Kollen Bulletin

From: "Rich Kollen" - dayofgame@me.com
Subject: SCCFOA
Date: Thursday, October 24, 2019



After 60 minutes of hard-fought football, we occasionally have to go to extra periods. Everything is critical during that time. Please review some of the key things that could happen, especially some of the penalty enforcements. I would suggest Referees appoint a crew member to be the go-to rules person for overtime issues. The rules do have some differences between regulation and extra periods. Know the differences! (Rule 3-1-3)

Umpires need to do a better job spotting the ball. Many times, in video, I see Umpires only looking to one side of the field when getting a spot. Always work to look at the short side of the field for the spot from the wing officials. Wing officials should be mirroring each other, so you would get the same spot from either side. Please discuss this at your next pre-game.

Before the game, officials must do a thorough job instructing clock operators, chain crew, and ball personnel regarding their required responsibilities. Many times, we have new people each week, so they need a thorough explanation of their duties, including no cell phone usage and paying attention to safety concerns. These individuals are important to good game management. In your reports, please be candid with your evaluation of the chain crews, clock operators, and game management. Your input gives us the necessary information that may be given to the athletic directors to correct any problems before the next game.

Side Judges and Field Judges should review mechanics when a scrimmage kick/punt goes well out of bounds. You need to immediately fade back farther than the ball, raise your hand, look at the Referee, and start jogging forward. The Referee will signal where the ball went out of bounds. If you try to rule from where you were at the time of the out of bounds, you will not get an accurate read. If the ball lands within a few yards of the sideline, however, you shouldn’t need help from the Referee.

Officials ruling on tight sideline catches must train themselves to watch the receiver's feet first to determine if that element of the catch is completed, then move your eyes up to see the ball when you see it arriving in your peripheral vision. This takes much practice, but it is the only way we are going to consistently make the correct ruling on the field. For help, remember that the name of the game is FOOT-BALL

Referees must continue to protect the quarterback until the play is complete. Watching the pass or getting a new ball into the game is not as important as protecting the quarterback. Missing a late hit on this most valuable position is inexcusable.

Last Saturday, in a game with three seconds before halftime, with a running clock, the offense committed a false start. We use the NCAA 10-second subtraction rule, so the half would be over unless the team had a time out remaining. (Rule 3-4-4) The crew discussed the options and correctly ruled the half over. Great job!

A coach sent in a play that I would like to discuss. QB drops back to pass, a rushing defensive lineman extends his arms to block the pass, tips the uncompleted pass, but the momentum of his arms causes marginal contact with the QB's helmet. Roughing the passer was called. This is strictly a judgment call for the Referee. For the sake of discussion, however, if the defensive player is legally trying to block the pass, incidental contact with no intent to punish can be a correct no call. Any forceful hit to the head should be ruled roughing the passer. (Rule 9-1-9-a-2)

I saw a report that targeting at the national level in Division I is down 32% compared to last year. Our targeting calls this year have been down roughly 50% Coaches have done an excellent job teaching our student-athletes the correct skill in making tackles. Thank you for helping improve the safety of the game.

With the new blindside block rule, we are seeing more of those calls than we have seen in previous years. The rule does not eliminate a side block. To have a blindside block, you must be in attacking mode with forcible contact. (Rule 9-1-18) This usually occurs in the open field.

If a fair catch is completed on the kickoff inside the 25-yard line, the receiving team starts the series at the 25, at whatever position they want. (Rule 6-5-1-a) The rule states that the ball must be caught, so if the receiver misplays the kick, or muffs the ball after a fair catch signal, the receiving team will start the series at the spot of recovery.

There are couple of plays from major college games that we can use as teachable moments. On a kickoff, after the ball is kicked, one of the receivers lays down in the end zone. The ball is caught by the other receiver, who starts his run upfield, then throws a backward pass to the player who was laying in the end zone, who then runs for a 40-yard gain. The officials correctly ruled unsportsmanlike conduct (UNS) for the player laying in the end zone after the ball was kicked. This was enforced properly with a re-kick from the 50 yard line. If the player was laying down before the ball was kicked, the “penalty” would be an injury timeout, killing the play, and resulting in the player sitting out for one play.

On another play, in overtime, the center snaps the ball, which hits his rear end, falls on the ground, and is recovered by the defense. The field officials ruled an illegal snap. This should’ve been a backward pass. The rule states that as long as the snap is one quick and continuous backward motion, and the ball leaves the snapper’s hands during that motion, it is a legal snap. (Rule 2-23-1-a) The resulting loose ball is a backward pass. (Rule 2-23-1-c)

One of the more difficult calls for officials to make is the hit on the ball carrier near the sidelines. You need to develop a philosophy on this play, because when it happens you must be ready. I think that if a runner is going upfield (north/south) and still trying to get positive yardage, and might have stepped out just prior to the hit, this is not a personal foul. If he gives himself up, or is clearly out of bounds, this is the time to have a flag.

With the upcoming playoffs, SCCFOA will be compiling a list of potential playoff officials. This list will be based on reports from referees, game observers, and a new committee made up of the president, one referee, and myself. We are looking at five bowl games and three playoff games. The state finals will be December 9th, hosted by Bakersfield College.

Rich Kollen
Director of Football Operations

2015 SCCFOA - Southern California Collegiate Football Officials Association