OCFOA Weekly Bull for the Week ending 11-3

OCFOA Weekly Bull for the Week ending 11-3

Paul Caldera covered this topic in his Week 10 notes, in case you missed it “After speaking to CIF Southern Section Assistant Commissioner, Richard Shearer, players who leave the bench area during an altercation on the field will be ineligible next game.  NO EXCEPTIONS. I asked what if after a kick, the new offensive and new defensive players are coming on the field. His response was, “The players have to know to stay on the sidelines until altercations are over”.  This not in the rule book. It is a CIF directive.”
I spoke to Mr. Shearer as well. He advised that teams should “practice” for this situation. He was emphatic that we are not taking “intent” into consideration regarding players that leave the team box (the area behind the restricted area between the 25 yd lines) during a fight. If players enter the field while a fight is going on, they will be ejected.

Referee’s Authority
I’ve been hearing from some in this association and other associations about utilizing Rule 1-1-6 more. Rule 1-1-6 states “The referee has authority to rule promptly, and in the spirit of good sportsmanship, on any situation not specifically covered in the rules The referee’s decisions are final in all matters pertaining to the game.”
This rule is to be used sparingly and only when dealing with a situation that is not covered by the rule book. The case book uses the example of 2 teams refusing to be the first to come on to the field. The referee can compel one of the teams to be the first on the field.
This rule is not to be used to cause the game to be played under a running clock. While the rule regarding the establishment of the running clock is not specified in the NFHS Rule Book, Rule 3-1-2 states “By state association adoption, a point differential may be established whereby if one team has gained the established point differential, the game shall be terminated A state association may also establish guidelines to use a running clock when the point differential is reached”  CIF has established a state mercy rule which dictates when and how a running clock will be used. Therefore the establishment of a running clock is a stated rule and cannot be circumvented using Rule 1-1-6.
In 2011, the CIF approved the following Mercy Rule:
1. During the 1st three quarters, by mutual agreement of the opposing coaches and the referee, a “running clock” may be used if the point differential between the two teams reaches 35 or more;
2. If at the start of the 4TH QUARTER or at any time during the 4TH QUARTER, the point differential is 35 or more points, a running clock shall be used for the remainder of the contest;
3. Once the “running clock” is in effect during the 4th quarter, it shall remain in effect for the balance of the contest, even if the team that is behind subsequently scores to make the deficit less than 35 points;
4. The “running clock” will be administered as follows:

A. The game clock will start with the snap or legal touch of a free kick on the first play following the establishment of the pertinent point differential, and continue to run uninterrupted when:
· A 1st down is awarded to either team, including following a change of possession;
· The ball or runner is out-of-bounds; · A legal or illegal forward pass is incomplete;
· A play results in a touchback;
· An inadvertent whistle occurs;
· During all penalty enforcements.

B. The game clock shall be stopped for:
· The end of a period;
· A score (including touchdown; try; field goal; safety);
· The free kick following a fair catch or awarded fair catch;
· A charged team time-out;
· A coach-referee conference;
· An official’s time-out (injury; equipment; 1st down measurement; other, as required).

C. Following a stoppage for any reason in B. above, the game clock will start when the ball is next:
· Marked ready-for-play; or
· Legally touched on the free kick following a score, a fair catch or awarded fair catch

Pregame Warm-ups – A team’s enthusiasm should not be spilling over into unsportsmanlike conduct. Teams may not direct their enthusiasm at the opposing team by standing at mid-field shouting, pointing, jumping on the home school’s logo, etc.  That also goes for individuals.  All carry a 15-yard unsportsmanlike penalty which will be enforced on the kickoff.
I am strongly suggesting that crews be on the field 45 minutes prior to the kickoff for all playoff games.

Final Games for the Teams and Players – This is usually a challenging weekend of high school football to officiate.  In many cases the teams are competing for league championships and/or playoff qualification or seeding.  The intensity will be high, the stakes high, and the demands on accuracy high!  Be prepared for this excitement and pressure.  Have a great week of preparation, then go out with your crew and execute.  Same can be said for teams that are wrapping up the season with no hope of going to the playoffs.  Seniors will be playing hard and juniors will be stepping up to prepare for next year.  Keep this all under control.  Have a plan.  Don’t be surprised by the excitement of these final games.

Tempo –Remember to make sure that colors have separated before we go looking for the ball. Once we’ve completed our dead ball responsibilities, we should then hustle to get the ball and chains ready for play. Let’s keep the game moving with accurately timed periods leading up to kickoffs and the completion of time outs.  Referees are no longer waiting for the chains to be set, rather winding quickly as the box arrives.  Get the teams out! Keep the pace moving and the kids will benefit in the quality of their play.  Slowing the tempo will cause many unexpected negative consequences including poorer play and fewer opportunities for the kids.  A brisk, consistent tempo will keep the teams focused and playing their best.

Injured Player and Official’s Time Out – As much as we want to error on the side of safety, we need to be cautious on declaring a player injured and taking an official’s time out for an apparently injured player.  Let’s always give the player a chance to “recover” and continue to participate, especially if the play clock is not affected.  We have the luxury of time to allow the athlete to recover.  Now, if the player ultimately cannot get up and continue, we take the official’s time out when the play clock is affected.  We all know that if the player is seriously injured, we stop the clock immediately, as we do when a player exhibits signs, symptoms, and behaviors consistent with a concussion.  Otherwise, take your time and be patient in stopping the clock.  We don’t want to decide to have a mildly injured player out for an important down.

Blow the Whistle on Cancer! – This is the last week of our drive to raise $4000 to donate to the V Foundation, we are at $2919.00. A donation in any amount is greatly appreciated.
If you’d like to contribute, click on this link http://jimmyv.convio.net/site/TR/DIY/General;jsessionid=00000000.app30122c?pg=team&fr_id=1521&team_id=3280&NONCE_TOKEN=702D1A9DB97B90DA25487D58A655E44E

Mark Andrews
OCFOA Instructional Chairman

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