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New Football Officials Training Program. 2010. Course Objectives. Prepare you to officiate Sub-Varsity football - Have fun doing it Increase your proficiency and comfort level of rules and mechanics knowledge Some learn faster than others based

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course objectives
Course Objectives
  • Prepare you to officiate Sub-Varsity
  • football
  • - Have fun doing it
  • Increase your proficiency and
  • comfort level of rules and mechanics
  • knowledge
  • Some learn faster than others based
  • on “life experiences” ...
  • Former players, coaches or …….
bill stimmel


Bill Stimmel
  • Officiating 22 years
  • High School Referee, LJ, HL
  • Lone Star Conference Side Judge, Referee and Crew Chief , 13 Years
  • Southland Conference Side Judge and Referee 5 Years
  • Big XII Replay Official
  • New Officials Training Chairman, 11 Years
  • Real Estate Broker at Coldwell Banker
dee anderson


Dee Anderson
  • Officiating 27 years
  • High School Line Judge
  • Junior College and D3 College officiating experience
  • Replay Official, Mountain West, WAC, Sunbelt
  • New Officials Instructor, 5 Years
  • Honorable Sheriff of Tarrant County
arthur williams


Arthur Williams
  • Officiating 26 years
  • High School Back Judge
  • Lone Star Conference Back Judge
  • New Officials Instructor, 10 Years
klaus strassmann


Klaus Strassmann
  • Officiating 26 years
  • High School Umpire
  • New Officials Instructor, 3 Years
  • Administrative coordinator


schedule and lesson plans
Schedule and Lesson Plans

June 21 Introduction and Welcome, Rule Book, Mechanics Book

June 28 Rule 1 , Introduction of 5 Man Mechanics, SubV Assignment Process (Wayne Pollard guest speaker)

July 12 Rule 2 and Introduction of 4 Man Mechanics

July 19 Rule 2, Training DVDs, 2 & 3 Man Mechanics, SubV Assigners

July 26 Rule 3, DVDs, First Full Chapter Meeting

Rules 4,5 , (Equipment supplier to attend)

August Rule 6 and Kicking Game, Chapter Officers & Structure

August 7 (Sat) On-field session at Pennington Field

August 17 Rule 7 and Passing Game


August 24 Rule 8, 9


August 25 Rule 10, Penalty Enforcement, Guest Speaker Roy Rennels

District Meeting

Sept 1 Labor Day, No meeting

Sept 8 Review First Week’s experiences, 2 and 3 Man Mechanics

Sept 15 Training DVDs, Discussion, Review 4 Man Mechanics, Rule 1, 2

Sept 21 Training DVDs, Discussion , Review 5 Man Mechanics, Rule 3

All at Tarrant County College South Campus

schedule and lesson plans10
Schedule and Lesson Plans

Sept 28 Training DVDs

Oct 3 Passing Game Oct 13 No meeting

Oct 20 NCAA Video,

All at Tarrant County College South Campus

week one lesson plan 6 23 08
Week One Lesson Plan 6/23/08
  • Introduction of Football Officiating
  • You love the game of football
  • It’s a great way to stay in shape
  • Being a positive role model
  • Being all that you can be (personal development)
  • Lifelong friendships and fellowship
  • You enjoy pissing off half the people watching you with every decision you make.
  • For the money?
  • Potential income opportunities (Profit/Loss)
  • Sub Varsity Junior High, Middle School, Chains, Clocks
  • JV and Sophs
  • Varsity
  • College
  • NFL
  • PeeWee Football
week one lesson plan 6 23 0812
Week One Lesson Plan 6/23/08

How do I become a football official?

This class; Clinics; State meeting; Chapter meetings;

Fort Worth Chapter of TASO


Study rules and mechanics; Learn from veterans (mentor program)

OK! I’m in!

- Application (TASO application online FWFO site)

- $50 application fee up front

- Rule book, Study guides (Redding)

- Uniforms and equipment (more specifics later)

Local shop, Barry Steele 817-307-4767

- No Physical required


How will football officiating change my life? …

life of a football offical
Life of a Football Offical

Life of a football official Life of a FIRST YEAR official

June Clinics and Rules Study NM Training classes, study

July Chapter meetings*, Study NM Training, Chapter meetings, Study

August Chapter meetings, Study NM Training, Chapter meetings, Study

Scrimmages Scrimmages


Mon Chapter meetings, 7th NM Training! Chapter meetings, Study

Tues 7th , 8th 7th , 8th

Weds Light subV schedule same

Thurs Heavy SubV, 8th , 9th , JV same

(light Varsity schedule)

Fri Varsity Chain assignments, 6 Man V?

Sat PeeWees, Light SubV, JUCO PeeWees, Light SubV


(light Varsity schedule)

Sun Church, Family, NFL (no sound) same (plus STUDY)

* Chapter meetings consist of Position Breakout meetings, Rules and play reviews, General Chapter business, Speakers, rules and breakout, etc

* Physical conditioning

year two and beyond
Year Two and Beyond

Year 2: Continue Clinics, On field, Off field clinics, Study year round, Conditioning

year round.


As you develop … Advancement depends on a myriad of factors…

Concentrate on those you can control.

Accumulation of “points”

High school : higher classification games; playoffs

Juco, Semi Pro

D3, D2, Arena



To Crew or not to Crew

How do I get assigned to games?

Sub Varsity assignment and Arbiter (demonstrate future class)

Chapter Website (demonstrate future class)

All events at 5:30pm FtWorth Police and Fire Training Center unless noted otherwise

week one lesson plan
Week One Lesson Plan

Overall concept of officiating …

First Rule of Officiating … Always back into your parking place.

What we are there for. What we are not there for.

What we are supposed to watch. What not to watch.

Deprogramming … Learn to Not watch the ball

Who does what on the field. We are not all “referees”

R, U, L, H, B

5, 4, 3, 2 Man Crews (hopefully not 1 man crew)

We can’t teach Judgment … We can teach you rules and mechanics

Get in Shape! … Heat acclamation ... Looking good in your uniform

The rule book and how to use it…

rule book
Rule Book

Get to know it … Want to see it crumpled and dog eared … Write in it, highlight it

We will NOT read the entire book to you. You must do intense study on your own.

Team A , Team B , K , R

Rule 1 The Game, Field, Players and Equipment

Shape of the ball, Height of goal posts, Numbering of players,


Defines a “Catch” Defines a “Fumble” Forward Progress

Rule 3 Periods, Time Factors, Substitutions

Length of games, NCAA Overtime Rules, Clock starts/stops

Rule 4 Ball in play, Dead Ball, Out of Bounds

Live ball/Dead ball In Bounds and OB

rule book17
Rule Book

Rule 5 Series of Downs, Line to Gain

…shortest rule section in book … yet officials have lost their jobs due to it

What happens after 4th down is over … 1st and 25?

Rule 6 Kicks

The most complicated penalty enforcements

Rule 7 Snapping and Passing the Ball

Legal snap … False starts … Eligible receivers

Rule 8 Scoring

1-0 not just a baseball score … Impetus?

Rule 9 Conduct of Players and Others Subject to the Rules

When can/can’t block below waist … Running into K, Roughing K

Poor behavior, Bad dancing, and UNS

rule book18
Rule Book

Rule 10 Penalty Enforcement

Which way do I walk and for how many steps?

Rule 11 The Officials: Jurisdiction and Duties

Who does what in the big crews

Rule 12 Instant Replay

Relax, No worries for a few years.

Summary of Penalties

Signals (examples of Signals on TV commercials)

mechanics books
Mechanics Books

Interpretations … An entire section, almost half the rule book … Serves to illustrate

the spirit and application of a rule.


How it differs from the Rules

Illustrates the positions and duties according to the number of officials actually working the game.

You will get DVDs pertaining to the “mechanics” of working football games as

Two Man crew

Three Man crew

Four Man crew

week two lesson plan 6 30 08
Week Two Lesson Plan 6/30/08

Review of First Week’s class

Rule BookPoints of Emphasis :

Defenseless players : QB down the line, Kickers, Punt returners,

Receivers, Players out of the play

Sideline Control : Change in penalty from recent years, now it

costs them for the first offense. No more free warnings …

5, 5, 15

The Football Code … Coaching Ethics, Talking to opponents, etc

Diagram of Field … numbers, pylons etc.

week two lesson plan 6 30 0821
Week Two Lesson Plan 6/30/08

Rule 1

Section 1 General Provisions

2 teams of 11 …. Or fewer! …. But not more

5 properly numbered big guys

Captains, max of 4 …

Article 6 … “Persons Subject to the rules” includes

trainers, cheerleaders, the band, mascots, PA announcers

Section 2 The Field …. How long is a football field? How wide?

Size, shape and color of markings … don’t worry too much about all this.

Two things to help…

Inbounds lines = hash marks

9 yard marks (usually at side numbers)

rule 1
Rule 1

Section 2 (continued)

Article 4 Team Area and Coaching Box

Between the 25 yd lines … YOU have the first 6’ or 2 yds … OWN IT !

Coaches box is the next 6’ or 2 yds … Then comes the team area

Article 5 Goals Describes size/shape …

For your purposes, we will play with whatever field and post we have … AS LONG AS IT IS SAFE …(Article 5e … padded posts)

Article 7 Line to Gain and Down Indicators …. The “Chains”

6’ off the sideline … Why? Discuss safety issues of chains

SECTION 3 THE BALL … New or nearly new ….

at lower levels, play with what you’ve got. Basic ball mechanics.

rule 123
Rule 1

SECTION 4 Players and Playing Equipment

Recommended numbering

Article 1 Shows all the “recommended” numbering. Not important. But DO need to know what LEGAL numbering is.

Legal numbers in general are 1-99 (no “0 or 00”)

At least 5 players on LOS numbered 50-79

Tackle’s don’t “report”

Defense can wear any numbers

Article 3 Contrasting Colors … Visitors in White … Again, let them play.

Article 4 Mandatory Equipment Now we get to important stuff!

Don’t get sued. Watch at ALL levels for proper padding…

Knee pads, Chin straps, Mouthpieces

rule 124
Rule 1

Article 5 Illegal Equipment

Artificial limbs ok, Bionic weapons not ok

Braces, etc must be safely padded … Cleat specifications (no worries)

Towels and eye shields

Penalties … under Article 6 1st 3 infractions/half we dock them a TO

4th violation is 5 yds, dead ball, succeeding spot (after result of play)

Don’t let it get to all of this complication

Article 7 Coaches’ Certification:

“Coach, are all your players properly and safely equipped per rule?

Do they know to leave the game if any required equipment becomes unsafe? Is anyone wearing a hard cast, exposed metal knee brace, or any other piece of equipment that we need to look at prior to the game?

End of Rule 1 discussion

5 man mechanics
5 Man Mechanics

5 Man Mechanics, Overview, Positions and Responsibilities

Sub Varsity Assignment Process .. .Wayne Pollard guest speaker

press box
Press Box


G 10 20 30 40 50 40 30 20 10 G



























G 10 20 30 40 50 40 30 20 10 G


week 3 lesson plan 7 7 08
Week 3 Lesson Plan 7/7/08

Review of First 2 Week’s classes

Rule 2 Definitions

Section 1 Approved Rulings and Officials Signals (Video)

ARs are in the 2nd part of the Rule Book, “Case studies” or Examples/What ifs

Official’s Signals refer to the two pages of signals and when they are used

Section 2 The Ball: Live, Dead, Loose

Live ball is a ball in play… a pass in flight is a live ball.

Dead Ball …. Is a ball not in play

Loose ball … a live ball not in player possession

…can be during running play, scrimmage or free kick, pass play

… All eligible to touch, catch, etc a loose fumble/bkward pass

BUT, certain additional rules govern loose kicks and forward pass

Ready for play … Discuss UIL differences with NCAA timing rules…a dead ball is ready for play when the R sounds his whistle and gives either the RFP signal or the Wind clock signal.

rule 2 definitions
Rule 2 Definitions

Article 5

In Possession … holding or controlling of a live ball

a. A player “gains possession” when he is firmly holding or controlling the ball while contacting the ground inbounds.

b. A team is “in possession” when one of its players is “in possession” …

While a forward pass is in flight

Or one of its players was last in possession during a loose ball.

Article 7 Catch, Interception, Recovery

A catch is an act of firmly establishing player possession of a live ball in flight.

A catch of an opponent’s fumble or pass in an Interception.

Securing player possession of a live ball after it strikes the ground is “recovering it”.

rule 2 definitions29
Rule 2 Definitions
  • Article 7 a …. To catch, intercept or recover a ball, a player who leaves his feet must have the ball firmly in his possession when he first returns to the ground inbounds with any part of his body
  • (knee, butt, elbow)
  • First foot inbounds, if ball in control, it’s a catch
  • Loss of ball simultaneous to returning to the ground is NOT a catch.
  • Catch by a kneeling or prone player, is still a catch.
  • When in question, it is NOT a catch.
  • Simultaneous catch … when two players have joint possession (alpha male)
  • SECTION 3 BLOCKING … is obstructing an opponent by contacting him with any part of the blocker’s body.
        • Pushing is blocking an opponent with open hands. Quite legal
rule 2 definitions30
Rule 2 Definitions

Below Waist … Blocking below the waist is the initial contact below the waist

with any part of the blocker’s body against an opponent.

Initial contact against an opponent with one or both feet ON the ground.

First contact above the waist … then slides below the waist, not a foul.

Chop Block … a high-low or low-high combination block by any two players

against an opponent anywhere on the field. The “low” component

is at the opponent’s thigh or below.

Block in the Back … is contact against an opponent occurring when the force

of the initial contact is from behind and above the waist.

The position of the blocker’s head or feet does not necessarily indicate the

point of initial contact.

Section 4 Clipping …. Is a block with the force of the initial contact from

behind and at or below the waist.

rule 2 definitions31
Rule 2 Definitions

Section 6 Down and Between Downs … A down is a unit of the game starting

with a legal snap, ending when ball is dead.

Section 7 Fair Catch …of a scrimmage kick is a catch, beyond neutral zone, by

a Team B player who has made a valid signal during a scrimmage kick

that is untouched beyond the NZ.

Same components during a Free Kick. Yes, you can fair catch a kickoff.

Valid/invalid FC signal deprives the receiving team of opportunity to advance the ball. (so if another B player signals, teammate catches and runs, KILL it!)

Valid Signal … is a signal given by B who has obviously signaled his intention by extending one hand only, clearly above his head and waving that hand from side to side more than once.

Invalid Signal … Any waiving signal by B that doesn’t meet the guidelines

rule 2 definitions32
Rule 2 Definitions

Section 8Forward, Beyond and Forward Progress

Forward Progress … is a term indicating the end of advancement by the ball

carrier or airborne pass receiver of either team and applies to the position

of the ball when it became dead by rule.

Look at the AR’s for Forward Progress … Discuss … 5-1-3- I, II, III, IV

Section 9 Foul and Violation

Foul… rule infraction which carries a penalty

Violation …. Rule infraction with no penalty, but certain repercussions occur

Section 10 Fumbling, Muffing, Batting, Touching, Blocking a Kick

Fumble … any act other than passing, kicking, or successful handing resulting in loss of player possession.

Muff … an unsuccessful attempt to catch or recover a ball

Batting … intentionally striking it or changing ball’s direction hands/arms

rule 2 definitions33
Rule 2 Definitions

Section 10 continued…

Touching … any contact, intentional or not, When in question, NOT

Section 11 Lines

Goal Lines … vertical plane separating EZ from Field of Play. Extends beyond sidelines. A team’s goal line is that which it is defending.

Restraining Lines … part of a vertical plane when a ball is touched or is in possession. Extends beyond sidelines.

Yard Lines … any line in field of play parallel to the end lines.

Inbounds Lines (hash marks) … Two, 60’ from sidelines.

Out of Bounds Lines … area enclosed by sidelines and end lines is “in bounds” and area surrounding and including sidelines and end lines is “out of bounds”.

Nine Yard Marks …located 9 yards from sidelines (or legal yd line numbers)

rule 2 definitions34
Rule 2 Definitions

Section 12 Handing the Ball … transferring player possession, without throwing, fumbling or kicking it.

Only legal in certain situations …

Loss of possession is fumble charged to last guy who had it …

Backward handoff .. Runner releases ball before it is beyond the yard line where runner is positioned.

Section 13 Huddle … 2 or more players, after RFP, before the snap

Section 14 Hurdling … attempt by a player (not the runner) to jump, foot/knee foremost over an opponent, still on his feet.

Section 15 Kicks… kicking the ball is intentionally striking ball with knee, lower leg, or foot.

Legal Kick … a punt, drop kick, place kick made by rule, by A, before change of team possession. Any other act is illegal.

Any free kick or scrimmage kick continues to be a kick until caught/recovered/dead

rule 2 definitions35
Rule 2 Definitions

Section 15 continued…

Punt … a kick, player drops the ball and kicks it before it strikes ground

Drop Kick … gimme a break

Place Kick … Field goal place kick is a kick while ball is controlled on ground by a holder. Kicking tee ok in high school.

Free kick place kick, KICK OFF. Positioned on a tee, or ground, or held by holder.

Tee … device to elevate the ball, max elev 1 inch.

Free Kick … Kickoff either place kick or punt after safey.

Kickoff … only from ground or tee

Safety … ground, tee, or punt

Scrimmage Kick …Article 7.. It’s a FRICKIN’ PUNT!

made in/behind NZ, before change of team possession.

rule 2 definitions36
Rule 2 Definitions

Section 15 continues…

Return Kick … after change of possession by a dumbass.

Field Goal Attempt … let’s call it a scrimmage kick.

Scrimmage Kick Formation … IMPORTANT!

at least 1 player 7 yds deep

no player in position to receive a hand to hand snap (duh.. QB)

and obvious that a kick may be attempted.

Section 17 The Neutral Zone … the space between the 2 lines of scrimmage

Section 18 Encroachment and Offside

Encroachment …. After the RFP, Encroachment occurs when an offensive player violates the NZ after the snapper touches the ball.

rule 2 definitions37
Rule 2 Definitions

Section 18 continued

Offside … after the RFP, when a defensive player

… is in/beyond the NZ when ball is legally snapped.

… contacts an opponent beyond the NZ before the ball is snapped.

… contacts the ball before it is snapped.

… threatens an offensive lineman (who immediately reacts)

… not behind his restraining line on a kick off.

… also Offside when kicking team crosses restraining line early.

Section 19 Passes … Passing the ball is throwing it. Continues as a pass til caught or incomplete.

Forward and Backward Pass

Forward Pass … determined by where ball first strikes ground, player, beyond the spot of the pass. All others are backward passes. There are no laterals.

rule 2 definitions38
Rule 2 Definitions

Section 19 continued

b. … any intentional forward movement of hand/arm starts pass.

c. … when in question it is a pass not a fumble

d. … snap is a backward pass when snapper releases.

Article 3 Crosses Neutral Zone … a pass has crossed NZ when 1st strikes ground, player, official or anything beyond NZ.

Article 4 Catchable Forward Pass… Untouched , Legal , Forward , Beyond NZ …

to an eligible player , with reasonable opportunity to catch the ball.

When in question, it is catchable.

Section 20 Penalty …is a result imposed by rule against a team guilty of a foul

may include : Loss of yardage, LOD, Auto 1st, DQ

Section 21 Scrimmage : Scrimmage play is a “down” that begins with a legal snap

Line of Scrimmage : Yard line and vertical plain passing thru end of ball closest to respective team’s goal line.

rule 2 definitions39
Rule 2 Definitions

Section 22 Shift

Simultaneous change of position by 2 or more players after the RFP and before next snap.

Section 23 Snapping the Ball … Legal snap is

handing or passing backward , from ground , quick and continuous motion,

ball must leave the snappers hand.

Snap starts when ball is legally moved and ends when ball leaves snappers hand

If ball slips, becomes backward pass (not fumble) and is in play.

First movement Must be backward. Not legal snap if 1st lifted or moved forward.

If touched by Team B during snap, Ball remains Dead, Foul by B (Can’t slap it)

Not necessarily between snapper’s legs, but must be quick/continuous, backward

Section 24 Series and Possession …. Series is 4 consecutive downs, each

beginning with a snap.

rule 2 definitions40
Rule 2 Definitions

Section 25 Spots

Enforcement Spot … point from which penalty is enforced.

Previous Spot … where the ball was last put in play.

Succeeding Spot … where the ball is next to be put in play.

Dead-Ball Spot … where the ball became dead.

Spot of the Foul … where the foul occurs.

Out of Bounds Spot … where ball dead by rule by going OB

Inbounds Spot … if dead outside the hash marks, back to the hash mark

Spot Where Run Ends …

- Where ball declared dead in player possession -Where backward pass is thrown

- Where possession lost on a fumble - Where illegal kick made beyond LOS

- Where handing of the ball occurs - Where a return kick occurs

- Where illegal FP is thrown.

rule 2 definitions41
Rule 2 Definitions

Section 25 continued

Spot Where Kick Ends … ends at spot where possession is gained or regained or ball dead by rule.

* When kick ends in B’s EZ, PSK spot is B’s 20.

* On successful FG, untouched by B, PSK spot is previous spot.

* If previous spot is inside B20, and unsuccessful FG attempt untouched by B, spot where kick ends goes to B20.

Basic Spot

Article 10 …When “basic spot” is stated in penalty enforcement, fouls during running play, pass play, or legal kick play are penalized from the “basic spot”.

This discussion is covered more completely in Rule 10

rule 2 definitions42
Rule 2 Definitions
  • Article 11. Postscrimmage Kick Spot …
  • Serves as basic spot when PSK applies.
  • When kick ends in field of play (special cases/exceptions below) the PSK spot is the spot where the kick ends.
  • When kick ends in B’s EZ, PSK spot is B’s 20
  • Special Cases…
  • 1. On unsuccessful FG attempt, ball untouched by B after crossing NZ and declared dead beyond NZ, the PSK spot is:
  • a. Previous Spot, if Previous Spot is on or outside B’s 20 or
  • b. B’s 20, if the Previous Spot is between B’s 20 and it’s goal line.
  • 2. When Rule 6-3-11 is in effect (batting by A after ball in/over Goal Line)
  • then PSK spot is B’s 20.
rule 2 definitions43
Rule 2 Definitions

Section 27 Team and Player Designations

Team A … team designated to put ball in play Team B … the opponent

and they retain their designations until ball ready for next play

Article 3 Kicker and Holder ….. Kicker is any player who punts, drop

kicks, or place kicks according to rule. He remains a kicker until he

has had a reasonable time to regain his balance.

Article 4 Lineman and Back

Lineman … Any Team A player in one of the following positions:

- Legally on his scrimmage line when ball is snapped

- “Interior Lineman”: legally on LOS and positioned between the “end”

Team A players who are also on the LOS at snap.

- Ineligible pass receiver of Team A is “on his LOS” at the snap when

he faces his opponent’s goal line with line of his shoulders parallel

to and his head breaking plane of the line drawn through waistline

of the snapper.

- Eligible receiver of Team A is on his LOS at snap when facing

opponent’s goal line, with shoulders Approximately parallel to and his

head breaking plane drawn through waistline of the snapper.

rule 2 definitions44
Rule 2 Definitions

Back: any Team A player whose head or body does NOT break the plane of

the line drawn through the rear most part, other than the legs or feet,

of the nearest Team A player (except the snapper) on the LOS when

ball is snapped.

A Lineman becomes a Back before the snap when he moves to a

position as a back and stops.

Passer (Article 5) The Passer is the player who throws a legal forward

pass. He is the passer from the time he releases the ball until it is

complete, incomplete or intercepted or he moves to participate in the


Player … A Player is any one of the participants in the game who is not a

substitute or a replaced player and is subject to the rules when

inbounds or out of bounds.

An airborne player is a player not in contact with the ground

A departing player is a player leaving the field, having been replaced

by a substitute.

rule 2 definitions45
Rule 2 Definitions

Snapper … the player who snaps the ball. Becomes the snapper when he

assumes his position and touches or simulates (hands at knees or

below) touching the ball.

Substitute … a legal substitute is a replacement for a player or a player

vacancy during the interval between downs.

A legal incoming sub becomes a player when he enters field of play

or end zone and communicates with a teammate or an official, enters

the huddle, is positioned in an offensive or a defensive formation

or participates in a play.

Replaced Player …. One who participated during the previous down, has been

replaced by a substitute and has left the field of play and EZs.

Section 28 Tripping …. Intentionally using the lower leg or foot to obstruct an opponent below the knees.

rule 2 definitions46
Rule 2 Definitions

Section 29 Timing Devices

Game Clock … Any device under the direction of the official used to

time the game.

Play Clock … “25 Second Clock” … Each end of field … Starts on RFP

Section 30 Play Classifications

Forward Pass Play … the interval between the snap and when a legal

forward pass is complete, incomplete, or intercepted.

Free Kick Play … interval from the time the ball is legally kicked until

it comes into player possession or is declared dead by rule.

Scrimmage Kick Play … interval between the snap and when a

scrimmage kick comes into player possession or the ball is

declared dead by rule.

rule 2 definitions47
Rule 2 Definitions

Running Play

… any live ball action other than that during a free kick play, a

scrimmage kick play or a legal forward pass play.

A run is that segment of a running play during which a ball

carrier has possession.

If a ball carrier loses possession by a fumble, backward pass,

or illegal forward pass, the running play Includes the spot

where the run ends and the loose-ball interval before

possession is regained or the ball is declared dead (AR 2-30-4-I &II)

A new running play begins when a player gains or regains possession.

Section 31 Field Areas

The Field … area within the limit lines, including team area

Field of Play … area enclosed by sidelines and goal lines.

rule 2 definitions48
Rule 2 Definitions

End Zones … rectangle defined by the goal line, sidelines, and end

line. Goal line and pylons are IN THE END ZONE.

Playing Surface … Field Turf , Astro-Turf, Grass, Dirt, Mud

Playing Enclosure … Stadium, Dome, Stands, Not the scoreboard (?)

Section 32 Fighting … Any attempt by a player, coach, or squad

member in uniform to strike an opponent in a Combative

manner UNRELATED to football. Includes …

- an attempt to strike an opponent with the arms, hands, leg,

or foot, whether or not there is contact.

- an unsportsmanlike act toward an opponent that causes

any oppenent to retaliate by fighting (Rule 9-2-1-a , 9-5-1-a,c)

Section 33 Three and One Principle …. Principle of penalty enforcement

that applies when the penalty statement for a foul does not

specify the enforcement spot. See Rule 10-2-2-c

Section 34 Tackle Box … the rectangular area enclosed by the NZ, the two

lines parallel to the sidelines 5 yards from the snapper, and

Team A’s end line. (Diagram FR 20)

rule 3 periods time factors substitutions
Rule 3 Periods, Time Factors, Substitutions

Section 1 Start of Each Period

Article 1 First and Third Periods … Starts with a Kickoff (40)

… Discuss Coin Toss … Options for Cpt who wins toss

Article 2 Second and Fourth Periods…

Change Goals … Ball relocated “Exactly…”

Article 3 Extra Periods … NCAA Tiebreaker System. Yes, we use it in UIL games

Read about it, not going to go into detail in this class.

Section 2 Playing Time and Intermissions

Article 1 Length of Periods and Intermissions

60 Minutes NCAA but in Texas High School … 12 minute quarters …

… Varies with different levels of games … Half time IS what it IS.

Article 2 Timing Adjustments …

Before game … R can do it, but must be 4 equal quarters

After game starts … Mutual agreement by coaches and R

Play Clock corrections … Can be done at direction of R (common sense)

rule 3 periods time factors substitutions50
Rule 3 Periods, Time Factors, Substitutions

Article 3 Extension of Periods …

You extend a period for an untimed down ( 00:00 on Game Clock ) IF:

a. A penalty is accepted for a live ball foul

(Not extended if part of the penalty includes LOD)

b. There are offsetting fouls

c. You have an inadvertent whistle or signal


Game Clock … On the scoreboard, or kept on the field

Game Clock25 Sec

Who does what? 5 man L B

4 man L R

3 man L/U R

2 man U R

Malfunction or other “Problem”? Run it on the field

Section 3 Timeouts: Starting and Stopping the Clock

Article 1 An official shall signal timeout when rules provide for stopping the clock or when a timeout is charged to a team or to the officials. Other officials repeat signal.

Officials may declare and charge themselves with timeouts.

When Team is out of timeouts, simply don’t acknowledge request for more.

rule 3 periods time factors substitutions51
Rule 3 Periods, Time Factors, Substitutions

Section 3 … continued …

Article 2 Starting and Stopping the Clock

a. Free Kick… Starts when ball legally touched in Field of Play, stopped

when dead by rule.

b. Scrimmage Down… Beginning of a period, on snap… On all other

scrimmage downs, clock starts when ball is legally snapped or on a

prior signal by the R (RFP).

Clock doesn’t run: During a Try, Extension of a period, Overtime

c. After a Score … Game clock stops after a TD, FG or Safety. Doesn’t

start again until Free Kick legally touched.

d. Starts on the Snap … For each of the Following, the game clock stops.

If the next play begins with a snap, the clock starts on the snap:

- Touchback

- Less than 2 minutes remaining in a Half with a Team A ball carrier,

fumble, or backward pass is ruled out of bounds.

(Exception: Team A forward fumble, clock starts on RFP)

- Team B is awarded a 1st Down and will next snap the ball.

- A forward pass is ruled incomplete.

- A team is given a charged team timeout.

rule 3 periods time factors substitutions52
Rule 3 Periods, Time Factors, Substitutions

d. Starts on the Snap… Continued

- The ball becomes illegal.

- Violation of a rule for mandatory equipment

- A legal kick down ends.

- A return kick is made.

- Scrimmage kick is made beyond the neutral zone.

- Team A commits a delay-of-game foul while in scrimmage kick formation

- A period ends.

e. Starts on R’s signal … For each of the following reasons, the game clock is stopped.

If the next play begins with a Snap, the clock will start on the RFP:

- 1st Down awarded to Team A

- Team A forward fumble goes OB

- Other than with fewer than 2 minutes …. NOT OUR RULE!!!!!

- To complete a penalty

- An injury timeout is allowed

- An inadvertent whistle is sounded

- A possible 1st down measurement

- A delay in making the ball ready for play is caused by both teams


rule 3 periods time factors substitutions53
Rule 3 Periods, Time Factors, Substitutions

e. Starts on R’s signal … For each of the following reasons, the game clock is stopped.

If the next play begins with a Snap, the clock will start on the RFP:

- A live ball comes into possession of an official.

- The ball carrier’s helmet comes completely off.

- Head coach’s conference is granted.

- R grants a media timeout.

- R declares a discretionary timeout.

- R declares a timeout for unfair noise.

- An illegal pass is thrown to conserve time.

- The R interrupts the 25 second count.

Article 3 Suspending the Game

rule 4 ball in play dead ball out of bounds
Rule 4 Ball in Play, Dead Ball, Out of Bounds

Section 1 Ball in Play – Dead Ball

Dead Ball Becomes Alive

Article 1 … After a dead ball is made RFP it becomes a live ball when it is legally snapped or legally free kicked. A ball snapped or free kicked before it is made RFP remains dead.

Live Ball Becomes Dead

Article 2


Try and Field Goal Plays

Plays From Scrimmage

Try and Field Goal Plays


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free kick positioning
Free Kick Positioning




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Plays From Scrimmage

Scrimmage Kicks



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R watches play on kicker, L holds until ball crosses neutral zone, then moves slowly downfield covering on his side between line of scrimmage and deep receiver(s). LJ stays on line until snap, then moves slowly downfield covering his side between the line of scrimmage and the deep receiver(s). L and LJ be alert for blocked or partially blocked kick. BJ takes a position on L\'s side and slightly ahead of receiver(s). L, know if kick crosses neutral zone. Be alert for delay by kicking team designed to confuse opponents.



rule 9 conduct of players and others subject to rules
Rule 9 Conduct of Players and Others Subject to Rules

Section 1 Contact and Interference Fouls

Article 2 … The “Thou Shalt Nots”

q. FMM

rule 10 penalty enforcement
Rule 10 Penalty Enforcement

Fouls by offensive team Behind the Basic Spot are enforced from Spot of Foul.

a. Basic spot on running plays ending beyond NZ is spot where related run ends.

Fouls by Offense behind Basic Spot are spot fouls.

* Except FMM, ILH, OH, ILB, PF if behind NZ by Offense, go from Previous spot

* Safety if foul occurs behind Team A’s goal line.

rule 10 penalty enforcement68
Rule 10 Penalty Enforcement
  • b. Basic spot on running plays when run ends behind NZ is previous spot, and fouls by Offense behind the basic spot are spot fouls.
  • Basic spot on running plays when no NZ (interception runbacks, kick runbacks, fumble advances, etc) is spot where related run ends, fouls by Offense behind basic spot are spot fouls.
  • Basic spot on legal forward pass plays is Previous Spot, fouls by Offense behind basic spot are spot fouls.
  • Except … DPI may be a spot foul
  • RFP added to end of last run when ends beyond NZ
  • IT enforced from previous spot
  • OFMM, OH, ILB, PFs if behind NZ go from Previous spot
  • Basic spot on legal kick plays, before change of possession, is Previous Spot, fouls by Offense behind basic spot are spot fouls.
official s uniform
Official’s Uniform

Additional Equipment and Tools of the Trade...

Flag One, worn inconspicuously in front

Bean Bag White

Down Indicator Black, or rubber band

Tossing Coin Heads or tails

Clip Two if on chain crew or working HL

Watch Simple countdown, easy to set, big numbers

Whistle Lanyard, finger whistle

Travel bag Black, On rollers?

Game Card/Pencil

official s uniform70
Official’s Uniform

“Summer Uniform” for most scrimmages, SubV games

Shirt Short sleeve, B&W, not mesh, pocket left chest

Black Shorts “Coaches” shorts, Belt loops

White socks Not B&W striped, short low calf

Black shoes Prefer solid black, but B&W is ok

T-Shirt Black … no chest hair or gold medallions

Cap Black with white “piping”. Fitted, not mesh.

Varsity & “Winter Uniform” Varsity games, Colder weather

Shirt Same as above but long sleeve

Knickers White, for football officials (not recycled baseball pants)

Stockings One piece 3 stripes (Careful, not 2 stripes like NFL)

Chain Crew Same as Varsity uniform except wear white golf shirt rather than

striped shirt. Black jacket approved for colder weather.

game day subvarsity
Game Day ! (SubVarsity)
  • Arrive on time
  • Quick pre-game with your crew, Review 2 man, 3 man mechanics
  • Inspect field
  • Game clock and 25 second clock location and test
  • Certify equipment and players with coaches
  • Figure out payroll paperwork
  • Check chains and brief chain crew
  • Approve game balls (remind coaches to work in their ball or play with the same one.
  • Get your captains and conduct coin toss
  • Play Ball!
free kick positioning74
Free Kick Positioning




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Passing Game

  • Prior to the snap

Position/Mechanics … Responsibilities … Fouls/Rules

  • During the play

Position/Mechanics … Responsibilities … Fouls/Rules

  • After the play

Position/Mechanics … Responsibilities … Fouls/Rules


Scrimmage Kicks

  • Prior to the snap

Position/Mechanics … Responsibilities … Fouls/Rules

  • During the play

Position/Mechanics … Responsibilities … Fouls/Rules

  • After the play

Position/Mechanics … Responsibilities … Fouls/Rules

free kick mechanics
Free Kick Mechanics
  • R Obtain all crew members ready signal and when all are ready, sound your whistle as you give the ready for play signal. Assist BJ to ensure the correct number of players are on each side of the kicker when ball is kicked.
  • BJ When ball is kicked, ensure the correct number of players are on each side of the kicker. Be alert for Team A encroaching.
  • ALL Mark the out of bounds spot, with flag if appropriate, if kick goes out of bounds between goal lines. Maintain position enabling coverage of your sideline at all times. If kicked in your area, cover any muff, advance, or any Team B player who catches or recovers the ball.

Observe any player who is out of bounds before or during the kick, including Team A players who enter the field after the ball is declared ready for play.

Observe legality of blocks and action away from the ball when not covering the runner.

  • R,LJ If kick goes deep, retreat to position to observe actions involving the goal line, sideline or end line. R

will take the ball only if in his side zone. The official who does not have the ball is responsible for action in front of runner. If touchback occurs, move into field of play to stop any late or illegal actions but do not ignore players behind you.

  • BJ,L, Watch for infractions involving restraining lines. Watch for short kick and whether it is touched or

U recovered legally or illegally.

  • ALL Be alert for fair catch signal and interference with the opportunity to catch a kick.
  • NOTE: Maintain position in front of player attempting to catch the ball. When you do not have the ball, take a position to observe action in your area ahead of the runner.
free kick situations
Free Kick Situations

During Team A\'s free kick from the A40, Team A player goes out of bounds to avoid a block. He returns to the field of play and recovers the kick at the Team B 20 yard line.

a) B 1/10 @ B20 Ready

b) A 1/10 @ B20

c) Rekick @ A30

d) B 1/10 @ B20 Snap

A\'s ball, free kick, on A\'s 40. Team B player catches A\'s free kick in B\'s end zone, runs to his left, and while still in B\'s end zone, turns and throws a backward pass to a teammate on the other side of the end zone. The backward pass is muffed and bounces out to B\'s 2 where it goes out of bounds. Clock?

a) B 1/10 @ B2 Snap

b) B 1/10 @ B2 Ready

c) Touchback; B 1/10 @ B20

d) Safety

A\'s ball, free kick, on A\'s 40. Team B player catches A\'s free kick in B\'s end zone, runs to his left, and while still in B\'s end zone, turns and throws a backward pass to a teammate on the other side of the end zone. The ball sails over his head and out of bounds.

a) Touchback; B 1/10 @ B20 Ready

b) Touchback; B 1/10 @ B20 Snap

c) Safety

plays from scrimmage

Plays From Scrimmage

Plays From Scrimmage


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R takes runner sideline to sideline behind line of scrimmage. L and LJ watch action on line of scrimmage; take runner in their side zone; responsible for their sideline. U watches 5 interior linemen and runner in his area on short drives. BJ has deep responsibility; helps with out of bounds runs, especially in team areas.



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Plays From Scrimmage


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Plays From Scrimmage



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scrimmage play situations
Scrimmage Play Situations

A 3/23 @ A\'s 27. The defensive end grasps the QB’s facemask on A\'s 22 in a twisting action. The QB breaks away and subsequently completes a legal forward pass to the tight end who is downed on A\'s 44.

a) A 1/10 @ B41 Ready

b) A 1/10 @ A42 Ready

c) A 1/10 @ A37 Ready

A 4/5 @ B26. Pass is complete to the wide receiver who runs to the B5 and fumbles. The ball rolls into and out of the end zone. While the pass was in the air, Team B roughed the passer.

a) A 1/10 @ B13 Snap

b) A 1/10 @ B11 Snap

c) A1/10 @ B13 Ready

d) A1/10 @ B 11 Ready

Fourth and goal on B\'s 9. Team B intercepts QB\'s legal forward pass one yard deep in B\'s end zone. Team B player is immediately contacted in the back and driven to B\'s 3 where he is downed.

a) Touchback; B 1/10 @ B20 Snap

b) B 1/10 @ B3 Ready

c) Touchback; B 1/10 @ B20 Ready

d) B 1/10 @ B3 Snap


Plays From Scrimmage

Scrimmage Kicks



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R watches play on kicker, L holds until ball crosses neutral zone, then moves slowly downfield covering on his side between line of scrimmage and deep receiver(s). LJ stays on line until snap, then moves slowly downfield covering his side between the line of scrimmage and the deep receiver(s). L and LJ be alert for blocked or partially blocked kick. BJ takes a position on L\'s side and slightly ahead of receiver(s). L, know if kick crosses neutral zone. Be alert for delay by kicking team designed to confuse opponents.




Scrimmage Kick Coverage


R Watch blocking and illegal action by players behind the line. Observe action of and against the kicker, using signal #11 if appropriate, and observe players while proceeding slowly downfield if the kick remains inbounds. If the flight of the kick is toward a sideline, move quickly to position in line with the flight and use arm signals to direct the official covering that sideline to out of bounds spot. When correctly aligned, drop your arm as indication that the official hold the spot until ball is spotted for next down.

If the kick is caught or recovered downfield, be conscious of coverage of either sideline. Be prepared to take over the runner.

R, U Be alert for blocked kick. Be alert for recovery and advance.


U Look down the line at the initial charge, checking blocks of offense and action by defensive players. Observe defensive linemen over center to avoid serious injury to snapper. Shift observations to contact between defensive players. After players go past your position turn and move toward the return area, observe the center picture for illegal action by players of either team, assist with substitutes. Be alert for sleeper plays.

U If the kick is short or partially blocked, know if it crossed the neutral zone.


L Primary responsibility to know if kicked ball crosses neutral zone.

L, LJ After initial line charge, observe blocks for defensive holding. If the kick is short to your side, observe first touching, legal or illegal, catch interference, valid or invalid signal for fair catch. Maintain position to cover in front of the runner after catch or recovery of the kick, maintain coverage until the runner cuts toward the opposite side or, if on your side, is picked up by you. You have responsibility for the entire sideline on your side.


Scrimmage Kick Coverage


BJ If kick is short to either sideline, the sideline official will assume responsibility for the ball. Observe action in front of the ball. On all other kicks cover the receiver, taking a position ahead of the receiver if possible. Observe first touching, interference, and fair catch situations. Cover kicks on ground or in air which go 25 yards or more. If in doubt as to spot of out of bounds kick in the air, raise hand and R will assist. If there is any question regarding covering official, communicate verbally.

L, LJ If kick goes to side opposite you, drift downfield, observing all action and be alert for a sudden cut toward your side and possible exchange in coverage of the runner. When you do not have the ball, take a position to observe action in your area ahead of the runner.

Mark and hold out of bounds spot of rolling kick on your side. Be alert to cover and accept R\'s signal in spotting out of bounds kick in flight.

BJ BJ will be primarily responsible for ruling on fair catch signal in his area. LJ and L observe other action surrounding the ball. If player signaling fair catch does not touch the ball, LJ and L must observe legality of his actions until the ball becomes dead. Be ready to rule on kick in end zone. Be alert for batting. Use a bean bag to mark the spot where kick ends.

scrimmage kick situations
Scrimmage Kick Situations

A 4/6 @ A\'s 29. A4 punts. Team A player commits an interference with opportunity foul on B\'s 38. The Receiver muffs the kick on B\'s 36. While the ball is loose on B\'s 43, the SJ blows his whistle. If there is a penalty – the penalty is accepted.

a) Replay the down – clock on the snap

b) B 1/10 A49 – clock on the ready

c) B 1/10 A47 - clock on the ready

d) B 1/10 A42 - clock on the snap

A 4/12 @ B\'s 48. The Receiver lets the punt bounce on B\'s 10. The ball rolls toward Team B\'s end zone. On B\'s 2, Team A player bats the ball backward, with the ball striking a Team B player on the leg on B\'s 8. Team A falls on the ball on B\'s 10.

a) A 1/10 B10 – clock on the ready

b) B 1/10 B2 - clock on the snap

c) B 1/10 B10 – clock on the ready

d) A 4/27 A37 - clock on the snap

A 4/14 @ A\'s 36. Team A\'s punt is shanked, hits the ground on A\'s 42 and bounces back to A\'s 33 where a Team B player recovers while grounded. During the down, the Defensive End committed a holding foul on A\'s 46. Team A was illegally in motion at the snap.

a) Offset and Replay - clock on the ready

b) B 1/10 B44 - clock on the ready

c) Team B can decline the Team A foul - clock on the ready

d) If Team B accepts the Team A penalty – offset - clock on the ready

e) All of the above are correct

f) None of the above are correct


Try and Field Goal Plays

Plays From Scrimmage

Try and Field Goal Plays


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Try and Field Goal Situations

PAT @ B\'s 3. Team A has only six players on the line at the snap. The try is blocked behind the line of scrimmage. The ball never crosses the neutral zone. Team B picks up the ball on B\'s 10 and returns the ball across Team A\'s goal line. During Team B\'s run, a Team B player held @ B\'s 18.

a) Score 2 pts for B – administer the penalty on the Kickoff

b) Replay the Try from the B1-1/2

c) Team B cannot advance this ball – play is dead when B picks up the ball

d) Penalty is declined by rule – no score is allowed

PAT @ B3. The score is A28-B28 with time expired in the fourth quarter. A\'s kick is good. The Tight End was called for holding and the Safety committed a personal foul after the Try.

a) Replay Try from the B 6-1/2

b) Offsetting fouls – replay Try from the B3

c) Replay Try from the B2 after enforcing both fouls

d) Fouls on both teams – Try ends

PAT @ B’s 3. Team B defensive end intercepts Team A\'s legal forward pass and is downed on A\'s 40. During Team B\'s run, a Team B player clips. Team A was illegally in motion. Team B was offside.

a) Offsetting fouls – try ends

b) Fouls occur both before and after the change of possession – try ends

c) Replay try

d) Replay try – after enforcement of the clip. Try will be from the B1-1/2



R When spotting the ball after each scrimmage, be sure there is no need for measurement before announcing the down. If close, announce the down and be alert for either captain\'s request for measurement, if doubtful, call for measurement without captain’s request.

BJ Will ensure the ball is not moved after being spotted for measurement. Hold ball if necessary. Clear the area of officials and players for press box view.

R When the ball becomes dead in a side zone or out of bounds and measurement should be at the dead ball spot, have covering official place the ball at the proper spot. If short of a first down, use the forward point established on the chain when spotting the ball at the inbounds line. If alternate game ball is available following the measurement, leave the ball in the side zone until an alternate ball is placed at a corresponding inbounds spot.

See that the U is ready. Observe the relative position of ball and point to be gained, then announce your ruling.

Remain over the ball and announce down and distance. Get ready signals from captains while L is resetting chain. When L is ready, declare the ball ready for play.

R,L,U Check for kinks in chain and be sure that chain is taunt.

U Take forward rod. Wait until L calls "ready" then carefully tighten the chain only once. Don’t pull or jerk it. Have the rod perpendicular to the ground at the side of the ball until R announces his ruling, then return rod to the chain crew.

LJ Go to yard line nearest stake. Mark a spot perpendicular to the ball to aid. Also, aid L in positioning the chain for an accurate measurement.

L Grasp chain at point of its intersection with the back edge of the marked yard line nearest the rear rod, after clip of snap is affixed to mark the correct point, grasp the chain firmly as assistants carry it to the position on the field. Instruct the box operator to place the box at the nearest rod.

Maintaining grasp, place the correct point of the chain on the back edge of the proper yard line, call "ready" and be sure the chain is not jerked from your grasp when tightened bythe U.

If not first down, retain firm grasp and personally set the chain at its original spot on the sideline. Check the point marked by your assistant.


Calling and Reporting Fouls

ALL Fouls by jersey color or offense/defense or A/B, number/position of offender. Report Who fouled, What was the foul, Where did the foul occur and When did it occur.

R will state foul. R will give preliminary signal. Wing officials notify coaches on all fouls number/ position. One official hold spot of foul. Check R\'s options and U\'s enforcement.


Game Administration

  • Work slow
  • Hustle
  • Be patient
  • Keep your cool
  • Talk to communicate with everyone
  • Know your role
  • We will be the enemy
  • Sell everything
  • Make it big
  • Don’t fish in someone else’s pond
officiating philosophies
Officiating Philosophies

Line of Scrimmage

Work to keep OL legal, Only call ILF when obvious after repeated warnings. Don’t wait til 4th Qtr to enforce.

If OL is lined up with head clearly behind the rear end of the Center, a foul will be called without warning.

Don’t be too technical on a WR or slot in determining if on/off LOS. When in question, it is NOT a foul.

When in question, a WR is NOT covering up a TE.


All events at 5:30pm FtWorth Police and Fire Training Center unless noted otherwise

sample test questions94
Sample Test Questions

1. A 2nd & 4 at B 30. NoseGuard B75 anticipating the snap crosses the

neutral zone before the ball is snapped and contacts A56. Left tackle A72

then grabs the facemask of B95 and pulls him to the ground.

a. A 2nd & 4 at B 30 (fouls offset)

b. A 1st & 10 at B 40

c. A 1st & 10 at B 20

2. A 2nd & 9 at A 6. QB A10 drops back into the end zone and throws the ball

downfield to wide receiver A81 at the A 31. Left tackle A73 grabs the arm

of B92 at the A 2 and pulls him to the ground in the end zone.

a. Safety, KO from A 40

b. A 2nd & 12 at A 1

c. A 2nd & 12 at A 3