NFHS Points of Emphasis - Please get familiar with these and apply them in a consistent manner! - Steve Coover The committee listed helping the runner, communication between coaches and officials, and game management as points of emphasis for the 2023 season.
Helping the Runner - Rule changes have been made at higher levels of football allowing offensive teams to pile in behind and directly push the runner. Because of those changes, similar plays are trickling down to the high school level. Because the players on defense must guard against the pass, they are not able to counter the advantages created by "helping the runner" formations. Allowing teams to help the runner by illegal techniques swings the balance heavily in favor of the offense. Pushing the pile is legal; direct contact and pushing, pulling, lifting of the runner is not.
Communication Between Coaches and Officials - Coaches and officials must demonstrate respect for one another. Football is an emotional game. Coaches and officials must realize competition often leads to intense -interactions on the field. Both must work together and strive to manage verbal and nonverbal exchanges in ways that avoid escalating conflict. Officials must avoid the urge to argue with coaches who disagree with their decisions. Coaches may ask questions, and officials should make every effort to be approachable, actively listen and provide correct and complete answers as soon as possible. Officials should aim to be direct and concise in their communication of essential information. Handling disagreements in a business-like manner teaches players good sportsmanship, which is a perennial focus of the NFHS.
Game Management - Officials should be afforded the same communication considerations given the visiting school. Host administration must provide accurate information for the officiating crew to ease any pregame apprehension or uncertainty. Having assigned personnel to greet officials and address all their pregame and postgame needs is a bare minimum for the host school. Security of officials must be an absolute priority. The locker room must be properly supervised and access limited to proper personnel only. During the game, the sideline must be properly secured and the playing field restricted to essential game personnel. For safety and security reasons, essential game personnel would include game participants, reporters, photographers and game administration. All other non-essential personnel should be in the bleachers. Officials are responsible for securing the team boxes and coaches' area. Sidline management begins with the consistent enforcement of game rules pertaining to the restricted area and the team box. The restricted area is designated to make the sidelines safe for all participants and to give officials ample space to work. Game administration should be alert to requests of officials in addressing problems beyond the team box and coaches' area.
SDCFOA Procedure for Pre-Game Certification of Legal Equipment – As a point of emphasis, the CIF has requested full compliance with the rules of high school football as it relates to properly wearing required player equipment. In an effort to provide the most consistent and fair enforcement, the following procedure will be followed by all crews. During the 30-minute warm up period, the flank official will record on a blank card the number of any player who has required player equipment missing or is wearing it improperly. The completed card will be provided to the umpire of each crew. Officials will be observing the following: -The pants covering the knees. -The player is wearing knee pads and hip pads. -Eye shade that is a solid stroke (this includes words, numbers, logos, or other symbols including religious symbols, or face paint beyond a single stroke). -Back pads that are fully covered. -Wrist band worn only on the wrist. -Clear eye shields without any tint. -Other items from pages 21-23 in the rule book. Coaches will receive the card from the crew chief and umpire as soon as it is completed. Any player who enters the game with required equipment missing or improperly worn, will be sent out of the game for one (1) play.