Football

Football

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...

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 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...

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...

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....

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...

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...

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...

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...

Snap, Lapse, Perhaps?

It’s impossible to call a perfect game. Even at the higher levels, where every official is graded in every game, a perfect score doesn’t...

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