From: "Rich Kollen" - email@example.com
Date: Thursday, October 25, 2007 8:26:00 AM
The season is winding down; however, there are several important games scheduled in all the conferences that will determine playoff seeding and bowl games. Stay focused and concentrate on every play.
I apologize for some of the games being canceled this week. I know officials hate to lose assignments. However, circumstances being what they are, those of us with a roof over our heads should feel blessed and should keep those affected by the fires in our thoughts and prayers.
I am sure a lot of you saw this play last Friday on national television. A crew allowed a player to signal for a fair catch, and then run for a 74-yard winning TD. I am sure each member of the crew had an excuse for not seeing the signal; however, I would bet at least one of the officials went to bed that night asking himself why he did not step up and save the crew. We have made football officiating such a science that no one leaves their coverage to see the big picture. I believe officials must be aware of the plays within their area and what is happening around them. Be the official who has the guts to step-up and save the crew, even if it isn't "your call."
On the same note, I had a call from a coach asking which official was responsible for watching holding on a sweep play. I explained the coverage on this type of play, but my bigger concern was that the coach claimed he was told by the official closest to the play that "it was not my man." A coach should never hear this from us. All seven of us are responsible for all 22 men on the field. I understand you have your keys and specific players, but if you see it, and it is a call that needs to be made, make the call! Leave egos in the locker room and be happy if someone makes a call in your area that you missed. That said, don't go looking for fouls, whether they are in or out of your area.
In a game last week, a kicker attempted to bring in a "kicking" ball. The attempt was correctly denied. My concern is that the coach told me it had been permitted all year. I hope this is not true! In college, we do not have kicking balls, we have footballs.
It appears as though we are calling more fouls during recent games. If they are there, that is fine. But, Referees, please discuss our philosophy on advantage/disadvantage in your next pre-game. Everyone make your calls considering the point of attack and whether the action put a team at a competitive disadvantage. Get the alligators, leave the lizards! For example, holding by the left end on a sweep to the right is not an alligator, unless it is severe enough to be considered a personal foul (rare).
At various games this season, we have sent out on-site observers to watch your games. They submit evaluations to Bill, Dean, Jack and me. I have outlined some of their general observations below. Please review these as a learning tool, and envision yourself in these situations:
* During kick returns to the far sideline, offside officials are not moving onto the field of play to "clean-up" and create a presence after the down has ended
* Kick caught in middle of field; appears both FJ and SJ were watching the catch as a flyer is blocked in back about 5 yards in front of the team B return man prior to completion of the catch
* When passes land in the field of play, always consider such passes catchable for DPI purposes
* Ineligible downfield is a big call; make sure it is big and has an effect on the play before we make that call
* During dead ball situations, no hustle by crew to move to the dead ball spot, exchange footballs or move to set the chains. Entire crew appeared lazy, tired, disinterested
* During the 45 minutes before the game, the crew was joking with coaches and others on the field
* During halftime, two officials stayed on the field and the others went somewhere else. This is not Pop Warner where we eat hot dogs during halftime. Either all stay on the field (not recommend) or all leave the field (recommended)
Good luck this week (those of you whose games have not been cancelled)!