Kollen Bulletin

From: "Rich Kollen" - dayofgame@aol.com
Subject: SCCFOA
Date: Thursday, November 12, 2009



We at the SCFA would like to thank all of the coaches and officials for the job you have all done this year to improve the level of college football officiating in Southern California. Coaches have sent in videos and called about plays and rules interpretation issues. I have learned quite a bit from each of the coaches’ concerns, and I try to pass all of those issues on to the officials. I would strongly encourage each of the coaches to send a written evaluation of our officiating to me after the season. Any concerns you may have will be personally addressed. Remember T.E.A.M.: "TOGETHER, EVERYONE ACCOMPLISHES MORE" (Jim Tunney).

If you have not viewed the latest SCFA training tape, it is now available at www.sccfoa.org. Another video will be available after the post-season to be used during the spring and summer study sessions. Although we cannot get every call correct, I sincerely think that all the officials did a great job of conducting games in a professional manner.

The bowl games and playoff assignments will be made early next week. Dean, Jack, Vern and I are in constant contact and discussing the assignments. We have all agreed that the following will be used to determine assignments: attendance at meetings, scrimmages, test scores, number of games worked, and evaluator's reports. There will be ten community college games and (hopefully) at least one NAIA or Div III assignment. All games will be assigned on Arbiter. Keep an eye on your emails and Arbiter.

Some more learning items that might be helpful before the season ends and the bowl games and playoffs start:

We have been preaching professionalism and accountability for the past two years. However, on a big game last weekend, we had an official arrive late, dressed in his uniform. The official proceeded to clean and shine his shoes during the pre-game (what was left of it once he arrived). Any official who wants to come to a game dressed in uniform please join a local Pop Warner group, not the SCCFOA. Come dressed professionally to the game, not in uniform. In addition to the appearance of unprofessionalism, you simply open yourself up to trouble if you arrive in uniform.

Please remember that we do NOT have sideline warnings in college. Any penalties on the sideline are either 5 or 15 yards. Preventive officiating should be used by reminding coaches they need to be off the white (and in the coaching box). If anyone is within the 2-yard area around the field, the penalties are: first and second infractions, delay of game for sideline interference, five yards from the succeeding spot; third and subsequent infractions, unsportsmanlike conduct for sideline interference, 15 yards from the succeeding spot (Rule 9-1-6). If there is major physical contact that interferes with the official, ball or player while the ball is live, the penalty is 15 yards (Rule 9-1-5).

Last week, we had a play where the runner’s helmet came completely off. The officials let the play continue until the runner was tackled. After the play, one of the crew members stepped up and the crew returned the ball to where the runner’s helmet came off. Great job in saving the crew, BUT the rule is a safety precaution. We failed to remember that during the play. We can’t protect a runner without a helmet if we wait until he is tackled to make a call.

Since we use NCAA timing rules (except the 40-second play clock), we need to remember that when a player goes out of bounds, we will wind the clock when the ball is ready for play, except inside the last two minutes of each half. Inside means inside. If 2:00 is showing on the clock after the player goes out of bounds, wind the clock! If 1:59 is showing on the clock, do not wind.

Remember the rules concerning fouls during scoring plays. On a roughing the passer call last week, the crew required the team to decline the penalty to keep the touchdown. The fouled team should have been given the option to enforce the penalty on the try or on the succeeding kickoff. Remember, any personal fouls against the nonscoring team during a down resulting in a touchdown are enforced on the try or the succeeding kickoff, at the option of the scoring team (Rule 10-2-5-1).

Referees: we need to develop more consistency on our ruling of roughing or running into the kicker. As we finish this year and move on to next year, we will work on our consistency by talking through our philosophy: violent contact, or contact with the plant leg: 15 yards. All other contact: 5 yards.

We also need to work on consistency with regard to pass interference. Hand checking and bumping does not always result in interference. There must be a “material effect” by one player on the other to be pass interference. If we all embrace this philosophy I think we will do a better job in the postseason and next year. Speaking of DPI, please check your various rulebooks and a calendar. On Saturdays, waving hands to distract a receiver does not constitute PI either by the offense or defense. There must be contact for DPI or OPI.

Team A advances the ball to the B-10 yard line where the runner is tackled inbounds with one second on the game clock. Team B was offside, and Team A accepts the penalty. The game clock will start with the ready-for-play signal. Team A wants the quarter to be extended. By rule, a period is only extended if a live-ball foul, not treated as dead-ball, occurring during a down in which time expires is accepted. We must communicate on this type of situation. Make sure the coach knows the status of the clock before winding it. In addition, the Referee should inform the quarterback that the game clock will start on the Referee’s whistle.

Finally, I received a call from a coach inquiring as to the “leaping” rule. He suggested that he had asked two crews the question, and he received two different answers. I know this isn’t a rule that is often applied, but we should all know it and be consistent. He was lead to believe he could never leap to block a kick. Remember, the rule states that no defensive player who runs from beyond the neutral zone and leaps from beyond the neutral zone in an obvious attempt to block a field goal or try may land on any player(s) (Rule 9-1-2-n). Read that carefully. If the leaping player does not land on any player, there is no penalty for leaping. However, if the player lands on ANY player (A or B), there could be a penalty for leaping. Leaping is a personal foul.

I have been involved in officiating for a long time. For nearly as long, I have been involved in supervising officials in football, basketball and baseball. I can easily say that football is the hardest to achieve success. Players continue to get bigger and faster; technology clearly shows our mistakes; judgment calls are happening faster; and rules are often misunderstood. However, in response to that, I do believe that football officials work harder than any other sport to improve their knowledge and skills. Everyone associated with the game of football should be very appreciative for this hard work and sacrifice. Before next year, please think about officials you believe can be successful at this level, and encourage them to join SCCFOA. We could especially use new officials from the Bakersfield and Channel Coast areas.

I hope these weekly bulletins in some way make all of us understand this great game of football better and create consistently correct calls.

Rich Kollen
Director of Football Operations
Southern California Football Association

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