Week 2 is now in the books and we are doing a great job. Thanks to all of you for getting your gear so quickly and for those that haven't I know you will have it soon. Please remember we are all here to help each other, so look out for each other and try to help each other in any way possible. Now this week focus will be on field ettiquette, what this means is how we carry ourselves, our attitudes and our actions on the field. You are all for the most part doing an exceptional job, but I have received some complaints so I wanted to make sure things are clear. As I have said in the past you are always being filmed and recorded, so please always act professionally.
You are not to be on your phone while on the field, so please put them in your pocket, bag or leave them in your car. I have had a few comments already this season from coaches and fans that refs taking phone calls and/or looking down at their phones during a live ball play. This is unacceptable, as you are being paid to do a job and the expectation is that you give your full attention to the game and plays. If for any reason you need to take a phone call you need to wait until a break in the game and excuse yourself from the action. In the case of an emergency please wait till the end of the play, as each play only last seconds, then excuse yourself from the field of play and take the phone call, while the remaining ref can continue to officiate the game. I cannot stress enough that your wife, husband, boyfriend, girlfriend, son or daughter calling you to ask when your coming home or when to pick you up at the field or anything that is not dire in nature, qualifies as an emergency call. Again, please do abuse your position or use your phone for personal use while on the field or for managing the game clock (buy a watch).
We are officials and as such are impartial managers of the game. Please refrain from anything that may appear as if you're favoring another team. I'm not saying you can't appreciate a great play or say nice catch, interception, etc. However, patting a player on the back or high fiving a player or any celebration act should not be done, as fans, players and coaches are watching and may interpret this as favortism. We are here to officiate a game and must stay impartial, as such we don't want people to have reason to accuse us of being unfair or bias towards their team and/or players. If you would like to congratulate a team or player please wait till the end of the game and do it in manner that respects the position you hold.
We need to make sure that we are paying attention to the play and anything that happens after the play is over or inbetween plays. We have had a few players and teams doing celebrations after scores, interceptions or great plays. These celebration acts are not allowed and should be considered unsportsmanlike penalties for "taunting." I will leave the call up to each ref as to the severity of the infraction, but at a minimum the referee should be warning the player, players or coach that they are not allowed perform that celebration acts as they are considered a penalty for taunting. Some examples of "Taunting" are jumping chest or shoulder bumps, group celebration performances, spiking of the ball or running down the field with hands up displaying #1 sign. All these types of gestures or celebrations are not allowed, this is not the "NFL" and any celebration act that can be perceived as taunting another player or team is not allowed by rule. I'm not telling you that a team cannot celebrate a play, get excited and scream or yell, just make sure it is within normal reason and not a performance that can be seen by all the fans and players.
Organizing member of iCanReferee & Head Offiicial of Friday Night Lights flag football league. Over 12 years experience with youth flag & tackle football. Major responsibilities are education, on-field training, game assignments, rules interpretation & expanding the organization.