From: "Rich Kollen" - firstname.lastname@example.org
Date: Thursday, November 14, 2014
SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA FOOTBALL ASSOCIATION
2014 WEEKLY BULLETIN #10
Referees: signal the timer to start the 20-minute halftime clock, and use common sense. If one team has a longer walk to the locker room, delay the wind until the teams clear the field for halftime. Don't cheat a visiting team who may have a longer walk.
Although we live in Southern California, it is the time of the year that you need to bring a long sleeve shirt. On a chilly night last week, six members of the crew wanted to wear long sleeves. One official did not bring his long sleeves. This shouldn't happen at this level. We're lucky to live in a warm climate, but as we know, nights can get cold. Be prepared! I'm glad the crew didn't make him paint his arms black and white, but that might have taught him a lesson!
As we have discussed all season, we do not want "game management" fouls as a warning. When two opposing players get into a one-on-one altercation, you should step in and break it up and not penalize both teams with offsetting fouls. Make any flag that is thrown a flag that a player truly deserves.
You might have seen some excellent officiating in the Oregon/Utah game last weekend. A Utah player breaks away for a 79-yard TD pass and run; however, he drops the ball at about the 2-yard line to start a celebration. The covering officials correctly did not signal TD, but rather dropped a beanbag, and an Oregon player picked up the ball and ran for a 100-yard TD, while Utah celebrated. If the official had signaled TD, the ball would have been put at the 2-yard line, due to the inadvertent signal. If the ball had come to rest in the end zone with no official signal and no player going after it, it would have been a TD. If the ball had rolled out of the end zone, a touchback would be the correct call. Lesson learned. GREAT job of officiating on that play. Watch and learn!
A few points to ponder from the last two weeks of games:
When the ball carrier's helmet comes off, the play is over. Kill the play, and the clock. If a helmet from any other player comes off, they must not participate. Any blocking, tackling, etc. is a 15-yard penalty. It is a personal foul, NOT unsporting foul. Remember, it is only a foul if they continue to participate, aside from the immediate action. If they are involved in a block, they may continue that block, but may not break contact and make a new block. In addition, they may not be blocked by an opponent.
Referees, if you feel that an injury may take some time (more than a minute), you can release the teams to the sidelines. Let the coaches talk to their teams at the sidelines.
We had an official drop his beanbag to mark forward progress on a play where the ball appeared to have been fumbled. The whistle killed the play, but the beanbag is an indication to all that we had a fumble. Do not mark the forward progress spot with a beanbag!
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. (Officials - We must bean bag this spot.) I know we don't usually bean bag interceptions, but this is the one exception.
Coaches have done an excellent job making the sidelines safe for officials to officiate. Being two yards off the field when the ball is ready to be snapped is good for football.
This past Sunday, I received the following emails from ADs and coaches within one hour. "This crew last night gets a grade of F. I guess you have set a low standard for officials' performance, and support their lack of doing a job and their lack of professionalism" (from the winning coach). "Our crew last night was very professional, arrived two hours before the game and made the game easy to manage" (from the winning AD). "I understand this game is difficult to referee and your officials try, but there were many questionable calls last night" (from the losing coach). Last Saturday we had 17 games to officiate by 119 officials. Other levels of SoCal small college football used 49 of our officials. This is my challenge each week. No whining, but I do want you all to know what happens on our end, so you understand why you may get a call here and there.
As we end the 2014 SCFA season and get ready for the playoffs and bowl games, I hope these weekly bulletins have helped us better understand both college football officiating and California Community College Football.
Good luck to the four colleges representing the SCFA in the playoffs. Congrats to the ten teams who will participate in bowl games. The first round assignments will be released next Tuesday.
In closing, I commend the coaches who exchanged their Hudl video for training aids to officials. Players see video each week and so should officials who want to improve. Thanks to the officials who watched videos, studied rules, and made the commitment to be the best possible football official.
Your hard work and professionalism is not 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. Thank you to you and your families for another season of dedication to the student-athletes.
Director of Football Operations
Southern California Football Association