Kollen Bulletin

From: "Rich Kollen" - dayofgame@me.com
Subject: SCCFOA
Date: Friday, October 23, 2015



...the thrill of victory... and the agony of defeat. Anyone who has been involved with athletics has experienced both. Neither compares to the tragedy that the Mt. San Antonio College football program experienced last Sunday when their freshman long-snapper, George Steward, and his girlfriend, Sabrina Castillo, were killed in an auto accident. Our thoughts and prayers go out to George and Sabrina's families, and the Mt. SAC football team.

I was able to attend a game last Saturday and sat with our game observer and the great-grandfather of one of the players. Both were retired NFL officials who had officiated various Super Bowls. They were very complimentary of the physical condition, hustle, ball mechanics, and overall game management of our officials. It is always nice to hear compliments from individuals who have achieved such success in football officiating. Thanks for making me look good!

Only the player who receives the snap can legally spike the ball to stop the clock, if done immediately either from a shotgun or hand-to-hand formation. The player who receives the snap is also the only one who can legally throw the ball away when outside the tackle box. If any other player (such as a pitch man) throws the ball away intentionally, even if outside of the tackle box, it is intentional grounding.

On a pass play, a beaten defensive back waved his hands in front of a receiver's face to keep him from catching the pass. The defender was penalized for pass interference. In NCAA rules, there must be contact to have a foul for pass interference. This is one difference from NFHS rules that everyone should know. It's obviously a big one. Face guarding is completely legal.

Following a touchback, the receiving team can put the ball in play at either the 20 (punt) or 25 (free kick) at any spot between the hash marks. Although it is up to the team to advise the officials of such a decision, we would like the Referee or the Umpire to casually confirm with the quarterback if he wants the ball at any spot other than the center of the field. If we are not informed of a different spot, we will spot it in the middle of the field. The Head Coach can advise the sideline officials of this request and that can be communicated to the Referee as well. This also holds true on a try. The spot can be adjusted after a penalty against the opponent, but if after placement, Team A commits a foul (including offsetting fouls), the spot cannot be adjusted.

I have heard of a number of situations in which officials have stepped up when penalties were being enforced incorrectly or flags are discussed and correctly removed. This is excellent officiating and it has not gone unnoticed. If you know a mistake is being made, show courage and be a crew-saver. Step up and get it right. Don't bring it up in the locker room, when there is nothing that can be done about it. Get it right on the field!

I understand that we ask you to watch a lot of things on each play. However, when you have a foul, we MUST get the number of the offending player. Coaches properly expect us to give them a number on all fouls. They need that number to help them coach their players. This is especially true on the major fouls. When we can't give the coach a number, we lose credibility.

Officials need not be fashion police but I am seeing a lot of back pads flopping, game jerseys tied in knots, and shoulder pads exposed. Make sure you know the rules, and enforce them. Umpire, make sure to take care of this before the game, as best you can.

We have seen it many times, receiver and defender running side by side down the field when their feet get tangled and one or both go down. The reaction from the fans is always pass interference. Both players can play for the ball, unless there are other elements. Tangled feet is not pass interference. The exception is if one player is not playing the ball. In the case where one player is playing the other player, and not the ball, tangled feet is pass interference. If they are both reasonably playing the ball, there is no pass interference for tangled feet.

With the hurry up offenses we are seeing and the 40-second clock, we do not need to wait for chains or the down box to be ready. Let the play go. The Head Linesman should use his bean bag to hold the spot, if necessary. "When they get beat, they cheat." When a lineman misses his block and the defender has beaten him, watch for a grab and hold, or a trip. When a defensive back allows the receiver to get by him, look for him to reach and attempt to restrict the receiver from catching the pass.

We all need to understand that when an offensive player blocks or pushes a potential tackler into the ball carrier, there is no foul for block in the back. If it is serious enough, it can be a personal foul, but not a block in the back. On the same note, if during a scrimmage kick, the defender is pushed/blocked into the receiver, there is not a foul. However, if you determine the push/block is not what caused the contact, it is a foul. It's a tough call, but if a second act causes the contact, call kick catch interference.

When the plays ends in the side zone, from the top of the numbers to the sideline, and is close to a first down, spot the ball there and let the Referee determine if a measurement is needed. Do not spot it on the hash marks. Hand the ball to the covering official to spot in the side zone.

We had a play in which, just before halftime, the ball carrier made a first down inbounds with two seconds remaining on the clock. The Referee handled it perfectly, allowing the offense to get ready quickly, and then informing the quarterback that his whistle will start the clock. He also informed the quarterback that he only had time for one play (by rule). We always want a play to be run in this situation, but only one. No time for a spike.

We have had an increase in targeting calls the last two weeks. Coaches continue to teach lowering the strike zone and never use the crown of the helmet. Coaches have done an excellent job getting this dangerous act out of football. Please continue to do so.

Thanks again for all you do. Safe travels!

Rich Kollen
Director of Football Operations
Southern California Football Association

2015 SCCFOA - Southern California Collegiate Football Officials Association