Football

Football

7 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...

What Happens When the Neutral Zone Expands?

The neutral zone is one of the basic tenets of a football game. In practical terms it’s the space between the offensive and defensive...

Safety Glasses

The opening kickoff sails over the goalline. The ball is muffed in flight by the receiver and rolls away. The ball is recovered and...

Don’t Get An Oh, S—! Reputation

By Jeffrey Stern I’m guessing you can fill in the blanks in the title of this post. If you haven’t used the word even once...

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...

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:...

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...

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...

Formation Consternation Demands Concentration

Defensive players can align themselves anywhere for scrimmage plays as long as everyone is on the proper side of the neutral zone. There is...

More Than a Dozen Intentional Acts Are Possible 

When the word “intentional” is mentioned, the first thing that springs to the mind of most football officials is intentional grounding. However, intent plays a role in many more...

Ball Placement – The Art & Science

1Because it has to be done on nearly every play, ball placement is one of the most important elements of officiating a football game. My experience is that...

It’s a Foul Now or Later (But Not Never)

You observe movement in either line just as the ball is snapped. You know it is a foul, but do you prevent the play...

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...
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...

Defining A Defenseless Player

The NCAA introduced the concept of a defenseless player in 2008, at the same time the first targeting rule was adopted. The NFHS followed...

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...

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...

Week In The Life of An SEC Football Official

SEC FOOTBALL OFFICIATING WEEKLY PROCESS SATURDAY From the SEC Football Command Center, monitor games as well as internet and social media and note issues for...

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...

Be A Penalty Enforcer

Being an effective penalty enforcer is vitally important, but something officials tend to neglect. Contrary to what some officials seem to think, it is not only a referee-umpire...

Poor Signals Lose Time

By Gerry Grunska Recently I witnessed a victory that was essentially accomplished through timing errors by the officials. The process went like this. Time was running out for team...

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...

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...

Football Ground Rules

Whether it’s dry or wet, artificial or natural, the surface on which the game is played can have a marked influence on how the game is played and on...

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