From: "Rich Kollen" - firstname.lastname@example.org
Date: Friday, November 07, 2008
Southern California Collegiate Football Officials Association
Week 10 Bulletin
We are down to the last two weeks of the regular season, and games continue to be very competitive. They will require all the management skills we have. Many of these games (whether competitive or not) will determine the seeds for the state playoffs.
I had a report that a crew arrived late and appeared tired from a previous game. I have elected to assign some crews double-headers this season. While we will revisit this in the offseason, please let me know if you cannot physically work two games in one day, so you can be replaced.
I have been to several games lately as an observer. In many of these games, there have been incorrect signals. Here are just a few:
When the covering official has a foul that will negate a touchdown, do not signal the touchdown. Give the dead ball signal only. Other officials on the play that have goal line responsibility can signal the touchdown.
On incomplete pass plays, especially when a close call and/or near the sideline, signal incomplete, then time out. I observed it done the opposite way.
Referees, when marking the ball ready-for-play, use the traditional ready signal or wind-the-clock signal (depending on the status of the ball). Do not give both signals.
We have some colleges where players perform a "haka" dance, which is a traditional dance form of the Mori of New Zealand. It had been done by Hawaii's football team for years. Commissioner Jim Sartoris and I have discussed this act and this is the policy of the SCFA:
If the act is done on the field before the game, it must be done between the 45 yard line and the end line, and it may not be directed toward the opposing team or their fans.
Teams violating this policy should be given a 15-yard unsportsmanlike conduct penalty.
Miscellaneous Issues from Last Weekend
I have witnessed several blocks below the waist on kickoffs. Remember that neither team may block below the waist on any kicking play (free kick or scrimmage kick). Many kicking team players are blocking low to break up the "wedge." This play is very dangerous and hard to officiate. If we anticipate such a play, we will not be surprised when it happens. Remember, anticipate the PLAY, not the CALL.
A coach informed me that the officials switched positions from the game card that he was provided before the game. We spend a lot of time making assignments, and each official is placed in the spot that we believe will lead to the best officiated game. The crew does not have the authority to switch assignments. If you don't want to be in a certain position, please let me know.
We had two very late cancellations last Saturday due to injuries. Injuries occur (even to officials). However, please follow the proper procedure. First, call me. If I am not available, call Dean Crowley. If Dean is not available, call Vern Sparling or Bill Agopian. Someone should be able to find another official to fill in.
Offensive Pass Interference was called on a successful try. The crew did not let A repeat the try. This is a difference between high school and college rules. In our rules, OPI does not result in a loss of down. It should be a 15-yard penalty, and a repeat of the down (or try).
Please be careful when talking to coaches and players. Although I encourage each of you to communicate with coaches and players, carefully choose your words. At no time should any official curse while speaking to a coach or player. Let's be more professional than that.
Late in a close game, it was 3rd and 3. The defense was assessed a sideline penalty. First mistake, the coach was penalized for being outside the box during a dead ball period. This penalty must occur while the ball is live. Second, use common sense. This is a safety rule, not a rule showing the coach that "you're the boss." Giving the offense a first down in this manner does not serve the purpose of the rule. I would think, on a 3rd and 3 late in the game, that warning the defensive coach of the consequences of a sideline penalty would have the desired effect.
Umpires, we need to do a better job on spotting the ball after a touchback and free kick out of bounds, and for a try. On a touchback, the ball goes to the 20 yard line, anywhere between the hash marks (ask center). On a free kick out of bounds, the ball is placed at the nearest hash mark (after the penalty enforcement). On a try, the ball goes to the 3 yard line, anywhere between the hash marks (ask center).
When a 12th player leaves the huddle and the huddle breaks less than 3 seconds later, we have an illegal substitution. Although this is primarily the Referee's call, flanks should not be afraid to step up if the Referee has a senior moment.
A pass that hits the back, legs, etc. of an ineligible offensive player, there is no a foul. To be illegal touching, the player must make an attempt to catch the ball. (Remember, illegal touching penalty enforcement is 5 yards from the previous spot, and does not include a loss of down. This is another difference between high school and our rules.)
After a meaningless touchdown late in the game, the clock operator stopped the clock with 0.01 seconds showing on the scoreboard. Referee did the right thing and asked the head coach of the trailing team if he wanted a kickoff. I have called the college to suggest better training for the clock operator. However, when meeting with the clock operator before the game, let's ask him/her to use some common sense up there. (By the way, the team elected to have a kickoff.)
"Good Leadership consists in showing average people how to do the work of superior people"
John D Rockefeller
Director of Football Operations
California Community College Athletic Association