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Central Florida Officials Association - mfoa.us

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Mid-Florida Officials Association
Emergency Action Plan Mechanics and Procedures2016Special thanks to CFOA
IntroductionEmergency Action Plan
The duty of an official is to maintain order and administer the game so that the rules established by the NFHS and the FHSAA are administered in a fair and impartial manner. Our job has become harder due to administrators, coaches, players and fans emulating the antics of players and coaches at the college and pro level. This type of behavior is not acceptable at the high school level. The FHSAA has asked each association to develop mechanics to address this ever-growing problem,as published in sections 500 - 506.04 and 600 of the 2014-15 FHSAA Officials Guidebook.The mechanics will cover several aspects of game administration as it relates to officials and their responsibilities in the event of a fight or disturbance on the field or in the stands. The purpose is to establish mechanics that all officials can follow so the reporting of an incident that may arise can be addressed in an organized and factual manner. We have included weather related issues so all involved in the game understand the importance of following the standards for suspending play due to the weather.
IntroductionEmergency Action Plan
The MFOA at the direction of the FHSAA has developed mechanics for officials to use in the event of a brawl on the field or in the stands or other threats that may occur once the officials have entered the field and until the referee declares the game over. The trend in recent years has shown an increase in hostilities towards officials and players. The mechanics give the official steps to take in the event such an act were to occur.The following pre-game is to be used by all referees and officials of the MFOA,NO EXCEPTIONS.The mechanics are to be used for all games assigned by the MFOA (freshman, junior varsity and varsity) or any game sanctioned by the FHSAA that the MFOA assigns officials.These mechanics are being put in place in an effort to protect officials in the event of a brawl or threatening situation. It may seem to some that this is not necessary, but it is better to be prepared in the event of such an occurrence than regret not being prepared and have an official injured. As noted by the FHSAA, there has been an increase of fights resulting in the ejection of coaches, players and fans in recent years.
General InformationCrew Parking
All officials will park in the assigned area designated by the schools. Schools should have security or an administrator meet the officials and escort them to there meeting room.If possible officials should meet at an offsite location and travel to the game in 1 or 2 cars.Officials who insist on parking in areas not designated by the school take on the responsibility of getting to their car without security if the school is not able to provide it.Back into the parking spot and have your keys with you in the event you need to make a quick exit after the game. Referee’s make sure your ECO gets to their car safely.
MechanicsEmergency Action Plan
Officials should arrive at the game site90minutes prior to but no later than60minutes before game time. Note: JV & FR need a good pre-game on these issues.Referee and Umpire will meet with the AD/Administrators and security to discuss the safety of officials and players in the event of a brawl, field or weather related problems.It is the responsibility of home team management to regulate the number of authorized non-team personnel allowed on the sidelines. All must remain behind the 2 yard belt at all times. This includes reports and camera personnel.The referee will send the AT-6 report to the FHSAA, the Booking Commissioner and the President of the MFOA. This applies to varsity/JV/FR games that the crew has to report a player, coach or fan for unruly conduct.
MechanicsEmergency Action Plan
Remind the home team AD/Administrator to have the game announcer read the sportsmanship statement provided by the FHSAA. Can be found on the FHSAA web page.With the new coin toss mechanics, inform the AD, head coach and band director that the teams, band and all other non-team members must be off the field and in their end zone or on their sidelines before the coin toss. All pre-game activities should be concluded and off the field by 7:25 for a 7:30 kick off.
Information to the CrewEmergency Action Plan
Any game control problems or brawls will be reported to the FHSAA, to the Booking Commissioner and the President of the MFOA.Officials/clock operators will not give interviews or discuss game incidents with family, friends, spectators, others in the press box, coaches, television, newspaper or internet reporters. Your comments will usually be taken out of context and misrepresented by the median or others. Your comments may be used in litigation.Clock operators - do not discuss penalties or comment on enforcement with anyone in the press box.Discussion should only be among the crew members pertaining to an incident so an accurate report can be compiled.Complete the report as soon as possible while the information is fresh on your mind and details can be noted. See FHSAA Officials Guidebook (506) for details.The AT6 report mustbe sent intothe FHSAA no later than 24 hours after the game.Give only the facts and not opinions in the report.
Information to the CrewEmergency Action Plan
An official who is not officiating a game and who is merely a spectator, will not make comments to administrators, coaches or fans on the quality of officiating, perceived or actual mistakes, the officiating crew may have made. They will not intervene or try to influence the crew, administrator or coach to question a call.If an official is a spectator and wants to comment on the quality of officiating or sportsmanship by teams during or after a game, they are not to use any forms from the MFOA or FHSAA or represent themselves or their views as an official, those of the Association or its Board of Directors.
Information to the CrewEmergency Action Plan
If security, parking or dressing facilities are not provided, report it to: the President. Game management should provide a secure location for the officialsto dress,meet for pre-game and halftime.Leave your problems at work or home. Do not let them influence your judgment in respects to game administration.Do not hesitate when throwing your flag or be tentative in decision making. This type of non action will usually incite unrest among players, coaches and fans.Officials, do not bicker amongst yourselves during the game. Referees must take charge of the game and the crew. Control yourself and be professional.
Information to the CrewEmergency Action Plan
Remember - we are a crew, and if we have to leave the field we will leave together.The referee is responsible for making sure all officials are accounted for, this includes the clock operator.After meeting with the Administrators, the referee will instruct the crew on any issues related to crew safety and evacuation procedures. Review Weather related issues.If necessary send security to help the clock operator get down from the press box safely. Should be discussed with the AD in your pregame meeting.
MechanicsInformation to the Crew
Clock Operator, In the event of a problem in the stands or on the field, you will immediately step away from the window and remain out of sight of the fans. Remove officials hat and shirt (always wear an undershirt) if necessary.The clock operator should not attempt to leave the press box until security arrives. If no press box, retreat to a safe area as soon as possible. Referee discuss this with game administrators before the game. Note time & scoreClock operators that are field qualified for varsity contest will wear their full uniform to the game. Clock operators not field qualified officials will wear pullover shirt, slacks and closed toe shoes and have your officials hat.
MechanicsInformation to the Crew
In the event of a brawl, the crew members should retreat from the action and take numbers of players and others coming off the bench and involved in the fight.Get the head coach or coaches on the field to break up the fight.Coaches coming off the bench should be monitored to make sure they are trying to break up the fight and not become part of it.Remember the minute you walk on the field you are being filmed by someone so be professional and follow the guidelines in this document.
MechanicsEmergency Action Plan
Referee and Umpire, will stay in the middle of field and monitor action taking place between the 9 yard marks.Line Judge and Linesman will monitor the area between the 9 yard marks and sideline lines on their side of the field. Summon coaches on the field as soon as possible to break-up action between players, non-players or fans.Back Judge will assist in areas where other officials may need help.SJ and FJ (7 man crew) will help maintain order on their side of the field between 9 the yard marks and the sidelines.All officials will observe the action and take notes and numbers of players and others who may become involved in the disturbance.
MechanicsEmergency Action Plan
The referee, in the company of the umpire, will inform the head coach that on-the-field demonstrations to intimidate or taunt the other team or fans, will not be allowed during the pre-game warm-up period or when the team comes on the field for the game.If team acts such as this occur, inform the head coach that their team (he/she) will be penalized for an unsportsmanlike foul.Two unsportsmanlike actsand he/she will be ejected by rule and must leave the stadium.L and LJ find the get-back coach and instruct him that in the event of a brawl they are responsible for keeping players and others in the team box and off the field.Make sure coaches know it is there responsibility to maintain order on their sideline and to break-up fights if they occur.
MechanicsEmergency Action Plan
Back Judge/Line Judge (5 Man). Take a position at the inbounds lines at opposite 45 yard lines at least 30 minutes prior to the game and monitor activity of the teams during warm-up.Line Judge/Referee or Umpire (4 man). Take same position as above.Field Judge/Side Judge (7 man). Take same position as above.Assume a position with hands at your sides. Look professional. No hands on your hips or arms crossed on your chest.Any conversations with coaches and players should be courteous and professional in nature. Use a handshake, only, when greeting before and after the game.
MechanicsEmergency Action Plan
Use preventative officiating, good judgment and common sense when dealing with potential problems. Start talking to the players and coaches early in the game.Never get in a shouting match with a coach, player or fan. Be professional in these situations.A conference with a coach or administrator should be held on the field in front of the team box with the referees back to the bench and the coach facing his bench at the top of the 9 yard mark. Referee always have a second official with you at the conferenceHave field awareness. Look for signs of trouble early and relay information to other officials. Referees and back judges you have the best view of what is going on behind the end men, be alert for potential problems.
MechanicsCrowd Attacks Officials
If threatened or attacked, all officials should come together as a group and summon police and administrators. If and official is being confronted a second or third official should aid his fellow official.If hostility continues, the officials and teams will be escorted to a secured location by security and the administrator.The referee will inform the schools that the game will not continue unless order is restored.
MechanicsCrowd Attacks Officials
The game can be delayed until order is restored and additional police protection is available at the field.The game can be suspended at that point and resumed at a later date, if agreed to by the schools.If necessary order the stadium cleared, except for the teams, coaches, administrators and police personnel before resuming the game.The referee can forfeit the game at that point and declare the offended team the winner if order cannot be restoredIn all cases the safety of the officials and players is foremost.
MechanicsCrowd Attacks Team
This same procedure will apply if the crowd attacks the teams or others in the stands, and the action becomes uncontrollable with the security personnel on hand.In all cases, the officials are to perform their duties in a professional manner in accordance with NFHS and FHSAA standards.The announcer will inform the fans that if they leave the stands and enter the field they are subject to expulsion, arrest or both.Officials do not get involved in fights the occur in the stands. If necessary, referee, notify administrators that if it continues the game will be suspended until order is restored.
MechanicsPlayer or Coach Attacks Officials
The official will retreat from the attack and seek support from other officials and security personnel. Security should be near the playing area at all times in the event this were to happen.It is recommended that officials not touch players in any manner other than to protect themselves against bodily harm.The official or officials involved should blow their whistle and throw their flag to stop the attack and draw the attention of the other officials.
MechanicsPlayer or Coach Attacks Official
Use preventative officiating early in the game to stop any escalation of aggression or hostilities.Be aware of verbal and body language that shows signs of aggression towards the officials.Derogatory remarks about an official’s race, religion or ethnic background can be signs of problems to come.Never allow a coach or player to get in your face. Step away from these situations as quickly as possible.
MechanicsPlayer Attacks Player
The covering official should use his/her whistle and flag to stop the action.At no time should officials try and separate players by using physical force.Step back and summon coaches to separate the players.Be aware of verbal and body language of the players during the game. Never allow players to refer to another player’s race, religion, ethnic background, family heritage or use vulgar language.
MechanicsPlayer Attacks Player
Football is a contact sport, but being overly aggressive is not part of the game and can lead to game control problems.Standing over a player after a tackle to intimidate or use gestures that are meant to demean are not acceptable. Stop it early but know excitement from aggression.The antics of college and pro players are not part of the high school game.
MechanicsCrowd on Crowd Attack
The safety of the players and officials are your primary concern. In today's society a weapon may be involved and threaten the safety of players and officials.Have the players and officials escorted to a safe location until the authorities have restored order.Officials are to maintain order on the field. Do not go into the stands to help break up the disturbance.Referee, as soon as possible, have security sent to the press box to escort the clock operator to safety.
MechanicsCrowd on Crowd Attack
What can be done to help control the crowd?The announcer should read the FHSAA statement on sportsmanship before the game and periodically throughout the contest.The announcer will refrain from criticizing or commenting about the officials or calls they have made or use music to raise doubt about an officials call or conference to discuss penalty.If an announcer will not stop criticizing officials or others the referee will direct the AD or his designate to have the announcer removed from that position and if necessary from the stadium.
MechanicsCrowd on Crowd Attack
The announcer will refrain from criticizing the opposing team or its fans.Anyone around the field, or a coach who incites the crowd towards violence, or disrupts the game, should be removed from the stadium.Additional police or security personnel should be available and placed in positions that are visible to the fans. Have police cars visible to the fans both outside the stadium, in fan parking areas and if possible parked in sight of the playing field.All personnel in and around the field must remain behind the 2 yard belt. This includes, reporters, cameramen, alumni, band members or any others who may be involved in the administration of the game.
MechanicsCrowd Attacks Players or Coaches
Officials should not get involved in this situation. Get players not involved and officials off the field quickly.Be alert for possible physical and verbal attacks on the visiting team by the home team crowd.Problems usually occur when the winning team keeps pouring on the points in a one-sided game.Keep the fans in the stands, do not allow them on the sideline or on the track. Alumni, booster club members tend to migrate to the sideline as the game progresses.
MechanicsLightning & Weather
The National Federation of High Schools (NFHS) in 2009 implemented a new policy for Lightning and Weather. If you hear thunder or see lightning the game must be suspended at that point and you must wait 30 minutes from the last time you heard the thunder or see lightning before the game can continue. The FHSAA has amended the rule to state;
MechanicsLightning & Weather
If the school has equipment to detect Lightning then that detection device can be used to determine if the game is to be suspended as per the FHSAA. As always the safety of the Officials, Player and Fans are of utmost concern. If an Official, AD or Coach wants to suspend the game because of weather concerns than it will be suspended.
MechanicsLightning & Weather
If lightning detection equipment is being used it must be in close proximity to the field. There must be an adult, a school administrator, teacher, athletic trainer or coach monitoring it at all times so the information can be quickly relayed to the teams and officials. Do not allow a student to monitor the device.
Field Safety
When taking the field prior to thegame the officiating crewwill inspect the field for items such as: broken or protruding sprinkler heads, high jump/pole vault pit standards are moved or covered, benches are several feet behind the two yard belt, no soccer or lacrosse goals are near the playing area and if holes are in the field of play have them filled in.
Drones
This has become a new problem for game officials. The FAA has not set guidelines for the use of Drones at High School games but has come out and said they are a hazard and are looking into setting regulations for their use at sporting events.Until this occurs the NFHS and the FHSAA have ruled they are legal or Illegal. But if they become a hazard or danger in the opinion of the crew the referee can order the Drone or Drones be grounded. This is per the NFHS and the FHSAA.The hazards associated with the use of a Drone or Drones has shown the potential to grow into a major safety concern for official, players and spectators.
Field Safety
All goal post uprights must have padding at least 6 feet in height.Check the Line to Gain and Down Indicator to ensure they have rubber caps on the ends or they are properly covered to prevent injury.If a player or non-player throws-up on the field of play it should be cleaned and disinfected before play resumes.
Officials Health Precautions
Start hydrating, start the day before your game.Get in shape before the season starts do not try and play yourself in shape.If you are sick with the flu, stomach virus or other communicable diseases call the assigner and cancel the game. Do not get the rest of the crew sick.Take precautions if you are going to drink out of the bottles the teams use. They are usually not that clean halfway through the game.If you are cut and bleeding take yourself out of the game and get the athletic trainer to bandage it. Like players, if you are bleeding you cannot officiate.
Officials Health Precautions
The crew should be observant of their fellow officials to make sure they are not suffering heat related or other physical issues.If an official is hit in the head or knocked down during the play he or she is required to be checked out by the athletic trainer or doctor on the sideline to make sure they have not suffered a concussion or other physical injuries. Players wear helmets to help prevent head injuries we do not have that luxury.If the trainer or doctor determines an official has a concussion he or she will not be allowed to officiate the rest of that game. They will not be allowed to officiate another game for the MFOA until they have been cleared by an MD or DO to return to officiating.
Officials Health Precautions
If a player is bleeding and you come into contact with the blood go to the sideline and wash off your hands. If the trainer has disinfectant clean your hands or other areas on your body that came into contact with the blood.Do not be the hero, if you are sick, get injured before or during the game do not work the game. Your family, health and job come first.

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Central Florida Officials Association - mfoa.us