From: "Rich Kollen" - email@example.com
Date: Fri, 11 Nov 2005 16:38:38
We have reached the final week before bowl games and the state
tournament. These assignments will be released early next week. I would like
to thank each of you for the professional job each of you did
throughout the season. While it is not possible to get all the calls correct,
our approach to learning and commitment to improvement was excellent.
When all the conferences went to seven officials, many newer officials
were given a great opportunity to officiate at this level. These
officials, as a whole, have done a fantastic job, and should be proud. As a
SCCFOA official, hopefully each of you have passed on philosophies that
you have learned to your high school crews and associations that will
improve the officiating at that level. Please encourage your high
school colleagues to find camps to improve their abilities. This can
advance them to the next level.
Referees you have done an excellent job of communication with your
crews before each game. Use these items for the final week of the season:
1) From the "Now I've seen it all" file: A coach said that while the
QB was spiking the game to stop the clock, his defensive player dove
and intercepted the ball. He is sending the tape. Depending on what I
see in the tape, this could support my theory that "if you are
surprised, you have a lesser chance to get the call correct." BE READY FOR
2) On a scrimmage kick that goes out of bounds, the ball is next put
in play at the nearest hash mark. A crew last week gave them an option
and the team took it at the opposite hash mark.
3) Any player that drops his head immediately before making contact to
use his helmet against an opponent must be penalized for a personal
foul. Similarly, a hit against any player obviously out of the play who
is not paying attention, a hit against a defenseless player, or a block
below the waist after a change of possession must all be called. These
are all player safety issues. Please remain alert and focused on your
area and keys throughout the entire down and until the colors separate.
The end of a down does not mean the end of your responsibilities.
4) If the ball comes loose and there is a question about whether the
runner was down, it is a fumble. Commit that to memory: "When in
doubt, the player was not down, and it is a fumble." Obviously if you see
leather and are 100% certain that he is down, then make the call. If in
doubt rule fumble.
5) When a receiver controls a pass and is hit where the ball comes
loose before he can do something with it (tuck it, turn up field, take a
couple of steps), it is incomplete, not a catch and fumble. Again,
commit that to memory: "When in doubt, the pass is incomplete, and not a
catch and fumble."
6) In contrast, when a punt receiver is firmly holding or controlling
the ball, he does not have to do anything for there to be a catch and
fumble rather than a muff. Obviously, he can be legally hit at that
point (provided he has not signaled for a fair catch). However, note that
he can never be hit in such a manner that would be a personal foul
(such as the tackler dropping his head and delivering a blow with the
7) When there are 12 players on defense, and the defense is unaware of
that fact, we are to shut the play down just prior to the snap. It is
a 5-yard illegal substitution penalty. If the defense is aware and is
trying to remedy the situation by running off the field, we must give
them the opportunity. If the 12th man is leaving the field and is within
a stride of the sideline, he made it off. If he is more than a stride
from the sideline, it is a live ball 5-yard foul for illegal
substitution (assuming the replaced player continued off the field and did not
participate in any way). If the defense has 12 participate, we have a
live ball 15-yard illegal participation foul. Know the differences among
these three penalties and when to call them (dead ball illegal
substitution, live ball illegal substitution, illegal participation).
8) Intentional grounding is the Referee's call. The Referee should
make the call and throw a flag based on passer's action. The nearest LOS
official should step up and offer any pertinent information (i.e. ball
went beyond LOS if the passer was outside of the tackles, there was an
eligible receiver in the area with an opportunity to catch the pass,
etc.). The Referee should feel free to waive off the flag if the LOS
official convinces the Referee that there was no intentional grounding.
Conversely, if the Referee has not called a foul for IG, the nearest LOS
official should go and inform the referee that the ball did not cross
the LOS or that there was no eligible receiver in the area with an
opportunity to catch the pass. The referee will at that point throw a "late"
flag for IG. There is no embarrassment in either situation. Get it
9) Beanbags are to mark the spot of a fumble. They are not to
indicate a loose ball. Note the difference. If you do not see the ball come
out, do not throw your beanbag for no reason. Obviously, back judges
still use a bean bag to mark the end of a kick. Easy rule of thumb is
to remember that the beanbag is used solely to mark a spot. If you
don't have a spot, don't throw it.
As we head into the last week of the regular season, my advice is to
slow down. If you think you are making calls too slowly on the field, go
slower. Hesitation can usually save you from making a bad call.