The TASO Football Board of Directors met in Dallas February 20-21, 2015. A special session for Chapter Presidents and Secretaries was held on Saturday. Below is a summary of the meeting. If you have questions or would like more details, please contact your District Director as they are always available to help.
Dr. Charles Briethaupt addressed the board and said the UIL and TASO had a great season in 2014. While the organization is always looking for the very best officials on the field, for championship games the UIL would prefer crews that had worked together throughout the season instead of all star crews. The UIL also supports the use of 7 Man crews as long as ALL games at all levels can still be covered with good officials. Overall the UIL was pleased with the championship games, and he thanked the Fort Worth Chapter for their work with the Host Committee. Other items included:
· The UIL Rules Committee may look at the possibility of using replay for championship games only. The committee is expected to address it at their April meeting.
· The entire UIL Constitution is being re-written, which includes Section 1204. The Sports Officials Committee will be consulted regarding 1204. TASO has representatives on the committee and adverse changes regarding pay are not expected.
· Questions regarding game fees and the varsity game pay scale should be sent to the TASO office, which will then work with the UIL. The UIL expects schools to follow the scale and will investigate irregularities to ensure this happens.
Annual Meeting Sites
· July 24-25, Arlington Texas
· 2016- Abilene
· 2017- Houston
The pre-registration price for the 2015 meeting will remain at $45, the same as last year. First year TASO members may attend for FREE.
Testing and Eligibility
This year will see a new requirement for officials working subvarsity games. A passing score of at least 70% is now required of ALL officials before they are assigned subvarsity games. A separate New Members test will be available for those just beginning their officiating careers.
Varsity eligibility remains unchanged from 2014. However, a passing score of at least 80% is now required for ALL officials assigned to playoff games. Tests for 2015 will be available in Arbiter no later than mid-July and all members are encouraged to take the test as soon as it becomes available, allowing more opportunities for re-testing to achieve the needed grades.
Recruiting was a main topic of discussion throughout the meeting, especially with chapter Presidents and Secretaries. TASO will be asking every coach throughout the state to recommend at least one former player who is not playing at the next level and still has a passion for the game, someone they think will make a good official. TASO's Technology Committee is exploring the most effective ways to reach our best prospects, be it radio, television or social media.
More video training is a top priority, and the training committee is currently producing new videos that will debut this summer. Off-season topics will include rule changes, mechanics and in-depth study of specific rules, such as ineligibles downfield. During the season the committee will produce updates focused on hot topics and situations that occur each week.
While there are no major changes for the 2015 season, the board did approve some revisions to the manual to improve play coverage and communication. These changes, along with editorial changes, are being added to the manuals now and will be available in the Members Portal at www.taso.org after the final NCAA rule changes have been approved. Here is a summary of the changes.
· The new 2-1/4" stripes shirt is optional for all games and the entire crew must wear matching shirts
· During the coin toss R should let the coin hit the ground
· When counting players, a closed fist will indicate 11 players, and open hand 10 or fewer players
· New language adding responsibilities for the B during substitutions
· A wider pre-snap position for the R, usually 12-14 yards from the position of the ball
· Added responsibility for H after field goals and trys with a focus on the interior line until players separate
· During the "Swinging Gate" the L will remain on the LOS until players shift to scrimmage kick formation
· When announcing fouls, the dead ball signal is no longer required for pre-snap fouls and visible signals are now allowed by all officials, especially for pre-snap fouls, when appropriate and clearly communicate the needed information
· After a try, the R, L, U and H should proceed directly to the sideline and then to their positions, clearing the sideline and preparing for the free kick
· After the half time intermission, all officials should arrive at their free kick positions at least 1 minute prior to kickoff
· Microphones for officials other than the R are prohibited. Protected wireless communication systems open only to the crew and observers may be allowed if approved by TASO prior to use on the field.
On-field and classroom clinic sites for 2015 were approved. Two new locations were added for this year, increasing the availability and convenience for all members. A few of the submitted dates are currently being revised, but the complete list will be available soon in the Football section at www.taso.org.