Lock Down at a School – I want to pass along a recent experience that a crew had at a school that went into “lock down”. For those who don’t know, lock down is a safety measure taken by a school that is in immediate threat of violence on campus. This is only used when the threat is eminent and extremely dangerous. When this lock down was instituted in the middle of a lower level high school game, the crew did a phenomenal job of remaining calm, taking direction from the school administrators and assisting in clearing the stadium per their directions. Great job of continuing to be a source of calm and professional conduct! You really helped the school get all individuals into a safe, and locked down area. Great job!
Dead Ball Action – Week #10 and we’re still talking about the need to be great dead ball officials. That’s because it is always necessary, at every level, at every game, all season long. The rivalries are now in play week ten as are the league championships and playoff berths. Please, every crew, be on your game this week! Focus on the basics and get them right. And be great dead ball officials!
Onside Kicks – This year we have a new rule restricting blocking by the kicking team until the kicking team can legally touch the ball. So when can the kicking team legally touch the free kick? When the ball has touched the ground and has gone 10 yards OR after a receiver has touched the ball. If a member of the kicking team blocks before either of those things have happened, it is an illegal block. Remember, blocking by the receiving team negates a foul as the receiving team initiated contact so the kicking team can respond to the block. When in doubt, the receiving team initiated the contact. Also important: When a free kick is pooch kicked into the air and has not touched the ground, the receiving team must have an opportunity to catch the ball. Any contact by the kicking team on the receiver before the receiver has an opportunity to catch the ball is illegal. The receiving team does not have to make a fair catch for this legal right to catch the ball. But, after the receiver has a chance to catch the airborne free kick, then the kicking team may tackle the receiver. These are very complicated and important plays. I expect each crew to review these rules that govern onside kicks prior to this week’s games.
Center Moving the Ball Forward – Don’t let this happen. Once the referee has signaled the ball ready for play, then the ball should not be advanced by the center. If you see the center setting his feet too close to the ball and then moving the ball forward to “get comfortable” you are allowing the center to illegally advance the ball. Stop this with a warning early, umpires! After the warning, don’t warn any more, penalize the offense.
Illegal Jerseys – Grossmont and Kearny received special permission from the CIF to wear “throw back jerseys” at recent games. For all others the wearing of yellow jerseys as an away jersey in now illegal and must be penalized 15 yards at the beginning of the game (kcik off) for failure of the team to wear legal equipment following the certification of all players being legally equipped at the pre-game coach’s meeting. Please do not look the other way on this one, referees, wearing proper uniforms is an NFHS rule and the State CIF insists we enforce this rule. So far, we’ve only seen two violations and one was penalized. Thank you.