From: "Rich Kollen" - firstname.lastname@example.org
Date: Friday, October 31, 2014
SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA FOOTBALL ASSOCIATION
2014 WEEKLY BULLETIN #9
We have only three weeks left in regular season play, teams are attempting to get into the four-team playoffs, and the seven bowl games are still undecided. With that said, games are going to be competitive. Continue to officiate at the highest level possible.
During the course of a game, four officials might have to rule on kicks that that cross over the pylon. The key to making the correct call as to touchback or out of bounds is positioning. When faced with this type of judgment call, officials need to be behind the pylon at a 45-degree angle. If the ball goes over your inside shoulder it is a touchback. Remember, it is our philosophy to make this a touchback.
Personal fouls, holding, and pass interference are BIG calls in a football game. Officials have a lot to process in making these calls. One thing we must have in order to make the call credible to coaches is the number of the player committing the foul. We should never report a major penalty to coaches without a player's number. It isn't acceptable to guess.
We have had errors in judgment in relation to a runner being controlled, restricted, and driven 4, 5, 8 yards backward by multiple opponents. The key criteria to apply to this situation is when the player is "obviously controlled" or the "reasonable opportunity" to progress toward the opponent's goal line, which is defined as forward progress, has ended. Declare the ball dead. Not blowing the whistle leads to bad things.
Legendary community college coach, Gene Murphy, was smiling from heaven last Saturday when his "hide out" play worked again! The play works like this: 4th down, the offense runs in the kicking team, then a player in the previous play runs to the sideline and stops on the field, next to the team box. The defense is preparing for the field goal try and no one sees the receiver. The holder then passes to the player who is uncovered. Coaches for years have defended the play, saying it is legal since the player was in on the previous down. Remember Rule 9-2-2-b "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." It is a live-ball foul with a penalty of 15-yards from the previous spot.
Regarding late hits, offensive and defensive DPI, and other calls, I often hear the phrase "I stayed with my key and he was not my key!" Everyone is always talking about keys and how important they are. And keys ARE important. But you are here to officiate a football game. Don't forget that! You are not paid to merely watch your keys. Know your keys, but you have to know what's happening on the field at all times. During dead ball periods, you do not have a key player. You must be aware of a wide area of the field. Keep a wide view, and don't be afraid to step up, even if it isn't "your key."
Last Saturday, we had a play I have never seen. On a kick off, the receiver catches the kick at about the 3-yard line, between the sideline and the hash mark. On the other side of the field (between the opposite sideline and hash mark) a player on the kicking team appears to wave his arms above his head. The play goes for a 97-yard touchdown. The officials discuss it and rule the player's waving signal killed the play and returned the ball to the 3-yard line. Coach called it the worst call he has seen, saying the player was directing his teammates about whom to block. Unfortunately for the coach, Rule 2-8-3 provides that "an invalid signal is any waving signal by a player of Team B" that is not a valid signal. The official that noticed the signal was 40 yards away with three officials much closer to the signal. It would have played much better if the play was shut down immediately, and not after an exciting 97-yard return. That said, I commend this official for stepping up and being a crew saver!
The commissioner, the football coaches association president, and I attended a game last Saturday. The stands were full of students and fans, and the biggest community college band in the state was playing and marching. It was a great, intense, competitive game, with the score going back and forth...players playing and coaches coaching. After an interception with less than one minute left to play and the offense leading by six points, the intercepting team needed only to take two knees. Unfortunately, after the second kneel-down, tempers flared. I commend the coaches and officials, who all did an excellent job stopping any escalation.
Remember in a situation where the ten-second run off is invoked, the clock will start on the ready. Even if the result of the play would require the clock to be started on the snap, the ten-second runoff rule governs the clock at this time. If the team chooses a ten-second runoff, the clock should start on the ready. If the team refuses a ten-second runoff, the clock should start on the snap.
Remember, if you focus and concentrate, it is just as easy to get a call correct and much more rewarding. It comes down to 5-10 seconds for about 150 plays each game.
Jim Stangeland, one of Long Beach City College's all-time greatest coaches, passed away on Saturday (Oct. 25) in Huntington Beach at the age of 92. Stangeland led the LBCC Football program to national championships in 1960, 1962, and 1964. Over eight seasons (1957-64), he compiled an overall record of 59-12-3. What a great career. His family and players should be proud.
There will be no email bulletin next week, as I will be out of town attending Community College meetings in Sacramento. Good luck this week. Thanks again for your hard work. Safe travels!
"Wisdom is the reward you get for a lifetime of listening when you'd rather have been talking."
Director of Football Operations
Southern California Football Association