Latest Info: Happy New Year and welcome to 2019! We are planning several off-season events, so stay tuned. Dive into those rule books and refine your football rules knowledge for next season!

Georgisms, Game Situations

Week 10
(1) 4th and goal from the 15. QB runs right looking to pass, and crosses the neutral zone, he sees an open receiver, retreats behind the neutral zone, and throws a pass for a TD. That is legal. &-5-1 and 7-5-2 only require the pass be thrown from behind the line before a COP. It doesn't matter where the ball has been before the pass as long as B never had possession.

(2) Two players engage each other unneccessarily well after the whistle is blown. The umpire is unable to determine who instigated the late action. The run ended at the B-18. The penalties cancel because the order of occurrence cannot be determined. Please look at Case Plays 9.4.1A and 10.2.5B part (a). The crew enforced it correctly.

(3) Last week, a player was ejected for fighting. The referee was put under serious pressure to retract the ejection because the player was a senior and a D1 prospect due to be observed by scouts in his last game (this week). The referee was approached by the following on separate occasions: The head coach (twice), the AD and the player's grandfather (a local judge). Also, CFOA was contacted by the player's father. A retraction was never considered and cannot be made. We must be certain of our ejections and once made, they cannot be changed.

Week 9
I got these items from a recent NCAA bulletin and edited them to apply to CFOA. Please let me know if you have any questions.

Pass Interference
The philosophy on bang-bang contact by defenders or receivers has not changed. In order to have Defensive or Offensive Pass Interference, two important criteria we want to see are “obvious restriction” and “visible material effect”. When we have a play that is commonly described as “bang-bang”, where the defender, receiver, and ball arrive at the same time (or in full speed appear to arrive at the same time), we do not want pass interference (offense or defense) called on these. In order for us to officiate plays of this nature consistently and considering the speed at which these sometimes occur, early contact must be clear and evident – don’t guess. When we have a bang-bang play, let it go. Contact that is clearly early and meets the other requirements for a foul should be called.

Timeouts as Clock Expires or Snap Imminent
By rule, the Head Coach, the designated asst coach or a player are the only persons allowed to call timeouts. From a common sense standpoint, we understand that there may be some situations when officials are appropriately focused on the field and someone comes up behind them calling for a timeout; it is not always possible to know until we turn to see who is making the request. This may occur AS the ball is being snapped or AS the play clock is expiring. By rule philosophy, we will grant the request and charge the timeout if it occurs at the same time that the play clock goes to :00 or at the same time the ball is coming off the ground with a snap. While we realize there is some judgment in the element of time here, if the snap has clearly been made or the play clock has clearly expired prior to any such request, the timeout request should be denied. When in question, the timeout should be granted but we do not want to use the when in question rule as a crutch to allow any amount of time to prevent a team from appropriately being penalized for delay or denied their request and allow the play to continue Therefore, when a request is made for a timeout and we are granting that request, the official should signal immediately.

Week 8
I never sent out a Week Eight Bulletin, so don't go nuts if you cannot find one.

(1) A Coaches Nightmare; Just before what will be the last play of the half, the offensive coach takes a timeout to inform the referee that his team is going to run a trick play where a backward pass is bounced to a receiver. He tells the referee that there was an IAW the last time he ran this play and asks the referee to give a heads up to his crew. The referee tells all officials except the opposite side wing and that official kills the play with his whistle.

(2) There was a coach ejection involving a kicked ball. I will address the rule/judgement and the ejection separately:
    (a) An intentionally kicked loose ball is a foul with a 15-yard penalty. If the ball is inadvertently kicked as part of a scramble to recover the ball, it is a muff and not a foul. Whether the kick is intentional or inadvertent is a judgment call. If there is any question, the officials who had a good look at it should confer. Intentional kicks are in the category of "you'll know it when you see it." In most cases, the kick will be an accident. If the player is moving rapidly when he kicks the ball or his body is out of control, it is likely to be inadvertent. A stationary player is more likely to intentionally kick the ball. Also, if the ball is kicked with the shin or the ankle, it's probably an accident. Remember, this is strictly a judgment call but we want informed judgments not just guesses or arbitrary calls.
    (b) The ejection was over an argument as to whether such a kick was intentional. The referee ruled it was a muff and the coach ultimately told the referee that he didn't have the balls to make the correct call. That drew the first flag. When the coach repeated his opinion, he was ejected. The referee stated the second edition was loud enough to be heard by the fans. While we support the ejection, it likely could have been handled differently. Two flags on what is essentially one incident always raise questions. Please encourage officials to walk away from irate coaches, especially after flagging them, We all know the official will prevail in the end, so it's not a big deal if the coach gets the final words.

(3) A pass was intercepted and during the return there was a block in the back by the intercepting team. The intercepting player than fumbled while he was being tackled. The passing team recovered the ball at their own 20. The officials enforced the block in the back and tacked on 10 yards and made it 1st and 10 from the 30 for the passing team. That of course, was incorrect. The team in final possession has to decline the penalty to keep the ball.

(4) The snapper takes both hands off the ball to call a timeout. By rule, a dead-ball foul for a snap infraction occurred before the timeout. That should be considered nit-picking at the HS level. The officials allowed the timeout and no one protested; good for them.

(5) A team was flagged for blocking below the waist while in a shotgun formation. The referee told the coach all BBW is illegal while in a shotgun. Please review Case Play 2.17.2E on page 15 and let me know if you have any questions.

Week 7
(1) I've gotten some feedback concerning my clock error. It happens more often than we think; however, 90% of the time it doesn't turn out to be a big deal. Here is a procedure that you should find helpful:
   (a) Officials should tell the referee how the play ended/clock status when they report a foul.
   (b) If there is no foul, the umpire should tell the referee how the play ended. That is most essential on pass plays and not necessary in obvious situations such as short runs up the middle and QB sacks.

(2) We had a game from you-know-where this past week and yes it was a varsity game. I'd like to focus solely on the educational value of what occurred:
   (a) The visiting team was flagged for a USC because one of their fans was heckling the officials. We have a Dealing with Fans policy. Please review it at your next meeting.
   (b) A wing official told the visiting coach that a certain player was ejected for two USC fouls. The player sat out the rest of the game. After the game the referee told the coach that he had not ejected any players. At this juncture we don't know the whole story. As a minimum, it appears the two officials miscommunicated. No one had a record of the USC fouls. For this very reason, all USC fouls must be recorded. Before any ejection is announced, there should be a crew discussion to ascertain the facts and confirm the decision. The referee should inform the head coach with the calling official present and give a full explanation.
   (c) The overtime was played from the 20 yardline for both teams. When the visiting coach challenged that, he was told it was a new rule change for this year. Guess how many of the officials took and passed the Rules test?
   (d) One of the officials had a freshman son that played for the home team. Whether he played or even suited up that night is immaterial. The visiting team lost and their fans found out about the parent-official and somehow got the Area Director's phone number.. Have you discussed conflicts of interest at a meeting this year?

(3) In another game in another Area, a different rules error. After a first down, the runner taunted the opponents and was flagged. The crew set the chains and enforced the penalty making it first and 25. Per 5-3-1, the chains are not set until all penalties that occur prior to the RFP for the next play are enforced. It should have been first and 10.

Week 6
(1) It seems we can't escape helmet issues. We had a referee who didn't give the defense time to replace a player whose helmet came off because the opponents were in a hurry up offense. By rule, the clock must be stopped after a play in which a player's helmet comes off. In this respect, it is treated the same as an injury timeout.

(2) Many of you have inquired about illegal touching beyond the NZ. The Case Book play is confusing. Please go by the RB. If an ineligible merely touches a pass down field, it is IT. For OPI to occur, the player has to actually interfere with a defensive player or throw a block.

(3) For the coin toss, only the captains can be on the field - no other players. Please do not allow other players to come to hash marks or to the numbers. Each team may have their seniors line up at the top of the numbers for their last home game only. If players are involved in a special ceremony, that is okay, but the routine of lining up other players to intimidate the opponents has been banned - that is why the rule was changed to limit on field presence to only the captains.

(4) Breast Cancer Awareness month. Please do not allow pink towels. If we are all consistent, then they can criticize the policy. If one crew allows them, then the crews who enforce the policy become the bad guys. Pink items can be worn at any game, subject to team/school preference, unless the color is prescribed by rule. Pink gloves and pink shoes are allowed, but pink towels are not. Pink wristbands are permissible, but any other band, regardless of color, is not allowed. Officials participation is subject to local assn policy. Thrte will be a CHSAA bulletin to the schools on this topic today.

(5) More on "Victory." We encourage winning teams to take a knee under two minutes or as soon as feasible. If a defensive player doesn't cooperate, a penalty for unnecessary roughness is appropriate. If it continues, an ejection may be necessary. Coaches who don't cooperate can be flagged for unsportsmanlike conduct.

(6) I will be sending out a rough draft of playoff allocations shortly. We've not had any discussions on championship games yet.

Week 5
(1) No new helmet plays this week. It appears the loose helmets are diminishing. There will always be some that come off. If you disagree, please let me know.

(2) CHSAA and CFOA totally support sporting play. Taking a knee at the end of a decided game is a gracious thing to do. When the offense announces the "victory" play, the defense is expected to oblige. The concept of playing hard until there are zeros on the clock is a bogus philosophy for HS play. If the defense violates this protocol, they should be flagged for unnecessary roughness. If it's a misunderstanding, the 15-yard penalty will suffice. If it is repeated or there is an objection to good sportsmanship, please report it so that a CHSAA rep can discuss it with the coach. We don't care what the NFL does or doesn't do.

(3) The chains for 6-man football should be taped in thirds (5 and 10 yards) and not at the mid-point.

(4) The rules prohibit halftimes that are longer than 20 min. We want that enforced; it's not fair to the players. It doesn't mean anything if the coaches agree. If they violate that (not by a few seconds), please flag the home team 15 yards to start the second half.

Week 4
We've only had a few games and there are several issues we need to emphasize and address.

(1) Our weekly helmet play: The QB's face mask is yanked while he is in the pocket. He escapes and runs. When he is tackled and contacts the ground, his helmet pops off. Although you can argue that the helmet coming off was not directly attributable to the FM pull, it was probably indirectly attributable as the pull likely loosened the chin strap. The officials correctly allowed the QB to remain in the game.

(2) Please try to be specific as possible in ejection reports. It is really no different than reporting a foul. State exactly what happened. Which is better?
   A. Travis Null, #22 of Blankety HS was ejected for fighting.
   B. Travis Null, #22 of Blankety HS was ejected by the umpire for striking an opponent in the face with his fist.
Both versions were received by CHSAA during the past week.

(3) Please accomodate game management on any reasonable pre game ceremony. The coin toss does not need to be held exactly three minutes before the game. If the band is on the field at the 50, either wait for them to leave or do the coin toss elsewhere. Walking through the band or chasing them off the field doesn't get a passing grade. CHSAA will encourage AD's to give the officials a printed pre game sequence if they want anything other than the traditional 3-5 minute prior coin toss. Unless the host requests otherwise, please use the attached sequence.

(4) Please do not flag players who kneel down and pray in the EZ after scoring.

Week 2
We are starting to have some issues.

(1) Our weekly helmet play: If a player is removed for losing his helmet, he cannot return after a false start. A false start is not a play. If a down is replayed because of a penalty, he may return.

(2) For the coin toss, there cannot be more than four players; They do not have to be in uniform. Injured players can be part of the captain contingent. Please accomodate special events without having more than four players. If they want the mayor to toss the coin, that is fine.

(3) We had an official tell a coach to "shut up." Such behavior makes us all look bad. Please counsel such officials in writing.

(4) Some teams have the snapper call signals all the time or part of the time. That is legal. A snapper who yells "hut" must be held to the same standard as the QB for head bobs and other movement.

(5) Backs numbered 50-79 cannot be eligible receivers.

(6) If a lineman goes in motion, he must either stop and establish himself as a back or be at least five yards behind the line at the snap. if he doesn't do one of those, it is a live-ball foul for illegal motion.

(7) New, unaltered knee braces do not need to be padded.

(8) Please do not allow pink towels. We know the cause is worthy but they can have pink shoes and pink gloves if they want to make a statement.

Week 1
We've only had a few games and there are several issues we need to emphasize and address.

(1) The following helmet caps are legal for all games: ProCap, Shockstrip and Guardian Cap. If the cap comes off, it's not a big deal; the player does not have to sit out a play.

(2) I saw a game where no one observed a player's helmet coming off. The player quickly retrieved it and put it back on. While that is not an egregious omission, it is perhaps an indication that area responsibility for dead-ball officiating is not coordinated. The first priority for ALL officials for 3-5 seconds after the whistle is watch player reactions until the players separate. Furthermore, the missed helmet occurred after a play in which there was a flag. The question to ask yourself is do you quit officiating after after you see a flag? Do you forget your routine because you get wrapped up with reporting a foul or administering a penalty? Only the individual can answer those questions for himself.

(3) I hope everyone is using the 30 minutes on the field to check for the illegal items. I did Friday night and they are all over the place. Both teams had players with calf bands, bicep bands, rubber bracelets and colored towels. I suspect we have the same issues state-wide as the visitors were from the western slope. Gary and I have some ideas to ease the pain of this issue going forward, but meantime please do the best you can to adhere to the rules.

Week 0
We've only had a few games and there are several issues we need to emphasize and address.

(1) Eyeshields. The eye shields must be clear. Please do not allow any tinted eye shields whatsoever. A doctor cannot authorize a tinted eye shield. If a coach persists in arguing this issue, please let us know and we will send a note to his AD.

(2) Chains. The chains must go opposite the pressbox. No exceptions please. The home team has the perogative to choose which sideline they will use, but if they go opposite the press box, they will have the chains on their sideline. We have contacted every AD that we know has tried to put the chains on the press box side. If any more appear, please let us know.

(3) Swinging Gate. The snapper must face his opponent's goal line; he cannot face the sideline. If he does, it is ruled an illegal formation at the snap (CO interpretation).

(4) 9-man Line. That is a legal formation, but only the ends are eligible and only if they have an eligible number.


(5) Equipment. We need to really clamp down hard on this now or we will have problems all season. Please casually inspect each player during warm-ups and get the violations corrected before the game. Please have everyone do the inspection for the first three weeks and send us a weekly summary of the extent and type of violations discovered.

a. Pants. The pants must cover the knee. NCAA allows pants that go to the top of the knee, but we cannot allow that. Please do not let anyone play with short pants. Wide receivers are the biggest potential violators.

b. Bicep and Calf Bands. Not allowed; easy to remove.

c. Towels. Plain white only. No logos including team logo. Team colors are also verboten. Towels are easy to remove. Also, towels cannot look like streamers.

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