Football

Football

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

Stay Cool, Calm, Collected and “On” Message

Have you ever heard that phrase "Was it something I said or the way I said it?" How we say something is as important...

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...
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...

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...

Movement Only One Part of the Job for Umpires 

It takes a great deal of fortitude to venture into the jumble of flailing arms and bodies where only linebackers dare to tread. But in addition to being...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

Things No Football Official Has Ever Accomplished

There are a few things that no official has ever accomplished. By fully understanding the following feats cannot be accomplished, officials will gain a better understanding of how to...

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...

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...

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...

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...

Three of the Toughest Judgment Calls

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

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