Category Archives: Webb’s Observations

2014 Football Finals

AA Game; Rain, rain, rain. That is never a good thing There were two dead ball fouls, one per team and the referee announced they offset. Half the distance could have been involved, one foul could have been accessed on the try, the other on the kickoff or both could have been accessed on the kickoff. They do not offset and each carries its own distance penalty. Even if the fouls occurred simultaneously they do not offset. We just stay where we are.

If this ever happens to you and a 1st down or half the distance are not involved, just announce the fouls and state the enforcement leaves the ball at this final spot.

AAA Game; Rain, rain, rain. Have I mentioned this before? This game was really an example of poorly disciplined kids. Their actions were an embarrassment to the game of football. The crew handled it and got us out of the stadium without a brawl. Coaches need to learn when kids misbehave, sitting them on the bench may be a big help in modifying their behavior.

A Game: No rain. Best game of the Super Six. The toughest team won.

Need to view videos of these games to discern areas of concern to all of us. Our officials worked hard and did really well. I apologized to the AAA crew for getting them into such a mess. Someone has to work these games and they accepted the challenge and made the rest of the officials in WV proud.

2014 Semi-Finals

Week 3 of playoffs:

Some notes from another State.

  1. Spots/Lines: Ask yourself each down – Am I covering the appropriate line – Goal line, End line, Line to gain, and/or Sideline? Do I know the down & distance on each down? Crucial Spot for Forward progress – Do I look to the Back Side Wing for help when needed? Do I know the spot of enforcement, yardage, & spot of foul.
  2. Player Equipment: Watched a TV Game where there were numerous examples of illegal equipment such as shoulder pads & back pads exposed. We need to correct these immediately!
  3. Point of Emphasis: Both Wings are responsible for the yardage on all penalties along with the U. Line Judge hold line and Linesman get to succeeding spot.
  4. Point of Emphasis: Intentional Grounding is called & enforced at Previous Spot. Correct? No! How can 5 officials miss the enforcement? Please discuss. Who will step forward for a crew save!!!
  5. Unsportsmanlike: A3 thought he was interfered with & began aggressively signaling DPI to the Crew. The Crew did nothing. This is Unsportsmanlike!! The player is embarrassing the Crew. Take control of the game!

After a week of reviewing the UHS vs. SC game ending I think the referee did an outstanding job of gathering information from the undecided crew to make the call. This same referee has been assigned to a D3 game this weekend. Seems like his reward for doing what he had to do.

Wings need to be cautious on out of bounds plays they cover. They need to quickly look to see if they are in danger of being run over, but then they must turn and officiate the action out of bounds. Had a back judge give the NFL touchback signal. Why is this still a problem? Same back judge did not drop bean bag for possible momentum applications.

Wings and anybody else covering the goal line, give the TD signal as soon as you see the ball break the plane and there is no forward progress stopped short of the goal line.

Under the heading “Can you Believe This?” We had an opening kickoff and the ball was touched by K somewhere near R’s 35-yard line, then the ball bounced off of an R player, then K picked up the ball and advanced it into the end zone. The covering official signaled TD. The crew then assembled and decided K could not advance the ball and took away the TD. They then proceeded to give the ball to R because of “first touching by K”. NO NO NO, This can’t be. The ball should have been awarded to K at the spot where he possessed it. This was a free kick and first touching only occurs in the 10-yard wide neutral zone. In the same game we had an inadvertent whistle and it took several minutes to decide what to do with the play. The referee went to both coaches, which is a no-no in this case and placed the ball near the 2-yard line, then moved it back to the 20, then moved it again. This is simple – if you ever (heaven forbid) have an inadvertent whistle and the ball is in player possession, there are two choices, take the result of the play where blown dead or replay the down. Don’t make a federal case of this stuff. The captains are to make the choice. Unless something really awful happens we should not be conferring with the coaches, let the kids handle it. They finally decided to replay the down but did not really know where the previous spot was because the sticks had already been moved.

Is it any wonder why my hair disappeared and what is left turned grey?

Should be some good football during the Super Six. Frankfort and St. Marys are making their first appearance ever at this event.

Follow-up to week 3 playoff report:

I was misinformed regarding — Under the heading “Can you Believe This?” We had an opening kickoff and the ball was touched by K somewhere near R’s 35-yard line, then the ball bounced off of an R player, then K picked up the ball and advanced it into the end zone. The covering official signaled TD. The crew then assembled and decided K could not advance the ball and took away the TD. They then proceeded to give the ball to R because of “first touching by K”. NO NO NO, This can’t be. The ball should have been awarded to K at the spot where he possessed it. This was a free kick and first touching only occurs in the 10-yard wide neutral zone.

What actually happened was a punt, so we do have first touching beyond the neutral zone. The play quoted above was not as bad as I thought. I finally got the game film and found out I was misinformed. The covering official did follow K to the end zone without killing the play. K can possess the kick but may not advance.

2014 Week 2 Playoffs

Week 2 of 2014 Playoffs:

Carry over from week 1: On a 3rd down play and Team A coming from near their own goal line, A1 advances near the line to gain. A2 commits a block in the back at the 8 yard line and unable to determine if the line to gain was reached I gave preliminary signal and then measured to find it was about 2 inches short. Then I proceeded to give B1 choice of 4th and inches or take the penalty which was only going to be a 4-yd penalty due to half the distance.

Correct way to handle? I said yes. Get all the information you can to give captains the best options.

From another game: We almost got caught on a nice trick play in our game. The QB took the snap and put it behind his back and backed away from center and all the lineman screamed “BALL” like it was a fumble and dove in a big pile around the center. Then he underthrew the end but it was a long gainer. The defensive end smelled it out but was a little late to the QB. I took a couple steps in as well as my umpire toward the pile and the QB had it standing right beside me. Luckily we stayed off the whistle!!!

In the University vs. South Charleston game Friday night there was a bang-bang play at the goal line. The crew did not do a good job of selling their call. See Prior to the start of this game the University team crept out to past the top of the numbers just before the coin toss. The referee motioned them back when he should have confronted them, directing them to the sideline. The University coach then took control and moved his players back.

In a game at St. Marys the crew had a measurement and picked up the ball and carried it to the wing man rather than the wingman moving into where the real spot was. Looked real bad.

We need to remind visiting coaches this week to stay off the home team’s logo for a display prior to the coin toss.

There were some ejections and the Special Report was late getting to the office. Don’t know if it was caused by the website being down or what. During playoffs get your Special Reports in as quickly as possible. Overall the second round was pretty well officiated. Nice work guys.

2014 Week 11

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Good shot of a hurdle that was called Friday night.


By the way, to have a block in the back it must be inside the shoulders.  A block on a shoulder blade is not a block in the back.  The position of the head is not a determining factor.  When you can see the number of the opponent being blocked then the contact was not inside the shoulders.

Coaches and fans to not understand the blocking rules nor do they understand the rules involving tackling, re; horse-collar.

Here’s the situation: K 4/10 at K10, 8 seconds left. K punts the ball towards the sideline. R signals for a fair catch at the R45 right in front of me on the wing. After making the catch, he is tackled by K54 with 2 seconds remaining for a dead ball personal foul, enforced to the K40.
Team B’s coach immediately starts yelling he wants a free kick. We actually got it lined up and kicked pretty quickly. The ball went through the pipes and the R and U got to signal  to end the half.


What is wrong with this play?  I got it from some forum.


2014 WEEK 10

2014 Week 10;

Once again we had rain and more rain. It looks like we are seeing a problem developing with the visiting teams coming out before the coin toss and stomping on the home team’s logo located in the center of the field. Last night the home team took umbrage and tried to protect their turf. This resulted with unsportsmanlike acts. We will probably have to change our coin toss mechanic.

In a high intensity, rivalry game, the officials flagged bad behavior right at the start and then the game stayed competitive and clean after that. In another highly intense rivalry game, a flagrant foul was called because of a close call in an overtime game. The foul was for very foul language.

Should this be a foul in High School? Asking about the coin toss and no hand shake by Maryland. I say no. What do you say?

One last week before we begin the playoffs. So far our officials have done fairly well. The egregious errors have been kept to a minimum. Lack of concentration and communication among crews caused most of the bad things. You would think these kinds of problems would be easy to eliminate.

Question: May a coach request a conference with the referee to discuss a misapplication of a rule?

Answer: Yes. If the discussion is just to complain about something the conference which was originally taken as an official’s timeout will become a charged timeout and the timing of a regularly called authorized conference shall continue. If the team has no timeouts remaining they will be charged with a delay of game penalty and the interval shall end. The opposing team shall be notified that this is not an authorized conference and they need to get ready to continue the game.

2014 WEEK 9

2014 Week 9:
Play 1 – 3rd down and 33 from B’s 35-yd line, QB A7 completes the pass to A85 and runs down to B’s 8-yd line where A85 fumbles into B’s end zone with the ball crossing over the end line last in possession of team A. (This last part of the statement may have led to the erroneous ruling: During the play B57 is called for roughing the passer. This was the ruling: Team B would be penalized half the distance to the goal from the spot of the last run (8-yd line), awarded an automatic first down and team A would have a 1st and goal from the 4. Correct Ruling; Since B, by rule now has possession of the ball because of the touchback, we must penalize from the previous spot.
Play 2: – Same as above but the ball is fumbled into B’s end zone where it is recovered by team B. Ruling: (Correct Ruling) since there was a change of possession during the down, team A would have possession 1st and 10 from B’ 20-yd line. Foul is penalized from previous spot and team A is awarded an automatic 1st down. Note that in both of these plays B has possession at the end of the down, either by rule or by actual physical possession, therefore there can be no “tack-on” for roughing the passer.
K2 punts to R2 and K34 commits kick-catching-interference but R2 catches the ball and runs it in for a touchdown. What are R’s options for the foul? Think about it.
Friday night I got to see a cute play. A’s left offensive tackle backs off the line after the snap and receives a backward pass from his quarterback. The tackle then throws a 60-yard pass into B’s end zone where the A receiver was wide open. The problem with the execution was that the big ole tackle led his receiver about 10 yards or so too far.
Near the end of the 2nd period, Morgantown leads 7-0 over John Marshall. John Marshall has the ball down inside their own 7-yard line and there are less than 40 seconds on the clock. John Marshall kneels twice then with 2 seconds on the clock they are about to kneel down again when Morgantown calls a timeout.
Needless to say this ticked of the John Marshall coach so he had his quarterback attempt a pass rather than kneeling down again to run the clock out.
This kind of behavior by our coaches amazes me. No wonder they hate each other. Plus one school scores 91 points and only allows 14. What is that all about?
Play: Team A commits intentional grounding and it is flagged by the line judge. They penalized from the previous spot. Ruling: The line judge needed to go immediately to the referee and inform him of the foul that was committed and the referee then needs to drop his flag on the spot of the pass. This is NOT a loose ball play. See 2-33-2b, page 36. Illegal forward passes are running plays hence the need to know the spot of the foul. 5 yards and lose of down.
It appears many of our white hats have been watching too much NCAA football. In a modern 7-man crew the referee is just a moderator. This is not the case in our 5- or-6-man crews. We want our white hats to be active game officials. Don’t hang back and turn your 5-man crew into a 4-man crew.

2014 Week 8

2014 Week 8

Had a JV game where the visitors wore light tan jerseys.  The referee called an UNS foul on the head coach.  The home team coach declined the distance portion of the penalty.  The referee reported the jersey issue to the SSAC office in a special report.  Good job in handling this situation correctly.

Had a punt that was muffed and then rolled into R’s end zone where R recovered.  Ruled a safety.  Oh My !!!

Question: If all 11 players including the kicker are inside the 5 yard belt can any one of them move and kick the ball as long as they do not go behind the 5 yards.  Answer:  Yes if there are at least 4 members of K on each side of the kicker.  We will have to wait until the kick to rule on this.

Check this out. Watch upback.  We need to pick these BBWs up on a more consistent basis.  Here is another BBW,

Play:  Runner A22 is hit on B’s 10-yard line and the ball pops out of his grasp and bounces off the back of B45 who is lying face down on the ground at B’s 2-yard line.  The ball then bounces into B’s end zone and across the side line.  Is this a touchback or a safety?  See 2-13-1 page 28 in your Rules Book.  Convince me.

No officials for Woodrow vs. Capital on Friday.  Wonder how that happened.  This is very important; crew chiefs need to contact schools early in the week to confirm contracts. If AD doesn’t hear from anybody it should raise a red flag.

Saw a crew take captains out for 2nd half options, I swore we did away with that this fall.  In this game the linesman and back judge had excellent coverage on a long pass play where the receiver crossed the goal line at the pylon.

Just an observation from Friday night – Gallia 16 penalties for 129 yards and Pt. Pleasant 13 penalties for 121 yards.  Is there something in the air down there?


4 unsportsmanlike fouls against one team Friday night.  Bad behavior is a continuing problem.

You are not going to believe this one.  Quarterback gets sacked for a 5 yard loss.  During the play B is guilty of holding 5 yards beyond the line of scrimmage.  The crew went to the spot of the hold to penalize B.  B’s coach complained and the crew decided they had screwed it up.  The box and chains had already been moved and of course no one knew where the dead ball spot was.  For goodness sakes guys, learn the difference between loose ball plays and running plays.  Then learn penalty enforcement.

2014 Week 7

2014 Week 7
R2 muffs a punt on his 35-yard line. As he tries to recover, K34 comes by and is pushed in the side by R15 and K34’s foot contacts the grounded punt which then rolls to R’s 30-yard line where it is recovered by K14. R’s coach, in his twisted logic, states that the kick by K34 had to be illegal because Team K was gaining an advantage of 5 yards because of the kicked ball. Go figure.
On a play I missed last month receiver R22 muffed a punt and the ball hit the ground under his body. The Back Judge missed seeing the ball hit the ground and ruled it a catch. The umpire did not turn around to provide any help. I have no idea what the two wings saw. Just an awkward play to explain to a coach who saw the ball touch the ground on a video of the game.
In 6-man the two deep judges should be able to get a long incomplete pass or punt exchange off of the field. The LJ and L can get a new ball in. In 5- or 6-man don’t be too quick to leave your players to get a ball off or a new one in – wait till things die down.

This is not how to manage a sideline

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We gain nothing by ignoring our responsibilities!  If the sideline warning doesn’t keep them back then the 5-yard penalty must be enforced.  Do the right things.

2014 Week 6

2014  Week 6;
Wings need to clean up formations early to prevent serious problems from cropping up later in the game. I see several schools whose linemen are not on their line of scrimmage. The head or foot has to break the plane through the waist of the snapper. (1-32-9).

If we can’t get the problems with pants not covering the knees and deltoid pads attached to shoulder pads cleaned up just by reminding the players then we will have to apply the rules as written. When you check equipment during pregame and remind kids to cover up and they don’t, do not permit them to participate. If, through play, the pads or knees become uncovered, send them out to get it fixed.
From a week ago- l mentioned the color discrepancy of jerseys in the Capital – South Charleston game. The rule clearly states the visitors shall wear white. The head coach of South Charleston should have been flagged for an UNS foul. Of course the Capital coach can decline the distance penalty but the visiting coach still has the one UNS foul. If he should get another in that game he shall be ejected. Officials can provide preventative officiating by checking to see if the visitor jersey colors can be changed to white prior to the start of the game.

At a game Friday night in the N-Central part of the state, an altercation occurred and several players from one of the teams left the team box and went out on the field. No ejections but numbers were recorded. Somebody should have been disqualified. I’m at a loss for words.
Lots of wind and rain but the games I checked on went pretty well. I did see an umpire wearing a white towel, looks bad.
In a game up in the Northern Panhandle there was a crew that did a terrible job administering penalties from the proper spot.  Administered penalties for fouls in side zone from hash mark and fouls on running plays where the foul was behind line of scrimmage from the line of scrimmage.
Looks like we still have a lot of work to do.
However, many crews are doing a really good job. How do we get this kind of performance to occur all the time?