7-Man Mechanics – This week we begin using 7-man mechanics which are used in all NCAA and NFL games. This provides deep coverage on vertical pass routes and positions men at each pylon for all plays inside the 20 yardline. These additional officials have proven to provide much additional coverage (and not necessarily more flags).
7-Man and the Restricted Area – This week we will need the sideline “restricted area” to be completely clear during all live ball action. We will now have 2 officials on each sideline in the restricted area and the deep official will be backpedalling through that 2 yard white area. Once a year, we have an official who hits someone in the restricted area which is an automatic 15 yard penalty on the head coach….and it can be anyone on the sideline, not just a coach. So keep the coaches, players, equipment manager, doctor, all team personnel out of the restricted area on live balls. Most schools have a person on the sideline responsible for maintaining this requirement for the head coach.
Payment of Officials and Chain Crew – Each home school is being provided 7 officials and three chain crew members for the semi-finals. The home team is responsible for paying all of these officials the following rates:
Referee - $76
Other 6 Officials - $74
Chain Crew - $39
Each school is to charge the officials to the game expense report to the CIF. Thank you!
Forward Progress – At this level of competition, each school has a talented running back who fights for every yard. This makes it very difficult to determine when forward progress is stopped and when to allow these outstanding athletes to continue to fight for yardage. We have our best officials working the LOS in these semifinals so we should match this talent with outstanding judgment. Remember, be slow, see the play, give the runner all of the yardage he earned, and don’t allow cheep turnovers.
Blocks In Back – We are doing much better on these calls as I’ve been reviewing plays. Remember, the block must be in the back and not involve the shoulder. In the back means IN THE BACK!
Catch – No Catch – We continue to do well with these calls. Again, we do not want cheep turnovers where the receiver has possession of the ball and then looses it due to a hit by the defender. When in doubt, incomplete pass. I’ve seen several excellent calls in this area.
Holding, Set the Bar High – We are also seeing better blocking by the offensive linemen and the offensive receivers. If we have a hold, it must be BIG and provide a definite advantage for the offense. Always be conscious of where the ball carrier is when you are about to call a hold. Is the ball carrier already through the hole BEFORE the hold occurs? If so, then there is not advantage/disadvantage.
Anticipate the Unexpected – This week I saw a receiver and defender collide as the ball got to the receiver. It appeared the head linesman was focused on these two players while he also got physically blocked out of the play. Then the ball rebounds and a second receiver makes a catch inbounds five yards beyond this play. The head linesman then signals incomplete not knowing that the ball had been subsequently caught down field. In this case, the HL shouldn’t have ruled on the play if he didn’t know the result of it. In addition, the BJ needed to step up and save his fellow official. This week we’ll have a deep flank official right in this area for that exact play but my point is, these players are making HUGE plays each game. Be prepared for the unexpected great play!!!!
Have a great night of Semi Final Football in San Diego! - Steve