Kollen Bulletin

From: "Rich Kollen" - dayofgame@aol.com
Subject: SCCFOA
Date: Friday, November 05, 2010



If you have watched much major college football, you have no doubt noticed the speed at which teams are putting the ball into play. For example, from the time an official whistles a play dead, Oklahoma is averaging 21.3 seconds before the snap for the next play. Oregon is at 23.2 seconds. Most teams are trying to get more plays into the game. This new high speed pace has also come to the community college level. As officials, we must adjust to this by being in better physical condition, spotting the ball quicker, and understanding the rules. If you will remember, one of our goals this year was picking up the pace of the game. The coaches and players are now forcing us to be ready sooner for the next play.

Substitution Rules. Please take a look at the rulebook. Look at Approved Ruling 3-5-2(V). This past week, not allowing the defense to match up after a time-out may have cost a team the game. On the last play of the game after a time out, team A rushed onto the field, snapped the ball, and scored the winning touchdown. We need to give the defense time to match up. All members of the crew should have known this, and should have stopped this from happening. After discussing this with many officials I was surprised how few understood the rule and the mechanics in enforcing it. By rule, after a change of team possession or any timeout, the defense must be given a chance (within three seconds) to match up or substitute. Umpires, you must stay over the ball and prevent the offense from snapping until the defense has matched up. Yes, this could cause a delay penalty on the offense. In this case, the error by the officiating crew had a direct impact on the outcome of this game. It is hard to defend.

Blood Rule. During a close game, and immediately prior to the snap on an important fourth down play, an official called a time out to send a player off for a small cut on his finger. Citing our new injury rules, the officials did not allow the player back onto the field for the upcoming down. This resulted in some discussions. A player with blood is not required to sit out one play if it can be fixed during a dead ball period. However, a player for whom the game is stopped can only return to the game after the next play. What can we learn from this? Unless a player is bleeding profusely and losing a great deal of blood, let the play continue and then inform the player and send him off during the next dead ball. Remember, unless you stop the clock, a player who is bleeding can return to the game immediately after bandaging or otherwise fixing the injury.

DPI out of Scrimmage Kick Formation. When A is in scrimmage kick formation and then throws an immediate pass, there can be no defensive pass interference. As soon as an A player runs from the normal kicking position, DPI rules go into effect again. When this occurs, officials might need to piece the play together to get the call correct. It is OK to have a flag, but make sure we know the rules and pick it up, if necessary.

Ineligibles Downfield. In another game, out of a scrimmage kick formation, an A player muffed the snap and then threw a forward pass. When this happens, our ears should go up for ineligible man downfield. On this play, there were several linemen downfield. I emailed the crew, and all had excuses as to why they did not have a flag. I donŐt want excuses. I want it done right!

Observers. The SCCFOA will have spent over $3000 on observers this year. These people are there to evaluate the officials and game management in an effort to make us all better. Although baseball recently started a similar observation program, no other community college sport puts as much importance in officiating. Observers are former officials and coaches. Their sole goal is to point out issues that will help you improve your performance. I have been informed of a few instances this year in which officials were not interested in hearing what they had to say. I expect each official to take advantage of their comments. Please donŐt ever say "Yes, but my high school unit does it this way." If you want to officiate college football, these people are there to help you. Listen and show them respect!

Unsportsmanlike Conduct. A coach sent in a clip of his team scoring a touchdown. Immediately after the touchdown, a defensive player removed his helmet in disgust and slammed it down in the end zone. There was no flag on this. We canŐt miss these things. I contacted the crew to ask how it was possible that no one saw this, and I got a myriad of excuses. The last time I checked, the end zone measures 10 yards x 53 yards. That is 1/6 of the playing surface! It seems to me that someone could have seen what happened. I have apologized to the coach, but it was an apology that should not have been needed.

Common Sense. I received a call from an athletic director on the following situation. An official brought his young son to the game, about five years old, and left him in the stands unsupervised! How could this official's focus and concentration be on the game? Another AD called to tell me that he witnessed an official receiving a text message from his wife or girlfriend during the game alerting him that she saw someone going into the officials' dressing room. The official reportedly asked game management to please check it out. Again, where is our focus during the game? If you are so important that you need to have your cell phone with you at all times, let me know. You can watch the game, with your cell phone, from the stands.

Pre-Game Discussion Items. Referees, please make sure you discuss the following issues in your pre-games this week: (1) Holding calls that are not at the point of attack. We call enough fouls each week without calls that have zero effect on the play. To be a foul, it must be BIG, and must be able to be supported by video. In general, if we arenŐt sure we saw a foul or aren't sure it affected the play, there's no foul. (2) Advancement of scrimmage kick by kickers. We have had two reported scrimmage kicks in which the crews allowed the kickers to advance a muff. Someone had to know. Let's get it correct. (3) Lost down. In one game, a crew lost a down. Again, someone had to know. Step up and get it right. (4) Timeouts by head coach. We need to do a better job recognizing when a head coach is requesting a time-out. This is especially true in the red zone. When you're in the red zone, make a concerted effort to glance at the head coach. In a big game last week, the defensive team's coach requested a time out before the winning touchdown was scored. The coach's request was not granted. One official told me that the ball had already been snapped when he heard the coach. This is not too late to shut the play down and grant the time-out.

Linemen Locking Legs. On tries and field goals, Rule 7-1-3(b) permits the snapper to lock legs with the lineman on either side of him. No other linemen may lock legs. However, make sure you warn a player and the head coach before making this call. LetŐs make sure we arenŐt too technical. There is seldom an advantage gained by the offense for this action.

"Build up your weaknesses until they become your strong points." Knute Rockne

Rich Kollen
Director of Football Operations

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