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Officials: The Manual is Coming!


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All high school officials should be intimately familiar with the National Federation’s Game Officials Manual. But there are many, many situations covered only briefly, if at all, by the NF Manual. In such cases, Indiana officials were left to struggle as to the proper way to officiate those situations. Crews dealt with those situations in a variety of ways, something that does not serve one of the IHSAA’s critical objectives for its football officials: Consistency. But that is about to change.

Many states publish officials’ manuals that supplement and augment the NF Manual. Indiana has now joined the ranks of those states that provide additional assistance and guidance to football officials, well over and above that provided by the NF Manual.

On Monday, June 14, the IHSAA will make available on the my.IHSAA officials' dashboard “IHSAA Football Officials Mechanics and Best Practices For a Crew of Five.” It will become the “Bible” for high school football officiating in Indiana, providing both a standard to which officials can work, and specific criteria on which performance is to be judged. The IHSAA will notify all officials of the Manual’s availability online. 

As officials download and familiarize themselves with the 93 page Manual, please post observations here. The Manual is a work in progress, and will be regularly updated. But the important thing is we now have a comprehensive set of practices which will help every crew officiate the game better, and provide a more consistent officiating product. I expect it will have an immediate positive impact on the quality of high school football officiating in Indiana.

I’d enjoy observations, especially from the coaches’ viewpoint, on this watershed development in football officiating.

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42 minutes ago, Impartial_Observer said:

So Indiana now has a Gold Book?

The Gold Book was one of the resources used. In my opinion, our Manual is far superior in both coverage and readability.

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On 6/11/2021 at 1:04 PM, Bobref said:

The Gold Book was one of the resources used. In my opinion, our Manual is far superior in both coverage and readability.

As long as we don't have to stick our arms in front of us on the wing to indicate we have a legal formation (or whatever reason they do it) I'm good. From what I've heard they do have some weird mechanics but the officials I've talked to enjoy having a standard and being held accountable to that standard. If you don't follow it you don't advance. They have a much different process, one of which includes assigned as individuals and not having to work every round to get to the finals. Someone could work the first round and a semi-final. And you know when you are working before the tournament starts.

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The Manual is now available for download on your my.IHSAA dashboard. Any non-officials who would like to see it — and I’d like to hear from some coaches, too — message me with your e-mail address and I’ll send you a copy. After all, it is the coaches whose votes determine playoff advancement. I believe that imposes an obligation to inform yourself as to the standard to which our crews are to officiate. They say the hardest thing to know about a subject is what you don’t know. If you look at the Manual, you’ll come away with an understanding that officiating proficiency is neither easy, nor obvious.

I will say that we looked at an awful lot of manuals. This is the only one that quotes both Aristotle and Bobby Knight. 🤣😂

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On 6/11/2021 at 12:04 PM, Bobref said:

The Gold Book was one of the resources used. In my opinion, our Manual is far superior in both coverage and readability.

Bob

I began reading before I left. I got about 10-15 pages in. Great stuff. Already picked up a few things. Thanks. 

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I just read through half of the manual.
This is just what we all needed.  For the first publication of the "IHSAA FOOTBALL OFFICIALS MECHANICS AND BEST PRACTICES FOR A CREW OF FIVE" it is quite impressive and quite comprehensive.  My gratitude goes out to all of the people responsible for compiling all of the info contained on the pages of this guide.  Riveting stuff, and required reading for every varsity crew licensed with the IHSAA.

 

Edited by snrmike
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Reviews of the Manual from the IFOA Clinic this past weekend were overwhelmingly positive. That includes the clinicians, many of them D-1 and even NFL officials.

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