40 Second Clock – I don’t know about the rest of you but I found the 40 second clock to be a challenge at the non-varsity level. My biggest issue was remembering to start the 40 second clock when the ball became dead and forgetting to hit the reset button.
When should we start the 40 second clock? I watched the Miami vs Florida game on Saturday and noted that typically the play clock started 3-4 seconds after the ball was dead. I think that’s a good standard for us as well.
If you don’t reset the Ready Ref at the snap and it doesn’t wind down during the play to 0, hitting the button to start the 40 does nothing. I found keeping my thumb on the reset button and pushing it as soon as the ball was snapped was the best solution.
With the non-varsity games, I found it very useful to verbalize to the entire team when 10 seconds were left on the play clock. That got them up to the line quick and the playoff
Heads up if you are using an Apple watch to time the 40 and 25 second play clocks. We had a back judge inadvertently calling 911 several times during his game because his down indicator went over the face of the Apple watch. Evidently, contacting the face of the Apple watch for an extended period of time causes it to dial 911.
Field Setup Make sure there are is no dangerous equipment set up near the field. Tesoro had plastic stanchions (parking lot pylons) set up between the 25 and the goal line. This not only impeded the official at the goal line, several players landed awkwardly on the upturned base on a play at the pylon. I know they were trying to help us out, but we need to be aware of potential danger during pregame field inspection.
Optics – Lets focus on not only good calls but also good optics. Good posture on the field, sharp signals, and hustle.
Numbering – We had a frosh coach inform the crew that they didn’t have enough jerseys 50 -79 and that it was a “varsity” rule anyway. I’m sure you know that’s not true. If this happens in one of your weight games, at the very least have the ineligibles turn their jerseys inside out so they are easily identifiable. Be sure to report the issue to me after the game. If there are jerseys numbered 50-79 available on the bench, make them switch jerseys.
No eyes on the ball challenge – I’ve watched a lot of film this week and the biggest reason I’m seeing for missing fouls is too many eyes on the runner. I’m challenging everyone to try “no eyes on the ball”. I tried this last week and I was amazed how much more I saw and I was still able to get good progress spots. BJ, U, R, and far side Flank should almost never have their eyes on the ball carrier. Know your zone responsibilities and mentally enforce them. This should be part of your presnap mental checklist
Targeting – I’m still being told that a foul for targeting wasn’t called because there wasn’t helmet contact. There does not have to be helmet contact for targeting to occur.”Targeting is an act by any player who takes aim and initiates contact against an opponent above the shoulders with the helmet, forearm, hand, fist, elbow or shoulders