William Correro column

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Chop blocks explored

I don’t remember if I told you that our current boss at the SEC, Dr. Rogers Redding, Supervisor of Officials, will add to his work load a year from now when he takes over as Editor of the NCAA Football Rule Book.

We all knew that would be a good thing since most of us have bought his NCAA study guide that he publishes every year. I have purchased a copy every year I’ve been officiating college football. It’s a great volume that explains the rules in a more practical sense than the NCAA book.

Sign up for our daily email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

Rogers approaches the rulebook like he does a physics problem: a methodically slow approach so to better understand every little attribute. I tell him every now and then when he does our rules update in our August Pre-Season Meeting that he causes flashbacks from my bewildered state in early college physics days.

It’s a cool thing to hear him discuss a rule and make a comment about some aspect of a rule that really should be done differently knowing he’s the one who will be doing just that in a future edition.

We’ve had several examples of a foul called a chop block in some games over the past few weeks. And thankfully we made the proper call because this one can cause serious injury.

What happens is when an offensive lineman blocks a defender at the shoulders and during this another teammate blocks on the same defender but this time he hits lower, right at a knee. As you can see it’s like a blind-side hit and can ruin a knee.

The only time a defender can legally be double-teamed is if both blockers contact him high or above the waist. The rules say any combination block with the delayed contact at the thigh or below. This can also occur if a defender is first blocked low and then another blocker makes contact high or above the waist.

That is very simply put because the rule book has all the conditions listed such as: “any delayed high-low, low-low or low-high block with contact made at the thigh or below within 5 yards of the neutral zone..…” and it just gets worse. It’s amazing it ever gets called these days.

This is one the boss was talking about how the wording of the conditions for the foul almost makes it too hard to officiate. I’ll be very interested to see how he goes about making it better for all involved.