Make Up Meeting – If you need to make up a meeting or take a test I will be conducting the make up meeting this Wednesday 11/2 at Santana High School starting at 6:30.
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 2017 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.
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. 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 had several instances of team’s enthusiasm spilling over into unsportsmanlike conduct. 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.
Unsportsmanlike Conduct Fouls – Remember, all officials should record the number of any player or coach who earns an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty. Jot down the number, team, quarter, time in case this player or coach receives a second UNS.
Great Mechanics Helps to Sell Your Close Call – We had an example of a critical 4th down play in which the team needed the close call to go their way in order to not lose the game. On this play at the sideline, the official was in perfect underneath position approximately 6-8 yards right down the sideline straddling the sideline. Ruling was feet down but the ball moved as the player fell to the ground attempting to complete the catch. When reviewing the call, there was no video evidence as the Hudl video is not that clear or close up, but the mechanics of the official makes it clear that he was in perfect position to rule on the play. Ruling on the field stands…Great job!
Grading Fouls in College and the NFL – Now that we’re attempting to record fouls during the game, the next step is to grade the fouls early in the week. Fouls are either: Correct Calls (CC), Marginal Call (MC), Missed Calls (Miss), or Incorrect Calls (IC). That is also the correct order from good to bad. The obvious best is CC and the absolute worst is IC. Missing a call is not as bad as an IC which underscores our philosophy – don’t guess at a call and make it BIG! A Marginal Call is a call that is technically correct but should not be called according to philosophy – no advantage gained or not big enough!
Injured Player and Official’s Time Out – As much as we want to error on the side of safety, we need to be cautious on declaring a player injured and taking an official’s time out for an apparently injured player. Let’s always give the player a chance to “recover” and continue to participate, especially if the play clock is not affected. We have the luxury of time to allow the athlete to recover. Now, if the player ultimately cannot get up and continue, we take the official’s time out when the play clock is affected. We all know that if the player is seriously injured we stop it immediately, as we do when a player exhibits signs, symptoms, and behaviors consistent with a concussion. Otherwise, take your time and be patient in stopping the clock. We don’t want to decide to have a mildly injured player out for an important down and the coach complain that the player was OK.
From the Observers – On behalf of Don Carey, Gene Beck, Andy Castagnola, John Downing, John Isham and myself we want to thank each and every crew for welcoming us every Friday. We had a great year and the crews were professional and genuinely interested in constructive feedback. Without that professional attitude, our work would be meaningless. Thank you, and as Don always says, “Good job, Get Better!”
Video Next Year – Now the smaller schools are asking for League Pools. It will be an off-season goal to get that organized in Hudl so that every crew each week of the season will have their game video on Saturday!
Confidence in Each Other – I watched a game this week in which, during the 1st half, the crew looked like they we not confident in each other…there was a fill in at umpire so that may have added to the situation. Anyway, at halftime, after discussing some fine tuning to several crew mechanics, I encouraged them to quit watching out for the other officials and looking into other official’s areas…just trust each other and do your best in your area with your vision pattern! The second half was remarkably better. Much less walking around and checking on each other. They demonstrated much better tempo, control and coordination. Just a very well-officiated half of football!