Kollen Bulletin

From: "Rich Kollen" - dayofgame@aol.com
Subject: SCCFOA
Date: Friday, November 15, 2013



The 2013 Southern California Football Association (SCFA) and the Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SCIAC) seasons have come to a close. I wish the best to all of the programs going on to post-season competition. Our student-athletes are so fortunate to be able to participate in college football. Hats off to the coaches and players who have made this season so competitive. We have had games end on the last play of the 4th quarter, several overtime games, and more competitive scores than I can remember in years.

As we approached the 2013 season, coaches, players, and officials were so concerned about the new targeting penalty. As it turns out, we had fewer than ten targeting fouls called in our 155 SCFA games. Congratulations to all parties for spending time learning about targeting, for buying into protecting the safety of our student-athletes, and for learning how to correctly recognize the foul.

There are a few things the SCFA needs to think about before next season: Each college needs to purchase wireless microphones for referee use. They cost less than $300.00 per unit. From what I understand, they connect into all stadium PA systems. Please have this done, and tested, prior to next fall.

We need to adopt the NCAA 40-second play clock. This will make our games more consistent by taking the play-to-play tempo away from the referees.

Check your on-field timing devices before the start of next season. We have had too many reports of clock malfunctions reported this past season. A few of our colleges have requested that I assign an official as a clock operator. It has been successful and gives new officials an opportunity to experience being part of the officiating crew. Email me next year it you are interested.

The chain crew vests added a lot to the perception of the SCFA. Keep them in a safe place until next year.

I would like to apologize to coaches for the occasional tardiness of my responses to your questions during the season. I assure you that all of your issues were reviewed. There were a few weeks that the number of questions was simply overwhelming. We will be using the videos you sent in this season to help our officials in off-season training, including during spring and summer study sessions. You must understand that officials are a dedicated group, and they spend much of the offseason focused on football. This offseason will be no different, and the videos help tremendously.

For some reason, we have gotten away from all officials giving the time-out signal after 4th down plays, players going out of bounds, penalties, etc. This mechanic is especially important at the community college level because many of our clock operators are inexperienced. Please make sure to use this mechanic this weekend.

We have had reports from observers that flank officials are not pinching in at the end of the play. This is especially important on close plays at the goal line and when the line-to-gain is at issue. There is no better way to "sell" a close spot than moving onto the field and closing hard.

There are a few learning opportunities from the last weekend’s observers and referee reports. We need the umpires to turn on passes over the middle in order to help with catch/no catch. You are in the best position to step up and see the ball hitting the ground.

Officials, do not seek out coaches after a game to explain a call made during the game. This serves no good purpose and can only cause issues for the crew.

Officials ruling on catches near the sidelines need to review the process of making a catch when the receiver is going the ground. Remember, a catch is a PROCESS. It is not an instant thing. To complete the catch when going to the ground, the receiver MUST maintain firm control of the ball after hitting the ground.

Make block in the back fouls BIG. We are penalizing too many legal side blocks. This is a good opportunity for other officials to step up and take someone off a questionable call. Be a crew-saver, if necessary. Better yet, let’s not call them in the first place unless we are certain.

If a 3rd or 4th down play ends within a yard of the line-to-gain, and a coach requests that a measurement be taken, we should always grant that request. When faced with these plays that end “close” to a first down we should not be in a rush to pick up the ball from its dead-ball position, as we want to ensure the integrity of the progress spot. I understand the idea of “starting on a big line,” and that a measurement may not be necessary. However, for our integrity and the coaches’ sanity, measure if requested.

A very successful coach who has a good knowledge of the rules called and the conversation went like this: “That old official who is retiring this year, well, I'm going to miss him.” When asked why, this was his answer: "He keeps the flag in his pocket until there is foul.” This official’s philosophy is: Make the foul big, call what needs to be called, and communicate with coaches and fellow officials. That is the key to success. Something to be learned from a veteran.

To all officials: I would like to commend your efforts this season. In no other community college sport do we get officials arriving 2 1/2 hours before the game. Your spring and summer meetings and study groups do not go unnoticed. I am aware that many of you attend camps and clinics to improve your performance. Football officiating at this level is a big commitment. I applaud so many of you who have worked so hard this season to pay the price for success. Given the increase in accountability, please know that you are not taken for granted. We realize your hard work and the sacrifices that you (and your families) make. Thank you, from the bottom of my heart.

Rich Kollen
Director of Football Operations
Southern California Football Association

2015 SCCFOA - Southern California Collegiate Football Officials Association