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50 Officiating Tips

  1. Signals should be deliberate and sharp. All officials should pick up time out signals, especially the umpire because of his position on the field, namely, in the middle.officiating.tips
  2. Special care should be given to ball spotting on “previous spot plays”. Don’t give yardage or take it away.
  3. Referees — Be consistent in making the ball ready for play
  4. Be aware of a potential 1st down measurement. Don’t move the ball too quickly.
  5. Count offensive and defensive players on every down.
  6. Be especially alert during a “hurry-up offense”.
  7. A time out signal should be given if there is doubt about the recovery of a fumble. Team direction can follow when officials are positive which team has the ball.
  8. There are no “4, 6, 9, 11, 14, or 16 yard penalities in the rule book (Check yardage marked off on all penalities.)
  9. Be alert to a “pick off” on forward pass plays. (contact is necessary)
  10. Watch for hooking or holding by the defense against potential pass receivers.
  11. Officials should never grasp or hold on the facemask of any player when preventing or breaking up a fight.
  12. No disqualification unless absolutely necessary. Be sure to see the whole action. Check with your colleagues to verify what was seen.
  13. Questions of judgment on the part of any official are not open to argument on the field, during halftime, or after the game.
  14. Do not become overly friendly with players, coaches, or athletic directions.
  15. Coaches are not permitted on the playing field during the game without permission. Coaches are not to visit with officials in their dressing room.
  16. Do not blow your whistle in anticipation of a foul.
  17. Pick up your flag if you realize the foul wasn’t there.
  18. Don’t try to “bulldoze” a phantom foul if you know you were wrong.
  19. Remember the four “W’s” in reporting fouls: who, what, where, when.
  20. Be discreet is speaking to the referee if you believe the wrong yardage was measured off, but speak to him.
  21. Officials not involved specifically on a play that is ruled dead should be aware of continuing action fouls. (Clean up the play.
  22. If the number of a down is in doubt, call an officials’ time out and consult. Get it right.
  23. Be sure to stop the clock following every 4th down play.
  24. Help each other on possible 1st down measurements
  25. Be watchful for piling on, chop blocks, and tripping.
  26. All officials should review, in their own minds, basic spots of enforcement as a check of the referee’s enforcement of a penalty. If he is wrong, speak to him immediately
  27. Review legal and illegal blocks. Be alert for illegal blocking during kick plays.
  28. All officials should be in their designated area at the snap.
  29. Officials should be alert for pass and/or run on all plays.
  30. On loose balls near a sideline, be aware of who last had possession in case the ball goes out of bounds.
  31. Review crowd noise procedures that might delay the game.
  32. Don’t “yell” at a player because he is “yelling”
  33. Be aware of the mandatory equipment and uniform code as listed in the rule book.
  34. Know the team captains by number. If you are the referee, it’s not a bad idea to know them by name also.
  35. Know the tie-breaker procedures for each league you are working in.
  36. Remember that players get excited and emotional. You must be poised and calm.
  37. The members of the chain crew are technically minor officials. Do not allow them to “cheerlead” or become vocally involved in the game.
  38. The dressing room is out of bounds to everyone except the crew and commissioner.
  39. Stay in shape and watch your weight.
  40. Communicate with head coach. Don’t be aloof.
  41. Don’t blow your whistle unless you see the ball.
  42. Wing-Men – Officiate your side of the ball before or at the snap.
  43. Discourage comments and talk between players
  44. Keep officiating after calling a foul.
  45. Wear glasses or contacts if you need them, but not sunglasses.
  46. Keep officiating after the ball becomes dead.
  47. Do not discuss controversial calls with anyone after a game except crew members and the commissioner.
  48. Give yourself extra time to get to a varsity assignment.
  49. A majority opinion prevails in a crew conference. The referee has only one vote. However, he breaks all ties.
  50. Appearance counts, look and act like an official.!!!