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 #6
Post Game Discussions
Just want to remind crews and officials of the great value in a thorough post-game discussion. It is the responsibility of the crew chief to make sure the debrief occurs and to lead the discussion if necessary. Ideally the whole crew is involved and sharing things we did well, and things we need to improve. Last week I was involved in such a debrief and shared that I felt the crew did a nice job of picking up signals as a crew and relaying those signals so that all in attendance and the press box could see the signals. The crew then indicated to me that everyone relaying signals was brought up the week before as an area for improvement. The crew focused their efforts and improved in that area. Great job of the continuous improvement process!
Pre-Game Meetings with the Head Coach
It is required that we meet with all head coaches before each game…at every level. Much important information is needed from the coach including the required acknowledgement that all players are legally equipped. What happens when a coach returns to the field minutes before kick off? We hold up the kick off, conduct our pre-game meeting, and share the info with the rest of the crew as is our usual custom. Even though we could assess a 15-yard penalty per the rule book, we’re better off holding up the game a few minutes and getting it started properly. Crew chiefs should always see to it that they see the head coaches BEFORE they go back into the locker room, maybe avoiding this situation.
Heading into League Play
The fun begins as league play starts and the competition for league championships is on the line. We need to step up our game as we move into the second half of the season and start to encounter rivalries and league competition. Our crews should now be hitting their stride as well and these next weeks should be your best this year! Good luck!
Thick Skin, Learning, Still Having Fun!
With the addition of video review in real time (immediately after the game) some crews are feeling the pressure of accountability. My advice to you is….Have Thick Skin – you can handle it. If you’ve made a mistake, and we all have, own it, learn from it, and move on. I still live with bad calls I made 10-15 years ago. Some of the mistakes were extremely costly to the teams. I will always live with my bad calls…I own them. But I made a few good/great calls in my day and maybe it’s because I learned from my mistakes and avoided making them again. Bottom line, I still love officiating and love to be around the game, players, coaches and officials. What else would I rather be doing?
Only One Type of Conference, Please
Two weeks in a row we’ve had teams try to have two different types of conferences in the same time out. Both times the team started with one coach and 11 players in the middle of the field and tried to migrate to the sideline to bring more coaches into the huddle. Coaches, if you start with your team and you in the middle, you must stay with that type of conference for the time out.
Just a note to coaches, ADs and Assistant Principals that the procedure for dealing with cloud-to-ground lightning bolts is outlined in every rulebook from NFHS. It is a standard 30 minute delay from the time of the strike and you must restart the clock if another strike occurs. Game administration and officials must work together to implement these mandatory procedures which are listed on page 99 Appendix E. Delays for cloud-to-ground lightning strikes are not optional…they are required.
Use Your Voice
Recent video shows two athletes engaged in close pushing and shoving well away from the play. Unfortunately the official never moved into the area and used his voice to warn them that he was watching the action. The video clearly shows the official watching the two, but not approaching them. In this case, one of the players threw a punch and was ejected. Could we have prevented this, we’ll never know, but let’s do our absolute best to use our voices when we see this type of action.
2nd Player Gets the Penalty…Really?
Late in a blowout game a player from the winning team is manhandling the losing team player. The official is heard warning the winning team player to knock it off (good job of using your voice….you must have read the item I just wrote above). Unfortunately the losing player retaliates and gets penalized 15 yards for a personal foul. In this case, if we’re warning one player and the other player retaliates, we should have two personal fouls, not one.
A Lot of Close/Actual Fouls are on Punts and Kos
We continue to get good video from games where action on punts and kick offs are close to being fouls or are fouls. I am very pleased that we are not throwing flags for many of the blocks from the side that I’m seeing. As the rule book states, the block must be from the back. But let’s keep on our toes as we get to the second half of the season and keep our focus especially sharp on all scrimmage kicks and free kicks! Great job so far!