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Dear fellow officials
Section 8 has extended the courtesy of allowing us , active LIAFO members, free entry into the next two rounds. Nassau semifinals and finals.
Officials must check in at the gate. This is for officials ONLY. Guests must pay for entry.
It is my hope that all active members take advantage of this opportunity especially our newer , first, second and third year members.
Remember to check in and please let's not take advantage of the opportunity.
Yours in football
Because we’re into late-season form, our cross-field mechanics should now be quite sophisticated and accurate. Take pride in these important mechanics!
All of the crew needs to take the time and have a good one so you don’t short yourselves and your mates. Here are this week’s topics:
· WEEKEND OF OCTOBER 25th & 26th
o Umpire: Defenseless Player/Blindside Blocks (RB 2-3-10, 2-32-16, 9-4-3n & Penalty, RB Pg. 94 - POE)
o Head Linesman: Illegal Helmet Contact/Targeting (RB 2-20-1 & 2; RB 9-4-3 i & m, Note & Penalty; RB Pg. 94
o Line Judge: Personal Fouls vs. Unsportsmanlike & Enforcement (RB 9-4-1 thru 8; RB 9-5-1 & 2)
o Back Judge: Excessive Force (RB 9-4-3g & Penalty)
Calling an ejection
- Flag the play.
- Do not immediately eject the player.
- Discuss the foul with the referee and any other officials that saw the action.
- If the general consensus is that the foul should result in an ejection, the referee and the official that called the foul should notify the offenders head coach that the player has been ejected and the reason for the ejection. If the official that made the call is the referee, he should be accompanied by the wing official on the side of the offending team.
- Do not discuss the consequences of the ejection or the amount of suspended games. The amount of games the ejected player must sit out may vary from player to player.
- Do not prolong the explanation for the ejection and do not argue with offender or the offender’s coach. Don’t get into an argument you can’t win.
- The referee then returns to the field, makes the appropriate signal for the penalty followed by the disqualification signal, (#47) and the umpire steps off the applicable yardage.
- If a member of the coaching staff is ejected, including the head coach, he “shall be removed from the stadium area…” per 9-8 Penalty.
- Following the game report the disqualification o the proper league administrator(s).
Officials Uniform Requirements
We all know by now that the entire crew for a game must wear the same uniform. Shirts should be zippered up. T-shirts worn under your striped shirt should be solid black, not white or some other color. Your crew doesn't care that you still have a green t-shirt from Big Country’s 1984 The Crossing concert tour. If you want to be considered a professional, you must look like a professional. Dress like your reputation depends on it because it does.
Also, shave on game days - there is no more to be explained here.
Ineligible A Players Downfield
For this foul to occur, a legal forward pass has to cross the neutral zone and the restriction starts when the ball is in flight. Once the ineligible player advances beyond the expanded neutral zone he may not retreat back behind the zone and be legal. Once beyond – he is past the ‘point of no return’. 7-5-12
Free Kick Requirements
Only ONE player can be more than 5 yards behind the ball. ALL other players must be lined up BETWEEN the line that the ball is spotted on and the line that is 5 yards back. They cannot LEGALLY be touching either line. The rule also states that at the kick, there must be at least 4 Kicking Team players on either side of the kicker. If not, it is a Dead Ball foul for encroachment. 6-1-3 & 4
This latest quiz is based upon plays seen that resulted in coaches sending in questions. You may enjoy some of the real plays that were questioned. Click here for this quiz.
Subject: Week #6 - The first flag sets the bar for the rest of the game.
Communication with Players and Coaches
Communicating with players is like communicating with the coaching staffs. What you say to players is going to be repeated to the coaches. Please respond to players with facts, or the rule, or something like:
· “I saw the block and it was close but legal.”
· “I was focused on other action on that play, I’ll watch for that foul.”
· “I hear you, I understand.”
Remember, positive and proper communication starts as we arrive at the school. Be professional from the time you park your car until after the game when you depart (perhaps for the bar).
The Use of the Whistle
It is our local, state and national mechanic to not blow our whistles unless we see the ball in possession, and progress stopped or the player down by rule. We do not want inadvertent whistles!
These conferences will take on some extra meaning as we move closer to playoff time. Being prepared starts early and here are this week’s topics:
· WEEKEND OF OCTOBER 18th & 19th
o Umpire: Dead Ball Penalty Enforcement (RB 10-1 thru 5; RB 10-2-5 a & b)
o Head Linesman: Legal Contact On/By Eligible Receivers (RB 7-5-8, 10 & 11; Chart on P.65, #2)
o Line Judge: Snap Infractions (RB 7-1-1 thru 4)
o Back Judge: Extending a Period (RB 3-3-3 & 3-3-4)
Inside 5 minutes
The final 3 to 5 minutes of either half can become a “pressure cooker.” Let’s prepare to match this intensity with our own internal communication, or maybe a code word or just a reminder on the radios. Our focus must be clear and our minds sharp. Obviously, we officiate every play in the game like it’s the last “game winning” play, but sometimes we need a re-set as we prepare for action at this critical time in the game.
Expanded Neutral Zone
Can it be expanded up to 2 yards into the end zone? Answer: No - the neutral zone may be expanded up to a maximum of 2 yards behind the defensive line of scrimmage, in the field of play. No ineligibles running around in the end zone please.
One single stroke under the eye. No face paint. Please enforce in pregame.
Problems with Your Coach
If you have a problem with your coach let your referee know. One of the biggest complaints from coaches is that the sideline officials do not communicate their coach’s concerns to the referee. This builds frustration and adds to the original issue. By the time the referee does get to the sideline he now has to deal with an upset and frustrated coach. There shall be two officials present for all meetings between the referee and the head coach, but only one speaks – the referee.
Clean Up Locker Rooms
Please always remember to clean up after you finish using the locker room. We are guests of the school and always want to leave a good impression of our professionalism.
Penalty Enforcement Reminder
If it is encroachment or FST, move quickly toward the referee with the preliminary signal and communicate the number. Umpire hustle to the ball and prepare to walk off with the HL. If there are two flags for the same foul, the officials should have a brief confirmation of the foul. One official reports to referee (you can use preliminary signals to communicate foul then provide the number). Umpire have the ball in hand and following confirmation of the foul, yardage, and direction, look to HL and immediately begin to march off the penalty. The ball should be placed before the referee has finished his signaling and moved to his position to whistle the 25-second ready for play.
Foul on the Final Play of the Game
If this is an accepted live ball foul and the clock has run out, inform both coaches (hopefully by the wing officials) that there will be one more untimed down (final play). If the live ball foul is declined, the R should signal that the penalty has been declined, then the umpire should provide the R with the game ball, so he can immediately hold it overhead signaling the end of the game. End strong!
Demonstrate good communication within the crew using both signaling and the 020 radios.
Use them! There is no yardage attached to this infraction of the rules. Throw your flag making it clear that something bad has happened. Even the crowd will know the sideline is interfering with safe play. Then if you have to administer a 5-yard penalty, hopefully you will get their cooperation. Remember, coaches who choose to go out on the field and demonstrate their dissatisfaction with a call must be assessed a 15-yard UNS. No questions asked. They know this is the rule! No big demonstrations on the field…ever.
Subject: Week #5 - Thou shall be a great dead ball official.
What is your pre-snap routine? It’s different for each position…have you developed your own? Have you borrowed one from someone else?
· Pre-Snap begins with the previous dead ball period. Be a great dead ball official!
· Don’t be in a hurry to chase the ball. Make sure you’ve completed your dead ball officiating.
· Know your ball mechanics for returning the ball or obtaining a new ball when you’re ready.
· Know the status of the clock. The crew must check the clock during each dead ball period and know how to correct any timing errors…especially at the end of half and game!
· Observe substitutions
· Know & think (down &distance)
· Move to proper position for snap (based upon formation?)
· Count offense or defense (Once? Twice?)
· Recognize formations and strengths of formations
· Identify your key(s) – number(s) – location in formation
· Know team tendencies
· Identify where the best players are in the formation
· Look for mismatches
You are ready for the snap!!
To make certain we give ourselves every chance to be successful we need to have a good, solid pregame conference. Take part and be prepared for whatever position you are assigned. This week’s topics are:
October 11th & 12th
· Umpire: Blocking Below the Waist (RB 2-3-7)
· Head Linesman: Electronic Equipment (RB 1-3-7, 1-5-3c (2), 1-6, 9-8-1e)
· Line Judge: Facemask Fouls (RB 9-4-3h & Penalty)
· Back Judge: NYSPHSAA 20 Yard Line Overtime Procedures
Everyone has something to do. Get penalty information, communicate penalty information, cover flag, cover ball, get new ball, communicate with coach, hold re-enforcement spot, march off the penalty yardage, set the box and/or chains, confirm proper enforcement information, signal the foul, communicate the status of the clock. All of this takes 5 officials. Most likely you won’t have time to record your foul information, so remember the info and enter it during the next dead ball period.
Support from BJ in Side Zones
As a crew of only 5, we need the BJ to move up and into the side zones on plays that end up out there.
Breast Cancer Awareness Month
The NYSACFO supports Cancer Awareness Month and starting this week allows officials to wear pink during the month of October. In keeping with the guidelines from our State Association, we are allowed to wear one pink item during this month. The approved items are a pink:
· Whistle & lanyard
· Wristband (with or without an attached down indicator)
· Down indicator
· Lapel pin
· Ribbon on your hat or lapel of your shirt
No other pink items, attachments or adornments shall be worn or used, including but not limited to pink towels, pink bean bags, pink penalty flags, and hats with pink piping.
Targeting, Spearing and Excessive Contact
There are three different types of personal fouls where the opponent takes aim and initiates contact:
· Targeting – hits to the head and neck area
· Spearing – using the crown of your helmet to deliver blow below the head and neck area
· Excessive Contact to a Defenseless Player – Blindside Blocks and Defenseless Receivers or Punt Returners.
* If any one of them is considered flagrant, it is an ejection. Most times they are not considered flagrant.
* Flagrant = “a foul so severe or extreme that it places an opponent in danger of serious injury.”
Coaches can teach their athletes to avoid illegal blindside blocks. Initiating the block with the hands and extending the arms, using their body to “shield” or “screen” the opponent, or making contact which is not forceful, can be very successful blocks yet have safe consequences for the defenseless player.
Subject: Week #4 - You have to expect things of yourself before you can do them.
40 Second Clock
Just a refresher on what games the 40 second clock is used in New York State:
- All Varsity is 40 second clock per the NFHS 2019 rules whether 5-man or 4-man crew.
- All non-varsity is 25 second clock per the 2018 NFHS rules.
Also, it is not possible for one person to be both the Game Clock Operator (GCO) and Play Clock Operator (PCO) without screwing up HUUUUGE. With the new play clock rules, running the play clock this year is challenging. If a school doesn’t want to pay the extra PCO fee, the BJ should keep the play clock on the field. GCO and PCO are two separate responsibilities.
When the primary media outlets in your area that cover high school football include in their stories terms such as "bizarre part” and “controversial” and “weirdest”, there’s a more than good probability it started with a bad to non-existent pre-game (and as the chapter interpreter, your phone is likely going to ring).
So that all crew members participate in the pre-game conference, each official should cover a topic of discussion. The Referee is responsible for insuring that all rule applications and officiating mechanics are covered properly. In a four-man game the Referee is responsible to cover the topic assigned to the Back Judge. Here are the topics for this week:
- Umpire: Snap Infractions (RB 7-1 thru 7-4)
- Head Linesman: Blocking on a Free Kick (RB 9-3-8)
- Line Judge: Free Kick Team Formation & Requirements (RB 6-1-3a & b; RB 6-1-4)
- Back Judge: Kick Catching Interference (RB 6-5-6 a & b & Exception & Penalty)
The placement of the ball on the field can be affected by the result of the previous play. (See 4-3-1 to 7).
- After a touchback the ball is typically placed in the center of the field on the 20 yard line, but the captain may elect to put the ball in play anywhere between the hash marks.
- When a free kick (kickoff) goes out of bounds and the team elects to take the ball 25 yards from the free kick spot, the ball is placed at the hash mark on the side of the field that it went out of bounds on. Similarly, on a scrimmage kick (punt or unsuccessful field goal) that goes OOB the ball is placed at the hash on the side of the field where it went out of bounds.
- After a fair catch, the ball is typically placed where the ball was caught or at that hash mark if it was in the side zone. By rule the fair catch or awarded fair catch allows the captain to choose any spot between the hashes to either snap or free kick the ball.
- On an extra point attempt, the team may place the ball anywhere between the hashes and you must make the defense aware of where you are placing the ball.
- To start their initial possession in each overtime period, the team may place the ball anywhere between the hash marks.
There is no restriction on a defensive player lining up over the snapper (2-32-14). However, per 9-4-6 it is roughing the snapper when a defensive player charges directly into the snapper when the offensive team is in a scrimmage-kick formation. Also see Case Book plays 9.4.6 Situation A through D.
Taking a Knee
There are two different scenarios to think about when A is taking a knee:
- Does A have a lead of 8 points or less?
- Does A have a lead of 9 or more points?
It is important to remember that the offense doesn’t get to unilaterally determine when competition stops in a game — especially when the difference in score is fairly small. Specifically communicate with the offensive line, tell them “Continue to play football. Protect yourself and protect your QB.” They need to know more than anyone that the game IS NOT over. Relying on the judgment of teenage boys, half of which are about to lose a game and/or may have just been beaten like a rented mule for 47 minutes, is unwise. When a game is ending with a team taking a knee, the crew needs to be on high alert. See the attached write up for more detail on handling when a team takes a knee.
Subject: State Interpreter Week #3 Tips - Thou shall be A GREAT dead ball official.
These must be held and no matter how many times you have worked as a crew, please be thorough. How many times have we discussed something and then it happens in the game? More often than we probably want to admit. Here are the topics for this week: Sept 28 & 29
- Umpire: Blocking in the Free-Blocking Zone (RB 2-17-1 thru 4)
- Head Linesman: Suspected Concussion Protocol (RB 3-5-10b, RB Appendix
- Line Judge: Horse Collar Tackle (RB 9-4-3k & Penalty)
- Back Judge: Sideline Control/Warnings (RB 9-8- 1 thru 3; CB 9-8-3 Sit. A, OM p.22)
Dead Ball Fouls
If there is encroachment by either team or a false start by A/K, do not let the ball become live. Blow the whistle first to kill the action and then throw the flag.
If you rule that the player gained possession in the field of play (between the 5 yard line and his goal line) and momentum carried him into the end zone, he may bring it out. If you are ruling momentum, your bean bag is down to mark the spot where he gained possession. This is especially important on kicks. If you are invoking the momentum exception it means that the kick ended in the field of play. If not, then you have a touchback. Review Rule 8-5-1, 2, 3 and especially the exception in article 2.
Coaches & the Sideline
The coaches must retreat from and be out of the restricted area before the ball is snapped. The guideline for this is when the snapper puts his hand(s) on the ball. With wing officials working from out of bound and on the sideline, this should be easy to enforce. Don't let coaches get in front of you. Control your sideline. Also, when communicating with the sideline, stress safety early and use the sideline warning early. If you do these two things there shouldn't be any issues.
Have a great football weekend!
Rule Updates for the 2019 Season , including Powerpoint presentations and information pages, are available by clicking the below. They have also been added as a new topic to the NFHS Rules and Mechanics Forum. (Browse/Forums/NFHS Rules and Mechanics).
- 2019 Rules Interpretation Powerpoint Presentation
- NYSACFO Powerpoint
- 40 Second Clock Instruction
- Ball Person Instrruction
- Clock Operator Instruction
- Line to Gain ( Chain Crew) Instruction
- Ball on Tic Instruction
It will helpful to review before the Rules Clinics and the season.
NYSACFO Powerpoint June 2019 Meeting (6-15-19).pptx 2019_NFHS_Football_Rules_PowerPoint__(8-3-19_PJE).pptx 2019 NYS Football Instructions for Ball Persons.pdf 2019NFHS football-clock-operators.pdf 2019 NFHS Football-line-to-gain Instruction.pdf Ball on the Tic Summary.pdf New 40 Second Play Clock Rule V2.pdf
August 7, 2019
Dear fellow officials,In anticipation of our next meeting, we have posted the By -law and SOP revisions for your review. The changes that were made or proposed are highlighted. Under our bylaws we must vote on any and all changes to the BY-LAWS but the SOP's are implemented by the board.We have hopefully brought both up to date and more reflective in dealing with the issues we currently face. As I have said to al of you on numerous times, it is not Boces that creates our issues, it is us the members of LIAFO.Boces is not contractually bound to follow our bylaws or SOP's but they are more then willing to work with us.Please review all of the documents and be prepared to discuss at our meeting in August. As always , if you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to call me anytime.I hope everyone has started some type of exercise program, in preparation for the season. Please update your availability and keep it updated.Under the new OCC contract, we will be charged a 50.00 turn back fee! Please make every effort to avoid turn backs.Enjoy the remainder of the summer and looking forward to a very successful football season.Your in footballBob DeThomasis
June 18, 2019
Dear fellow officials,
My apologies for not being more informative this year but it has been a very busy off season for all of us. Now posted on the web site is the audited financial statement for this year. Please review the statement and certainly e-mail any questions you have. This is the total amount on hand for the upcoming season.
It has always been my goal to bolster our funds to be able to afford such things as our post game meetings at the Turtle and be able to buy radios for all of the crews. That is why it is of the utmost importance that your dues are paid in full and ON TIME! We still have people paying dues well into June!
We have rewritten the SOP's and the By Laws for the association in order to bring them up to date with the current situations facing us and our relationship with Boces.
These will be posted, after final editing and be voted on at the next two meetings.
Our annual re-staffing draft has been postponed in order for me to meet with Boces and review our concerns and highlights for the upcoming season.
Our first general meeting is scheduled for this Wednesday night, 7PM at the Bethpage high school, Please make it a point to attend and stay for the meeting.
If you have any questions, please feel free to call me anytime or attend our board meetings, dates are posted on the web site.
Yours in football,
PRESIDENTS LETTER 2019
Dear fellow Football Officials,
First, on behalf of myself and the entire football board, we wish you and your families a very Healthy and Happy New Year.
We enjoyed, in my opinion, a very successful season and as for me, I learned a great deal about running our great organization.
We started off the season on a very positive note in our meeting with Boces and the section eight coordinator. Not only did they entertain our proposal for a revamping of the ratings, they also set up a meeting with the coaches association for our presentation. This was also a success due directly to the efforts of Joe Gottesmen and his committee. Although we do not yet have a system in place, we are on our way. We have requested that the new ratings system be made part of our contract negotiations with Boces.
The assignment of fill ins for each week, was handled through a joint effort of Jay and Frank Sammartano. It was a momentous task considering that most weeks we were missing upwards of ten officials, but they got it done.
It seems that our move to the Green Turtle was well received and now that we have a system in place, we will continue our after game get together at the Green Turtle in East Meadow.
Our continued efforts for fund raising went very well due to the efforts of Tim O’Neil, Jim Hopper and Pete Siegmann, and all of you for making the commitment to support our organization. With Tim at the helm the dinner and journal were a phenomenal success. The Modell’s coupons brought in over $400 and the 50/50 was successful, but we can do better! We look forward to this year and some other options for fund raising.
The reason for our continued (and sometimes annoying) push for funds is to prepare for many different opportunities and situations. Some possibilities:
- Purchase of field radios/headsets for each crew. We all want them and should have them, but short of each crew purchasing the head sets, which will not work for many reasons, we need to raise funds to purchase them. Can we get BOCES to pay for them? Doubtful, and if we did, who owns them at the end of the day?
- We would like to keep monies set aside to help our officials with the turn backs of disputed games, especially the playoffs.
- We would also like to improve on our year end gift (how many shoe carriers can we have?).
On our agenda for this year is the OCC contract and the inclusion of many points and issues thought to have already been included.
For years we have all been told that the postseason assignments are made by BOCES and they do not abide by the agreement between LIAFO and BOCES. The fact is there is no written agreement other than what is in the contract. Our focus this year is to change that and make our By-laws, SOP’s, Contract, BOCES and Athletic Council agree to the same procedure or at least set the stage to bring all of them together. We have begun the process by forming a committee that will be led by Tom Smith to review our By-laws and SOP’s, and make recommendations for changes. We will also be finalizing the contract requests to be presented by the OCC in the spring.
I cannot stress enough the importance for our membership to understand, adhere to and follow our By-laws and SOP’s. Many of the perceived violations for which we continually blame BOCES are not violations at all, and we need to update our By-laws and SOP’s to be fair and reasonable, and coordinate better with BOCES and the Athletic Council.
If you believe a By-law or SOP is incorrect or unjust, let us know and we will consider a change. Any action we take has to be for the betterment of the association as a whole. The most important part of this is protection of our fellow officials. We have many policies and procedures in place to deal with ethical issues, but self-control is the most important part. If you have an issue, bring it to our attention. If you do not want to present it to me, bring it to one of the board members. It will be investigated and dealt with appropriately. Now, more than ever, we need to stand together and united.
If you have issue with anything, bring it to our attention. If you do not want to present it to me, bring it to one of the board members. It will be investigated, and a resolve will be reached.
My phone is on 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Never, ever hesitate to call me. 516-582-3560 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com. If you need immediate assistance, it is better to call me or email my work address, (firstname.lastname@example.org) or contact Frank Sammartano (Laxman813@aol.com) or Peter Siegmann (email@example.com), respectively if you feel more comfortable.
We will be posting the upcoming board dates and meeting dates on the web site. Please read them and feel free to attend a meeting of the board. My only request is that you let me know at least one week in advance and if you would like to speak, let me know at least two weeks in advance so we may prepare for your requests.
Happy 2019 and see you in the summer!
All the best,