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4 fouls on the play? It’s a team effort to help out the referee’s announcement

The entire officiating crew pitches in to help the referee look good when he has to announce multiple fouls.



Referee Shawn Hochuli had to sort out and announce four fouls this past weekend, drawing praise and admiration.

First of all, when there are multiple fouls, the crew gets together and makes sure they are clear with the proper enforcement before giving options to the teams. This can get quite difficult when there is a change of possession, kick, interception or fumble.

Once the the officials sort out the proper enforcement and/or get the enforcement choice from the offended team, the referee needs to inform TV and the fans just what the heck happened. The official scorer has to know each foul and who committed the foul in order to keep accurate statistics. So, the referee has to be clear.

Former referee Gene Steratore was really slick a few years ago. He announced one foul, and just as he got ready to announce the second foul, he closed his PA microphone and radioed, “Give me a number Mike,” asking side judge Mike Weatherford for a the number of the player who committed the foul. Weatherford radioed the number, Steratore re-opened his PA mic and went on with the announcement. That whole sequence took about two seconds. It was great to watch.

Referee Ron Torbert was able to call off all the numbers from memory last year…

But, there are times when there is laundry all over the field, and the referee needs help. Officials stand off camera to give numbers (and sometimes the fouls) …

Or, the referee can channel his inner Gene Rayburn and just read it off the card…

Of course, if the referee doesn’t get help, he can become a viral sensation…

Even though the referee gets the air and face time when announcing fouls, the entire crew makes sure their white hat looks good.

Mark Schultz is a high school football official, freelance writer and journalist. He first became interested in officiating when he was six years old, was watching a NFL game with his father and asked the fateful question, "Dad, what are those guys in the striped shirts doing?"