From: "Rich Kollen" - firstname.lastname@example.org
Date: Friday, October 30, 2015
SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA FOOTBALL ASSOCIATION
2015 WEEKLY BULLETIN #9
For those of you who watch a lot of college football on TV, you may have noticed that the FBS conferences are now using one additional official, bringing the number to eight officials on the field. The NFL still has only seven officials on games. In FBS, the center judge (C) is positioned in the offensive team's backfield, opposite the Referee. This new position is needed due to hurry-up offenses, and to cover the blocks of the tackle, releasing the line of scrimmage officials to key on the receiver or back. Speaking of Division I football, did you know that each call an official makes is graded? The standard A-B-C is not used, but they use the following (among other grades): CC (correct call), IC (incorrect call), MC (marginal call), NC (no call, meaning a call should have been made). They also get graded on their mechanics and judgment. The salary for these officials ranges from $2500 to $3200 per game (flat fee, including expenses), depending on the conference. Achieving and staying at this level requires hours of dedicated commitment to the game. You can learn something from the grades. The grades typically go from 3 (IC) to 7 (CC). Interestingly, officials receive a score of 4 for an NC, but a 3 for an IC. What does that tell you? Supervisors would much rather you don't call something that should be called than call something that shouldn't be. The lesson? Make it big!
The Referee is solely responsible for intentional grounding. Other officials can and should communicate with the Referee on the location of eligible receivers, but should never throw a flag for intentional grounding. Whenever you have a pass that is questionable, always go to the Referee to let him know that there was/was not a receiver in the area. LOS officials, also let the Referee know if the ball crossed the line of scrimmage.
Officials have done a good job being on the field 45 minutes before the start of the game. This is something SCFA started a few years ago in order to eliminate any potential decorum issues among players during warm-up activities. The next three weeks, our games will have important ramifications for postseason seeding. Continue your attention to this part of game management.
If during a kicking situation, a team B player gives any waving signal, whether it is above his head, at eye level, below the waist, etc., the ball will become dead when caught or recovered by Team B. If it is an invalid signal, the receiver does not get protection, but make sure to watch for unnecessary hits. Conversely, a receiver is permitted to point to the ball, if done without any waving of his arm or hand, without killing the play.
Funny things happen during games involving officials. This is the best of the 2015 season, so far. A Referee attempted to pull his penalty flag out of his pocket for a foul. The flag came out, along with all of his change and a few business cards. The AD came on the field to help gather up the items. If you are concerned with locker room security, leave all your valuables in the car.
The "wedge" block on kickoffs is creeping back into our game. This may be because the focus has been taken off this illegal block. A wedge is defined as two or more players aligned shoulder to shoulder within two yards of each other. It is illegal during a free kick down when three or more members of the receiving team intentionally form a wedge for the purpose of blocking for the ball carrier. If you think this is occurring, let's give a warning to the head coach first. If it continues after such warning, it is a personal foul at the spot where the wedge was formed, whether or not there is contact. If the kick results in a touchback or is from an obvious onside kick formation, there is no foul.
In a game last week, on a field goal attempt, the kick was blocked and we had live-ball fouls on each team, after the change of possession and during the return. Do not forget that two or more live-ball fouls by both teams normally result in offsetting the fouls. An exception, however, is on a change of possession. When the team last gaining possession had not fouled before last gaining possession, that team may refuse offsetting fouls and retain possession after completion of the penalty for its foul. In this situation, we mistakenly offset the penalties, and let the team reply fourth down. Rule 10-1-4 (Exception 1). Just think: if defense gets it with "clean hands," they can keep it.
We had a short scrimmage kick (punt) that bounced in a quick reverse direction, and hit a player on the receiving team. By rule, the kicking team is then eligible to recover the ball. Unfortunately, no official witnessed the action. I know we teach staying with our "keys," but without a replay process, we need to expand our vision to cover this type of play. Talk about this in your pre-games this week.
Although there can certainly be multiple fouls on the same team on the same play, I strongly encourage you, wherever possible, to make it one foul, so we don't have to remember several numbers and fouls. Penalize the bigger foul, if different penalties. I am referring, of course, to fouls occurring at nearly the same spot.
Last week we took away a touchdown when a player had his helmet pulled off (foul), and then ran a few steps holding his helmet, while celebrating and going to the sidelines. We penalized the player for participating without a helmet (in addition to the foul for pulling off the helmet). Use common sense. By philosophy, to be "participating" without a helmet, the player must have some effect on the play by either blocking or running interference, or pursuing a play to make a tackle on defense. If that happens, it is a personal foul at the spot where he began to participate. If you don't know that spot, you are fairly safe in assuming it is where he lost his helmet.
I hope we all know that if an offensive lineman is "threatened" by a defensive player entering the neutral zone, and reacts immediately, the penalty is defense offside. However, offensive backs are never protected when a defensive player enters the neutral zone. If the defense jumps (with no contact), causing no reaction from a lineman, but a back reacts, that is a false start.
Officials have done a good job officiating after the whistle and until the colors separate. This will be very important during the last few weeks of the season. Good dead-ball officiating helps eliminate bigger issues later in the game.
There will be no bulletin next week as I will be at meetings on community college athletics in Sacramento.
Good luck, and as always, thank you for your dedication to this great game, and to all of the student-athletes, coaches, and other personnel involved.
Director of Football Operations
Southern California Football Association