Football

Football
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Police the Pile

How does the runner usually react when he’s been tackled? The norm in college and pro football is that runners lay patiently after they...

Coordination, Communication Key to Measurements

One of the oldest sports clichés is that football is “a game of inches.” When a measurement is involved, it might be a fraction...

Before The Flag

No one likes to see a lot of flags thrown. They interrupt the flow of the game and can seem to make it drag...

Before, During or After the Play When to Throw the Flag Determined by Foul...

All team A players are set before a snap. Then two backs go in motion. Both are still moving just before it appears the...

Ballhandling Makes Your Crew Look Sharp

It was the championship game for the local semi-pro league with a crew of six officials. A pass was intercepted and the down ended...

When to Throw Flags, When Not to (and When to Pick ’em Up) 

The idea of a flag being waved off brings to mind an overbearing referee trumping the decision of a younger crewmate. That has happened on occasion but picking...

Calm on Broken Plays

Coaches, players and fans are allowed to panic when a play goes awry. Officials, on the other hand, must react to broken plays as if they're routine...
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Ball-Watching Afflicts Veterans and Newer Officials Alike

Two huge mistakes that officials can make are ball-watching and officiating air. The former means watching the runner to the exclusion of what’s happening around him. The latter means focusing...

Yawner? Blowout? Guess Again

Iremember sitting at the breakfast table on the morning of a late-season game between two cellar-dwellers. One official, a garrulous person whose normal speaking...

The Best Games Include These Three Elements

Safe, fair and fun.That phrase — that triangle, if you will — contains the ingredients to the best game you’ll ever have. And there...

The Game Of The Century – Notre Dame vs. Michigan State 1966

In a game that featured number one against number two — Notre Dame vs. Michigan State — college football fans were highly anticipating which...

Three of the Toughest Judgment Calls

In most seasons, false starts are the most frequently occurring fouls and arguably the foul that requires the second least amount of judgment (calling...

Forward Thinking on Backward Passes

I created a list of words and expressions commonly used by fans, coaches, announcers and sometimes by officials. However, nothing in my list appears...

Foul and Fumble? A Formula for Flaws

Change of possession. Foul in the end zone. Fumble forward and out of bounds. That’s a lot of action on a single play. And it...

Critical Rules for Umpires to Know

The umpire is in charge of the line of scrimmage and all the action that takes place in and around it. There are some...

Tips to Help Sideline Officials Look Sharp

When I was a deep official, I would catch flak from my linesman and line judge crewmates. They told me they do most of...

Hey Ref! Doncha Know The Rules?

I t’s a question all officials hear at some point in their careers. Unfortunately, fans yelling it from the stands are usually unaware the game...

Intentional Groundrules

Intentional grounding is likely the rule that requires the most judgment. Any rule that requires an official to determine “intent” is prone to inconsistent...

Now You’re Talking

What to Say to Whom and When to Say It Assuming a basic knowledge of football rules and mechanics, communication is arguably the greatest single...

A Little Officiating Magic

The Magician’s Oath is to never reveal the secrets of magic to non-magicians. Nonetheless, there are various “tricks” officials can use to call a game properly. Magic can...

Hold(er) Everything

When thinking of players associated with the kicking game, the usual focus is on those who kick the ball and team R players attempting...

Video Tips for Working as the Referee with Legendary White Hat Jerry Markbreit

Jerry Markbreit is one of the most well known and respected sports officials in the world. Not just in the football community but across...

Don’t Talk To My Kids!

"Don't Talk To My Kids!" Ever heard that shouted from the sideline? Coaches don’t want officials coaching their players. They do want officials to help their...

Rare Rulings Well Done

No one has ever attempted to rank fouls in the order of the difficulty in calling them. However, it’s clear there is a pecking...

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