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...

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...

The 5 D’s Of Football Success

Here's a list of qualities starting with D from Steve Shaw, CFO National Coordinator of Football Officials, that, if employed, can help any official...
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...

When to Throw Flags, When Not to (and When to Pick ’em Up) 

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

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...

3 “When In Doubt” Judgment Guidelines

According to Webster, judgment is the ability to make a decision. An official’s judgment calls will be questioned more often than his or her...

Focus on Free Kicks

You are the referee for tonight’s game. You have completed the pregame conference with your crew, met with the head coaches and conducted the coin toss. Now you hustle...

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...

Plays Not Seen Often Challenge Officials

No one has ever attempted to rank fouls in the order of the difficulty in calling them. However, it’s clear there is pecking order....

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...

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...

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...

No Connection, But There’s Still an Ejection

In most cases, it is not illegal to fail in the attempt to do something. Fighting is an exception. Even if a punch fails to...

Sideline Officials Cannot Just Wing It

R eferees have a great deal on their plate. Before the opening kickoff they perform organizational duties, and conduct the pregame meeting and onfield tasks...

How to Handle a New Crew Member

If you’re used to working on a crew with the same people from week to week, you know that you can quickly reach a...

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...

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...

Muff May Affect Protection

A fair catch is, in effect, a trade. The receiver gives up his right to advance in exchange for freedom from contact by the opponent....

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...

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...

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