Weekly Bull 10/23/19


THE WEEKLY BULL - October 23, 2019 

No Meeting This Week – We will meet next week 10/30 for our final regular meeting of the year.  Please report to your regular classrooms.  The agenda will include: Sharing from the week’s games; Bull; Calibration; Weekly Instructional Video; Voting for Board; Completion of Association Survey

Association Suryey – The Association Board annually offers the members a survey where feedback and suggestions for improvements can be forwarded to the Board.  I’ve included a copy of the survey with this Bull in case you’d like to fill it out in advance of the meeting (take more time with it).  Please bring the completed survey to the meeting where it will be collected, or wait to fill one out at the meeting.  Blank surveys will be provided at the meeting. 

Ball Mechanics – I’m liking what I see from our umpires!  You are making your crews more effective and more professional looking with your hustle.  The game tempos have improved and our referees are more in charge of the tempo.  Thank you for your hustle and hard work umpires!!

Back Judges – Great Pre-Snap, Stay Active and Be Involved – Are you completing your pre-snap checklist?  Count on every play?  Down and Distance?  Location of best player and tendencies?  How about your positioning?  Is your width and depth optimum on scrimmage kicks?  Shading the proper side of the field?  Eyes on the key players especially when pressed?  Transitioning from man, to zone to ball?  Getting your vision to zone #1 quickly?  Maintaining your cushion?  Getting the old ball out on all free kicks and punts?  Clock aware at the beginning of every dead ball?  Are you involved in every major penalty by either holding a spot or covering a flag.  Relaying clock status to the referee.  BJ has a tremendous amount of responsibility.  That is why our most accomplished officials work back there.  Know your responsibilities, convey confidence in your crewmates, and be a real leader on that side of the football!

Intentional Grounding – With the referee committed to protecting the QB and ruling on roughing, it is virtually impossible for the referee to see all of the essential elements of an intentional grounding call.  I remind you that it is our mechanics that the flanks, umpire, or even BJ help by either 1) point at an eligible receiver if the receiver was in the area of the incomplete pass, or 2) run to the referee to report that there was no eligible receiver in the area of the incomplete pass.  The referee will accept this information and blend it with his own view of the play, and the QB, and judge whether we have intentional grounding or not.  Only the referee makes this call!

Reporting Fouls – How are we doing in this area?  Referees rely on the crew to be calm, collected and complete when reporting foul information.  Many of the “huddles” we see are caused by incomplete or scrambled information being provided to the referee.  Clay Reynard PAC 12 FJ has a little trick that helps him calm down prior to starting to report the foul info.  Clay will always swing by his flag to buy a little time to calm his heart rate and to collect his thoughts before speaking.  Maybe alter the speed of your approach to buy a little time, or pause a moment when you get to the referee before beginning to speak.  Don Carey refers to a “cleansing breath” just prior to speaking.  Let your heart rate decline just a bit and collect your thoughts…then start. 

Full information will include (check with your referee on the preferred order, or develop your own…but be consistent and thorough:

(a) Status of the ball (During the run, pass, kick, run back, live ball/dead ball,etc.)

(b) Foul (Holding)

(c) Team (Offense, Defense, kicking team, return team, etc.)

(d) Number (Number 78)

(e) Spot of foul (At my flag, at line of scrimmage, etc.)

(f) Result of the play (Complete/incomplete pass, interception, etc.)

(g) Status of the clock (inbounds/out-of-bounds, etc.)

Using a Drop Kick for a Kick Off? – We all know that it is legal to use a drop kick for a kick off.  But what if the team brings out a kicking tee onto the field and places it on the ground, as if they’re going to use a free kick, but then drop kicks the ball.  That is a foul.  The rules do not provide for the use of the kicking tee as an aide to fake out the opponent.  In other words, the equipment being brought onto the field for the purposes of a free kick must be used, OR a drop kick may be used.  There is no provision for both to be combined for the purposes of a fake (unlike the tee used for a fake FG or PAT which is provided for in the rule book which specifically provides rules allowing a fake FG or PAT with a kicking tee on the field).  In summary, no kicking tee on the field if the team chooses to kick off using a drop kick.

I Didn’t Get Film of My Game! – We are truly blessed in San Diego to be allowed instant access to our game film on a weekly basis.  Thank you coaches!  But if, for some reason, you didn’t get your game film, please contact your crew chief or another crew member who can share the game film with you, or you can contact me and I’ll share it with you.  I’m glad that you’re valuing the opportunity to self-evaluate, evaluate as a crew, and always get better! 



  • Looks fit in uniform.

  • Observe team drills during warm-ups?

  • Good dead ball official?

    • Getting into the bench areas?

    • Observing situations away from the ball?

    • Keeping spots

  • Confidence?

    • Movement (positioning, cushion, natural movements)?

    • Athletic?

    • Confidence in throwing flag?

    • Response after a tough call or replay overturn?

    • Step up and help the crew?

  • Communication?

    • Coach and player management and communication. Under control?

    • Non-verbal communication with hand signals and eye contact with other officials?

  • Shows endurance to work the entire game

    • Drop off in focus or performance late in games?

    • Do they work a big rivalry game the same as they officiate an obvious mismatch?


  • Active with purposeful movement

    • Excellent mechanics, always hustling and strong signals.

  • Consistent positioning

    • Adjusts due to play situations and timing.

  • Engaging with R, CJ and LOS officials specifically.

    • Actively involved during discussions of on-field action when he/she has something to contribute.

  • Transitions with play as it develops (not just locked in on own area of responsibility).

    • Spins on passes thrown anywhere with 15 yards of the LOS.

    • Officiates the flow of the play.

  • Decisive and confident when calling fouls.

  • Not afraid to step-up outside of area of responsibility.


  • Movement

    • Do they move well and with a purpose when needed? Not over hustle/move.

    • Do they “hang” on the sideline? Versus cover downfield, pinch on close LTG plays, and move briskly with a purpose when the play/coverage dictates?

  • Communication

    • How well do they relate to players, coaches, and fellow officials? They should appear calm, confident, and under control during on-field communications while showing no emotions.

  • Mechanics

    • Consistent in solid mechanics (signals, spots, movements, etc.) Are they mechanical or do they read/react to the play as it develops?

  • Forward Progress Spots

    • Accurate and consistent as humanly possible as related to the line to gain, sideline, and goal line.

    • Square-in and confident

  • Clock

    • Do they consistently work the clock with accuracy and clear signals (winds and stops)?

  • Decisiveness

    • Calls/judgements should be made with a visible conviction. They should be executed under control with a clear confident flag and/or signal (such as catch or OB vs wind).


  • Pre-snap

    • Correct position, non-verbal communication, counting defense

  • Movement

    • Athletic backpedal and hip rotation, accordion in after play and move with a purpose

    • Good cushion and position to make a call

    • Don’t get beat deep

  • Communication

    • With other officials on sideline plays, tight catches, fouls

    • Coaches

    • Keep sideline clear

  • Clock

    • Do they consistently work the clock with accuracy and clear signals (winds and stops)?

    • Aware of clock status?

  • Dead ball officiating

  • Reverse mechanics on change of possession and holding spots. 

October 23 2019
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