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  #31 (permalink)  
Old Tue Sep 18, 2018, 12:57pm
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Originally Posted by BillyMac View Post
I thought same thing myself until I gave it more thought...
I feel no sympathy for schools that can't find officials for ridiculously early start times. They need to realize that no one is making a living officiating basketball.

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Originally Posted by BillyMac View Post
Here, in my little corner of Connecticut, we used to have some strict local "years of service" rules regarding moving up the ladder...
In South Carolina you get five "experience points" in your rating for each of your first five years of experience until you reach the full 25 points. And until a couple years ago, it was seven years until you got full experience credit. The current system is such that an official likely won't sniff a varsity game until at least his/her fourth year, and even that might be too optimistic. And all that is assuming the official performs well on the statewide exam. District directors can "accelerate" an official's experience but it's not done that often.
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  #32 (permalink)  
Old Tue Sep 18, 2018, 01:37pm
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Originally Posted by BillyMac View Post
If it works, great.

Here in the Constitution State we're in dire need of officials in many sports, especially sports that traditionally play in the afternoon. I saw a basketball colleague of mine over the weekend who told me he took, and passed, the volleyball exam over the summer, and he's doing high level varsity volleyball games (state ranked teams) in his first year.

Of course, being the basketball official that I am, I kidded him that the hardest part of officiating volleyball was going up the ladder. He disagreed with me and said that hardest part of officiating volleyball was going down the ladder, one goes down backwards, and one can fall.
If he does not understand that more energy is required to ascend than is needed to descend the ladder then he needs to step up.

Many basketball, and some soccer, officials move straight to volleyball due to knee/hip wear and tear. Dozens of old officials doing volleyball around me.

I think many youth fear officiating because they think it is what they see, Varsity games. They see adults yelling at Varsity games and think that is what officiating is.They do not understand that there are many levels of officiating the younger crowds and that they can start there. Additionally, they do not realize the mentoring/training that is available to them.

Local associations have struggled for years recruiting younger officials. Definitely a shortage.
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  #33 (permalink)  
Old Tue Sep 18, 2018, 01:48pm
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Originally Posted by bucky View Post
I think many youth fear officiating because they think it is what they see, Varsity games. They see adults yelling at Varsity games and think that is what officiating is.They do not understand that there are many levels of officiating the younger crowds and that they can start there. Additionally, they do not realize the mentoring/training that is available to them.
In my opinion behavior is much worse, on average, in subvarsity and wreck ball than it is in varsity games. Maybe that's because the nonsense tends to get drowned out more in varsity games when there are more people in the stands.
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  #34 (permalink)  
Old Tue Sep 18, 2018, 02:03pm
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Originally Posted by bucky View Post
...

I think many youth fear officiating because they think it is what they see, Varsity games. They see adults yelling at Varsity games and think that is what officiating is....
....
I didn't start officiating until I 37. When I was 18 I worked the table (sometimes doing both the clock and book at the same time) on a military base. The person who hired me asked if I wantED to become an official and said no for that very reason. I had seen how these grown men had treated the officials and I wanted no part of it. Biggest career/business regret of my life is turning down that opportunity.
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Last edited by Raymond; Tue Sep 18, 2018 at 04:12pm.
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  #35 (permalink)  
Old Tue Sep 18, 2018, 04:09pm
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At least you are a college official now. Maybe we might have been in the NBA together, but I digress.

There have been Washington Post articles about officiating shortages, and there have been days where I have been moved to cover other games (mostly in volleyball or other lower-profile sports), but no crises yet (fingers crossed).
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  #36 (permalink)  
Old Tue Sep 18, 2018, 04:45pm
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Originally Posted by ilyazhito View Post
Even though most subvarsity officials will never work varsity, I still believe that a valid approach for training would be to treat all officials in training as if they had varsity potential, and then choose the best of those in training to be added to the current varsity staff, with the next tier doing spot varsity assignments as needed. In this way, advancement would become more objective than subjective, because there would be evaluations of officials working, rules exams, practical tests, and other objective criteria to rank officials.
My point was not about training. My point was that most will never become a varsity official largely because of their own doing. If you do not want to travel and like being done at 8:00 on a Friday, varsity is not going to be for many people in that category, let alone how much you train them. The point was that many officials like working at a certain level because they can get games close to their house or job and be home at a certain time. Varsity officials in my experience are much more likely to be asked to work in a larger area or for different conferences if they want a full schedule. Not the case in lower level games. When you add in all the mistreatment and problems with other issues, you make it harder to keep people as officials.

I belong to an association that I was asked to join because the leadership wanted to raise the level of officiating in that group. They wanted officials that worked the postseason and wanted to work the postseason. The association had a reputation of being the "Middle school officials association" because most of the membership really relished working middle school or junior high games. Even high school games for many was not a desire.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ilyazhito View Post
I wouldn't say that varsity officials do not work subvarsity games when available to do so, because their input would be very useful to the newer official that has a subvarsity schedule (I don't know how useful that would be to the veteran subvarsity official (5+ years with no varsity experience)). However, later start times would make sense for working officials, especially if the games are spread over a wide geographic area and travel is required.
At least here, many veterans that work subvarsity games which usually are not on a varsity night are because they either cannot advance or they are doing it for the quick money. If you are a veteran at the varsity level in high demand and you take advantage of that demand, then you are likely not working a lot of subvarsity contests. It is hard to do multiple days a week outside of the varsity contests when you have other obligations than high school sports.
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  #37 (permalink)  
Old Tue Sep 18, 2018, 05:59pm
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Originally Posted by JRutledge View Post
The point was that many officials like working at a certain level because they can get games close to their house or job and be home at a certain time. Varsity officials in my experience are much more likely to be asked to work in a larger area or for different conferences if they want a full schedule. Not the case in lower level games.
Great point. Connecticut is a small state, and I'm only in a little corner, so I'm not required to travel more than 55 miles (one way) for any of my varsity games.

Back in the day, when I did recreation, and travel, games, they were all in my hometown. Ten minute drives. Back when I was doing Catholic middle school games, they were all in towns adjacent to my hometown. Twenty minute drives. I worked these types of games both for the experience, and the money.

Back then, and now, I would never travel 55 miles (one way) to do a recreation, travel, or a Catholic middle school game. Especially when there were, and are, tons of these games available to work much closer to home.

I just choose not to work them. I've paid my dues. I've been around the block a few times. I've been to a few rodeos.
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Last edited by BillyMac; Tue Sep 18, 2018 at 06:17pm.
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  #38 (permalink)  
Old Tue Sep 18, 2018, 07:47pm
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Originally Posted by ilyazhito View Post
At least you are a college official now. Maybe we might have been in the NBA together, but I digress.
This begs the question, are you going to be in the NBA? You seem awfully sure of yourself for someone who asks so many trivial questions and conducts himself like a rookie.
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  #39 (permalink)  
Old Tue Sep 18, 2018, 07:53pm
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Originally Posted by SC Official View Post
In South Carolina you get five "experience points" in your rating for each of your first five years of experience until you reach the full 25 points. The current system is such that an official likely won't sniff a varsity game until at least his/her fourth year, and even that might be too optimistic.
Do you have trouble "keeping" officials, or do they get impatient and move on?

We didn't know of any other way (a long wait for varsity games) so nobody complained until we merged (it was actually a hostile takeover) with another competing local association. Then the shit hit the fan. The merger agreement stipulated that the guys moving over from the other association would receive the same level and number of games as with their old association. Most of these guys (not all) were horrible officials who were getting full varsity schedules, while our competent, proficient guys with a few years of experience under their belts, were only getting subvarsity games.

It took a few years, with some hiccups, but we eventually came up with a better system that rewards competence, and proficiency, rather than a certain number of years experience.
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  #40 (permalink)  
Old Tue Sep 18, 2018, 08:30pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SC Official View Post
In South Carolina you get five "experience points" in your rating for each of your first five years of experience until you reach the full 25 points. And until a couple years ago, it was seven years until you got full experience credit. The current system is such that an official likely won't sniff a varsity game until at least his/her fourth year, and even that might be too optimistic. And all that is assuming the official performs well on the statewide exam. District directors can "accelerate" an official's experience but it's not done that often.
That sounds about right. I've rarely seen a person that is ready for varsity in much less than that. Many think they are, but they're mistaken. There are, of course, exceptions, but they are just that exceptions.
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  #41 (permalink)  
Old Wed Sep 19, 2018, 07:13am
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Originally Posted by BillyMac View Post
Do you have trouble "keeping" officials, or do they get impatient and move on?
Just depends on the area. We're certainly an "old" state overall and the shortage talk has come up, but the way varsity games are assigned prevents it from being too much of an issue as it relates to simply covering the games.

I know more than one official who got hired for college ball before getting his first varsity assignment. Say what you want, but in my state if you're competent enough for that level, there's no reason you can't handle a high school varsity game. I bet over half of the officials getting full varsity schedules statewide wouldn't get hired by a college assigner, if you just look at ability.

I haven't heard of a young official getting impatient and just quitting, but a lot of the college students end up moving out of state for their real jobs, or just deciding they don't like officiating. Thing is, most young officials getting into college ball don't have the luxury of just quitting high school altogether if they want a full schedule.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Camron Rust View Post
That sounds about right. I've rarely seen a person that is ready for varsity in much less than that. Many think they are, but they're mistaken. There are, of course, exceptions, but they are just that exceptions.
I'm torn. I understand "paying your dues" but think that has to be balanced with getting officials on varsity games when they are ready, if you really want to keep them and aren't just paying lip service. When 30-year veterans that haven't improved since their third year talk about how they've "earned" the right to work big games, that's an issue and discourages young officials who, quite frankly, are better. At the same time, I don't agree with pushing out the veterans who are competent and respected to make room for the "new generation."

So, somewhere there's a sweet spot but I'm not sure where that is. I think five years is too long as a general rule. I think being varsity-eligible in one's third year would be a good solution; if someone isn't ready then don't use him/her, but don't hold back the officials who are getting college schedules after two years (as I have seen).

Last edited by SC Official; Wed Sep 19, 2018 at 07:17am.
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  #42 (permalink)  
Old Wed Sep 19, 2018, 10:12am
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Originally Posted by SC Official View Post
I haven't heard of a young official getting impatient and just quitting, but a lot of the college students end up moving out of state for their real jobs, or just deciding they don't like officiating.
People moving shouldn't be an issue since people move both ways. In general, for every person moving out, someone moves in.
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Originally Posted by SC Official View Post
I'm torn. I understand "paying your dues" but think that has to be balanced with getting officials on varsity games when they are ready, if you really want to keep them and aren't just paying lip service. When 30-year veterans that haven't improved since their third year talk about how they've "earned" the right to work big games, that's an issue and discourages young officials who, quite frankly, are better. At the same time, I don't agree with pushing out the veterans who are competent and respected to make room for the "new generation."

So, somewhere there's a sweet spot but I'm not sure where that is. I think five years is too long as a general rule. I think being varsity-eligible in one's third year would be a good solution; if someone isn't ready then don't use him/her, but don't hold back the officials who are getting college schedules after two years (as I have seen).
Think about the effect of having a pipeline to put most new officials on varsity games in <5 years. To make room for them, you have to push people out the other end (those would mostly quit rather than step back to JV). Then, when the next generation of new officials wants those varsity games, you'll have to push the last group of "new" officials out too. You'll effectively force careers to be no more than about 10 years and will need an entirely new set of officials every 4-5 years. With as shorthanded as many groups are, you really can't afford to do things that reduce your numbers. You have to keep the older generation in just to cover your games. It is a balancing act. It is more of a problem with the younger generation expecting to shoot to the top fast. It isn't unique to officiating, it is a problem everywhere.
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  #43 (permalink)  
Old Wed Sep 19, 2018, 10:42am
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I went to a camp on the East Coast for a college assignor and I was the oldest official when it came to years of experience. Most officials there had been officiating under 5 years and had college assignments. So we are either going to have to face the reality that some people progress faster or live in the world thinking it takes everyone more years than we once thought to get to those opportunities. All I am saying is be very careful what we assume as we move forward. There are more resources available for officials now than there was when many of us started. That does not mean that there are some unrealistic officials out there both newer and older. But some arbitrary year of experience for varsity is silly. I worked with a guy this year at a camp that was his first college camp and he was better than 90 percent of the guys I have worked with over the last 5 years. Now his downfall might be his youthful look and dealing with certain situations, but there are officials that have 15 years or more experience and are not as competent to deal with similar situations.

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  #44 (permalink)  
Old Wed Sep 19, 2018, 10:59am
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Move Up The Chart With A Bullet ...

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Originally Posted by Camron Rust View Post
I've rarely seen a person that is ready for varsity in much less than that. Many think they are, but they're mistaken. There are, of course, exceptions, but they are just that exceptions.
One big exception is the "new" guy who is only new to the association (transfer) because he moved from another association. Locally, it used to be that such a guy, if he was not affiliated with IAABO in his previous association, would have to start at the bottom, waiting seven years to get full varsity schedule, even if he worked a state final while with his previous non-IAABO association. That can't happen now because now we use trained observers to place officials at the appropriate level.

I'm pretty sure that Camron Rust was referring to the first few years of a true rookie. He's right that experience is important, but sometimes somebody comes along who's just seems ready for the big time. Played in high school, and/or college. Coached at the interscholastic level (we have several guys who switched from coaching to officiating). Got their pizza money in college officiating basketball intramurals. Officiated other interscholastic sports (it's all about game management). Guys with some of these credentials on their resume may be able to "move up the chart with a bullet".
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  #45 (permalink)  
Old Wed Sep 19, 2018, 11:08am
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Originally Posted by Camron Rust View Post
Think about the effect of having a pipeline to put most new officials on varsity games in <5 years. To make room for them, you have to push people out the other end (those would mostly quit rather than step back to JV). Then, when the next generation of new officials wants those varsity games, you'll have to push the last group of "new" officials out too. You'll effectively force careers to be no more than about 10 years and will need an entirely new set of officials every 4-5 years. With as shorthanded as many groups are, you really can't afford to do things that reduce your numbers. You have to keep the older generation in just to cover your games. It is a balancing act. It is more of a problem with the younger generation expecting to shoot to the top fast. It isn't unique to officiating, it is a problem everywhere.
Well, both our perspectives are good arguments for why mandatory experience requirements are dumb. In a perfect world, assigners should be able to use their discretion to decide when officials are (not) ready for varsity, or whether certain officials need to move down or move on. Every situation is unique.

It would never work in my state. The rating structure is too ingrained in the culture.

Quote:
Originally Posted by JRutledge View Post
I went to a camp on the East Coast for a college assignor and I was the oldest official when it came to years of experience. Most officials there had been officiating under 5 years and had college assignments. So we are either going to have to face the reality that some people progress faster or live in the world thinking it takes everyone more years than we once thought to get to those opportunities. All I am saying is be very careful what we assume as we move forward. There are more resources available for officials now than there was when many of us started. That does not mean that there are some unrealistic officials out there both newer and older. But some arbitrary year of experience for varsity is silly. I worked with a guy this year at a camp that was his first college camp and he was better than 90 percent of the guys I have worked with over the last 5 years. Now his downfall might be his youthful look and dealing with certain situations, but there are officials that have 15 years or more experience and are not as competent to deal with similar situations.
I'm with you. Ideally there shouldn't be any "mandatory" experience years and it should be up to the assigner to use whatever criteria (s)he values (like college officiating). One-size-fits-all policies just don't work. But unfortunately with states/associations that have rating structures like mine, experience requirements are unlikely to go away.
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