No Meeting This Week – There is no meeting this week (Wednesday). Use the extra time to select a rule and study it. View this week’s Instructional Video which will be out tomorrow (Wednesday). Call a fellow official or crew member and discuss your learnings from the video. And continue your fitness rountine.
Crew Chiefs, the Weekly Bulletin, and Video - Crew Chiefs are working extra hard this year to communicate with their crew prior to the next game. Topics include the Weekly Bulletin, the Weekly Instructional Video, and cut ups from their previous game. This is a huge time commitment so I hope the crew is pitching in and participating. We must get better each week!
Game Clock – Reminder, at the beginning of our dead ball routine we must all check the game clock for accuracy. When we are questioned about game time (maybe the clock continued to run when it wasn’t supposed to) and we don’t have an answer we lose our credibility with fans, players and coaches. Much of this happens inside of 5 minutes in the half or the game, but you can’t just turn on and off this responsibility. You have to do it each and every snap. Finish observing the action of the players at the end of each play, then a quick look at the clock to check its status. Have a plan each week on how you will communicate with the clock operator so we can quickly reset the game clock if necessary. Resetting the game clock can demonstrate our thoroughness and our professionalism.
Bands - We seem to have issues each year with a band playing during the opponent's offensive series after the ready for play. Remember, they can play a short portion of a school pep song to celebrate a big play for the defense or to fire the defense up, but they must stop after the ready for play! It happened this week in the Imperial Valley so let’s prepare ourselves so it doesn’t happen in San Diego! If the opponent complains about the band interfering with the cadence, the referee shall inform the opposing coach and game administration. My experience is that those two people can do the most to remedy the situation. If it happens again, stop the game and get game administration involved again. After that, we would need to penalize but I'm personally praying that we don't get to that point!!!
The Use of the Whistle – It is our local, state and national mechanic to not blow our whistles unless we see the ball in possession, and progress stopped or the player down by rule. We do not want inadvertent whistles, but when the player is down and you see the ball in his possession, please blow your whistles – loud – and not staccato!
Locker Rooms – Some locker rooms have equipment stored in the shower area. Remember, to put the equipment back in the shower when you’re done. We are visitors, so please leave the PE area neat and clean, even better than when we arrived. Thank you.
Communication with Players and Coaches – Communicating with players is like communicating with the coaching staffs. What you say to players is going to be repeated to the coaches. So comments like, “you’re not getting held, you’re getting beat” or “it was a 5 yard loss anyway we’re not going to call holding” or “I'm not calling that unless my grandma can see the foul” does nothing for the game and makes us look quite bad. I have no defense for these types of comments to players or even coaches. Please respond with facts, or the rule, or “I saw the block and it was close but legal.” “I was focused on other action on that play, I’ll watch for that foul.” “Coach we just saw the play differently.” “I hear you, I understand.” “What did you see?” Remember, positive and proper communication starts as we arrive at the school. If we get to a difficult situation and then want to establish strong, positive responses, it’s too late. Be professional from the time you park your car – through the entire JV game – pregame of the varsity contest – at all times during the game – and post-game. Be a Mike Weseloh when it comes to communication!!!
Communication Within the Crew – Feedback from the observers has been very complimentary in this area. Not only are we communicating consistently and accurately with our supplemental hand signals, we have been very loud and vocal in our communication. Each individual on the crew can do enormous good for the crew as a whole by participating vocally on every play…down, distance, my goal line, your goal line, the status of the ball relative to the 5-yard mark on the chains, double stakes, wind, no wind, the clock is hot, when to hack relative to the final 25 seconds of the half or game, …the list goes on and on. Keep yourself and the crew alert on each and every play by communicating loudly and consistently.