CFOA Mechanics Guide

Colorado Officiating Mechanics

In Denver, we follow the Colorado Mechanics Manual for five person crews.  These mechanics are based on the NFHS guide but have some minor modifications specific to Colorado.  This guide is published by CFOA in conjunction with Referee Magazine.  New officials are given a copy of this manual during their initial training class.  Veteran officials will receive a new copy every five years.  This manual was last updated and published in 2023.  Any changes or amendments to this guide will be published electronically below.  Due to copyright restrictions, we are no longer able to publish the complete manual online.

Mechanics Supplements

Since a new manual was updated and published in 2023, there are no previous year supplements available.

7-Person Mechanics Supplement

In 2021, DFOA began using 7-person crews for post season and championship assignments.  While the 7-person crew is modeled after the NCAA mechanics, they have been modified for high school football in Colorado and are NOT a duplicate of the NCAA guide.  Currently, the only documentation for the 7-person mechanics is electronic and can be downloaded below.

4-Person Mechanics

A crew of four is used on many sub-varsity games and any varsity contest where an official on a five person crew is injured. DFOA members should know this information as well as the five person mechanics. This was last revised in 2016 and is part of the 2018 printed manual.

3-Person Mechanics

While this is not an “official” supplement to the mechanics guide, it is a useful reference.  A crew of three would only be used in a sub-varsity contest.  While we try to work four man crews as much as possible for sub-varsity games, three person crews are a reality from time to time.  This is a “zip” file containing two PDF’s, you will need software to “unzip”, or decompress, this single file (most computers come with this by default).  One file is the NFHS three person guide and the other is a PPT file produced by DFOA.  The PPT illustrates the three person concepts.  Note, the NFHS is no longer updating or publishing the three person mechanics, it was discontinued in 2011.