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. http://www.sbnation.com/college-football/2014/11/1/7142523/maryland-penalty-penn-state-coin-toss 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.

A Good Lesson sent by Mike Webb

There were several tongues wagging in Week 6 when an official advised a player he was in illegal formation.  Many football fans learned the term “preventative officiating,” and the debate began whether or not preventative officiating was actually coaching.  Well, preventative officiating happens every game and at every level and at every sport.  It helps fans enjoy the game without a foul-fest.

I define preventative officiating as, “an official who advises, warns and encourages players to play within the rules to create a fair and enjoyable game for the teams and fans.”

Preventative officiating starts in the pregame.  If the officiating crew observes a player wearing an illegal uniform or illegal equipment, they recommend the player and the coach to correct the equipment or uniform.  Should the official wait until kickoff and then throw the flag on the player for illegal equipment?  Officials want to take care of the problem instead of throwing a flag.

How else do officials use preventative officiating?  If the backs are getting a little twitchy before the snap, the referee warns the backs to hold still or they risk an illegal motion penalty.  If the guard is starting to get his hands outside the frame of the defender, but there is no unfair advantage yet, the umpire will warn the guard to “keep your hands in.”  If a defender is lining up in the neutral zone before the snap, the wing officials will warn the player to back up.  The wide receiver will come out and declare he wants to be on the line of scrimmage.  The wing official will either say, “You’re good” or “Move up half a step.”  (See NFL line judge Tim Podraza do this at 1:19 of this video.) If a defender is getting a little too excited and his gesticulations start to inflame the offense, an official might say, “Take it back to the huddle.  I know you’re excited, but don’t taunt.  Celebrate with your teammates.”  Officials will also work with the head coach to make sure the sideline is clear and safe before they start dropping flags (See field judge Barry Anderson and line judge Jeff Bergman do this at the 1:00 mark of this video).  Should the official be mum in these situations, wait until the players cross the line and just throw the flag?  That’s one way to ruin a game.

NFL officials are masters in using preventative officiating.  In the book, The Third Team, retired referee Bernie Kukar spoke about how he’d use preventative officiating.  He said he’d always remind the quarterback to make sure he was out of the pocket before throwing the ball away, to avoid an intentional grounding penalty.  If the ball is near goal line, Kukar said he warned the offensive line to keep their hands in and avoid a holding penalty as the team tried to punch the ball in for a touchdown.  Is that coaching a team or reminding them to play within the rules to create a fair and enjoyable game?  I’d submit to you that Kukar’s actions were excellent preventative officiating techniques.

An official, especially the referee and umpire, will work to create a presence and encourage good play.  I am an umpire on my high school crew.  I engage in chatter with the teams after every play.  It goes something like this: “All right.  It’s over, it’s over, it’s over!  Roll off the pile.  Push off the ground.  Good work, gentlemen.  We’re good, we’re good.  Everyone all right?  Second down!”  What does this chatter do?  It helps the players know I’m there, I’m watching them, and I’m ready to help them.  I’m not just there waiting like a cop in a speed trap to catch them doing something wrong and flag them.  This is also preventative officiating.  (Listen to umpire Darrell Jenkins at work at the conclusion of this play.)

If you ever have heard an NFL referee mic’d up, you’d hear preventative officiating on every down (referee Gene Steratore, video).

There are exceptions to preventative officiating.  Officials will flag players without warning for safety fouls (facemask, chop block, leg whip, or block below the waist), late hits and other unnecessary roughness fouls. Also, while some slight violations may receive a warning, unmistakable fouls will still be called when they are seen.

So, the next time you complain that the officials are throwing too many flags or they are being too picky, know that they’ve talked to, encouraged and exhorted players to follow the rules.  Their preventative officiating techniques actually work to reduce the yellow laundry on the field.  Officials at all levels do not like throwing flags!

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.  https://vimeo.com/109021986 Watch upback.  We need to pick these BBWs up on a more consistent basis.  Here is another BBW,  http://youtu.be/hFq9dKGZghw

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.