Articles

Police the Pile

How does the runner usually react when he’s been tackled? The norm in college and pro football is that runners lay patiently after they are tackled and tacklers arise in orderly fashion. That protocol is a learned response. Players at the high school level don’t always abide by that practice. In effect, they have to …

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Before The Flag

No one likes to see a lot of flags thrown. They interrupt the flow of the game and can seem to make it drag on endlessly. Sometimes it’s one of those ragged games where we don’t have any choice. But often some solid, well-timed preventive officiating on our part is better than tossing a flag …

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When to Throw Flags, When Not to (and When to Pick ’em Up) 

The idea of a flag being waved off brings to mind an overbearing referee trumping the decision of a younger crewmate. That has happened on occasion but picking up a flag can be a prescribed mechanic and it can also be smart officiating. That’s not to say picking up a flag should be done very often, and it certainly is not a crutch to …

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Calm on Broken Plays

Coaches, players and fans are allowed to panic when a play goes awry. Officials, on the other hand, must react to broken plays as if they’re routine and they saw it coming all along. However, the crew must be especially vigilant for fouls during those broken plays. Here are some examples of what to do when the play is executed in a manner …

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Ball-Watching Afflicts Veterans and Newer Officials Alike

Two huge mistakes that officials can make are ball-watching and officiating air. The former means watching the runner to the exclusion of what’s happening around him. The latter means focusing on areas where nothing is going on instead of shifting our eyes to where something is happening. Both prevent us from seeing things we need to see. That problem, moreover, afflicts veterans and newer officials. At times, …

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Yawner? Blowout? Guess Again

By Jon Bible Iremember sitting at the breakfast table on the morning of a late-season game between two cellar-dwellers. One official, a garrulous person whose normal speaking voice could be heard in the next block, exclaimed, “How the hell did we end up with this piece of (deleted) game?” We all laughed because it pretty …

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