Kollen Bulletin

From: "Rich Kollen" - dayofgame@aol.com
Subject: SCCFOA
Date: Friday, November 14, 2008

Southern California Collegiate Football Officials Association

Week 11 Bulletin

As we enter the final weekend of the regular season, I would like to thank all of the athletic directors, coaches and officials for your dedication to community college football in Southern California. I hope these weekly emails have helped everyone better understand this great game of football. A special thanks to SCFA Commissioner, Jim Sartoris, for his excellent leadership and never-ending support of our officiating program and our officials.

I told the coaches at the meeting last summer that, due to the subjective nature of football officiating, every call could be viewed differently by different people. I promised the coaches, however, that the officiating would be consistent and professional, with the most dedicated officials in the country. Thank you for helping me keep my promise this season. You have all been very professional and dedicated, and have worked on your communication skills. I appreciate it, and the coaches appreciate it more than you will ever know.

Miscellaneous from our Referees
There was a play with two penalty flags. After the ball was dead, the Referee proceeded to where the flags were thrown. The two officials involved (the Field Judge and Back Judge) had different calls. One had DPI, one had OPI. The two officials discussed it for a brief time and it was apparent that the Field Judge was more adamant about his call. The Referee confirmed with the Back Judge that he was comfortable with enforcing the Field Judge's call. Referees, please discuss this type of situation in your pregames. How could the two officials have handled this better? I have been told that the Back Judge's instincts were correct. Referees, don't be afraid to have two fouls on the play. Let's remember philosophy, and not reward one player with "unclean hands" over another one. All officials, if you know you are right, make sure the crew makes the correct call. (Leave our egos in the locker room, and get the calls right.)

A pass was ruled incomplete. None of the wings, flanks, Back Judge or Umpire had a good enough look to confirm a catch or no catch. The crew ruled incomplete. During halftime, a discussion ensued about the philosophy on such a play. Some of the crew believed the philosophy of "when in doubt, it is a catch." Others believed the opposite. The SCCFOA philosophy is: when in doubt, it is to be ruled a CATCH.

Team A has the ball, 4th and 1.5 yards to go, in the 4th quarter. Team A huddled close to the ball, broke the huddle, and quickly lined up and snapped the ball. All players came to a full stop before the snap occurred (but very close to the one full second requirement). Team A gained 2 yards on the play. The rulebook clearly states that "all players of the offensive team must come to an absolute stop and remain stationary in their positions . . . for at least one full second before the ball is snapped." (FR-97, Rule 7-1-4-a) It appears that this play was designed to confuse the defense. If there is any doubt in a situation like this (designed to confuse the defense), shut down the play as a false start.

On a well-marked field, a player was tackled right at the line-to-gain. The Head Linesman, keenly aware of where the set of downs began, stated that Team A was short of the line-to-gain. The head coach requested a measurement. The Referee, as a PR move, granted the measurement. Upon measurement, the ball was touching the front stake, and the Referee signaled for a first down. The Head Linesman and Side Judge protested the measurement to the Referee, and suggested that there should have been no measurement, as the team was clearly short of the line-to-gain. The Referee asked the Head Linesman if he had measured the chains before the game, and he responded that he had so measured them. This Referee was exactly right. I applaud the Head Linesman for knowing the line-to-gain, but there would be no excuse if we had measured and then decided that the measurement was wrong. If you measure the chains before the game, and they show a first down, it is a first down. Referees, be cognizant of how close a ball is to the line-to gain. If it is within one yard, and the coach asks for a measurement, grant a measurement. The short delay sends the right message to our teams, fans and coaches. The result of that measurement, if done correctly, must always stand.

Post Season Assignments
This Sunday (November 16th), the match-ups for the first week's bowl games (3 games) and playoffs (4 games, 8 teams) will be announced. The games should be posted on The Arbiter by Monday night.

Final Thoughts
With the final week of the season, a number of teams will be playing for a piece of the conference championships or a trip to post-season games. There will be some very emotional games this week, which will test your game management and people skills. Also note that there will be several teams playing with "nothing to lose." Let's be great dead-ball officials! This is the last shot for most of you to work the "perfect" game and end the season on a positive note.

I ask each of you to evaluate your season over the next few days. Think of the following, and write down the answers for your own education:

Were there any rules on which you or your crew stumbled? It should never happen twice.
Were you always in the best position to make a call? What mechanics did you forget at times?
Did you ever make a judgment call without having all helpful information? Did you ever fail to give helpful information to a crew member?
Did you remember the SCCFOA philosophies in your process of evaluation on a judgment call?
Are you a better official today then you were on opening day, August 30?

As is the case every year, we look forward with great anticipation for the start of the season. Before we know it, the season is ending. I thank all of you for your hard work and dedication to this great game and to the kids and coaches at the community colleges throughout Southern California. Remember, your hard work doesn't end when the season ends. Continue to work in the offseason, both physically and mentally. I look forward to seeing you all again next season.

Rich Kollen
Director of Football Operations
California Community College Athletic Association

2015 SCCFOA - Southern California Collegiate Football Officials Association