How often do you see it, an official with white/grey knickers, uneven socks or his shoes don’t match his crews. I’m hoping not that often. We’ve finally gotten on the page with our uniforms and decided that we need to at least dress professional.
What about officiating the game? No one in the bleachers and for the most part the people on the field really know what goes on. There’s a dying bread out there that is slowly leaving the game that will help officiating high school football in Oklahoma. This breed is the 20+ year veterans. I hear time and time again older veteran officials telling newer officials “we don’t do that” and “stay on the field”. My first experience with a veteran official was him telling me how to line up a receiver. It was just short of walking on the field taking the receiver by the hand drawing a line on the field and telling him not to cross the line till the ball was snapped.

The State Playoffs are nearly complete and once again the games aren’t on television due to an idiotic move by the OSSAA. I did get to see a few highlights of one of the games. The crew involved has the official that I was referring to earlier. If you watch these highlights look at the second play:
 If you’re a true student of the game you will notice the official that is 9 yards on the field. Yes that’s right 9 YARDS ON THE FIELD! As the play is coming towards him he leaves and goes toward the wrong goal line. Why isn’t he on the goal line? Why is he on the field? What’s more important is how does a guy like that get a 4A State Championship game?

Here is another clip to watch:
 Look at the back judge. I’m not sure exactly what he was thinking, but where is the cushion and why is he near the sideline?

Is it actually the officials fault or is it because of his referee who has pointed him in the wrong direction? In any case you can’t point the finger at any one person. Our veterans need to become more studios of the game and our rookies need to read and not believe everything they’re told. So many veteran officials now days ignore the official’s manual and do it however they see fit. The past 10 years I’ve got to notice that most officials don’t know proper mechanics or they simply choose to not do them. This is from the coin toss to the end of the game. I’ve seen the state rules interpreter botch a coin toss more than once, his crew doesn’t know the mechanics for a measurement and he gives signals to the press box while still moving. This is a situation where a veteran will tell you that you need to know the rules more than mechanics. This is where we should all ask, “How do I enforce the rules if I don’t know where I’m supposed to be?”