Weekly Bull 8/4/21
SAN DIEGO COUNTY FOOTBALL OFFICIALS ASSOCIATION - THE WEEKLY BULL - August 4, 2021
- Attendance – Check your attendance for accuracy. Clinic attendance on the right side.
Weekly Bull & Testing
Rules Summer Study
Thought for the Week - " Have consistency with your eyes" - Coach Neal Brown of West Virginia. This tells us to always be looking at the best place to make your call. It will be different for each type of action but fouls usually occur in the same relative area. If that area happens to be your zone of responsibility, recognize it and sharpen your vision from soft vision to a sharp vision. After looking at so many plays in calibration and instructional videos, we should be much more capable of having consistency with our eyes!
All 1st Year and 2nd Year/Transfer Officials - must meet in their regular classrooms at Mira Mesa HS every meeting. You will not attend any of the clinics, but you can certainly view them on your own on our website at www.SDCFOA.org.
Referee/Umpire Clinic – Next Wednesday 8/11 at 7:00 pm in the Mira Mesa Theater, we will hold our final clinic. We are proud to announce the in-person clinic presenter will be Scott Campbell umpire/referee in the BIG 12. Scott was an umpire in the Big 12 when he was selected to work the first FBS championship game between Ohio St. and Oregon. He is now a referee and crew chief in The BIG 12 and will discuss preparation, professionalism, and communication with you. So don’t miss this opportunity to interact with Scott in person in the Mira Mesa Theater located in the middle of the school. The theater has an easy to see sign when you get into the Quad.
2021 SDCFOA Mechanics Qualification Exam – Passing this exam is a requirement for all except the 1st year officials. A passing score in both tests plus attendance at 9 meetings (includes 1 clinic and the banquet or a make-up meeting in October) will qualify you for eligibility to be drafted and for playoff assignments. This year the exams will be completed on-line (as we did last year). Each official is expected to use their instructional materials and rule books to pass the exam. You may also use each other as a resource to make sure you earn a passing score. The mechanics exam will be sent out this week and will need to be completed by the following weekend (8/4 – 8/15). Good luck!
5-Man Mechanics Free Kick Diagram – This diagram was inadvertently left out of the new mechanics manual. I have attached the diagram. Please note that we begin with our initial keys as we have in the past. Three on the outside are viewed by the respective flanks, and the center 4 are viewed by the BJ. As the kickers progress downfield, we transition to the zones depicted on the diagram. I’d prefer that the HL and U’s zones extend and meet in the middle of the field from the 20 – 35-yardlines. Again, eyes are on players in competition within those zones, not players running free.
Sportsmanship Award – Sportsmanship can be defined as proper consideration for fairness, ethics, respect, and a sense of fellowship with one's competitors. The SDCFOA Youth Fund, in partnership with the CIF and Commissioners Joe Heinz and Todd Cassen, will be sponsoring a Team Sportsmanship Award this year. Each week our crews will be asked to reflect on the sportsmanship exhibited by the teams before, during and after their games. When a team demonstrates the highest level of sportsmanship, the crew will nominate that team for consideration. Your nominations will be emailed to Steve Coover. We will announce the award winner from each of the five (5) conferences the first week of November. One school from the Metro, Grossmont, Coastal/Pacific/8-man, City and North County will be awarded a trophy, banner for their gym, and $1,000 which will be presented at halftime of the CIF Open Division championship game. We believe this is a great way to reward maybe the most important element of the great game of football! Thank you SDCFOA/NCAA/NFL officials for continuing to be so generous with our Youth Fund!
Pre-Game Checklists – Attached is an example of a Position Checklist which can be used to prepare ourselves for each week’s game. Prior to leaving for your game, maybe Thursday night, or lunch break on Friday, you can pull this out and work your mind through those things that are important to your being successful during your game. It is an important step in you preparation process. Use this example to create a list of your own. Start simple and edit/revise it each season. This is not a new concept as I received my first “one-pager” from George Schutte very early in my career!
Fitness - Scrimmages are one week away! You want to look good out there so update your uniform, tailor those pants, and keep up your fitness routine. Don’t forget to hydrate in this heat starting the day before the scrimmage and provide time for your stretching routine to prevent injury.
Equipment/Uniform Suppliers – A list of suppliers and their contact information is provided at the bottom of the home screen at sdcfoa.com at the end of the new official section. Make sure your equipment is in as good of shape as you are!
San Diego CIF 25-Yardline Overtime & Mercy Rules – The 25-yardline overtime procedure is mandatory for all varsity games in San Diego County CIF (varsity level only!). There are no options. Any varsity game for any sized division (D1 – D5) must use the 25-yardline tiebreaker when the game ends in a tie score at the end of regulation. The result will be a win or a loss. The CA Mercy Rule is required to be applied to all games, no matter what level. Both procedures can be found on our website under RULES.
Out-of-Town Teams – When a team from out-of-town comes to San Diego to play, they are playing by the CIDSDS rules. That includes mandatory overtime. If a team were to refuse to play overtime it would simply be reported to me and I would inform CIF who would award a “win” to the SD team (I assume). Teams from out of CA may also be surprised that we have a Mercy Rule in CA and that a player who exhibits signs or symptoms consistent with a concussion is disqualified for the remainder of the game. Those are the 1- SD and 2 - CA possible differences. They may be included into your pre-game meeting with the coach.
Spotting the Ball Following Touchbacks – When a ball goes out of bounds across a sideline, or when a free kick goes out of bounds across a sideline and R chooses not to have K re-kick, the ball will be place at the nearest hashmark. But what if the ball is dead in the endzone? We must inform the head coach during the pre-game coach’s conference that we will assume he wants the ball placed in the center of the field, BUT, flank officials must be cognizant that the coach may want the ball placed anywhere between the hashmarks. He has that right by rule. Please use the numbering system in our mechanics manual (positions 1-5 starting at the hash closest to the pressbox) to communicate the position selected by the coach. Use of O2O for this communication is encouraged.
Quick Tips for Communicating with Head Coaches:
- Never, never, never ignore a coach’s request. You may have to inform the coach that you will have to wait a play or two to get the information to the other officials, but never ignore!
Make eye contact. A coach wants to be assured that he has you attention.
Avoid “squaring off with the coach” rather, turn your body slightly at an angle.
Refer to the coach as “Coach” or “Coach Jones”.
Keep your communication brief and formal.
Avoid joking and sarcasm.
Adopt a neutral tone and avoiding any personal remarks.
Stick to the issue at hand in a straightforward way.
Ask them to help with problem players. Be sure to identify the problem in explicit terms, without making the player to be an evil person. Sometimes it’s hard to do, but it can be accomplished with a careful choice of language.
Remember: get used to the coach having the last say. This will most likely end the conversation.
Remain calm under all circumstances. Let coaches have their say. When a coach approaches to protest or argue, adopt an instant “listening mode” and let the aggrieved individual finish his remarks. Don’t interrupt.
Use non-confrontational body language. To be aware of body posture, facial expression, head tilt and arm position, one must say, “I am going to appear receptive and contemplative. I can think best and measure my words that way. I am determined to not escalate the problem.”
If you make a mistake, admit it. A simple apology is sufficient; do not elaborate or rationalize (i.e. make excuses)
When a coach raises their voice, lower yours. A soft voice has a way of triggering a reciprocal soft reply.
Support fellow officials. Never betray partners by showing that you doubt their judgment. Instead indicate faith in someone else’s decision by saying the partner had a better view of a more favorable angle than the responding official or partner.
Give praises to promote sportsmanship. When a coach makes a gesture of consideration for the opponents or towards the official, be sure to acknowledge it. Sometimes a smile and nod of the head are enough.
Keep your ego under control. Often a mere glance will carry a significant message, whether it’s negative or positive, whether it is meant to curtail dialogue or to encourage it. A quizzical expression can signal a desire for additional input, whereas a frown may denote closure.
Don’t use your hands when talking to a coach. Your gestures will reveal more than you’ll want to convey.
“Our primary job is to be the integrity of the game. It is a player’s game, it is a coach’s game, it is a fan’s game and we are there to support the sense of fair play!” Tony Corrente, NFL Referee