From: "Rich Kollen" - email@example.com
Date: Thursday, October 19, 2012
SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA FOOTBALL ASSOCIATION
2012 WEEKLY BULLETIN #8
In overtime on a third down play, the QB's helmet came off and rolled three yards away as he threw an incomplete pass at the LOS. No one on the crew recognized what happened. This is unacceptable! Luckily for all officials, the QB (who should have been out for one play) did not score the tying touchdown on the next down. The Umpire had gotten knocked down on the play, so he got a pass. However, the Referee, Line Judge and Head Linesman have absolutely no excuses. We need to be better than that and make these easy calls.
Tip for Umpires, which I hope most of you find to be common sense. When you spot the ball, always place it at 1-2-3-4-5. 1 is the hash mark nearest the press box; 2 is the intersection of the upright; 3 is the center of the field; 4 is other upright; and 5 is the opposite hash mark. Umpires and Referees need to be on the same page in spotting the ball after each play.
SCCFOA Philosophy of the Week: If there is a potential offensive holding, but the action occurs clearly away from the point of attack and could not possibly have any effect on the play, offensive holding should not be called. The only call that should be made in that situation is if the hold rises to the level of a personal foul. Safety fouls should always be called.
On punt plays, the Field Judge and Side Judge MUST keep their focus on their keys: the gunners. Stay with them all the way down the field. You should be able to see where the kick is going with your peripheral vision. You shouldn't have to take your eyes off your key. There are too many blocks in the back that are going uncalled. Remember these calls will offset fouls by the kicker like kick-catch interference and other personal fouls.
On another punt play video that I watched, the receiver caught the ball with both feet in the end zone; however, the ball never broke the plane. The Back Judge blew the play dead. #1, it is a high school rule that the ball breaking the plane kills the play; this should have remained live. #2, the Back Judge should not be making this call. The Side Judge and Field Judge, who are on the goal line, are in better position. Luckily, the Referee made the common sense call on the inadvertent whistle, ruling that the ball was in the end zone when the IW happened, thus awarding a touchback.
On another punt play, the receiver attempted to fake-out the kicking team by running from his five yard line to the ten in an apparent attempt to catch the punt. He was wrapped up at the ten, and the ball then bounced at the two yard line, before trickling into the end zone. The Back Judge threw his flag for kick-catch interference. Remember, to be KCI, the receiver must be so located that he could have caught the scrimmage kick. This player clearly was not in position to catch the kick. (Rule 6-4-1)
Don't forget that a free kick after a safety that is downed in the end zone results in the ball being placed at the 25-yard line, not the 20. It is ANY free kick. (Rule 6-1-7-b)
One of our coaches sent me three separate video clips that showed his opponent's personal protectors on a punt play clearly blocking below the waist against oncoming defenders. Review Rule 9-1-6. Blocks below the waist on any plays that involve a legal kick are always illegal. These are dangerous blocks and one lead to a serious injury. How can this happen so late in the season? Remember, we start with the premise that "blocking below the waist is illegal." There are exceptions, but never on kick downs. The Referee said he did not see the blocks because he was watching the kicker. Referees, Line Judges and Head Linesmen, please make sure you discuss this at your pregame conferences this week. Line Judges and Head Linesmen must be able to help. These illegal and dangerous blocks cannot be missed!
As I'm sure you're aware, during the remainder of the season, our games will be very competitive. I have seen a noticeable lack of hustle by our Back Judges and Referees on plays going out of bounds. Remember, if an A player goes into the B bench, we have to have at least one official escorting that player(s) out of the bench safely. The Referees need to be there when it is the QB. The Back Judges and deep flanks must be there for everyone else.
Just so we're all on the same page, on a screen pass that is directed at a receiver behind the line of scrimmage, but is overthrown, our philosophy says that ineligible players are not illegally downfield. If the intended receiver is clearly beyond the line of scrimmage and the ball lands beyond the line of scrimmage, this is a penalty. This takes concentration and communication between the Umpire, the flank officials and the Referee. Make it what it is intended to be.
This is not high school. Our penalty reporting procedures require us to get a player's number. We need to announce that number and, more importantly, we need to report the number to the coach. If the microphone isn't working, we need to relay this number to the coach at some time in the next few plays. Coaches have reported that officials have either (a) given the wrong number, or (b) failed to give any number at all. At this level we MUST get the coach the correct number.
A lot of talk recently about the ball carrier's second action at the goal line. When the ball carrier is on top of players fighting for the goal line without being wrapped up, I suggest you wait to see if the second action of extending the ball over the goal line occurs. I would like to see the flank official hold his spot until the decision is made and run in to sell the call. Remember, I'm talking about second-action of players on top of other players with nothing but their hand or foot touching the ground. This does not include the second-action of a player who is down.
Have a great weekend and remember there is always ONE play in each game you need to get correct to have a good game. It might be the first play of the game or the last. It is best to be ready at all times to get it correct.
"It's what you learn after you know it all that counts." John Wooden
Director of Football Operations
Southern California Football Association