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  • 18 Oct 2017 10:00 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    (NOTE: There were no week 8 Demetriouisms)

    • An official in another state was suspended for the remainder of the season for posts he made on Facebook. The material he wrote brought into question his ability to officiate in an unbiased manner. He is a multi-sport official with a long record of quality service and was suspended from all sports. Part of the problem was he had clearly identified himself as a HS official. It’s best to keep your officiating life off social media. I do not have further detail.
    • Running into a coach is not a USC foul. It is a PF under 9-4-8. Although the head coach is ejected for the second such foul, those incidents do not count as a USC against the individual who caused the contact.
    • During a field goal attempt the kick was blocked and both teams just gave up before anyone blew the whistle. A player from the kicking team not hearing a whistle decided to pick up the ball and halfway jog and walk to the end zone. The player inadvertently scored a touchdown. A whistle should not be blown when no player immediately tries to recover the ball. Eventually, somebody will figure it out. In the rare case when both teams leave the field, you can consider the play over.
    • The ball was snapped over the punter’s head and the ensuing legal kick went high but not very far. An R player signaled for a fair catch and was tackled after he caught the ball. The foul was correctly called. Although a fair catch cannot be made behind the line, a fair catch signal can be given anywhere on the field. When a signal is given behind the line, the ball is dead when R catches or recovers, the signaler cannot block and the signaler is protected. It is not a fair catch though and the option to free kick does not exist.
  • 03 Oct 2017 10:20 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    We had some interesting plays this past week. Some were called correctly; others were not.

    1. A personal foul was called on the defense during the last play of the first half and the period was properly extended. The offense false started before the untimed down so the period was in explicably ended.
    2. On a kickoff, the kicker slipped as he planted to kick the ball and as he was going down he barely hit the ball with his kicking foot causing the ball to go about 2 inches The ball was correctly kept live. If he had missed the ball completely, it would almost certainly have resulted in encroachment.
    3. An offensive lineman lost his helmet while blocking. The player continued blocking and was flagged for illegal participation. A player whose helmet comes completely off may continue to participate in the immediate action in which he is engaged. He cannot move on to something different such as chasing a loose ball or blocking a different player. He is allowed to protect himself. The only case play is 9.6.4H.
    4. An assistant coach ran onto the field and told the BJ, who had just thrown a flag for taunting, that he should be on the next train out of town. The BJ correctly saw that as an unsportsmanlike penalty on the coach, but the referee decided to give a sideline warning since there was no derogatory language or personal insult. What the coach did was clearly a USC on two counts: What he said and where he was standing. Sideline warnings are strictly for non-contact violations of the restricted area.
    5. Team A made the line-to-gain which would have made it first and goal from the B-2. However there was a personal foul on the offense after the play. The crew debated if it should be 1/G or 1/10 from the B-17 . The chains were correctly reset to 1/10. The defensive head coach became very upset but avoided a flag (5-3-1).
    6. We had a very embarrassing incident where a host AD was treated rudely because cars parked along the field had their headlights on. The lights were turned off, but when some lights came back on, the home team was flagged for unsportsmanlike conduct. A few years ago a float lined up for the homecoming parade was ejected without discussion because the tow vehicle had headlights turned on. Yes, this stuff really happens.
    7. For game length on the report, please put the time in as 3:05 and not 3 hrs 05 min. The computer will read the latter as text meaning zero and we won’t be able to average the results. The format is on the game report.
  • 30 Sep 2017 11:10 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Game Reports:

    Last weekend had an unusual amount of contentious incidents and the game report plays a critical role in those instances. First, the game report needs to come from the referee who is not only the official spokesman for the crew but is legally responsible for administration of the game and per Rule 1-1-6 is the final authority for all decisions pertaining to the game. No one really wants to start rejecting reports from non-referee’s, but that ultimately may have to happen.

    The game report is an official document. In rare cases it can be subpoenaed as evidence. More likely, it may need to be forwarded to a school for possible formal disciplinary action. Consequently, it needs to be professionally written. Please ask your referees to avoid slang, jokes, derogatory comments, flippant remarks and opinions. The report must stick to the facts. Actual quotes should be provided; sugarcoating vulgar language diminishes the impact of what occurred. If something occurred that is questionable or uncertain, that should be identified as such. We all appreciate free speech, so if someone feels the need to express their opinion, they can call you, Scott or myself and feel free to say whatever is on their mind. If appropriate, we expedite a resolution on an off line basis.

    Writing a proper report is not overly complicated. It can be as simple as thinking ahead to the impression the CHSAA Commissioner or school principal who reads the report will have, By now, you should be thoroughly intrigued as to what prompted this note, so here are just a couple of actual examples of what is inappropriate.

    "This turned out to be the game from hell!"

    and

    "So I dumped him."


  • 19 Sep 2017 1:09 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)
    1. It appears some referees are simply enforcing the penalties that are reported to them without insisting on a fuller explanation. Chapter 13 of the Mechanics Manual has quite a bit of detail on that. Without belaboring the point, false starts and encroachments are simple but for PI and holding, the referee needs to hear what happened. That is especially critical for USC’s.
    2. We’ve had a couple of occasions where the officials have been accosted while leaving the field and the referee did not find out what happened until everyone was in the locker room. That seems to indicate officials are not leaving the field together. Unsporting acts that occur after the game ends should be reported and an ejectable offense should be so stated in the game report.
    3. A player who lifted and pounded an opponent repeatedly into the ground was ejected because it was his second USC. That describes a flagrant PF worthy of immediate ejection regardless of any previous USC fouls.
    4. “Game length” has been added to the report summary. Many referees are including that and it appears to be useful info. If the average game length gets too long, we will propose changes to the clock rule. Also, we are asking for the actual start time, not the scheduled start time.
    5. During the coin toss, no other players are allowed on the field unless its senior night which is usually the last home game of the season. In such case, the seniors must remain at the top of the numbers (9-yard marks).
  • 13 Sep 2017 9:16 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)
    1. Game reports: We are still not getting them all. Please remind everyone we are looking for issues that need to be fixed (clock, chain crew, lockers, etc.), educational material (unusual plays – called right or wrong) and anything else that other officials might find useful. You should tell them you get a copy of each report from your area. Bud is very diligent on following up with problem areas. Please ask them to avoid irrelevant comments, jokes and minutia such as “AD escorted us to locker room and provided beverage and candy bars.”
    2. The reports indicate Back Judges are taking too long on kickoffs- too much talking to kicker. The game drags when we spend unnecessary time doing stuff that does not matter. After the first kick, BJ just needs to count players, hand the ball to the kicker, remind him to wait for the whistle and get to the sideline.
    3. We have emphasized the difference between PF’s and USC’s. some prefer the NCAA rule, but that is not our choice to make. Multiple cheap shots (non-football acts) are flagrant and grounds for DQ; very supportable.
  • 05 Sep 2017 11:42 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Here are a few lessons learned from the first full week of the season. On a couple of issues, it seems like we have picked up where we left off last year. We probably have made some progress, but we still have a few officials to reach.

    1. The definition is very clear that fighting is an engagement in a combative manner unrelated to football. While it is possible to have a fight while the ball is live, that is the exception. Blocking is a football act, so when players start flailing during a block, it is more likely to be a personal foul for hands to the face or unnecessary roughness than fighting. Also keep in mind the guy on the bottom of the pile is entitled to protect himself so what may look like kicking or punching is probably an effort to remove an assailant from the same geographical location.
    2. Our other carry over issue is we still have PF’s being called USC’s. The Referee has a responsibility to make sure fouls are properly labeled. Here is one quote from an inquiry to a referee regarding his report: “I was at least 50 yards away, and when I got there it was just reported unsportsmanlike with numbers Home 33, Visitor 88.
    3. When a player is sent off because his helmet came off, the clock must be stopped and the coach informed so he can send in a sub. A team ran a play with 10 on defense because the coaching staff did not know the player was sent out.
    4. When there is a bench clearing brawl (yes, we’ve already had one), the priority is to identify the main perpetrators. If you can note subs coming onto the field, that’s fine, but do not worry about it.
    5. IAW of the week: Fake up the middle and then hand off and run to the left. LJ thought the first guy had the ball and did not notice the guy with the ball coming in front of him. DON’T BLOW THE WHISTLE UNLESS YOU CAN SEE THE BALL.
    6. A try was replayed after two forward passes were thrown. The referee forgot about the loss of down and didn’t listen to his crewmates. He did remember that was on this year’s test


  • 30 Aug 2017 10:29 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    We had a rough start to the 2017 season. All the match-ups were non-league and it was not a surprise that many of the games were blowouts which present special challenges for the officials. Here are selected items along with a teaching point.

    1. A visiting team walked off the field as the game ended without shaking hands. That caught the officials by surprise as no excessive animosity was noted during the game. The visiting coach did start to complain about the calls when the mercy rule took effect, and the home team had a couple of late hits in 4Q, but no one deemed that extraordinary. With a running clock be especially vigilant for PF’s and USC’s. We are still not sure exactly what irritated the visiting coach. Playing the JV team with a passing offense during a running clock is an acceptable practice.
    2. Two coaches from the same team were ejected. The asst coach was ejected for going to the stands to recruit “competent” officials and for cursing loudly. The head coach was flagged for leaving the team box to argue an encroachment call and ejected when he re-entered the field to resume the argument. Normally, we don’t want flag someone twice for the same incident, but this case the renewed effort was significant.
    3. An asst coach argued a BSB foul because the experiment ended last year. It wouldn’t hurt to ask at the pregame in the first few weeks if there are any questions regarding the new rules. Coach education will be expanded next year.
    4. A player was ejected for his second USC foul for shoving an opponent after the play. Two earlier shoving incidents involving other players were also recorded as USC fouls. We need to get the PF/USC distinction straight. We are not going out there to look for ways to eject players. It was a POE at the clinic, but please review again. When in doubt, it’s a PF.
    5. The following game report has been edited and shortened. I’ve replaced the names of the teams with H and V. I do not want to expose the officials or the Area because it could happen to other crews but I am praying this was an isolated incident.
      • On the opening kickoff, H kicked off to V. The tackle was made in front of H's sideline at about the 30 yard line. While rotating in a new ball to spot at the hash mark nearest H's sideline, the H crowd got very loud. All of the crew members started looking around and saw the head coach from both teams pulling players off a pile at about midfield. Each coach was only pulling members of his team off the pile. The BJ, both wings, and myself all ran to midfield and by that time the coaches had pulled their respective players apart and were heading toward the sideline. I asked BJ what he saw after the kick. He said he watched the kickers restraining line and everything was clear as both teams were running down field for kick coverage/return. BJ said he turned his attention to his area and was watching for illegal blocks and safety concerns away from the ball. He said after the tackle was made, he grabbed a ball from the ball boys and rotated the ball in to the U to set the ball so it could be marked ready for play. He said as he was making his way to the U, he did not see anything that would indicate there was an altercation taking place between any players. I asked both wing officials what they saw and they said they did not see what happened. Both coaches were upset and wanted fouls to be called against the other's team. As a crew we decided that we could not flag something that none of us saw.


  • 03 Nov 2016 10:34 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)
    1. Please remember a holder must rise before passing or handing the ball. A team perfectly executed a trick play where a holder flipped the ball over his back to a moving teammate. The holder did not rise so the ball was immediately dead by rule (no foul). Unfortunately, the score was allowed. This type of play does not occur very often, but we have to be prepared for surprises.
    2. A foul for a low block was called when the blocker missed making contact. There is no foul for “attempting” to block low. To make matters worse, the coach was told the block was illegal because it was delayed. We want to communicate with coaches, but when they can disprove what we say with video, our credibility is endangered.
    3. In two separate games, the act of kicking was interpreted differently. The RB has overlapping coverage on kicking. In one game, a player who was tackled by the facemask, got up and kicked the opponent. A USC was called, but that is act of fighting (2-11). That player should have been ejected. In another game, a player kicked a ball in an opponent’s possession. That could be interpreted as kicking at an opponent and missing, which is included in the definition of fighting. Kicking (a loose ball) can be interpreted as delay (3-6-2f), a USC (9-5-1e) or an illegal kick (9-7-1).
  • 26 Oct 2016 12:01 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)
    1. Game reports are an official business report and are kept on file. They must be professionally written with no flippant comments. Please do not put anything in the report that you don’t want either school to see. If your report needs follow up, CHSAA will forward the report to the Athletic Director. Jokes about coaches and payoffs are not appropriate.
    2. Other than using our mouth to blow the whistle and to announce and explain penalties, we really don’t need to use the mouth to officiate. This past week we had an official tell a coach to shut his mouth because he was wrong when the coach was right about a down error. In another game, a referee dismissed a coach’s complaint about a missed targeting call (video showed a blatant spear) by telling the coach “This isn’t soccer.”
    3. The distinction between USC and PF is still a problem. A player was ejected for two “USC” fouls: roughing the passer and targeting.


  • 18 Oct 2016 1:12 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)
    1. Please do not allow coaches to talk to you about what they saw or may have seen on video. The response should be “I can look at it after the game.” There will be a policy on this soon.
    2. Some teams run a draw play where the QB puts the ball into the gut of RB and both players hold on to the ball with the RB leading. If the QB lets go of the ball beyond the line, it is illegal forward handing.
    3. Beware of swinging gates or double swinging gates on trys where there is no holder. There must be five linemen numbered 50-79 or the formation is illegal.
    4. Referees should not be shy to ask questions when unusual fouls are reported and they must not be hesitant to pick up flags when warranted. Holding and blocks in the back by the kicking team are highly suspect calls. The video review showed both acts were not worthy of a flag.
    5. A coach was told he could not take a head set to an on-field timeout huddle. The rule only prohibits players from using headsets; coaches can have them.


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