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Old Sun Nov 07, 2004, 04:06pm
Green Green is offline
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Join Date: Aug 2004
Posts: 68
Money is NOT the reason most officials officiate, it’s the love of the sport and being involved with a game they/we can no longer play. When I started officiating football 35 years ago, the fee for a varsity game was $20 and now it’s $56 which will increase to $59 next year. I drive 35 miles one way (my choice, not complaining with no travel fee) to most game sites. The cost of living in California (Silicon Valley) is high, where home values are in the area of $500k plus.

We, like most high school associations are short of officials and with low game fees and the high cost of living we are forced to use other means to attract officials. When times are good a company might get by with poor management but when times are poor management has to step-up.

Our group is a private company born from an association with a long staying reputation, having fed six officials into the NFL (three are presently active, two on the field the other in the NFL office) plus feeding officials into the WAC, Mountain West and COA officiating for JC and small four year colleges.

During the 35 years I’ve been a member, the group has been receptive to official (who have moved into the area) with experience and assigning games to their level of experience, working a varsity with an opportunity to prove themselves. Some groups require an experience official to work only Junior Varsity and Freshman games their first season.

What I’m getting at here, is that some associations/group are not all that respective to new comers, in short, protect the present membership (the good-old-boy-system) the members are more important than the players and coaches they officiate games for, but at the same time, saying, they have a shortage of officials... Hello.

In addition to our training program, we also have a mentor program to help elevate official’s skill level and it also says, they are welcome to the group. The mentors, as are the mentees, are in the program by choice. Most mentors have one mentee. Just like in coaching, a player needs to have the feeling, they’re welcome and if they work hard and prove themselves, they can move up.

We also have a program for first year officials only (first year as a football official) conducted by two veteran officials. Class room and on the field, classes.

Another group in our section (Central Coast Section) with 125 schools, have hung signs on the on gym walls, listing each sport and a phone number to call.

Maybe some of you have some thoughts, on how to attract and improve the skill level of new officials.

[Edited by Green on Nov 7th, 2004 at 11:55 PM]
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