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  • 03 Nov 2016 10:34 AM | Anonymous
    1. Please remember a holder must rise before passing or handing the ball. A team perfectly executed a trick play where a holder flipped the ball over his back to a moving teammate. The holder did not rise so the ball was immediately dead by rule (no foul). Unfortunately, the score was allowed. This type of play does not occur very often, but we have to be prepared for surprises.
    2. A foul for a low block was called when the blocker missed making contact. There is no foul for “attempting” to block low. To make matters worse, the coach was told the block was illegal because it was delayed. We want to communicate with coaches, but when they can disprove what we say with video, our credibility is endangered.
    3. In two separate games, the act of kicking was interpreted differently. The RB has overlapping coverage on kicking. In one game, a player who was tackled by the facemask, got up and kicked the opponent. A USC was called, but that is act of fighting (2-11). That player should have been ejected. In another game, a player kicked a ball in an opponent’s possession. That could be interpreted as kicking at an opponent and missing, which is included in the definition of fighting. Kicking (a loose ball) can be interpreted as delay (3-6-2f), a USC (9-5-1e) or an illegal kick (9-7-1).
  • 26 Oct 2016 12:01 PM | Anonymous
    1. Game reports are an official business report and are kept on file. They must be professionally written with no flippant comments. Please do not put anything in the report that you don’t want either school to see. If your report needs follow up, CHSAA will forward the report to the Athletic Director. Jokes about coaches and payoffs are not appropriate.
    2. Other than using our mouth to blow the whistle and to announce and explain penalties, we really don’t need to use the mouth to officiate. This past week we had an official tell a coach to shut his mouth because he was wrong when the coach was right about a down error. In another game, a referee dismissed a coach’s complaint about a missed targeting call (video showed a blatant spear) by telling the coach “This isn’t soccer.”
    3. The distinction between USC and PF is still a problem. A player was ejected for two “USC” fouls: roughing the passer and targeting.

  • 18 Oct 2016 1:12 PM | Anonymous
    1. Please do not allow coaches to talk to you about what they saw or may have seen on video. The response should be “I can look at it after the game.” There will be a policy on this soon.
    2. Some teams run a draw play where the QB puts the ball into the gut of RB and both players hold on to the ball with the RB leading. If the QB lets go of the ball beyond the line, it is illegal forward handing.
    3. Beware of swinging gates or double swinging gates on trys where there is no holder. There must be five linemen numbered 50-79 or the formation is illegal.
    4. Referees should not be shy to ask questions when unusual fouls are reported and they must not be hesitant to pick up flags when warranted. Holding and blocks in the back by the kicking team are highly suspect calls. The video review showed both acts were not worthy of a flag.
    5. A coach was told he could not take a head set to an on-field timeout huddle. The rule only prohibits players from using headsets; coaches can have them.

  • 12 Oct 2016 5:27 PM | Anonymous
    1. A head coach came out onto the field to argue a call and was properly flagged. While the referee was dealing with the head coach at the sideline, an assistant coach came onto the field to express his opinion and was properly flagged. Both coaches were then ejected because there two USC fouls on the coaching staff. Almost all fouls are charged to the individual violator and that includes these types of USC fouls. In this case, each coach accumulated one USC foul apiece and since neither was flagrant, no ejections were warranted.
    2. A referee flagged an inexperienced QB for taking too long in putting his knee down in victory formation. Apparently the team had never practiced it. If there is an awkward delay, simply blow the whistle and end the play.
    3. During a scrimmage kick, a foul by R was called for a block in the back on a gunner during the kick. The foul was considered to be non-PSK and the penalty was enforced from the previous spot allowing the kicking team to keep the ball. .The contact was either on the edge of the expanded neutral or beyond it. When in doubt, it’s a PSK foul. The rule requiring PSK fouls to be beyond the neutral zone is intended to exclude roughing the kicker or snapper, head slaps by defensive linemen and fouls in the backfield against blocking backs. Fouls involving gunners should be viewed as PSK unless irrefutably impossible.
    4. Haste makes waste; please slow down on penalty enforcement especially when there is more than one foul. There was an illegal shift by A (live-ball foul). After the play was over, the BJ reported “late hit on B.” The Referee interpreted it as a live-ball and offset the penalties instead of enforcing both fouls in the order of occurrence.
    5. Please be sensitive to close calls on first downs in tight games. What’s obvious to the officials may not be “obvious” to the coach on the short end and a measurement may serve political purposes. Once the ball is tossed to the umpire, it’s too late to measure.
    6. A USC foul was called on a player who took his helmet off on the field on his way to the team bench. While that is a foul under NCAA rules, it is not a HS rule.
  • 05 Oct 2016 10:52 AM | Anonymous
    1. An official denied players from standing on the field near the sideline while the trainers were attending to an injured player. This prohibition does not exist. In addition, if the Referee senses that the injured player will need more than 40 seconds to return to the sideline, the Referee is encouraged to send all players to the sideline for water and coaching.
    2. A coach requested a rule interpretation that resulted in a change in the penalty administration. After the crew reset the chains and brought the teams back on the field, the Head Coach asked the Referee if he was going to be charged a time-out. The Referee said yes, since the HC was speaking to his players while the chains were being reset.
    3. Trainers, statisticians (including spotters), and water persons (hydration specialists) are team attendants under Rule 9-8-1. Only coaches, players and team attendants are subject to unsportsmanlike conduct fouls. Any other person who acts in an unsporting manner should be referred to the game administrator and may be removed from the field.
    4. On Kick Catching Interference, don’t forget the third option of 15 yds from spot of foul. It is the most likely choice. The enforcement effect is just like a dead-ball foul because the down doesn’t get replayed.
    5. A referee passed on IG when a QB was spun by a defender and threw the ball far out of the back of the end zone without any receiver close by. This is totally a referee judgment call. If a QB is hit after he starts his throwing motion, the path of the ball is excused. If he starts the motion after being contacted, he is totally responsible for where the ball goes. Those two precepts work together. So if he is being spun around and as he throws, he is jerked again that could be excused if the referee judges he was making a honest effort to complete the pass. If the ball is just thrown over everyone, it is a foul.
    6. An official was accused of man-handling a player during a confrontation between players. It is not a good idea for officials to attempt to break up a fight. Please see the Fight Guidelines for Officials document.
    7. As time expired in the half, the runner crossed the goal line, but his team was flagged for holding. Because the covering knew the foul would negate the score, he correctly did not signal the touchdown. Both teams thought the half was over and left the field. Although the officials knew there should be an untimed down, they opted to not have the teams return to finish the half and simply disallowed the score. It would have made sense to finish the first half after the warm up period and then start the second half.
    8. On the first series of the second OT period, Team A scored a touchdown on at play when the defense was flagged for Illegal Participation. The penalty was declined by the officials and not enforced on the try.  It should have been allowed to be enforced
    9. Referees should be wary of surprise kicks. If it is not obvious a kick will be made treat the kicker as you would a passer for roughing purposes. The defense gets the benefit of doubt but cheap shots are flagged. “Running into” is not called in these situations.
    10. A coach was given a delay penalty because his team did not come out for the halftime until there was 1:00 remaining in the 3-min warm-up. The Rulesbook (9-8-1g3) states that an USC is actually the correct call charged to the coach if the team is not on the field by the end of the intermission period. Although not required, it is common for the officiating crew to assist the teams by informing the coaches that the intermission has ended. Unless the USC is deemed necessary by the Referee, attempts should be made to avoid it. If the team is not on the field prior to the end of the 3 minute warm-up period, an USC is certainly justified and warranted.

  • 28 Sep 2016 10:20 AM | Anonymous
    1. A flag was thrown because after a touchdown someone chimed in to tell the LJ how shitty he was. Fouls are for team members, players and coaches. If fans are disruptive, please have the game administrator remove them.
    2. A crew penalized an ineligible receiver downfield with a loss of down. The referee acknowledged the error in his game report. The coach noted the error when he sent the HUDL video. When the coach was shown the game report, he was very impressed that we are self-accountable and take action to learn from our mistakes.
    3. A foul was called for “unnecessary funny business.”
    4. A FG attempt from the R-45 was short and the ball was declared dead near the R-5 without ever entering the EZ. The ball was awarded to R at the R-20. The coach wanted to know why R didn’t get the ball at the R-45. It looks like neither the officials nor the coach knew the correct rule (R’s ball at the R-5). Please remember a FG attempt that ends in the field of play, is treated the same as a punt.

  • 21 Sep 2016 3:25 PM | Anonymous
    1. There were five reports last week off ill behavior by coaching staffs (worse than usual). Here is an edited extract from one of them. “The coach became upset with a perceived DPI that was not called. I attempted to explain the no-call; it was incidental contact as both the receiver and defender were clearly making a play for the ball. He continued to express his opposition and went further by disagreeing with a different DPI call that was made against his player earlier in the game. From that point on, he complained on nearly every play about perceived calls that he thought should have been made against the home team. He never "crossed the line" to the point that we felt that we needed to flag him, but he was clearly not happy.” It’s time for everyone to learn the Montel Rule (found on the Helpful Links & Resources page).
    2. Play cards have been noticed attached to the belt; they must be on the wrist. Please enforce.
    3. 3. Do you know the difference between “lightning” and “lightening?”
    4. Tinted visors seem to never go away. This week, the officials again heard “it was prescription, the parents have a doctor's note, and he wore it in first 3 games.” I hope that didn’t happen. Please do not allow tinted visors – absolutely no exceptions.


  • 14 Sep 2016 10:16 AM | Anonymous
    1. A team received an extra play at the end of the first half when the clock was held to the snap after an Intentional Grounding foul. Fortunately they did not score. Please do not let a team get a time advantage when they foul. A foul is an illegal act. See Rule 3-4-6.
    2. If a drone is spotted over the field, please refer it to game management. If there is a safety issue, the game should be halted until the drone departs. The drone policy is found on the Miscellaneous Information page.
    3. When flagging players for Unsportsmanlike Conduct fouls and especially if they are ejected, it is most helpful if you can quote exactly what the player said. It removes the issue of whether or not there was a harsh judgment by an official. In effect, the player ejected himself.
    4. Coaches are in mid-season form. Several reports have mentioned ill-behaved coaches. Please be aware of bogus arguments. One coach argued that all Blindside Blocks are illegal because of the safety factor and it doesn’t matter if open hands are used. Another coach argued that the result of the play was a TD when an inadvertent whistle was blown near the line of scrimmage.
    5. This play actually happened in a varsity game. It sounds like one of the test questions that some claim ‘never happen.” Play:  On a forward pass, the BJ had a DPI penalty. The ball was intercepted and there was a BIB by Team A during the return. After the run ended, there was a late hit on the runner by Team A. After the play, there was a second late hit 20 yards away by Team A.

      RULING: The DPI and BIB constitute a double foul.  Since B did not gain the ball with "clean hands" they do not have the option of declining the BIB fould by A and keeping the ball.  These two penalties will offset and the down will be replayed from the previous spot.  The two late hits are Dead Ball fouls and would be enforced in sequence from the previous spot.  Essentially, the down number will remain the same, with the ball being snapped 30 yards behind the previous spot (or possibly less if one or both involved half-the-distance enforcement).
    6. I was asked about this scenario, so I made into a question. Please send your answer to George Demetriou without cc'ing anyone.

      Play: Team A lines up with 10 players and only six on the line of scrimmage. The 11th Team A player enters after the snap behind the offensive formation and the play ends before that player can participate. Please tell me how many fouls occurred and if more than one, describe the enforcement.


  • 08 Sep 2016 10:05 AM | Anonymous
    1. Quote of the week – from an actual game report “Linesman had an excellent crack back blindside block.” You know what to do.
    2. Some referees are waiting for the chains after a first down inbounds before starting the clock with the silent wind. The clock needs to start when the ball is spotted as the offense can snap at that point. The offense has the right to set the pace of the game and support personnel should not dictate. Also, all officials must make a priority effort to be in place when the umpire spots the ball. The umpire should not wait for officials to get in perfect position.
    3. The receiver caught the ball and was heading to the EZ when a defender punched the ball out, the BJ was in position to make the call at the GL and signaled touchdown a split second too early. Possession was lost at the B-1. The defense recovered the fumble in the end zone for a TB. Signaling s TD is one of the many moments in the game that cause fans to crane their necks and slide to the edge of their seat is when the runner approaches the goal line. If it is your goal line, you are the signaling official, take advantage of this dramatic moment prior to signaling. Signaling official should plant his/her feet, confirm the ball crossed the GL, PAUSE, then signal with a controlled confident touchdown signal. Not only will this help you to get it right, but it will show the coaches, fans and players that you are seasoned official worthy of working the big game.   
    4. Players cannot play with a tinted visor and doctor’s note. Sun glasses under a clear visor are legal.
    5. On a try, a defender encroached and proceeded to rough the holder. Both fouls are dead-ball fouls after the ready and before the try, so they could only be enforced on the try. Please check 8-2-5.
    6. A receiver catches a pass at the B-37. His motion carries him back towards the line of scrimmage where at the B-40 he is contacted and driven back to the B-34 where he is downed. Where is the ball spotted? The forward progress spot is the B-40 – where he was first contacted.
    7. Please ignore animal teeth mouthpieces; a long term decision on those will be made by the Rules Committee for 2017.
    8. The first ‘fight’ of the season turned out to mostly be a big shoving match. Four ejections were reported, all of which were proven by the video to be incorrect numbers. Please ask your referees to review fight procedures as part of the pregame.
  • 30 Aug 2016 3:10 PM | Anonymous
    1. We had a game with multiple fouls that were properly enforced against the receiving team on a KO. In that game, K kicked off from the R-30. In such cases if the ball is kicked OOB, the option to put the ball in play 25 yards beyond the previous spot is not half-the distance. It is not a distance penalty. If the KO is from or beyond the R-25, that option cannot be offered (6.1.9H).
    2. Fouls by the offense after a TD and before a try can either be enforced on the try or carried over to the succeeding KO. The Referee should make sure the defensive coach understands the option, especially on an obvious two-point try situation e.g., previously missed kick try. The penalty makes the try a 35-yard FG attempt and virtually eliminates a two point try
    3. Flagging invalid FC signals should be avoided. If you simply kill the ball after any signal no one gets an advantage. The validity of a signal is highly judgmental and on free kicks, no one gets a good look at it. The exception is when the invalid signaler gets contacted. Then you have to call the foul for the invalid signal to explain why the kicking team is not being penalized.
    4. We’ve had the first player ejections and the first game report without the player’s names. The referee should get the player’s name when he reports the ejection to the coach. If not, rosters can be found at:  -> Search for a team
    5. Please do not engage in a debate over jersey colors. There are two acceptable colors: white for visitors and dark for home. The latter means any color other than white. Both teams can wear dark jerseys with permission from CHSAA for special events. If such is the case, the Area Director or Referee will be notified in advance. Please report any deviations.
    6. Pushing and shoving after the play is a personal foul, not a USC.
    7. We’re allowing coaches to take two steps onto the field to coach, but if they enter the field to criticize the officiating, there should be an immediate flag.
    8. (NOTE: This has been reversed; the entry is simply preserved for completeness) Now that the color restriction on mouthpieces has been removed, we don’t need to make a big deal over décor mouthpieces. Mouthpieces should not be used to intimidate. Players should be asked to remove grossly excessive mouth guards. This is similar to the rule about "face paint" not being allowed except for a single, solid stripe below each eye. When in doubt, the mouthpiece is legal. Here are examples:

      Illegal Mouthpieces

      Legal Mouthpieces


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