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NSAA/NHSSOA Football Officials Clinics 2012 - PowerPoint PPT Presentation

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NSAA/NHSSOA Football Officials Clinics 2012. Officiating Excellence (Definition).

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Football Officials Clinics


Officiating excellence definition
Officiating Excellence(Definition)

An excellent official is a person who is knowledgeable in the rules and mechanics of the game and applies them to make the contest fair for all participants and comports themselves as professionals at all times.


  • Communication

  • Equipment and Its Use

  • Pregame Activities

  • Covering Kickoffs

  • Covering Plays

  • Dead Ball Officiating

  • General Information

  • Selected Rule Changes

  • Rules and Mechanics Study

  • State Finals Crews - Always:

Be approachable
Be Approachable

  • Respond to coaches as time permits, to players immediately; it may be as simple as making eye contact

  • A nod to coaches to let them know you’ll get to them as soon as practical

  • Don’t display emotion, especially anger

  • Always appear calm but not aloof

  • Football is serious, lighten up if the circumstance warrants

Talk to coaches
Talk to Coaches

  • Think before you speak; you get yourself in more trouble with your mouth than anything else

  • Answer the head coaches questions directly, don’t offer comments except to get their help, as with a difficult player

  • As necessary, (Gee, you don’t think they’d try to distract you?)

  • Assistants are usually just complaining; but, they may be head coaches some day

  • It takes two to argue; don’t be one of them

  • Referee, coaches are paranoid

Talk to players
Talk to Players

  • Players are “number xx” or “Mister”, not “son”

  • Captains are “Captain or Captain so and so;” know their names as well as the QB’s name

  • Answer questions

  • If they complain about being fouled, tell them you’ll watch for it; then do it

  • The less said the better

  • The occasional compliment won’t hurt

  • Verbally let players know when a play is over

Talk to crew members
Talk to Crew Members

  • All – ALWAYS agree on the down between plays

  • Keep conferences short

  • Agree on the number of time outs from a distance; you don’t need to congregate; cover your area

  • Don’t need extended huddles before the first free kick; cover it in the pregame

  • Let the referee know when it’s close to a first down

  • The whole crew should know when the snap will be near the goal line

  • Get the foul and the penalty application correct; you’re all five right or all five wrong

Stay calm
Stay Calm

  • Keep your head when all about you are losing theirs; anger only adds fuel to the fire

  • The yelling is most likely at your stripes, not you personally; but don’t ignore unsportsmanlike conduct

  • Don’t try to win an argument; let them have the last word if appropriate

  • Stick to the facts; shut off any prolonged discussion of judgment calls

Quiet words
Quiet Words

  • A look or brief comment can be a useful part of preventative officiating

  • Warn players quietly on potential fouls that don’t affect the play

  • It’s ok to say “Thank you” to a player


  • Signals are a major part of how you communicate

  • R – slow down; STOP before giving penalty signals

  • All – stand up straight to signal

  • All – only one or at most two arm swings to indicate time out or incomplete pass

  • Use high school signal for touchback

Look the part
Look the Part

  • Perception is reality – whether it is or not

  • All crew members dressed alike; sleeve - length, mesh or not; white or black pants, etc.

  • Everything clean and neat, hair cut, facial hair trimmed, shoes polished

  • Some leeway in cold weather as to gloves/ear protection/etc.

  • Get in shape and stay in shape

  • Watch your body language

  • Never stand around with your hands in your pockets, hands on hips, arms folded across your chest, weight on one foot

  • Move like you know what you’re doing; with confidence, not cockiness


  • Keep it out of your mouth; umpires may chew on it before the snap, but spit it out after

  • Lanyard or finger, you decide

  • One good blast – after ball is dead or before the snap

  • Seldom need echoes; watch your own area

  • Several short toots if you have a foul

  • Spare in your pocket


  • NEVER show emotion when throwing the flag

  • To the spot, either side of the offender

  • If you miss, wait till the play is over to adjust

  • Prior to the snap, slightly toward the side of the offending team

  • Straight up for dead ball foul after play; don’t try to achieve orbit

  • One flag per official; use hat if you have a second foul

  • Seldom need two flags for the same foul; i.e., stay with your own responsibilities

  • Keep officiating

Bean bag
Bean Bag

  • For spots other than fouls that may be needed for reference; BJ should have two, of different colors

  • Drop the bag if at all possible; seldom need to throw it

  • Don’t use the bag to avoid hustling

  • Fumbles

  • First touching of a scrimmage kick or free kick

  • Scrimmage kick – point of catch

  • Momentum exception – punt or pass interception

  • A or K player out of bounds spot (flag where he comes back in)

  • Inadvertent whistle

Pregame duties
Pregame Duties

  • For consistency:

    • Arrive on field at least 30 min before KO

    • Talk to home coach then visiting coach

    • Conduct coin flip on 50 yard line on press box side 20 min before KO; captain’s backs to their respective sidelines

    • Follow normal flip procedures

    • Both coaches must want a simulated flip, or don’t do one (don’t ask unless they bring it up)

Pregame Duties (cont.)

  • Walk the field and have any concerns dealt with; check the field; don’t just saunter around it; Don’t be a five-man gaggle, i.e., R and LJ go one direction – U, L, BJ go the other; meet half way and then take care of other pregame duties

  • If you do a real or simulated flip 3 min. before kickoff, R and U to middle on 50 yard line, LJ escort home team captains (stop at hash mark) and L & BJ visitors (stop at hash mark {see next slide})

  • Four captains from each team at the flip; all others must be OFF the field

  • Talk with clock operator

Coin toss 20 minutes before ko









Coin Toss (20 minutes before KO)

















Coin toss 3 minutes before ko

















Coin Toss (3 minutes before KO)















Press Box

Pregame Positions







2012 2013 significant manual changes
2012-2013 Significant Manual Changes

  • The line judge and umpire switch positions on the Five-Game Officials kickoff coverage.

  • The alignment and coverage areas for the Five-Game Officials kickoff coverage has been adjusted.

  • The second half choices will be done through communication with the head coaches. Captains are no longer brought to the center of the field.

  • When the ball becomes dead near the sidelines and the first down is gained, the covering official will stop the clock. Crew communication will notify the referee when to wind the clock following the ready-for-play signal if the player was inbounds.





Before the play
Before the Play

  • Stay focused, prepare for the next play

  • Players counted – all agree

  • Formation proper, no encroachment

  • Ball can be legally snapped

  • Down box correct

  • Line to gain noted

  • Clock status correct – running/stopped

After the whistle
After the Whistle

  • Late hits, runs out of bounds

  • Focus on your area

  • One set of eyes on each player

  • Separate players before:

    • Retrieving the ball (hold your spot)

    • Reporting a foul (clock stopped?)

    • Communicating with crew or coaches

  • Stay focused on the game

Halo coverage at end of run









HALO Coverage (at end of run)

Forward progress
Forward Progress

  • See Leather

  • Was the runner truly stopped?

  • Where was the ball?

    • In which hand and where was the arm?

    • Was the runner being turned as he was stopped?

    • Where was the ball when the runner was OOB by rule?

  • Was the Rx driven back upfield?

Be a great dead ball official
Be a Great Dead Ball Official

  • Most of the game is during a dead ball period

  • Watch the players until they separate

  • Don’t relax, mayhem usually starts after the play – you don’t want to miss it

  • Don’t stare at the spot of forward progress – it ain’t going anywhere

  • Know down, distance, clock running or stopped and time on clock before EVERY play

Primary dead ball times
Primary Dead Ball Times

  • Before/After scrimmage plays

  • After scores

  • Time outs

  • Penalty administration

  • Measurement

  • Injuries

  • Between periods

Hustle but don t hurry
Hustle But Don’t Hurry

  • Jog if you’re going more than two or three steps

  • Don’t have happy feet – stand still until you need to move, then slide and glide, don’t bob

  • There is a time and place for speed

  • Move with dispatch but not with your hair on fire to get to the spot for first down/touchdown

  • Give signals deliberately and clearly, not showy

  • Referees – stop and stand up straight for penalty signals

  • Back judges, earn your check – hustle in for relay, get to side lines to help on out of bounds, beat the ball carrier to the goal line and the receiver to the end line, come up and be a second umpire on short gains in the middle

  • Don’t put the ball on the ground on the relay

2012 2013 points of emphasis
2012-2013 Points of Emphasis

  • Sportsmanship – End-of-game management.

  • Enforcing that legal equipment is worn properly.

  • Linesman and line judge positioning.

  • Kickoff mechanics and coverage.

General information
General Information

  • Be VERY CAREFUL about using social networking sites; also don’t get all fired up about what a fan, player or coach might post

  • Crew Chief – call the home team AD on Monday or Tuesday at the latest

  • Linesman – make sure your chain crew and box man don’t move until you signal them

  • Umpire – back out from the ball; only spin and help on short passes over the middle, otherwise stay with the linemen until they disengage; move to the LJ’s side after you start moving downfield on a scrimmage kick; set up on the open side of the field on a try or FG

General information cont
General Information (Cont.)

  • We don’t need five sets of eyes following the ball on kicks

  • Mechanics inside the 5 yard line, L and LJ get to the goal line and then work back if necessary

  • L and LJ – when you’re on the LOS for a try or FG, get off the sideline, at least to the numbers

  • Decide ahead of time how you will handle in-game crew injuries

  • Shoes – All Black (No white stripes)

Rule changes selected
Rule Changes (Selected)

  • Block below waist, foul even if contact hands below waist first

  • Catch definition modified

  • Helmet coming off except if fouled, out for one play

  • Restrictions on when K can block of free kick

  • Grasping face mask now includes tooth and mouth protector

  • Direction in which opponent pulled added to horse collar rule

  • NSAA Keeps Previous 35-point Rule

Rules mechanics study
Rules/Mechanics Study

  • Prioritize – know the definitions cold then work on the rest

  • Think about the spirit and intent – generally to promote safety and prevent unfair advantages

  • Correlate the rule to situations

    • picture the appropriate situations

    • when watching TV, think about how you would rule in your level of officiating

Rules mechanics study cont
Rules/Mechanics Study (Cont.)

  • Use memory aids

  • Get together with your crew prior to the season

  • Work on small chunks at a time

  • Work as many preseason scrimmages as possible

State finals crews always
State Finals Crews - Always:

  • Conduct a thorough, professional pregame

  • Hustle but don’t hurry

  • Are in the proper position, especially near the goal line

  • Wings square corners

  • Linesman goes to the succeeding spot for penalty administration

  • On plays ending out of bounds, wings get spot and face out to follow the action

State finals crews always cont
State Finals Crews - Always: (Cont.)

  • Officials under goal posts come out together

  • Players counted and acknowledged by all

  • Crisp ball handling; short tosses; no balls on ground

  • Wings back out to sideline; don’t turn your back to the players

  • Strong signals

  • Proper spacing between officials, especially after the ball is dead

Some absolutes of officiating
(some) Absolutes of Officiating

  • Officiating isn’t fair

  • You’re going to be noticed, and you’re going to get yelled at

  • It’s more important to be respected than liked

  • You’re not as good as you think you are, and you’re not as bad as some people say you are

  • The players, coaches, fans and media don’t know the rules as well as you do

  • Responding skills are the number 1 skill

  • There is no greater feeling than getting a tough call right

  • The officiating mission – commitment to the game – is unique

Above All

(Which is accomplished by working a great game.)

Have Fun