Line of Scrimmage Outline by Zack Marble

Line of Scrimmage Clinic


Zack Marble



  • Every crew will be using the new mechanic this season which you might not have used yet
  • LJ on the R restraining line
  • HL on the R 30-yard line
  • Counting is still the same
  • What if there is penalty?
  • How does this affect our movement after the ball is kicked?
  • Always be ready for the onside kick
  • Never miss a block below the waist



  • Make sure you are following a pre-snap routine
  • Give your upfield foot to help receivers with alignment
    • I use it to help judge shifts
  • Read the formation and try to make it legal
  • Need to always know what the current line to gain is
    • I yell it to the chains when I am setting them


Scrimmage Play

  • Know what your vision pattern is on a wide play to your side
  • Your vision pattern on wide plays to the other side is different
  • We need to determine accurate progress spots
  • Use cross-field mechanics to get the correct spot whenever needed
  • Help your umpire out by mirroring spots and holding until released
  • Know your vision pattern on pass plays
  • On every pass judge if it is forward or backward, beyond or behind
  • Be ready to rule receivers inbounds or out of bounds, communicate with BJ when needed


Coach Communication

  • The communication that line of scrimmage officials have with coaches can make or break a game
  • Always make sure you have a chance to introduce yourself before the game
  • Be approachable to coaches, sometimes they are just venting, but answer any questions that are asked
  • Try to give them information before they even ask for it


Crew Communication

  • Make sure you understand how the crew will use radios
  • Line of scrimmage signals are optional
  • Always confirm with another official if you have flags on the same action
  • Make sure you know how your referee want penalties reported, and do it, don’t be in a rush
  • Confirm that penalties is enforced correctly


Situational Awareness

  • Sense the demeanor of the teams and any rising tension amongst players
  • Aware of timeout situation
  • Be ready in hurry up offense
  • Handle a blowout game, letting it end