New High School Football Referee Guide web address!

August 21, 2009

Hello fans and fellow high school football refs – Just wanted to let you know that this blog has officially moved to:

I moved all the content from this site and will continue to update with information and resources for high school football officials so check back often!

Be sure to bookmark the new site and follow along as the 2009 Footbal Season gets started!!!


Sportsmanship – on the field and in the bleachers

August 17, 2009

Wow this is a  tough topic!   It’s unfortunate that we ever have to be “police” on the field – but it does happen.  A game with bad sportsmanship can sometimes make for the worst games to officiate.  I believe that sportsmanship should be a required class for parents, athletes, coaches and officials.   In my opinion playing  and/or winning with respect for yourself and the other team is really how sports should be played.  Behind player safety – sportsmanship is key for officials to monitor.

Sportsmanship should start with

  • players
  • parents
  • coaches

Many times we see and hear coaches and parents pushing the thought that ‘winning is everything’.    I am not saying that this is always the case – but if coaching staff does not control their players when these situations happen, the officials will have to keep a tight lid on this or it will cause issues during a game.  I agree that a team should always try their very best to win each and every time they participate – however having respect for other players is also very important.

Bad sportsmanship is one thing that can cause a game to get out of control.  So as an official it is very important to watch for actions that can lead to issues on the field:

  • Taunting – celebrating after a score or long play
  • Late hits – in or out-of-bound plays – but especially out-of-bounds plays
  • Possible fighting, physical contact or name-calling

Keys for officials

  • Excessive celebration; control this by flagging celebration when it happens.  Flagging it sends a message to players that it will not be tolerated.
  • Out of bounds play:  Communication before the game, and during the game and worked in a wedge.  The back judge is always helping the line judge or head linesman – by angling in to a play to help control any activity on the sidelines; especially when a single player goes into the other sidelines’ bench area – help get the player out of that situation and watch all activity as a group of officials.
  • In bounds play – watch for the late hits and control this right away.  Do not tolerate this ever.  Keeping this controlled can help keep a game in check. Communicate to the captains and  coaches if you have any late hits.  Give a coach a player’s number and ask the captain and coaches to help control their players.
  • Side line warnings – many officials tend to let this go.  If you have a problem with your sideline/coaches – be firm but fair.  Warning  and flagging the sideline early in a game can usually make for a better sideline.
  • Parents out of control.  Wow – toughie – yes parents have the right to ‘get into the game’ and yes we do make mistakes as officials.  But if a parent is way out of control – ask the coach or inform the AD that a parent needs to be controlled or removed.  Do not be afraid to do this.  This is typically not an issue at a varsity game – but at lower level games it can be many times.
  • Lastly – fighting of any kind can never be tolerated.

Hope this information has been helpful.  Feel free to leave a comment or question any time and I’ll get back to you…

Well here’s a 5 yard delay of game penalty until next time.