Football

Football

How to Handle a New Crew Member

If you’re used to working on a crew with the same people from week to week, you know that you can quickly reach a...

Aptitude Vs. Attitude

The attitude officials have when they walk onto the field will determine in part the success they may or may not enjoy in officiating...

Take a Number

What's in a number? You'd be surprised how some NFL officials wound up with their uniform numbers, and the history behind those identifying digits. On...

6 Elements of Your Officiating Anatomy

The human anatomy is an intricate structure consisting of 11 systems and containing more than 37 trillion cells. Officiating requires the use of many...

Eyes Off the Ball

More than one clinician has joked about officials who should have to buy a ticket to officiate a game because they mostly watch the...

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...

4 Questions a Referee Never Wants to Ask

There are four questions that no referee wants to ask when a foul has been called. That’s because they should have been asked and answered by the calling...
deep official back judge important

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...

Wing Officials Are Coach Conduits For Crew

Wing officials face the constant challenge of the game in front of them and having to communicate with coaches who are behind them. Control of the sideline is important...

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...

5 Bad Habits of Football Officials

By Jon Bible My eyebrows raised a bit when it was suggested I write a column on bad habits because it implied I had messed...

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...

Onfield Meetings – Short, Simple & Complete

Much has been written and said about the importance of perception in officiating. Image is everything, as the saying goes and that is true not only of...

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...

No Chain Of Fools

In the vast majority of games, the officiating crew is handed a chain crew not of their selection. In fact, at some schools no...

Breaking a Ball-Hawking Habit

The desire to rubberneck, gawk, stare and gape is often an involuntary behavior. Humans are innately curious and are often attracted to the most...

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...

For Football Officials, A Fine Line Between Hustle and Over-Hustle

Moving energetically, sometimes referred to as hustle, not only creates a positive perception, but it can help officials get where they need to be to call the play properly....

No-Huddle? No Hurry

The key word for officials is accommodation. You can’t deter a team from setting its own pace in a game. Teams have a right...

Football Crew Success Depends on Working Together

Teamwork can be traced back to the Neanderthal age. It has been used to find food, build shelter, drive away enemies and protect the...
ball-watching football official

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...

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