Back Judge Mechanics
Back Judge
General Responsibilities
• Time for 25 second clock, time outs, time between
quarters, half time.
• Hold ball for measurements, opposite the side the chains
are coming in on and your back towards the offense.
• Keep an eye on the clock throughout in the game, in
case it needs to be reset or if it malfunctions.
• Assist linesman with chains and down box during quarter
Back Judge
General Responsibilities
• Be alert for weather problems.
• Echo referee's down signal verbally and with an
overhead hand signal back to the Line Judge and the
• Responsible for counting defensive/receivers team on
scrimmage plays and kicking team on free kicks.
• Be present - Officiate the dead ball period between
plays. Being aware of what is going on around the field
helps prevent unsportsmanlike acts from occurring if
Back Judge
Prior to Game Starting
• Walk field and check for proper markings.
• Assist Linesman before game to ensure the chains are in
working order. Ends are covered–no sharp edges
• Talk with band director to make sure they are through
with their pre-game performance and national anthem at
least 5 minutes before kickoff.
• Assist with ball boys and give instructions.
• Take position on visitor’s 45 yard line to monitor warmup activities.
• Check for illegal player equipment and adornments.
• Escort visitor’s captains during the coin toss. Return to
monitor sideline during the toss.
Back Judge
• Get team ball for team kicking off and hand to the Kicker.
• Give instructions to kicker and take position on the
kicker’s restraining line.
• Count kicking team players, make sure K has at least 4
players on either side of the kicker.
• Ensure all players except Kicker are within 5 yards of the
free kick line with the exception of the kicker.
• Indicate to referee you are ready.
• Start 25 second count on referee ready.
Back Judge
• Be aware of onside or short pooch kicks.
• Look for first touching by kickers and kick catch
interference on short kicks.
• Move to hash marks after ball is kicked and look for
action around the kicker. You have goal line on returns.
• Onside kicks, stay on line and rule on possession and
other weird things that usually happen.
Back Judge
Running and Passing Plays
• Line up 20 yards deep or at least 5 yards behind the
deepest defensive back. Favor the strong side of the
formation but stay between the hash marks before the
• Count the defense on every play and acknowledge
count to the referee.
• Start 25 second count on referees signal. Keep track of
the official time on the scoreboard, proper number of the
down, time outs and communicate this information with
the crew.
• If more 11 players on the defense just prior to the snap,
blow your whistle and throw flag for illegal substitution. 5
Back Judge
Running and Passing Plays
• Your first steps are backwards on all plays. You have
goal line on all long runs and passes.
• Maintain inside-out coverage.
• Help relay the ball back in play on plays over 10 yards,
first downs and long passes. Also assist if the ball is near
or out of bounds.
• On out of bounds plays, especially in the team areas,
move into the area of the dead ball and assist other
officials in maintaining order.
Back Judge
Passing Plays
• Check keys at the snap that
indicate a pass play. (See
Officials Manual pgs. 28-34)
– Balanced Formations – LJ side –
widest receiver
– Strong Formations – widest
receiver to strong side (LJ or HL)
– Trips – strong side 2 inside
– Motion – changes strength –
widest receiver strong side
– Motion – does not change
strength –widest receiver strong
Back Judge
Passing Plays
• QB will usually look at his primary receiver right after the
• Know status and location of the ball when calling
offensive or defensive pass interference.
• Help end men if pass is to sideline. Remember Foot –
Ball when determining a catch.
• Keep 5 to 7 yard cushion on defensive back throughout
the play.
• Never leave players behind you after a play ends.
• Don’t watch the ball and get caught in the middle of the
• Don’t get beat to the goal line.
Back Judge
• Count R players.
• Position is 2 to 3 yards behind and 10 to 12 yards wide
of the deepest receiver favoring the linesman side of the
• Once the ball is kicked adjust your position up or back of
the receive to keep and eye on the ball and the receiver.
Muff, fair catch or kick catch interference
• Remind the receiver to give a good fair catch signal.
Back Judge
• Drop bean bag after the catch (end of the kick) and
continue to officiate the play. Keep bean bag in your belt
until you need to drop it.
• No bean bag if the kick is muffed (only at the end of the
kick). Give touched signal
• Keep the whistle out of you mouth. Hold it in your hand
or pick it up when needed.
• Make sure he catches the ball before blowing your
Back Judge
Try and Field Goals
• Position under the upright as determined by the referees
• You have the whistle once the ball is kicked on a try or
once it crosses the goal line on FGs. Keep the whistle
out of your mouth. Ball blocked behind the line is the R
• Communicate yes or no to end man before coming out
and giving signal. Come out straight not at an angle
facing the stands.
• If a fake, maintain position along the backline and help
on passes to the back of the end zone or to the back
Back Judge
Field Goal
• Live ball, keep the whistle out of you mouth until the ball
crosses the goal line or is rule down by possession.
• Rule on momentum. Bean bag where the receiver
catches the ball inside the 5 and momentum carries him
into the end zone.
• A field goal is treated the same as a punt if it does not
cross the goal line. Kicker cannot advance they can only

2014 CFOA Back Judge