SAN DIEGO COUNTY FOOTBALL OFFICIALS ASSOCIATION - THE WEEKLY BULL – October 25, 2023
Final Meeting This Wednesday – Wednesday, October 25th at 7:00 pm at Mira Mesa High School. This will be our last regular meeting of the season. It will be a little bit different in that we need to meet our 5 candidates who are running for the Board so here is the agenda and meeting locations: 1st and 2nd Year officials will meet at 7:00 pm in their respective classrooms as usual. All certified officials will meet in the Library at 7:00 pm to hear from the five candidates. All Crew Chiefs and Instructors will meet in the Library at 6:00 pm for our regular Crew Chief Meeting. After the certified officials hear from the candidates, we will adjourn to our regular classrooms for our instructional meeting to include The Bull; Calibration; and Instructional Video.
Voting for Board Members – The voting for Board Members will be conducted electronically by Ed Zapolski our Executive Secretary. The email announcement for voting will be sent out on Thursday, October 26th. Only Certified Officials vote for the Board of Directors. The window to cast your electronic vote will be open through October 30th. If you don’t get an email announcement, make sure to contact Ed directly.
Attendance and Tests - Make sure you’ve passed both exams. Make-up exams are available. See your instructor. Also check the sign in sheets to make sure you’ve met the nine (9) meetings requirement. Please note your attendance at the position clinic and the banquet count as meetings. If you’re one short I will look to see if you attended an additional clinic and give you credit. If you’re seriously short of attendance, please email your request for a one-year waiver from requirements to me. I will forward to the Board for their consideration. Meeting these requirements keeps you eligible for the 2024 draft and the playoffs!
Final Weekend of the Regular Season – Some of us will end our season soon and I sincerely hope that the season has brought you some rewarding experiences, a few laughs, and some lasting memories. Maybe you’ve even made a few new friends along the way. The 2024 season will be here soon and we can do it all again! Don’t forget to go out and support our fellow officials as they work playoff games. Always a fun evening learning and critiquing.
Final Games for the Teams and Players – This is usually a challenging weekend of high school football to officiate. In many cases the teams are competing for league championships and/or playoff qualification or seeding. The intensity will be high, the stakes high, and the demands on accuracy high! Be prepared for this excitement and pressure. Have a great week of preparation, then go out with your crew and execute. Same can be said for teams that are wrapping up the season with no hope of going to the playoffs. Seniors will be playing hard and juniors will be stepping up to prepare for next year. Keep this all under control. Have a plan. Don’t be surprised by the excitement of these final games.
The Game Clock and Forward Progress Stopped, or Out of Bounds - Runners are often contacted near the sideline, resulting in them being out of bounds. Assuming the line to gain has not been reached, or a 4th down play, do we then signal to stop the clock or does the clock continue to run? It is important to understand that contact near the sideline is NOT the criteria. The clock is stopped if, as he goes out of bounds, the runner is advancing towards his opponent’s goal line. Whether there is contact or not, you must signal to stop the clock. If the runner is contacted, and the runner’s progress is stopped inbounds and driven backwards and out of bounds, then the game clock continues to run, and a big wind signal is appropriate because the runner’s progress (end of the down) was inbounds at that spot inbounds.
Situational Awareness - Be ready for a coach to call time out if time is critical at end of half, or game. If a runner were to be contacted and he is driven out of bounds parallel with the line of scrimmage, in other words neither advancing or be driven back, the clock continues to run, and we give everyone the big wind. But in the case of a tight game, and seconds are precious to the offense, do not split hairs on this. We are rarely in a perfect position to make this judgement, give it to the runner if he is making an effort to get out of bounds and stop the clock. Situational Awareness!!! If a runner is contacted near the sideline and he goes to the ground, if he were to land very close or even on top of sideline, in almost every case he will be down inbounds. Any body part other than a hand or foot will make him down and almost always, inbounds. Therefore, the clock continues to run.
Tempo – We’ve done very well with this as a whole. We’ve completed our dead ball responsibilities, hustled to get the ball and chains ready for play and kept the game moving with accurately timed periods leading up to kick offs and the completion of time outs. Referees are no longer waiting for the box to be set, rather winding quickly as the box arrives. Get the teams out! Keep the pace moving and the kids will benefit in the quality of their play. Slowing the tempo will cause many unexpected negative consequences including poorer play and fewer opportunities for the kids. A brisk, consistent tempo will keep the teams focused and playing their best. Always hoping for fewer fouls!
Pre-Game Conference – Let’s do everything possible to conduct these two conferences near the start of the 30 minute warm up period. In the playoffs we ask crews to be out 45 minutes before kickoff and that gives us even more opportunity to conference with the coaches before they get involved in running team offense and defense. Start these as soon as you can.
Pregame Warm-ups - We’ve previously had instances of team’s enthusiasm being directed to the opponent during the warm-up period. Regarding the Haka – Working with the CIFSDS we ruled that if the act is done on the field before the game, it must be done between the 45 yard line and the end line, and it may not be directed toward the opposing team or their fans. Teams violating this policy should be given a 15-yard unsportsmanlike conduct penalty. Similarly, teams may not direct their enthusiasm at the opposing team by standing at mid-field shouting, pointing, jumping on the home school’s logo, etc. That also goes for individuals. All carry a 15-yard unsportsmanlike penalty which will be enforced on the kickoff. To insure that the pre-game goes well I am directing all crews to be on the field 45-minutes before kickoff during the playoffs – 6:15 – adjust your pregame accordingly. Please have at least one crew member on the 50 yard line at all times.
“Work Every Game to the Very Best of Your Ability (regardless of the level)” – George Shutte Here are some suggestions from George: Develop the ability to think quickly and make correct decisions in a given situation. Never sacrifice accuracy for speed in making decisions. Know when to hustle and when to be deliberate. Convey the idea of certainty and confidence in your movements. Stay loose without giving the appearance of indifference; staying loose allows the fast reflexes essential to sharp officiating. Know when to concentrate and when to relax, but keep your head in the game at all times. Be pleasant but firm and fearless. Call them as you see them; be consistent, don’t guess, don’t hesitate, done be apologetic. Learn when to listen; don’t have rabbit ears, be thick-skinned, let it bounce off. Don’t worry about your fellow official not doing his job, you do yours.
7-Person Mechanics Meeting – If you are one of those selected to work a championship or semifinal game, you will be working 7-Person Mechanics. All officials working a championship or semifinal shall attend a special 7-Person Mechanics Meeting on Wednesday November 15th at 7:00 pm at the Mira Mesa High School Library. Chain crews and timers are not to attend this meeting. You will receive credentials, game information, and then break out into position meetings. The Position Coaches are: Referee – Mike Carey Umpire – Bill Bishop & Mike Weseloh LOS – Zack Marble & Steve Coover Deeps and BJ – Jace Carlson and Don Carey
Finals Crews – Congratulate to all who have been selected. Here is the complete list pending last minute changes due to emergencies: Open R-Ted Schiess U-Andre Coleman HL-Greg Covington LJ-Terry Bernard FJ-Ben Boccoli SJ-Brian Mills BJ-Rob Schaerer