From: "Rich Kollen" - firstname.lastname@example.org
Date: Thursday, October 24, 2013
SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA FOOTBALL ASSOCIATION
2013 WEEKLY BULLETIN #8
Tony Corrente, Coordinators of Officials for the PAC 12 Conference, Super Bowl Referee, NFL official, and cancer survivor started his football officiating career on our community college fields. The following is from his latest bulletin to officials working at the highest level of college football. The subject is penalizing the obvious. Since I have coordinated the community college officials, I have always advocated the same approach to football officiating.
This past week it was very gratifying to see that each game was officiated to such a high standard. In reviewing game reports there were numerous instances where an official wrote "not enough restriction" or "passed as it had no effect on the outcome of the play." This is the type of focus that brings us to the highest level possible. Continue to maintain the high standard of PENALIZING THE OBVIOUS and not the technical. Carry with you the spirit and intent of the rule and not simply the "black and white" version. It is your experience, your expertise and awareness about the game and game situation that guides you through all of the grey toward a successful outcome.
In a high school game last Friday between two Long Beach schools, a fight broke out during the traditional post-game handshake. Fights in two other local high school games will result in 16 players being suspended this Friday. Grambling players refused to travel by bus to a game. Being a high school or college athlete is a privilege and carries with it a responsibility to school, family, and fellow athletes. I am impressed with our coaches and players, who even with high competitiveness and emotional games this year, have not had these issues.
A coach emailed me the following: At the pre-snap the center and tight ends have their hands on the ground. The guards and tackles have their hands on their knees. When the coach calls a different play, the tight ends lift their hands off the ground and stand up to look to the sideline. They get the call and then go back to their stance with their hand on the ground. Is this legal? As long as the tight end is not covered up, he can lift his hand off the ground (if done smoothly). Make sure you understand this rule, as you might see it somewhere this week.
Let's try to be more consistent in our enforcement of equipment issues. Last week a crew identified some equipment issues before the game. The coach commented that no other crew had said anything all season. Speaking of equipment issues, do not address the head coach with the issues. Find an assistant coach, trainer, or equipment staffer. The head coach has more important things to think about before a game.
PHILOSOPHY!!! I watched a play on video from last weekend that was ruled as a catch-fumble. When I called the official who made the ruling, he told me the play was "bang-bang." Please know our philosophies. BANG-BANG plays should always be ruled incomplete. Will the defensive coach complain? Probably, but we can always sell that call. If in doubt, the receiver did NOT have possession. Incomplete pass. No cheap fumbles.
We had a play last week where the 11th defensive players ran through the offensive backfield to get into defensive position. This play should have been shut down and the defense penalized.
All officials should get into the habit of writing down the number of the player you called for a foul. Coaches rightfully tend to be very suspicious of a foul called on their team by an official who doesn't remember the violator's number. Remembering the number will help keep coaches off your back. On major penalties, you MUST know the number. Next year, SCFA will be using the standard NCAA penalty form requiring all fouls to be listed along with violator's number.
We have had two officials seriously injured this season, both requiring surgery. Please wish David Voracek and Mark Millson a speedy recovery. Hope to have them both back next season.
On a play last week, we had scrimmage kick formation with the center's hands on the ball. The offense then shifted, leaving two players previously ineligible in eligible positions. HOWEVER, the two players were still ineligible by number (75 and 63). One of the officials called an illegal formation foul. This is not a foul. It is only numbering-exception players who cannot be in an eligible position if they first set up in an ineligible position. Make sure you know this rule. Rule 7-1-4-a-5(b).
Sideline headphones are not covered by our rules. It seems like we talk about this every year. If one side's headphones go out, tell the other side that their opponents' headphones are not working, so they should be professional and remove their headphones. Leave it at that. If they do not remove their headphones, there isn't anything that we can do by rule.
Here are a few quick tips. Once the passer goes beyond the line of scrimmage, if he moves back behind the LOS and throws a pass, it is a foul. (Rule 7-3-2-e) Line judge, this is your call. Do not let it surprise you. In the tackling process, it is not a foul to pull the runner down by pulling his long hair. Holding by the defense, other than on an eligible receiver, where the pass crosses the LOS, does not carry a first down. (Rule 9-3-4-e) On a kickoff, if the receiver catches the ball while standing on the sideline (one foot in, one out), it is a free kick out of bounds. (Rule 6-2-1) Referees, head linesman, and umpires: when enforcing a previous spot foul, be sure to know when the down box is behind the back stake (double-stakes). Make sure to take it from the down box.
I will be in Sacramento next week attending community college meetings, so there will be no bulletin.
Good luck, and safe travels!
Director of Football Operations
Southern California Football Association