing during the game. Drum lines also came up in the conversation. We welcome them with open arms and I think they bring excitement to our games. By rule, however, they must stop playing when the play is ready to start (i.e., when the offense is approaching the line for the next play). If it interferes with the offense calling their signals at the line, it is not allowed. However, use some common sense here. Ask them to stop, without throwing a flag.

I certainly do not have the ability to grade all calls made each weekend. I look at the calls that the coaches send in. The terminology I use is simple: incorrect call (IC); correct call (CC); marginal call (MC). We need to work hard to correct the ICs and MCs. Get the BIG ones! Last Saturday, in important games involving high-ranked teams, we had a few ICs and MCs. Each of them had an effect on the outcome of the game.

A few tips for Referees: During the pre-game discussion with coaches, find out the extremities (arms and legs) used by the passers and kickers. This will help you know where to line up on the field. Recent video revealed Referees scrambling to get into proper position. We want you on the side of the throwing arm of the passer, kicking leg of a punter, and open look at the holder during field goals and tries. When faced with complicated penalty enforcements, avoid the captain and ask the offended team’s head coach to choose his option. NCAA football rules permit a holder for a field goal or try to catch the snap with his knee on the ground, throw a pass, or rise and run or throw a pass, or kick it. The holder can also rise for a bad snap, go down to a knee, and has the same options. A crew was unaware of this rule last week. Referees need to do a better job cleaning up on running plays near the sidelines. When players go out-of-bounds near a team bench, we must have four officials there to protect the players, and you are one of the four! Roughing the passer is a BIG call; make sure it’s there.

Last Saturday, in a game with three seconds before halftime, with a running clock, the offense committed a false start. This stopped the clock giving them another play. Stopping the clock helped them get the play off. The officials ruled correctly, because we do not use the NCAA 10 sec. run-off rule. Next season, if we use the NCAA rule, the half would have been over. We have seen blocks below the waist not called during scrimmage kicks (punts). These illegal blocks have been by the three personal protectors. By rule, no player may block below the waist from the snap until the end of the kick plays. The Referee is the primary official to see these blocks. With the rugby style of kickers many colleges use, however, their attention is distracted. I have therefore authorized two crews to move their umpires to the offensive backfield during scrimmage kicks to assist in seeing these illegal and dangerous blocks. Referees, if you are interested, email me and we can discuss the mechanics change.

Beanbags are to mark the spot of a fumble. They are NOT to indicate a loose ball. Note the difference. If you do not see the ball come out, do not drop your beanbag. Obviously, back judges still use a bean bag to mark the end of a kick. The rule of thumb is that the beanbag is used solely to mark a spot. If you don't have a spot, don't drop it.

We had three flags on a hit on a receiver across the middle. I’m sure the officials who made the call were processing targeting, which I understand. The problem now starts when the receiver gets up and gives an exaggerated first down signal and should have been flagged for UNS. The Referee said it was discussed at halftime and two officials said they should have thrown a flag. The Referee thought he should have gotten the crew together to ask what they saw, when actually, someone should have stepped up and made this crew-saving call.

On close plays at the goal line, make sure you sell the call. Give a firm touchdown signal, or give a firm spot short of the goal line. If we show confidence in our calls, no one will know whether we were correct or not. Perception is everything. Remember, we don’t have replay, and our video isn’t very good. No one will know if you’re right or not, but if you sell it, they’ll believe you.

Ineligible receivers downfield continue to be an issue. We have missed it both ways, players 10 yards downfield blocking, not called, and 4-5 yards downfield, completely out of the play, being called. Use common sense.

With all the substitutions in our games, I am surprised using a substitution to deceive has not occurred before now. It did occur in a game last week where a TD was scored. A sub entered the game and did meet the requirement by going to the top of the numbers (9 yards). Then with other substitutions occurring, he goes to the sideline, is not seen by the defense, and he scores a TD. This is using the substitution process to deceive and should have resulted in a 15-yard UNS penalty. A common sense key to calling this play correctly is if the player gets covered by the defense, let it go.

“Sports can do so much. They've given me a framework: meeting new people, confidence, self-esteem, discipline, and motivation. All these things I learned, whether I knew I was learning them or not, through sports." Mia Hamm

Good luck this week! As always, travel safe and thank you for your hard work!

Rich Kollen
Director of Football Operations
Southern California Football Association

2015 SCCFOA - Southern California Collegiate Football Officials Association