Organizing member of iCanReferee & Head Offiicial of Friday Night Lights flag football league. Over 12 years experience with youth flag & tackle football. Major responsibilities are education, on-field training, game assignments, rules interpretation & expanding the organization.
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Week In Review
Guys & Gals I'm am now spending time at both Murrieta and Temecula locations. I want to say that we are doing a great job of managing the games, however I have noticed that we are still needing to improve in minor areas. My expectations are that the senior crew members teach the rookies how to be a pro. Just a heads up, I am working on rotating officials back and forth from both locations to be fair to everyone working games. If you have questions please contact me & Let's keep up the good work.
We need to make sure we are holding our ball spots. I noticed quite a few times in most everyone's games that we are not holding our spots and by not doing so we are inadvertently placing the ball short or giving more yardage to teams. I know we don't have lined fields so I'm not expecting perfection, but with 2 officials on the field whoever is closest to the spot needs to hold the spot while the other official helps to get the ball placed. Both officials need to work together to get the correct spot and maintain it, until the ball is placed and both LOS & blitz markers are placed on the ground. Let's not cheat the players out of what they worked so hard for & earned. This is especially important during OT as yardage can be the difference in winning or losing an overtime game, and again only Junior & Senior have OT games until we get to playoffs when all games will have OT if needed.
We need to work on our communication, physically, vocally and when using our whistles. I have seen this way too often someone blows a whistle barely loud enough for the players to hear and they continue playing. You need to be able to signal your whistle loud enough that it stops the play from continuing, as bad things can happen if a play continues once you've blown it dead. Remember you still need to officiate even after the play is over as there are two parts to officiating, one is live ball officiating & the other is dead ball officiating and both are equally important to managing the game. When being more vocal i mean you need to announcing "no-run zone pass only", "timeout" and signal timeout & who called it, time warnings like "2min remaining" & signaling penalties like "illegal contact". I have heard from coaches, players & fans don't understand what is going on because the ref isn't signaling or explaining what is happening. Please be considerate & take time to announce what the situation is, whether turn over on down, interception, penalty, etc. We should be announcing these things loud enough for everyone to hear on both sidelines. Trust me when you communicate even if you have to over communicate, it helps your games run more smoothly and helps with calls because people hear the call and the explanation. We all watch football and when things happen we want to know whats going on and we would likely be upset if a penalty was called and we never saw a signal or heard the announcement of the penalty, but just the ref walking off the distance. You are the game manager and that means you're also the game communicator and people are expecting you to be professional and give them the information in a way we all are familiar with. I will be addressing these things as I monitor games, so please don't take offense at what I am saying I'm just trying to make your game easier and eliminate the problems before the arise.
In games when coaches are on the field, once the play has started they need to be silent they cannot continue to coach. This presents an unfair advantage as coaches are much more familiar with the game and can see things the quarterback or other players are unaware of or have yet to see. What I mean is there is no quarterbacking of the offense or defense by a coach on the field, even though I have had 2 coaches tell me it's not in the rule book it doesn't matter, anything that obviously presents an unfair advantage to one team is an unsportsmanlike penalty. Please give them warnings before penalizing any coach, also they will likely want an explanation since its not in the rule book. We are not going to write a 100 page rule book for flag football. You just need to explain to the coach that while in the field of play he cannot affect the play once it starts whether physically or vocally because the coach has now become the 7 player on the field when he interferes and that is unsportsmanlike as it compromises the integrity of the game. I need players to develop not coaches, so please don't allow coaches to communicate with players during a live ball. Whether they tell players to rush, blitz, drop in coverage, throw the ball to Johnny, run the ball or hand it off to Billy, after the play has started it is illegal warn them and if they continue then flag them and explain the unsportsmanlike penalty. Let the coach know that if he wants to do communicate or direct players that he must do it from the sidelines and not when he is in the field of play as it directly impact the kids on the opposing team. If you still have problems with a coach direct them to me or another field director to explain the issue. Joysticking or quarterbacking of the play, while the coach is on the field and the play is live, is not allowed by coaches.