The Get Back Coach is my favorite coach of all. You don’t have a Get Back Coach? You should. Once you do, your life and your relationship with Sideline Officials will get much better.
Importance of Sideline Control
Every Sunday, you see coaches standing next to or on the field during breaks. There is nothing wrong with this. In between plays, you shouldn’t be on the field, but since nothing is happening, usually it is not an issue. The problems come in when the snap is imminent and during plays. At these times, most football rules require you to be off the field and behind a 2 yard belt. In the State of NC, if I run into you that 2 yard belt, it is an automatic 15 yard penalty for Unsportsmanlike. It is also painful.
So from a safety and rule perspective Sideline Control is exceptionally important. It is also important for game management.
The Get Back Coach
The best programs I have seen have a designated Get Back Coach. His role is to remind the “players to get back” out of the 2 yard belt. By having this person designated, you are saving potential penalties, but there are few more benefits you may not have considered:
- When there is an injury or a player leaves the field suddenly, you have a guy who knows exactly where his replacement is.
- Players will be controlled by someone other than you, so you can focus on the field.
- Your Sideline Official will call a better game.
Now the last one is one you may not have considered. Better sideline control means the official on the Sideline is spending his time focusing on the field and not asking people to get out of his way. We don’t really like policing the sidelines, but nothing looks worse to the coach on the other side of the field than if you and 3 of your coaches are on the field.
By exercising better sideline control you will run a better game, prevent penalties and you and your sideline official will both be able to a better job.
(Written by Referee Insider Steve Wells)