Football

Football

Flying Flag

On Dec. 19, 1999, Jeff Triplette — in his first year as an NFL referee — was working a game in Cleveland when he...

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...

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...

Now, Later and Never

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

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...

The ABCs of A-B-A

T he ABCs of A-B-A A rare and challenging play involves a double change of possession, known as an A-B-A play. In PlayPic A, 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...

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...

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...

Swap Meet

By George Demetriou One of the more common misconceptions in football is that a kick receiver must signal for a fair catch in order to...

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...

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...

You’ll Kick Yourself If You Don’t Spot These Fouls

If something funky happens in a football game, it usually occurs during a kick play. Such downs are a smaller percentage of all plays...

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...

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...

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....

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...

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...

Roughing the Passer Enforcement

Ordinarily, penalties for roughing the passer are enforced from the dead-ball spot (NFHS) or end of the run (NCAA). But not if a change...

Snap, Lapse, Perhaps?

It’s highly likely no one has ever called a perfect game. Even at the higher levels, where every official is graded in every game,...

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...

First Action May Not Be the Last

A few seasons ago, a game was stopped six times for instant play reviews. Four stops led to reversals of the onfield call. Two of the reversals involved...

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...
deep official back judge important

Deep Official A Key Crew Member

Back judges are often undervalued in a crew of five. Perhaps that stems from the many prep teams that run the ball much more often than pass...

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