Category Archives: Webb’s Observations

2014 Week 5

2014 WVSSAC Week 5:
From last week; following a disqualification of a high school player, the media and parents got heavily involved. Some of our officials supposedly chimed in supporting the parents and media. This sounds like we are second guessing our fellow officials and have no direct knowledge of what happened. Local Boards need to press their members to behave in a more professional fashion. Speaking of professionalism there was a Middle School game played this week and one of the officials was wearing a visor instead of a cap. Local Boards need to be the leaders of what is acceptable and what is not.
Question: If the front line of the defense is 2 yards off of the line of scrimmage, may they be blocked below the waist? Answer: No they may not. Since they are not within 1 yard of their line of scrimmage they are not defensive linemen and they may not be blocked low. Another question: If K has to re-kick from Team R’s 45 because of a foul moving the free kick line, where can the ball be placed if the kick then goes out of bounds on the 10-yard line? Answer: Team K may be penalized 5 yards from the previous spot and re-kick from the 50-yard line, or Team R may take the untouched kick from the 10-yard line or R may take the ball from their 20-yard line (which is 25 yards from the free kick line).


Umpires – you need to stay out of the line of fire.
What about the jerseys? Capital is at home and wearing light grey, South Charleston, the visitors, wearing their black. I wonder how this was accomplished.
Had a play in a neighboring state to the north where a pass was intercepted and run back for a TD. The problem here is this was in overtime.
Had a visit at the Wayne – Mingo Central game and there was no drone. Disappointed.

Here is an example of good officiating.

4th down and A12 throws a forward pass. The receiver muffs it and it drops to the ground. A defender then comes in and hits the defenseless player (the would-be receiver). The wing flags the hit. Since this play did not give Team A a new series, the ball goes over to Team B. They were penalized from the previous spot and given the ball 1st and 10. Some crews would have penalized and given Team A a new series.
In a tough game, the box man of the chain crew was on his cell phone a lot of the evening; Solution – have him replaced. Don’t mess around with less than acceptable chain crews. They are too important.
In this game the home team wore light grey jerseys and the visiting team wore black. Not sure if this is appropriate. No penalty is prescribed but it should be reported to the office.


If #32 can get his epaulet inside his sleeve pocket why can’t #14 do the same? Are we not looking for these things?
Look at this. Does this look like the right size of eyeshade?


OH MY!  No call?

2014 Week 4

2014 WVSSAC Week 4
Rule 1-5-1,d,3: Shoulder pads and attachments must be fully covered by the jersey. Check on the pads in pre-game so that there will be few problems during the game.
Those epaulets that hang below the short sleeve are not legal.
Just a reminder – contact to a defenseless player may or may not be a foul. If the so-called defenseless player is involved in a play, such as a blocker off to the side of a runner or in chase of a runner, etc. they may be contacted free of foul if contacted legally otherwise.
Some referees are unsure of how close to the new LOS they need to be when the play ends. If the play ends between the numbers and is not a long-gainer, being within 5 yards of the pile is usually sufficient. Sometimes you may need to get right up on the edge of the pile to let players know they are under close scrutiny.
Wings must help the back judge get the ball off the field after punts and incomplete passes. It really looks lazy when they don’t do this. Wings also need to remember to monitor their teams during timeouts. Keep the outside the numbers huddle outside the numbers. Also get to the 9-yard makes between the 25 yard lines to get teams to congregate in the correct area.
A couple of crews did not take care of their sidelines. Coaches coming out on the field except during timeouts is not permissible – use the sideline warning. Coaches on the field of play, during live ball action, requires a 15-yard penalty. Don’t worry about coming back next year, if you ignore these things you don’t deserve to come back.
Referees who are not communicating with coaching staffs and team captains is creating a problem.
Have you had a school who turned up the sound from the booth when their opponents have a 3rd down play?
Keep studying the game rules and mechanics. We may be almost halfway through the season but I haven’t seen a perfectly worked game yet.

2014 Week 3

2014 Week 3: (and holdovers from week 2)

2014 Week 3a 2014 Week 3b

2014 Week 3

We are allowed a forearm pad – a
wrist band but a wrist band that
goes all the way up to the arm pit
– I don’t think so. If it is a shirt
sleeve then it is OK. 

Always check player equipment prior to and during the game.  Note unbuckled chin strap on #2 and shiny knees on #24.

Had a couple of players from Northern Panhandle that did not wear pants long enough to cover their knees.  I don’t know what was done about it.  The photo on the right was from a N. Panhandle game.


Another 5th down raised its ugly head.  Really had no bearing on outcome of the game but a 6-man crew messed this up.

Reportedly had a running clock in a MSAC game.  After investigating, the media got it wrong.  Can you imagine that?  If you haven’t already learned this – you don’t want to take what is reported in the media as gospel.

Drones are becoming a headache.  Treat them as any other media form.  When the game starts they are to be outside the plane of the restraining lines and must not become intrusive toward either team.  Keeping them grounded is probably a good idea.

In a game Friday night the referee, who works passing arm side, the umpire, who didn’t move well and the line judge missed a block in the back.  The play started on the right hash and ended well outside the numbers on the left side of the field and well beyond the line of scrimmage.  The referee had too much field to cover (had he been wide side this would not have been a problem), the umpire was way behind the play and it appeared the line judge was concentrating on the runner.  The block in the back was near the runner in the left side zone.  Let’s talk about getting proper coverage on these types of actions.

Wings, when a QB intentionally grounds the ball (you know there is no eligible receiver in the vicinity) run to the referee and tell him and make him toss the flag.  We need that spot for penalty enforcement.  Referees, don’t be shy about calling these acts on your own.  It is not a difficult call to make.

Kickoff went out of bounds and R elected to have K re-kick. Line Judge did not inform R they could move up to K’s 45.

In a game going along well all of a sudden there is a helmet to head contact on a quarterback.  The play was not flagged.  It appears the referee failed to continue to focus on the quarterback until he was free of foul.

Other than these few items (and some others that need no mention) we are doing well.  Keep up the good work.

2014 Week 2

Week 2:  Loose ball Plays / Running Plays: Some of our officials are having difficulties with penalty administration and the types of play in question.  For loose ball plays the ball must be loose behind the line of scrimmage and prior to a change of possession, from a snap, fumble, muff, legal pass, backward pass or legal kick, and a foul committed during this interval makes the basic spot the previous spot for penalty administration.  There may be any number of runs preceding these instances.  Use the all-but-one for penalty enforcement except for roughing the passer with the play ending beyond the LOS (those may be “tack-ons”). If a running play develops and the foul occurs during the run and no further loose balls occur behind the line then we just have a running play.  A running play is just that (including illegal forward passes) and theend of the run is the basic spot for penalty administration and we use the all-but-one for penalty enforcement.Play 1:  1st and 10 for Team A on B’s 33-yard line.  The Team A passer completes a pass to his teammate, A81 who is tackled on B’s 38-yard line.  The passer is roughed.  This is a loose ball play and the foul must  be penalized from the previous spot, not the end of A81’s run.Question:  A 73 has a broken chin strap buckle.  He is sent out by an official.  Can he come back in for thenext play if Team A calls a timeout?  Answer:  Yes.  This is not an injury and the player could have come back in immediately if he had a way to repair the buckle without assistance and did not delay the ready.Situation:  Sub A84 comes toward the huddle and the wing on that side notes the A84’s pants do not cover the knees.  Result:  A84 shall not be permitted to participate.  If the coach says he is the only sub for his tight end – tough. “Coach get another player in or take a timeout to get A84 properly dressed.”

2014 Week 1

2014 Football

Week 1:  First game.  Problems with pants not covering the knees, no penalties for this called.  We had the kiccking team line up with no members of K in the 5-yard belt.  The official tried to correct them on the next kickoff but it didn’t work because there were 2 K players outside the 5-yard belt and the kicker.  In this first game the LJ had a terrific withhold of the whistle when a runner was pulled down on a defender, rolled forward then was grounded.  In this game the wings did not monitor their teams during outside the numbers timeouts.  Wings are not doing a very good job of keeping the sideline clear during live ball play and some are even allowing coaches out on the field to call plays.  In another game LOTS of helmets came off players.  Report these instances on a special report.In another game the crew screwed up their alignment on kick tries.  The referee had already given the ready then he stopped action, realigned, then remarked the ball ready.  This is not the way to do this.  If you misalign let it go and get it right the next time.  Use the holder to determine who goes back under the uprights and where the referee goes.  Asking the coach if he has a right-or left-footed kicker before the game may be a clever idea but the actual action should determine your mechanics on these kick tries.  There was a play in this game where a runner cut inside his tight end and the defensive linebacker came in to make the stop and drove his shoulder into the shoulder of the runner.  The wing on that side flagged a targeting foul.  We need to CLEARLY see the whole thing.We expect some rust the first week of play.  Like allowing a team to put the kickoff tee on their own 35 and kick from there.  Let’s get better next week.