From: "Rich Kollen" - firstname.lastname@example.org
Date: Friday, October 18, 2019
SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA FOOTBALL ASSOCIATION
2019 WEEKLY BULLETIN #7
Our student-athletes, athletic directors, coaches, and officials are lucky to have someone like Jim Sartoris as the Commissioner of the SCFA. Jim's background as a Division I football player at University of Washington, head football coach at Glendale College for 19 years, and athletic director, makes him the right guy in the right spot. Jim was a defensive back and punt returner for the Huskies. During one punt return, Jim ran 60 yards for a touchdown in the Coliseum against USC. The commissioner's job is very difficult. Placing colleges in the most competitive conference, scheduling games for our 37 colleges, seeing that everyone operates within the rules, and dealing with eligibility issues is a daunting task. The commissioner of the NCFC (Northern California) was also a long-time community college head coach and athletic director, Gary Kollenborn. Both commissioners should be commended on their role of administering the 72 California community colleges lucky enough to play this great game of college football.
There seems to be some confusion on sideline warnings. This year, the covering official should throw a flag when indicating a sideline warning. On the first infraction (with a flag), it is a warning, but no yardage penalty. On the second and third infractions, it is a delay of game for sideline interference, 5 yards from the succeeding spot. On the fourth and subsequent infractions, it is a team UNS penalty for sideline interference, 15 yards from the succeeding spot and automatic first down for fouls on Team B. (Rule 9-2-5-a)
Every time there is a timeout, be sure to tell the head coach how many timeouts he has remaining in the half. This must be accurate. When the team has called their last timeout of the half, the Referee must inform the head coach that he is out of timeouts for the half.
Verbal communication is critical when interacting with coaches. It shares billing with body language and officials' posture, movement, stance and facial expression. All of these send messages that words cannot. I refer to this as "comportment." Look the coach straight in the eyes, stand straight and relaxed, and don't give any indication of indecisiveness or antagonism. Be professional. The coaches and players are your customers.
When you send in plays to be evaluated, if possible, always include sideline and endzone video. In most cases, I need both views to correctly give you an opinion on the play. If you are using Hudl, please give me the play number. We are able to share these videos for training. Each week, I send out three video plays. The goal is to have all officials on the same page. They all make for good discussion, so please continue to send in these plays.
Since we have our officials on the field 45 minutes prior to kick-off to supervise the warm-ups, be reminded that teams can warm up from their 45-yard line to their endline. Referees and Back Judges are responsible to walk the field to be sure that the field is ready for play (pylons are in place, chain crew has everything ready for an on time start for the game, etc.). Head Line Judge (H) is responsible for the chains. Make sure to see that all the links are in place and there's a mark at the 5-yard spot on the chains. A trick to speed up close measurements is if the ball is in front of the 5-yard mark, inform the Referee that "five will get you one" (a five-yard penalty will result in a first down).
We need to do a better job after a try or a successful field goal. The Back Judge should start his own one minute timer immediately after the play. He should take the ball to the middle of the field after 45 seconds has expired. We need to have the ready for play signal at or before the one minute mark after the try or successful field goal. We are allowing huddles at the sideline, sometimes taking two minutes. This is not a time-out situation. It is an intermission which has a maximum length of one minute. (Rule 3-3-7-h)
We are seeing more and more rugby-style kickers on scrimmage kick situations. Basically, they catch the snap, run 3-5 yards left or right and then kick the ball. This is done to give the punt team time to get down field to cover the punt. This is a tough decision for the Referee with contact. If the kicker is outside the tackle box, about 5 yards from the center, they do not get normal kicker protection. It is not roughing the kicker, although it could be a personal foul if it meets the general requirements (late, excessive, etc.). (Rule 9-1-16-a-4)
Perhaps you've heard the phrase that a game wasn't decided until the final gun. For many years, a shot from a starter's pistol indicated the end of the quarter. I remember the sound of the starter gun during my high school playing days in the early 1960s. When I started officiating in the late 1960s, it was already gone.
Ruling whether the runner was down sometimes is difficult. We know that when any body part (other than a hand or foot) touches the ground, the ball becomes dead (e.g., elbow, forearm, lower leg, etc.). (Rule 4-1-3-b) Remember, however, that when an ankle or wrist touches the ground, that is considered part of the hand/foot, and the ball remains live.
Recently, in Division I college games, we've seen drop kicks used in onside kick situations. That is perfectly legal. (Rule 2-16-6) A drop kick, by definition, is a kick by a player who drops the ball and kicks it "as" it touches the ground. The kick must be done while the ball is touching the ground. (Rule 2-16-3). It is a penalty if kicked on the downward drop or as it bounces back up off the ground (dead-ball foul, five yards from succeeding spot). (Rule 2-16-1-b and A.R. 6-1-2-I) Also, a kicking tee cannot be on the field during a drop kick.
Recently, a coach sent in video of a false start by a running back, which we missed. Of course, the fouling team scored a touchdown on the play. Remember that a play needs to be immediately shut down on a false start. (Rule 7-1-3-d) Nothing good ever happens if it is not called. If it looks questionable on the field, when you watch the video, it always looks worse. Shut it down! (see this weeks video play)
We need to be better at penalty enforcements from the right spot. If you have a spot enforcement, make sure you know where the foul occurred. Bank that in your mind when you throw the flag. The flag will not magically land on the right yard line. Know the spot of enforcement as you throw the flag, and remember it.
"Teamwork begins by building trust. And the only way to do that is to overcome our need for invulnerability." - Patrick Lencioni
Director of Football Operations