Weekly Bull 9/9/15


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THE WEEKLY BULL – Sept. 9, 2015


  1. Attendance

  2. Review of Weekly Bulletin

  3. Video Study Session

  4. Rules Exam


Meeting With Garth DeFlelice – TOMORROW - Tuesday Sept. 8th at 7:00pm at West Hills.  Garth and I have been collaborating on run blocking and pass blocking coverages for umpires and referees.  This meeting will be especially of interest to those two positions.  There are some interesting points Garth will make aimed at assisting and better defining the relationship between the referee and the umpire and their views on plays.  If possible, I recommend both the crew chief and the umpire from every crew should attend.  Aspiring referees and all officials are more than welcome. 

Meeting This Wednesday – It’s TEST WEEK! All certified officials (not 1st year or 2nd year) can attend this meeting either at West Hills or at Cathedral Catholic.  The agenda and video will be the same at both locations.  I am requesting that instructors make every effort to be at West Hills to instruct those who attend there.  Thank you Mike Downing and Cathedral Catholic for helping to make this happen!

Message from Tom Ables - A reminder to keep checking emails after publication.  A few guys are not accepting re-assignments of turn-backs.  Week 4 & 5 assignments are out this week.  Is your availability correct?

The San Diego County Sports Officials Hall of Fame – The San Diego County Sports Officials Hall of Fame 2015 Induction Ceremony will take place Tuesday, September 22nd.  Inductees will include football officials Frank Alfano and Ed Zapolski.  These amazing gentlemen deserve our support at this event which honors their hall of fame careers and dedication to the SDCFOA.  You may purchase tickets on the website at www.sandiegosportsofficialshof.com/induction-dinner.  Credit cards will be accepted on the website.


More Communication – Feedback is good so far this year.  Referees need to continue to go to the sidelines when the coach is upset or requesting information.  Hold up the game if you have to.  Coaches must stay off the field to protest or demand more of an explanation.  Being on the field and protesting is an automatic 15 yard unsportsmanlike penalty. Sideline warnings are for the restricted area which is looking better this year as well!  Thank you coaches and thank you referees.

Contact with an Official in the Restricted Area – This is a personal foul and must be called immediately, without a warning.  We must make every attempt to keep the restricted area clear and safe for players and officials.  If an official contacts a non-player in the restricted area the rule is clear - this is a foul.  Sideline warnings are for clearing personnel out of the restricted area, contact means an immediate foul. 

Complete/Incomplete Pass – Please continue to be slow on this call unless it is a trap and you are selling the incomplete call.  Remember, slow, slower, and slower.

Mercy Rule Before the 4th Quarter – If both coaches agree to begin the mercy rule before the beginning of the 4th quarter, then their decision is final even if the score closes to within 35 points, the running clock will continue.  Remember – 8-man football has the same mercy rule as 11-man.  The rule comes from the State CIF not the rule book.  There is no mercy rule in the rule book, they took that out of the 8-man rules years ago.  Some coaches were confused.

Start on the Snap or the Ready? Rule 3-4-2&3 – Following a penalty enforcement we start the clock on the ready or the snap depending on the action that caused the clock to stop.  Consider the following scenarios:

A1 throws an incomplete pass on 3rd down.  During the play A3 holds.  B accepts the penalty.  After enforcement the clock will start on the snap as the action that caused the clock to stop was an incomplete pass.

Near the end of the second period with the clock running, there is a false start by A1.  In this case we will start the clock on the ready as the clock was running before we stopped it for the penalty, and the penalty was the only reason for stopping the clock. (3-4-2b(3)).   No advantage gained by A. Simple

K1 punts the ball and it is caught by R1 after giving a legal fair catch signal.  Prior to the snap, K2 was illegally in motion and R accepts the penalty for illegal motion.  After penalty enforcement the clock will start on the snap as the clock stopping was due to the fair catch.  Still simple, right?

A fumbles during a scrimmage down, B fouls prior to gaining possession, then recovers the fumble and the ball is dead in-bounds.   A accepts the penalty and retains possession of the ball.  After the penalty, when does the clock start.  The clock will start on the ready-for-play signal as the action which caused the down to end did not also cause the clock to be stopped.  No new series was awarded.

Do not confuse the status of the clock with stopping the clock for an official’s time out for penalty enforcement or a change of team possession.  The stopping of the clock for penalty enforcement is an official’s time out, as is time outs for measurements, determining or awarding a 1st down, change of team possession, etc.

K1 punts the ball on 4th down.  R1 catches the kick and returns 10 yards and is down in-bounds.  During the down, but prior to the catch, K3 holds R2.  R accepts the penalty.  After penalty enforcement the clock will start on the ready for play as the action that caused the down to end did not also cause the clock to be stopped (ball carrier down in-bounds). Again, the penalty is the only reason the clock stopped.  We have not awarded a new series following a legal kick – have we?  On the ready!

And finally, K free kicks and attempts to onside kick.  K3 recovers the ball in-bounds as it goes 12 yards and touches the ground.  During the kick we have an illegal block by the kicking team.  The receiving team accepts the penalty which is enforced from the previous spot. The clock will start when the kick is touched other than first touching by K. When a free kick is replayed, the clock will start the same as it does on the original free kick (3-4-1, 3)

From the Observers - When going to the GL, flanks need to get to the goal line extended and have a 2 - 3 yd cushion. Don’t stand at the pylon. If it is really close then come in and sell your call.  When ball carrier goes OB, watch the action and not down at the spot. Continue to officiate.  On a safety, it’s ok for flanks to signal. On measurements, don’t block press box view. U hold ball with back towards team “B”.  Please review our axioms (which are attached) as we’ve reinstated “When in question, the recovery is not completed.”  We’ve had some minor issues with instantaneous recoveries which were not consistent with our philosophy.  I watched a crew get in trouble with making too quick of a judgement on a fumble recovery and once discussed, they had two more such plays and were much, much more deliberate on judging possession on a recovery.  Bad things can happen like inadvertent whistles due to the ball NOT being possessed and slipping out of the players arms.  All crews please review these important axioms this week!  Thank you!

When In Question... 


We must strive to be positive and accurate in all of our judgments, rulings and enforcements but on those occasions when the observed action is not clear, the following Football Officiating Axioms are to be considered and applied.

  • When in question, the action is legal.

  • When in question, the pass is incomplete.

  • When in question, the recovery is not completed.

  • When in question, the passer's arm was going forward.

  • When in question, the pass is forward, behind the neutral zone.

  • When in question, the pass is backward, beyond the neutral zone.

  • When in question, the ineligible was not downfield.

  • When in question, the runner's progress was stopped.

  • When in question, the ball is fumbled.

  • When in question, the runner is not out of bounds.

  • When in question, the forward pass is not touched.

  • When in question, the kick is not touched.

  • When in question, the ball is accidentally kicked.

  • When in question, it is not a touchdown.

  • When in question, it is a touchback.

  • When in question, the block is from the side and not a clip.

  • When in question, the block is legal rather than below the waist.

  • When in question, it is not a face mask foul.

  • When in question, the celebration was not prolonged or excessive.

  • When in question, it was a "football act" and not a disqualifying foul.

San Diego County Football Officials Association 2015 

Have a great week #3 as we’re seeing some great high school football in San Diego this season! - Steve

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