Kollen Bulletin

From: "Rich Kollen" - dayofgame@aol.com
Subject: SCCFOA
Date: Fri, 20 Oct 2006

Only a couple of things this week, as there were few calls from officials, AD's and/or coaches.  I don't know if that means we're getting better, or that they are just throwing up their hands and giving up, but I think it is the former.

*    Here's a situation that occurred in a game.  A lines up for a try (kicking).  B player jumps offsides and is in the backfield "unabated" heading for the holder and kicker.  B player does not touch any A player, and no A player reacts to the jump.  Usually, offsides is a live-ball foul.  However, in such a situation, if the flank believes that there is a legitimate safety concern, the official should blow the play dead and enforce the offsides penalty because the B player is interfering with A's formation.  I stress that the flanks must make the judgment that safety is involved.  Before whistling the play dead, ensure that the B player has turned the corner and is heading toward the holder/kicker without stopping.  If the B player jumps and then stops in an attempt to return to his side of the neutral zone, there should be no whistle.  Although there is no RULE to provide for a dead-ball foul, I refer you to A.R. 7-1-5-III.  

*    Everyone must continue to be alert for A players contacting defenseless punt returners before they catch a scrimmage kick.  If an A player contacts a B player who is located in such a way that he could catch a scrimmage kick, this is a foul for interference with the opportunity to catch a kick.  If, in the judgment of the official, the A player is not breaking down, and the contact is an attempt to punish the B player, this should be a personal foul, and could cause an ejection.  The punt returner is one of the most defenseless players on the field, as he has his eyes on the ball, and will not see a potential hit.  We must protect such players and eject those players who hit them with an intent to injure or punish.

*    All officials should review the restrictions involved with blocking below the waist before this weekend's games.  We must know these, because the coaches and players may not.  To be confident in our calls, please review the restrictions:  (1) Team A players on the LOS positioned more than seven yards from the middle lineman (not always the snapper) are prohibited from blocking below the waist toward the initial position of the ball within ten yards beyond the LOS.  (Rule 9-1-2-e-1)  (2) Backs outside the frame of the normal tackle position, OR IN MOTION (no matter where they end up at the snap), are prohibited from blocking below the waist toward the initial position of the ball within ten yards beyond the LOS.  (Rule 9-1-2-e-2)  Be aware of these low crack-back blocks.  Referees and Umpires, you need to assist the flanks in determining if a team lines up their wingbacks outside the frame of the tackle.  During your next pregame, discuss how you will communicate this.  (3) B players may never block an eligible A receiver below the waist beyond the neutral zone, unless attempting to get at the ball or runner.  An eligible A receiver is no longer eligible when a legal forward pass is no longer possible.  (Rule 9-1-2-e-3)  (4) Neither team may block below the waist at any time during a down that includes a free kick or scrimmage kick  (Rule 9-1-2-e-4)  (5) Neither team may block below the waist after a change of team possession (there was a question about this during a 98-yard run-back of a fumble this past weekend).  (Rule 9-1-2-e-5)  (6) A players behind the neutral zone and in a position to receive a backward pass may not be blocked below the waist.  (Rule 9-1-2-e-6)  Make sure we know all of these rules.  We may be called upon to explain them to coaches.

*    One coach was upset that a crew shut down a play for 12 men on defense, but upon further review, there were only 11.  Remember, if you are fairly certain that you have 12 men on the field, throw your flag and shut down the play before it starts (if there are 12, we should have more than one flag, as there should be more than one person counting).  Doing so penalizes the team five yards.  (Rule 3-5-2-c)  Just remember, if you think you have 12, and no player is attempting to leave, shut down the play before it starts.  If it turns out there are only 11 players, the Referee may simply waive off the flag.  Better to waive off the flag than be forced to give a 15-yard penalty for our mistake of not shutting down the play before the snap.  (See Rule 9-1-4-b)  

*    Review the new penalty enforcement for free kicks.  The only penalty that may be tacked-on to a kick return or touchback is offsides on A.  Illegal formation (i.e., only three players on one side of the kicker) may not be tacked-on.  Other than offsides, any penalty on A simultaneous with the kick must be penalized from the previous spot or declined.  Also remember that, to tack-on the offsides penalty, the kick must have ended in a B runback or a touchback.  Discuss this new rule in your pre-games, and contrast it to the new rule on scrimmage kicks where the distance can be enforced.

*    I know I mentioned it last week, but please discuss pooch kicks in your pre-game conferences again this week.  Many teams are seeing advantages to the pooch kick.  One advantage they shouldn't have is that we don't know how to rule on them.  When there is a pooch kick, all officials should find the ball.  Remember, the receiver has protection whether or not he has given a fair-catch signal.  He must be given an opportunity to catch the kick.  If there is no B player in the area with an opportunity to catch the kick, then A may catch the kick beyond B's restraining line with no penalty.  The ball becomes dead when A catches the kick.  The main thing is that we need to have all officials watching the play, and remember the rules.

*    Remember, there is no requirement that a kicker place the ball on the tee for a free kick.  A kicker may place the ball (1) on the tee, (2) on the ground, or (3) on the ground and contacting the tee.  

Good luck this week.  We're heading into the home stretch!

Thank You
Rich Kollen

2015 SCCFOA - Southern California Collegiate Football Officials Association