• The use of crew communication devices is voluntary
and not mandatory.
• The decision on whether to implement the use of a
crew communication device is solely the decision of
• In order for a crew communication device to be used,
all officials of the crew should wear one.
• Referees must facilitate clear communications and
expectations with regard to the crew’s use of the
• All communication devices must use a “push to talk”
• All communication on the devices must be directly related
to the contest using only appropriate and professional
language. Officials are mandated to refrain from any
inappropriate language, derogatory statements or
comments in reference to any player, coach, fan, etc.
• Crews must ensure that the channel or frequency of the
communication devices is operating on DOES NOT interfere
with any communication devices of the coaching staffs
and/or game administration. It is the crew’s responsibility
to avoid channel or frequency conflicts with any other
• Coordinate a testing of the crew
communication devices to ensure proper
operation and connectivity to all officials’
devices on the crew.
• Preparation and securing of both teams
and/or captains for the coin toss.
• The use of crew communication devices SHALL
NOT replace any NFHS approved mechanics, crew
communication signals, or other signals designated by
the NFHS Game Officials Manual.
• Crew communication devices are permitted in order to
maintain the tempo of a game, allow more timely
communication between officials and coaches, as well
as between the officials. Increased attention to detail
and consistency is a product of crew communication
devices when used appropriately and professionally.
SOME APPROPIATE TIMES TO USE
• Ball placement
• Clock management
• Goal line reminders
• Confirm line to gain
• Player foul reporting
• Sideline issues
• Player conduct concerns
• Confirmation of rulings
• Penalty enforcement options
• Unusual situations
• Preventive officiating
• Crew communication devices may be used during dead ball periods
only. Refrain from using during a live ball period, after the ready for play,
and especially when the snap or free kick is imminent.
• Refrain from using crew communication devices when Referee is
communicating or signaling to the press box, with a head coach, or game
• The crew communication devices are not a substitute for the desired
verbal communication that is necessary at times during the game
between head coaches and the Referee.
• Crew members must keep communication short and to the point. Keep
chatter and unnecessary comments off the devices. Total Conversation =
Less Is More.
• Assume that everybody in the stadium can hear you;
these are using standard 2 way radios.
• Don't let the radios substitute for good mechanics and
crew signals. While you assume that both ADs are
listening, you can't assume that the rest of your crew
• They are not a substitute for a crew conference. If the
BJ and wing need to decide whether we have a catch or
an incomplete pass, they don't use the radio for
that. If both wings have a pre-snap flag, they should
still come in and make sure they both have the same
• It's possible for anyone nearby to stumble onto
your channel and listen to you. So, it's always a
good idea to be careful about what you say. You
never know if the prom queen's grandmother is
listening to you!
• Remember most radio systems are not secure
from the public and you need to be careful of the
language you use while speaking. DO NOT say
anything you would not say over the PA system.
• Alert U/R for offensive substitutions.
• S and/or B alert R on clock status
o Out of bounds plays
o After penalty administration
o 4 minutes (if no visible game clock)
o 1 minute
• Relay foul information
• Relay coach’s decision on penalty enforcement.
• Relay lateral ball position after touch back or on try.
• Alert crew to timeouts.
• Relay timeouts remaining.
• Confirm receiver coverage between downs (“switches”)
• Alert crew to potential fouls and game situational
o Pick plays
o Four (or six) in the Box
• Alert crew to injured player or helmet off.
• Alert U/R to get offensive linemen up or defensive
• Alert to double stakes.
• Getting pertinent information to coach.
o What the fouling player did.
o What the R is saying to the other coach.
o Unusual situations.
• Relay any coaches’ concerns to be to other
o Watch holding.
o Timeout after the next play.
• Speak clearly and calmly.
• Use only when necessary to improve crew
• Charge after each use.
• Use in place of already established signals and routines.
• Use system for idle chatter that is not related to the
• Talk on the system when referee is making
• Use to question another official’s ruling unless you
want the flag or ruling to be changed.
• Use when snap is imminent.
• Shout into the microphone.
• Have earpiece in ear when talking to coach.