San Diego County Football Officials Association Memo
To: Crew Chiefs, Head Coaches, and Athletic Directors
CC: SDCFOA Instructors & Staff
From: Steve Coover, Instructional Chair SDCFOA
Re: Weekly Bulletin #9
Intentional Grounding in High School
Just a reminder to coaches that in high school football there is no exemption for being "outside the tackle" where intentional grounding is concerned. That only relates to college and pros. In high school it doesn’t matter where the QB is when he intentionally throws the ball into an area not occupied by an eligible offensive receiver, or to save loss of yardage or to conserve time, it will always be intentional grounding.
The use of bib numbers has not been allowed in high school football for a long time. In order to become a lineman, or become an eligible receiver the player must change jerseys to get the correct number.
On Side Kicks
Crews should take some extra time this week to review on-side kick mechanics and rules. We are getting to the “crunch time” of the season with three weeks to go in the regular season. As games will be very competitive, on-side free kicks can become huge plays. Remember to stay with your keys and focus on the ball being grounded and traveling 10 yards unless first touched by the receivers, and viewing the recovery/pile/and un-piling to determine possession. Remember, the kicking team can recover but can not advance! These are huge plays, prepare for them and “nail” them!
Defensive Blocks below the Waist
Saw video this week of defensive players blocking pulling guards below the waist. Now this was not a constant occurrence, but when it happened, the offensive lineman would be “cut” just like any other illegal block below the waist. We must keep our eyes open for these pulling linemen who are sometimes just rounding the end as they are cut. Do not throw on blocks AT THE WAIST! I’m talking about obvious vicious cuts that look very bad on film.
We also had a report from a crew that had defensive linemen cutting offensive linemen below the waist when the QB was in shotgun. This was in several short yardage situations where the offense decided to run out of shotgun, thus the ball had left the zone at the snap. The defensive linemen still attacked the offensive linemen at the knees and two penalties were called.
PAT and the Kicking Pad
This week a coach asked if during a try or a field goal his holder could put his knee down on the kicking pad. The coach then asked if, from that position, his holder could then pass or pitch the ball without rising (keeping his knee on the kicking pad). The answer is “No”. For any of the exceptions for the ball becoming dead when possessed by the holder and his knee is on the ground, the holder must first rise to pass, pitch, hand, or advance the ball. Having the holder’s knee resting on the kicking pad is considered the same as having the knee on the ground. The holder must rise to pass, pitch, hand, or advance the ball.
Offensive player #31 running with the ball fumbles and the ball stays in bounds and is loose along the sideline. Offensive player #44 goes out of bounds during the play untouched then comes back in immediately and recovers the loose ball. Penalty? Yes! Prior to a change of possession, or when there is no change of possession, no OFFENSIVE PLAYER or member of the kicking team, may go out of bounds and return to the field during the down unless blocked out of bounds by an opponent. In this case it is a live ball, spot foul on #44. The spot of the foul is where #44 re-entered the field. The basic spot would be the bean bag that has marked the end of the run (the spot of #31’s fumble). The penalty is 15 yards from that basic spot or from the spot of the foul if the spot of the foul is behind the basic spot.
K kicks a free kick which goes 20yards down the field and is almost at rest and has not been touched by either team. Ball is recovered by a second kicking team player who prior to recovery went voluntarily out of bounds and came back in. One official properly marks the spot of the foul with his hat, throws his flag for illegal participation, and kills the play. But this time we have a foul during a loose ball play. The receiving team will most likely accept the penalty against the kicking team who will be penalized 15 yards and will re-kick from their 25 yard line.
Cross Field Formation Signals
First year officials seem confused with our cross field formation signals. Please help them out. The confusion lies in our not signaling each other if the widest player on both sides of the field is on the line of scrimmage (two split ends). In these formations, there are no cross field signals yet our first year officials still want to point and acknowledge. Please inform them of our proper mechanics. Thank you.