Football

Football

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...

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...

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...

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...

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....

3 Times When You Can Take Back A Flag

Once a flag is thrown, there are circumstances when it can be picked up — disregarded if you will. Except for some very specific...

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...

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 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...

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...

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...

No-Huddle? No Hurry

The key word for officials is accommodation. You can’t deter a team from setting its own pace in a game. Teams have a right...

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...

Eyes Off the Ball

More than one clinician has joked about officials who should have to buy a ticket to officiate a game because they mostly watch the...

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...

A Strong Case for Keeping a Steady Pace

An important part of officiating a solid football game is maintaining a good pace of play: neither too slow nor too fast in getting the ball spotted and...

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...

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...

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,...

Team B Fouls on a Touchdown

Depending on the rules code, a scoring team may or may not have an enforcement option if the opponent commits a foul during the...

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...

Calm on Broken Plays

Coaches, players and fans are allowed to panic when a play goes awry. Officials, on the other hand, must react to broken plays as if they're routine...

Literally Lateral

When San Antonio Trinity University used 15 backward passes to score the winning touchdown on the last play of an October 2008 game against...

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