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Old Sun Apr 01, 2018, 10:22pm
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Can an NCAA Basketball Official Work Both Sexes?

In high school, there is no such thing as a "boys official" or a "girls official", unless your state has separate boards for boys and girls basketball (such as NY State: Boys boards are IAABO, Girls are through NYSGBOA).
In college, most officials are assigned to either the Men's Basketball staff or the Women's Basketball staff for each conference.

However, is it possible for a college basketball official to work both sexes? If so, how would I go about doing that? I know that men's and women's basketball are different games, and have different rules and mechanics. If any "double duty" officials exist, they would have to switch rules and mechanics for each game, but if it can be done between college and high school, then I believe that there is no reason why an official can't switch between men's and women's college games.

For the record, I am a high school basketball official with three years of experience, including one year of sub-varsity (Freshman/JV) and two years of middle school basketball under my belt. I live in MD and call basketball for Board 12 (MoCo public and private MS, MoCo Rec and I-270 League) and MBOA (DCIAA and WCAC Freshman/JV, Alexandria Rec). I have also worked intramural basketball for UMD RecWell, to practice my 3-man mechanics. My short-term goal is to work varsity games for MBOA next season, my medium-term goal is to become a college official at the junior college or DIII level, and my long-term goal is to become an NBA/FIBA official, if possible.

I believe that working both sexes would make me a better official, because men and women have different styles of play and different tendencies. AFAIK, many NBA officials go through both the WNBA and the G League before they are hired to the full-time staff, so high-level women's basketball experience would be beneficial. This is because the NBA uses concepts from both men's and women's basketball (NCAAW has the Lower Defensive Box, which also appears in the NBA). However, many camps are either for men's officials or for women's officials. What would I need to do to reach a high level of officiating competency for both sexes? Does CBOA (College Basketball Officials Association) assign both men's and women's officials, or would I need to join a separate organization to work women's college ball?

I know that it is a bit early in my career for me to ask questions like this, but I want this thread to be out here for the benefit of other officials who are faced with making a decision between working men's or women's college basketball (or both, hopefully).

Thank you!
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Old Sun Apr 01, 2018, 10:38pm
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Not a chance. Choose which path you want to go and be committed. If you decide to switch, Iíve always heard that itís easier to go from menís to womenís than vice-versa (just what Iíve heard, I canít attest to that).

And just for the record, there are multiple states where officials are free to work only girls games or only boys games for high school. Multiple posters on here can attest to that.
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Old Sun Apr 01, 2018, 11:45pm
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Originally Posted by SC Official View Post
And just for the record, there are multiple states where officials are free to work only girls games or only boys games for high school. Multiple posters on here can attest to that.

You could do that in Oregon, but you wouldn't get any post-season assignments. One of the requirements for state playoff eligibility is that you worked at least 3 games of each gender. The reason for that is that the tournaments are dual-gender...the same officials work the games for both the boys and the girls from the quarters to the finals and they don't want a person's first boys/girls game of the year to be one of those.
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Old Mon Apr 02, 2018, 06:47am
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Originally Posted by SC Official View Post
Not a chance. Choose which path you want to go and be committed. If you decide to switch, Iíve always heard that itís easier to go from menís to womenís than vice-versa (just what Iíve heard, I canít attest to that).

And just for the record, there are multiple states where officials are free to work only girls games or only boys games for high school. Multiple posters on here can attest to that.
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Originally Posted by Camron Rust View Post
You could do that in Oregon, but you wouldn't get any post-season assignments. One of the requirements for state playoff eligibility is that you worked at least 3 games of each gender. The reason for that is that the tournaments are dual-gender...the same officials work the games for both the boys and the girls from the quarters to the finals and they don't want a person's first boys/girls game of the year to be one of those.

Sports officials registered by the OhioHSAA and MichiganHSAA are independent contractors and are free to accept and decline regular season assignments as one sees fit. An official can choose to officiate only boys' or only girls' or both during the regular season. Officials may choose to be considered for only the boys' tournament or only the girls' tournament or both tournaments as long as they meet the number of games officiated requirement for which ever tournament(s) for which they wish to be considered.

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Old Mon Apr 02, 2018, 07:59am
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Originally Posted by ilyazhito View Post
In high school, there is no such thing as a "boys official" or a "girls official", unless your state has separate boards for boys and girls basketball (such as NY State: Boys boards are IAABO, Girls are through NYSGBOA).
There is in our state. Many if not most top officials do not work both genders. For one I think working both have different standards and if you are good at one, you are not likely good at another. It has nothing to do with state boards, I simply do not work girls basketball. And I have some assignors that assign both and never consider me for girls games.

There is such a thing and it is bad when a girl's official works boy's games. The coaches will point that out much of the time. I worked one girls game this past year as a favor of a very good friend. I would not be called a girl's official by any means.

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Old Mon Apr 02, 2018, 08:38am
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Up through this season, a particular D2 conference in the mid-Atlantic was notable for officials getting assigned to games on the wrong side. Hopefully there will be separate supervisors hired so that problem will go away.

In practice, you need to pick a side and pursue that path. You can't compare it to the NBA/WNBA/G-League path because they all utilize the same rules, court coverage, and mechanics.
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Last edited by Raymond; Mon Apr 02, 2018 at 08:41am.
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Old Mon Apr 02, 2018, 09:13am
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SC Official said: "Not a chance. Choose which path you want to go and be committed. If you decide to switch, Iíve always heard that itís easier to go from menís to womenís than vice-versa (just what Iíve heard, I canít attest to that)."

Is it not possible to work both because the games are on the same day? If that is the case, I would understand. What are the advantages of officiating men's basketball over women's basketball? What are the advantages of officiating women's basketball over men's basketball? I am male, so I don't believe that I would be fast-tracked within women's basketball as would a female official with a similar background. Is there a particular reason why the people you heard told you that it is easier to go from men's basketball to women's?

JRutledge said: "For one I think working both have different standards and if you are good at one, you are not likely good at another."

What are the "different standards" that you are referring to? Is it more mechanics, or do officials tend to call fouls/violations different in M basketball vs F basketball?

To any current college officials on the Forum, which side did you choose, and why did you make that choice? On a different note, who is the women's equivalent of CBOA on the East Coast, if anyone?
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Old Mon Apr 02, 2018, 09:39am
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Originally Posted by JRutledge View Post
There is in our state. Many if not most top officials do not work both genders. For one I think working both have different standards and if you are good at one, you are not likely good at another. It has nothing to do with state boards, I simply do not work girls basketball. And I have some assignors that assign both and never consider me for girls games.

There is such a thing and it is bad when a girl's official works boy's games. The coaches will point that out much of the time. I worked one girls game this past year as a favor of a very good friend. I would not be called a girl's official by any means.
I disagree with this. While working each gender presents its own challenges, there's no reason one official can't be competent at both. I rarely see an official and think "wow he's good at calling boys but sucks at calling girls." The reverse is sometimes true due to the reality that some officials can keep up with girls and are overmatched in boys games.

I like to think I'm good at calling girls games despite the fact that I prefer boys (South Carolina officials work G/B doubleheaders 99% of the time). However, I refuse to call a foul every time a clumsy high school girl falls to the ground like some officials, coaches, and players expect me to. I call advantage/disadvantage in girls and boys games and not every snippet of contact.
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Old Mon Apr 02, 2018, 09:42am
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Originally Posted by ilyazhito View Post
Is it not possible to work both because the games are on the same day? If that is the case, I would understand.
Has nothing to do with games being on the same day. Has (almost) everything to do with the fact that once you get to the college level, assigners (and coaches) don't want you mixing. It doesn't matter how competent you are at keeping rules, mechanics, and philosophical differences straight.

Whether you think it's fair or not is a different discussion. But you're not going to be a pioneer, so you might as well choose a side and be completely devoted to it.
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Old Mon Apr 02, 2018, 11:55am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ilyazhito View Post

JRutledge said: "For one I think working both have different standards and if you are good at one, you are not likely good at another."

What are the "different standards" that you are referring to? Is it more mechanics, or do officials tend to call fouls/violations different in M basketball vs F basketball?
Anytime a girl falls there is a reaction as if they could not have fallen for no other reason but something illegal done to them. It hilarious the times I have had a girl's coach go nuts on a play where a boy's coach would never even raise their voice. It really appears that there is still this attitude that girls are not athletic, so when they do things or things happen to them it is like "We have to protect them" mentality, where a boy is told to "Get up and stop complaining." And I am talking about from a coach or fan perspective, not from the official's perspective. And when you do not call every little touch a foul, then you are somehow letting too much go or not calling the game right.

I remember I had a coach that now coaches boys basketball, go nuts on a play where his shooter only was touched by the jerseys rubbing together. The shooter did not fall, have their motion altered by any contact, let alone illegal contact and he acted like his girl got murdered. He has since moved to the boy's side as a coach and never complains about that kind of contact.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ilyazhito View Post
To any current college officials on the Forum, which side did you choose, and why did you make that choice? On a different note, who is the women's equivalent of CBOA on the East Coast, if anyone?
I worked women's college first because I was asked to work college. I did not like it as I never imagined when I started officiating doing girls or women's basketball. So when I finally got hired on the Men's side, that is where I wanted to be or saw myself being. One of the main reasons I did not like women's basketball were the officials. I would work with guys that did not have a clue or the courage to call a simple foul.

I will give another example. I worked a Division 3 scrimmage once with an official in the early 2000s. It happened to be 2 man at the time with a long time official, but a guy newer to college basketball at the time. In the first half of this scrimmage which was only 18-minute clocks between two teams, we had 6 fouls. I called all 6 fouls and probably 4 right in front of my partner because he would not call a girl getting completely knocked down. Then this official had the nerve at halftime to say to me, "It looks like we are calling a different game." I was like, I am done working women's games if this is the mentality of the people I am working with. And I believe a couple of years later I stopped working women's college altogether after getting hired in a Men's conference. The guy was so incompetent that he guess thought that calling less was better and could not find a single foul in a 2 man game. I might not call much in a 3 person game, but I do not think I have ever not called a single foul in a half in a 2 man game and with a shot clock.

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Old Mon Apr 02, 2018, 12:08pm
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I disagree with this. While working each gender presents its own challenges, there's no reason one official can't be competent at both. I rarely see an official and think "wow he's good at calling boys but sucks at calling girls." The reverse is sometimes true due to the reality that some officials can keep up with girls and are overmatched in boys games.
That is fine that you disagree. We all have our opinions on the matter. But the boys game is almost guaranteed to be near or above the rim, which has a different set of challenges for officials with contact and the ability of the players physically. Also, boys are much faster at the top levels than girls. So you have to be physically able to keep up along with having the judgment to see plays. I see many girl's officials that would struggle just keeping up with kids that will be D1 players. It is obvious when you look at many of the officials (at least here) that have to work a girl's games.

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I like to think I'm good at calling girls games despite the fact that I prefer boys (South Carolina officials work G/B doubleheaders 99% of the time). However, I refuse to call a foul every time a clumsy high school girl falls to the ground like some officials, coaches, and players expect me to. I call advantage/disadvantage in girls and boys games and not every snippet of contact.
One of the reasons I said this, is because there are officials that will call every little touch a foul and that will get you killed in a boys game. The coaches will go nuts if you call those situations, especially when those are not clearly illegal events. You dribble into three defenders and call a foul when the defenders did nothing wrong does not fly in the boys game.

I know some are going to disagree. Even the last possession there are many officials that wanted a foul (that work girl's games) and the ones that work either higher level college or men's games, tend to think there was no foul by the Notre Dame player. The expectations are just different.

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Old Mon Apr 02, 2018, 12:30pm
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I tend to struggle more with girls coaches -- mainly because I call plays the same in boys and girls games. And as JRut said, a lot of the girls coaches think contact = foul.
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Old Mon Apr 02, 2018, 01:35pm
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That is fine that you disagree. We all have our opinions on the matter. But the boys game is almost guaranteed to be near or above the rim, which has a different set of challenges for officials with contact and the ability of the players physically. Also, boys are much faster at the top levels than girls. So you have to be physically able to keep up along with having the judgment to see plays. I see many girl's officials that would struggle just keeping up with kids that will be D1 players. It is obvious when you look at many of the officials (at least here) that have to work a girl's games.

One of the reasons I said this, is because there are officials that will call every little touch a foul and that will get you killed in a boys game. The coaches will go nuts if you call those situations, especially when those are not clearly illegal events. You dribble into three defenders and call a foul when the defenders did nothing wrong does not fly in the boys game.

I know some are going to disagree. Even the last possession there are many officials that wanted a foul (that work girl's games) and the ones that work either higher level college or men's games, tend to think there was no foul by the Notre Dame player. The expectations are just different.
I'm with you, but there are plenty of officials that have no problem making the adjustment between what's expected in girls games and what's expected in boys games. Just because you're good at one doesn't mean you can't be good at the other, even though you may still be "better" at a certain gender. And I would guess that in most states officials aren't given a choice between working girls or boys. Therefore the issue of coaches not wanting a "girls official" on their boys game or vice-versa, like you have in Illinois, is not likely to be problematic.


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I tend to struggle more with girls coaches -- mainly because I call plays the same in boys and girls games. And as JRut said, a lot of the girls coaches think contact = foul.
Most of the girls coaches in my area are not smart and thankfully don't say much. I've had issues with a couple male girls coaches who I whacked but my girls games are normally uneventful when it comes to coaches. I told those coaches something along the lines of "I will not bail out your player for tripping over her own feet," and of course they didn't like that response (I'm an honest guy, to a fault sometimes).

But I'm with you. I call advantage/disadvantage in girls and boys. I don't officiate the presence of contact or lack thereof except when it comes to the automatics.
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Old Mon Apr 02, 2018, 01:37pm
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Most of the girls coaches in my area are not smart and thankfully don't say much. I've had issues with a couple male girls coaches who I whacked but my girls games are normally uneventful when it comes to coaches. I told those coaches something along the lines of "I will not bail out your player for tripping over her own feet," and of course they didn't like that response (I'm an honest guy, to a fault sometimes).

But I'm with you. I call advantage/disadvantage in girls and boys. I don't officiate the presence of contact or lack thereof except when it comes to the automatics.
The ones that are not smart are the ones that say TOO much, in my experience.
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Old Mon Apr 02, 2018, 02:13pm
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I'm with you, but there are plenty of officials that have no problem making the adjustment between what's expected in girls games and what's expected in boys games. Just because you're good at one doesn't mean you can't be good at the other, even though you may still be "better" at a certain gender. And I would guess that in most states officials aren't given a choice between working girls or boys. Therefore the issue of coaches not wanting a "girls official" on their boys game or vice-versa, like you have in Illinois, is not likely to be problematic.
I call the game the same with the same philosophies. I do not call all contact a foul. I put a premium on the contact being illegal before I call something. That means it must have some disadvantage and not penalizing bigger and stronger players which appears to happen all the time in girl's basketball. So I am not often considered very good at the girl's side and why I stay away from it almost entirely.

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