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 #3
First two weeks
The first two weeks have gone very smoothly and our communication with coaches has never been better. With that said, we still have situations where we need to continue to improve. Please keep our coaches informed of situations happening in the middle of the field or players that you’ve talked to. Let the coaches know when you counsel a player so the coach knows what you’ve told his player. Also, make sure we’re not just talking to one team making it appear that one team is the source of all the problems. If you counsel one player, there may be a player on the other team that is also involved and needs to be addressed. A quick shout out letting the coach know why you spoke to players on both teams can go a long way to calming down both teams.
Please be careful in your language about reporting the observation of concussion-like symptoms and behaviors. We had one incident where the referee informed me that he had a concussion on Thursday. In fact, it is unknown if there was a concussion or not! What we had was the observation and reporting of concussion-like symptoms and behaviors. We do not diagnose concussions. Just making sure we use the proper terminology of the National Federation rule at all times.
Penalty Carryover to Kick Off on a PAT?
I must clear up one issue from last week’s Bulletin. The following was said: If a team fouls after the ready for play on the try, no options, it must be enforced on the try. This was not entirely correct (you try writing these things!). I should have said that if a team commits a dead ball foul after the ready for play signal but before the ball is snapped, then the enforcement must be on the try. Once the ball is snapped, and the defense fouls during a successful PAT, then the score counts AND the penalty will be enforced on the kick off.
Equipment Repair after the Ready for Play “Hack”
After an offensive play the R blows the ready for play for the next down. An offensive player takes his helmet off and begins walking toward his sideline asking for help with an equipment issue with his helmet. The player gets to about the numbers and stops as he continues to work on his helmet issue. The 25 second clock is beginning to wind down. In a panic, another offensive player goes to the Umpire and requests a timeout. In this case, we can be sure we have an equipment issue and need to call an Official’s Time Out for equipment repair. If it can be repaired in less than 25 seconds, then no other action is necessary and the referee will wind the clock, signaling the start of a new 25 second count to get the next play off. If the repair takes more than the 25 seconds, the player must leave the game to get the repairs done or to get new equipment.
Pants and knee pads covering the knees
Officials had to talk to a few players on Friday and Saturday about knee pads and pants covering the knees. We had teams with pants that were so short that the player had no possibility of covering his knees. Players and coaches are told in pregame of any problems with equipment or adornment. It is expected that the problems will be fixed.
This week we had an announcer who was putting in his two cents in regarding the official’s calls. In this case, we will usually have the home team's head coach radio up the concern. Following this message being sent to the announcer he was perfect the rest of the game.
Proper Mechanics for the Head Linesmen
The Association has made it very clear to all head linesmen that we want them to go back to the side line after all first downs and mark the box and set up the chains. We also require all head linesmen to turn and pivot and then move up the box with the new down immediately AFTER the referee has indicated the next down. We have worked very hard as an association to implement consistent mechanics throughout our youth and high school programs. Our high school officials are doing a great job and are not of concern, but let’s make sure that our younger officials are working youth football with the proper mechanics.