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Rule Book,,,

Just a thought, I think it would be swell that we(as in EVERYONE) would have unlimited access to the "offical rules" to the IFL. I will be the last to "go after an official" but I would just like to be on the same page as them. Perhaps on the IFL website or on this website, it would be great. Now, if the answer to this is "it's combined RULES of THREE different types of football" then I believe we all should question that methodology of why it is that way. We are adults---most of us should be out of high school to say the least, so high school rules should not apply. Some of us are college grads or never had the opportunity to attend a secondary school, so college rules could be an option. Now, rules of the NFL...we are SEMI-PRO, most of us follow the NFL, so why not just make it NFL rules. It is just a thought, I am new to semi-pro this year, but I have never seen this much strife towards officiating, regardless of quality.

I was impressed when I first heard there were actual officials, let alone 5, at a game. I was thrilled, until I have experienced the lack of consistency among the officiating crews from week to week.

Let me know about other opinions and then maybe we all can actually be part of the solution, instead of complaining about the problem.

Re: Rule Book,,,

Not in the IFL, but I can comment on why semi pro leagues don't use full-fledged NFL rules. Most ref crews do not know how to enforce them properly or consistently. I have sat in meetings where this has been discussed extensively. The worst thing is to have one ref crew on a given day enforcing a rule one way and another crew at another game doing it completely different. Keep in mind that these guys in a couple weeks will be doing a game on Friday night at a high school somewhere and then reffing your game on Saturday.

Re: Rule Book,,,

Then let's get together and agree to just have high school rules...therefore, everyone is on the same page, and most current players played high school ball, so they know the rules. RULES to play FOOTBALL should not have ANYWAY in determining games, granted it seems to be going that way for some teams this year throughout the league. This problem can be fixed, I just think people need to buckle down and bite the bullet and say, "Ok, high school rules it is!" As long as there is CONSISTENCY I'm sure most people would be happy.

Re: Rule Book,,,

Good point made COACHCB.. It seems like every game we have played.. The rules were high school.. Then they were "modified high school.." and then modified NFl... Some refs tell you one thing.. And another tells u the opposite..
For example...One ref this week said 2 timeouts back to back was not Allowed.. Another said it
Was..Another said it wasn't allowed in high school, but in NFL it was...

Re: Rule Book,,,

Coach CB,

First thing I want to do is to just let you know that in no way do I intend to insult or disrespect you in any way with any of my comments.

With your comments, you have presented some valid points. In particular, IT IS a fact that nearly every player in this region is of adult age. It is also true that this fact indicates that they are beyond high school. You are also correct that there are players participating that have competed at the collegiate level and a rare few above even that. Thus, if all of this is true, there should be no reason that different rules could not be adopted but for one exception: the use of High School certified officials.

As Mr. Bosworth has indicated in his post, I have also participated in EXTENSIVE discussions on playing rules. While not attempting at all to appear to be condescending, I really feel that most players have little appreciation for the logistical nightmare this subject matter brings to bear.

Moving on, I would ask if you are aware of the ongoing debate that surfaces from time to time concerning NFL officials: should they or should they not be FULL TIME officials? Currently, NFL officials are part time; meaning, they have regular jobs during the week and travel to their assignments as required on game days. This begs the question… why is there a debate on this subject?

As you are no doubt aware, the NFL game features 7 officials with one sub on standby. They also have Instant Replay. Even with all of this manpower and technical support, they still have controversy significant enough to cause debate of the aforementioned issue of full time officials.

At the complete opposite end of the spectrum we have “semi-pro”. This game also has no full time officials. In this case (and I also know this to be fact), you will have a given official do a High School game on Friday night, officiate a youth game early on a Saturday and then show up to officiate a “semi-pro” game on Saturday evening. Mr. Bosworth also mentions this fact. I think I can safely say that IF there is or will be a controversy or a blow-up that occurs, it will happen at the “semi-pro” assignment. I would wager that quite a bit of this is due to the ‘controlled’ nature of the other two endeavors versus the typically “wild, wild, west” environment of “semi-pro”. Additionally, there will be a higher potential for a wrong ruling to be made because these guys simply do not have the overall experience with NFL rules to be classified as highly competent.

At this point, someone will probably argue the case of the NAFL or a similar league. I can only say that in my opinion, we are not comparing apples and apples. The NAFL is a different league. It is probably the premier league in “semi-pro” and has the clout and influence to attract, recruit, and sanction if necessary, a different breed of official.

Some might take offense to my use of the words clout and influence with respects to the NAFL while seeming to ‘diss’ other leagues. While I do not intend to insult any other league, I am sorry but the mere transient and transitory nature of other leagues prevents them from attaining this same status. Consistency in leadership is a necessity to attain this position. Here I am not simply suggesting that the same individuals fill the same positions year after year but that there must be consistency in the mission, philosophy and operating principals.

Obviously, even a league such as the NAFL experiences teams that fold or fail to live up to expectations. However, the very size of the NAFL helps to minimize the overall impact of these negative events. With leagues like the IFL, one such event can cause significant chaos.

In conclusion, high school football certification formed the baseline for officiating experience. That environment is what these guys know best and what they should be most competent in. The further one moves from this baseline, the more problems and controversies one should expect. While collegiate rules would seem to also be an option, I feel that the same arguments can be made against that. Consequently, I suspect and in some cases know that certain leagues have adopted high school rules as a baseline and adopted several amendments to those rules. An example would be the college Over-time rule and the NFL Pass Interference rule.

Dane Hill

Re: Rule Book,,,

Thanks for your input, however, I don't exactly understand what you are getting at. The mentioning of NFL officials and how it works on Sunday is irrelevant. As far as the NAFL is concerned, I am not concertned about them at all. Regardless if this is "semi-pro" football, the OFFICALS ARE PROFESSIONALS, they are getting paid, are they not? So, if they are not qualified to call games according to the RULES OUR LEAGUE could put in place, then why have officials??? For instance, the first 3 games this year the kickoffs were at the 35, then this past Saturday they were at the 30.

Mr. Hill, I'm not sure who you are, yet you seemed to be a well respected man in semi-pro football, and I'm sure you understand the importance of special teams and field position during a game, yet the VERY FIRST PART OF THE GAME IS IN QUESTION...I don't understand the differences, and I don't care who was wrong or who was right. I just want consistency AMONG THE OFFICIALS...they don't have to like the players, the coaches, or where they ref, however, please be consistent WITH EACH OTHER, especially they are the only ones getting paid! You mentioned the "wild wild west" of semi-pro football...I don't like that. Granted, it may be true, however games can get out of hand, especially if the officials are blowing the calls, or LACKING CONSISTENCY.

The league could make up rules if they feel it's necessary...Kickoffs from the 37 yard line, 12 men on the field, and 6 guys in the backfield...I really don't care, except I want consistency. The refs are suppose to be PROFESSIONAL, so why do they not have to answer to anyone???

Several weeks ago when the Ind. Generals came and beat us, one of their players had to go to the hospital. When we all took a knee, one man mentioned that "I hope he gets well so he can go back to work on Monday." These men, I'm sure you know, busts their butts through the week to have a little fun on Saturday.

It seems, from what I understand, that this is an every year thing, so why are we beating a dead horse?

Mr.Hill, I'm not disrespecting you in anyway, at least not on purpose. You seem to be an educated person with a great background in semi-pro football. Yet, I wonder, do you think that the lack of organization and consistency of the refs have made players walk away from the game FOR THEIR OWN SAFETY? Football is a rough sport, yet the officials in the IFL seem to only worry about the money that is placed in their pockets FRIDAY NIGHTS, Pee Wee Saturdays, and Semi-Pro events...

Napoleon Hill said it best...
"You must get involved to have an impact. No one is impressed with the won-lost record of the referee."

Re: Rule Book,,,

First let me say welcome to amateur football. Every year, every league has some sort of issue with refs. For the most part, it seems that each league has at least one different rule from another league. Its up to the league to make sure that there are rules printed that can be given to refs and talked over before each game to make sure everyone is on the same page.

This may be a site for some people to let out their thoughts on how terrible the refs may have been but will it be productive? Maybe, maybe not. Its not likely that the refs even get on this site so its not likely to be read by them. We are at the mercy of refs. If a bad call is made, nobody will feel worse than they will. If it is not a quality ref who takes his job seriously, go through the proper channels to have the issue dealt with.

Most leagues have a head of officials who deals with this, however I have talked to quality refs in the past who have said they are done with this level because of the actions of players. Some players have ran on the field to tell a ref he made a bad call, some have tried to tell the refs how to do their job while being a player on the field and some have even made threats to refs. Those images stick in the head of officials who are used to complete organization on Friday nights and actions like that impact this level as a whole.

Re: Rule Book,,,

I think anyone who has been involved with "semi-pro" football for any length of time understands and can even sympathize with your position and frustration.

If you are truly looking to resolve the issues, you would be better served to take your concerns to your team reps who can, in turn, approach your league leaders to deal with the problems. It may be something as simple as you had a crew of officials who were new to officiating at this level and didn't know the rules modifications that have been instituted. Its not like most of the leagues at this level hold officiating clinics to certify the officials we use. It wouldn't be cost effective or even practical. We are lucky to find officials who want to work our games given the sometimes volatile nature. Do you really think that an official is going to consistently make "bad calls" against a given team knowing that he risks the chance of not being able to work any more of these games( a hit to his income), or even being physically assaulted( it has happened in the past) just because he doesn't like someone?

Most of us on the football side of this equation know we wouldn't want to do the officials job for any multitude of reasons.
Some of your frustartion can be eliminated through opening the channels of communication with your team and league leaders, and the officials at any given game. If you have a question, approach them in a professional manner and more than likely, they will be happy to explain the reason for a call, you may not agree, but you will have an explaination. If you can't get satisfaction on the field, note the call that is in question and take the number of the official that made it. Take that info to your league board and even the head of officials, and see what happens. They don't want controversy any more than you do, and will take the steps to correct the problems. It's all part of the learning process. The officials want to do the best job they can, as they take pride in their work and want to continue to be able to do it.

You can't fix a problem that you don't know exists.

Re: Rule Book,,,

Coach CB,

No offense taken at any of your comments. I’m sorry if I was a bit hazy or created more confusion with my comments. As I was composing the portion of my post that dealt with the NFL, I thought that it was getting too lengthy and edited parts out. My point with the section was intended only to describe the logistical difficulties of getting all of the ‘refs’ on the same page as Mr. Wolf suggested.

“…Its not like most of the leagues at this level hold officiating clinics to certify the officials we use. It wouldn't be cost effective or even practical.”

Back in the days of the CRFL a fellow named Andy Ward was enlisted as Head of Officials. Mr. Ward did in fact hold clinics for the officials in his organization. I know this happen because I was asked to speak to the group on one occasion. Similarly, I am aware that former semi-pro coach Keith “Beef” Maloy was also asked to speak to the group on another occasion. However, Mr. Ward’s clinics were not exclusively geared toward the CRFL.

I understand your frustrations with respects to consistency. I think that there are a lot of coaches out there that would echo those sentiments. The best situation currently is to follow the advice of “Mack 55” and Mr. Wolf of working through the designated league rep on your team who will then ‘champion’ your concerns within the league organization. Also, as I believe Troy Edwards suggested in another post, follow the procedure that the league already has in place to report concerns, questions and comments.