Get Ready for Fall 2022

From: "Rich Kollen" -
Subject: SCCFOA
Date: Thursday, October 28, 2021



A big national story currently is the supply chain problems getting goods off ships and into stores. Our leaders are working on fixing the problems as store shelves are often bare. We are having a similar supply issue in youth, high school and college sports with respect to officials. The supply of people interested in becoming sports officials has been steadily declining over the past five years. This is not just in football or in Southern California. It is nationwide and across all sports. The game fees are decent, and playing conditions are getting better. Personally, I think the main issue is the difficulty in dealing with coaches and fans. When I started, back in the stone age, people went into officiating to give back to the game. Today our solution is getting younger people into officiating. Coaches and other administrators: I ask each of you to discuss officiating with current athletes, and how they can do it for many years after their playing days are over. I am committed to help any of our student-athletes get their starts in officiating. My start came from my very first class at a California community college: 8:00 am Sports Officiating 101. I do not understand why colleges are not offering these classes any longer. There are resources available, even for instructors who have never officiated. The class could lead to college students obtaining a fantastic part-time job while going to college. Officials are in high demand and low supply everywhere. Youth games are paying $30-$50 per game. Hopefully, some would see the enjoyment in giving back to the game as an official and earning extra money, perhaps even as they work in another career. If a runner’s helmet comes completely off, the play becomes dead immediately. Rule 4-1-3-q. Obviously, this is a safety issue. When the ball carrier’s helmet comes off, and then he fumbles, the play is over. There is no fumble! He fumbled a dead ball.

We were forced to discipline an official for comments he made during a game last weekend. Since we hold players and coaches to a high standard, officials must be held to a higher standard. Silence can never be misquoted! We need at least 7 professional adults on the field at all times. The coaches and players are your customers. Treat them as such.

On a fourth-down punt play, the receiver gave a valid fair catch signal, the ball hit the receiver in the upper chest area, went into the air, then when the receiver went to complete the catch, he was tackled as he gained possession. Officials correctly ruled interference with the opportunity to complete the catch. The opposing coach felt that, since the ball was muffed, kick-catch interference was not possible. Remember, by rule, if the receiver gives a valid signal, he is protected until the ball hits the ground or he no longer has an opportunity to complete the catch. Rule 6-4-1-a.

Our protocol is to have officials on the field 45 minutes before the game. This is to help with decorum issues between the two teams. Since we started this years ago, we have had very few pregame decorum issues. Teams have from their 45 yard line to the end line. See Appendix D “Buffer Zone Configuration.” The area between the 45 yard lines should be kept clear. I would suggest you also use this time to warm up and train your eyes: watch catches, snaps, kicks, etc. Also, time is well-spent checking uniforms, talking to receivers about their fair catch signals, and other things that could help the game. Do not spend time reacquainting with old coaching friends. The optics of officials and coaches speaking to each other can be misinterpreted.

Any part of the ball breaking the plane of the goal line is a touchdown. Rule 8-2-1-a. Coming out of an end zone, the entire ball must be out to avoid a safety. Rule 8-5-1-a.

When a play ends very near the goal line, NEVER spot the ball closer than a ball length to the goal line. Most centers tilt the ball and move it forward prior to the snap. We don’t want them to snap it from too far into the end zone.

Please review the NCAA’s new overtime procedures at this week’s pregame. Last week, a Big 10 game finally ended after nine extra periods. Keep it simple. First extra period remains unchanged. Second extra period requires a team scoring a touchdown to go for a two-point conversion. Any additional extra periods involve one play from the three yard line for a two point conversion. Rule 3-1-3-e. Only one coin toss for overtime, not matter the number of periods.

In one game, the quarter ended with 0:00 on the game clock, and a dead-ball foul after the play. By rule, this foul does not extend the quarter. Enforce the penalty after teams switch ends of the field for the start of the next period. PENALTY for Rules 9-1 and 9-2.

In general, as a ball carrier is going to the ground or fighting for additional yardage, the defensive players will try to rip, pull, or punch the ball out of the ball carrier’s hands. Let’s not interpret this as a foul; it’s a legal aggressive defensive play.

We know the rule that if a passer’s body is completely beyond the line of scrimmage, he cannot return behind the line of scrimmage and throw a forward pass. A new editorial change this year includes runners going completely beyond the line of scrimmage and returning behind the line of scrimmage. The runner cannot throw a forward pass or hand the ball forward. Rule 7-1-6-a.

BJ/FJ, when ruling on a PAT or FG, the ball must be completely inside the upright when the kick goes over the top of the upright. Rule 8-4-1-a. Always communicate with the other official before signaling on these close plays. “No no no” or “yes yes yes” is much better than “good” or “no good” as it is harder to misunderstand.

“Setting a goal is not the main thing. It is deciding how you will go about achieving it and staying with that plan.” Tom Landry

Rich Kollen
Director of Football Operations