Tuesday, October 28, 2008

College Football-Week 8

It's that time again, Saturdays!

Had to get up early Saturday morning and hit the road around 6:30am to meet the guys at Cracker Barrell in Indianapolis. They left even earlier than I did as I joined them after they ate. We then carpooled the rest of the way to Wabash College.

For pregame we watched a previous game and went over the good, not to much bad, and fortunately no ugly.

It is truly amazing how fast that two and a half hours before kickoff flies by. Unreal. Before you know it I'm escorting the captains out for the coin flip, our crew is meeting on the 50 yd line with one minute before kickoff and then, Battle stations!

Wooster is the visiting team and some of their bagpipe faithful showed up to support. As for Wabash they have a great fan base as well and they're out in full force. It's game time.

Wabash comes out right away and scores on their first drive. Wooster is up to the challenge and evens it up at 7 a piece. Wabash went out back on top at 10-7 but once again Wooster answered the bell to go up 14-10.

It was great to be a part of this game because it was very very clean with only six flags (I didn't have any for this game) and some hard slobber knocker hits. Wow!

Good football being played. At the half Wabash went up 24-14.

This was a hard fought game until the end and the final score is a little deceiving. Wabash sealed the deal with a long interception return for a touchdown. The pass was tipped and the Db caught it near the sideline, ran through a tackle and stayed inbounds as he ran it back.
Everyone was great toward us. Home and visiting team, that is always nice.
After the game we talk for a short bit. The guys have reservations for a nice restaurant in Indianapolis and are eager to get there. I really wish I could have went with them, but could not since I had to pick the family up at the in-laws.
Will be back at it again next week. Special Thanks to Jim Amidon for the pics!

Sunday, October 26, 2008

High School Football-Week10


We had some Thursday night football on our hands. The game involved rivals vying for a spot in the playoffs. Defending state champ for Division II and a Division I school trying to get the last spot in it's region.

The game was televised and there was a good crowd on hand. Unfortunately our Back Judge did not join us for the final weekend but we had an excellent back up in place.

Our pregame involved speaking to a television representative so we were all on the same page for tv timeouts. It's amazing how much extra this adds to the game of responsibility. For example I needed to look at the tv guy every time we had a score, timeout, or change of possession. There was an instance that I forgot but thank goodness we weren't going to commercial.

On with the game.

The visitors got the ball first and went three and out. On the punt, an assistant coach got a little to excited and was on the field. So right away I have our first flag on the home team's sideline. He later came up to me and apologized.

The home team wasted no time with putting points on the board. Their first drive ended with a long touchdown run scamper and we were on our way.

Their next drive ended with a highlight reel touchdown. The Qb hit the receiver with a simple short pass and it looked like he would be dropped right away. Instead he did a little Emmitt Smith like spin and and cut across to the other side of the field for a long touchdown. It was a true highlight reall TD. Just like that it's 14-0.

With only a few seconds remaining in the first half and the home guys ahead 21-0, they completed a long pass to the back of the end zone for a touchdown. Our BJ was in perfect position and smooth mechanics. Nice work Joe!

Dominate first half by the home team as they took a 28-0 lead at the half.

Second half started out the same way as the first half ended and it was quickly 35-0. Then the fun began. TV timeouts, scoring, flags. Then there was more scoring and more scoring. There was a stretch in the fourth quarter where it seemed like it took 20 minutes but only 2 minutes had be run on the game clock.

Well even though the home team was in control the whole game, the visitors never ever quit. They put on a show themselves with some big plays and tried there hardest to mount a comeback.

What an absolute fun game to officiate!

I had a play in the end zone that seemed clearly to me that the pass was intercepted. I later found out that the commentators didn't like the call and thought it was a dual possession and should have been ruled a touchdown. It's cool, they have there right to there opinion and plus I don't mind being corrected if I'm wrong. Always want to improve and get the call right. After seeing the play on tape I still have no doubt that it was an interception.

Once again even though the home team was in control from the start, the game stayed in doubt for just about most of the game. In the end the final score was 56-34.

Nice healthy game of exciting football.

We hit the locker room and have our final regular season game the following night. I think I've enjoyed this season the most so far out of any that I've done!

Special Thanks to Joe Fuqua for the pics!


Oh boy. Here we go.

We have been blessed with awesome weather for this whole football season. This night was a little chillier than others and it had rained all day.

However, it wasn't to chili for football and once we got moving we felt great. Our regular BJ wasn't able to join us once again but our HL's son joined us and did a nice job filling in. This was his third game with our crew on the year.

Our game featured a 9-0 visiting team that was visiting a 5-4 team. I'm not even going to talk about the sideline I had to deal with on this night. I try to keep this blog positive.

The host school jumped out on top 7-0 and were fired up! They controlled the whole first half. With about a minute to go the Qb fired a laser of a bomb down my sideline and the receiver was able to come up with it. It was an Awesome play! At the end of the half they tried a field goal but came up short.

The second half was a different story. The visitors ran all shotgun plays in the first half but brought the Qb under center and just pounded the ball old school. It ended up being a comeback as they won 24-13. The victory sealed the one seed for their division and region for the playoffs.

It's been a long season but I'll miss getting together with the guys on Friday night. The comaderie, the laughs, the tough calls, all of it was great.

Something I didn't mention when I first started this blog. I suffered a serious injury in the offseason reffing in the Arena Football 2 league. It seemed at one point that I may be done officiating for the year.

I Thank God, Thank Him that I was able to officiate this year. I pray he forgives me for anytime that I took it for granted. I had to miss the first week of high school because of this injury. But when I walked out on the field in week 2 for my first game of the season, I almost teared up. It really makes you appreciate the privilege and opportunity to do what we do and do it with the guys we ref with.

I miss my Friday night crew already. It's ok, I'll see some of them on the basketball court.

Good luck Woody and Chris in your playoff game this week. I have a dandy of a playoff game myself with a different group of guys this weekend.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

High School Wrestling's Doorstep

Yesterday was our required State Meeting to attend for the upcoming high school wrestling season.

The wrestling season is almost upon us. I'm still in football mode as the high school season winds down and still have a few college games left. But I have to say I am getting really excited for this upcoming season.

Last week I already received a letter to fill out to be possibly assigned to officiate a sectional or district this year.

At yesterday's meeting there were several local officials and varsity coaches that attended. We went over rule changes for the upcoming season. Some of the ones that stand out:

  • There is now a time sequence when the offensive wrestler mounts the defensive wrestler in the referee's position. The offensive wrestler first needs to place his arm around the waist and then with the other hand place it on the elbow.
  • The back flip from the standing position is now illegal.
  • The wrestler whose opponent has been penalized for unsportsmanlike conduct at anytime during the match now gets the choice of position for the ultimate tiebreaker. Previously the choice went to who scored the first point.
We also went over some of last year's rule changes.

So just like that. It's Wrestler's Eve. I know you're pumped! It's OK, so am I!

To be continued

High School Football Weekend-Week 9

What a great night for football. Johnny you always wanted to be famous so here you are. John, pictured above played Back Judge for us the other night.
He normally is the Head Linesman but we had a special guest that joined our crew and he took the HL spot and we shifted John to BJ.

No college game for me this week but we had a fun Saturday night of high school football. It's late in the season and like the teams we are trying to finish strong.

Kickoff was at 7:00pm and we were ready to go. The home team jumped out on top immediately with a scoring drive and that seemed to be the way this game would continue to go.

This was the cleanest game we had all year. Only 6 penalties in the game. Only one thing out of the ordinary happened this night. Now I've seen helmets stuck together before between opposing players but never shoestrings. Shoestrings? Yeah, one player was lying down on the ground near the goalline while the opposing player was standing. It took a little bit for our Umpire to get them untangled. Nice work Chris. See that's why you got a playoff game because of your multi-tasking skills.

In the end the home team won 48-14.

We have one regular season week to go, but 4 of us have playoff games. So the season shall continue. Week 10 we have a tv game on Thursday and a Friday night game as well. I'll be back doing college games on Saturday.
Special Thanks to Bernie Rapien for the pics.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

College Football

Monday night we had a local college meeting. It was a good time and we went over several unique game situations. We also discussed rule enforcement for the situations.

It's nice when you have to go to a meeting like this and you have good discussion and learn a lot. The reason I say this is because in life we've all attended meetings that may have not been the case.

At the beginning of the meeting we all discussed what was our previous game that we officiated and any instances that may stand out.

Then we discussed rules and unique situations. After this, one of the guys had a nice powerpoint presentation that he went through.

The meeting kind of went over so we didn't get to view any videos. To wrap everyone told where their next game would be.

Our next meeting is in a couple of weeks.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

College Football-Week 6

Ah, you smell that? It's the smell of college football Saturday 80 degree weather! Just an awesome day for football.

I had to head out about 6:40am to meet some of my crew mates around 7:10am. Then we headed up to the Columbus area so we could meet the rest of the guys at Bob Evans for breakfast.

Our long drives are actually great. We talk football rules, jokes, politics, friday night football and whatever else we can think of. In the end that 2 hour drive seems like twenty minutes.

After Bob Evans, we head over to the stadium for our pregame. For our pregame we watch one of our previous games and critique any and everything that we can improve especially mechanics. I love it!

Time to hit the field. The players from both teams are pumped up and ready to go. This gets me pumped and ready to rock! I get the captains, we do the toss, it's game time!

The home team starts the scoring off as the Qb breaks off a long nice run for a touchdown, with only one problem on the play:

He decided to take a dive over the endzone. It is a touchdown but we have an unsportsman like penalty. Even though it was great form and a nice dive by rule it is a penalty.

Nothing to tricky for us to officiate on this day and our sideline was very well behaved and I was told by my peers that their sideline was great too. I think I stated this before I can I can't state it enough for the most part the coaches are great despite all the nightmare stories you may hear.

When it's all said and done the home team ends up on top with a 24-8 win.

After the game we had an Observer come in and give us some good feedback. He told me something involving mechanics that I actually caught myself doing a couple of times and it was nice that he confirmed it so I can work on it. Overall our crew was strong and had a good game.

Next week I'll be off for college ball because I may have to work. I will be working a good Saturday night high school football match-up.

Then the following Saturday I'm back with the guys for a game that involves one of the top 10 teams in the country for DIII.

Special Thanks to Stephen Lewis for the pics!

High School Football Weekend-Week 8

80 degrees the second weekend in October is not normal here in Ohio but I'll gladly take it. It was homecoming for our game this week so we hit the field early to talk with the coaches.

Everything went smooth so we were able to do the coin toss early and get out of the bands way.

Time for kickoff.

Nothing out of the ordinary happened on this night with the exception that we had to sprint the length of the field back to back plays. The home team ripped off a 70 yard touchdown run. But the visitors followed that up with a 90 plus kickoff return for a touch. I thought, oh boy here we go. Howerver, both teams settled down a little bit though after this.

Score was 17-7 , but the visitors hit a long touchdown pass right before the end of the half as the defender jumped a hair early and the ball went right over his outstretched arms into the receiver's hands to make it 17-14.
Our White Hat's game management was right on point and the game just flowed. Both sidelines were great and it was nice to be able to concentrate on the game completely and not have to worry about everyone on the sideline creeping up to close to the field and getting in the way.

In the end the home team pulled out a victory with a 24-14 final. Even though I had a college game the next day, I had enough time to go out to eat with the guys.

Next week we're off on Friday but we have a dandy of a game on Saturday night in the Pit.
Special Thanks to SKC Productions Photography for the pics!

College Football-Week 5

Whoa Nellie last Saturday was one of the strangest games I've ever done. I was the visiting official with the crew I had the pleasue of joining in week 1.

This was a fun game to do.

The first score was by the home team and it was for a 97 yard touchdown pass in the first quarter. After this is where the game got strange.

The visitors couldn't get a consistent flow on offense and the home team stayed in the redzone all day. The home team reached the redzone probably at least seven times and got inside the 5 yard line about three times. They did not score on any of these instances. They had a field goal that hit the uprights, a bothched snap or two, and another field goal late in the third quarter that was blocked and returned 95 yards for a touchdown.

So at the end of regulation it was all tied 7-7. So we were headed to overtime. The visitors won the toss and chose to have the ball first. They end up scoring and go ahead 14-7. Home team's turn and they convert a clutch fourth down. A few plays later they score a touchdown and it's 14-13. The all important extra point is next but it ended up being a problem between the hold and the snap. Ball game.

Both teams played extremely hard until the end. It was fun to be a part of this game.

After the game, we hit the showers and the Observer comes in to give us some honest feedback. That is always nice and we genuinely want it because it will only make us better. Let me say I love receiving honest feedback. I take it to heart and very serious.

The feedback for this game was good for everyone.

So that's it for this game and I'll be with my regular crew for the following week.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

High School Football Weekend-Week 7

A good Friday night match-up with possible playoff implications. The home team is 4-2, the away team 6-0.

The game is downtown and while I was headed there the traffic wasn't the greatest. So I leave work early to make sure I get there in plenty of time. I'm the first one there so I get with one of the trainers right away and get my ankle taped.

Slowly the rest of our crew start to trinkle in. Once they all arrive we get started on our pregame. During the pregame the chicken at the concession stand smells out of this world. Anyway back to the game.

It's time for kickoff. The road team breaks a long run for a touchdown early in the game and goes for two. They are successful and the score is 8-0. For the most part the visitors are in control the whole game, but it's still a game. I had five flags in the game.

Now one of the strangest things happened in this game. Our Head Linesman is a very easy going kind of guy. We have been on this crew together for five years. I have NEVER seen him get upset. Not at a coach, not at a player, and not at a fan. But the guy that was running the box with the chain crew is a referee and he had our HL on fire. The box man wants to do Varsity games but I guess hasn't been successful with landing on a crew.

It's in the fourth quarter and the offense has the ball at about the 12-yardline with 1st and 10. The defense ends up getting a 15 yd facemask penalty on the play. Our umpire walks of the yardage half the distance to the goal so now it's 1st and 4 on the 6 yd line. But we notice that the chains are laid on the ground and only the box is up showing first down. Our H has the chain guys grab the sticks and get them back in the proper place. So we're ready to replay first down. Next thing you know our H is blowing is the whistle and stopping the game. I start chuckling to myself because I figured out what is going on. The guy on the box was giving our H a hard time and yelling at him saying it should be first and goal because of the facemask. Our H explained to us after the game that he was trying to speak to him nicely and explain that in high school football a 15 yd facemask is not an automatic first down. The guy would not listen so our H had to stop the game to get him to be quiet and quit yelling onto the field and yelling about the play. NO WAY! CLASSIC!

We joked around with our H in the locker room about it. We've had coaches go off, fans get upset, players mad, and none of them never got to him, but a referee on the box gets under his skin. Truly classic.

In the end the road team ended up on top with a 16-0 victory. Didn't get to eat any of that chicken and I had to head home since I had to be at it again the next day for college ball and didn't get to eat with the fellas. The rest of our crew will be doing a high school game on Saturday night.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

College Football-Week 4

Back at it again after a week off from the college game. I love Saturdays.

It was a different kind of weekend for me. After reffing my high school game on Friday night I met one of my fellow crew mates so we could drive halfway up for our Saturday game. Kickoff was at noon, but we had to be in the locker room by 9:30am for pregame. The kicker is that the game was over three hours away.

In the end it all worked out. Four of us met north of Columbus and had breakfast in the morning and then traveled the rest of the way to the game and met up with the other three.

We were well on pace with everything. After our pregame our Referee and Umpire went to meet with the coaches and came back with a trick play that one of the teams plan to run. We made sure we were all on the same page and our Referee went back to the coaches to make sure there was no confusion on what they could run within the rules. Nice work!

I got the captains at 11:55am and we're ready to rock. Kickoff noon sharp.

We got a good competitive game from the start. About halfway through the first quarter after a score, I happen to look and see our Line Judge talking to someone near the endzone.

It's Lebron James. Sometime later in the first half I'm in position in the corner of the endzone and Lebron James is literally sitting a couple of feet behind me. This is the second time I've seen Lebron behind me at a game.

Second half is really competitive as well and I have two flags in the game. One of my flags was one of the easiest calls I ever made. But I would like to see the second one on film and see the play again as it was a close play. I'm always trying to do my best and do whatever it takes to improve.

In the end the visitors win by two in a well played competitive game. It's time to hit the road and head home. Our Side Judge was really ill and sucked it up and did a nice job as usual. I had to drive most of the way home because he was drained.

Next week I'll be at again but I'll be a visitor again on the crew that I subbed with for week 1. It's gonna be fun!

Friday Night Football-Week 6

It was a great night for high school football.
I wasn't trying to be flag happy in this game by any means, but I guess that's just how it happens sometimes.

I had 8 flags in the game and about five of them were offsides. The visitors were very disciplined. The QB was changing up the snap count and they didn't come close to a false start one time.
It was a two point game at the half but by the end the visitors won by sixteen.

I couldn't join my crew for dinner after the game since I had an early college game the next morning.