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  #16 (permalink)  
Old Tue Jan 31, 2017, 09:37am
Courageous When Prudent
 
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Originally Posted by Kansas Ref View Post
*OK, so this is good conversation regarding Recruitment. Hey don't get me wrong, I do agree with the Maslow scale of vocational satisfaction but let us temper our remarks about so-called "garbage games"--because although viewed by veteran refs with disdain---those games mean as much to that 8th grade girl and her parents who took off work an hour early to go watch a 4 PM game---as it means for 12th grade girl who plays varsity and her family is coming to games.
I must say I do like your comparison to 'day job' and career satisfaction in terms of how this affects retention of officials.
Whether you call them garbage games or something else, there is a point where the caliber or level of the game is not worth stepping out your house or leaving work early.

Besides the pocket and vacation change it provides me, I ref for the challenge and sense of accomplishment. There are some younger men and women who get into officiating with goals in mind. If those goals are not being made available then they lose interest.
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  #17 (permalink)  
Old Tue Jan 31, 2017, 09:39am
Courageous When Prudent
 
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Originally Posted by packersowner View Post
I've noticed two things about the millennials that I work with in trying to get them into officiating.

1 - The path to becoming an official has to be laid out for them. When I started, I made a few phone calls, called the state association, and figured out what I needed to do. The younger guys I have spoken with are very interested, but when I start explaining what they need to do, they generally respond with, "Seems like a lot of work and expense to get started, is there a website or something that tells me what I need to do?" It causes me to question whether we have provided some of the basic steps of how to get started on our own website.
....
I've known a few people who have given up on officiating b/c of the initial expense and lack of a clearly defined path into the avocation.
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  #18 (permalink)  
Old Tue Jan 31, 2017, 09:40am
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Originally Posted by BadNewsRef View Post
Whether you call them garbage games or something else, there is a point where the caliber or level of the game is not worth stepping out your house or leaving work early.

Besides the pocket and vacation change it provides me, I ref for the challenge and sense of accomplishment. There are some younger men and women who get into officiating with goals in mind. If those goals are not being made available then they lose interest.
Even if they don't have upward mobility goals and want to make money and stay involved in the game. For young competitive player who is now transitioning from their playing career to a potential officiating career, low level games are not the "game" they want to stay involved in. Making sure they get games that at least maintain interest and resemble the game as they currently understand it are important to rentention as well.

If they want to be upwardly mobile its important to recognize that as well and work to help carve out a pathway for them, not use them as another viable body.
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  #19 (permalink)  
Old Tue Jan 31, 2017, 12:10pm
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Contact local colleges and ask to speak to the person in charge of intramural programs... Volunteer to help train officials for intramural programs, and use that as a way to recruit officials by making a personal connection with individuals who may have some sort of interest in it.
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  #20 (permalink)  
Old Tue Jan 31, 2017, 12:23pm
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Originally Posted by Pantherdreams View Post
Even if they don't have upward mobility goals and want to make money and stay involved in the game. For young competitive player who is now transitioning from their playing career to a potential officiating career, low level games are not the "game" they want to stay involved in. Making sure they get games that at least maintain interest and resemble the game as they currently understand it are important to rentention as well.

If they want to be upwardly mobile its important to recognize that as well and work to help carve out a pathway for them, not use them as another viable body.
As long as they understand that they have to put in the reps and the games at the lower level in order to get where they want to get.

There are people who think they should be working varsity in year 2 who are clearly not ready when things fall down around them. Should we give these people what they want just so they don't walk away?

I'm in year 30 now. Took me 5-6 years before I was even considered for varsity contests. Back then everything was 2-person and you were assigned once you were really ready -- better to be a year late than a day early.

Folks don't want to hear that anymore.
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  #21 (permalink)  
Old Tue Jan 31, 2017, 01:17pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rich View Post
As long as they understand that they have to put in the reps and the games at the lower level in order to get where they want to get.

There are people who think they should be working varsity in year 2 who are clearly not ready when things fall down around them. Should we give these people what they want just so they don't walk away?

I'm in year 30 now. Took me 5-6 years before I was even considered for varsity contests. Back then everything was 2-person and you were assigned once you were really ready -- better to be a year late than a day early.

Folks don't want to hear that anymore.
+1. I go 1 or 2 low level varsity games my second or third year in, however they were a for the most part glorified JV games. It took me 5-6 years to break into the games that are really worth reffing ranks, and even then I'm happy to get 4-5 blockbusters a year. It's these that get me through the other not so fun games.
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  #22 (permalink)  
Old Tue Jan 31, 2017, 01:29pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rich View Post
There are people who think they should be working varsity in year 2 who are clearly not ready when things fall down around them. Should we give these people what they want just so they don't walk away?
I've found that for every one of those people, there are 4 others that are varsity capable (or big-game capable) and don't get the chance.

I find this more applicable for young guys that have worked varsity and do an outstanding job but never get assigned a "big" game...

...which reminds me of this meme:

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  #23 (permalink)  
Old Tue Jan 31, 2017, 01:31pm
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Originally Posted by crosscountry55 View Post
This 100x.

I would add that the "wait your turn" mentality is also disrespectful to the game itself in that it directly blocks young and talented officials from getting to the level where the game needs their youthful energy the most (6A/D1 varsity and college).

Assignors have to take advantage of the competitive nature of good young officials in order to promote sustained service AND word-of-mouth recruiting.
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Truly wish you could impart that concept to the associations around here.
A few years back, when my #1 son was in his 2nd Dleague season, he inadvertently left a few dates open in Arbiter. Got assigned a JV game and a GV game. He dutifully took the assignments (and was probably dinged for using pro mechanics)!
Also got penalized 3 game fees for missing mandatory assn meetings. IOW, he paid for the chance to be shat upon.
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  #24 (permalink)  
Old Tue Jan 31, 2017, 02:42pm
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Some thoughts...

I've held off replying to the OP because I wanted to read other responses for a few days. But here's my $.02:

1. I would strongly suggest making connections with intramural directors at area colleges/universities. There are most-likely some officials that want to do more than fraternity league games for $8-10/hour... recruit the top intramural officials--that's what happened to me.

2. I started reffing youth ball when I was 18...this is my 18th season on the court. I've been licensed in 8 different states--I've worked a varsity game in 7 of the 8 states. My point is that those that have the 'want to' can and do move up.

That said, the proverbial juice has to be worth the squeeze. In other words, if I was in school (or just out of it) today and wanted to make a few extra bucks, would I get licensed and join an association for $40-50/game? I'm not sure, especially if there was other part time work available at a better hourly rate, that didn't involve getting yelled at.

I firmly believe that recruiting young officials is easier than retaining them...but again, there has to be 'want to' on both sides of the equation (and there have to be AD's and state associations that are on board with the notion of accepting younger officials)
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Old Tue Jan 31, 2017, 03:02pm
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Besides being a veteran official, I'm an assigner -- and I am a firm believer of getting younger people into the mix of varsity assignments as early as I feel comfortable with them and/or the situation. I had a college student work a game that I observed last night and he's one of the best officials I've seen this year -- I've passed his name onto other assigners already.

But keep in mind that I am in the business of filling 348 varsity games a season -- both great and 1* games, both boys and girls. If I schedule a crew to work a 1* game, I'm not interested in hearing complaints about it. I work my share of those and I turn down subsequent great assignments cause I'm honoring my contract.

One thing I've noticed is that many of the bad behaviors in officials come from people who are newer to this world. If I had to list my 10 biggest annoyances this season, 8 of them would come from younger officials.

For example, double booking and then taking the closer / better game and dumping the other one. Another example: Telling me that they only want boys games from me and thinking I should honor this request (even though it's fine if they happen to get assigned to girls playoff games -- they'll work those, of course.) Frankly, there are maybe 3-4 officials who work for me who I honor the "boys only" request (because they are men's college officials and I like having them a couple of times a season) and the rest get to work both or not work at all for me.

I'm only 3 years into this gig now, but I've seen enough to say that it's not as simple as some people think. I've cut loose some really good officials cause I do not like how they take care of their business. I'm paid to assign games once. In my world, dependable trumps excellent.
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  #26 (permalink)  
Old Tue Jan 31, 2017, 05:36pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rich View Post
Besides being a veteran official, I'm an assigner -- and I am a firm believer of getting younger people into the mix of varsity assignments as early as I feel comfortable with them and/or the situation. I had a college student work a game that I observed last night and he's one of the best officials I've seen this year -- I've passed his name onto other assigners already.

But keep in mind that I am in the business of filling 348 varsity games a season -- both great and 1* games, both boys and girls. If I schedule a crew to work a 1* game, I'm not interested in hearing complaints about it. I work my share of those and I turn down subsequent great assignments cause I'm honoring my contract.

One thing I've noticed is that many of the bad behaviors in officials come from people who are newer to this world. If I had to list my 10 biggest annoyances this season, 8 of them would come from younger officials.

For example, double booking and then taking the closer / better game and dumping the other one. Another example: Telling me that they only want boys games from me and thinking I should honor this request (even though it's fine if they happen to get assigned to girls playoff games -- they'll work those, of course.) Frankly, there are maybe 3-4 officials who work for me who I honor the "boys only" request (because they are men's college officials and I like having them a couple of times a season) and the rest get to work both or not work at all for me.

I'm only 3 years into this gig now, but I've seen enough to say that it's not as simple as some people think. I've cut loose some really good officials cause I do not like how they take care of their business. I'm paid to assign games once. In my world, dependable trumps excellent.
Lots of great points here. Dependability goes a long ways in making sure that official get better games. If you are willing to take care of your schedule, you're probably willing to take care of business on the court.
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  #27 (permalink)  
Old Wed Feb 01, 2017, 01:41pm
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Originally Posted by crosscountry55 View Post
This 100x.

I would add that the "wait your turn" mentality is also disrespectful to the game itself in that it directly blocks young and talented officials from getting to the level where the game needs their youthful energy the most (6A/D1 varsity and college).

Assignors have to take advantage of the competitive nature of good young officials in order to promote sustained service AND word-of-mouth recruiting.



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First of all, we all know it takes a special breed of person to stay in this job for more than a season or two. Being able to put in the hours, take the abuse, and still wanting to continue is rare. However, for the people that have a love and make it through the first 2-3 years, I can't 2nd this enough. We've lost many a good officials over the last few years because the more established veterans will only do upper level varsity games or only work on nights the biggest games are on. Which leaves the "newer" officials with sub-varsity and an occasional low level varsity. Many of these "new" officials have more than 10 years of experience and have proven to be very capable of doing any high school game. However, have been shown that until the top echelon move on they won't get a shot at the best of games. Unfortunately, people get tired of being told that and eventually leave or find another sport to officiate.
To no one's surprise, they end up discouraging friends and other potential officials from joining the ranks. Word of mouth works both ways.

High school sports sees shortage of officials approaching 'critical' stage | Sports | gazettetimes.com
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  #28 (permalink)  
Old Wed Feb 01, 2017, 02:26pm
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Originally Posted by Rich View Post
Besides being a veteran official, I'm an assigner -- and I am a firm believer of getting younger people into the mix of varsity assignments as early as I feel comfortable with them and/or the situation. I had a college student work a game that I observed last night and he's one of the best officials I've seen this year -- I've passed his name onto other assigners already.

But keep in mind that I am in the business of filling 348 varsity games a season -- both great and 1* games, both boys and girls. If I schedule a crew to work a 1* game, I'm not interested in hearing complaints about it. I work my share of those and I turn down subsequent great assignments cause I'm honoring my contract.

One thing I've noticed is that many of the bad behaviors in officials come from people who are newer to this world. If I had to list my 10 biggest annoyances this season, 8 of them would come from younger officials.

For example, double booking and then taking the closer / better game and dumping the other one. Another example: Telling me that they only want boys games from me and thinking I should honor this request (even though it's fine if they happen to get assigned to girls playoff games -- they'll work those, of course.) Frankly, there are maybe 3-4 officials who work for me who I honor the "boys only" request (because they are men's college officials and I like having them a couple of times a season) and the rest get to work both or not work at all for me.

I'm only 3 years into this gig now, but I've seen enough to say that it's not as simple as some people think. I've cut loose some really good officials cause I do not like how they take care of their business. I'm paid to assign games once. In my world, dependable trumps excellent.
This is good stuff. Thanks for the insight.

Our new assigner this year is 180 degrees from how the old one did it. I'm close to a major metro league in our state, and for years, the former assigner would only give the metro league games to the old boys club and it was really tough to break into. A friend of mine did games for him for 8 years and would get ~1 or 2 metro games a year, instead being sent 90-120 minutes every Tuesday and Friday night with the occasional proximal small school game. That's fine sometimes, but you've got to throw a guy a bone once in a while. The new guy has been so great about getting everyone into the metro league rather than just the old stand-bys. I actually left the old assigner because of so many people with the same experiences as my friend, and in my first year back with this association this year, I've gotten a couple of the metro league games even though I've only been reffing 5 years and doing varsity for a couple. I also try hard to never turn games back, and to always let him know if I free up a night I had blocked and go wherever he asks me to go, so hopefully that will pay off in the long run.
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  #29 (permalink)  
Old Wed Feb 01, 2017, 04:40pm
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Originally Posted by swkansasref33 View Post
Contact local colleges and ask to speak to the person in charge of intramural programs... Volunteer to help train officials for intramural programs, and use that as a way to recruit officials by making a personal connection with individuals who may have some sort of interest in it.
We have several officials in our association who are student refs at the local university. Doing IM was how I started officiating.
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Old Thu Feb 02, 2017, 06:38pm
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As a young (I kill the median in every group I'm in) ref in 3 sports, I notice the same problem in each group I'm with. Answering the recruiting, go to an intramural program. Believe you me, when I heard $65 as the starting game fee I gave up dealing with frat-fights every Sunday-Thursday for $9/hour. Your bigger issue is retention. Even in IM's we had about a 16% return rate. Most kids left because they couldn't handle being shouted at for 3 hours a night. Now imagine those guys in a gym on Friday night.

Yet even if you find the guys who don't care about Billy the angry dad, you get the guys who are tired of the politics and lack of mobility. I'm not reffing girl's MS for 4 years to "pay my dues" when it's clear as day that the Varsity guys can't even walk up and down a court. Hearing crap like we were "great officials but too young to work Varsity" while a board member's nephew worked a playoff game in his 2nd year didn't help."Trust the process" they said. **** the process.

As for the belief that "we don't want to hear" that we aren't ready, nah man, we're just tired of the corruption. You'll never be ready for even a bad Varsity game if you spend all your time reffing 5-step travels and double dribbles. And I've never met a good ref who thought he was Varsity ready after his first year.

My advice is that when you go to recruit these kids, you be honest. You won't work Varsity for a while, and even then not a quality one, because of office politics. Once they hear that, most will stay because they're curious, or want the cash. Lord knows it's why I do soccer.
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