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 #5
Unsportsmanlike vs Personal Foul
Please be accurate in your determination of these two fouls. Unsportsmanlike includes things such as profanity, baiting, taunting, refusing to comply with an official’s request, excessive acts by which a player attempts to focus attention upon himself. These are all non-contact acts. Personal fouls are acts which involve contact. Two unsportsmanlike fouls on the same player and the player is to be ejected from the game. Thus, it is important that we don’t confuse these two very different types of fouls.
Concussion Rule (continued)
Before one of last week’s games a trainer came up to the referee to "make sure we were on the same page for the concussion issue". He said they had a MD on their sideline that could clear a player to return to the game if necessary. AGAIN, the CIF State rule is clear – if an official observes any player exhibiting signs, symptoms or behaviors consistent with a concussion, the player shall be removed for the remainder of the game. Once this happens, a player may not return. No medical staff can clear the player to return.
A team comes to the LOS and the linemen and TE shift in a regular manner to the down position. This goes on for several plays. Then they come to the LOS and, instead of a regular shift, they go on the first sound. All action is legal so far. Then, they come to the LOS and instead of going on first sound, or shifting down in a regular manner, they make a quick movement to take the down position. The defense comes off side. Ruling: False start offense. Rule 7-1-7a “It is a false start if a shift simulates action at the snap.”
No Cutting in Shotgun
Please notify teams from other CIF sections that we are considering the ball to be out of the zone immediately when snapped to the QB who is in shotgun. Technically the ball “could be in the zone” when the block below the waist is initiated, but I’ve never seen any film to show that the block can be initiated that quickly. Thus we use the “rule of thumb” that the ball is out of the zone and blocking below the waist is an illegal block when in shotgun.
Legal Late Substitution
A coach became very upset with the fact that the other team would break the huddle with 11 players and the wide receiver would run off the field as another wide receiver entered. The entering receiver would cross the formation and set for 1 second and then he would either go in motion or the ball would be snapped. Rule 3-7 in the rule book & case book show that there is nothing wrong in this situation as the defense does have a chance to adjust to the substitution and get set. It was confirmed that the late substitution was caused by confusion within the offensive players and was not a planned act.
No Pull-Over Jerseys
Some of us actually remember being able to use pull-over vests so we could make a player eligible or ineligible. These pull-over vests are no longer legal and there is no “reporting of ineligible numbers” like in the NFL. Simply stated, high school rules require a full/regular jersey in all cases.
News from the Imperial Valley League
We are beginning to meet with the Imperial Valley Officials Association in an attempt to further improve consistency between our two associations. The IVFOA currently distributes these Weekly Bulletins as a first step in the process. Just this week the IVFOA shared that the Imperial Valley League has adopted a “skunk” rule. So any SD teams playing a team in the IVL would be subject to the following: If a team is leading by 42 points or more at the end of the 3rd quarter, there will be a mandatory running clock for the remainder of the game, unless both coaches agree not to have a running clock. Exception to the rule: If both coaches agree prior to the game, the running clock can include the 3rd quarter. (Once a team reaches the 42 point margin, and the running clock is in effect, it will remain in effect until the end of the game, no matter if the 42 point spread is increased or decreased
Ending the Game
Just a reminder, if a team is choosing to “take a knee” at the end of a game, and they share that info with us before the snap, we will pass it along to the defensive team in an attempt to keep the opposing team from charging across the line of scrimmage inadvertently. But we also have stories of teams putting in starters at the end of the game, with seconds left, and attempting to score when the game is virtually over. Just remember, officials must never impose their opinion on whom or when a team should take a knee, and it should not be a topic of conversation with coaches.
The Sidelines beyond the Team Box
One thing I've been noticing this year is, although the coaches have been doing a good job clearing the restricted area in front of the team box during live ball action, the remaining restricted area from the 25 to the end-line is occasionally filled with photographers, statisticians, school administrators, VIP fans, etc. If there is a problem in these areas please doesn’t bother the head coaches, just ask for game administration to clear the area. Remember, there is no rule that penalizes a team for these “non-team members” being inside the restraining line. It is just a game management issue.
Head Linesman and the Goal Line
The most important line in football is the goal line! Situation: 3 and 2 from defense's 3 going in. The line to gain is the one. The HL sees that his front stake guy is 1 1/2 yards from the sideline at the one, right in his way when he wants to cover from outside the pylon on a sweep to his side. Additionally, now the HL has to be able to cover two crucial lines, the line to gain on the one and the goal line. Remember, the goal line is the most important line, so move to the goal line first (avoiding the front chain stake) and then work back to the front stake if the progress stops at that point. Tough situation and tough mechanic!
Santa Fe Christian Clock
Just a heads up that the clock at Santa Fe Christian takes a little getting used to. It appeared to be running randomly up and down but in reality the bulbs across the top of the "ones place" for seconds never turn off. Consequently the clock counts down from 12 minutes looking like this: 11:59 11:58 11:57 11:56 11:55 11:59 11:53 11:52 11:57 11:50 and so on. The really weird one is when the period ends and the clock reads: :03 :02 :07 :00.
Two Dead Ball Personal Fouls
When we have two dead ball personal fouls and the first one is against the defense and the second one is against the offense, we enforce them separately and in the order of their occurrence. So, if the defense fouls first, we would march off the 15 yards (unless it’s half the distance inside the 30) and see where the ball is relative to the line to gain. If the penalty enforcement leaves the ball in advance of the line to gain it is a first down for the offense. Then you would march off the penalty for the offense’s personal foul and set the chains first and 10. This is what the rule means when it says “separately”. In this case it helps if the crew marches the first foul off, places the ball down in advance of the 1st down and signals 1st down. Then pick up the ball and march back the 15 yards put the ball down, indicate 1st down and set the chains. Got it? If not, read the case book page 88 rule 10-2-5 Situation A.