Football

Football

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...

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...

Ditch the Dinosaur Mechanics

The semifinal game was sold out. Although the visitors were seeded lower, their playoff performance made them the favorite. The home team held its...

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...

Yawner? Blowout? Guess Again

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

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...

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...
coach communication

Limits To Coach Communication

24Communication between officials and coaches is extremely important and is an essential element of a properly officiated game. Most coaches identify good communication as...

Dead-Ball Officiating in the Side Zone

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...

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...

Play Time

By Jeffrey Stern In an effort to ensure a consistent interval play-to-play and game-to-game, the NFHS Football Rules Committee adopted the 40-second play clock beginning...

Free But Not Easy

By George Demetriou Although every game begins with a kickoff, free kicks occur much less frequently than passing or running plays. Add the fact the...

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,...

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...

3 Fouls We Miscall the Most

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

When a Lone Ranger Isn’t a ‘Good Guy’

Even if you are too young to have watched the TV show, you should be familiar with the Lone Ranger, a fictional character that...
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...
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...

Foul That’s Over the Top

Hurdling is an attempt by a player to jump with one or both feet or knees foremost over an opponent who is contacting the...

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...

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...

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

Retired NFL referee Jerry Markbreit, talks about how to determine what is a pass and what is a fumble. Retired NFL referee Jerry Markbreit, talks...

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...

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...

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