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3 Fouls We Miscall the Most

In most seasons, false starts are the most frequently occurring fouls and arguably the foul that requires the second least amount of judgment (calling 12 players in the formation doesn’t require much judgment). But every foul requires some degree of discretion before the flag is thrown. For various reasons there are three fouls that seem …

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Hey Ref! Doncha Know The Rules?

I t’s a question all officials hear at some point in their careers. Unfortunately, fans yelling it from the stands are usually unaware the game they are watching isn’t played by the same set of rules they are used to seeing on TV. There are myriad examples of that sort of rules ignorance, but we’ve …

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Intentional Groundrules

Intentional grounding is likely the rule that requires the most judgment. Any rule that requires an official to determine “intent” is prone to inconsistent enforcement. The varying calls made at the prep level are fueled by the differences in philosophy between NCAA and NFHS rulemakers. The chief difference between the codes is that in an …

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Now You’re Talking

What to Say to Whom and When to Say It Assuming a basic knowledge of football rules and mechanics, communication is arguably the greatest single attribute of an official. A coach’s evaluation form without that item is rare. Most coaches will list communication among the top three things they look for in an official. Once …

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A Little Officiating Magic

The Magician’s Oath is to never reveal the secrets of magic to non-magicians. Nonetheless, there are various “tricks” officials can use to call a game properly. Magic can be categorized into about 10 effects and most of them, such as levitation, are of no utility during a football game; however, an official will find some of the effects to …

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Hold(er) Everything

When thinking of players associated with the kicking game, the usual focus is on those who kick the ball and team R players attempting to catch and return them. However, another participant involved with scrimmage kicks is the holder. The rulebooks define the holder as the player who controls the ball on the ground or …

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Video Tips for Working as the Referee with Legendary White Hat Jerry Markbreit

Retired NFL referee Jerry Markbreit, talks about how to determine what is a pass and what is a fumble. Retired NFL referee Jerry Markbreit, talks about what the referee does when two officials have conflicting calls with one another and won’t back down. Retired NFL referee Jerry Markbreit, talks about how to sound competent and …

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Don’t Talk To My Kids!

“Don’t Talk To My Kids!” Ever heard that shouted from the sideline? Coaches don’t want officials coaching their players. They do want officials to help their players avoid dumb penalties. How do you walk that line and make sure the game is played the way it’s supposed to be played? Here’s my situation: The high school team …

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