High School Football – The Basics and Some Do’s and Don’ts

Well first off – this is just my opinion but here are some of the basics that I try to follow as a high school football official:

Player safety – the one thing I consider THE most important.   Always keep an eye out for player safety:

  • Clipping
  • Illegal blocks – chop blocks, block in the back, etc.
  • Face masks/pulling of the helmet openings/or chin strap – with twisting of the helmet
  • Unnecessary roughness – yeah it’s football – but an unnecessary hit to a player totally away from a play or a hit with intent to harm needs to be controlled

Slow down the game – make sure you see what you call.  It’s better to get the call right than to rush it.

Position, position, position – coaches and fans hate when a call is made 30 yards away from a play; and you know what – so do good officials.  Be in the correct position to make a call or to observe the play.   This is easier said than done and takes practice and good field mechanics.  KNOW WHERE YOU BELONG – AND BE THERE.

Communication – solid communication with your other officials is extremely important.  This starts with a pre-game dialogue. Talk about key aspects of the game, kicking game – position duties during kickoff and scrimmage kicks, measurements,etc.  just to name a few.

Whistle in Your Mouth? Do not officiate with a whistle in your mouth – chances are this is going to get you into trouble sooner or later by blowing an inadvertent whistle and if you do – own it, get over it, and learn from it.   It happens at all levels!

Read and study the rules – just about every chance you get.  It’s every official’s job to know the rules – not just the referee or umpire.   Sooner or later when communicating a call with the other officials you may be asked for clarification.  And sooner or later if you do this long enough your position is going to change – you may find yourself as the referee (white hat) one day.  Know the rules and learn them.  I will start covering some of the key rules in a future posting.

Lastly – have fun, an open mind, and always learn from what  you did during the game.  Keep a journal of what happened during each game, and set goals for yourself!

Source by Patrick Blanchard

Beginner’s Football Workout For High School Football Players

Here is a football strength workout for beginners and high school football players. This workout plan serves as the base to put 20-30 lbs on your lifts.

Do this football workout 3x’s per week for 3 months, always trying to beat your previous bests.

Remember, your goal as a high school football player is to get bigger, stronger, more explosive and faster for football, so, your football workouts must reflect this. You can’t simply throw together random exercises and hope for the best!

We start off every session with a main exercise, for heavy, multiple sets of low reps.

If it call for 8 x 3, that means 8 sets of 3 reps. Use the first 3 sets as warm ups then keep adding weight until you reach as much as you can for 3 reps in good form.


Front Squat – 8 x 3
Incline – 5 x 5
Glute Ham Raise – 3 x 8 (add weight when possible)

1-Arm Row to Hip – 3 x 10
Snatch Grip Shrugs – 3 x 12
Standing Cable Crunch – 3 x 8
Curls – 21’s – 1 set


Snatch Grip Deadlifts – 8 x 2
Close Grip Bench – 3 x 8

DB or KB Swings – 3 x 8
Bulgarian Squats – 2 x 12
DB Front Raise and Lateral Raise Combo – 3 x 8 (each way – Do a Front Raise, then a Lateral)
Low Cable or Band Row – 3 x 8 (Pull low toward the hip while seated, this will target the lats hard)
Hypers – 3 x 10


Bar Push Ups – 3 x max reps (have them stump a band if needed)

Clean Pulls – 3 x 5
DB Shrugs – 3 x 20
Saxon Side Bends – 3 x 12
Chins – 3 x 8
Preacher Curls – 3 x 8
Behind the Head Extension – 3 x 8 (Super set with curls)

Stick with these and work hard every session. At the end of the month, you will change the exercises and sets/reps.

Source by Steve Morris

High School Football Officials – Pre-Game Discussions Are Vital!

There are many things a high school football crew should do prior to each game and during each game.  On-field communication is one of the primary keys to looking sharp and becoming a really good crew.   You can review this information at crew meetings or even in the vehicle on the way to the game.

During your crew’s pre-game discussions

  • Talk about what signals will be used for 2 stakes (more than 10 yards for a first down)
  • Talk about what signals will be used for the nearest player to the sideline when that person is off the line
  • Know why this is important – illegal formations, illegible players, etc.
  • Talk about who counts defense and who counts offense
  • Talk about the clock stopping signal on 4th down
  • Talk about the snapper protection signal on 4th down
  • Know your penalty administration and use crisp penalty signals

Your crew should use consistent signals every time.  This makes your crew look like you are working together and effectively communicating.

Also during your pre-game discussions talk about play closure:

  • Talk about how the crew brings closure to plays
  • Talk about ‘continuing to officiate’ after a play has ended
  • Talk about never allowing plays get behind you
  • Never let players get behind you, especially when a play goes out of bounds – never allow the play to continue behind you
  • Talk about the back judge being the ‘sideline police’
  • The back judge needs to know that their responsibility hustle into the sideline to clean up the play and control any potential situations in team benches

Typically most crews will form a diamond or wedge formation with the referee and back judge bringing in the closure of the play in between the appropriate side line official and the umpire.

More pregame discussions – talk about ball rotation:

  • It never hurts to have  your umpire and wings practice tossing the ball underhand to each other

Poor ball rotation makes a crew look sloppy and can take away from the flow of the game.  Your crew should decide how to work on this – but here is a mechanic that our crew uses:  The back judge is responsible for getting balls from the appropriate sideline.  The back judge is responsible for making the ball tossing (rotation) a short distance.  Keeping ball rotation smooth will help your crew look more professional.

During your pregame discussions – talk about counting players:

  • Who counts the offense/defense?
  • Discuss what consistent signals to use when you have too many or too few players
  • Make sure you stop a play with too many before the play starts
  • This will allow your crew to penalize a team for illegal substitution as opposed to illegal participation.  A 5 yard penalty instead of a 15 yard penalty

During your pregame discussions – talk about measurements

  • Talk about each person’s responsibility during measurements
  • The linesman brings in the chains from the clip and chain – from the back end of the nearest 5 yard marker
  • The linesman makes sure to grab the clip and chain in case the clip slips from it’s position
  • The back judge hawks the ball and never allows it to move from the spotted position
  • The umpire takes control of the forward indicator from the line crew
  • The linesman will give the ‘ready’ for the umpire to stretch the chains
  • The line judge will position the yard line from where the measurement will be made
  • The referee gives the signal for first down or short

There is obviously a lot more to talk about, but for now digest this and be sure to check out my blog at http://www.thefootballreferee.com

Source by Patrick Blanchard