Weekly Bull week ending 9-29-19

OCFOA Weekly Bull for the Week ending 9-29

Thank You Coaches – Thank you to those of you who have been sharing game film via HUDL with OCFOA. Without your support and generous sharing of your game video, our association would not be able to benefit from the weekly instructional videos and each crew’s self-analysis.  Sometimes we hate what we see, but it provides us with an opportunity to fix it! Again, thank you for making this happen!
I’ve heard from some coaches that they don’t send film in with comments because they don’t want to be seen as whiners. We value your input. The give and take that goes on when you submit your concerns not only benefits us as officials, I believe it can help you as a coach.
Even if you do not have any concerns with regard to a particular game, PLEASE share your game film with us. We send a video request via HUDL to each and every school (home and visitor) that is playing in OC every week during the season. The crews that worked your game review it and use it to improve their mechanics and judgment.

The Regular Season Begins – Teams are now playing conference opponents and league championships are at stake.  We need to “up our game” in response to this unique part of the schedule.  Teams are more familiar with each other and that can be a good thing or a bad thing.  Be aware of rivalries.

Legal Equipment – The head coach is asked to affirm that all his players are legally equipped prior to each game. This is not a formality; it is a requirement. Once the head coach has affirmed his players are legally equipped, a player using illegal equipment could result in a 15yd unsportsmanlike conduct foul against the head coach.
Of course, we do not want this to happen. Officials, use the pregame to inspect the player’s equipment. If we see illegal equipment during the pregame, have it removed immediately. Coaches, please be sure that the following equipment if not used by your players:

  • Tinted Eyeshields
    Rubber, metal, string bracelets
    Bicep and Calf Bands
    Eye black that is not a single swoop underneath the eyes (no war paint!)
    Headwraps (i.e. bandanas) that extend below the helmet
    Hooded shirts worn under the jersey and the hood is outside the jersey
    Pants that do not cover the knee

This is not a complete list but represents the illegal equipment that we are seeing the most this season.

Homecoming – By rule the home team may be extended to 20 minutes for homecoming or any other major event.  The visiting team must have been notified at least 5 minutes prior to the game.  Teams will also have the mandatory 3 minute warm-up for a total of 23 minutes.

Crowds Outside the Team Box –Some of our feature games are attracting huge crowds which can also mean a lot of extra fans standing on the sideline.  Remember, these fans are not a part of the team and cannot be penalized. Should any or some of them interfere with the game and our officiating, then they can be removed by the home school administration.  The school administration is there for a reason, so don’t bother the head coach. Remember, unsportsmanlike behavior of someone out of the team box is not a foul on that team and cannot be penalized.  Use game administration to correct that problem by removing the person from the sidelines.

Post-game ejections I have received reports of some extremely unsportsmanlike behavior toward the officiating crew by coaches after a game has concluded. In one case the unsporting behavior occurred in front of both teams as they were shaking hands after the game.
Officials, your authority over the game does not end until you have left the field, you can still eject for unsportsmanlike behavior. Coaches, this type of behavior will not be tolerated. If it occurs after the game is concluded and you are ejected, you will not be able to attend the next game. I know you are all passionate about your teams, but that passion cannot extend to unsportsmanlike behavior.


I got some great questions from coaches and officials after last week’s bulletin:

Question: Can the center call out the offensive cadence?
Answer: Yes, I would ask coaches if they are going to have someone other than the QB call the cadence that they alert the crew chief during the pregame meeting.

Question: Can a ball be placed on the ground for a place kick? In other words, not on a tee and not being controlled by a member of the kicking team.
Answer: The definition of a place kick in 2-24-7 only requires the ball to be in a fixed position on the ground or a tee. It also allows the ball to be held in position. However, per 2-24-4, a place kick for a scrimmage kick must be controlled. So, the answer is yes, if it’s a free-kick (kickoff, a kick following a safety, if a free kick is chosen following a fair catch or awarded fair catch). No, if it’s a scrimmage kick.

Question: Kick off, the receiver catches the ball at the 2 yd line and his momentum takes him into the endzone. Is this a touchback?
Answer: No, the receiver may run the ball out of the endzone. If the ball becomes dead in the end zone, the ball will be spotted on the 2 yd line.

Blocks below the waist in the free blocking zone. For a block below the waist to be legal several things must be true:

  • By a blocker (offense or defense) who commits the block below the waist is in the free blocking zone and on his line of scrimmage at the snap;
    The block below the waist must occur in the free blocking zone;
    The block below the waist must be against an opponent in the free blocking zone and on his line of scrimmage at the snap;
    The block below the waist must occur before the ball leaves the free blocking zone.

When an offense is in a pistol or shotgun formation, the ball leaves the free blocking zone in less than a half-second. That means that in a half-second, the free blocking zone disintegrates. Therefore, the CIF Rules Interpreter has set the following additional criteria for a legal block below the waist when the offense is in shotgun or pistol

  • The blocker must be in a 3 or 4 point stance
    The blocker and the player being blocked must be aligned (their shoulders line up)
    The block must be initiated immediately, concurrent with the snap, there can be no delay.

This last requirement makes a legal block below the waist when the offense is in pistol or shotgun very difficult to achieve. I’ve seen dozens of examples on film and have yet to see a block that was initiated concurrently with the snap.

OCFOA Plays of the Week – I just published Episode 5 of the OCFOA Plays of the Week. All 2019 OCFOA Plays of the Week can be found on YouTube here https://www.youtube.com/c/MarkAndrewsOCFOA

Mark Andrews
OCFOA Instructional Chairman

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