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
I wanted to start off by saying we are getting better each and every week, although we have had some hiccups along the road, I believe the best is yet to come. But to be able to be the best we all must be on the same page so it is important that we read the messages I send out and blogs I post so that we are all in agreement of how we will implement and interpret the management & penalties of the game.
We need to be reasonable in regards to throwing penalty flags, especially with the younger divisions. If we are noticing the same infraction being committed over and over again, instead of throwing a dozen penalty flags lets speak to the coach & explain that the player is committing a penalty by the way they ie. motion, snap the ball, leave early, etc. If the player is still committing the penalty, talk with the player calmly and explain what they need to be doing in order to not have a penalty called, such as watch the ball for movement don't just go on the quarterback's hike command. Most of these kids & some of the coaches are new to football and have no idea of the infraction they are committing, so a little explanation will go a long way in keeping the game fun and exciting for everyone. Trust me when you throw a half a dozen flags on the same team for the same penalty it's not going to be fun for you, the coaches, players or fans. So please be aware of the situation and try to help the coaches and teams before throwing flags. However this doesn't mean don't throw flags when you see a blatant and obvious penalty that affect the outcome of the game. What I am talking about is the small ticky-tacky penalties that can be avoided like false start, snap infraction, illegal shift or motion, etc. Also I expect that even if you call a penalty please take the time to explain why you called it and what you would like to see the player doing instead, to better help the game run more smoothly.
As I have said from the beginning you should be rereading the rules manual which is linked at the bottom of the 2018 Fall Season page, as I have many people questioning me about the interpretation of the rules that a ref told them. We should all be trying to do our best as officials so please don't disregard the blogs, emails or texts that I send because time and time again I have had somebody ask me a direct question about a rule I answered clearly on the blog, which tells me that your not reading the information I am putting. Please know that I already know the rules so I'm writing this information down for your benefit, so take advantage of my knowledge of this league and its rule interpretations as they will help you during crucial times in the game.
I will be in Murrieta for the remainder of the season to help that league with training and officiating issues. I understand this league is bigger which means it has more personalities in regards to teams, coaches and fans. So I will do my best to try to corral any issues as they arise, but please come and get me if you have any questions of the rules interpretations or rowdy coaches, teams and fans. I am here to help you and make the game flow more smoothly. With that said to replace me over at Temecula the Commissioner and I have decided to promote Bill Thomas as Head Field Official for the Temecula League. Bill will be your point of contact when you need rule interpretations, have questions or need assistance with coaches, players or fans. Please seek him out as he will be in charge of moving officials around from field to field to better manage all of the games during the evening, continued training and the authority on any ruling at Temecula. Please listen to him and give him the same respect you shown me as he is more than qualified to fill this position. I will still be available if you need to call, text or email me, so please feel free to reach out. Bill and I will also be meeting to try to amend some of the rules to give more clarity, but this doesn't mean we will be writing a 200 page rule book, remember whenever their is not a rule in our rules manual we will always default to the NFHS - National Federation of High School rules.