Monday, September 6, 2010

"Onsides" Kick in the LSU - UNC game 9/5/2010

Did you see the LSU - UNC game last Saturday night? There was an interesting play late in the game. UNC had just scored and attempted an “onsides” kick.

As complicated as football rules are, kicking situations are often more complicated than regular play. One reason is that a kicking play is considered a “planned change of team possession during a loose ball play.” Specific rules governing kicks come into effect as well as a few exceptions.

Read more:

Thursday, July 8, 2010

New Poll -- Concussions!

Did the Fed's rule change this year regarding what many consider the requirement for officials to diagnose a concussion help a lot -- or just give you a headache?

With all the conversation in the off season about helmets coming off and then the death of Chris Henry, some thought that the action by the NFHS came up short.

Some officials are reluctant to send a player off the field if they aren't sure. Unless the team has a diagnostician on the sideline (medical doctor?), sending a kid out with a potential head injury is the same as a ejection -- he probably won't be back that night. We all want to err on the side of player safety but nobody wants to send out an impact player that could alter the outcome of the game if the diagnosis isn't correct.

Vote in the new poll. (Please answer both questions.)
Leave a comment with your opinion.
I'm working on a follow-up article to the above linked "Heads will roll".

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

2010 Mechanics Manual Changes

Date: March 1, 2010

The following are the major changes approved by the 2010 NFHS Football Officials Manual Committee for the 2010 and 2011
high school football seasons:

1. The Five-Man Mechanics come before the Four-Man Mechanics in the NFHS Football Officials Manual.

2. By state association adoption, officials have the choice of wearing white or black officiating shorts. The entire crew shall be dressed alike.

3. By state association adoption, foul weather, full length, lined black pants with a single 1 ¼ inch white stripe down each leg may be worn in place of the standard, all-white tapered knickers if worn by the entire crew.

4. The Back Judge shall carry two different color bean bags; one for marking the end of the kick and one for marking first touching.

5. The Back Judge and Line Judge bring approved game ball from each team to the coin-toss if footballs are being run off of both sidelines.

6. The Referee’s normal starting position be moved to one that is visible to the clock operator, approximately 10- yards deep and 5-yards wide of the huddle when marking the ball ready-for-play on scrimmage downs.

7. The Line Judge temporarily move to nine-yard marks (top of the numbers), as receiving team is lining up for a free kick. (Four-Man Mechanics)

8. The Referee’s scrimmage kick position be adjusted to 3-5 yards outside the tight end and 2-3 yards behind the kicker, on line judge’s side of the field.

9. If the football falls or blows off tee just prior to free kick, Back Judge sounds whistle to prevent action and moves to kicker to give instructions.

10. The Back Judge assists with relay of the football in side zone from wing official to Umpire.

11. The Referee’s position changed to 3-5 yards outside the tight end and 2-3 yards behind the kicker, on kicking-leg side on scrimmage kicks.

12. The Back Judge’s position changed to 10-12 yards wider than and 2-3 yards behind the deepest receiver on linesman’s side of field on scrimmage kicks.

13. The Referee’s position changed to 2-3 yards to rear and 3-5 yards to side of potential kicker, facing holder and able to see holder receive the football on
field goal attempts or trys.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

2010 Football Rules Changes

NFHS Rules Changes

INDIANAPOLIS, IN (February 23, 2010) — Effective with the 2010
high school football season, any player who shows signs, symptoms or behaviors associated with a concussion must be removed from the game and shall not return to play until cleared by an appropriate health-care professional.

The concussion rule was one of 12 changes approved by the
National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS) Football Rules Committee at its meeting last month in Indianapolis. The rule changes subsequently were approved by the NFHS Board of Directors.

The previous rule directed officials to remove an athlete from play if “unconscious or apparently unconscious.” The previous rule also allowed for return to play based on written authorization by a medical doctor. Now, officials are charged with removing any player who shows signs, symptoms or behaviors consistent with a concussion, such as
loss of consciousness, headache, dizziness, confusion or balance problems, and shall not return to play until cleared by an appropriate health-care professional.

“Given that the vast majority of concussions do not include a
loss of consciousness, but that athletes often show obvious evidence of concussion, the NFHSSports Medicine Advisory Committee (SMAC) strongly believes that officials must continue to be empowered to remove these athletes from play, thus protecting them from further injury,” said Dr. Michael Koester, chair of the SMAC. “Continued participation in any sport following a concussion can lead to worseningconcussion symptoms, as well as increased risk for further injury to the brain and even death.

“The safety of the athlete is of paramount concern during any athletic contest. Officials, coaches and administrators are being asked to make all efforts at ensuring that concussed athletes do not continue to participate. Thus, coaches, players and administrators should also be
looking for signs of concussion in all athletes and should immediately remove any suspected concussed athlete from play.”

In addition to football, the new concussion language is being placed in all
NFHS rules books for the 2010-11 season, as well as the “NFHS Suggested Guidelines for Management of Concussion.”

Among the other changes were four pertaining to equipment, two dealing with player conduct, one concerning penalty options on scoring plays and three others in Rule 3 dealing with periods, time factors and substitution.

NFHS Football Rules Committee continues to focus its primary efforts toward maintaining the highest level of player safety,” said Julian Tackett, executive assistant commissioner of the Kentucky High School Athletic Association and chair of the NFHS Football Rules Committee. “This is evidenced by several rule changes related to equipment and concussions that were approved for 2010 following review by the NFHS SMAC. The rules of the game are in very good order and our members felt that no substantial changes were necessary beyond our emphasis on the health and welfare of the high school student-athlete.”

Among the equipment changes was approval of a new football glove/hand pad standard for the 2012 season. Beginning in 2012, gloves, which may be anchored with athletic tape and even though modified, must meet the National Operating Committee on Standards for Athletic Equipment (NOCSAE) test standards at the time of manufacture.

Other equipment changes include removal of restrictions on penalty-marker colored pads or gloves; revisions in the padding rule for guards, casts and braces; and clarification of the illegal player equipment rule.

In Rule 9-4-3k, the committee approved a clarification to the horse-collar rule. The wording in the definition of a horse-collar was changed to address situations when player possession was lost or the ball became dead by rule after the back or side of the jersey collar/shoulder pads were grasped.

“Under the previous rule, if the horse-collar occurred inbounds, but the tackle was completed out of bounds, in the end zone or after a loss of player possession, a horse-collar foul could not be called as the player was no longer a runner,” said Bob Colgate, NFHS assistant director and liaison to both the Football Rules Committee and the SMAC. “The wording was modified to ensure that a horse-collar foul could be called even if the runner no longer had possession of the ball or the ball became dead by rule.”

In Rule 8-2, six existing articles were refined and a new article created regarding fouls on scoring plays that have succeeding spot enforcement. Colgate said the changes now give both teams the same options when a non-player or unsportsmanlike conduct foul is committed during a down in which a touchdown is scored.

In other changes, the point differential rule by state adoption was modified to allow state associations to terminate a game at any point once the point differential is reached. Previously, the end of the first half was the earliest termination of a game by rule. In Rule 3-2-2,
coin toss provisions were revised to state that no more than four captains per team can be on the field of play for the coin toss. In Rule 3-7-1, the committee revised the timeframe for replacing players from “immediately” to “within three seconds.”

Finally, the rules committee altered field markings in nine-, eight- and six-player football. All players who participated in the previous down and all substitutes must be momentarily between the 7-yard marks if they play on regulation 80-yard fields.

Points of emphasis adopted by the
NFHS Football Rules Committee for the 2010 season include concussion recognition and management, heat illness and hydration, illegal helmet contact, assisting the runner, sportsmanship and public-address announcers, and NFHS Football Officials Manual.

Football is the No. 1 participatory sport for boys at the high school level with 1,112,303 participants in the 2008-09 season, according to the High School Athletics Participation Survey conducted by the NFHS through its member state associations. In addition, the survey indicated there were 759 girls who played football in 2008-09.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Use Off-season to Get In Shape!

Its Spring Clinic Time at and I can hear the grass growing. Following up our Fitness for Football Officials theme we have some great information on Football Officiating Camps & Clinics. I interviewed the leadership behind the scenes at the Tom Beard Camp in Washington, DC. You'll find this interview extremely informative and will help you in selecting the off-season camp of your choice. I have also included a download link to my 2010 Football Officiating Clinic Guide. It's the most comprehensive listing of Camps and Clinics available in one document.

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Warm Up & Stretching Tips

Thanks to WNCOA member Charles Alison for this link:

Great topic for early season pre-game meetings!

Monday, January 25, 2010

Book Review - "Why a Curveball Curves"

My book review published today at Blogcritics. Some interesting topics in this book for officials.