Get Ready for Fall 2022

From: "Rich Kollen" -
Subject: SCCFOA
Date: Thursday, November 11, 2021



The academic success of all California’s community college student-athletes is entrusted to the academic advisors and eligibility specialists. There are many dedicated, hard-working individuals at each campus tracking athletes to ensure they remain eligible, and helping to develop their educational plan for success off the field. The eligibility process, especially now, with exceptions made by California Community College Athletic Association Board of Directors due to COVID, has made it even more difficult. Assuring student-athletes are continually enrolled and attending at least 12 units, making academic progress, and following their educational plans takes time, patience, and hard work. Thanks to all those who coach our student-athletes off the field. Thanks also to all the athletic trainers who had COVID protocols added to their busy schedules. We had a very emotional ending to a big game last Saturday, with a 10-second runoff that was correctly applied by the crew. The clock operator made numerous errors during the final two minutes of the game, but they were rightly corrected by the Referee. In a game like this, the clock operator could’ve caused a major incident affecting the outcome of the game. The optics were bad in that both teams were celebrating what they believed to be a win. Fortunately, the crew made the correct decision.

There was another issue last week regarding comments by officials to coaches. Words can be twisted to take on meanings that were never intended. Again, talk in football terms. No comments are needed about the facility’s game management issues, other programs, etc. The coaches are our customers. Treat them professionally, and stick to football.

The following is a challenge to coaches and athletic directors: young officials are needed. Coaches and ADs, if you have such an individual who you think might be interested in becoming a football official, please email me the name and contact information, and I will help her or him get started.

Remember that a ball carrier is permitted to hurdle a defensive player. (Rule 9-1-13) I understand that it may be dangerous, but we don’t write the rules, we merely enforce them. An old school official flagged this last weekend. I am happy to say that a younger official stepped up and the penalty was waived off. Good job by the whole crew in getting this right, but let’s know the rules first.

With respect to handling coaches, be the greatest of communicators but always remember that you can’t teach rules to a coach on game day, especially when they are angry and emotional. If the coach puts up a hand saying, “I don’t want to talk to you,” simply walk away. If they then come back at you, be professional, but don’t allow anyone to use abusive or insulting language toward you or your crew. Let’s not have rabbit ears, but if it is directed at you or the crew, do what you have to do.

When a Team B player intercepts a forward pass, fumble, or backward pass, or catches a scrimmage or free kick between the five-yard line and the goal line, and the runner’s original momentum carries him into the end zone, where the ball is declared dead, the ball belongs to Team B at the spot where the pass or fumble was intercepted, or the kick was caught. (Rule 8-5-1-a Exception) Officials, make sure we bean bag this spot if their original momentum brings them into the end zone. This is the one exception to the typical rule that we don’t bean bag interceptions. We need to know that spot, and we may forget it if the player runs around in the end zone.

We have been seen more and more rugby style punters in our games. Generally, teams do this to give their coverage team time to get downfield. Remember, we cannot have roughing or running into the kicker if the kicker carries the ball outside the tackle box. (Rule 9-1-16-a-4) When in doubt, he’s out. A personal foul is still technically possible, but not roughing the kicker.

As we end the 2021 SCFA season and get ready for the playoffs and bowl games, I hope these weekly bulletins have helped each of you better understand both college football officiating and California Community College Football.

I commend the coaches who exchanged their HUDL videos with the association for training aids to officials. Players watch video each week and officials wanting to improve must do the same. Thanks to the officials who watched videos, studied rules, and made the commitment to be the best possible college football official.

Our officials’ hard work and professionalism does not go unnoticed by me or the ADs, coaches, players, fans, and others. Officiating is a never-ending pursuit of perfection, but I hope all of you are having as much fun as I did on the field. Football demands much more time and effort than other sports at the community college level. Thanks to you and your families for another season of dedication to the student-athletes.

Good luck to the four colleges representing the SCFA in the playoffs. Congratulations to the ten teams who will participate in bowl games. The first round of officiating assignments will be released next Tuesday.

Tom Shine, a long-time assistant football coach, and educator at Santa Ana College passed away on October 6. Please keep his family in your prayers.

Knowledge is knowing a tomato is a fruit; wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad. – Brian O’Driscoll

Rich Kollen
Director of Football Operations