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Old Sun Jan 29, 2017, 02:25am
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Recruiting

What's the best form of recruiting new officials?

We currently run an ad in the newspaper and a spot on the radio. That's it. We get about 4 applications per year. We need 10 to 12 next season.
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Old Sun Jan 29, 2017, 03:26am
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Try flyers at the local colleges. Poor college students need money. Our local associatiin secretary teaches a half semester class at the local college where students can get credit and their license to officiate.
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Old Sun Jan 29, 2017, 09:38am
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Usually the best recruiters are the officials themselves. You can put out all that stuff and appeal to high school and college students, but the best recruiters are usually the people that do it themselves.

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Old Sun Jan 29, 2017, 11:46am
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its tough to get new guys, to much negativity with the job.
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Old Sun Jan 29, 2017, 12:29pm
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Appealing to those who do mainly outdoor sports was what got me involved. I've done fastpitch for years and the need for something to do in winter was what drew me in. Try going to softball, football, volleyball, soccer assn meetings and recruit there. Those there will already be officials and know what's up
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Old Sun Jan 29, 2017, 11:35pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SNIPERBBB View Post
Try flyers at the local colleges. Poor college students need money. Our local associatiin secretary teaches a half semester class at the local college where students can get credit and their license to officiate.


Seems like variations of this idea come up over and over again on this forum. Which got me to thinking.…are there any state associations that have affiliations with colleges and universities for the express purpose of recruiting and training officials?

A class led by a local association dude is an ok idea, but millennials want instant gratification, not another class. So maybe have some evaluators/scouts troll the fall intramural courts, ID those with potential, invite them to a free six-session mechanics series (perhaps provide free officials for a youth tournament or two in a camp-style format), get them registered (first year should be reduced or free) and then assign them some HS frosh games that very same fall (in addition to all the MS/youth ball they want).

Call me crazy but it just might work. And yes, some college students eventually move away (an inherent long-term risk), but not all of them. Plus, if you can model this in multiple states, over time the "move away" problem solves itself as a zero-sum game.


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Old Mon Jan 30, 2017, 06:04am
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I appreciate all the advice. We are going to try to contact our two local colleges for possible recruits.
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Old Mon Jan 30, 2017, 08:11am
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No gentle way to say this but go out and get some female officials. Same tactics you've been using and others have suggested but target female officials. Once you get them in the door there will be more special interest groups and support systems for them to have access to funds, upward mobility, and support in getting professional development. I know around here to try to promote female coaches and officials for female athletics there are more resources available to those young officials and coaches then there are for their male counter parts.

Also I can't speak for your situation but now that I've seen a couple of different leagues and assignors I would say be careful with the idea of earning your stripes. If you've got a good young official you have to get them in and expose them to the level they want to get to as soon as you can give them that experience. I'm not saying take a first year guy and put him in the league championship at varsity. But losing quality potential officials because they are young competitive interested people that get mired in youth games, middle school and bad freshman games for multiple years doesn't help you either. If they see goals as attainable and not just an accumulation of years in an old boys club they will be more likely to stay. They have to be good enough, but once they are they have to given the opportunity.

We sometimes get interested high school students in and the association covers their gear and fees while they are in high school. They get trained with us at our meetings and sessions and get to work mini (u-11) games and some low level middle school stuff. Then they are in the door early and can use officiating for money while at university.
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Last edited by Pantherdreams; Mon Jan 30, 2017 at 08:14am.
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Old Mon Jan 30, 2017, 08:47am
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Recruiting

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pantherdreams View Post
Also I can't speak for your situation but now that I've seen a couple of different leagues and assignors I would say be careful with the idea of earning your stripes. If you've got a good young official you have to get them in and expose them to the level they want to get to as soon as you can give them that experience. I'm not saying take a first year guy and put him in the league championship at varsity. But losing quality potential officials because they are young competitive interested people that get mired in youth games, middle school and bad freshman games for multiple years doesn't help you either. If they see goals as attainable and not just an accumulation of years in an old boys club they will be more likely to stay. They have to be good enough, but once they are they have to given the opportunity.

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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Old Mon Jan 30, 2017, 10:23am
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About 15% of our officials are female. And they are doing very well. The majority of them all work Varsity games.
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Old Mon Jan 30, 2017, 10:34am
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Originally Posted by Terrapins Fan View Post
What's the best form of recruiting new officials?

We currently run an ad in the newspaper and a spot on the radio. That's it. We get about 4 applications per year. We need 10 to 12 next season.
We are just now trying some new stuff for football in my area. We are holding a clinic this weekend designed for anyone who is interested in officiating from 10-2. Coffee/donuts provided and free tshirt to participants.

Made a PDF flyer with a link to a Google Forms to register for the clinic.

I sent an email to all officials in the district, all AD's in the district, and all head football coaches in the local D3 college conference to get the word out.

More importantly, I advertised on Facebook. For $20, the ad ran for 2 weeks. This seemed to get the most response and reach the most people. According to the statistics on the Ad, the post was seen by 9,424 people (2,711 organic reach, 6,713 paid reach) with 422 people clicking the link to view the PDF. I think this is a thousand times more effective than ads in the newspaper.

We got 11 people signed up for the clinic, which isn't bad. If we hadn't done this, we probably would have zero.
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Old Mon Jan 30, 2017, 10:55am
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Originally Posted by Pantherdreams View Post
Also I can't speak for your situation but now that I've seen a couple of different leagues and assignors I would say be careful with the idea of earning your stripes. If you've got a good young official you have to get them in and expose them to the level they want to get to as soon as you can give them that experience. I'm not saying take a first year guy and put him in the league championship at varsity. But losing quality potential officials because they are young competitive interested people that get mired in youth games, middle school and bad freshman games for multiple years doesn't help you either. If they see goals as attainable and not just an accumulation of years in an old boys club they will be more likely to stay. They have to be good enough, but once they are they have to given the opportunity.
AMEN!

I always say there's a "glass ceiling" for the newer officials that needs to be broken. You are 100% right that good young officials who don't get a chance will just quit. Why put in all this time and effort if they're just going to be put on these garbage games?

Ask yourself this: what is one of the major causes people leave their regular daytime jobs? No opportunity for advancement. Same applies to officiating.
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Old Mon Jan 30, 2017, 03:28pm
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Originally Posted by bossman72 View Post
AMEN!

I always say there's a "glass ceiling" for the newer officials that needs to be broken. You are 100% right that good young officials who don't get a chance will just quit. Why put in all this time and effort if they're just going to be put on these garbage games?

Ask yourself this: what is one of the major causes people leave their regular daytime jobs? No opportunity for advancement. Same applies to officiating.
*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.

Last edited by Kansas Ref; Mon Jan 30, 2017 at 03:31pm.
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Old Mon Jan 30, 2017, 11:22pm
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Quote:
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.
We all knew what he meant. This conversation is "inside the dressing room" so while your point is valid, the indignation was overkill IMHO.

I'm not one of those officials who feels like I'm above youth ball. That's ok if some feel this way, but for me I get a lot more enjoyment as a (marginal) veteran doing youth ball now that I have more confidence and a good feel for how to interact with coaches and sometimes even fans and parents. These games weren't as enjoyable when I was a rookie because of the poor skills involved and my rookie tendency to call everything I could. I didn't learn nearly as quickly as I did working frosh/JV basketball. Which is why I advocate a good mix of high school basketball in a promising young official's first few years.
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Old Tue Jan 31, 2017, 12:16am
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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.

2 - Our association is really good about getting newer officials the opportunity to work all levels of basketball in the first couple of years. However, after about 2 - 3 years, I see younger officials who get frustrated because they are not being given an opportunity to work those upper level games. Everyone officiates for different reasons and motivations. Some of our newer officials are trying to advance past what our association has to offer, some are looking for ways to meet new people, others just like being around the game. I think its helpful to understand this - millennials what to contribute right away and in an impactful way.
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