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  • LIAFO on Facebook - As an additional resource to our members for announcements, updates, rules discussion, etc. the Association has established a LIAFO page on Facebook that will be available to association members only.  In order to find, search LIAFO and then click on "Join the Group".  Once you have been verified the administrators will approve inclusion in the group.  

    WEBSITE -  Hot News on the Web Site is available for viewing to all.  All other tabs, including Forums and administration require the user to log in. To Login click on the sign in space in the upper right hand corner of the home page.  Once logged in there is an Announcement that includes a link to Instructions how the web site works. If you are unable to login please contact Harry at registration@liafo.org with the nature of your problem (i.e.  forgotten user id or password , which are the most common) and it will be corrected. 

  • Fellow officials,

    One of my goals is to establish a better working relationship with Boces and give LIAFO more control over the game assignment process. As I have stated in the past, the purpose is to help younger officials gain greater exposure and hopefully advance in their football officiating career. I believe that positive collaboration with Boces and greater control over the game assignment process will ultimately help grow our association. We all recognize that we need to get younger to keep moving forward as an association.

    As many of you know, under normal circumstances, three members of the LIAFO rating committee typically attend a meeting with Boces at the end of the season for the purposes of reviewing ratings, contesting poor ratings on behalf of our officials, and establishing the list of playoff crews and prospective officials to fill crew vacancies for playoff contests. This process is outlined in our bylaws and SOPs.

    The goal of this process is to allow us to review ratings, support our officials, and ultimately, encourage merit based playoff assignments based on performance. This year, however, it appears that this process was not followed. LIAFO’s meeting with Boces was cancelled at the last minute and all the playoff games were assigned without our input or confirmation.

    I want everyone in our association to know that we as board had no input into this process and do not support any act contrary to our bylaws or SOPs. Unfortunately, at this point, there is nothing that we can do about it and we must accept the results.

    On November 7, 2018, we will be presenting our requests for the new OCC contract. We will be addressing this process at the presentation and we hope that it will be negotiated in good faith and become a part of the new contract.

    We want membership to know that we are doing all that we can to support our association and make decisions that will ultimately make this association stronger.

    All the best!

    Bob DeThomasis

  • Notice to LIAFO Membership

    Important Updates & Housekeeping  Items – Please read the entire notice.

    URGENT REQUEST   -   WILBUR ERB Hall of Fame Submission  Deadline Approaching - Please submit ASAP  

    On behalf of LIAFO we are submitting the name of long time member Wilbur Erb for induction into the Nassau County and New York State Public High School Athletic Association's Hall of Fame.

    We are requesting the membership write a letter of support for Wilbur.  The letter should state what Wilbur has meant to you as a friend and fellow official. You should include in the letter any materials that would help support the association quest to make Wilbur a member of these two prestigious Hall of Fames. Example: photos, copies of journals, newspaper clippings etc.

    Information about Wilbur that can be used and a partial Form of Letter have been posted to the Forums/LIAFO Member Administration.   Please read the instructions carefully .

    Further questions can be addressed to Mike Mormino.

    Special Note about Referee Sportsmanship Awards:
    Referees no longer have to fill out Sportsmanship forms. LIAFO will no longer be awarding Sportsmanship awards


    Modified Football Rules Pilot Program 2018-2019

    Bob has reached out to BOCES for clarity regarding the 2018-19 Modified (Junior High) Football program.  Section 8 Nassau County BOCES came out with new rules in April regarding the 4 quarter vs. 5 Quarter options available to coaches.  There are also no longer A vs. B teams.  The revised rules have been placed on the web site under LIAFO Administration.  They have also been circulated by email. 

    LIAFO Annual Dinner Journal Information

    In an effort to raise money for our organization we are asking that every member to get involved.  We would like every member to produce one (1) sponsor for our Journal.

     An ad would cost the following:

    • Business Card Size      $25.00
    • ¼ Page                           $50.00
    • ½ Page                           $75.00
    • Full Page                      $100.00
    • Inside Cover                $200.00

    Please have all information along with the official name that referred the sponsor sent to Tim O’Neill  via email to ctoneilljr@gmail.com.  All checks should be made out to LIAFO.    All information must be submitted by October 19, 2018.  This would be greatly appreciated.

    Unsportmanslike  / Disqualification Forms 

    Athletic directors, coaches and officials are now required to submit all unsportsmanlike/disqualification forms online via SportspakOnline.  Please see instructions posted under LIAFO Administration Tab.  

    Avialability and Fill Ins 
    Referee's please , if you are aware that you will have some one out, please let Jay and Frank know ASAP.  We have a crew available every week
    now with the loss of the Jericho team and we can assign those games now.

    All officials with needs and those available for fill in duty each week should contact Frank Sammartano at laxman813@aol.com so that he can coordinate with BOCES.   Please copy me on all related correspondence. uncotis@aol.com.   Please also keep your availability up to date.

    Bob D.

    Weekly Tips from State Interpreter

    Pete Siegmann has been passing on tips from the State Interpreter.  See following posts below if you would like to review.  

    Clock Operators

    Please also refer to the Do’s and Don’ts of Clock Operator that is on the LIAFO web Page at www.liafo.org.   It is pinned to the top of the NFHS Rules and Mechanics page.

  • September 17, 2019

    Dear fellow officials,                                                                         

    We have closed out the first couple of weeks of the  season and it seems things are moving well.  

    There are four things that I would like to bring up and remind all of our officials.

    1.  We control the game and the coaches control the score. Please, under no circumstances should we be altering the clock without the consent of both coaches.  If the coach who is behind asks to run the clock, take a time out and speak to the opposing coach. If he does not agree, then bring the two into the middle of the field if necessary and iron it out. If you see at the half that it is going to be a blowout, then maybe discuss it with both coaches before the 2nd half kick off. Remember, those third and fourth string kids work just as hard to prepare for a game as the starters and they too deserve an opportunity to play.
    2. Coaches on the field. As discussed  in previous meetings, get the coaches off the field! If they are out there then throw your flag. Start with the side line warning then go up from there. YES. the coaches association and section 8 have all discussed this with the coaches but they are not at the games to police this, it is our jobs. If you do flag a coach, please do not let your rating dictate how you handle the situation
    3. If, for any reason you flag a coach or you feel that your ratings may be affected , you are to call and e-mail ME as soon as possible after the game. DO NOT call or e-mail Jay. The protocol in place is to inform me and I in turn pass it on to the OCC president, Frank Nocerino to discuss with Boces. Section 8 and BOCESs are with us on this and promised action, if the situation warrants action.
    4. If you are hurt before your game and can not work, please call me, Jim Behan or Frank and let us know. DO NOT E-mail as I may not see an e-mail on Saturday morning. We will try and get in touch with someone to fill in. 

    As we go into week three, good luck and stay safe. As always, if you have any questions please feel free to call me anytime at 516-582-3560

    All the best,

    Bob DeThomasis

  • Week #3  Know when to concentrate and when to relax, but keep your head in the game at all times.

    Your efforts are paying off; select a new area of emphasis for your crew this week and get even better!  Keep up the hustle…especially our superb umpires who are running their butts off!

     Time Outs, Quarter Changes, and Period Between PAT & Kickoff

    We are doing better with our tempo here. The standard is one minute from the end of the signal for time out, end of quarter, or successful/or not PAT to the ready-for-play signal.  Wings, it all rests on your work to get your teams out.  Be active and assertive.

     Week #3 Topics

    • Umpire: Penalty Enforcement on Fouls by K During a Kick (6-1-9b & Penalty, 10-4-2 Exception)
    • Head Linesman: Defenseless Player/Blindside Blocks (RB 2-3-10, 2-32-16, 9-4-3n & Penalty)
    • Line Judge: Sideline Control/Warnings (RB 9-8- 1 thru 3; CB 9-8-3 Sit. A, OM p.22)
    • Back Judge:  Heat & Humidity, Heat Index & Lightning (RB 3-1-3, 4, 5 & 3-5-7g; RB Appendix E)


    Assistant coaches and/or head coaches may not go out on the field to call plays.  They may come to the sideline and call plays but do not let the coach going out to the numbers to call the play.  Once you allow that to start it is hard to get him back.  Interrupt play if you must to get an agreement.  If you don’t get them back you look weak and set up your fellow official the next week.  Keep the sidelines safe for ourselves and for coaches and non-players.  This is an important portion of your pre-snap routine, but less so when we get into the Red Zone.  Remember, we must be fully present and ready to officiate the next play.

     Injury Time Outs

    If necessary, the referee may grant an official’s time out for an apparently injured player.  If granted, that player shall be replaced for one down.  If we grant an official’s time out then players could go to the sidelines and confer with the coaching staff just as they do for an authorized time out (if time permits).  The wings will then see to it that both teams are back on the field and ready to play when the injured player leaves the field.  Prompt resumption of play is critical to the overall game tempo.

     If you are in the area of the injured player and an official’s time out has been taken, pause and stay with the athlete until help arrives.  This is a nice thing to do for an athlete in pain.  If you have information that may help the trainer determine the nature of the injury you should offer the info to him/her. It’s just common sense and helpful to the athlete and the trainer. 

     Counting Players

    Reminder, there is no excuse for missing the counting of the offense or defense.  It must be accurately completed each and every play.

     Coaches Assisting with Difficult Situations

    It is generally appreciated when the officials seek the coach’s assistance when working with one of his players who is losing his composure on the field.  Coaches may ask that you watch a particular player on the other team, but they will still help with controlling their own player.  It is important that we get information to coaches when we’ve warned a player so they can follow up with the player and understand that we’ve already warned him.

     Unintentional Contact in the Restricted Area

    Please review these enforcements.  Unintentional contact in the restricted area calls for a 15 yard unsportsmanlike on the non-player involved.  A second offense calls for another 15 yards plus the disqualification of the head coach.  Important: This sequence does not couple with any other unsportsmanlike foul on head coach.  So Head coach calls you a bad name and is flagged.  Then there is contact with head coach.  Head coach is not ejected (Case Book page 93) 9.8.1 Situation D.  Treat Unintentional Contact as a separate event from all others when it comes to ejecting a head coach.  It takes two in each separate case…not combined.

     Showing I-Pad to Officials vs Officials Using I-Pads for Stats

    We are not allowed, by rule, to view or use any video in regards to judgment calls for plays that occur.  Coaches offering us the opportunity to view a play on an I-Pad should be respectfully declined.  But, if we as officials are in a situation where we need to check game information such as the correct down, we may use any evidence available, including information on a team’s I-Pad, to make or confirm correct administration of the game.    

  • As per Rules Interpreter , Pete Siegmann, please see the below tips from the State and Rules Bulletin. 

    Week #2 - Don't ruin a good today by thinking about a bad yesterday. Let it go.
    Improvement Week #1 to Week #2
    The improvement in our performance between week #1 and week #2 may be the largest that will see all season; for officials, players, coaches, and game administrators.  Week #1 is our first test.  Week #2 we step up.  Work hard this week! 
    Please review the importance of concentrating the entire game.  Sometimes we get lulled into comfort and unconscious complacency.  We don't mean to do this, it just happens after 178 good plays by the crew.  But remember, you could be facing 60 seconds of sheer terror on the next play.  As a crew, remind your crewmates to focus on each play through constant communication, even chatter.  It can help "wake us up" for a critical, game changing play.
    Week #2 Topics
    • Umpire: Improperly Equipped Player/Illegally Equipped Player (1-5-4, 1-5-5, 9-8-1h)
    • Head Linesman: Personal Fouls vs. Unsportsmanlike & Enforcement (RB 9-4-1 thru 8; 9-5- 1&2)
    • Line Judge: Illegal Helmet Contact/Targeting (RB 2-20-1 & 2; RB 9-4-3- i & m, Note & Penalty)
    • Back Judge: Pass Interference for both A & B (RB 7-5-7 thru 11)
    Ball Location
    Remember to place the ball at the proper position on the field after an incomplete pass, penalty enforcement, and a kick out of bounds or into the end zone.  This can be critical to a team's next planned play.
    Plays at the Goal Line
    Games typically have exciting and close plays at the goal line.  The first key for officials is to be in proper position at the goal line.  The umpire should never block the goal line view of either of the wings.  The back judge should be at the goal line on long runs or long passes completed in the field of play.  Otherwise the back judge must go to the end line.  Wings must use proper goal line mechanics and be off the pylon at the goal line (2-3 yards).  These proper mechanics will place us in the best position to make the correct call.
    9/11 Remembrances or Special Ceremonies
    If there is something organized in remembrance of 9/11, work with the home team coach and administration to make every effort to adjust the kick off time accordingly.  Once a kick off time is agree upon the officiating crew is responsible for seeing that the kick off occurs on time.  Again, we will work with the teams and game management on this please.  Thank you.
    Catch at Sideline
    To complete a catch an airborne receiver must establish player possession of the live ball and contact the ground inbounds.  So if the receiver establishes player possession of the live ball but is pushed (not carried) by the defender so that he contacts the ground out of bounds - the pass is incomplete.  See 2-4-1
    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. 2-20-2
    • Spearing - using the crown of your helmet to deliver a blow below the head and neck area. 2-20-1.c
    • Excessive Contact to a Defenseless Player - Blind-Side Blocks and Defenseless Receivers. 2-32-16
    Flagrant = "a foul so severe or extreme that it places an opponent in danger of serious injury" per 2-16-2.c
    Coaches can teach their athletes to avoid targeting, and spearing in many effective ways.  Avoiding excessive contact to a defenseless player is a newer concept and many coaches have been teaching their players to identify those situations where they have an opponent who does not see them coming and where they could "blow him up" or deliver the "big hit".  In those cases changing the blocking strategy from using their helmet or shoulder to deliver a crushing blow to the unsuspecting opponent, needs to occur. Initiating the block with the hands and extending the arms, or using their body to "shield" or "screen" the opponent can both be very successful blocks yet have safe consequences for the defenseless player.  This is not new information and we should be thinking the same about these fouls.
  • FB Tips from State Interpreter - Week #1 - Don't tell people your plans, show them your results.

    Friday Night Look Better Under Stadium Lights

    We must be ready from the opening kickoff and work hard through the final whistle.  Everyone is undefeated so the energy level will be extremely high; our energy level and concentration routines must match the game’s level.  You’ve all worked so hard in preparation.  Have a great game this weekend!
    Week #1 Topics
    • Umpire: Penalty Enforcement on Fouls by K during a Kick (RB 6-1-9b & Penalty, 10-4-2 Exception)
    • Head Linesman: Defenseless Player/Blindside Blocks (RB 2-3-10, 2-32-16, 9-4-3n & Penalty)
    • Line Judge: Sideline Control/Warnings (RB 9-8-1 thru 3; CB 9-8-3 Sit. A, OM p.22)
    • Back Judge:  Heat & Humidity, Heat Index & Lightning (RB 3-1-3, 4, 5 & 3-5-7g; RB Appendix E)
    Halftime and Post-Game Debrief
    Follow a template or you will fall into the old discussion of favorite/hot topic plays.
    • Chain Crew
    • Timer
    • Head Coaches and Sidelines
    • Tempo
    • Foul Report – Mechanics, Communication, Rules, Philosophy
    • Interesting Plays & Players (play makers, on-the-edge, warnings, what haven’t we seen yet?)
    • What does this game need?  Blow out?  Overtime?
    • Review of Game Goals
    Tracking Fouls
    Find a way to record your game’s fouls.  Make this a crew or personal goal.  Also, you can get someone to log fouls for the crew.  This is an excellent way to have new student officials that are observing games be involved.
    • When thunder is heard, or a cloud-to-ground lightning strike is seen, the thunderstorm is close enough to strike your location with lightning.  Suspend play and take shelter immediately.
      • Record down & distance, yard line and position between the hashes of ball, team in possession.
    • Thirty minute rule.  Once play has been suspended, wait at least 30 minutes after the last thunder is heard or flash of lightning is witnessed prior to resuming play.
    • Any subsequent thunder or lightning after the beginning of the 30 minute count, reset the clock and another 30 minute count should begin.
    Overtime Rules
    Review these rules each week.  Remember - the new “tack on” rule is not applicable in overtime because it only benefits the team initially on defense.  The attached Rules Bulletin has been shared with the football chairperson of each Section.
    Character Counts (from the 2018 CCA Football Officiating Manual)
    1. Realize the importance of your position and at all times uphold the dignity it demands.
    2. Have ambition, but also patience, as over-anxiety has ruined many young officials.
    3. Never be jealous of a good break another official gets. Your turn may be next.
    4. Never use your senior position to embarrass another official.
    5. Be receptive. Open your mind to new concepts and ideas.
    6. Be honest with yourself. Unreal expectations place an extra burden on an already intense job.
    7. Become a leader. If you adopt a philosophy that you’re going to help others reach their goals, you will reach yours.
    8. Be passionate. If you’re passionate about integrity, honesty and professionalism, you’ve improved your quality of life through officiating.
    9. Be courageous. Doing what is right – versus what’s popular or safe – takes strong will and conviction.

    NYSACFO - Football Rules Bulletin No. 1 (8-28-2018).doc



    We had our meeting with Boces yesterday (July 11). I want to thank Frank,Pete, Matt and most importantly Joe for a very professional presentation, Definitely the star of the show.
    This was the fist volley and it is going to take a lot of work over the next few years to get this done. 
    The meeting was attended by Pat, Dom Vulpis, Matt McClees, Russ from East Rock, Joe Vito the president of the coaches association, Russ Cellan, Joe from Lawrence and the AD from Baldwin.
    Overall, the feed back was extremely positive but this is going to take a lot of work to sell it across the board
    Boces does have a pilot program in place and is wiling to give us 1,500.00 top spend on the observation of JV and Jr High officials. I am writing a letter today to formally request that we spend the money on Varsity officials, mainly the new ref's we have coming in.
    We will discuss this in much more detail at meeting on the 17th.
    I met briefly with Jay and there are JV games scheduled for Mondays. Some of these games are scheduled with just two officials, so I am going to write to Pat and Dom today and let them know that we expect the two scheduled will receive the split fee of what would have been the third official.
    Questions, please feel free to call me anytime.
    See you on the 17th.
    Bob D.
  • Letter from LIAFO President 

    Dear Fellow Officials:

     Chris Acheson, Pete Siegmann and I attended a meeting, with all of the sports coordinators, association presidents and BOCES representatives. The main purpose of the meeting was to update us on several issues. (listed below) It seemed to have been a very productive meeting in many ways and we came away with the impression that we all need to work together to achieve all of our goals.

     The major issues addressed were:

    1. Membership: all associations are sorely understaffed. We need to get more young people interested and involved with ideas on how to retain them. This holds especially true for football. Currently, we do not have enough officials on our roster. Please make every effort to recruit and get people involved.
    2. Ratings: Any rating that you receive can be contested. If you feel you were poorly rated on any game, you must make a formal request to have that rating reviewed and possibly pulled.  The request must go through the president of the association and a review will be handled with BOCES.
    3. The old rule was that a rating that was contested and dropped then the ratings for the entire game were dropped. That means, that if one coach gave a bad rating and the other a good one, you would have both dropped. The new rule now has only the bad rating dropped.
    4. Every unsportsmanlike conduct fouls assessed against a coach, will be investigated and reported to the superintendent of the district. Any official that is contacted in any type of probe or investigation is not to speak to anyone. Report the incident to the head of the ethics committee and he will follow up.
    5. All officials will no longer be able to “black ball" multiple zones. You are only allowed to black ball ONE ZONE.
    6. You must keep your availability up to date. If you fail to do so and you are assigned a game, you will be charged for any turn back.
    7. We will be separating the names of the members of the association into categories. Officials that work section 8, clock operators, college officials etc. This is to give everyone a better idea on who can work on the field. This will have NO IMPACT on the assignment of games to you. If you are available to work, you will be assigned
    8. BOCES claimed the right to assign all  playoff officials regardless of the association charter.  This is all sports. This will not go un- contested by football!   As I have said, we are actively working to produce an alternative to the ratings system and the assignment of our officials on all levels.

    These are the major points covered. My apology for not reporting sooner - too many obligations with my job!

    Please feel free to call or e-mail me with any questions or comments. Our next board meeting is Wednesday the 11th of April at Bethpage High School @ 7 PM. Please let me know if you are interested in attending and if you would like to speak. If so, then  please let me know and send me a brief note of the topic at least one week in advance, so we have adequate time to prepare.


    Bob D.

  • 2018 Membership

    Meeting Dates*

    Unless otherwise noted,

    all meeting times are at

    7:00 PM

    Membership Meeting Dates  @ Bethpage HS 


    September 6th General
    September 20th General
    September 26th Nominations
    October 3rd General
    October 10th Annual Meeting
    TBD Playoff Meeting
    Tuesday, Nov 20 Annual  LIAFO Dinner **

    *Please note that some dates may be subject to change

    Members must attend the 2 mandatory meetings and 4 of the 6 remaining meetings.

    **The Annual LIAFO Dinner does not count as a Meeting Date.

    BOLD Meetings in Red are mandatory


    2018 Board Meeting Dates

    August 23rd

    Sept. 11th Cancelled

    New date
    Sept 17th

    Sept. 25th 

    Oct 9th

    New date
    Oct 29th

    Oct 30th

    Nov 13th