From: "Rich Kollen" - firstname.lastname@example.org
Date: Friday, November 08, 2013
SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA FOOTBALL ASSOCIATION
2013 WEEKLY BULLETIN #9
SCFA started an observer program five years ago, with the goal of observing the performance of officials, game operations, facilities, etc. Observers attended games at each college this season. The following are some comments from recent reports. Officials worked together better than the last time I observed them. Timer had many issues with the clock. Swarm of bees in underground utility boxes near the sidelines caused issues with players and officials. Officials need to pay better attention to the 25 sec. clock--went to 00 twice without a flag. Scoreboard had many lights not working. Visiting team was locked out of the dressing rooms. Penalty enforcements are taking too long. Each week the commissioner and I look over these reports and pass the information on to ADs and officials. Thank you to these dedicated observers.
Umpires, during kicking downs, you need to remind the defensive players lining up over the center to "stay off the center." Remind all the lineman and inside linebackers: "no leaping; no leverage; no pull-and-shoot." They need to know you are watching for these rules infractions. This simple technique of preventive officiating can help keep the kicking game clean.
FJ/SJ we have discussed many times that we want you on the goal line when the runner crosses it on long plays. OK, I realize that with the excellent athletes, we can not keep up. So let's agree to keep officiating when you are chasing the runners, head up, looking ahead and behind the runner. Help the HJ/LJ on the runner going out of bounds.
Referees: on kickoffs in which the receiver has taken a knee in the end zone, move to a position in front of the receiver to prevent any possible problems. The same mechanic should be used with quarterbacks who have been sacked while attempting to pass.
Many of our colleges have purchased a wireless microphone for the referee. This is required under NCAA rules and hopefully more of our colleges will have them soon. Referees need to learn how to use the tool correctly. Don't think you can push the switch on Saturday and have things come out correctly. I would suggest you practice in front of a mirror, in the shower, or while driving. Make up every scenario possible and repeat it many times. Good Luck!
Post scrimmage kick penalty enforcement is simple, but not always understood. This is my attempt to keep it easy for coaches, fans, and officials. This occurs ONLY on fouls by Team B on punts and missed field goals that cross the line of scrimmage, the foul occurs before the end of the kick, and Team B will next be putting the ball in play. The purpose of the rule is not to give the offense a "cheap" first down by a foul after they have punted the ball away. The foul must occur after the ball is kicked. That said, use common sense and do everything you can to make it a post scrimmage kick enforcement.
A few quick tips:
Shut down false starts! We cannot defend this mistake. On a kick off return, the BJ threw a flag for a block in the back. I asked him if he had seen the entire play. He said he wasn't sure. That's NOT the answer I expected to hear. Call what you see, NOT what you don't see. Many offenses are using a new quick pass to a running back that might appear as a handoff to a running back. This happens quickly, and we have ruled two of them a fumble. This play is designed so that if the running back cannot handle it, rule it an uncompleted pass. For defensive pass interference, the ball must be catchable. The ruling official needs help from other officials to get this important call correct.
Twice each month, we conduct a Sunday night conference call with the referees (white hats). At our last call, Jim Crowley, of the Big Sky Conference, discussed how to rule on running into the kicker (punter). Is it a 5 yard penalty for running into, or a 15 yard penalty and automatic first down for roughing? The key to getting this play correct is that any time the plant leg is involved, think roughing. Two things to remember are if the ball is tipped or a player is blocked into the kicker, there is no foul.
During the 45 minutes before the game, we are seeing all officials within the neutral zone 45-45 (the "DMZ"). Although this is important, there are times when 2-3 officials can supervise the DMZ and others can do things like watching receivers make catches, watching blocking, etc. Don't spend a lot of time talking to coaches. "Perception is reality." Have enough awareness to anticipate a problem and move to that area when necessary.
We have already had a number of overtime games this season. Expect a few more during these last two weeks with the competitiveness and parity within the conferences. Referees, please discuss overtime procedures during your pre-game conferences this week.
The season is winding down and we must finish strong, since many playoff and bowl games will be determined in these final two weeks. I would like to thank you for the tremendous job that each of you has done to date this season. We will be meeting next week to discuss playoff and bowl assignments. The playoffs (four teams) and the five bowl games will start Saturday, November 23. Assignments will be released on Tuesday, November 19 on Arbiter.
Head lineman (HL), the chain crew is under your control. Many times this is their first game and need training on their responsibility. A competent crew will make the game better. A few things we need to remember, no cell phones during the game, make sure to check to see if they return after halftime. No rooting for their team, no comments on officials' calls. When in the team area, 25 to 25 yard lines, get the coaches back so they can do their important duties. During hurry up offenses, HL can drop a beanbag to set the box and back stake.
Will you step-up to accept responsibility when it comes your way?
Safe travels and good luck this week!
Director of Football Operations
Southern California Football Association