Kollen Bulletin

From: "Rich Kollen" - dayofgame@aol.com
Subject: SCCFOA
Date: Thursday, November 8, 2012



As we enter the last week of the regular season in the SCFA, I would like to congratulate the over 3,000 student-athletes and hundreds of coaches who, hopefully, had a wonderful educational and athletic experience playing and coaching college football this season. Our 37 colleges offer student-athletes the experience to play college football in a highly competitive and safe environment. This week's games will decide the four teams representing Southern California in the playoffs and the ten colleges going to bowl games. Stakes are high.

I hope you have all enjoyed these weekly bulletins. My goal has always been for administrators and coaches to better understand the officials' role in college football and point out the difficult calls, while helping officials learn from the experiences and mistakes of others. The following are a few situations that have occurred during the past two weeks that can make us all better officials and game managers:
A holding call took away a big touchdown late in a game. I agree with the call, but after talking to the crew, I was told that they had warned the player four times about holding. I told the coach about the warning and he asked why the officials didn't tell him. He has a good point. If you warn a player about something, let's make sure to get the information to the coach so when we are forced to call the foul, there are no surprises.

On a normal kick-off, remember our philosophy. For a player to be offside, the kicking team player must be completely over the restraining line. During an onside kick, this line is a plane. No part of the player's body may be over the line until the ball is kicked.

When time is running out, with the game in hand, and the team in the lead in the "victory" formation, I suggest that you remind the defense to respect their opponents. Officials should move from their regular position to a spot where they will be able to stop any extra activity after the snap. Referees, when you meet with the coaches before the game, I would suggest that you ask them what they would like to do if they win the toss (defer or receive). There is no excuse for a team kicking off both halves. That is a mistake on the officials for allowing this. If the captain tells you he wants to kick, make sure he knows that he'd like to "defer," not "kick," and politely remind him of what his coach wanted to do, if he suggests something different. That said, let the captain make the final choice (but don't let them "kick").

I hope we will have 40-second clocks at all of our locations next year. Until that time, I would like to see the Referees start the 25 second clock roughly 12-15 seconds after the previous play ends. Coaches get frustrated with the different tempos from different Referees. In addition, covering officials should raise their hand when a down ends. That will help us prepare for the 40-second clock.

25 second clock issues:
Late in a game, with a big point difference, a delay of game was called with two seconds remaining on the clock. Use common sense, and know when a game should end. To avoid a delay of game on kickoffs, Referees should reset the play clock as needed. We should never have a delay of game on the kickoff. Wait until both teams are in position prior to the ready for play. If one play clock is not working at game time, shut it off and start the game on-time with the Back Judge keeping the play clock on the field. Don't delay the kickoff.

When the defense has twelve men on the field, with one player attempting to get off the field, if his next step takes him out of bounds, there should be no foul. If it does not, throw the flag, and allow the play to continue. Remember, this is an illegal substitution foul (no more illegal participation). In the alternative, if the defense has twelve men in position, with no one attempting to exit the field, and the snap is imminent, shut down the play for a dead-ball illegal substitution foul.

One of the Referees reported that an official arrived to the game site late, during the pre-game conference, wearing jeans, a baseball hat, and an untucked polo shirt. We need to project a more professional image. After the game, the same official was wearing shorts and the same baseball hat and untucked polo. I have addressed this in the past, and thought it was clear. I expect each of you to show up to the game looking professional. No jeans, no shorts, no hats and a collared shirt tucked in. We are there to do a job. If we show up looking like slobs, it is hard to kick that image.

During the game, officials need to communicate with head coaches in a professional and courteous manner. You must learn to be a calming influence when a coach is upset and wants an answer. If you are an introvert, you must learn to look the coach in the eye and be honest and sincere. If you do not know the answer, simply tell the coach that you will find out at the next opportunity. If you tell him that, DO IT! Remember, there are six other officials depending on you to communicate with the coach. If you do so professionally and courteously, you help the rest of the crew. #1 complaint from coaches every year is lack of communication from officials.

During the offseason, study sessions review our philosophies to help you with your judgment development for next season. This week's philosophy: when a kick, interception, or recovery occurs close to the team's own end zone, rule touchback. Don't put it on the one yard line, unless you have absolute knowledge that is where it occurred.

For those NFL fans out there, you may have heard of the inadvertent whistle in the Redskins-Panthers game. DeAngelo Williams was running near the sideline, inbounds, when an inadvertent whistle blew as Williams was at the 17-yard line. The whistle was not acknowledged. The officials gathered, and ruled a touchdown, with the Referee explaining that when the whistle was blown, Williams had already crossed the goal line. The only person who could have overruled that was the official who blew the whistle. He refused to own up to the mistake. Learn from this. I'd be willing to bet that every one of us has had an inadvertent whistle in our careers at some point. Admit your error and make sure to get the enforcement correct. Your embarrassment is far outweighed by the credibility you gain with the coach. Don't try to cover-up the mistake by arguing the runner was "almost down" or some other excuse. Own up to it, and officiate the next play. We make mistakes. We're human. Coaches do understand that, no matter what they may say at the time.

Thank you for your hard work this season. Have a great offseason, and remember that, for great officials, there is no offseason.

Rich Kollen
Director of Football Operations
Southern California Football Association

2015 SCCFOA - Southern California Collegiate Football Officials Association