The Official Forum  

Go Back   The Official Forum > Basketball

Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Rate Thread Display Modes
  #1 (permalink)  
Old Mon Jul 30, 2018, 02:37pm
Official Forum Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2018
Location: Rockville,MD
Posts: 781
Officiating in the ABA, update

There was a thread back in 2010 about officiating in the ABA, and the biggest complaint about the ABA was the inconsistent pay (officials had to ensure that they were paid before starting their games). The league was also called "glorified rec ball", which I would say is accurate from watching video footage of more recent (2017-18) ABA games.

The user tref also said back in 2010 that the ABA was being cleaned up. Has that been the case? There was a combine for officials in San Diego in 2011, but does the league still recruit officials this way? I would be surprised that one of the cons of the ABA is an uneven quality of officials, if officials were hired from a combine, and presumably evaluated for competence before being hired, but maybe the combines no longer take place.

Do any of you know Tom Chichester, the ABA Vice President and Director of League Officials? Does he have a good track record and reputation as an official and/or assigner? I'd like to know, because it could make the difference between eventually working in the ABA as an interesting and somewhat lucrative side gig, and forswearing any type of non-organized (scholastic, collegiate, affiliated professional (NBA/WNBA/G-League)) basketball.
Reply With Quote
  #2 (permalink)  
Old Mon Jul 30, 2018, 03:15pm
Courageous When Prudent
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Hampton Roads, VA
Posts: 13,591
I have a couple of friends with whom I used to play pickup ball on a regular basis who played in the ABA. So that should tell you the level of competition.

I also know of one official who worked ABA games. He was a barely competent JV official, and I am not exaggerating.

Now, let's talk about the combine. Do you think you could afford to travel all the way to San Diego (airline tix, rental car, hotel, dining out), especially for a league that probably pays somewhere between $75-$125/game? I know I can't and I live fairly comfortably.

Do you know any reputable and/or accomplished officials who work in the ABA? If not, that should tell you something.
__________________
A-hole formerly known as BNR
Reply With Quote
  #3 (permalink)  
Old Mon Jul 30, 2018, 03:32pm
Do not give a damn!!
 
Join Date: Jun 2000
Location: On the border
Posts: 29,024
I will say that I have met Tom a rather long time ago. The officials that work the ABA at this time are often not officials I would consider to be top-flight or D1 caliber officials. The ABA was sold early on as a viable alternative to the CBA but is nothing like that now for an official's standpoint. Usually, officials have used this to get themselves into a higher league, but often has no direct pipeline to those levels in any way. But hey, if you do not believe me or others, try it yourself.

Peace
__________________
"When the phone does not ring, the assignor is calling."
--Black

Charles Michael “Mick” Chambers (1947-2010)
Reply With Quote
  #4 (permalink)  
Old Tue Jul 31, 2018, 12:41pm
Official Forum Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2016
Posts: 60
I'd echo what others have said. The officials that I have seen working ABA games - I would not feel comfortable working a Division I game with. Nor DII, DIII, and barely JuCo, to be honest.
Reply With Quote
  #5 (permalink)  
Old Tue Jul 31, 2018, 03:46pm
Official Forum Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2018
Location: Rockville,MD
Posts: 781
Alas, I thought the ABA would have changed for the better since it last appeared in the forum in 2010. That makes my non-scholastic options for working 3-man mechanics even more limited (pro-am leagues and unpaid assignments in men's leagues). I believe that any AAU officials would be the same quality as the ABA officials, if not worse, even if I was able to persuade the local AAU assigners in the DC area to only use me for 14U games and higher in 3-person crews.

If pro-am in the DC area has good reliable officials, I would enquire into working that, just to get consistent 3-person experience.

I seem to be in a catch-22 in that I need to be more comfortable with 3-person mechanics to work varsity and eventually small college games, but there are very few reliable options to work 3-person outside of varsity games. I'll ask around about pro-am, charter school varsity, and lower-tier private school varsity ball, because if I can get some of those games, it might give me the experience needed to ease my jump to higher-tier varsity and/or college ball.
Reply With Quote
  #6 (permalink)  
Old Tue Jul 31, 2018, 04:49pm
Esteemed Forum Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Connecticut
Posts: 18,220
“Practice! Practice! Practice!” ...

Quote:
Originally Posted by ilyazhito View Post
... it might give me the experience ...
Nothing, absolutely nothing beats experience. Yes, one has to know the rules and the proper mechanics, and figure out the local politics of getting assignments, but the best way to improve is to work games, and work more games, never mind the level.

I can't offer advice on how to get three person games, Connecticut is basically a two person state, but back when I was starting out, almost forty years ago, I worked as many games as I could get, partly for the money (I had three college bound kids, and a low paying (at the time) teaching job), but also for the experience. Nothing beats making lots of calls (right and wrong), dealing with different types of coaches, working with both good and bad partners, observing better officials work higher level games, and seeking advice from such officials.

I worked games on several different levels: public middle school, Catholic middle school, high school freshman, high school junior varsity, travel games, middle school recreation, high school recreation, mens recreation, church leagues, Jewish leagues, AAU, summer leagues. If there was a game somewhere, and if I was asked, I worked it.

I even kept working these games after I started getting high school varsity assignments, and after public school teachers in Connecticut got better pay. Why? To see more plays, to call more plays, and to work with, and observe, different officials that I could learn from.

Eventually I started giving up most of these games, only giving up Catholic middle school assignments a few years ago when I started having ankle and knee problems. The past few years I've only worked high school varsity games, but may move down a level for some of my games during the upcoming season to unofficially mentor young officials in mid and late afternoon (I'm retiring from my day job as a chemist in seven weeks) middle school, and freshman games.

How does one improve? Work games. Work games. Work games. On any level as long as there's a basketball and some baskets. Three person. Two person. Even one person. Just work.

Yes, keep your head in the rulebook, and in the mechanics manual. Keep going to camps and clinics. But be sure to keep working, and then work some more.

The absent-minded maestro was racing up New York’s Seventh Avenue to a rehearsal, when a stranger stopped him. “Pardon me,” he said, “can you tell me how to get to Carnegie Hall?” “Yes,” answered the maestro breathlessly. “Practice! Practice! Practice!”
__________________
"For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life." (John 3:16)

“I was in prison and you came to visit me.” (Matthew 25:36)

Last edited by BillyMac; Wed Aug 01, 2018 at 04:04pm.
Reply With Quote
  #7 (permalink)  
Old Tue Jul 31, 2018, 05:15pm
beware big brother
 
Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: illinois
Posts: 973
In Chicago we have a few ABA teams that actually have some considerable talent, including D1 players, overseas players, and a few who have even had a cup of coffee in the NBA. When a few of the better teams play each other the basketball can be quite good. However, even in those games, there can be a lot of nonsense going on. We also have a number of teams that are glorified pickup teams.

There are a number of men's D1 officials working the games here, but there are also officials that cannot work girls varsity basketball working the games too. The standard pay, and my understanding is that this is league wide, is $400 for a game. This gets divided amongst the 3 officials. Here, each official gets $133 and the crew chief gets $134. I hear other regions divide the sum differently. The rules are a hybrid of NCAA-M and ABA specific rules. The games are 4 x 12 minute quarters. You still need to get paid cash, before the game or you are instructed not to work. Never take a check. To this day, officials still get stiffed.

They would get better officials here, on a more consistent basis if they raised the pay to at least what a D3 or NAIA game pays, and if they did not cancel games on game day without paying the officials. Only good thing about the league here is they do play a lot of Sunday games too. That is when the better officials work, since most of them do not have college games that day.
Reply With Quote
  #8 (permalink)  
Old Tue Nov 19, 2019, 02:25am
Official Forum Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2018
Location: Rockville,MD
Posts: 781
Update: I recently got into the ABA thanks to doing a combine for pro basketball officials in Florida, and having the regional coordinator for my area see me in action. This may have happened because the DMV area has added more ABA teams, and needs more officials as a result. The ABA now has regional coordinators for officials in different parts of the country who conduct viewing sessions for officials, hire them, and assign them to.games in their area. I've done an ABA scrimmage, and have seen ABA officials in action in person, and can conclude that most are good high school and/or college officials, with 1 guy I know currently working Division 1 basketball. I'll provide more updates as the season goes along, but it looks like the ABA has done much to clean up its act.
Reply With Quote
  #9 (permalink)  
Old Tue Nov 19, 2019, 08:39am
Courageous When Prudent
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Hampton Roads, VA
Posts: 13,591
I declined an invitation to get on the ABA staff. The pay in the contract I read was $130/game for each official to be paid by the teams before the game. The contract also states that the supervisor of officials is not responsible if the officials don't get paid.
__________________
A-hole formerly known as BNR
Reply With Quote
  #10 (permalink)  
Old Tue Nov 19, 2019, 09:32am
Do not give a damn!!
 
Join Date: Jun 2000
Location: On the border
Posts: 29,024
Quote:
Originally Posted by Raymond View Post
I declined an invitation to get on the ABA staff. The pay in the contract I read was $130/game for each official to be paid by the teams before the game. The contract also states that the supervisor of officials is not responsible if the officials don't get paid.
In my area or some area where I live, there is a guy that offers guys to work the ABA at association meetings like it is a travel tournament. I passed up on this mess some time ago and glad I did. I have heard so many bad stories of this league and that is when they first played in some nicer arenas. I would rather work some JUCO on a regular than this league.

Peace
__________________
"When the phone does not ring, the assignor is calling."
--Black

Charles Michael “Mick” Chambers (1947-2010)
Reply With Quote
  #11 (permalink)  
Old Wed Nov 20, 2019, 10:44pm
Statistician/Ref Hybrid
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: 127.0.0.1
Posts: 997
My area has an ABA team that appears to have operated each of the past few years -- which is impressive since many other ABA teams founded in this area don't seem to last long. I briefly browsed the first few minutes of some of the team's games on YouTube ranging from 2016 through Spring of this year. The quality of play seemed on par with what i saw in a summer Pro-Am league before I officiated.

The one thing that surprised me most was each of this team's home games only had two officials. I have no idea if that was by choice of if the pool of interested/available officials here is low, but it was still odd to see because a game of this level with a lot of physicality pretty much needs 3 officials to keep things in control -- especially since a crew of two, no matter how skilled, simply can't see and monitor everything that goes on off-ball.

Also, none of the officials I saw in the home game clips seemed familiar. While I don't know all the officials in the area, I do know a number that work higher levels and none of them appeared to be officiating these games. There has to be a reason for that.
__________________
Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible." – Dalai Lama

The center of attention as the lead & trail. – me
Games officiated: 450 Basketball · 73 Softball · 16 Baseball

Last edited by Stat-Man; Thu Nov 21, 2019 at 12:34am. Reason: Add additional comment and correct A typo
Reply With Quote
  #12 (permalink)  
Old Sat Feb 01, 2020, 09:46pm
Official Forum Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2018
Location: Rockville,MD
Posts: 781
UPDATE: I have since been hired to officiate in the ABA. I worked the game between the Hub City Hogs and the West Chester Wildcats on January 11th. In my area, all the ABA officials I have encountered have been veteran high school or college officials. One of the people who worked the Hub City Hogs home opener is a current official in the Patriot League, and another is a long-time official at MIAA (MD) and Baltimore Catholic League games. I would say that the quality of play is better than a good boys varsity game.
Reply With Quote
  #13 (permalink)  
Old Sat Feb 01, 2020, 09:55pm
Official Forum Member
 
Join Date: Aug 1999
Posts: 17,216
Quote:
Originally Posted by ilyazhito View Post
UPDATE: I have since been hired to officiate in the ABA. I worked the game between the Hub City Hogs and the West Chester Wildcats on January 11th. In my area, all the ABA officials I have encountered have been veteran high school or college officials. One of the people who worked the Hub City Hogs home opener is a current official in the Patriot League, and another is a long-time official at MIAA (MD) and Baltimore Catholic League games. I would say that the quality of play is better than a good boys varsity game.
I hope it works out for you. (no blue font implied here)
Reply With Quote
  #14 (permalink)  
Old Sat Feb 01, 2020, 11:16pm
I got a Basketball Jones!
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: Hunger
Posts: 915
Quote:
Originally Posted by ilyazhito View Post
UPDATE: I have since been hired to officiate in the ABA. I worked the game between the Hub City Hogs and the West Chester Wildcats on January 11th. In my area, all the ABA officials I have encountered have been veteran high school or college officials. One of the people who worked the Hub City Hogs home opener is a current official in the Patriot League, and another is a long-time official at MIAA (MD) and Baltimore Catholic League games. I would say that the quality of play is better than a good boys varsity game.
Maz'l Tov!!!!!

Onward and upward

Please let us know when you will be working again...
__________________
Lah me..
(In honor of Jurassic Ref, R.I.P.)
Reply With Quote
  #15 (permalink)  
Old Fri Feb 07, 2020, 01:01pm
Official Forum Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2013
Location: Texas
Posts: 247
Do Not Let This Stop You

Quote:
Originally Posted by ilyazhito View Post
there are very few reliable options to work 3-person outside of varsity games
For all you new people out ther -- there are always options for working on 3-man mechanics. Most weekends in your area there is a youth league / travel ball / AAU type tournament or set of games that use 2-man crews. Make some connections with experienced refs and volunteer to work 3-man with them. They will get the benefit of having a 3rd partner and you get the double benefit of getting to practice and getting suggestions for improvement. Its a lot easier to focus on learning the mechanics in a slow 5th grade girls game on the weekend than it is in a highly competitive varsity game on Friday night.
__________________
Its not what you know but how you use it that counts!
Reply With Quote
Reply

Bookmarks

Thread Tools
Display Modes Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
NASO Sports Officiating Summit - Officiating and Technology Kostja Football 0 Tue Mar 20, 2007 09:21am
NASO Sports Officiating Summit - Officiating and Technology Kostja Baseball 0 Tue Mar 20, 2007 09:20am
NASO Sports Officiating Summit - Officiating and Technology Kostja Basketball 0 Tue Mar 20, 2007 09:19am
Fee Update 26 Year Gap Basketball 8 Sun Mar 11, 2007 11:31pm
"Too Soon?" Update doghead Basketball 4 Sun Feb 10, 2002 10:52pm


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 01:43am.



Search Engine Friendly URLs by vBSEO 3.3.0 RC1