It is during this time that the officials are the most spread out and there is action in
many areas of the field necessitating strict discipline on the part of all officials. It is of
utmost importance that we stay within our own area(s) of responsibility and not be
"ball watchers" when we should be "blocker watchers".
As with any other play during the game, we should have only one official observing the
ball carrier with all other officials observing blockers and off the ball activity. Too many
eyes on the ball carrier and not enough eyes in other areas significantly decreases our
ability to properly officiate the play and leads to criticism of our abilities.
The upfield officials S,F, and U should locate their "keys"( receiving team players that
they are responsible for) prior to the kick and should observe those players from the
time of the kick to the time that the players make initial contact with a kicking team
player. After that initial contact , they should then read the play, switching to a zone
type coverage and officiate the blockers and any off the ball action as required.
In cases of a long runback, the U has goal line responsibility and the S and F have
sideline responsibility to the goal line. Only one official at a time should assume ball
KICK INTO END ZONE
If the kick goes into the end zone between the field numbers, the R (positioned in the
end zone) has ball and clock responsibility. He should observe the catch, if any, and
wind the clock ( when appropriate) if the ball is brought out of the end zone. As the
ball crosses the goal line and into the field of play, the R should now assume blocker
responsibility as he would on a normal running play from scrimmage as he can no
longer see the ball.
The H and/or L, but not both,( originally positioned on the goal line and out of bounds
but contacting the pylon) will now have ball responsibility as far as they can take it.
Prior to the catch and while the ball is in the end zone, the H and L should focus on
blockers and the area near the 15-20 yard line.
If the ball is caught in the end zone and outside the field numbers, the H or L, but not
both, will assume ball and clock responsibility and will take the ball carrier up the field
as far as possible with the R totally focused on blockers.
KICK IN FIELD OF PLAY
When the kick is caught in the field of play, the R has blocker responsibility throughout
the play as he is always behind the ball carrier. The H and L should stay at the goal line
until it is positive that the goal line is not an issue, the covering official then observing
possession and starting the clock if appropriate. The offside official will observe
blocking action much the same as the R. The H and/or L should treat the runback as a
normal running play, taking the ball carrier as far as possible.
Eaifo2 - Notebook Mechanics