Position checklist – Umpire [Page in Officials Manual]

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2016 / 2017: POSITION CHECKLIST – Umpire [Page in Officials Manual]


SLOW DOWN! See the play.

 Process the play – Then Decide

Clipping in Free Blocking Zone is now illegal [2-17 & 9-3-6]

Make Fouls BIG & OBVIOUS

 If you “think it’s a foul,” it’s NOT

White tooth / mouth protectors are now okay [1-5-1d[5]a

Hustle to Get & Spot the Ball

 Be VOCAL with Lineman.

Risk Minimization is Critical. Assist Crew to identify players. [90]

Remain over ball & Face R [36]

Penalty Enforce: Assist R

Equipment Rules: This is 100% your area. Know Rule 1-5 down cold.

Play is Over – Be a presence!

 Discuss how Preventative Officiate Players without coaching. Discuss foul thresholds.

Line Up – 4 to 7 yards deep, between tackles. Make sure you are always in a position to see the Snap! [36]

Foul Information: Get it to R, then to H, J or B for them to relay to both sidelines as quick as possible. Be accurate with player # & foul.

Communication: U can help H & L communication with getting information to help the head coach on their sideline.

Inform them of player with a UNS foul that the 2nd UNS foul = DQ. Help the coaches – to help themselves.

Officials are supposed to be the calming influence when a coach is upset and wants an answer. Work together to get it right.

ON FIELD PRE-GAME [Review Five-Official Crew Handout from MSHSAA]

 Enter field as an entire crew ½ hour before game time.

Everyone Check – Game Clock

 Assist R in knowing where location of security & game administration. Who has the Lighting meter?

 U - If possible, Introduce yourselves to both coaches & ball boys.

U – Grass Field Inspection – If possible check middle of field for hazards

Walk the sidelines: R & LJ go together … HL, U & B go together. Do not congregate as a crew and stand there talking. Get to your positions.

 All officials - Work play & talk to players only if needed. Don’t coach.

 All officials - Look for uniform infractions/issues. Inform Head Coach.

 Watch pre-game warm up. Watch interior lineman. Pulling Guards?

U – Get Correct Time from B.

*Measure G/L to 3 Y/L to determine it is marked correctly.

*Running plays outside numbers get a new ball from B, L or H.

*Incomplete pass ball to sideline – Umpire work from short side.

 When teams Leave field go to your position on the field. Stay loose.

Coin Toss: Review procedure with R. U to introduce captains to R. Record captain choices on scorecard. Share with Crew. [13]


Clean up previous play – Keep players in front of you and be verbal. Make your presence known to players. Separate colors and spot ball.

 All officials - Need to know number of the # of YOUR key.

Keys: Know who your keys at the snap. Communicate with H & L on formations such as unbalanced. [28-34]

Penalty Enforcement: Confirm penalty with R. Communicate with H to know enforcement spot, and where the ball will be placed. Which hash?

Assist R – Count A. Help R with clock status, downs, & penalties.

 DO NOT ever let yourself get caught inside a play. Players in front.

GOAL LINE PLAY: DO NOT block view of H & L of the G/L – for a TD.

BALL MECHANICS: You need to be involved in most all ball exchanges.

TD Signal: It will be a COLD DAY in H---, when a U ever signals a TD.

Safety Fouls – Once play is past you observe for Safety Type Fouls

All Officials - Know down, distance and situation (pass/run)

All officials - Focus and concentrate

Be a great dead ball official

Hustle – but don’t hurry. Get Ball Spotted Quickly!


R @ G/L. L @ R’s line [50YL]. B @ K’s line [40 YL]. H @ 30 YL. U @ 20YL

Pooch kick – K cannot catch the kick as it would be KCI. DEAD BALL

 H & U count R players. B & L count K players. R counts all players. Anticipate a short kick with bag in hand. All signal R when ready. [24]

Free kick other sideline – Backside officials help with progress.

Free kick your zone – Work toward ball until possessed. Watch for blocks in front of the runner.

Before Kick: Clean up sideline. During Kick: Watch blocks in your area.

 R has Momentum RULE– Inside the 5yd line and in-& carries the ball into EZ & ball is dead in EZ. It will be their ball at spot of recovery, mark with bean bag. [8-5-2a]. U – you’ll never have this call on Free Kick.

U -Responsible for spot of progress their side of field. [25]

 L is primary responsible for 1st touching by K. U can assist. [26]

All Officials: Be alert to formation [4 players on each side of kicker]

 Kick in EZ: Untouched by R. Whistle & signal dead ball-touchback.

 When the kick & run is over – ALWAYS bring in a clean ball.

 Kick in EZ: Touched by R in field of play, rolls into EZ. Dead ball when ball breaks plane of GL. Whistle & signal dead ball when covered by R.

Block Below Waist: [K or R] … IS NEVER ALLOWED on kick plays

Live Ball – BBW (15 yards)

Free Kick OOB – R catches ball with foot on sideline. Know Options.

Block in Back ( K or R)

Live Ball – IBB (10 yards)

Free Kick OOB – 3 options: [Toss Flag in Air] [6-1-9]

  • 25 yards from kick [ normally 35 YL ]

 A ball kicked directly into the ground, once it has gone 10 yards is a free ball.

If HOLDING by R – make sure it’s at POA [Point of Attack]

Live Ball – Hold [10 yards]

  • Re-kick; 5 yard penalty

 Fair Catch – Ball is DEAD with any signal and only signaler protected, he cannot block. Live Ball – Illegal block (15 yards)

Onside kick. Always be alert. Expect it! Bag the 1st touching by K [hold whistle] & ball remains live. If K recovers/catches free kick = BALL IS DEAD

K touching allowed: 1. After touching by R; or, 2. Touching something beyond B’s line; or 3. Ball Breaks B’s plan and remains there

Forced touching – NO TOUCHING (Ignore touching when opponent is blocked into ball, or ball is batted into opponent

Be a great dead ball official

Check game clock & Note Time


Fouls at the snap; live ball fouls that offense & defense can correct until snap – these become fouls at the snap. H & L only.

DOF-ILS-ILF-ILM [5 yards]

 U – Get set at 4 to 7 yards deep. [36]

 U – Vary your position so as to not be used as interference.

 U – After the play – assist where needed & be vocal in your presence.

Off Ball Fouls: Watch for UNS and PF. Preventative Officiate. Talk!

 U - Goal Line Mechanics – Don’t block G/L view for H or L. No secret communications with H & L on ball breaking plane in the pile.

 Fouls by defense – [Face Mask. – 15 yard] Be certain it’s not pads.

At the Snap: Do not block the movement or view of DB’s [36]

 U – Ensure 5 players with #’s 50-79 are in the interior line. Know ineligible receivers. Alert to Defense disconcerting signals. [36]

 Keep plays boxed in. Be a good dead ball official. Be vocal.

 U has 100% responsibility for Interference with the snap. [7-1-2 & 3]

B CANNOT: [1] Disconcert Signals, [2] Touch / Slap at the ball

Ball Mechanics – Get Involved. Help H, L and B. No balls on ground!

Run toward you: Protect You. Observe blocks the POA.

Before throwing a flag for HOLDING – Know Categories: Grab & Restrict * Takedown * Twist & Turn * Grab & Jerk * Tackle

Be a great dead ball official

Note Position of Ball between Hash Marks

Check game clock


 Read Pass: Step toward NZ [41]

IFP – Assist R if Illegal Pass [41]

ILT – Illegal Touching [7-5-13]

DB holding RCVR – Make it BIG

OPI - Watch for RCVR push off

HOLDING OF RECEIVER: Before pass – Live Ball [Holding = 10 yards from previous spot]

 Focus on players while ball is in the air. When receiver is @ sideline & ball is close to reception - Watch FEET … then ball. [ Man – Zone – Ball) ]

PASS INTERFERENCE [DPI]: Live Ball Foul – [15 yards & no automatic 1st down] If they’re beat – They Cheat!

Requires (1) Interfering with opportunity to move toward the ball, (2) Physical Contact IS NOT Required [DB’s Cannot Face Guard!]

DPIKnow the 6 Categories: DPI Begins with ball in the air [Whether a ball is catchable in High School Makes No Difference = PF vs. DPI?]

  1. Not playing the ball, (2) Playing through back, (3) Grab & restrict, (4) Arm bar, (5) Cut off, (6) Hook & turn

OPIKnow the 3 Categories: OPI Begins at snap:

(1) Blocking downfield, (2) Creating separation, (3) Driving through an established receiver.

HOLDING – Make this foul meaningful. It has to affect the play. Before throwing a flag, process play in your mind. Did it affect play?

Know Categories: Grab & Restrict * Takedown * Twist & Turn * Grab & Jerk * Tackle

Pass Plays: U focus on short passes in the middle only. Don’t Fish! [41]

Ball Touched in Flight: U gives signal. No OPI or DPI (can have PF)

ODD PLAYS: Illegal Forward Pass [IFP]: – [1] 2nd Pass by A, [2] Pass thrown beyond NZ, [3] Intentional Grounding, [4] Intentional to Save Time

Offensive Pick Play [OPI]– Be especially aware inside 20yd line (read formation)

Bubble Screen – No OPI if ball caught (1yd downfield = Don’t Split Hairs)

 Umpires once pass is thrown, pivot to help rule on short passes over the middle. Don’t go fishing in someone else’s pond, unless 100% certain.

Incomplete Pass? Give a good-crisp, clear signal. 2 Waves [41]

 Interception / Turnover / Change of Possession = Reverse Mechanics – [Cross-field mechanics for spot] [41]

Momentum Rule – Between 5 YL & GL (Catch or recovery – toss bean bag at spot of catch/recover) [42]

Be a great dead ball official

Incomplete Pass: Bring ball back to previous spot/hash.

Check game clock


At snap – Position 10 yards keeping the snap in view at all times [43]At snap – Check for numbering exception [44] Rule 7-2-5b[2]

  • At snap – Be alert for illegal contact on the snapper. [40] Rule 9-4-6 [Auto 1st Down]

Balls kicked beyond LOS are LIVE BALL fouls. ILK – [15 yards]

 1st Touching by K = Bean Bag

R in chase mode? = HOLD/IBB

K recovers kick? NO ADVANCE

K can advance a FUMBLE

 Umpire needs to be ready to assist the H to determine if the ball crosses the neutral zone. [44]

 Umpire should pivot toward LJ side of the field to observe block in the side zone, while observing players away from the ball. [44]

Forced Touching is NO touching (Ignore touching when opponent is blocked into ball or ball is batted into opponent

TOUCHBACK – ball strikes ground in the EZ – untouched by B (dead ball)

 Keep all plays boxed in. Be vocal in these situations to stop UNS / PF.

Chop Block – Watch - Rule 9-3-6

KCI - Interference with catch[Spot – 15yds] K cannot obstruct R’s path to the ball

HOLD: A or B [Live ball 10 yards]

IBB: A or B [Live ball 10 yards]

BBW: Never allowed on Kicking Plays [Live Ball 15 yards]

ODD PLAYS – be prepared to help the crew on enforcement:

KCI Foul Choices: [a] R may accept results of play, or [b] 15 yards from awarded fair catch @ spot of foul, or [c] 15 yards @ P/Spot & Re-Kick.

Momentum Rule – Applies between 5 yard line and Goal Line (Catch or recovery inside the 5 – toss bean bag at spot of catch/recover)

Safety – B fumbles ball (provides impetus) inside 5 yard line & ball becomes dead in EZ or our of EZ

Defense Pull [Hold] and Shoot Gap – Usually this happens on scrimmage kick plays. [Rule 9-2-3c = 10 yards]

K – 1st touching [ILT] – consequences of touching are eliminated if there are offsetting fouls or an accepted penalty

Ball DOES NOT cross the NZ - either team can recover and advance (K can still pass or kick it) NOTE: KCI does not apply if ball does not cross

Ball DOES cross the NZ – K can touch, catch or recover but cannot advance a kick.

PSK Enforcement: [a] Foul during the kick by B/R, [b] ball crosses NZ > 3 yards, [c] foul before end of kick, and [d] B/R in possession at end of kick

Field Goal / Try: Umpire should be 4 to 7 yards deep keeping the snap in full view. Check for numbering exception. [47]

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