Football

Football

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...
coach communication

Coach Communication Done Well

Communication between officials and coaches is extremely important and is an essential element of a properly officiated game. Most coaches identify good communication as...

Official/Player Communication Influences Conduct

Trying to manage a football game would be nearly impossible without effective and pointed communication. Although managing players is primarily the responsibility of the coaching staff, officials can facilitate the...

Classifying Fouls Eases Enforcement

T here are several elements to correctly enforcing a penalty. The first is to accurately identify a foul. If there is no foul, there cannot...

Protocols for Inadvertent Whistles

Late in the fourth quarter, the home team was up, 16-14, and the visitors lined up at the 25 yardline for what would almost...

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...

6 Types of Interference

1. Playing Through the Back A defender cannot come over a receiver’s back to try to play a pass. Be careful not to penalize a...

Early Movement By Either Team May Call For Flags

O ffensive players are prohibited from committing a false start before the snap. There are two movements that are illegal for all team A players:...

A Gridiron Geometry Lesson

Laypeople may think there isn’t a big difference between spots, lines and planes, but officials need a clear understanding of those geometry terms. Very briefly, a spot is...

Passer Gets Extra Attention 

Philosophies, rules and mechanics have increasingly stressed the need to officiate through the passer — in other words, pay particular attention to contact on...

Anticipation Takes Hesitation Out of the Equation

Many times only the offense knows what will happen after the snap. Communication from the sidelines or a brilliant idea from a player on...

It’s OK to pick up a flag or put one down late

Back in the day there were two commonly accepted officiating axioms: Don’t pick up a flag once it’s put down and don’t put one down late. The idea...

When in Doubt, Solved

Several years ago rulemakers began putting “when in question” guidelines in the rulebook. They say that in certain cases, if a ruling could go either way, it should...

Manipulation Or Management?

One of the attributes that separates the best referees from their good counterparts is the ability to manage a game. Good game management includes...

Judgment Necessary at Line of Scrimmage 

Judgments are a large part of football officiating. All rules require some degree of judgment. Perhaps the simplest application is determining whether a team has too many players on...

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