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 #4
Dead Ball Exception
Last week a team attempted to pitch the ball to the kicker while the holder's knee was on the ground during a field goal attempt. Alertly the referee blew the play dead. Rule 4-2-2 exception states “the ball remains live if, at the snap, a place-kick holder with his knee(s) on the ground and with a teammate in kicking position catches or recovers the snap while his knee(s) is on the ground and places the ball for a kick, or if he rises to advance, hand, kick or pass.” In this case the ball is dead as the holder did not rise to pass the ball backwards. The ball was given to the defense at the spot where the holder’s knee was on the ground.
Be at the Pylon
There is a picture in one of the local county newspapers of a flank official at the two or three yard line as the QB stretches toward the pylon. Remember, our mechanic is to be at the pylon, approximately 3-5 yards back from the pylon to observe this play.
Free Kick Recovered and Run for TD by Kickers – Can’t Happen!
Rule 6-1-5 “If any K player (kicker) recovers or catches a free kick, the ball becomes dead.” This week’s PPR featured one of our crews allowing a kick to be recovered by the kicking team and advanced for a TD. I hope the crew corrected their mistake that night and the TD wasn’t allowed.
Blocks Below the Waist and Blocks In the Back on Kick Offs
I’ve seen several plays this week where these illegal blocks are happening on kick offs and we are missing them. I am asking each crew to review their kick off mechanics this week so that all members of the crew know who they are responsible for watching. I get the feeling that too many officials are watching the same person or the ball carrier.
No Huddle and 12+ Players on the Field
Please know that the no huddle and hurry up offenses can have multiple substitutes entering the field and if there is a long hesitation by the replaced player to leave the field we are allowing the offense an advantage over the defense. Remember, a replaced player shall begin to leave the field within three seconds. (Rule 3-7-1) I repeat….it says “begin to leave the field” so we don’t have to be in a hurry, but 12 or 13 players on offense, standing in formation can cause serious confusion for the defense.
Cut Blocking When Pass Protecting and ball in/out of zone
A recent team from out of town would delay their cut block when pass protecting and the QB was not in shotgun (traditional drop back passer). At first this seemed like clear Blocking Below the Waist. But upon further review, one of the blocks was legal as the ball was still in the Free Blocking Zone. Several years ago they eliminated the need for blocks below the waist to be immediately at the snap…..they can delay the block as long as the ball is in the zone and the players involved in the block are in the zone at the snap. The second play was clearly an illegal block as the tackle delayed enough that the ball had left the zone.
Vision on Near Tackle with Trips
The referee mechanics have them on the QB’s throwing hand side and positioned so he can see the snap, any motion or false starts in the backfield, illegal action by the QB to simulate a snap (head motion), and to view the off-side tackle. But, if the formation has an unbalance of receivers to the referee’s side (trips) and only one eligible receiver on the opposite side of the formation, I suggest the referee’s vision emphasis now transfer to the near side tackle and leave the far side tackle to the flank on that side. Talk this one over and try it out!