AHSAA Northwest District mourns loss of West Central District Director Burkles Davis Jr.

Burkles Davis, Jr., age 69 departed this life on October 24, 2020. Graveside Service will be held in the Kennedy Community Cemetery at New Grove Baptist Church, 3870 County Road 49, Kennedy, Ala.,11 a.m. Saturday, October 31, 2020 with Pastor Anthony Roberson officiating.

Visitation will be Friday, October 30, 2020, from 1 to 6 p.m., at the Historic Van House & Steele Funeral Home, 2615 Stillman Boulevard, Tuscaloosa, Ala 35401.

In keeping with the efforts to stop the spread of COVID-19, those attending the funeral services will be required to wear a face mask and social distancing will be in effect.

Condolences may be mailed to 
Alecia Nicole Davis & Burkles Davis III
1601 Bayberry Circle
Tuscaloosa, Alabama 35405

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Alabama Sports Officials Foundation (ASOF) Scholarship Account.
Make checks payable to ASOF
5313 Frankfort Drive SE
Owens Cross Roads, AL
Please attach a note indicating a memorial contribution for Burkles Davis.
Individuals may also donate by credit card or PayPal by going to the ASOF website.

Notes on rules/mechanics/revisions due to COVID-19 from Mark Jones

Notes on Various Questions of Rules/Mechanics/Game Administration
This is a very unique and unusual year. There are many modifications to allow for Covid-19 mitigation in order to make the game as safe as possible for all involved.
Bands and Halftime:
Officials are NOT responsible for monitoring bands. We are only assisting with the timing of halftime.  Due to Covid-19 there are many modifications to assist in mitigation. We don’t want the bands and teams on (entering/exiting) the field at the same time.  Upon arrival to the game site, the Referee should check with game management to find out how many bands will be performing at halftime or pregame.  If both bands perform at halftime, we will not begin the 20 minute clock until the first band has entered the field.  The ECO will stop the clock at the 10 minute mark to allow the second band to enter the field after the first band has exited the field.  Again, it is game managements’ responsibility to monitor the bands, not the officials.  We just assist with the clock. Teams should not enter the field until the band(s) have exited the field.  If only one band (or no bands) to perform at halftime, coaches should be consulted in pre-game to indicate a 15 minute half time and then a 3 minute warm up. Again, this is just another modification to mitigate for the virus.
Wearing Mask:
Officials are not required to wear mask.  However, it is recommended.  A black (or black/white striped) mask is preferred.  However, any mask (within reason and without advertising, writing) may be worn by officials.  It is recommended that we wear mask in pre-game.  Strongly recommended that ECO and chain crew wear mask.  Players may wear mask. Gaiters are mask, but must be worn underneath the helmet.  Officials may also utilize gaiters for their mask.  Gloves may also be worn (prefer black/dark)
Time Outs, Intermissions and Heat Time Outs:
All time outs and intermissions (which includes the time out between any score and kickoff) will be a maximum of two-minutes.  If both teams are ready to play, the time out may be less (unless a TV timeout).  We will have HEAT TIME OUTS after the first dead ball at or under the 6 minute mark of each period.  If we have a team time out, score, change of possession or any other unusual delay under the 6:30 mark, we will take the heat time out at this time.  The reason is to try to avoid having back to back stoppages in play and take the time outs at the best time.  But we will always take it at first dead ball at or under 6 minute mark if we have not been able to take it yet.  Teams may go to sideline anywhere between the 10’s and extend out to near the hash marks to allow for more social distancing and hydration.
New Extra Point Mechanics:
Don’t make this difficult.  If the kick is obviously good (clearly inside each upright), then both officials will signal the kick is good and should be looking at each other already.  If the kick is threatening a particular upright, then that covering official is the only official that should signal.
Team Box and Coaches Box:
Another Covid-19 mitigation rule modification.   The team box (for players, coaches and other team personnel) will extend from 10 yard line to 10 yard line this year.  However, coaches will no longer be allowed to utilize the “restricted area” (two-yard belt between team box and sideline) between downs.
All team personnel must be behind the two-yard belt at all times. Only officials are allowed in the two-yard belt from opening kickoff until the final whistle.
This should be strictly enforced.  Coaches have been made aware of this.  Sportsmanship was also emphasized to coaches and will be strictly enforced.  

Alabama Sports Officials Hall of Fame

The Alabama Sports Officials Hall of Fame committee is organized as a means of recognizing, preserving and promoting the heritage of sports in the state of Alabama. Many individuals have made extraordinary contributions and have had superb accomplishments in sports officiating from our state. The Alabama Sports Officials Hall of Fame honors the contributions and accomplishments of these individuals who are worthy of statewide recognition as examples for others to emulate.

Nomination Criteria:

  1. All nominees shall be at least 30 years of age prior to April 30th of the nominating year in order to be considered for induction. All nominees must exemplify the highest moral standards.
    All nominees shall be considered on the merits of contributions and achievements to officiating sports, however, success in later life cannot be discounted entirely.
    All nominees shall have significant and/or long-term contributions to officiating. Longevity without significant accomplishments does not constitute appropriate credentials for Hall of Fame consideration.

In addition to the Official Nomination Form, the following materials should be submitted for an individual to be considered for induction:

  1. Letters of Recommendation. A completed nomination should be accompanied by multiple letters of recommendation from the nominator and at least one other person who has reason to support the nomination.
    Support Material. A limited number of newspaper clippings, magazine articles along with the individual’s officiating resume’ should be included to help substantiate the accomplishments and contributions of the nominee. These materials should focus on officiating accomplishments and contributions and be listed in chronological order.
    Color Photograph or Electronic .JPG file.  (Head Shot)

We will start accepting nominations on January 6, 2020.  Go online to the ASOF website (alabamasportsofficialsfoundation.com) to locate the nomination form and instructions!  Deadline to nominate someone is March 31, 2020.

Referee.com – Football Crew Success Depends on Working Together

Teamwork can be traced back to the Neanderthal age. It has been used to find food, build shelter, drive away enemies and protect the weak and the young. It has greatly contributed to the survival of the human species and many others as well. According to Laura Benjamin, an internationally known management consultant, scientists have discovered our ability to collaborate with others drove the development of the thinking part of our brain. Two of the components of successful teamwork she identified were a commitment to succeed and communication.

When talking about an officiating crew, many of the same characteristics apply and influence how well officials work together and how well the crew as a whole performs.

Commitment to succeed.

Many teams fail that test. In many situations, not all crew members will agree. That should be expected and the real question is, “Can they support each other when the going gets tough?”

During a game, there are situations in which only one official may have theprimary responsibility for a certain aspect of the play. In other situations, two officials may share that responsibility. At the snap, a trio of officials are observing the action head-on: the referee, the umpire and the back judge. The two wings are peering in from the side. In other words, the crew has players between them at the beginning of the down. Then, depending on how the play develops, they are either largely on their own or in positions that may give them completely different perspectives on what is taking place — and those perspectives shift as a play unfolds.

A superior crew is aware of how to work together as a team. They can sense which official has the best angle or superior view. They can tell when someone is too close or too far away. Accordingly, they instinctively know when to step up and sell a close call, when to back off and let the other person take it and when to look at each other and nod just to make certain they agree on what has occurred. In a few rare cases, that glance will also tell each official that they need to take the time to confer in order to get the call right.

If you think an error has been made, ask a question

Good team members are unafraid to question the actions of a fellow official when they thinks an error may have been made. Also, they must be able to accept information from fellow officials and admit they are wrong when warranted. There is a fine line between having the courage to stick by your decision when others think you’re wrong and being able to accept criticism from your crew. Great officials can toe that line.

Communication.

Most coaches will tell you communication is the most important skill they expect of an official. Communication between crew members is also critical. The autocratic referee will not get very far. To go it alone deprives your crewmates of the opportunity to support you and to test their own problem-solving and decision-making skills.

A crew has communication needs while the ball is live and during dead-ball intervals. The most visible communications are those that signal the result of a play. There are situations in which a crew should communicate while the ball is in play. Two examples: when a swing pass has been thrown backward or a kick downfield has been touched by a member of the receiving team.

Most communication takes place between plays. It is helpful to signal one another in anticipation of events. Most of the helpful signaling is in reference to the offense. Some examples: splits in the offensive line are so wide that the tight end is outside the free-blocking zone, team A’s line is unbalanced, team A has only 10 men on the field (meaning a late-entering substitute is not an extra player), etc.

There are many things officials can tell one another to help the crew in accurately handling the game. Some crews have devised their own signals to communicate these items because there is no reasonable way to verbalize them. Passing along that type of information promotes teamwork.