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Old Sat Sep 08, 2018, 10:55am
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Northern VA Officials Associations

I have recently been approved to join Cardinal Basketball Officials Association (IAABO Board 255), and I was curious to know who covers what parts of Northern Virginia. The list of associations on the VHSL website does give me a picture, but there are some things that I'm not sure about.

I know that Cardinal covers Fairfax County (including the independent cities of Fairfax and Falls Church), Alexandria, and Arlington County, but who covers Loudoun and Prince William Counties? Does Bull Run cover only Manassas Park and Manassas, or all of Prince William County?
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Old Sat Sep 08, 2018, 12:31pm
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So Many Questions ...

I hate to hijack ilyazhito's thread, but his post brings up so many questions that I've had ever since I joined the Forum.

I work in a 100% IAABO state, with well defined local board geographic boundaries. Unless one is an absolutely horrible official, everybody gets a full schedule of varsity, junior varsity, freshman, or middle school games from our local IAABO assigner.

We have a bunch of guys that also work college games, so they "formally" belong to another association/board.

We have lots of guys (I was once one of these guys) that "informally" work travel games, youth recreation games, mens recreation games, and middle school games (not serviced by our local IAABO board), on their "off nights". This is an "informal" setup, and guys work these games for a variety of reasons: money, experience, money, exercise, money, limited local travel (short trips), and no "formal" membership (no membership fees, no meetings, no "politics", etc.). These game have absolutely nothing to do with and are completely independent from our local IAABO board, other than town parks and recreation directors, and middle school site directors, usually want "IAABO patched" officials. There are dozens of "assigners" (our IAABO board assigner never assigns these games) out there, with games "assigned" on nothing more than a handshake.

Over the past thirteen years that I've been a Forum member, I've surmised that some Forum members appear to "formally" belong to more than one high school association/board/organization. This is a completely foreign concept to me.

Many years ago, we had a competing local association, we both covered the same local geographic area, some high schools went with them (mostly girls games) and many high schools went with us. I don't recall anybody working for both organizations, nor do I remember any rules against such. Originally this "Brand X" board, as we called it, worked all the girls games. When Title IX fully kicked in (that's when I became an official), my local IAABO board aggressively went after girls games (we had previously only worked boys games). We had a better product and this "Brand X" board received fewer and fewer games over time, until they eventually merged with us (it was really a hostile takeover) several years ago.

I do recall some "bad blood" between our competing organizations. Occasionally a principal, athletic director, or coach, would get pissed at us (bad call, lost game, etc.) and move to the "Brand X" board, even for some boys games. New principals, new athletic directors, or new coaches, would sometimes move, for various reasons, from one board to the other board. Usually these movements were a "net gain" for our local IAABO board. Some guys (rarely) would change organizations. We would get quite upset if we trained a new guy, who worked a few years under our IAABO training guidelines, and then moved over the "Brand X" board to become one of their top notch varsity officials. "Brand X" guys would move over to our board and would find themselves with lower level assignments than with their previous board. While our differences never became a really big problem to me personally, I do not recall anything positive about the competing boards.

Other than working college, or other than "informally" working youth games, why would anyone have the need to "formally" belong to a second high school organization? Does one not get enough games from one assigner? Wouldn't an assigner expect "loyalty" to him? Are game assignments "first come, first served"? Because we're supposedly "independent contractors", are there no rules in place to discourage such "double dipping"? If no such rules are place, does any informal, "unofficial" type of resentment (blackballing) take place? Aren't the logistics of working for multiple organizations difficult to deal with? What happens if two game assignments (maybe one postponed, maybe with one game being a much better assignment than the other game) are held at the same date and same time? As principals, athletic directors, and coaches (and maybe conference affiliations) change, do schools move from one organization to another?

Again, working in a 100% IAABO state with well defined local board geographic boundaries (a monopoly), this multiple organization concept is completely foreign to me. Why would anyone have the need to "formally" belong to a second high school organization?

Of course, I understand the usual caveat, "When in Rome ...". Different doesn't necessarily mean good, or bad; different just means different.
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Last edited by BillyMac; Sat Sep 08, 2018 at 01:53pm.
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Old Sat Sep 08, 2018, 03:36pm
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Maryland is a mostly-IAABO state (11 out of the 14 associations registered with the MPSSAA to work high school games are IAABO boards), but dual-board membership is common, because IAABO International allows dual-board membership, and the MPSSAA does not prohibit officials from belonging to more than one association per sport. There are even officials in MD who belong to both IAABO and non-IAABO organizations for high school basketball (Maryland Basketball Officials Association, one of the 3 non-IAABO groups in the state, split off from Board 134 (the group that originally covered all of Southern MD, now only Prince George's County) because of political drama in Board 134; some MBOA officials are also members of Boards 134, 12 (Washington, DC private schools, Montgomery and Howard County public schools), or 23 (Anne Arundel and Baltimore County public schools), and others are members of associations registered with the Virginia High School League.

Virginia does not recognize IAABO as a governing body, but some VHSL groups nevertheless are IAABO members (Cardinal Basketball Officials Association is Board 255, Peninsula Basketball Officials Association is Board 125, Hampton Roads Basketball Officials Association is Board 94, Central Virginia Basketball Officials Association in the Richmond area is Board 90, Board 157, which is the Bayside Board on the Eastern Shore, and has games in both MD and VA), and Battlefield Basketball Officials Association is not formally a member of IAABO, but its members still take IAABO tests.). The VHSL also allows members of registered association to be dual members of other associations registered with the VHSL, if the officials declare a primary board among the multiple VHSL-registered associations. This means that IAABO and non-IAABO officials might work together in Virginia high school basketball games.

The District of Columbia is also a hodgepodge of associations working public, private, and charter/independent school games. It is also common for DC officials to belong to multiple groups, so dual membership is a thing in all states in the Washington, DC metro area.

That said, DC-area officials are truly independent contractors, and will change associations if they change jobs (one left Board 12 because he moved to Frederick County), are not treated well in their current associations, or if they wish to seek out opportunities for advancement (some officials have left Board 12 because they could not advance there). Many DC-area officials also work college games, so balancing their schedules is nothing new for them (there are several junior college and Division III conferences in and around the area, so some officials are not only dual-board members at the high school level, but also multiple-conference officials at the college level).
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Old Sat Sep 08, 2018, 04:38pm
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Independent Contractors ...

It sounds like Maryland, Virginia, and the District of Columbia, are a cornucopia of "alphabet organizations" with "open borders", certainly a great example of the free market system.

Officials have lots of choices. Schools have lots of choices. Leagues and conferences have lots of choices. The state has lots of choices.

Can it ever get confusing? Can there ever be too many choices? Are there any negative aspects of having so much freedom and so many choices? Do these various "alphabet organizations" ever find themselves to be in competition with other "alphabet organizations", fighting for games, offering "discount" fees, and fighting for new recruits? Are there any restrictions or is it always the "Wild West"?

Just asking.
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Last edited by BillyMac; Sat Sep 08, 2018 at 05:17pm.
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Old Sat Sep 08, 2018, 04:49pm
LRZ LRZ is offline
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If I recall correctly, at one time, PIAA (NFHS) referees worked all of PA, except for the Philadelphia Public and Catholic Leagues (IAABO). Many Philadelphia-based referees belonged to both, so they could work Philadelphia's two strong leagues (the Public and Catholic Leagues) and suburban games. Same uniforms, different patches, obviously.

I may be wrong about this, but I think that since Philadelphia's public (2002) and Catholic (2006) schools have joined PIAA, the IAABO chapter no longer services schools.
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Old Sat Sep 08, 2018, 04:51pm
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I Know More About Rocket Surgery ...

Quote:
Originally Posted by ilyazhito View Post
.. the MPSSAA does not prohibit officials from belonging to more than one association per sport. There are even officials in MD who belong to both IAABO and non-IAABO organizations for high school basketball ...
If an individual official is allowed to join two organizations, and is actually in two organizations, both that he likes, plenty of good assignments, no political drama, fair membership responsibilities, fees, etc., no excessive meetings, etc., why wouldn't he just pick one and stick with it? What advantages does one get by being in two organizations? Just because one is allowed to do something doesn't necessarily mean that one should do so. Don't the logistics become burdensome belonging to two organizations? Double the meetings? Double the annual membership fees? Maintaining two different availability calendars? Dealing with two assigners?

Again, this is a completely foreign concept to me so please be patient and bear with me.
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John 3:16 "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."

Last edited by BillyMac; Sat Sep 08, 2018 at 04:57pm.
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Old Sat Sep 08, 2018, 05:29pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BillyMac View Post
If an individual official is allowed to join two organizations, and is actually in two organizations, both that he likes, plenty of good assignments, no political drama, fair membership responsibilities, fees, etc., why wouldn't he just pick one and stick with it? What advantages does one get by being in two organizations? Just because one is allowed to do something doesn't necessarily mean that one should do so. Don't the logistics become burdensome belonging to two, or more, organizations?

Again, this is a completely foreign concept to me so please be patient and bear with me.
People in the DMV tend to live in one jurisdiction and work in another. A guy I work football with in EBO, lives in Virginia and calls games for both Board 12 and Board 134, in addition to being on the Centennial Conference basketball staff. I believe that this gentleman can do this because he works in DC and can easily travel to both PG County and to the various private school games that Board 12 services.

Some officials might have a board close to home that they work with, and another board closer to work that they could also work for. When I went to class at the UMD campus in College Park, I was considering joining Board 134 in addition to Board 12, because I would be able to travel to other Prince George County schools, even without a car (I was already working high school baseball in Prince George County at that time) for exactly that reason. I ended up joining MBOA because they had contracts for schools in the District of Columbia and other suburbs that I could easily reach from home or class.


I'd say that if officials can manage the logistics of being both high school and college officials, or of working multiple sports, they can manage working in multiple boards.

The reason why I will also be in Cardinal this year is that I can get varsity experience if I do well on the evaluations that they will conduct for me as a transfer official, and get placed as either a swing or a varsity official (Most groups classify officials into non-varsity/subvarsity and varsity categories for assigning purposes. Cardinal also has swing officials, who can be assigned both subvarsity and varsity games. They work mostly a subvarsity schedule, but can work varsity if needed.). Even if I do not end up working varsity games this year, I will still have exposure to the Steve Gordon camp that Cardinal Basketball Officials Association runs every year, and the Summer Evaluation Program, where I can get training and feedback to help me move up to the varsity level, in addition to whatever other camps I might attend. I have more geographic flexibility this season than last season, because the graduate program that I am currently enrolled in is online.

LRZ, are you sure about IAABO officials in PA? AFAIK from reading the IAABO manual, there are IAABO boards that are at the same time chapters of the PIAA, such as Board 70 (the Central Pennsylvania Basketball Officials Association), who participated in filming the 3-man mechanics training DVD for IAABO. Unless I am mistaken, Board 65 (the Suburban Philadelphia Board) still exists and still services the Catholic schools in the Philadelphia area. Board 67 in Berks County still exists too, is known as the Berks County Basketball Officials Association, and services high school basketball in Berks County.

Last edited by ilyazhito; Sat Sep 08, 2018 at 06:45pm.
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Old Sat Sep 08, 2018, 05:39pm
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Let's Play The Family Feud ...

Quote:
Originally Posted by BillyMac View Post
Why would anyone have the need to "formally" belong to a second high school organization?
Quote:
Originally Posted by ilyazhito View Post
People in the DMV tend to live in one jurisdiction and work in another ... Some officials might have a board close to home that they work with, and another board closer to work that they could also work for.
Good answer.
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Old Sat Sep 08, 2018, 05:46pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BillyMac View Post
It sounds like Maryland, Virginia, and the District of Columbia, are a cornucopia of "alphabet organizations" with "open borders", certainly a great example of the free market system.

Officials have lots of choices. Schools have lots of choices. Leagues and conferences have lots of choices. The state has lots of choices.

Can it ever get confusing? Can there ever be too many choices? Are there any negative aspects of having so much freedom and so many choices? Do these various "alphabet organizations" ever find themselves to be in competition with other "alphabet organizations", fighting for games, offering "discount" fees, and fighting for new recruits? Are there any restrictions or is it always the "Wild West"?

Just asking.
There is competition for contracts, so associations have to stay atop of the game by training their officials, evaluating their officials, and putting the best officials possible on the high-profile games so that schools and leagues would not be tempted to break the existing contracts and offer them to different associations instead.

The transfer process (leaving one board and joining another, or adding a board) requires the official to pay dues to the new association, register with the state governing body (if the new board is not in the same state as the old board), have the old association send word (usually by email) that the official is in good standing with the old association, and complete an application. Sometimes, the official needs to pay for a background check, but not always (VHSL registration includes payment for a background check). Because an official must currently be (or have been, if he is no longer a member of his old board) in good standing with his old board before transferring to another board, an official who has not paid dues cannot transfer to avoid suspension, probation, or other punishment from his old board. Receiving associations must also evaluate officials to place them at the appropriate level, so that an official will not work games that he is not prepared for. So, checks and balances do exist in a system where an official can be affiliated with multiple boards.

Specifically for Virginia officials joining another Virginia group (e.g. a Bull Run official living in Centreville wanting to join Cardinal Basketball Officials Association (Board 255)), they must apply to their other group(s), have their original group send information that they are members in good standing, pay dues for both groups, inform the VHSL of their multiple membership, and designate a primary group that they will receive VHSL assignments from.

Last edited by ilyazhito; Sat Sep 08, 2018 at 05:48pm.
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Old Sat Sep 08, 2018, 05:55pm
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Anonymity ...

Quote:
Originally Posted by ilyazhito View Post
XXXXX XXXXX, a guy I work football with in EBO, lives in Virginia and calls games for both Board 12 and Board 134, in addition to being on the Centennial Conference basketball staff. I believe that Mr. XXXXX can do this because he works in DC and can easily travel to both PG County and to the various private school games that Board 12 services.
ilyazhito: You're fairly new to the Forum. Unless you got permission from Mr. XXXXX to use his name on the Forum, I suggest that you don't do so. You may want to go back and edit your post to delete his name. I made the same mistake when I first joined the Forum, the named person found out, and he was very displeased.

Our local board strongly discourages us from posting on forums like this under our real name, and strongly encourages us to post anonymously on such forums. I actually respect those who post under their own name, and don't hide behind anonymity. Even if a member choses to post with his real name, that doesn't necessarily mean that his colleagues would want their names posted.

BillyMac is not my real name, I'm really Dr. Frank N. Furter, a sweet transvestite from Transsexual, Transylvania.
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Last edited by BillyMac; Sat Sep 08, 2018 at 06:05pm.
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Old Sat Sep 08, 2018, 06:48pm
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Just edited to remove the person's name. BTW, my username is based on my real name, so it is not hard to guess who I am, especially if you have an IAABO manual on hand with the directory.

I was expecting to hear something from our NoVA forum members like Player989random, but New England and the Mid-Atlantic members have been active instead.

Last edited by ilyazhito; Sat Sep 08, 2018 at 08:07pm.
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Old Sat Sep 08, 2018, 07:16pm
LRZ LRZ is offline
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Iaabo/piaa

AFAIK, all PA schools throughout the state that are PIAA-affiliated (public, Catholic, charters) are officiated by PIAA-certified referees. There may be independent schools, private or charter, that use IAABO, although I do not know this for a fact. Secondly, IAABO boards may co-exist with PIAA chapters, but I think refs wear PIAA patches, not IAABO, for school games. Lastly, IAABO may assign some rec leagues, but, again, I do not know this for a fact, and all the rec leagues I work and know of use PIAA officials.
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Old Sun Sep 09, 2018, 04:39am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ilyazhito View Post
I have recently been approved to join Cardinal Basketball Officials Association (IAABO Board 255), and I was curious to know who covers what parts of Northern Virginia. The list of associations on the VHSL website does give me a picture, but there are some things that I'm not sure about.

I know that Cardinal covers Fairfax County (including the independent cities of Fairfax and Falls Church), Alexandria, and Arlington County, but who covers Loudoun and Prince William Counties? Does Bull Run cover only Manassas Park and Manassas, or all of Prince William County?
Cardinal covers Loudoun and a few schools in PW County. The rest of the schools in PW County are covered by Bull Run.
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Old Sun Sep 09, 2018, 08:34am
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Thank you. I know that I probably won't be working in PW County except for playoffs, but I might have the occasional Loudoun County game in the regular season, in addition to Arlington/Alexandria/Fairfax County games that are in Cardinal's core territory.
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Old Sun Sep 09, 2018, 08:58am
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Let's Be Careful Out There (Sgt. Phil Esterhaus, Hill Street Blues) ...

Quote:
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Our local board strongly discourages us from posting on forums like this under our real name, and strongly encourages us to post anonymously on such forums.
Quote:
Originally Posted by ilyazhito View Post
... my username is based on my real name, so it is not hard to guess who I am, especially if you have an IAABO manual on hand with the directory.
Here's the memo we go from IAABO International a few years ago:

With the onslaught of social media (Facebook, LinkedIn etc.) there are many ways for officials to become controversial very innocently. Officials love to talk, I am sure you know the old saying "tell a ref tell the world". How often does the conversation between officials start with "I had this play" and then we continue with one upsmanship and "I had this play" and so on. We were always concerned when we were having an adult beverage in an establishment talking basketball, being heard by someone as we made comments about a coach, player or even rowdy fans. Why wouldn't we have the same concern today where, instead of being out in public making comments we now make them online? The danger again is that we do not know who views these comments, and we do not know what they will do with these comments.

In regards to basketball, I have watched officials put up a play online and ask for comments from others and there may be responses from a number of officials that give their "opinion", many of which are incorrect rulings. It amazes me that officials did not ask their own interpreters who have been IAABO trained and most likely can provide the correct response and rule citation. The interpreter also has another resource and that Is Peter Webb who is IAABO's Coordinator of Interpreters and who will respond to each and every question with the correct ruling and rule reference within 48 hours.

My concern is that an errant comment made by an official can come back to haunt them, in fact most Division 1 conferences have added this clause to the officials contract. "The office must refrain from any public criticism of the conference, Conference staff, coaches, student athletes, and Conference athletic departments. This criticism includes communicating with the media, and other basketball officials, as well as any method of social or electronic media (Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, email etc.). Any violation of this policy will result in disciplinary action being taken, which could include one or more of the following actions: private reprimand, suspension or termination".

This may filter down to the state athletic associations in the near future, thus the point of this article is to give our officials a heads up on what is happening in our officiating world. You just might want to give some thought to the above before you make that next "click".


Here, in my little corner of Connecticut (note the geographic non-specificity), my local board came up with much stronger language, to post anonymously.
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Last edited by BillyMac; Sun Sep 09, 2018 at 11:30am.
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