San Diego County Football Officials Association Memo
To: Crew Chiefs, Head Coaches, and Athletic Directors
CC: SDCFOA Instructors & Staff
From: Steve Coover, Instructional Chair SDCFOA
Re: Weekly Bulletin #4
Free Kick Madness!
On a free kick after a score, R gains possession and advanced 7 yards, then is hit by K player and fumbles. K recovers and returns for TD. After the score, two of R's players are ejected (One for fighting and the other for disobeying an official for the second time in the game). Both fouls were enforced on the succeeding kick. Therefore K kicked from R's 30 yard line. K then tries an onside kick and kicks the ball out of bounds, untouched by R, at R's 22 yard line. Foul for free kick out of bounds. Enforcement - Re-kick at R's 35 yard line by K, or R's ball at R' 22 yard line, or R's ball at R's 5 yard line. R will most likely take the ball at the 22 yard line.
Can an Athletic Trainer be out of the Team Box?
According to rule 1-2-3g the team box (25 yardline to 25 yardline box) is for use by team, coaches, trainers affiliated with the team. This rule defines that players, substitutes, coaches, athletic trainers will be in the team box and not leave unless afforded that right by rule (in the case of an athletic trainer, an official’s time out for injury whereby an athletic trainer is allowed on the field.) That being said, trainers are not always busy in the team box and sometimes become spectators outside the team box. In almost every case it is not a problem. If the trainer is choosing to be outside the team box, they must be an absolute observer of the action, not a participant or fan. If an official requests that the trainer return to the team box, it is usually because the trainer, stats person etc. has started to coach, question the officials, get into arguments with other sideline spectators or chain crew, etc. If this occurs, the trainer or person affiliated with the team must do as requested by the official. Again, in almost every case, the side official does not even observe the presence of a trainer unless the trainer does something that draws the attention of the official.
Never should an athletic trainer decide, on their own, to enter the field in a hurry to attend to a player. This is, by rule, is decided by the officials. If a trainer enters the field on their own, and the referee does not think their presence is needed, a time out may be charged to that team without the consent of the head coach. This could be a big problem.. but hardly ever happens! In almost every case, the officials call for the trainer, or the trainer or coaches point out the injury to the officials who promptly call for an official’s time out and signal for the trainer.
Ineligible Down Field
If an offensive lineman releases down field on a scramble then retreats behind the line of scrimmage before the pass is thrown, is it an illegal man downfield penalty?
Rule: "Ineligible A players may not advance beyond the expanded neutral zone on a legal forward pass play before a legal forward pass that crosses the neutral zone is in flight." Answer: The offensive linemen may not release down field on a scramble and then retreat behind LOS before pass is thrown. Ruling: Ineligible player down field.
Communication with Head Coaches
I just observed a game in which one of our referees had some very challenging situations which necessitated clear and accurate communication with both head coaches. I was proud of the manner in which the referee handled himself with confidence but without any attitude. He was poised, communicated calmly and quickly. That is leadership and command, without being cocky or dictatorial. Great job!
The restricted areas are looking very good. Thank you coaches and teams. Reminder to sideline officials to keep coaches off the field during between plays. They are allowed into the restricted areas but not out on the field. Use your warnings – then penalize.
They are an extension of the officiating crew and must conduct themselves in a quiet and professional manner. If there are problems, officials are to warn then inform the home team head coach of the situation. Finally, if a major incident occurs or there are repeated issues, the referee has the option of stopping the game and requesting that the member of the chain crew be replaced. Also a reminder to home teams to have the chain crew and timer there 30 minutes before kick off! This is very important to offering good instruction to these important people.
Illegal Equipment – Rib pads and back protectors unless fully covered by a jersey. If they are exposed then they must be padded with a closed-cell slow-recovery foam padding no less than 1/2 “ thick.. Best bet….cover them with the jersey.
LA/Orange County Schools
Just an FYI – Schools in LA/Orange County play 12:00 quarters in JV games. Please inform them of the difference in San Diego before the game. Thanks.
One team has their big defensive tackle drop to the ground when a double team is attempted; he simply drops to the ground. The other head coach was upset because he felt this was a safety issue. The crew watched it, and the player did exactly as described by simply dropping to the ground. He didn't dive into the opposing players, he just dropped to the ground as the lineman came at him. Ruling: Unusual but legal play.
Legal Scrimmage Kick Formation and Numbering Exception
In order to use the numbering exception and have protection for the snapper, the punter must line up 10 yards deep. We have a report of a team with the punter 7 yards deep. It is legal to punt from this formation, but no numbering exceptions and no protection for the snapper.
Noise from the Band
When a Referee feels that the band’s playing is interfering with the cadence he may stop the game and request that administration stop the band from playing when the opposing team is on offense directly in front of the band.