Weekly Bull 10/10/12


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The Weekly Bull – 10/10/12


  1. Sign In and Attendance

  2. Primary Board Elections

  3. Announcements

  4. Food For Thought

  5. Video

  6. Adjourn 8:30 


  1. Make Up Test – You can make up your mechanics and/or rules test tonight.  You can take the test in room WL7 or you can take it in your classroom.  Please come to WL7 to get it corrected and then show your score to your instructor so he can record it on the attendance roster.

  2. Instructors – Please inform officials of their attendance status.  If they have not made 5 meetings (including tonight’s meeting) then they won’t make the necessary 8 meetings by attending the 10/24 meeting, the make up meeting on October 31st, and the banquet….plus they must have passed both tests.  If they have come up short in any of these areas, then they are ineligible for the 2013 draft.  To become eligible for the draft an official can make a written appeal to the Board before their May board meeting.  Any appeal can be sent to the board via email or mail to Steve Coover or Dick Brockett.

  3. Final board election at our next meeting 10/24.  Final results will be announced at the banquet.

Food For Thought: 

The Weekly Bulletin - Officials need to carefully review and remember information in the Weekly Bulletin as it relates to updated mechanics, the Association's officiating philosophies and expectations, and the on-field issues that arise from the previous week’s games.  At times, I do not feel this has occurred.  The crew chiefs are responsible for ensuring that The Weekly Bulletin is being reviewed and discussed on a consistent basis prior to the day of the game, and is discussed as part of the pregame.

"Empty Hand"- This new term refers to a play in which the ball becomes loose in the QB’s hand (empty hand) as a result of a defender swiping at, or knocking the ball loose just before the QB begins the passing motion.  When this type of play continues, it appears that the arm is moving forward and the pass must be ruled incomplete (not a fumble) as the ball travels sometimes 10-15 yards down field.  Fact is, the ball was loose in the hand (empty hand) and the throwing motion propelled the ball forward, but there was no control of the ball by the QB.  In these rare cases, the ruling is “empty hand” and a fumble.  The referee will throw a bean bag indicating a fumble and no whistles will sound as the play will continue until the fumble is recovered and the new player in possession is down.  As rare as these plays are, we’ve had two plays turned in via Hudl in the last two weeks!

Sharing Games on Hudl – “Thank you” to all of the teams who are sharing games with the San Diego County Football Officials on Hudl.  Our library is full of great plays that are improving our work every week.  We have a lot of areas that continue to be less than perfect so continued sharing is a vital part of our future improvement and growth as an association.

Communication with Coaches - There needs to be clear communication with coaches on any important game adjustment/correction that takes place.  One example from my past was the time my crew misplaced an incomplete pass on the wrong side of the field for the next down.  The coach called a play for the side of the field that we misplaced the ball.  Then we moved it back to the correct side and didn't tell him.  As a result, the coach on offense had called the wrong formation and wrong play for the new location of the ball.  

Example #2 – The offensive team has no timeouts and there is 13.3 on clock after an incompletion.  The offense needs another first down to get in range for a potentially game-winning FG.  Cutting it close, the offense thinks they can maybe get a first down, spike the ball, and then kick.  The coach sends in the play and watches in disbelief as the clock winds down to 10.0 as they approach the line and before the snap.  The coach alerts the flank official of the error and is informed that the crew had to adjust the clock because, on the previous play (incomplete), the clock stopped with the ball in mid-flight.  Again, a great opportunity for the referee and crew to communicate with the coaches about an important game adjustment/correction.

Status of the Clock – This is a reminder to all crews to be great observers of the status of the clock.  Our usual dead ball routine is to rule the play down (covering official), glance at the clock to see that it’s running or stopped as appropriate, then return to the play for dead ball officiating.  If the covering official is not comfortable checking the clock as too much is happening at the dead ball spot, that’s fine….we have four other officials who are checking the clock for you!  Please note that our observers are seeing some inconsistencies with officials not stopping the clock for a penalty or 1st down.  This is unacceptable!  Please let’s cover the mechanics of game time management in our pre-game this week!

Reporting Fouls to the Referee – On neutral zone infractions it is now acceptable for the flank official to use the appropriate penalty signal to indicate to the referee what the foul is.  As you see in the colleges and the NFL, the flanks still come in to the referee to report the foul as they are signaling, they don’t just stand at the sideline and signal the referee.  That looks lazy and unprofessional.  Please come in to the referee to report the foul and number while giving the appropriate signal.  Signaling will give coaches and the referee time to process the call and its consequences.  If the NFL and colleges do it, then we’ll also do it at the high school level!

Questions on Rules – If any coaches have questions on rules, please contact me at or at and I’ll communicate with you directly.  A coach swore to the referee that he’d called CIF and asked if it was OK for the QB to wear a playcard on his belt and the CIF gave their approval.  I highly doubt that the CIF would do that as they’ve always re-directed coach’s questions to me.  Secondly, all playcards must be worn on the wrist.

The Kicking Game is Crucial – This week we received 6 play clips from a particular school and of the 6 plays, 3 plays were kicking plays.  Please review the importance of bearing down and concentrating on these critical, “open space” plays.  Much can happen and we need to be at our best!

Illegal Formation – Just to clarify, when we have an illegal formation foul, this is a live ball foul.  We do not shut down a play for not enough players on the LOS / too many men in the backfield.  Do not get this type of foul confused with false starts where we shut the play down.

Outside the Pocket – There is nothing in the high school rule book about the QB being out of the pocket.  That only exists in college and the NFL.  QBs must not “dump the ball”.  This will be considered throwing a pass into an area not occupied by an eligible receiver – Intentional Grounding. 

First Touching Ignored – If a punt is in flight or bouncing on the ground and a receiver is pushed or blocked into the ball, that touching is ignored.  If a kicker and a receiver are pushing and blocking each other and, as a result of the pushing or blocking by the kicker, the receiver is pushed or blocked into the ball, the touching is ignored.  The ball will belong to the receivers. 

Interlocking of Legs on PAT and FG - Only the guards may lock legs with the snapper (7-2-2).  We are seeing some tackles and tight ends on trys and FGs with interlocking legs.

Donation of Official’s Old Knickers and Socks - For all of you who still have knickers and socks, please them in for collection at the Oct. 24th meeting and at the Banquet.  We will collect them at those times and store for donation to area charities and youth sports associations.  Our apologies to the members for the lag time in the collection process.

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