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  • 16 Oct 2018 2:11 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)
    1. A coach who uses the shot gun exclusively wanted to spike the ball without a hand-to-hand snap. A running back was lined up right in front of and beside the QB and the QB just threw the ball at the RB’s feet.  That is a foul for intentional grounding; the pass was purposely thrown incomplete to conserve time (7-5-2e).
    2. A punt was touched by R near the sideline and then recovered by a K player perpendicular to the sideline; his hips were on the sideline and his feet OOB. The L signaled K’s ball then mildly argued with R and U who clearly saw the player was OOB when he touched the ball. Of course, the coach was there and kept repeating that the ball was always inbounds and recovered inbounds. Neither L nor the coach understood that if a loose ball is touched by any player who is touching OOB, the ball is dead OOB (2-29-3). The point is L only watched the ball and didn’t pay any attention to the recovering K player because he didn’t understand the rule.
    3. A crew had to listen to derogatory comments from a team statistician. Please don’t hesitate to eject statisticians. They can do their job from the press box. In a separate game, the statistician was also coaching. If he does that, he has to stay in the team box.
    4. A team took a lot of time after touchdowns to get ready for kickoffs. The crew should time the one-minute intermission after the try. They can then be flagged under 3-6-2e if they aren’t lined up and ready to kick after the one-minute intermission expires. Or you can blow the ready giving them 25 seconds to kick off.
    5. An onside kick struck a K player in the neutral zone. Another K player then blocked an R player before the ball traveled 10 yards. The contact was a spearing foul. The ball was given to R at the FT spot and the penalty enforced from there. That enforcement was incorrect. You cannot enforce a penalty from an FT spot unless the FT spot is also the dead-ball spot (succeeding spot). Under 6-1-7 the right of R to take the ball at the FT spot is canceled if the penalty for any foul during the down is accepted.
    6. The important thing is to get the play right, but getting it right quickly can pay huge dividends by avoiding unnecessary consternation by coaches. Here are some examples which were all ultimately ruled correctly:

      a.       K recovers a kick and advances. The ball is dead when K gains possession. The K player will almost certainly take a few steps before the whistle can be blown, but if you let him run to the EZ, there is a risk of fouls or a fumble; all will invite arguments. This has happened about 50 times over the years with only 1-2 quick whistles. You can do it.

      b.      A muffed kick enters R’s EZ. The ball is dead for a touchback when the ball breaks the plane of the goal line. We’ve had two sets of officials that signaled a TD on that type of play and another crew that decided to dig for the ball to see who recovered. It doesn’t matter who ends up with the ball. In all three cases massive arguments followed. The goal should be to kill the ball within two bounces after it breaks the plane.

      c.       In overtime, the ball is immediately dead when B intercepts. Again, the interceptor will almost certainly take a few steps before the whistle can be blown, but if you let the play progress nothing good can happen. This happened and the interceptor fumbled; A recovered and “scored.” That was quite messy, especially for TV game.

    7. In 6c above, the TV announcer went off on the officials because announcers don’t know the rules. We then had an official attempt to educate the announcer in writing. It went downhill from there. No one likes to be erroneously criticized, but that’s TV land. Instead of getting mad, just laugh.

  • 09 Oct 2018 10:34 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)
    1. A timeout takes effect when it is granted, not when it is requested. A 1-2 sec lag between the start of the official’s signal and the actual stopping is normal and acceptable. Near the end of a half, it is acceptable to reset the clock to the time of granting i.e., eliminate the lag. That is not documented clearly anywhere, but is the accepted practice.

    2. Thus far we have had five coach ejections, none at the varsity level. There have been 58 player ejections with 44 at the varsity level. At this time last year, the numbers were six and 51.

    3. There seems to be an increase in hurdling calls and the mention of a missed hurdling call is virtually non-existent.  It appears the Area Directors have done a good job making this a point of emphasis. It is also possible the number of hurdling attempts is increasing, so I think we should work on coach education to make sure they understand hurdling is a foul and why it is so dangerous. Please emphasize it at the sub varsity level and perhaps mention it in the pre-game with coach. There was mention this past week of a near record hurdle and we are requesting the video. Thankfully, no one was hurt. It is a very dangerous act.
    Click here - Danger of Hurdling Example.wmv

    4. We had a game with an exceptionally windy day and the Referee’s hat wouldn’t stay on. I’m sure it happens more than we hear about. The Referee chose to wear his hat backward. The pic is below and I’ll let you judge for yourself how it looks. It is best to just remove the hat which can be tucked into the belt in the back. A few years ago the wind was so strong all officials kept losing their hats keeping the ball boys very busy. The crew chose to not wear hats for the second half. A clava or hood without a hat is acceptable under very windy conditions.


    5. There appears to be an increase in the number of headbands and bandanas hanging out of backs of helmets. This is potentially dangerous if someone grabs it and uses it to tackle. Please emphasize.

    6. A team huddled with 11 players and lined up with trips. All three players then proceeded to run toward the sideline; two left the field and one remained inside the sideline. That is illegal participation. Although there was no substitution per se, it was a feigned substitution intended to deceive (9-6-4d).

    7. There was a game with an abbreviated pregame discussion with the coach in which the coin toss procedure was not discussed. The team came onto the field in sufficient time to start the game, but the captains stayed in the “pump-up” session instead of lining up for the coin toss. Although the referee realized he didn’t tell the coach what was expected for the coin toss, he assessed a delay penalty to start the game.


  • 02 Oct 2018 2:47 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)
    1. Shoulder Pads and Bicep Pads: Rule 1-5-1d3 requires shoulder pads and hard surface auxiliary attachments to be fully covered by a jersey. Rule 1-5-3b1 prohibits hard and unyielding items (guards, casts, braces, etc.) on the hand, wrist, forearm, elbow, or upper arm unless padded with a closed-cell, slow-recovery foam padding no less than ½" thick. Bicep pads are manufactured and sold separately from shoulder pads and are typically worn underneath the shoulder pad but extend beyond the shoulder pad with a soft exposure. Rule 1-5-1d3 does not require bicep pads to be covered by the jersey because they are neither part of the shoulder pad nor do they have a hard surface exposed. Shoulder pads, especially the hard plastic flap must be covered by the jersey. Jersey sleeves will frequently ride up but can be easily pulled down. Any other hard item on the arm must be padded.
    2. We’ve received some questions about punches being thrown during blocking action or by runners trying to stiff arm tacklers. Despite a literal reading of the Rules Book, a “punch” isn’t necessarily fighting. There are many football acts which would be a punch-like action and meet Webster’s definition of a punch, but they are not fighting. At worst, they are an excessive football act. While the ball is live, it is highly unlikely for fighting to occur, especially by a runner. Now if there is a boxing match 30 yards behind the runner, it’s a different story.
    3. A kicker can false start or be illegally in motion forward if he starts his kicking motion before the ball is snapped.
    4. Substitution reminder: A replaced player has three seconds to begin to leave. Breaking the huddle with 12 per se is not a foul, but if all 12 get into the offensive formation, the 12th player has not departed quickly enough.
    5. We had a game where a player on each team was ejected for throwing punches during a bench clearing scuffle. Unfortunately, one of the players was misidentified. The crew discussion at half time first surfaced the possible error. A video review was inconclusive but left open the possibility of an error. The school interviewed team members and determined the real culprit which was not the ejected player who will be allowed to play the next game while the culprit sits out.
    6. Please proofread- here is an actual quote from a game report this past week: “We had issues with the X coaches having to many in the officials are early in the game.” We also had a “well-plaid” game among other things


  • 28 Sep 2018 2:14 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)
    1. Here are some creative rules inflicted by the uninformed.
      1. In order to take a knee in the victory formation, the QB must take a hand-to-hand snap; the shotgun is not allowed. TRUTH: This is obviously confusion with the rule on spiking the ball.
      2. Under the new rule, roughing the kicker is enforced from the end of the play. TRUTH: The “new rule” only applies to fouls by Team K. RTK is committed by Team R and entitles Team K to a first down. Doing what that crew did would make RTK a PSK foul and R would undeservedly keep the ball.
    2. At a sub varsity game, an irate spectator gave the officials a tongue-lashing on a correct no-call for a horse collar tackle. The defender did grab the runner’s collar but then wrapped him up without the knees buckling. The heckling is pretty standard fare at sub varsity games, but the referee chose to distinguish himself by yelling back “Go learn the rules.” Dealing with fans is addressed in Chapter 24 of the Mechanics Manual.
    3. For onside kicks that don’t go very far and stop obviously short of 10 yards, it is best to blow the whistle promptly if no player attempts to recover the ball. If K touches it, it will be first touching and thus R’s ball. If no one touches it, it will also be R’s ball (6-1-6).
    4. On a punt, the ball hits the ground where it rolls around untouched and no player attempts to gain possession.  As the ball is about to come to rest on the R40, K2 puts his hand on top of the ball and then trots away leaving the ball there. Immediately thereafter, R2 picks up the ball and advances.  The covering official then blows the play dead. The play was over when K touched the static ball (4-2-2f). However, the Referee was convinced by an official that the mere placing of one’s hand on the ball didn’t qualify as downing the ball, so the whistle was declared inadvertent and the down replayed.
    5. An asst coach was on the field while the ball was live and was properly flagged for a USC foul under 9-8-1i. We’ve had several cases where that infraction was improperly considered a sideline warning. The excellent call was marred by the Referee improperly charging the head coach with the foul (only 9-8-1g and h fouls are charged to the head coach). Fortunately, no ejection resulted.
    6. A reminder that tinted visors are illegal even with a doctor’s note. The schools should all know that, but at least one tried it this past weekend. Tinted goggles or glasses under a clear visor are permissible.
    7. This past week seems to have had more than the usual problems with chain crews. Almost all chain crews are volunteers so the reality is the crew will not be available until just before the game. The Linesman needs to be prepared for that. We are entitled to a crew of competent adults who do not cheer or criticize the officials. Do not hesitate to relieve anyone who doesn’t cooperate. If that holds up the game, so be it. You only have to do that once to send a poignant message. The only thing we haven’t had is a flag on the chain crew.
    8. A crew replayed a down with a 47-yard gain because each team committed a USC foul after the play (the ball was thrown at a taunter). That is not a rule at any level.
    9. There seems to be an increase in coaches constantly yapping about holding, etc. It also appears the modus operandi is to tolerate it on the field and complain in the report. A review of the Montel rule seems appropriate.


  • 18 Sep 2018 2:34 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)
    1. A coaching staff was noted swearing most of the game at their own players. Such behavior needs to be addressed by the school and should be included in the game report.
    2. Coaches were constantly telling the wing how calls were being missed, and that they were going to report the whole thing, including how bad the officials were to CHSAA. Any mention by coaches of reporting officials to CHSAA, etc. is an attempt to intimidate the officials and a violation of 9-8-1b. It should be flagged as a USC. If the speaker cannot be identified, the foul should be charged to the head coach. There is no reason for anyone to tolerate such abuse.
    3. Using the mic to briefly explain unusual situations is a proper use of the mic; it just cannot be overdone and become a talk show. EXAMPLE: Kick catching Interference: #82 caught the ball (punt) while it was in flight and a member of the receiving team was positioned to catch the ball.
    4. We are still having problems with continual criticism from coaches. Continual shouts of holding, etc. are a criticism of the officiating and foster disrespect for the officials. We should not tolerate that. Please use the flag and use it early. It will work and if it doesn’t, eject a violator. We have an established procedure for this.
    5. After a TD, we had dead-ball UNS on #3 visitors followed by #12 home; both players using profanity directed at each other. So, on the try we enforced half distance against defense and then 15yds against offense and completed the try. That is INCORRECT. Per 10-2-5b, those penalties cancel (offset).
    6. There seems to be continuing confusion on FK OOB. The result of the play is where the ball went OOB; that is NEVER a good choice. There are three penalty choices (a) 5 yards back and K re-kicks; (b) R ball at their 35; or (c) R ball 5 yds beyond OOB spot.
    7. A player who made unnecessary contact was charged with USC. That is incorrect, USC fouls are non-contact. Contact fouls are personal fouls. The good news is that this is the first report of this type of error. Last year, we add about one per week.
    8. A parent who was allowed on the field to see his injured son chose to verbally abuse the referee, so the referee flagged the team. There are no provisions in the rules to call a foul on a team for the actions of a spectator. Guidance on dealing with fans is in Chapter 24 of the Mechanics Manual.
    9. DPI was called on a pass that was caught. The penalty was enforced from the end of the play and when the referee was questioned, he replied that it was a new rule that allowed a carry over as on a TD.
    10. Please make sure Referee’s report all significant errors such as down errors, IW’s, etc. It is best for us to know about those before the school makes a complaint.
  • 17 Sep 2018 12:57 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)
    1. Play was stopped because there was a rabbit was on the field. Records show the rabbit has never caught a pass or made a tackle.
    2. “Crap” is not a good word to use in game reports.
    3. A game went to overtime and the crew had to debate what yard line to start on. Two voted for the 20, one for the 25 (the NCAA rule) and two got it right. Fortunately, the Referee insisted on using the 10 yard line.
    4. Rule 1-5-3b1 requires arm braces must be covered with a 1/2" of foam.
    5. Please do not let a chain crew slow down the pace of play. If the chain crew is not ready when the officials are, the Linesman should simply drop a bean bag to mark the spot.
    6. Bandanas are legal as long as they are not visible.
  • 06 Sep 2018 2:10 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)
    1. Rule 1-5-1b1 requires a jersey that extends below the waist to be tucked in.  It is implied the same applies to any garment worn under the jersey.  Please just ask the player to tuck it in.  (See Case 3.5.10 Situation I)
    2. A game started at 7:18pm instead of 7:00pm because the coaches decided they needed more time to warm up after the JH game ended at 6:09pm.  Rule 3-6-4 allows starting the game with a 5-yard delay penalty in such situations.  It's just a slap on the wrist, but should deter a repeat performance.
    3. Arm sleeves offer protection against scratches.  Because they are not stated as illegal and are not dangerous or confusing, they are legal.
    4. In a sub-varsity game, a referee did not allow trys during OT and instead of alternating which team goes on defense first, he alternated the end of the field and had teams do offense/defense in the originally chosen order.
    5. Rule 7-2-1 requires all players who participated in the previous play to be between the numbers at some point after the ready.  With a 40-second play clock, the ready is when the ball is spotted.  A team is sending a WR to within a yard of the sideline immediately after a play.  Wing officials must watch for this.
  • 29 Aug 2018 11:18 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    We are underway.  Remember the point of emphasis on uniforms and pants covering the knees.  Don't let it slide and make it harder on the next crew that is enforcing it.  We must all be enforcing it at all levels.  On to the different plays from week 1... 

    1. Play: 4/8, K-13. K punts from an illegal formation and R40 returns it for a touchdown, but R22 is flagged for a blindside block at the 50 (correct call).

    Ruling: R may choose to have the fouls offset or they may decline the IF penalty and get the ball 1/10 @ R-35.

    What happened: R’s coach chose to replay the down, but the umpire walked off five yards against K and the down was replayed from the K-8.

    2. A holding foul was called on the last play of 1Q and accepted. However, the period was not extended. The Referee didn’t think of it. The BJ thought so, but U talked him out of it saying only fouls by the defense extend the period. No one asked the wings nor did they intercede.

    3. The BJ threw his flag for a delay foul, but a timeout had been called. That is understandable, but the referee didn’t think to wave off the flag and explain it to the opposing coach (who apparently figured it out).

    4. A team used #20 as a tackle in a swinging gate formation that was not a legal scrimmage kick formation. That resulted in an illegal formation.

    5. A receiver accidently (meaning voluntarily) crosses the sideline (without contact) and is out of bounds when he is clearly interfered with by B96 and the pass falls to the ground.  When the interference occurs, both players are out of bounds.  LJ throws a flag for DPI. 7-5-7 says “Pass interference restrictions apply only beyond the neutral zone.” Inbounds is implied there because “beyond the neutral zone” does not exist OOB. There are no fouls on the play.

    6. The RFP signal for a kickoff is the standard signal. A few referees have been observed using the NFL “C’mon” signal or creating their own.

    7. It didn’t take long for the first down error. Fortunately the impacted team made a first down on the next play. The crew apparently lost track of the down due to fouls by the offense on successive downs. Each team has a statistician and it is advisable to check with either one or both when there is a question.

  • 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.
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