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 #11
Protecting the Game of Football
I want to thank all of the coaches, officials, athletic directors and administrators who have responded favorably to these weekly bulletins. We are all a very important part of the game of football and all play a role in protecting the great sport that it is. These bulletins are becoming more and more interactive as coaches and administrators respond with additional questions or provide more plays and situations that warrant clarification. Thank you.
Video, Video and more Video
The official’s association now has a film study session as a part of every meeting throughout the season. Using the Digital Sports Video system, we are able to cut up and present in a manner only once reserved for the NFL. Thank you to all of the teams and coaches who share video with us for it is only by honestly evaluating our judgments and mechanics that we can improve our work.
Final Week of the Regular Season
This week is the end of the regular season. For some players it may be their final high school football experience. For others it may be for the league championship, and for still others, the playoffs and seeding are at stake. Whatever the situation, this is perhaps the biggest week of the regular season. Our officials must work each game with that intensity and concentration. Good luck and give them your best!
Action in the Pile
I’ve received reports of action or word exchanges in piles that either warrants a personal foul penalty or an unsportsmanlike penalty. Unfortunately it is very difficult to see or hear action deep into these piles. Best tip I can give is to stay alert to athletes who complain or seem excessively agitated about actions in the pile. Let them and/or the coaches know you are on the alert and close quickly on the pile at the end of each play, at least until normal play seems to have been restored.
Explanations to Coaches
Officials are reminded to please don’t get into long explanations regarding judgment calls. If you saw the action and it is judged to be a foul, just let the coach know you saw it and it was a foul. If you didn’t see it, then just tell him you missed it, or you didn’t see the whole play. Where coaches do need thorough explanations are when unusual plays, enforcements or timing are involved.
PATs and Field Goals
In high school football it is illegal for a player to position himself on the shoulders or body of a teammate or opponent to gain an advantage. If a player “launches” himself over a teammate and/or an offensive lineman there is no foul. These fouls for “launching” or “leveraging” to block a kick are only enforced at the college and NFL level. Again, for a foul to occur in high school a player would have to position himself on the shoulders or body of a teammate or opponent to gain an advantage.
Kick Offs and Punts and the Goal Line
On both of these types of kicks, if the ball does not break the plane of the goal line, then the ball continues to be in play. So, if a receiver is standing on or slightly in the end zone, and the receiver catches the ball in such a way that the ball never breaks the plane of the goal line, then the ball is live and the play continues. If the ball does break the plane of the goal line, then the ball is dead, it is a touchback, and the ball will be put in play at the 20 yard line. The same thing goes for downing a punt in the field of play. If the player is in the end zone but is keeping the ball out of the end zone, the ball is downed in the field of play.
San Diego Youth Football Fund
In November 1998, the San Diego County Football Officials Association began raising funds to assist several injured high school football players. From that first fund-raising the San Diego Youth Football Fund was born. The priorities of the Fund are to assist financially disadvantaged families who need assistance in caring for their child or family member who has suffered injury or hardship due to their participation in or support of Pop Warner or Prep High School youth football. It is with great pride and humility that our officials support, as best they can, the needs of the San Diego Football Community!