From: "Rich Kollen" - firstname.lastname@example.org
Date: Friday, October 31, 2008
Southern California Collegiate Football Officials Association
Week 9 Bulletin
Let me share with you a comment that officials have told me is being spoken in the pre-game conferences: "I hope that we don't end up in the weekly bulletin." I hope you don't either, but remember that the only purpose of the weekly bulletins is to share what is happing on the community college football field. No names are given (except by permission...see below). These bulletins are only intended to raise the awareness of coaches and officials so that everyone better understands this great game of football. Please continue to send me plays and situations from which all officials (and coaches) can benefit.
If you have yet to do so, make sure to visit the Southern California Football Association website at: www.scfafootball.com. It has some great articles and up-to-date standings for our 37 community colleges in Southern California.
Last week, there was a clear false start on an interior lineman. A flag was thrown, but no whistle sounded. Murphy's Law raised its head, and the play went for 65 yards. The officials had to get together and take away the play and penalize the false start. Understandably, the coach was furious, which simply led to trouble later in the game with sideline control. I can't believe I have to say this, but ALWAYS shut down a play when there is any movement by a restricted player (interior lineman). If we don't, we only make the job harder for ourselves and the rest of the crew.
Surprise Onside Kicks
On free kicks, the Side Judge and Field Judge must focus on the ball and also have responsibility for illegal blocks. Remember, the kicking team cannot block until they are legally allowed to touch the ball. If they do, it is a 5-yard, live-ball penalty. (Remember that the receiving team can make the kicking team re-kick from 5 yards back, OR the 5 yards can be tacked on to where the receivers are next to snap the ball.)
The Umpire and Back Judge must know if the ball has been kicked into the ground. Why? As above, A cannot block until it can legally touch the ball (grounded and beyond B's restraining line). Also, B cannot legally fair catch a ball that has been grounded. After determining if the ball was kicked into the ground or pooched, the Umpire and Back Judge should assist with illegal blocks and possible illegal touching by A.
If a free kick is kicked away from your position, please focus on blocks. IT IS OK TO THROW A FLAG FOR AN ILLEGAL BLOCK IF THE BALL IS ON THE OTHER SIDE OF THE FIELD. That isn't "fishing in someone else's pond," that is your responsibility. Our goal is to "get it right." All four officials in the box can help "get it right."
If there is an onside kick and a recovery by either team, let the crew know if you have information that can help make the call. Step-up and save the crew!
Substitution Process may NOT be used to Confuse Opponents."
Remember the rule: "Each substitute of Team A shall have been between the nine-yard marks. Team A players who participated in the previous down shall have been between the nine-yard marks after the previous down and before the next snap." (Rule 7-1-3-a-2(a)). All Team A players also shall have been between the nine-yard marks after a team timeout, an injury timeout or the end of a period. In addition to these rules, remember that "No simulated replacements or substitutions may be used to confuse opponents. No tactic associated with substitutes or the substitution process may be used to confuse opponents." (Rule 9-2-2). Please ensure to correct any substitution process that appears to be an unfair tactic (even if borderline). It is a live-ball, 15-yard penalty from the previous spot.
* A question was asked about kick returners shading their eyes from the sun (which is legal, and not a fair catch signal). Two things to consider: (1) the arm should be at about a 45 degree angle at the elbow, and (2) the hand should not be above the helmet. It is usually obvious if a player is attempting to shade his eyes (note where the sun is before the kick!!!). Remember that any other signal other than a legitimate shading of the eyes causes the ball to become dead when caught or recovered (even if the signal is invalid or illegal).
* If the runner or QB is between the tackles and behind the line of scrimmage, the "horse collar" rule is not in effect. When the runner or QB passes the LOS, then they may not be pulled down by a "horse collar" tackle.
* The covering official is the only one who signals an incomplete pass. The rest of the crew should be giving the time-out signal.
* The pylon is considered out-of-bounds in the end zone. Therefore, if a runner and ball hit the pylon, it is a touchdown. However, if a receiver touches the pylon while completing a catch, the pass is incomplete (he's out of bounds).
* I have heard that Referees are giving post-game lectures to the crew. Although I want the Referee to be the leader, mentor and communicator of SCCFOA rules and policies, post-game may not be the best time. An email or phone call might be a better way to carry out your responsibilities.
* With the new kickoff mechanics for 2008, the Referee (sixty yards away) is responsible for the kicking team having 4 players on each side of the kicker when the ball is kicked. The play usually happens during onside kicks when the 4th player runs behind the kicker to get a better angle to recover the kick. Referees need to be on alert for this.
* We continue to have ticky-tack DPI calls. As well all know, DPI is a huge call. Let's make sure it is BIG!
From Bill Athan, SCCFOA Inland group instructor: "Continue to officiate until the colors separate." This is the time of the season we all need to be good dead-ball officials.
Director of Football Operations
California Community College Athletic Association