UA-159384965-1 Anaya, Mountain West Conference Center Judge, Film Evaluation - Behind The Flag

Episode 20

Published on:

21st May 2020

Abram Anaya, Mountain West Conference Center Judge, Film Evaluation

Abram Anaya, Mountain West Conference Center Judge, Film Evaluation

Dana Pappas (1m 5s):

I want to welcome you to our second coach's and officials webinar for the sport of football for our spring season. As we were talking about before we started recording, this is a great way for us to stay connected with sports when there are none, which is sad, but this has been a great way for all of us to kind of stay connected with officiating and with sports and interscholastic athletics as a whole. The purpose of today's webinar is actually to talk a little bit about our Film process or evaluation process for then New Mexico activities and New Mexico officials association.

Dana Pappas (1m 39s):

And with us today, we have one of our very trustee, a very relied upon evaluators. Abraham is from Santa Fe and he's a former high school official who works division one football now. And he's been a great asset to us as a, as an off field high school official with in regard to Evaluation. Uh, he is very fast at getting them done. So when I need something done quickly, because of that matter, I'm able to send them to him.

Dana Pappas (2m 9s):

And I usually get a response back same day. So it's been great having Abraham on our staff. I'm just going to give a very quick rundown about our Film process with the enemy and how that happens. And then Abram's going to do more of a deep dive into what he's looking for when he receives the Film. So one of the questions I get rather frequently from coaches is when we send in our clips, what happens, um, I think that there's a perception that they go into a black hole, never to be found again.

Dana Pappas (2m 40s):

And that is not the case. When we receive clips from coaches, either through huddle or other means, uh, we do send them to one of our evaluators to take a look at. Sometimes it's just clips. Sometimes it might be an entire game and the coaches will put some times comments within the context of huddle. They'll send an email that we include to our evaluator. We do have three individuals who we heavily rely upon for Film Evaluation Abraham is one of them, and then we have two other officials.

Dana Pappas (3m 11s):

One is a retired NCAA football and high school official. And then we have an NFL official who actually helps us as well. So you've got three very capable people who do that. They took take a look at it and then they send us a commentary and it'll talk about mechanics issues, rules, issues, anything that they saw that could be a concern at the same time. If a coach sends in what they feel is an incorrect call, the evaluator will take a look and explain to them why it either was or wasn't.

Dana Pappas (3m 44s):

So we do look at a lot of that. We never look at officials judgment. We're only looking at mechanics and rules misapplications if that's the case. So once we get that, that commentary back from the evaluator, we take it and send it to them that was involved on the game, as well as that a signer. So that way the assigner can use it for training Evaluation as well as to help make determinations with regard for close season assignments. So there is a lot involved with, with that Film in addition, we take that commentary and send it to the athletic director.

Dana Pappas (4m 22s):

Sure, cool. That sent him the clip. If we have the coach's email address, we'll actually send it to that coach directly as well. A lot of times we don't get it with the huddles, a clip, so we'll just send it into the AB and the ADSL to pass that information onto the head coach. So that's really what happens from our standpoint, just so you understand the process. So at this time I'd like to turn it over to Abraham because he can tell you what he's looking for and what our other evaluators are kind of looking at as they go through the process. So Abraham, thank you for taking time out of your afternoon and, uh, I'll turn it over completely to you.

Dana Pappas (4m 58s):

If you have questions during the course of this, please feel free to type them in the chat box and I'll, um, Flag Abramson a lot of know that there's a question that we can take those as we go. So if you look at the bottom of your screen, there is a chat area there and you can just type it to that area. So without further ado, Abraham,

Abram Anaya (5m 21s):

Thank you, Dana. Uh, welcome everybody. Thank you. I really appreciate the honor of being here, talking with you folks. I've been a member of the NMA since 2001 and Oh, like most, most of you know who I am. I just relish the opportunity to give back. This is the best way I can do it. I've been studying football, uh, not only as a player, but as a official for well over 20 years. And, uh, as, uh, Dana had told you previously, I grew up and the New Mexico system, I came through the enemy, worked at a high school ball for many years.

Abram Anaya (5m 58s):

Uh, did some lucky enough to do some state championships. And then I moved into the division too, uh, arena where I was a referee in the Rocky mountain, athletic Conference. And eventually I moved into division one and I got the opportunity to work for the Mountain West. And I been working with the CFO West, which covers the Mountain West and the big 12 since 2014. So when I look at these Film I employ a lot of things that I've learned over the years. I've been to numerous conferences across the country with the big 10.

Abram Anaya (6m 30s):

Yeah, the big 12, the pack 12 The Mountain West and the Conference USA. So we'd look at, well, I do, when I start to put together, the films is I want to see is the official looking at his area responsibility. Are they looking where they're supposed to be looking? And if they see the fowl and they Judge in their judgment, that it was not a foul or didn't rise to that level. And that is exactly that it's judgment. And we don't, we will, you don't really beat them up over that.

Abram Anaya (7m 1s):

And why you need to understand from the official standpoint is the game is very fast. In high school, you have five officials looking at 22 players, and they need to make a judgment as to whether or not it's a fall or not a foul weather Rose to the level or, and didn't rise to the level within a fraction of a second because they can't dwell on it. If I see a holding on my tackle and I stare at that holding and I stay looking at that holding, and the play goes by me, who knows what I'm going to miss. I don't have the extra eight set of eyes that I would in college or in the NFL to where they can see something else and I need to transition to it.

Abram Anaya (7m 40s):

So we take that into consideration. And one of the biggest questions we get from the coaches is did this rise to the level of a fowl and I'll give the coaches a lot of credit. A lot of the coaches really do understand the philosophies in which we officiate football. If the fall is far away from the plate, did it have impact on the plate? Was there an effect on the play? And if there's no effect, most coaches won't even bother sending that in because they know we're not going to officiate to that.

Abram Anaya (8m 11s):

Nobody wants to go to a football game and see 70 flags on the field that just ruins the game for everybody, the players, the fans, the coaches, the parents, and nobody wants that. So they know we're going to call what needs to be called. And a lot of the coaches are really, really good about sending those in. Yes, there are some times where the officials and their judgment and we would have liked to have seen a particular file. And that's when we start to break down and still why The official did not call this particular problem.

Abram Anaya (8m 42s):

Maybe they just didn't see it. Maybe like I said, a second ago, they're caught up, I don't know their piece of the action that just, they didn't see quite the whole action that developed into the fault. And the last thing we want our officials to do as guests and that's okay, the game was very fast. These young athletes, again, bigger, every single year, they get faster every single year. And sometimes with only five officials or four, we're going to miss things. And we get that. And we understand that. So what we try to do is use this platform as a way to train the officials, to not only look in the area where they're supposed to be their area of responsibility, but transition quickly from one section to another section.

Abram Anaya (9m 22s):

So they can see the entirety of the play and officiate, where they should be officiating. Now for the officials that are on the conference call. One thing that I think we all need to understand is when we break down this Film yes, I may give you an incorrect call, but it is absolutely not a judgment on you as an official. It just means for this particular play, we would like to seeing you either not call this or it wasn't quite the fall that we thought conversely, to all the coaches out there.

Abram Anaya (9m 52s):

There's a lot of times when I get Film from the coaches saying, I believe this is a fall. And if I disagree respectfully, all articulate as to why it does not rise to the level of fall, or maybe that's confused as to what the fall may be with. That said, when I take a look at the Film, I take a long time on each and every single play. And I love to take, break it down to mechanics of the officials on the field, where they're looking at the individual action of the player.

Abram Anaya (10m 23s):

So we get a real good gauge of what is a fall and what is not a fall ball. We want call them what we don't want to call it with. That said, coaches, I asked you when you send it a clip for that, you have a specific file that was either called on the field or not called on the field. Please send me a simple narrative. It doesn't need to be anything extreme. Take a look at the action of the right guard. Take a look at the block from the free safety, just so I know where to look. Cause when I start breaking down these and some coaches will send me in, Hey, I want you to take a look at, play 38 and break down this particular play and I'll spend the half an hour on.

Abram Anaya (11m 1s):

And sometimes I won't find anything. And I think that frustrates the coach because I'm not addressing what they want me to address. And I want to address what you want me to address. If you send in a game and I've done this a number of times where Dana will send me an entire game and say, coaches are asking that to do a full Evaluation. I want you to understand doing a full evaluation on a game, takes me anywhere from three to five hours because I take this very seriously and I love to break down and I literally break down every single point and look at it front, regular speed, slow speed.

Abram Anaya (11m 34s):

I fronted back and I take it all the different aspects of the entire game. So that does take a while. If you have something specific that you want me to find, or you want me to address, please note it that way. I can have an idea of clip, whatever this particular action happened, or I believe this was a fowl and was not called at some point in time, I would love to see the NMIA transferred or transitioned to doing file reports. Just like we do at the college level, where ever you follow the throne, herb Flag that's thrown on the field, whether it's picked up or not needs to be reported.

Abram Anaya (12m 9s):

If I were to get a fall report and then I can go to every specific play. That's wonderful because then I can tell you exactly what the followup was called. And then I construct a breakdown, whether or not it was truly, and honestly, and fall. Now I understand that that's not going to be feasible in all cases now and the bigger schools. So the five 86 schools, I believe that should be something that it could be addressed and maybe should be addressed in the near future. As a possibility, I think it would help advance our training quite a bit.

Abram Anaya (12m 40s):

So these are just things that I particularly wanted to express this morning to let the coaches know if you want me to find something, please give me some kind of small synopsis, tell your Film Cruz. If there is a foul on the field, record, the referee record the referee. That way I could see the referee's mechanics and just based off of what his signals are. Usually I can break down exactly what the fall was. And in most times I can tell you exactly what the player was called on without actually knowing the number.

Abram Anaya (13m 11s):

Cause in most cases it's pretty obvious. So with that, I want to open it to both of the coaches and officials ask me any question, anything that you, any, anything that you would like to know about the process or what we're looking for or how we break down these films? Okay. Abram first question. How important would, Film be for dead ball officiating, between and plates?

Abram Anaya (13m 43s):

So the dead ball officiating. I know a lot of cases I get placed from the coaches saying, I want you to see the action or the, they say there is no Film for this particular action. Have your Film crews continue to record just a little bit longer after the play, because a lot of times we'll have a late hit and it's significantly late to where the film's is cut off already. And I have no idea what happened. A punch was thrown, or this kid has hit way out of bounds or this word and the player is getting up off the ground.

Abram Anaya (14m 16s):

He was shoved back to the ground and I just can't see these. So tell the Film Cruz, give me at least two or three seconds after the play. It's not going to waste any of the extra Film because it's all digital. It's not going to waste any extra time uploading it. It's it's all the exact same. And this is actually very valuable. So I could see exactly what the officials are doing. As soon as the play comes to an end, I want to make sure that we're and that we have appropriate dead ball officiating that they just don't go into.

Abram Anaya (14m 47s):

Okay, let's get ready for the next play. Let's start to are mechanics. And after the end of every single play, you should have a mechanic, just like a pre snap routine should have a dead ball routine, and we can address those. And this is a great opportunity to teach and those situations.

Dana Pappas (15m 8s):

Thank you. Next question. How do you evaluate targeting calls that were turned into you for review?

Abram Anaya (15m 17s):

That's a great question. So player safety is at the top of everybody's list. As you, these young player athletes, like I said earlier, they're getting bigger again faster. We will always err, on the side of safety, if it's a tweener, I will support it 100%. If it's a tweener on the field, like I said, at the beginning of this, you guys are making that split second judgment on the impact. That's very violent, very fast through all the Flag you'll be supported. And I think the enemy will back me up on this one, 100%.

Abram Anaya (15m 50s):

We don't want, we want to teach these athletes to lower that strike zone. We want to teach them not to lead with the crown of the helmet. We want to make sure we don't get any young person hurt. Lastly, we want us to see an ambulance roll out onto that field. And I believe the coaches I've seen, I've got a number of targeting plays Center from the coaches and I've never once had a coach tell me that The that The Oh, officials on the field completely blew this targeting. It should have never been called. What I usually get is yes, this was a high hit.

Abram Anaya (16m 22s):

It was up bad hit. I don't believe it was targeted because he hit with the shoulder and it was shoulder to shoulder. And I usually respond back with, yeah, that was a super violent at high hit. Please teach your athletes to lower that strike zone because if it is anywhere up here, we're going to Support the official 100% it's player safety. And I am per I can guarantee you, Dana can agree with me on that one.

Dana Pappas (16m 50s):

Absolutely. And we do get a lot of those films in particular about targeting and you know, Abrams did a really good job explaining to a coach. Why or why not? It might've been ruled in that way. Again, we aren't looking at, uh, negating officials judgment, but we want to be able to explain the rule to the coach. If they're, you know, maybe they're unclear because this is all part of the educational process. Um, couple more questions popping up. Next one is how many of your reviews are blindside blocks? Clarification's got, how many do you think you get on those?

Abram Anaya (17m 23s):

I would say I get more blind side blogs that they're targeting to get you to guarantee you that a holding probably get the most of, because holding is that one fall. That is so darn subjective. Even at my level, you really have to gauge at my, my boss always tells us we're instructed when you throw a Flag for something like a blindside block or a holding, you're now setting the bar of words, you're going to call whole game. So if you're going to let the tugs, the slight toes, the slight pools go, you better let it go for the whole game.

Abram Anaya (17m 55s):

And they're not called that in the late in the fourth quarter. If you're going to call those tugs, call them early. And now you're letting both coaches know that this is how the game's going to be officiated. So for the blindside block, I think what I have seen is a lot of the coaches are teaching their players how to avoid that fowl. They're doing a great job of what's called the praise block, where they just like a basketball. You're just stand your position. Some, raise their hands up like this so that they're just nothing more than a screen. So you're not attacking now. You're not delivering force, which makes it a fall.

Abram Anaya (18m 27s):

Or they're also teaching. Put your hands out, put your hands down and walk. Most of these athletes are so strong that they can extend their arms. And you can literally decathlete somebody with your arms fully extended and avoid being called a foul now, and the college level. We're also seeing this too, but when they, the blindside blocks at this level are much more violent. So I'm really glad to see that we're getting this out. And again, I don't overthink this. If you think it's a blindside block and a lot of things, a lot of times I get the coaches a little give, send me in a clip saying this wasn't a blindside block.

Abram Anaya (19m 1s):

The guy saw coming, you'll have, The the person being blocked. He's focused here. The blindside blocks coming in from the side, from the perpendicular. And right before the hip, those delivered, you'll see the head move slightly. And you'll see a dip in the shoulder, which means now technically that player did see a coming and he's now protected him self some degree. That's still pretty blind side block. If you can't fully defend yourself and you're just split second reaction and you're getting wiped out.

Abram Anaya (19m 33s):

That's what this that's what the intent of this foul is to prevent that. So tell your players, if you're going to come in from the side, you're just as effective two hands fully extended out as you were going shoulder to shoulder with somebody. And so there's just no need for it anymore. And this is somewhat of a followup to the previous question. So in addition to what you've already said, what other feedback might you give to both coaches and officials relative to blind sidewalk?

Abram Anaya (20m 5s):

Again, coaches teach your kids. The praise block is the one we're seeing most of the college level where they're teaching them, just basically like most all of y'all played basketball at some point. And you have the screen as long as it's not a moving screen. Even in football, you can do a movie screen and it's not a fall. If you're just shielding somebody off, you got your hands up here, you've got your hands across your chest, as long as you're not delivering that blow into them. And you're just basically, and the way that is legal, that is legal. And we can allow that. And those are the things I'd look at to see if this force was delivered.

Abram Anaya (20m 37s):

If this guy deliberately went into them with the shoulder or with an elbow or the helmet, and which were now becomes a different file and teach them, extend those arms and extend those arms to get those arms out all the way. And I understand if I see the kid and you'll have say you have a smaller player blocking the larger player and he gets those extends into his arms, get folded back into him. I can still say, Hey, you know what? This kid he tried is best to not delivered block with his shoulder. Cause he's got those arms out.

Abram Anaya (21m 8s):

He just wasn't strong enough to absorb the impact. So we use a lot of common sense when we evaluate these films and take a look at what's follower. What's not a foul.

Dana Pappas (21m 20s):

And I know, you know, one of the things I've noticed because I look at all the evaluations that come in from you and the other two evaluators. It's very interesting for those of you who are on this webinar to look through some of those, because it's not just looking at rules, it's looking at mechanics, it's looking at Y and Z on a four person crew. It might've just been an impossibility to catch certain things during the game, especially bodies in motion with not very many eyes looking at a particular area. Yeah. One of the things I know all three evaluators will do is they'll.

Dana Pappas (21m 51s):

If there's a question about a rule in particular, they'll always site where the Rubik found and that way there's something to refer back to as coaches, to be able to explain to your players where that infraction can be, can be discovered. Because a lot of times it's just misunderstanding of a rule or possibly just not knowing. And that's, again, this is interscholastic athletics, and we always want to make sure that we're using this as an educational component.

Dana Pappas (22m 22s):

Yeah, absolutely.

Abram Anaya (22m 26s):

A lot of times we'll get those really tough calls or we get them in the college level with the eight of us on the field where it's just a fall happens at the most inopportune time and space where you just don't have anybody with a good set of eyes on it. So if you ever get a re uh, that's a score for me, that's called a no call or NC miss. Yes. That means, yeah, there was a no call and something that we should have called, but the miss means we understand why you didn't see it. And at this with only four, especially with 24, These are going to be tough to see they're going to be near impossible.

Abram Anaya (22m 58s):

So for no fault of anybody, the call was not called. And I want the coaches to understand that we're trying our best to see all of that. And someday, maybe, uh, New Mexico we'll move to the seven nine officials just like Texas does and Colorado. Maybe it's just at the higher level, maybe at the five, eight and six level, especially when we get into

Dana Pappas (23m 23s):


Abram Anaya (23m 24s):

Tournament play at the end of the season, because then you'll see a whole lot more especially downfield.

Dana Pappas (23m 30s):

And that, yeah, that's a great point because one of the things I know in the evaluations, all of our evaluators will do is if it's a mechanics issue where it's just a hole in coverage, the evaluators will always say that as well as if it's a, and if it's a place where you could have adjusted your as an official, they'll let you know that as well. Because while we want to educate coaches and players, we also want to make sure our officials are, or continuing to learn a couple more questions have popped up Abrams. Uh, first of all, going back to the blind side blocks. Mmm.

Dana Pappas (24m 1s):

So if the arms are extended and it's still geek cleats him, should we call it?

Abram Anaya (24m 7s):

Well, this goes back to see the whole play and every official at every level, from pop Warner, all the way to the NFL, they always teach you to see the whole play before you throw a fall. That way, you know, it is truly, and honestly a foul. I would like to see if you come out, if you come in and you got your hands fully extended by an and pitch and H Fs rules, it's easy for me to say you, that is no longer a foul, right? You're illegal.

Abram Anaya (24m 37s):

So is not an issue at that point. If you got that arm fully extended and it may look really violent because a lot of cases, if you got a guy running full steam this way, and that blindside block comes 90 degrees, he doesn't see him at all. It takes very little force. So topple him, right? Because he's completely off balance. His focus is elsewhere. So if you just add a little bit of popping your hands and it's going to look pretty violent and the guy's going to go flat on his face now, is that a fall by rule?

Abram Anaya (25m 8s):

No. So please see it all the way through. Now, if it's one of those tweeners where maybe their arms aren't fully extended it, and you see that shoulder dip into them, I will Support anything that is player safety. And I've had, uh, uh, Dana, you you've supported me as on a number of times where they've been that tweener, but I've said, you know what? I can absolutely see why the official through it. And I think the officials judgment is spot on for player safety purposes.

Abram Anaya (25m 38s):

We need to teach them either in that particular situation, do the screen, block the praise block or get those arms fully extended. So to answer the question, I know there's a long way to answer a simple question. If they get those arms fully extended, the amount of force delivered does not necessarily create the fall.

Dana Pappas (25m 58s):

Great. Uh, next question. Can you talk about roughing? The passer Evaluation process

Abram Anaya (26m 7s):

Roughing, Okay. So, like I mentioned at the beginning of this, uh, when I was in division two, I was a referee. And now that I'm in a division one, I'm a Center Judge. So the pastor is technically my responsibility. So I've done a lot of study on the rock in the pastor and the cases with roughing, the passer they're always told, protect the quarterback. This is usually the best athlete on the field and the coaches, all coaches, I don't care what level they're at. They want to protect this player because you lose the quarterback.

Abram Anaya (26m 37s):

That's usually it for the team, for the game and sometimes for the season. So with that said, we need really have a good, common sense approach to this. And if you have a violin blow on the quarterback, that's unnecessary, I will support you always 100% low hits on the quarterback. I will always support you 100% because we do not want that person hurt. Now it gets a little weird when you say, okay, I got a running quarterback he's scrambling out and mid mid-stride throws the pass and gets, gets banged up while he does that.

Abram Anaya (27m 9s):

Has he put himself in that jeopardy? Yes, he has. So we'll, we'll ditch that just a little bit different, but protect the quarterbacks and stay focused on the quarterbacks. I know for referees, especially in the Forman realm, it's easy to take your eyes off the quarterback and I've done it, and then I've been dinged on it. And you don't know, give that quarterback. He releases the ball if he's anywhere, anywhere in the vicinity of, and keep your eyes on it for a second or two, just make sure nobody gets a cheap shot in there and also support you.

Abram Anaya (27m 39s):

Yeah. All sports you 100%. If you're protecting this guy, the quarterback's scrambling he's out by the sideline and that next step is taken him out of bounds. You could see he's obviously given up no need to him. No need to touch him. Yeah. So protect them.

Dana Pappas (27m 60s):

So I'm going to put dusty on the spot here at dusty and working with the sport of football as the director and working with the football sports specific committee, what are some, um, maybe commonalities as far as concerns, coaches that it could be addressed through the Film Evaluation process and training and education to our officials. I know that's very broad, but I'm sure you, and you hear a lot of questions and I may can hone in on a couple of,

Dusty Young (28m 25s):

Yeah. You know, I think one of the, the major questions I get on a yearly basis is the consistency of free blocking zone enforcement. And, you know, some, some officials, depending upon the area seem to look at it differently. And that, that honestly, probably more than anything else, those are the calls that I get. And there, there may be some frustration that one area of the state looks at it this way, another area, it looks at it in another way.

Dusty Young (28m 55s):

Um, so, so yeah, I think that it, Abraham, I don't know if you have anything you want to mention with regards to the three blocking zone.

Abram Anaya (29m 3s):

Yeah. Good point. We do get a lot of questions about that free blocking zone. And again, now one is also very judgement because it's very fast. If you have a team that's in a shotgun, basically that free blocking zone disintegrates at the snap. So whatever hits or whatever blocks that are going to happen need to happen almost instantaneously with the snap. In other words, the second, the balls being released from the senator's hand, the frontline man. Yeah, they can cut, but you got to cut immediately. What we've seen in some cases is where the alignment will stand up, take one step back and then cut down.

Abram Anaya (29m 37s):

That obviously is a fall in high school regulation. So again, flare safety. And when we get to our teams, when we get to most, all the officials from the certain regions, no, the teams of the areas that they're in, I would implore you guys get out there during this fall ball. Hopefully there's some fall ball. So during this practices, take a look at these teams. I do it for st. Mike's. I do it for Santa Fe high. I do it for capital. Um, as you can tell, I just love football. Just love being on the field and I'll go out there.

Abram Anaya (30m 9s):

And if I see something that's being coached or something, that's just a little off like that, say something, tell the coach, look, we want to prevent you from having this issue in the regular season. We're going to call Claire safety a little tighter. So if you're teaching your kids to stand straight up and then cut down, you've not lost the time element. Now it's a foul stop doing that. If you want to teach your kid right off the snap to dive forward and take the players, the defender's legs up, okay, now it's legal. So get out there and help the coaches.

Abram Anaya (30m 40s):

You know, this is preventable officiating just well ahead of the game. Yeah. And you'd be surprised. The coaches are actually very receptive to this kind of stuff because they don't want to be Flag before it. And most coaches, and this is at all levels. If you don't call it, but they're going to keep doing it. A lot of coaches will tell their players, especially like holding this particular crew, we'll allow holding. Now, I know that it's a little different with the realm that I'm at, but in my realm, they actually scout the officials as much as they scout the other team. And they know the crews that call holding.

Abram Anaya (31m 11s):

They know the crews that they can get away with a little more pulling in a little more together. And they also know the crews that are going to call it title. And they actually will coach their kids to do that, to adjust their play to the officiating crew. So get out there, talk to your coaches. I talk to the players as you see them during these practices and tell them, Hey, that's, you're right on the cusp. And we're going to call it this year and have them back off a little bit.

Ken Adent (31m 41s):

Sorry, Abraham. This is Ken. Um, I was in that coaches and athletic director meeting with dusty. And, uh, this is gonna hurt a little bit, but they were really, uh, stressing communication and attitude. Um, they would rather us get calls wrong and communicate constantly throughout the game with no attitude. And, um, and they they'll give us some of those calls if we would just continue to communicate and show up without a chip on our shoulder.

Ken Adent (32m 15s):

And I know it hurts cause I'm an official and yeah, I'm kind of throwing all of us under a bus, but I'm just being honest. This was couple of their chief complaints. Can you touch base about and you know, communication and attitude.

Abram Anaya (32m 27s):

Ken great point. Thank you for bringing that up. One thing we always stress at all levels is communication. Talk to these coaches. Most of the time, they're very, very people. I get. They're very spirited. People, most coaches are type a personalities and they can get really excited during the heat of the moment in the game. Don't take that personal because they're excited because their voice elevates their volume goes up, does not mean they're attacking you now when they attack you and they start making personal comments or threats or whatever, that's completely different.

Abram Anaya (33m 1s):

But if the voice could hide, because there's just the emotion of the game, we need to realize that. And we need to take that into consideration. And we, as officials should never ever rise to that level. We're there to maintain the calm we're there to maintain the order of the game. So, and when they come to you and they have a question, if you could answer the question, that's the question. Don't make anything and go, please do not. And I get a lot of Film when the coach sends in a tape and, and he'll say, take a look at this particular play.

Abram Anaya (33m 37s):

The official told me this. He explained why it's through the fall because of this. And sometimes what they said is absolutely nothing, not even remotely close to what actually happened. So don't make anything up. If there's a fall on their side of the field, you tell the coach and we'll find out for you. And if you tell the coach that please find out for them. One of the biggest scribes I used to get when I was a referee in the Rocky mountain, from the other, from the coaches was I talked to your wing guy and I asked for a clarification on what the other guy saw.

Abram Anaya (34m 9s):

And he said, I'll get back to you. I never saw him for the rest of the game. So if you tell somebody that the next stop, of course, you're not gonna stop the game to go get an answer. But at the next stoppage, go get an answer. Relate to the coach. Now this modern age of tools, where most of us had the communication, you can easily go on the mic and ask a Hey back. Judge what'd you see on that DPI wide. Why did it rise to the fall that you call? And they'll give you an answer that you relate to the coach and the coach sometimes they'll accept it.

Abram Anaya (34m 38s):

Sometimes they won't never argue the point, never argue judgment because you'll never win. Tell the coach, coach, this is what I saw. And that's all you can say. And when the coach says, well, I disagree with Theo. So well, we need to continue with the game. That's it. And most coaches they'll continue with the game. If they're a really good coach, they want to win this game, which means they do not have the time and energy to sit. They're focused on you. They gotta read, address all their energies and focus back onto the next play that they're going to call on that field.

Abram Anaya (35m 9s):

So they'll do that, uh, attitude. Ken you hit it on the head. One of the quickest ways to get yourself in trouble as an official is to walk out on the field, just with an attitude like you, are it trust me, we've all heard this a hundred times. Nobody. And absolutely nobody went to that stadium to watch us the road, the officials, the parents didn't show up for the officials, the kids and show for the, the players, coaches.

Abram Anaya (35m 39s):

TV's not there to Film on us. Nobody wants to see us. So if we can remain as out of the game as we can success, well, some of the best games I've ever worked, where they said, man, we didn't even realize you guys were on the field. Awesome. That's the greatest compliment you could have given me. So go out there, be friendly, be cordial. There's no reason to have any kind of an attitude towards these folks. They're not your adversary. Two The to the contrary. Most coaches are used to being 100% in control of everything.

Abram Anaya (36m 13s):

When you get to my level, these guys are making millions of dollars to control that team. They control everything to when the players eat, sleep, what time they go, school, their classes, what time they're on the field, what time they shower. Every leverage aspect of their life is controlled by that one singular person. Now, when they get to the game site, The now release that all that control to the officials. And sometimes that's a tough pill to swallow and it is. I get it. We understand that we have now taken all that control, that field.

Abram Anaya (36m 46s):

That game is now ours to control. So we need to respect that. You know, we really need to respect that the coach has give us that much authority over their student athletes. So don't, don't act like you're entitled. Don't act like you are the end all be all because we're not. We're just there to facilitate the game. Nothing else. Great question. Ken

Dana Pappas (37m 11s):

No Abraham. When I go to a game, I am there to watch the officials, just so you know, I'm I'm the fan for the officials. Just to start to throw that in there. So you can't say Nolan if I'm at the game. I'm kidding. So there was a question that went back to a point from a while ago. What about cutting and rolling at the snap in that situation?

Abram Anaya (37m 34s):

That's a good question. It's still rolling. Rolling as a cut block of a different nature. So what's the ball reach that free blocking zone. If it's a, if we have a shotgun snap and why right off the staff, you're going into the defenders feet and your first action is a role. Okay. There's that time element where it was immediate, there was no hesitation. We're okay. Now if that first initial cut block goes into say the nose tackle, and then he decides to roll across over to the defense.

Abram Anaya (38m 6s):

And now we've now we've created a foul for an illegal low block. So it's all about timing. SI. This is for all the empires that my listen to this, this is see the whole action. I mean, when you see that offensive player go to the ground, we need to take a look at it. We need to start thinking, okay, did he go to other ground immediately? Did he go to the ground in the zone? What's his intent and follow him for a second extra is not kicking up his legs to do the leg whip, which is very at the college level.

Abram Anaya (38m 37s):

So take a look at those things. That should be a red flag when you see them go down, but watch the whole action to make sure you know, what you throw in the Flag. Cause that rolling. Yeah. That rolling can hurt somebody just as bad as anything else. You get a great big cup. Okay. And you know, your typical guard, which is 250 pounds and he rolls into your legs sideways. He's going to rip that knee up. So that is a fall. Okay.

Dana Pappas (39m 8s):

I don't see other questions and the chat room. Does anybody have any and area and get back? And what was your, do you have a question for that?

Brad Bock (39m 20s):

And so you've just done it yourself. It's back to the communication, but the question, Hey Abrams can see you. Mmm. And the question Is that, okay, especially when we're down in the 25 and end And, and if, uh, A interception happens or a fumble happens and all of a sudden we're having to beat feet, if we're on the wings, beat feedback and we're running into coaches because they're being overly aggressive oftentimes on the field. I mean, you can see it in video.

Brad Bock (39m 51s):

Oftentimes there are actually on the field that the snaps, how do we address that to the coaches to make sure this is the emphasis, even if we've thrown two or three flags and, and not, and become adversarial in this situation,

Abram Anaya (40m 7s):

Do you know? That is a great point. You know, football is a game of emotion. And would you, like you say, you're down to 25 and you're about to punch it in that defense picks off that play. Oh my goodness. Every player on that defensive side of the field just went completely ballistic because they made the player of the year. And especially if they're running and back, it's a huge momentum change. Emotions going to go, nuts. Players are going to want to get crowded field. Coaches are typically sometimes on the field, if you can and get them back, be wary of the time and situation that you're in.

Abram Anaya (40m 45s):

Now, if you're trying to just do your job and officiate and you literally cannot get through the sea of players and I've been there and you're running into coaches and players and you have to drop a Flag for sideline into France, you gotta do what you gotta do now. Yeah. You're talking about the get back coach to get the coaches, probably your best friend, pregame talk to The get back. Coach identified this person at my level. It's always the strengths range. So this is the biggest guy in the field, you know? So he's easy to find and tell him during the game, please restrain the players.

Abram Anaya (41m 19s):

I know it's exciting. I know there's a lot of emotion, please restrain the head coach. He's usually the worst one. All you had coaches out there. I apologize for that comment, but you know, its true and the head coach is the first one. He's going to get really excited. He's going to want to get on that field and just share team on is not malicious. They're just excited. And they're just cheering that player on trying to get some of their own energy into that player. And again, we all get it. We've all played football. We all understand. So just I understand that it is emotion. If we can scoot around them without any kind of interference or it's not causing well, that's one, we can do a simple talk too and say, Hey please, come on next time.

Abram Anaya (41m 58s):

I'm going to have to Flag. Yeah. And that's what we want. We want people, we want the officials to have that kind of sense to the coach. And I'll tell you what you do that one time to a head coach where you literally have to run around him because he's say he's at the ticks. So he's on a yard on the field, which is of course a fowl. And then you, at the end of the play, you go to him, look, coach Les, did you want to do is bring back that played by me, running into you. I know you're excited. Stay off my field. You'd be surprised how far that's going to go with that coach. And he's going to be typically, they're going to be your best friend for the rest of the game.

Abram Anaya (42m 29s):

And they remember they remember that kind of stuff. Thinking the man that official he could have deemed me, he could have charged me, could have caused my team 15 yards, but instead he understands the game. So talk to that coach. Have it worked with your sideline all game long. If they start to crowd, which they will have, every team does this at all levels, have them pull them back, have him pull back that head coach. Uh, I haven't pulled back some of the assistants, usually the defensive coordinator. He's pretty excitable guy too. And I just keep, just keep that white clean for you.

Abram Anaya (43m 2s):

Last thing I want as an official to get hurt. Right? And you guys are job's tough enough. Last thing you do is trip up on somebody else and tyranny. I saw somebody try and champion about the three and one rule. Did I say that? Could you talk about the all but one principle? Okay. They all bought one. That's all in there level. It's called the three and one. So this is the hallmark of where we want to officiate from as far as our penalty enforcements.

Abram Anaya (43m 32s):

So you have the penalty, that's committed by the team in possession of the ball in advance of the wall, a penalty that's committed by the team in possession of the ball. Behind the end of The basic spot. And then you have the defense of committee to fall. So what do you really need to do is take a look at the rule book and without, without a specific, I'm not sure exactly what they want me to explain about this rule. So if you have a fall that's an advanced and the dead ball spot, you look out, take a look at what kind of play it was and the all and the three and one will determine where the falls and forced from the forest.

Abram Anaya (44m 12s):

From the end of this run specifically, is it a pretty a spot if the followers Behind the end of the related run, it's typically enforced from the spot of the fall. If it's committed by the defense, whether it be an advance or Behind, it's usually added to the end of the related run. No, of course it depends on file itself. Some files Are specific too. If they have the specific enforcement written in the rule than the three and one doesn't apply and most of the time then it becomes a spot follow.

Abram Anaya (44m 43s):

So I know that was very vague and unless I have a, for instance, I really can't, I can't really guess to what they want me to. What would you want me to explain? But I hope I gave you kind of a simple cliff notes version of it. And Mike, Mike, to say, I'm gonna unmute you, baby.

Mike Tixier (45m 8s):

Well, what I was looking for is we have some games where a coach is confused by a holding panel and the behind the line of scrimmage. And he goes, why aren't we going back to the previous spot? And, and, and, and that's where the confusion comes in, you know? And, and we have some crew members that don't understand that either. And so I was just trying to get a very quick, clear, concise explanation. And I know it's got a kind of a tough question and answer and I apologize bad for, so that was my idea of the question.

Abram Anaya (45m 41s):

No, no problem. So that one is specific if it's actually in the rule that there's three by one and that one, the holding is enforced from the spot of the file now and different, different leaves in different arenas. It's all enforced differently. And a lot of people watch NFL football. A lot of people watch college football and the rules are slightly different. So take that into consideration that a lot of these coaches might be asking about. And I get that quite a bit. When I get the comments from the coaches on specific Film is how come this wasn't enforced from here.

Abram Anaya (46m 13s):

And then I have to explain in the college game, yes, that is a previous spot enforcement in the high school game. It is a spot foul. So we've talked about communication with the coaches. That is a great opportunity for the coach, wants to know, Hey, how come that fall was enforced from the previous spot by rule. So, and so that falls in force from the spot of the foul, which it is behind the line of scrimmage and not previous spot as it would be in the college level or in the NFL level.

Abram Anaya (46m 47s):

And that's a good, that's a good point. You brought up another really good point communication within the crew, talk to your crew. And I understand at the high school level, we don't, we're not blessed with the same crew. Some areas are where you have an assigned crew where you know the same five guys at the same four guys every weekend, week out. So you're all on the same page, especially if you're traveling together, you can talk about rules when you do your pregame. And this goes for all the referees out there, and you got four new guys in front of you that you've worked, maybe one or two games, don't be afraid to start talking about stuff like this penalty enforcement mechanics, and just give them the basics.

Abram Anaya (47m 26s):

I'm not talking about delving into a two hour pregame. I'm talking simple. What are you guys looking at this point? If we have a file for here, uh, most common one is intentional grounding. Yeah. The if there's action on the quarterback and he's in the pocket and is threatened, we're all referees. We're going to stay on that quarterback. We are not going to have a clue. Well, we shouldn't have a clue. And we're the ball wind. We don't know if across the line scrimmage. We don't know if there was an eligible receiver in there. Yeah. So that's where we want our crew to come in and feed us this information.

Abram Anaya (47m 57s):

So we can piece together what actually transpired. We could put down the late Flag. So get with your crews and those pregame meetings, let them know what's your expectations are, let them know what their expectations of you are. And you guys just discuss whose responsibility is for what? And maybe questions like this will come up. If this is a fall, when it's a fall, where it's a fault and more and pull most importantly, how were you going to force enforce this last comment I'm going to have to that is if you have four guys on that field, you got five guys on that field.

Abram Anaya (48m 31s):

It is incumbent upon all of you to get the enforcement, right? Always have a rules guy. Every crew has a rules guy that rules guys should be paramount. If he sees the crew about to make something and make a mistake, step up, be a Crewsaver. You know, I've had misinformed moments where come to me were coaches are saying, I just believe they completely got this wrong and I'll look at it and go, yeah, they got this completely wrong. There's absolutely no excuse for that. Somebody on that crew needs to know.

Dana Pappas (49m 3s):

All right, Abraham, I'm going to unmute Dennis here. He's got a, you've got lengthy questions. All I'm asking.

Dennis Barela (49m 11s):

All right. Thanks, Dana. Uh, thanks a Abram. So this is more philosophy question, and I know in your Film Evaluation you look at rules, mechanics, um, can't really throw in the judgment of the official, but as far as for example, the line of scrimmage is key is the tackle and you have the head coach there tackled, lined up and the backfield he's in the backfield penalty. Um, you know, we're always thought to prevent preventative officiate, you know, the rule of three, talk to the player, get the player back down the coach coach.

Dennis Barela (49m 49s):

I need you to help me get them back, especially if it's on the other side. Well, the field is the offending coach or the founding teams. So, and then you want to go ahead and Flag bad, illegal formation, but, uh, can you talk a little bit about that philosophy? And, and if you get a Film from the coach saying this is official, or this crew just will not enforce this illegal formation until the second quarter. And, um, you know, they took advantage of it in the first quarter and, you know, scored two touchdowns on us because of it and whatever the scenario is.

Dennis Barela (50m 23s):

But if you could talk a little bit about that,

Abram Anaya (50m 27s):

I'm very happy that you brought up philosophy. Thank you. Dennis uh, that was one of the things that I forgot to mention earlier about when we took a, take a look at these films and we start to discuss or take a look at whether or not it's a fowl and yes, the rule book has black and white. The rule book tells you a holding. Is this specific action now? Is it always the fall? No, it's not because we officiate by philosophy. And I touched to this on the very beginning. And I'm very pleased with coaches that they understand, they know what's a fall and what's not a fall.

Abram Anaya (51m 2s):

They know what rises to that level of a fowl. And what does it, they know that if it doesn't have significant impact on the play, that we're not going to call it. And there are certain things that we employ. So to your point, right there, Dennis you have this tackle that keeps lining up just he's right? He's that tweener he's just to the point where it could be called a fall, or we could make him correct. We want to make him correct that we don't want to allow and the whole game. So by the second quarter, you've told this guy three or four times, tell the coach that tell the coach, look, I've warned him three times.

Abram Anaya (51m 41s):

Next one's a fall usual. Most of all, the times the coach is going to be screaming at this kid lineup. And then when you finally dumped that, Flag because he's done it for the fourth time. He's going to give this kid the business instead of you. And that's what we want. So some coaches and for all the coaches, if there's any coaches on this particular webinar that they can help me out here. Some coaches don't like us to coach up their kids.

Abram Anaya (52m 11s):

They want us to tell them specifically what the file or whatever minor infraction that player may or may not be doing. And that's fine. And that's their wish. And I totally understand that. I really respect that. Some coaches don't mind us going to the player and saying, Hey, look, and your hands are starting to get outside the frame of the body. If you, if you turn those shoulders, I'm going to call it a fall, especially because at the point of attack and they want that. And they appreciate that as much more than posted Flag other coaches I've seen will get really upset.

Abram Anaya (52m 42s):

And you coach and my kid, why are you talking to my kid? You talk to me, if you have an issue with his play. So talk to your coaches, uh, referees, when you have your pregame meeting with the coaches, get their opinion on that. When you meet with them in the fall ball, they're still doing practices, ask him, ask him what they like, ask them what they want. Do you want us to coach up your kids and make a legal? Most of them are going to say yes, by taking their wide receiver and how you're wide receiver. Most, all wide receivers will look over at The sideline official and say, am I on?

Abram Anaya (53m 15s):

Or am I good? Or they'll tell you, Oh, I'm off. And you tell them, okay, take a step back. Or you give them the thumbs up. So that's the same philosophy. If you have tackle, that's creeping back, get on your <inaudible> or just yell at your empire, move 76 up to the line, add and take a step up. He's in the he's he's gonna get Flag next time.

Abram Anaya (53m 37s):


Abram Anaya (53m 38s):

And note that, tell the coach that you gave him the warning and tell the coach that you're gonna Flag him. And usually those are not the ones that coach sends in because they got nothing to say. The the officials told them three times to fix it. And now at some point we got to do it. Now, I know what you're saying. The team defended team, their coach is going to say, Hey, how come you didn't call right off the first time? And I always tell that coach you'd want me to do the same for your player. And usually most, every single coach goes you're right.

Dana Pappas (54m 8s):

All right, April. And we usually keep these to about an hour. So does anybody have one final question that they'd like to ask Abraham or dusty? Do you have anything for Abraham as we, as we wrap up,

Dusty Young (54m 21s):

I'll yield to the group first to see if there's another question, then, then I'll mention something else.

Brad Bock (54m 26s):

Okay. I'm not sure if it's a question. I think it's more of a comment. I just wished that we could get the coaches and the officials into the same room to have These Frank conversations and make it mandatory because if we have these conversations Early on, it helps with the whole season and, and we get to see faces before we even interact with them on that first time on the field. And that is a great point.

Dusty Young (54m 57s):

Yeah. That's a perfect segue to what I was actually going to bring up. So, um, as Ken mentioned, coaches are very interested in communication with officials and I think The the best way to start. That is exactly what you said. Get everyone in the same room together, go over, um, you know, situations, mechanics, rules talk, have a, um, you know, a calm conversation instead of them being on the sideline when they're heated and coaching their kids. The plan was to start doing that this year in the sport of football, uh, we were hosting rules clinics for various sports, kind of an every other year basis in person regionally around the state.

Dusty Young (55m 38s):

This year, football was supposed to do that obviously with and everything going on, uh, with the coronavirus pandemic that that's now changed. So that will be back to an online format. Completely agree. As soon as we do get back to some normalcy, we definitely want to get coaches and officials in the room together to have these talks.

Abram Anaya (56m 0s):

You know, Brocka, it's kind of interesting. You mentioned that, uh, when we go to the meetings, our off season meetings were, the officials are going and we're watching breaking down Film and they're teaching us, uh, mechanics and whatnot. The big 12 has started sending coaches and I'm not talking their OCS or DCS head coach has received them in the room, learning what the officials are being taught, what the point of emphasis it is for that season, what we're looking for, where we're looking.

Abram Anaya (56m 32s):

And it's awesome to get that dialogue between the coaches so we can understand what they're teaching their players specifically. Cause that helps us tremendously to do no. This is the way they teach those kids to play the game. And then for those kids or those coaches to hear us, this is the way we officiate the game. It puts us together and it makes the game a whole lot smoother, a whole lot cleaner and prevents a lot. I shouldn't say prevents. It enhances weird. We talked about everybody wants the game to be called the same, that consistency across the state, if we can.

Abram Anaya (57m 7s):

And I totally get the situation we're in a Dana dusty. And if we can pull off where we can do a big group full of officials, coaches from around the state, put them in an environment where everybody's, you know, the social distancing three feet, I think is where we gotta be, but we can all get together and talk and be on the same page that would go miles.

Dana Pappas (57m 36s):

I absolutely agree. And you know, one of the things we've been trying to do from the official standpoint is really encouraged our local groups to go out, you know, go out to practices like you were talking about earlier and, and take a look at the kids and do some education because a lot of times kids commit the same infraction over and over because they've never been coach not to, or because they just don't know. Or maybe somebody is not explaining it to them in a way that they understand. And it helps to build relationships. When, when officials go out to a football practice too, talk to the team, talk to the coaches and build that relationship that way, when there's a game going on, you already know each other and it's, it's that interscholastic family.

Dana Pappas (58m 16s):

And that everybody is probably sick of hearing me talk about, but you've got coaches, players, and officials, we're all supposed to be working together for kids and know those are the things that we need to try to do a better job with and, you know, dusty and I'll definitely start or continue, I guess, to try to find ways to bring everybody together in those non, I don't want to say adversarial, but there's no other word for it, but the non game situations. Cause once the, once the kickoff happens and things are going on on the field, it's a little difficult to have those friendly chats on the sidelines.

Dana Pappas (58m 47s):

So, Mmm. Yeah, I think that that's a great point if, uh, if there are no other questions, we'll go ahead and adjourn. Uh, like I said, we try to keep these to an hour out of respect for everybody's time, but Abrams, thank you so much for your insight and thanks for all the evaluations. And you're the only person I know who gets super excited when I send you Dave and Film. So I appreciate your enthusiasm. When you do those evaluations for us, it's been a of great value to our officials and to our office and we really do appreciate it.

Dana Pappas (59m 18s):

Um, any, any closing thoughts Abraham, before you sign off

Abram Anaya (59m 24s):

The last thing before we sign off, thank you all for all the dedication and time that you put into this sport. We all love this sport. If I can help anybody at any level at any region, please y'all have my information call me. And those that are call me. They know I'm very accessible. I love talking football. I love breaking down. Film I'm here for you guys. My, my sole goal, as a, as an official, that's made it to that next level is to give back. I want to train the next level of officials.

Abram Anaya (59m 54s):

I want to make sure everybody, I want to make sure we're providing the best product we can for the field and I'll do whatever I can in my power to help you guys get there. So please, if you have anything to reach out, have a great season and please be safe.

Dana Pappas (1h 0m 8s):

Thank you. Abram we're all, we're all better because of stuff you do. And because of people like you. So thanks for everything for that. And everybody took some time this afternoon to be with us. Thank you for your time and dedication to football, officiating, and you know, success and your craft. So thank you to everybody. Have a great afternoon, stay safe, stay healthy. And as one of our speakers said earlier this week stay sanitized. And, uh, we hope that everybody has a great, uh, great weekend. If you need anything, please. Thanks so much.

Abram Anaya (1h 0m 40s):

Thank you. You're very welcome. Thank you. Abram.

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Behind The Flag
Welcome to the Behind The Flag PodCast. We are a group of dedicated men and women who strive to provide professional high school football officiating; where we officiate high school football at all levels of play. We are New Mexico Football Officials certified through the New Mexico Activities Association (NMAA) and New Mexico Official Association (NMOA). If you are a fan of football and interested in learning a different aspect of the sport; please join us and become part of the experience.

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About your hosts


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Stay engaged with high school football officiating with two high school football officials discussing NFHS rules, film breakdown, mechanics and philosophy. Listen to experienced guest and mentors that will help you become a better official, understand rules, and be a better communicator.

Dennis Barela

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New Mexico High School Football Official, Central Region, Line Of Scrimmage.
DII Collegiate Football Official, Line of Scrimmage

Ken Adent

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New Mexico High School Football Official, Central Region, Back Judge.
DII Collegiate Football Official, Back Judge, Field Judge, Side Judge.