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Friday Night Stripes

Friday Night Stripes

By Don VanDemark
A podcast for, by, and about high school football officials
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Concepts and Absolutes

Friday Night Stripes

Spring football and other 2020 oddities with Mike Johnson
Mike Johnson joins to talk about spring football, the girls lacrosse podcast that he has co-started, and other oddities of the fall of 2020.
April 08, 2021
Sprint football and other 2020 oddities with Mike Johnson
Mike Johnson joins to talk about spring football, the girls lacrosse podcast that he has co-started, and other oddities of the fall of 2020.
April 08, 2021
Pregame - Substitutions
A pregame episode about substitutions and the rules surrounding it.
October 02, 2020
Pregame - Safety/Touchback
Review of 8-2-5 and how it defines force, safety, touchback, and the momentum exception
September 11, 2020
Fall 2020 - preparing for a different season
The fall of 2020 will bring new challenges to us. Be prepared for differences ahead of time in order to put your best foot forward.
August 17, 2020
Why do we do ... ?
I cover the why of 1) HL staying on LOS on punts, 2) working only your zone, 3) wings keying on inside WR while BJ keys on outside, and 4) why BJ has whistle on FG and R has whistle on tries (depending on your crew/association)
July 03, 2020
The why of beanbags with Tyler Spear
Beanbags - The Mystery Solved
June 12, 2020
Ohio Gold Book with Dr Bruce Maurer
Dr Bruce Maurer, Director of Officiating Development for Ohio High School Athletic Association, discusses the origins of the Gold Book and what benefits it brings to officials in Ohio
May 22, 2020
New officials online course offering from Zooom
Zooom has put together officiating course for football and baseball, and are working on softball, basketball, and volleyball.
May 15, 2020
2020 Rule Changes
A quick rundown of the 2020 rule changes. Overall, a fairly easy year for changes.
May 07, 2020
Inviting others to virtual meetings
Dave Purvis, Tony Rieck, and Rick Miller talk about starting virtual meetings for their association and inviting others outside the association for other perspectives
April 23, 2020
Trick Plays with George Demetriou
George Demetriou, author of The Redding Study Guide to NFHS Football, talks about trick plays and the principles and rules around them.
April 16, 2020
Changing the nature of meetings with Michael Ryckman
Michael Ryckman from the Sunshine Football Officials Association discusses their move to virtual meetings to train new officials and to hold board meetings and other trainings
April 09, 2020
Logging games with Chad Young
Chad Young, creator of the Official's Journal, talks about logging games to help officials improve
March 19, 2020
Associations for a New Decade with Tim Kiefer
Tim Kiefer with MIBT Online discusses the training offered there, including training for Illinois state certification and the annual Bill Lemonnier video.
March 12, 2020
Rules Blitz
Five play scenarios, answered and explained by the listeners, including kicking, out of bounds, sideline interference and more.
March 05, 2020
Deep Wings with Mike Johnson
Mike Johnson from the Berks County chapter in Pennsylvania talks about deep wings and how they manage their six-man crew.
February 27, 2020
Gulf Atlantic Collegiate Football Officials Camp with Andrew McGrath
Andrew McGrath from GACFOC talks about what the goal of the GACFOC is and also talks a bit about NCAA and NFL replay
February 18, 2020
Taxes with David Sheldon
David Sheldon from Zebra Books, LLC discusses what officials should think about when tax season comes and what they should be tracking during the year
February 13, 2020
Headset basics with LD and Mike
LD and Mike from southern Oklahoma talk about headset and the information they use it for as well as the radio show they have during the season discussing rule questions from the public
February 06, 2020
In the middle - Umpire position with Jeff Grainger
Jeff Grainger from CFOA talks about the umpire position and the different approach to the game that it entails.
January 30, 2020
2020 Kickoff
With the year starting off, it's time to review a number of ways you can keep sharp in the offseason - no matter what type of learner you are.
January 23, 2020
End of season review 2019
December 11, 2019
Light summary of differences for the LJ and HL with 7-man mechanics and whether playoffs are officiated differently than the regular season
November 13, 2019
DAFOA offseason with Ryan Walters and Andy Hamilton
Ryan Walters and Andy Hamilton talk about the off-season training meetings they have set up in Dayton and, next year, in Cincinnati.
October 29, 2019
Pregame - excerpts from Rule 2
We break down some definitions with Rule 2 that may be different from how you remember them - block in the back, clipping, invalid fair catch signal, force, and out of bounds
October 24, 2019
Illusion of precision
We play a couple of responses to the Des Moines episode and go over why we use a precise indicator like chains when all the actions up to that point, from setting the initial line to gain to spotting the ball, are imprecise.
October 22, 2019
Des Moines disappointment
A bonus episode portraying my thoughts regarding current incidents in Des Moines and West Memphis
October 08, 2019
Tack-ons and IWs
Three scenarios: tack-on fouls, how the neutral zone matters for illegal forward passes and ineligible downfield players, and inadvertent whistles.
October 01, 2019
FNS Pregame: Back judge
A pregame covering the primary responsibilities of the back judge with some play scenarios mixed in
September 27, 2019
Weird happenings on routine plays
Joey Garrison from Georgia joins to talk about when strange situations happen on routine plays
September 24, 2019
FNS Pregame - Passing
Review of the passing game and all of the elements within it
September 20, 2019
A kick is a kick is a kick
Review of a muffed kick with other shenanigans involved, multiple fouls when one occurs at the goal line, and principles on clock watching and hurdling
September 17, 2019
FNS Pregame - Penalties and flags
Overview of basic spots, all-but-one principle, running vs loose-ball plays, special enforcements - hopefully anything that involves fouls and penalties
September 12, 2019
Concepts and Absolutes
Short discussion around the two types of calls that we make - those that are absolutes that we should all call the same and those that we all have varying concepts of
September 10, 2019
FNS Pregame - Inside the head of a wing official
For this pregame episode, step into the thought process of a head linesman and a line judge during two plays.
September 05, 2019
Phantom fair catches and penalty enforcements - 2019 Review week 2
Review of play scenarios including post-game recovery, horse-collar tackles (or not), fair catches that aren't, false starts that might be, and options on a couple of different penalty scenarios.
August 27, 2019
FNS Pregame - Free kicks
Pregame episodes take a single topic and dive into them. This episode is solely on free kicks.
August 22, 2019
Goal line crashes and disagreement on spots - 2019 review week 1
Kicking off the start of football season with the first of many review episodes. Topics include players making themselves legal by going between the numbers between downs, goal line crashing by the wings, wings disagreeing on spots, getting turned around on punts when reporting fouls, unseen DPIs, and taking notes after games.
August 20, 2019
Overview of ZOOOM (the extra O is for Officials) with Andy Hamilton
Andy from ZOOOM joins to talk about their video platform and how it is specifically designed for officials
August 14, 2019
Getting excited for the season with Ron Wright
Ron Wright joins from North Dakota to talk about rationale in when to throw a flag, safety fouls, and patience.
August 07, 2019
Training and evaluation with Brad Brunet and TJ Restau from WMOA
Brad and TJ from WMOA discuss changes they've made to evaluate and rate officials for assigning to games and how training plays into all of that as well
July 30, 2019
40/25-second play clock rule change
I break down the new rule change regarding the play clock including about 10 play scenarios and how to treat each one.
July 23, 2019
Recap of Sioux Empire Clinic
Lessons learned from the Sioux Empire Football Officials Clinic in Sioux Falls, South Dakota.
July 17, 2019
Summer preparation for season
Prior to heading to Sioux Empire Football Officials Clinic, I share some thoughts on how I'm preparing for the season and what some goals might be.
June 19, 2019
Game clock handling
A blown situation leads to re-reading of the rule book and time to dig into game clock handling
June 12, 2019
Quick run through of the various formation rules and how some of the odd formations we see out there cause us to think through the rules.
June 05, 2019
2019 Rule Changes (not involving play clocks)
Review of the new rule changes for 2019 - all except the 40-second play clock, which we'll cover in a future episode
May 29, 2019
National Association of Sports Officials (NASO) With Ken Koester
Ken talks about the benefits of NASO membership from Referee magazine, liability insurance, an annual Sports Officiating Summit, and many other great assets.
May 22, 2019
Whistle in a Haystack with Rick Hartzell and Dave Simon
Author Rick Hartzell and Editor Dave Simon talk about their book Whistle in a Haystack and how officiating can bring life lessons.
May 15, 2019
Tackling scenarios
Tackling scenarios are the subject of the day regarding horse-collar, face tackling, and spearing.
May 09, 2019
Free Kicks with Tyler Spear
Tyler Spear talks about free kick positioning and some momentum and onside kick scenarios
April 24, 2019
Punts with Mark Bradley
Mark Bradley joins to discuss punts and the various situations that can happen during a punt.
April 17, 2019
Referee-specific calls with Dan Johnson
Dan Johnson joins to talk about some of the calls that a referee is responsible for and how to start thinking about those situations as a newer referee
April 10, 2019
Emphasizing more technical content
This is a short episode transitioning to a slightly new format where we'll focus more on breaking down play scenarios packaged together.
April 03, 2019
Importance of Rule 2 with Jeff Carnes
Jeff Carnes from Gadsden, AL discusses importance of the definitions in Rule 2 and how they impact the rest of the rulebook.
March 20, 2019
Playoff prep with Jason Carroll
Jason Carroll returns to talk about how he approached playoffs as a referee for a crew that went to a state championship game.
March 13, 2019
Discovering history with Scott Hanson
Scott Hanson talks about working in the Phoenix area, pick plays, safety, sportsmanship, and two books he has authored about Arizona history related to sports.
March 06, 2019
Pregames with Josh Canales
Josh Canales from Bakersfield, CA talks about the pregames he's been in and those he's run, what is important to cover, and whether having pop quizzes during the pregame is useful. Starting this week, each podcast will contain about 10 minutes of reading from the rule book at the end, just in case you want another way to consume the rule book. In this episode, we start with Rule 2.
February 27, 2019
Rule committee evaluation with Will Prewitt
Will Prewitt, a high school official of 22 years and commissioner of the Great American Conference, talks about his time with the NCAA rules committee. We also talk about the mindset of how to handle officiating controversy in public.
February 20, 2019
Video Review as a part of your toolkit with Tim Kiefer
Tim Kiefer, founder of, describes how the virtual association within MIBTOnline reviews plays on a weekly basis during the season and helps with preparation in the offseason.
February 13, 2019
Camping in the Dakotas with Sioux Empire Football Officials Clinic
Orrin Anderson, Director of the Sioux Empire Football Officials Clinic, comes by to talk about the Clinic, held June 24th and 25th, in Sioux Falls, South Dakota
February 06, 2019
Training throughout the early stages with Mike Bezner
Mike Bezner with the Big Sky Conference and Portland Football Officials Association discusses various stages of training they go through in their association and we talk officiating philosophies.
January 30, 2019
HS to small college path with Dwayne and Tyler from Rule 11
Hosts of the Rule 11 podcast, Tyler and Dwayne, join to talk about their start as officials, how they got their podcast started, and camps to consider.
January 23, 2019
Working through the early years with Greg Reeder
Greg Reeder from the EPFOA talks about his first two years as an official and how he learned the mechanics and rules needed to succeed.
December 26, 2018
End of season reflections
Time to look back across the season and gather thoughts about how the year went and various situations that arose
December 12, 2018
Ways to improve as an official
There are a number of different ways you can increase the number of plays you see as an official as well as see and hear how other officials work through situations. This episode covers a lot of them.
November 28, 2018
In-season recap
Quick solo episode recapping some of the rules I've run into during the season
October 24, 2018
Officiating in South Carolina with Jake Rosiek
Jake Rosiek from the South Carolina Football Officials Association talks about working with a central state association split into districts as well as use of different pipelines for recruiting new officials.
September 05, 2018
Football on a rugby pitch with John Mantica
SGFOA President John Mantica shares his experiences in state championships, football in Dublin, and working with the FHSAA to bring about change.
August 30, 2018
Respect Without Flags with Kevin Bowersox
Kevin Bowersox comes on to talk about gaining respect through communication, not through throwing flags, starting his officiating career while in high school, and flag football.
August 26, 2018
Refs Watch Tape Too with Sean McCue
Sean McCue, president of the GCFOA, joined the podcast to talk about use of video for officials training, 7-man mechanics, and physical prep on the day of a game.
August 23, 2018
Changes, changes with Andy Patterson
Andy Patterson from central Florida joins the podcast to talk about field clinics, changes in the game emphasizing safety, and how to handle feedback from others.
August 14, 2018
What Are You Working On? with Jason Carroll
Jason Carroll from central Florida joins the podcast to talk about new officials, preparing for the start of the season, the 2018 new rules, and the mindset to take into each game.
August 09, 2018