Weekly Bull 9/10/14


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THE WEEKLY BULL – Sept. 10, 2014


  1. Attendance

  2. Review of Weekly Bulletin

  3. Video Study Session

  4. Rules Exam

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!

Donate Your Old Uniform - Reminder to donate your gently used 1” striped shirts to Bob Duggan for use in other sports.

The San Diego County Sports Officials Hall of Fame – The 2014 Induction Ceremony will take place Tuesday, September 23rd.  Inductees will include football officials Dick Brockett, Lou Furrer and Jesse Thompson.  Please join us in celebrating their contributions to football officiating.  For details contact Lauren Smeenge at the San Diego Hall of Champions at  619 699 2309

El Capitan Locker Room – They have a new locker room that is down by the old location (actually a little closer), but getting access might be an issue (everyone with a key is at the stadium).  I’ve asked them to work with officials on this potential problem.

Scoreboard at San Ysidro – It was not working last week so it still might not be fixed if you have a game there soon. 

Targeting – We’re getting more than our fair share of targeting calls.  Those I’ve reviewed have clearly been targeting.  It is important that coaches and players become aware of this new safety rule by properly penalizing the foul.  We will continue to review these calls in this week’s instructional video and meeting.  I know coaches are teaching the proper tackling techniques but the kids seem to be stuck on some old habits.

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.

Holding by Lying on a downed Opponent – This call was made this week and I suggest it didn’t meet the philosophy of “Make it Big!”  We are seeing the action well, but let’s continue to apply our philosophies properly.  Thank you.

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, slow, and slower.

Kicker Becomes a Runner – If a kicker chooses or is forced to run and then kicks the ball, the protection usually offered a kicker is lost UNLESS the kicker has time to stop and clearly re-establish himself as a kicker.  So, in this week’s film we have a kicker who runs and then pauses just in time to kick the ball.  In this case the kicker is not afforded the usual protection as players can attempt to tackle or block the ball as the runner quickly kicks the ball.  This does not mean the defense can then “plant the kicker in the ground” after the kick.  That is a personal foul for unnecessary roughness.  What they can do is try to tackle the kicker before he kicks or block the kick as he attempts to kick it.  Any contact of this sort will not be roughing the kicker as the kicker is actually a runner!  For the runner to become a kicker again, he must have a lot of time to stop, re-establish his position as a kicker.  Only then is he afforded the protections usually afforded a kicker (roughing or running into).

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.

Knee Pads & Jerseys – Just a warning from me to coaches and crews: We are going to have a difficult time being consistent with these new jerseys and short pants!!!!  It started with one coach calling me last year and requesting tolerance as the game pants he ordered came in a shorter length than he anticipated.  Next the jerseys are cut so tight that the shoulder pads are now illegally exposed during regular play.  Now I’m hearing and seeing on PPR that multiple teams are suited up in the shorter pants which do not cover the knee pads.  I’m telling our officials to get this equipment legal before we begin each play.  So, if we are inconsistent, or are holding up the game because we’re the “uniform police”, let me remind all of us that we’re in this situation because this particular style of equipment that is being created and purchased is illegal or becomes illegal on a regular basis.  Inconsistency or frustrations with our correcting these issues are not because of the incompetency of the officials, it’s the result of the manufacturers and schools.

Unusual PAT – Can the QB be under center and still have the snap go through his legs back to the holder who has his knee on the ground for a PAT?  Answer: No.  A legal scrimmage kick formation is one in which no player is in position to receive a hand-to-hand snap from between the snapper’s legs.

When Must a Player Leave for One Play – A player must leave for one play if there is blood on body or uniform, a players helmet comes off, or there is an injured player.  They must stay out for one play…even if the next play is the first play in the second half or overtime.

Illegal Kick – 4th down and the offense is in punt formation on their own 15.  The snap goes over the punters head and rolls toward the end zone.  The punter illegally kicks the ball but it only rolls into the end zone where the defense lands on the ball.  Ruling? – Touchdown for the defense.  Penalty Options? – The defense must decline the penalty to get the touchdown.  If the penalty is accepted the foul occurred during a loose ball play and the 15 yard penalty will be penalized from the spot of the foul, as it is behind the basic spot which is the previous spot, and it will be 4th down again.  Can the defense take the penalty on the kick off? No.  the penalty happened before the change of possession so the penalty cannot carry over to the try or the subsequent kick off.

Can the Entire Line Shift? – Yes, just think of the swinging gate where the entire line is set out near the sideline and then on a signal shifts to the center of the field into scrimmage kick formation for the PAT.  The key is that the shift must not simulate the start of a play.  The shift must be smooth and even.  The old Dallas Cowboy shift is another example of a smooth and even shift used on every play and definitely not intended to simulate a snap.

Quick Movements by Interior Linemen – I watch a team from outside San Diego set up in punt formation.  On signal, when one might be expecting the snap, the entire team moved their hands from their thighs to their hips.  The defense was drawn off sides.  I expected that our officials would rule this action a false start on the offense, the same as if the QB used his hands or head in a jerky motion to simulate the snap.  We missed this false start on the offense.

Drone Sighting! – Well it didn’t take long.  We had our first drone sighting at Santana HS.  Makes sense they have a pretty good engineering and physics program there!  The announcer called out its presence and it flew away.  Just keeping you informed!

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

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