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
Reminder, for all varsity games we provide a game card that contains the names of the crew members to all head coaches before the start of the contest. The coaches expect this card and failing to get the card to the head coach is not a good way to start the game. Tom Ables or I can always communicate the names of the crew members after the game but it is a courtesy that they appreciate and have come to expect.
Rain, Rain and more Rain
I have to compliment all of the players, coaches and officials for playing in the pouring rain last week. One crew was allowed to use the school’s clothes dryer between the JV and varsity games only to have it pouring rain during the warm up for the varsity contest. They still ended up working the whole game soaking wet. Another crew used a Laundromat between games! Makes one wonder what it’s like in Wyoming in November?
Once again I have to restate the obvious; one of the coaches’ biggest complaints is over-officiating. It is easier for a coach to accept that an official (or 5 officials) missed a call than having to accept a call that just doesn’t show up in the film. One way to monitor is for the crew to log their calls. When a crew can visit at half time and share that they’ve thrown 15 penalty flags and only a couple have been for snap and neutral zone infractions, then there is a chance for the crew to re-focus. Adding data always helps.
Now that I’ve talked about over-officiating I have to share the following story. I was officiating a freshman game as the Head Linesman. A varsity baseball coach who had won several CIF championships was coaching the freshman team. We were talking before the game and enjoying one another’s company. He joked, “Just keep that flag in your pocket.” Then the game started and he wanted every infraction of the neutral zone called. I had to laugh and stop him by reminding him of his before-the-game comment. We just can’t win.
What I do believe is the following: Coaches do appreciate a well officiated game where the penalties that are called are “big” and have an impact on the game. I also believe that coaches are not objective participants in the game. They see things from their team’s perspective and, being competitors, they want us to call the penalties committed by the other team. So how do we handle these two somewhat conflicting beliefs? Officiate the game as we have been taught. Make the calls Super Bowl calls. Let the smaller stuff go. And study game video!!! In order to improve, you must honestly review what you’ve labeled “a Super Bowl Call.” If you review it and see that it’s not that big, adjust your judgment accordingly. We’re NEVER good enough!
No DPI Behind the Line of Scrimmage
Just a reminder, there can be no pass interference behind the line of scrimmage. Pass interference restrictions only apply beyond the neutral zone and only if the legal forward pass crosses the neutral zone.
QB and Motion
One of the actions that is technically illegal is when the QB is standing erect and the offensive team starts a player in motion which is followed by the QB bending over to go under center or even to receive the snap in shotgun. Technically this constitutes a new shift and the offense would have to all reset for one second in order to have a legal snap. We have never gotten this technical and have passed on this call. I continue to support this philosophy.
Gotta love the PPR! Saw a crew last week (RAIN) with two different shirts on. Four officials had long-sleeves while the fifth official wore short sleeves. This looks terrible. Come on guys, everyone dressed professionally and alike! Thank you.