SAN DIEGO COUNTY FOOTBALL OFFICIALS ASSOCIATION - THE WEEKLY BULL – April 5, 2021
No Crew Chief Meeting This Week – Final Crew Chief Meeting will be Wednesday April 14 at 6:00 pm. Meetings by individual crews will follow at 7:00 pm. Some suggestions for this week’s study:
- What haven’t we seen yet? Something to prepare for that has not happened in one of our games?
Expect the unexpected…preparing to process a “crazy play”?
How can we improve our communication, both within the crew and with the coaches and fans (signals!)
Week #5 – What is our crew goal this week? Focus and you’ll be amazed at your improvement. What are your individual goals? Share your goals with the crew so they can help you achieve and give you feedback.
Thank You San Diego NCAA Officials – It has been a blessing to have you participate with us this season. Assigning has stretched us so thin, but with your help, we managed to not only cover SD games, but even stretch out into Imperial and Riverside counties. You’ve always supported us in our instructional program, but this year you actually took to the field and added your talent to our collective efforts. So, so appreciative! Thank you!
Muffs, Fumbles and Other Loose Balls – Rule 2 - Articles 4 and 5, permit offensive and defensive players to: Push, pull or ward off an opponent in an actual attempt to get to a loose ball, if such contact is not a personal foul or illegal use of hands. In scrambles for loose balls Officials should grant wide latitude in application of the rules. Penalize only actions that are personal fouls. Blocking in the back is not a personal foul. With regard to batting loose balls during scrambles for a loose ball; refrain from ruling a bat unless it is clear and obvious that a player has wound up and batted the ball. It will rarely if ever be clear and obvious. Don't call it. The same with illegally kicking the ball, you must be absolutely sure that the illegal kick was intentional. Kicking the ball while attempting to scoop it up is unintentional. During actions involving pursuing loose balls; the guidance is to let it all go and let the play run to its legal conclusion, without inserting the Officiating Crew in the process.
Movement of Flanks – Flank officials must be smooth, calm, and purposeful in their movements. The term purposeful also means that on a play the requires your immediate presence (goal line, 4th and short, fumble inside) you must hustle and close with a purpose! When are you smooth, and when are you going to sprint? It all depends on the play…and each play is different. When viewing video of yourself, compare your movements to those of a top college official, or as Garth DeFelice from the NFL always preaches, watch the best officials on TV at your position and compare your movements to those of the best. We now have game film of Scott Reilly (BIG12), Steve Hoslett (MWC), Joe Greene (SWAC), John Isham (GNAC), Mike Duggan (GNAC) all working HS games this year. Just send me an email and I’d be glad to share the film of those individuals for your personal improvement. Keep working hard. Remember, it all starts with MECHANICS!
“They’re Holding” – Usually we hear these, or others, from an assistant coach. When this is occurring, please engage your head coach and report what you’re hearing and ask that you receive more specific information which would be more useful in identifying what exactly you or the assistant coach is seeing. Many times, when the head coach would say “Didn’t you see the TE holding our DE?” I would be able to report if I saw that block or not. Now we were having a productive (sort of) conversation. The best-case scenario is a conversation with the official and the head coach. Sometimes assistant coaches, especially coordinators, are very helpful and professional. But if the comments begin to “poor out of the sideline” with every play, the official must report this to the head coach which allows the head coach to work with his coaching staff. Remember, the comments going both ways must be professional and not personal. If a comment crosses the line from that’s a horrible call, to you’re a horrible official, an unsportsmanlike penalty will be assessed. Now I did actually took it as a compliment when I’d hear, “Coover, you’re better than that!” I think they really felt I was a good official, just not on this night…haha ☹
QB and Incomplete Pass or Fumble – Whether a pass is forward or backward usually depends on the initial direction which it is thrown. It is also a forward pass if a defensive player contacts the ball or the passer after forward movement of the passer’s arm has begun regardless of the direction the ball actually goes. Once the passer starts his arm forward, it is a forward pass, regardless of which direction the ball leaves his hand (this is the opposite of what I said in our crew chief meeting…always trying to get it right – ugh!) The passer gets the benefit of the doubt, so “when in question, it is a forward pass and not a fumble.
“Empty Hand” – Understanding the rule as stated above, if the ball is loose in the QB’s hand then the ball is not in player possession. A pass is throwing a ball that is in player possession. So, if the ball is loose in the QB’s hand (Empty Hand”) then we have a fumble as the ball was already loose and the resulting contact by the defender and the arm/hand motion by the QB are not relevant any more. Ball in possession and arm starts forward, incomplete pass. Ball loose in the hand and arm starts forward, fumble.
Food for Thought:
Play #1 Team K’s punt enters Team R’s end zone. During the kick, R6 holds at the R-12 yard line. What is the enforcement?
RULING: We have a foul by Team R beyond the expanded neutral zone during the kick where Team R will be the next to put the ball in play thus it is a Post Scrimmage Kick PSK enforcement. Since the kick ends in the end zone, the R-20 is the basic spot for PSK enforcement. The foul then occurs BEHIND the basic spot at the R-12. The penalty is enforced half-the-distance from the R-12 to the R-6 where it will be first and ten for Team R.
Play #2 At the snap Team A has five players in the backfield. After the snap A78 holds his opponent, then during the pass B12 commits defensive pass interference. We have two fouls on the offense (one at the snap and one live-ball foul) and one live-ball foul on the defense. What is the proper enforcement?
RULING: Although Team A has fouled twice, the fouls offset and the down is replayed.