Kollen Bulletin

From: "Rich Kollen" - dayofgame@me.com
Subject: SCCFOA
Date: Friday, October 21, 2016



Golden West College will be celebrating their 50th year of being a California Community College. They will be honoring their 1966 football team. As part of the festivities, they decided to play their first ever football game on campus. They have played football for 50 years using the district stadium. They will have to rent all the equipment. Imagine Athletic Director Albert Gasparian searching Google for football scoreboards, bleachers, and pylons for rent. It should be a fun time!

On alternate Sunday nights during the football season, I have a conference call with our 16 Referees. The goal is to get all of us on the same page with respect to rules, mechanics, and game management. This past Sunday, we had an interesting discussion. I asked them to bring up things that they thought would make our officiating better and improve their performance on the field. Things like more training in mechanics, more data available on other crews' calls, instruction on how to handle coaches, and better communication. We started using crews about six years ago, and it has far exceeded my expectations. The crews become individual units under the direction the Referee. The 16 crew chiefs take their roll very seriously, doing their best to make their crews better and more accountable.

Referees agreed that during quarter or time-outs, etc., Referees should communicate with the head coaches to determine if they are getting sufficient information. I would always suggest that Referees go to each bench at the end of the first and third quarters, during the change of direction, to ensure that the head coaches do not have any issues that they want to discuss. This shouldn't result in any long conferences, but it goes a long way toward our relationship with the coaches.

Each year we get a few unusual situations. Here's the best one so far in 2016. I'll preface this with the fact that it's always nice to have a Division I official work our games on their off weekends. In this case, we had a Referee who has been a Division I official for four years. There was a backward pass incorrectly blown dead by the line judge: an inadvertent whistle. The Referee is used to working under replay rules and if there's an immediate recovery by the defense, the replay official should award the ball to the defense. Without replay, there is no such rule. This Referee awarded the "immediate recovery" to Team B. I can give the Referee somewhat of a pass, but how did six other officials, who have never worked a game under replay rules, not step up and correct this?

Celebration fouls seem to be coming back into game at the Division I level. We're also seeing more of them in our games. The Back Judge must stay with the player scoring a touchdown. I remind you that our philosophy is to first give them a stern warning for anything borderline. Anything that happens after that is on the player. Common sense obviously prevails, but let's address this before it becomes a bigger problem. Please review Rule 9-2-1-a for the list of acts and conduct that are to be automatically flagged. Note that any taunting directed at an opponent should be flagged.

Along with using common sense, use this as a learning situation. The team scores with 50 seconds to go in the game to go up by four points. The whole team comes out of the team box to celebrate. This is a perfect time to throw the flag. No one gets hurt. It's good for game management, and if a coach calls me, it is defendable.

We are starting to see leg whips by offensive interior lineman and backs throwing blocks. Let's discuss this at Saturday's pregame. We need to be aware that this technique is being taught by some of our coaches. If there is a leg whip, and there is no contact, it is not a foul. It's a good opportunity to give a warning, but it's not a foul. There must be contact to be a foul. If the contact is made at or below the knee, it is a TRP; if above the knee, it is STK.

A coach sent in a play in which A66 caught a backward pass, and ran for a long touchdown. Remember, eligibility rules only apply to legal forward passes, not backward passes. Any player can catch or recover a backward pass and advance. That includes originally ineligible players. In addition, all players (including originally ineligible players) become eligible after a Team B player or an official touches a legal forward pass. (Rule 7-3-5) Once a passer has crossed the line of scrimmage, a legal forward pass is never possible.

This past week, a flank official who trailed the play, missed the correct spot by three yards. The opposite flank official had the correct spot, but when the Referee questioned the covering official, that official insisted on staying with the incorrect spot. This is a situation in which we must leave our egos in the locker room. Don't be embarrassed, just be correct. Good officials are able to use cross-field mechanics, and know when the cross-field official may have a better spot.

A couple videos were sent in this week regarding late and/or low hits on quarterbacks. It's the Referee's responsibility to protect quarterbacks. Most teams have only one quarterback. We need to protect them as much as possible. One video showed the quarterback being picked up and thrown down, with no flag. Another low hit was called. If it's a borderline late hit, lean towards protecting our quarterbacks. I can always defend safety fouls against a quarterback. Also, remember, a quarterback is by rule defenseless when he is in the act of or just after throwing a pass (Rule 2-27-14-a) and any time after a change of possession (Rule 2-27-14-i). It doesn't mean he can't be contacted, but he is defenseless, by rule. Let's protect these players.

Thank you again for all your hard work and dedication to this great game and our community college athletes. Safe travels this week.

Rich Kollen
Director of Football Operations
Southern California Football Association

2015 SCCFOA - Southern California Collegiate Football Officials Association