Category Archives: Weekly Bull

OCFOA Weekly Bull for the Week ending 11-3-19

OCFOA Weekly Bull for the Week ending 11-3

OCFOA Weekly Bull for the Week ending 11-3

Ejections
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

OCFOA Weekly Bull for the Week ending 10-27-19

OCFOA Weekly Bulletin for the Week ending 10-27

Band do’s and don’t’s- The following is an excerpt from a memo issued by CIF is 2016 regarding school bands playing during a game:
A band can play during a contest, but only during breaks in the action.  For example, between plays, during timeouts, between quarters, half-time, and so on.  If a band is playing during the game, it is considered unsportsmanlike conduct by the team whose band is playing.  The playing of music during the game can be a distraction to the competing teams, and the officials, and can result in placing teams at an advantage or disadvantage as a result.

If the playing of music during game action continues, then the officials have the authority to penalize the offending team 15 yards for unsportsmanlike conduct, each and every time it happens. 
Administrators, please help us by informing your band director of this policy. The full memo was included with the CIF 11 man and 8 man football preview this year.   It can be found on page 23. https://cifss.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/2019FootballPreview3-2.pdf

Too Many Fouls – There’s no such thing. Do I want you to throw a flag for every violation? Of course not. Holding requires a material restriction that has a material impact on the play. We attempt to clean up a sloppy formation before we flag it. Even those criteria can be broadened in a blowout game.

On the flip side, certain games require the use of our flag to manage them. Teams will often test our limits to see what they can get away with. If we don’t penalize, many times, the offenders will escalate their illegal behavior. This relates to holding, unsporting acts, and dead-ball contact.

We can try to “talk them out of it”, but once we’ve talked, we need to penalize. With some schools and some rivalries, talking is useless. Recognize the type of game you are officiating and modify your philosophy accordingly. An early flag can stop a lot of bad behavior later in the game. We are in the heat of league play and playoff ceding. Now is not the time to keep your flag in your pocket.

CIF Meddling – I’ve addressed this before, but the perception persists that CIF forces our officials to rescind ejections. I’ve been told more than once in the past couple of weeks that an ejection was not imposed because “CIF would just make us rescind it”. It is simply not true.

When a player is ejected, schools will often ask that we review the ejection. The school sends the film in, we (OCFOA) show it to the calling official and ask if they stand by their ejection. If they do, that’s the end of it. If they are unsure after reviewing the film, then they can rescind the ejection.

The bottom line is CIF does not get involved in the decision regarding rescinding ejections.

Intentional Grounding – With the referee committed to protecting the QB and ruling on roughing, it is virtually impossible for the referee to see all of the essential elements of an intentional grounding call.  I remind you that it is our mechanics that the flanks, umpire, or even BJ help by either 1) point at an eligible receiver if the receiver was in the area of the incomplete pass, or 2) run to the referee to report that there was no eligible receiver in the area of the incomplete pass.  The referee will accept this information and blend it with his own view of the play, and the QB, and judge whether we have intentional grounding or not.  Only the referee makes this call!

Reporting Fouls – How are we doing in this area?  Referees rely on the crew to be calm, collected and complete when reporting foul information.  Many of the “huddles” we see are caused by incomplete or scrambled information being provided to the referee.  Clay Reynard PAC 12 FJ has a little trick that helps him calm down prior to starting to report the foul info.  Clay will always swing by his flag to buy a little time to calm his heart rate and to collect his thoughts before speaking.  Maybe alter the speed of your approach to buy a little time, or pause a moment when you get to the referee before beginning to speak.  Don Carey refers to a “cleansing breath” just prior to speaking.  Let your heart rate decline just a bit and collect your thoughts…then start.
Full information will include (check with your referee on the preferred order, or develop your own…but be consistent and thorough:
(a) Status of the ball (During the run, pass, kick, run back, live ball/dead ball,etc.)
(b) Foul (Holding)
(c) Team (Offense, Defense, kicking team, return team, etc.)
(d) Number (Number 78)
(e) Spot of foul (At my flag, at the line of scrimmage, etc.)
(f) Result of the play (Complete/incomplete pass, interception, etc.)
(g) Status of the clock (inbounds/out-of-bounds, etc.)

Newer officials, write or print this sequence out and read it before each game until it is part of your routine. Proper foul reporting is critical to proper penalty enforcement.
Rules
Play: A32 is approaching the opponent’s goal line when he is tackled and fumbles the ball at the B6. The ball goes into the B end zone where B81 bats the ball out of the end zone.
B81’s batting of the ball is illegal (illegal batting). Where do we enforce the penalty?

Answer: Even though we have a fumble, this is not a loose ball play. It is a running play and the enforcement spot is the end of the run. Rule 10-3-3 states: The end of the run is:

  1. a.Where the ball becomes dead in the runner’s possession.
    b. Where the runner loses possession if his run is followed by a loose ball.
    c. The spot of the catch or recovery when the momentum rule is in effect.

So “b.” applies here, the enforcement spot is where A32 lost possession, so the foul would be administered from the B6, half the distance to the goal. A 1st and goal from the B3.

Reminder of a rule change from 2018: Penalties for fouls by Team K (other than kick catch interference) on any free or scrimmage kick may be enforced at the previous spot with the down repeated, or; at the succeeding spot when Team K will not be next to
put the ball in play (10-4-2a).
Play: A 4th and 8 from the A35. Prior to the kick A73 pulls B75 to the ground. B81 possesses the kick at the B30 and advances to the B40. The 10yd penalty for holding can be enforced from the previous spot (the A35) where it will be A 4th and 18 or it can be enforced from the succeeding spot (the B40) where it will be B’s ball 1st and 10 from the B50.

Blow the Whistle on Cancer! – OCFOA is more than halfway toward our goal of raising $4000 to donate to the V Foundation. As of this writing, OCFOA officials have donated $2309 to the V Foundation.
The V Foundation is a charitable organization dedicated to saving lives by helping to find a cure for cancer. It was started by legendary basketball coach Jim Valvano and to date, the V Foundation has awarded over $225 million in cancer research grants. 100% of direct donations benefit cancer research and programs. Not one single cent of any donation goes to operating expenses. 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

Coaches and Athletic Directors, if you would like to help us reach our goal we would be very interested in partnering with your ASB to raise funds at the game. An announcement before the game and at halftime regarding what we are attempting to do would be great but not mandatory. The announcement could be as simple as telling your audience what OCFOA is doing and if they want to donate in any amount they can Google “Blow the Whistle on Cancer” and follow the link to the V Foundation website. Feel free to contact me directly at mandews92626@gmail.com if you would like to assist or have any questions or concerns. We will be encouraging donations throughout the month of October.

Mark Andrews
OCFOA Instructional Chairman

​OCFOA Weekly Bull for the Week ending 10-27

OCFOA Weekly Bulletin for the Week ending 10-27

Band do’s and don’t’s- The following is an excerpt from a memo issued by CIF is 2016 regarding school bands playing during a game:
A band can play during a contest, but only during breaks in the action.  For example, between plays, during timeouts, between quarters, half-time, and so on.  If a band is playing during the game, it is considered unsportsmanlike conduct by the team whose band is playing.  The playing of music during the game can be a distraction to the competing teams, and the officials, and can result in placing teams at an advantage or disadvantage as a result.
If the playing of music during game action continues, then the officials have the authority to penalize the offending team 15 yards for unsportsmanlike conduct, each and every time it happens. 
Administrators, please help us by informing your band director of this policy. The full memo was included with the CIF 11 man and 8 man football preview this year.   It can be found on page 23. https://cifss.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/2019FootballPreview3-2.pdf

Too Many Fouls – There’s no such thing. Do I want you to throw a flag for every violation? Of course not. Holding requires a material restriction that has a material impact on the play. We attempt to clean up a sloppy formation before we flag it. Even those criteria can be broadened in a blowout game.
On the flip side, certain games require the use of our flag to manage them. Teams will often test our limits to see what they can get away with. If we don’t penalize, many times, the offenders will escalate their illegal behavior. This relates to holding, unsporting acts, and dead-ball contact.
We can try to “talk them out of it”, but once we’ve talked, we need to penalize. With some schools and some rivalries, talking is useless. Recognize the type of game you are officiating and modify your philosophy accordingly. An early flag can stop a lot of bad behavior later in the game. We are in the heat of league play and playoff ceding. Now is not the time to keep your flag in your pocket.

CIF Meddling – I’ve addressed this before, but the perception persists that CIF forces our officials to rescind ejections. I’ve been told more than once in the past couple of weeks that an ejection was not imposed because “CIF would just make us rescind it”. It is simply not true.
When a player is ejected, schools will often ask that we review the ejection. The school sends the film in, we (OCFOA) show it to the calling official and ask if they stand by their ejection. If they do, that’s the end of it. If they are unsure after reviewing the film, then they can rescind the ejection.
The bottom line is CIF does not get involved in the decision regarding rescinding ejections.

Intentional Grounding – With the referee committed to protecting the QB and ruling on roughing, it is virtually impossible for the referee to see all of the essential elements of an intentional grounding call.  I remind you that it is our mechanics that the flanks, umpire, or even BJ help by either 1) point at an eligible receiver if the receiver was in the area of the incomplete pass, or 2) run to the referee to report that there was no eligible receiver in the area of the incomplete pass.  The referee will accept this information and blend it with his own view of the play, and the QB, and judge whether we have intentional grounding or not.  Only the referee makes this call!

Reporting Fouls – How are we doing in this area?  Referees rely on the crew to be calm, collected and complete when reporting foul information.  Many of the “huddles” we see are caused by incomplete or scrambled information being provided to the referee.  Clay Reynard PAC 12 FJ has a little trick that helps him calm down prior to starting to report the foul info.  Clay will always swing by his flag to buy a little time to calm his heart rate and to collect his thoughts before speaking.  Maybe alter the speed of your approach to buy a little time, or pause a moment when you get to the referee before beginning to speak.  Don Carey refers to a “cleansing breath” just prior to speaking.  Let your heart rate decline just a bit and collect your thoughts…then start.
Full information will include (check with your referee on the preferred order, or develop your own…but be consistent and thorough:
(a) Status of the ball (During the run, pass, kick, run back, live ball/dead ball,etc.)
(b) Foul (Holding)
(c) Team (Offense, Defense, kicking team, return team, etc.)
(d) Number (Number 78)
(e) Spot of foul (At my flag, at the line of scrimmage, etc.)
(f) Result of the play (Complete/incomplete pass, interception, etc.)
(g) Status of the clock (inbounds/out-of-bounds, etc.)

Newer officials, write or print this sequence out and read it before each game until it is part of your routine. Proper foul reporting is critical to proper penalty enforcement.
Rules
Play: A32 is approaching the opponent’s goal line when he is tackled and fumbles the ball at the B6. The ball goes into the B end zone where B81 bats the ball out of the end zone.
B81’s batting of the ball is illegal (illegal batting). Where do we enforce the penalty?

Answer: Even though we have a fumble, this is not a loose ball play. It is a running play and the enforcement spot is the end of the run. Rule 10-3-3 states: The end of the run is:

  1. a.Where the ball becomes dead in the runner’s possession.
    b. Where the runner loses possession if his run is followed by a loose ball.
    c. The spot of the catch or recovery when the momentum rule is in effect.

So “b.” applies here, the enforcement spot is where A32 lost possession, so the foul would be administered from the B6, half the distance to the goal. A 1st and goal from the B3.

Reminder of a rule change from 2018: Penalties for fouls by Team K (other than kick catch interference) on any free or scrimmage kick may be enforced at the previous spot with the down repeated, or; at the succeeding spot when Team K will not be next to
put the ball in play (10-4-2a).
Play: A 4th and 8 from the A35. Prior to the kick A73 pulls B75 to the ground. B81 possesses the kick at the B30 and advances to the B40. The 10yd penalty for holding can be enforced from the previous spot (the A35) where it will be A 4th and 18 or it can be enforced from the succeeding spot (the B40) where it will be B’s ball 1st and 10 from the B50.

Blow the Whistle on Cancer! – OCFOA is more than halfway toward our goal of raising $4000 to donate to the V Foundation. As of this writing, OCFOA officials have donated $2309 to the V Foundation.
The V Foundation is a charitable organization dedicated to saving lives by helping to find a cure for cancer. It was started by legendary basketball coach Jim Valvano and to date, the V Foundation has awarded over $225 million in cancer research grants. 100% of direct donations benefit cancer research and programs. Not one single cent of any donation goes to operating expenses. 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

Coaches and Athletic Directors, if you would like to help us reach our goal we would be very interested in partnering with your ASB to raise funds at the game. An announcement before the game and at halftime regarding what we are attempting to do would be great but not mandatory. The announcement could be as simple as telling your audience what OCFOA is doing and if they want to donate in any amount they can Google “Blow the Whistle on Cancer” and follow the link to the V Foundation website. Feel free to contact me directly at mandews92626@gmail.com if you would like to assist or have any questions or concerns. We will be encouraging donations throughout the month of October.

Mark Andrews
OCFOA Instructional Chairman

OCFOA Weekly Bull for the Week ending 10-20-19

OCFOA Weekly Bulletin for the Week ending 10-20

Blow the Whistle on Cancer! – OCFOA is donating $500 to the V Foundation this week and we are asking our officials to consider donating their game checks to the V Foundation this week. We have a goal of raising $4000 to donate to the V Foundation.
The V Foundation is a charitable organization dedicated to saving lives by helping to find a cure for cancer. It was started by legendary basketball coach Jim Valvano and to date, the V Foundation has awarded over $225 million in cancer research grants. 100% of direct donations benefit cancer research and programs. Not one single cent of any donation goes to operating expenses.
Coaches and Athletic Directors, if you would like to help us reach our goal we would be very interested in partnering with your ASB to raise funds at the game. An announcement before the game and at halftime regarding what we are attempting to do would be great but not mandatory. The announcement could be as simple as telling your audience what OCFOA is doing and if they want to donate in any amount they can Google “Blow the Whistle on Cancer” and follow the link to the V Foundation website. Feel free to contact me directly at mandews92626@gmail.com if you would like to assist or have any questions or concerns. We will be encouraging donations throughout the month of October.

Ejections – Officials, if you eject a player or coach at any level, you MUST file a CIF ejection report within 24 hours. The ejection report is hosted on the CIF website. There is a link and instructions for logging in to the CIF ejection report on the OCFOA website. Be sure to call Speed Castillo after you have submitted the report. I strongly recommend saving a copy of the ejection report for your records.
Please also fill out an incident report on the OCFOA website so we have an idea of what happened should we be contacted by the schools.

Catch/Muff/Fumble and First Touching –Good time for all BJs and LJs to review catch/muff/fumble and first touching.  Catch – we’re slow to rule so as not to blow an inadvertent, kick has ended.  Muff – the ball is live, the kick has not ended, and either team can recover (kickers may not advance).  Fumble – kick has ended, either team may recover and advance.  First touching – kick has not ended, R can advance after 1st touching, bean bag indicates the spot of first touching (unless K has blocked or pushed R into the ball).  R has the right to take the ball at the spot of first touching unless R has fouled after first touching or a penalty is accepted for any foul committed during the down.

Hurdling – The rule book defines hurdling as “Hurdling is an attempt by a player to jump (hurdle) with one or both feet or knees foremost over an opponent who is contacting the ground with no part of his body except one or both feet.”
Officials are still struggling with this foul. There are instances where the runner starts the hurdle before the player is in front of him and officials have used that to avoid the flag. Many times the defender is going low to make the tackle and a part of his body (hand or knee) contacts the ground during the hurdling. None of these are reasons to pass on the foul.
The rule is intended to protect the offensive player, not the defensive player. While the defensive player could potentially be injured, the offensive player is a risk of an uncontrolled fall if he is contacted at the apex of the hurdle.
The NFHS recently considered legalizing hurdling and in fact, were ready to do so until they heard testimony from a leading neuroscientist who described the type of trauma that can result from an uncontrolled fall. These uncontrolled falls and resulting contact with the ground can lead to a catastrophic injury. The NFHS reversed course and affirmed their position that hurdling is illegal.
We officials want to discourage players from hurdling. I know it’s an ooh-aah moment for the spectators and it’s a display of athleticism, but it’s also a potential horrific injury.

Film – Thank you to all the schools that have been sending in your film each week. The crews review their games and use what they see to improve. If you have sideline and endzone views of your games, please send both. Fouls like holding, pass interference and blocks below the waist are much clearer oftentimes from the endzone view. Please encourage your film crews to use the highest resolution that their cameras support.
If you have any concerns or questions on particular plays, please don’t hesitate to include them with your film or email me directly at mandrews92626@gmail.com. I need to know the play #, what the concern is and an email address to respond to.

OCFOA Plays of the Week – I just released Episode 6 of the OCFOA Plays of the Week, watch it here https://youtu.be/3pzY2cKrR4w

Mark Andrews
OCFOA Instructional Chairman

Weekly Bull – Week ending 10/20

OCFOA Weekly Bulletin for the Week ending 10-20

Blow the Whistle on Cancer! – OCFOA is donating $500 to the V Foundation this week and we are asking our officials to consider donating their game checks to the V Foundation this week. We have a goal of raising $4000 to donate to the V Foundation.
The V Foundation is a charitable organization dedicated to saving lives by helping to find a cure for cancer. It was started by legendary basketball coach Jim Valvano and to date, the V Foundation has awarded over $225 million in cancer research grants. 100% of direct donations benefit cancer research and programs. Not one single cent of any donation goes to operating expenses.
Coaches and Athletic Directors, if you would like to help us reach our goal we would be very interested in partnering with your ASB to raise funds at the game. An announcement before the game and at halftime regarding what we are attempting to do would be great but not mandatory. The announcement could be as simple as telling your audience what OCFOA is doing and if they want to donate in any amount they can Google “Blow the Whistle on Cancer” and follow the link to the V Foundation website. Feel free to contact me directly at mandews92626@gmail.com if you would like to assist or have any questions or concerns. We will be encouraging donations throughout the month of October.

Ejections – Officials, if you eject a player or coach at any level, you MUST file a CIF ejection report within 24 hours. The ejection report is hosted on the CIF website. There is a link and instructions for logging in to the CIF ejection report on the OCFOA website. Be sure to call Speed Castillo after you have submitted the report. I strongly recommend saving a copy of the ejection report for your records.
Please also fill out an incident report on the OCFOA website so we have an idea of what happened should we be contacted by the schools.

Catch/Muff/Fumble and First Touching –Good time for all BJs and LJs to review catch/muff/fumble and first touching.  Catch – we’re slow to rule so as not to blow an inadvertent, kick has ended.  Muff – the ball is live, the kick has not ended, and either team can recover (kickers may not advance).  Fumble – kick has ended, either team may recover and advance.  First touching – kick has not ended, R can advance after 1st touching, bean bag indicates the spot of first touching (unless K has blocked or pushed R into the ball).  R has the right to take the ball at the spot of first touching unless R has fouled after first touching or a penalty is accepted for any foul committed during the down.

Hurdling – The rule book defines hurdling as “Hurdling is an attempt by a player to jump (hurdle) with one or both feet or knees foremost over an opponent who is contacting the ground with no part of his body except one or both feet.”
Officials are still struggling with this foul. There are instances where the runner starts the hurdle before the player is in front of him and officials have used that to avoid the flag. Many times the defender is going low to make the tackle and a part of his body (hand or knee) contacts the ground during the hurdling. None of these are reasons to pass on the foul.
The rule is intended to protect the offensive player, not the defensive player. While the defensive player could potentially be injured, the offensive player is a risk of an uncontrolled fall if he is contacted at the apex of the hurdle.
The NFHS recently considered legalizing hurdling and in fact, were ready to do so until they heard testimony from a leading neuroscientist who described the type of trauma that can result from an uncontrolled fall. These uncontrolled falls and resulting contact with the ground can lead to a catastrophic injury. The NFHS reversed course and affirmed their position that hurdling is illegal.
We officials want to discourage players from hurdling. I know it’s an ooh-aah moment for the spectators and it’s a display of athleticism, but it’s also a potential horrific injury.

Film – Thank you to all the schools that have been sending in your film each week. The crews review their games and use what they see to improve. If you have sideline and endzone views of your games, please send both. Fouls like holding, pass interference and blocks below the waist are much clearer oftentimes from the endzone view. Please encourage your film crews to use the highest resolution that their cameras support.
If you have any concerns or questions on particular plays, please don’t hesitate to include them with your film or email me directly at mandrews92626@gmail.com. I need to know the play #, what the concern is and an email address to respond to.

OCFOA Plays of the Week – I just released Episode 6 of the OCFOA Plays of the Week, watch it here https://youtu.be/3pzY2cKrR4w

Mark Andrews
OCFOA Instructional Chairman

OCFOA Weekly Bull for the Week ending 10-6-19

Legal Equipment – I covered illegal equipment last week but neglected something we are seeing a lot. Shirts worn under the jersey must comply with the same restrictions as the jersey. The following is from the NFHS Case Book which carries the same weight as the Rule Book:

Team A’s players are wearing jerseys:
(a) just covering the shoulder pads, and their midriffs are exposed; or
(b) that extend below the top of their pants, but some players have them tucked in, while others have them outside their pants; or
(c) that are waist length, but have tucked them up under the bottom of their shoulder pads; or
(d) with an undershirt that extends below the top of the waistline of the pants and is not tucked in.
RULING: The jerseys in (a) and (c) are not legal. An official’s time-out is declared, and the player must be replaced for at least one down unless the halftime intermission or an overtime intermission occurs. This incident should be reported to the proper administrative authorities at the visiting team’s school and the state association office. In (b) and (d), the jerseys (and undershirts) of all players will have to be tucked inside the pants upon discovery and tucking the jerseys may not delay the ready-for-play signal. If repair cannot be made without delaying the ready-for-play signal, an official’s time-out is declared, and the player must be replaced for at least one down unless the halftime intermission or an overtime intermission occurs. COMMENT: Any time the play clock is interrupted for improperly worn or missing equipment by a player, the player is to be removed from the contest for at least one play. [1-5- 1b(1), 1-5-5, 1-5-6, 3-5-2b, 3-5-10e] 3.5.10

I also made a mistake in last week’s summary of illegal equipment. Hoodies worn under the jersey are not covered by the rule book and are therefore legal. If a player is taken down by the hood, even if it’s backward or to the side, IT IS NOT A FOUL. I’ve verified this with the CIF Rules Interpreter.

The restricted area – I know some coaches think that we are being nitpicky when it comes to enforcing the restricted area. As a head linesman, I can tell you that trying to monitor whether coaches (it’s always coaches, very rarely players) are in the restricted area or not, distracts me from my game duties and gets me out of my officiating rhythm. Try to work with the coaches but if they are not abiding by the rule then throw your flag, the first one is just a warning. Rule 9-8-3 states “A nonplayer shall not be outside his team box unless to become a player or to return as a replaced player. A maximum of three coaches may be in the restricted area. No player, nonplayer or coach shall be in the restricted area when the ball is live.”
That restriction does not just apply to the restricted area that is upfield of the ball. It is the entire restricted area from the 25 to the 25. If there is a turnover, downfield suddenly becomes upfield. Another time that violations of the restricted area become a real issue is when we have a long run or an interception and the players and coaches become excited and start following the play downfield, blocking the view of the flank official.
Coaches, PLEASE help us out here. We don’t want to penalize you for where you are standing, but we have to have this area clear before the snap and we cannot abide players and coaches in the restricted area on a long play. The best practice I have seen is to have the players lined up 3-4yds off the sideline allowing the coaches their own area.

Use of game film to determine down or previous spot – By rule, officials are not allowed to review game film on the sidelines regarding penalties, non-calls or judgment. However, if a situation arises where a previous spot needs to be determined (i.e. the chains and down box have moved and we suddenly realize there was a flag on the field) or if the number of the current down is uncertain, it is acceptable to use sideline devices (tablets, iPads, etc.) to make that type of determination. In the absence of that type of technology, spotter’s reports can be used but the spotters from both teams should be consulted and they should agree for the officiating crew to use their information to make a determination.

The Use of the Whistle – It is our local, state and national mechanic to not blow our whistles unless we see the ball in possession, and progress stopped or the player down by rule.  We do not want inadvertent whistles! But if you do have one…

Inadvertent Whistles –
1.      If during legal forward pass, snap is in flight, or during a legal kick – replay the down.
2.      If the ball is in player possession, that team has the choice of possession at the dead ball spot or replay the down.
3.      Same two options for the team last in possession if following a backward pass, fumble or illegal forward pass or illegal kick.
4.      Accepted penalties take precedence over an IW

Crew Stuff:

Pre-Snap Preparation
What is your pre-snap routine? It’s different for each position…have you developed your own? Have you borrowed one from someone else?
Pre-Snap begins with the previous dead ball period. Be a great dead ball official!
Don’t be in a hurry to chase the ball. Make sure you’ve completed your dead ball officiating.
Know your ball mechanics for returning the ball or obtaining a new ball when you’re ready.
Know the status of the clock. The crew must check the clock during each dead ball period and know how to correct any timing errors…especially at the end of half and game!
Observe substitutions
Know & think (down &distance)
Move to proper position for snap (based upon formation?)
Count offense or defense (Once? Twice?)
Recognize formations and strengths of formations
Identify your key(s) – number(s) – location in formation
Know team tendencies
Identify where the best players are in the formation
Look for mismatches
You are ready for the snap!!

Communication Within the Crew – We must be loud and vocal in our communication.  Each individual on the crew can do enormous good for the crew as a whole by participating vocally on every play…down, distance, my goal line, your goal line, the status of the ball relative to the 5-yard mark on the chains, double stakes, wind, no wind, the clock is hot, when to hack relative to the final 25 seconds of the half or game, …the list goes on and on.  Keep yourself and the crew alert on each and every play by communicating loudly and consistently.

Coaches, PLEASE help us out here. We don’t want to penalize you for where you are standing, but we must have this area clear before the snap and we cannot abide players and coaches in the restricted area on a long play.

Rules:

Kick Catch Interference – While K14’s punt is in flight beyond the neutral zone, R23 gives a valid fair catch signal or does not give a signal.  The ball strikes R23’s shoulder pad and bounces high into the air.  While the loose ball is still airborne, K87 pushes R23 in the chest and K87 catches it at that spot.  Ruling: In both cases, the ball is dead when K87 catches it as K may not advance.  There is no foul for kick-catching interference since R23’s protection ended when the kick was touched.  K’s ball 1st and 10 at the spot where K87 caught the muffed kick.

Expanded Neutral Zone – Can it be expanded up to 2 yards into the end zone?  Answer: NO, the neutral zone may be expanded up to a maximum of 2 yards behind the defensive line of scrimmage, in the field of play.  No ineligibles running around in the endzone, please!

Apologies – Randomly, someone mentioned in a text message that they just left me a voicemail. I dialed my voicemail and was floored to hear I had 30 unheard messages. Somehow back in early August, my voicemail notifications were switched off and I didn’t realize it. If you called me and left a voicemail and I did not get back to you, I apologize. The issue has been fixed.

OCFOA Plays of the Week – All 2019 OCFOA Plays of the Week can be found on YouTube here https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL11LmkFIXr3yCivyq-LXs19kEMGrfhodp
Mark Andrews
OCFOA Instructional Chairman

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.

Rules

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

OCFOA Weekly Bull week ending 9-22

OCFOA Weekly Bull for the Week ending 9-22

Racial Slurs – It weighs on me greatly that I must write about this. If you’ve watched the news in the past days, then you’ve heard about the reported racial slurs being aimed at high school cheerleaders and majorettes.
Coincidentally, I received a phone call from the aunt of a player who is a freshman playing on the varsity team. She tells me that her nephew was called the N word several times by the opposing team. None of the game officials heard the slurs and when the team complained about it, the opposing coach was warned that any player using that language would be ejected.
I want to reinforce that philosophy. Racial slurs in general and the N word in particular, will not be tolerated. If you hear the N word directed at an opponent and you know who said it, that player should be flagged and ejected. If you hear it and you don’t know who said it, inform the head coach and make sure he understands the ramifications. If you hear N word used between teammates, it’s most likely not being used in a derogatory manner but warn them not to continue using that word while they are on the field.

Keeping the Restricted Area Clear – We seem to be doing a reasonably good job with this thankless task.  Our focus is on the field, but for safety reasons, the restricted area needs to be clear at the start of the play.  So far so good!  One thing to keep in mind is that it is the same for both sides.  We are on the same crew, so do your crewmates a favor and do the same work for both teams.

Chain Crew & Timer – It is a bonus to officials and teams to have a mobile, well-trained chain crew, especially if the tempo of the game is fast.  It is important that schools have their clock operator and chain crews available for when the officials arrive on the field 30 minutes prior to kickoff.  Having a chain crew no matter how experienced, arrive at the coin flip is unacceptable. Tracking down a chain crew detracts from the official’s and coach’s pregame preparation.

Injury Time Out – Team personnel will be allowed to attend to any injured players and team support staff will be allowed to bring out water to the team.  Coaches must either be attending to the injured player or at the sideline (outside numbers) to address team or provide substitutes.  No coaches will be allowed to confer with the team inside the numbers.

Penalty Enforcement – Everyone has something to do.  Get penalty information, communicate penalty information, cover flag, cover ball, get a new ball, communicate with the coach, hold re-enforcement spot, march off the penalty yardage, set the box and/or chains, confirm proper enforcement information, signal the foul, communicate the status of the clock.  All of this takes 5 officials.  Most likely you won’t have time to record your foul information, so remember the info and enter it during the next dead ball period.

Cross-Field Mechanics – Because we’re rounding into mid-season form, our cross-field mechanics should now be quite sophisticated and accurate.  Take pride in this important mechanic!

Rules

Player out of bounds. If a player is pushed out of bounds and returns immediately, he remains an eligible receiver. This includes a player who is out of bounds when he leaps to make a catch and then lands inbounds. That is a completed reception. The player does not have to “establish” himself inbounds before making the catch

Illegal Substitute – Illegal Substitution Fouls can be tricky to enforce.

Some illegal substitution fouls that begin before the snap are considered to occur simultaneous with the snap and are therefore enforced from the previous spot. These include:

  • If a replaced player or substitute attempts to leave the field but does not get off prior to the snap, the foul is considered as having occurred simultaneously with the snap and the penalty is enforced from the previous spot. (3-7-4, 10-4-2a)
    If a replaced player or substitute goes off the field on the wrong side of the field during the down, it is an illegal substitution (live-ball foul). (10-4-2a)
    If an entering substitute is not on his team’s side of the neutral zone at the snap, illegal substitution is considered to have occurred simultaneously with the snap. If he then participates, it becomes a live-ball foul, illegal participation. (3-7-5, 9-6-4a)

Other Illegal Substitution Fouls are considered dead ball fouls:

  • If a replaced player does not leave the field within three-seconds, it is a dead-ball, illegal-substitution foul. (3-7-1)
    When a replaced player or substitute leaves on the wrong side of the field or goes across the end line prior to the snap, it is a dead-ball foul for illegal substitution. (3-7-2, 10-4-5b)

Finally, some illegal substitution fouls are enforced from the succeeding spot. They include:

  • Nonplayer enters during down
    Substitute enters during the down (does not participate)
    Player re-enters during down after being on the field of play for previous down and then leaving the field.
    A player who should be on the field of play enters during the down (11th or fewer player)

Unsportsmanlike Conduct (UNS)/Coaches Ejections
By rule, the trainer, statistician, water boy, ball boy, and any other team personnel can be disqualified for unsportsmanlike conduct. Most unsportsmanlike fouls are charged to the offending player or non-player not to the head coach (unless he is the offender).

There are certain fouls that are the responsibility of the head coach, for which he gets charged a UNS

  • Failure of the head coach, following verification, to have his player(s) wear or use legal and/or required equipment (9-8-1h)
    Sideline Warning (after the 2nd offense) (9-8-3)

The next 2 are considered unsporting acts but should not occur with proper game administration by the officiating crew

  • The failure of a team to be ready to start either half (9-8-1g)
    The failure of a team to be on the field for the mandatory 3-minute warm-up period prior to the second half (9-8-1g)

Also, there is a disqualification charged to the head coach for:
Contact with a game official by a nonplayer (2nd offense) this is charged as a personal foulnot as a UNS. Do not combine a personal foul for contact with a game official with a UNS for an ejection.

Correction to rules commentary from last week
Last week we were discussing “Fouls committed in the end zone” and this play was included:
K24 punts from his own endzone when teammate K-12 holds in the endzone.  Receiver R30 returns the kick for a TD.  Ruling: The resulting dead-ball spot is a TD, so R can decline the penalty (which would have resulted in a safety) and take the result of the play which is a TD.  The holding penalty cannot be “tacked on” as it occurred before the change of possession

One of our eagle-eyed members asked “Why wouldn’t Rule 10-4-2 EXCEPTION (a new rule in 2018) apply so that R could keep their TD and have the Penalty enforced from the Succeeding Spot (3yd line)”

I looked at the exception and couldn’t find a reason that it wouldn’t apply here. Both Steve Coover and George Demetriou agreed. The penalty for the holding foul does not have to be declined for the touchdown to stand. The 10-4-2 Exception allows the penalty to be enforced on the try only, not on the succeeding kick-off.

Here’s what the exception says “The basic spot may, at the option of the offended team, be the succeeding spot for fouls by K during a free or scrimmage kick down (other than kick-catching interference) prior to the end of the kick when K will not be next to put the ball in play”

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

Weekly Bull, Week ending 9/1

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

OCFOA