From: "Rich Kollen" - firstname.lastname@example.org
Date: Friday, November 06, 2009
SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA COLLEGIATE FOOTBALL OFFICIALS ASSOCIATION
2009 WEEKLY BULLETIN #9
Last week we lost one of our own, Robert Taylor, the former long-time Santa Monica City College head football coach. In addition, a Connecticut football player was shot to death during a school dance. Now, one of our officials is struggling with the cancer of his five year old son. We must again remember there is a higher calling than the SCFA or the BCS rankings. We must always be thankful for the many blessings we enjoy.
Baseball umpires are being wildly second-guessed on their calls during the recent post-season. Technology has made for a great officiating tool, but it also makes it easy for everyone to see the mistakes of officials and umpires. Our coaches are consistently sending in video plays to be evaluated. It makes me wonder, will we ever again respect the human aspect of officiating? Asking officials to be perfect and get better is the norm, even though perfection is unattainable.
There has been some misunderstanding regarding the difference between personal fouls (Rule 9-1) and unsportsmanlike conduct fouls (Rule 9-2). It is important that everyone understands the difference between the two rules, and reports fouls correctly to the Referee. Remember two unsportsmanlike conduct fouls result in disqualification. There is no set number of personal fouls that result in a disqualification (although a flagrant personal foul requires an immediate disqualification). Celebration fouls are unsportsmanlike. Hands to the face, piling on, pushing after the play, etc., are personal fouls. Please discuss this at the next pre-game.
When a runnerís progress has been clearly stopped (two or more defenders controlling the runner) and the runner is being pushed backward, consider the following: if it is obvious the runner is not going to break away and he is simply trying to avoid going to the ground, blow your whistle. Allowing the players to continue to pile on is just opening the door for additional problems. When a covering official delays in declaring the ball dead under this situation, the possibility of a phantom fumble or an injury increases greatly. Do not be hesitant to kill a play for forward progress.
In connection with forward progress, I have noted several problems in the past few weeks with our spots. The COA manual defines forward progress as the "end of advancement by the runner or airborne receiver." (Advancement in this situation is described as progress toward the opponent's goal line). The manual continues by stating that "a live ball is dead and the official shall blow his whistle when a runner is so held that his forward progress is stopped." Our philosophy in the COA is to give the players all they deserve. NFL studies have shown that, more often than not, officials cheat runners on forward progress. Letís make a conscious effort not to do this. Good spots make great officials.
A pass that hits the back, legs, etc. of an ineligible player is not an illegal touch unless the player intentionally touches the ball. (Rule 7-11) There was an illegal touching call made last week when the player was hit in the back. If the player doesnít intentionally touch the ball, there can be no illegal touching. However, there could be a foul for intentional grounding in this situation (if there is no eligible Team A player with a reasonable opportunity to make the catch). Note that a play could have fouls for both illegal touching AND intentional grounding!
At this level, I didnít think weíd make these types of mistakes: On a free kick, if a receiver catches a kick and then goes out-of-bounds, there is no foul. The ball should next be put in play where the receiver went out-of-bounds. If the receiver catches the kick while straddling the sideline, it is a foul for free kick out-of-bounds. When this happens, think about who caused the kick to go out-of-bounds. If the kick receiver is straddling the line, the kick caused the ball to go out-of-bounds immediately upon touching the receiver. If the receiver catches the ball and goes out-of-bounds, obviously he caused the ball to go out-of-bounds.
I forward the following information from two great football officials because I agree with it:
The one thing we can do in officiating is be more involved. It is estimated that nearly 75% of the errors officials make could be eliminated by another official being more involved. How can we help more? The first thing is to see more. Train yourself to see more of every play. Challenge yourself on every play to see as much as possible. When a down is over, review in your mind what you saw. Before long, you will be surprised how much more you know about every play. Try it for a few games; you will be surprised how much more you know about the play. Red Cashion and Jerry Markbriet
We are seeing more QBs jerk their head and arms on short yardage situations in an attempt to draw the defense offside. If you are not anticipating this action, you will be surprised by it and not be ready to rule on it. In a short yardage situation, pay special attention to the QB. If he jerks his head or arms in an attempt to draw the defense, shut the play down for a false start.
On close sideline catches, the two officials on the sideline need to make eye contact. It seems we only look at the other official when we need help. Did you ever think that maybe the other official needs help from you, or has help to give (whether you ask for it or not)? Nothing looks worse on a football field than one official ruling a complete catch, while another official rules incomplete.
There are some BIG games the next two weeks. Please continue your professionalism and dedication to community college football. The second SCCFOA video training tape is now available at www.scfoa.org
Have a Great Weekend!
Director of Football Operations
Southern California Football Association