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  #1 (permalink)  
Old Mon Jun 08, 2020, 08:11am
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ZebraWeb

I have read some poor reviews of ZebraWeb here. In New Jersey we just changed to ZebraWeb from Arbiter - no idea why, since Arbiter was fine, and everyone was used to it. (Well, I do have a suspicion, I would guess there is some incestuous relationship between someone at NJSIAA and ZebraWeb).

The change happened a few months ago, and every email from ZebraWeb has been filled with typos and horrible grammar. The system is very clunky.

And today, I go to see my first two assignments for the upcoming season, and I have to accept or decline without seeing the teams or game location. Maybe that was just a preference set by my assignor?

Just not filled with confidence with this new system - and I don't mind change at all, as long it is productive.

Anybody with recent experience with ZebraWeb?
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  #2 (permalink)  
Old Mon Jun 08, 2020, 10:04am
Do not give a damn!!
 
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Never heard of it, but it appears that many places are not happy with the cost of Arbiter. Indiana is going to Everlink which is not designed for official scheduling but an educational scheduling program and many of the same concerns you just mentioned are not always easy to access. It is also clucky but does not sound as bad as the system you referenced.

Peace
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  #3 (permalink)  
Old Mon Jun 08, 2020, 10:13am
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Out of six assignors, two charged me $10, no charge from others. Maybe it was built in to my annual association dues? Seemed a reasonable cost.
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Old Mon Jun 08, 2020, 12:14pm
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Two of the Div. I softball conferences in which Mark, Jr., umpires use it for scheduling and he has never complained about it. He is not charged any thing.

MTD, Sr.
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Trumbull Co. (Warren, Ohio) Bkb. Off. Assn.
Wood Co. (Bowling Green, Ohio) Bkb. Off. Assn.
Ohio Assn. of Basketball Officials
International Assn. of Approved Bkb. Officials
Wood Co. (Bowling Green, Ohio) Ump. Assn.
Ohio High School Athletic Association
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  #5 (permalink)  
Old Mon Jun 08, 2020, 08:29pm
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The fees charged by Arbiter are way too high for the service provided and they continue to raise them. Any alternative or competitor to Arbiter is a positive.

Arbiter was also sneaky and went to the various state offices and pushed their product along with a cheap background check provided by an affiliated company. The administrators of several states jumped at the chance to cover their backsides on the liability front and now the system is entrenched in many areas.

Personally, I’m glad to hear that NJ changed because it at least demonstrates that some state associations may be willing to dump Arbiter if presented with another option.
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  #6 (permalink)  
Old Tue Jun 09, 2020, 03:19am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JRutledge View Post
Never heard of it, but it appears that many places are not happy with the cost of Arbiter. Indiana is going to Everlink which is not designed for official scheduling but an educational scheduling program and many of the same concerns you just mentioned are not always easy to access. It is also clucky but does not sound as bad as the system you referenced.

Peace
Two different assigning programs (Arbiter, Eventlink) that aren't compatible with each other used by two different states. Really stinks. Too much time necessary to coordinate the blocks in the two systems to avoid double booking. Too many headaches apologizing to assigners for inadvertent double bookings in spite of best efforts. Ugh.
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Old Tue Jun 09, 2020, 08:27am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Freddy View Post
Two different assigning programs (Arbiter, Eventlink) that aren't compatible with each other used by two different states. Really stinks. Too much time necessary to coordinate the blocks in the two systems to avoid double booking. Too many headaches apologizing to assigners for inadvertent double bookings in spite of best efforts. Ugh.
It is certainly a nightmare. Now at least Indiana is going away from using Arbiter, so at least in Indiana I do not have this conflict within the system. But with all the games I am getting from multiple platforms, it reminds me of what it was like 20 years ago when I started. I have to keep track of 4 or 5 different platforms so that I can make sure I do not double book something. Thank God for Google Calendar or I would really be in trouble.

Peace
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  #8 (permalink)  
Old Tue Jun 09, 2020, 09:47am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JRutledge View Post
Thank God for Google Calendar or I would really be in trouble.
I only have to work within the Arbiter system and I still make sure all my contests are on my Google calendar. When I get a contract offer, I check Google first to make sure I'm open before I accept. Then I immediately add the contest to the Goog.

I've caught a couple of issues doing this:
1. I've had contracts disappear from Arbiter with no notification that they were cancelled. I checked my e-mail for the confirmation when I accepted and I definitely had the correct date on the calendar. Upon contacting the AD/assignor, he's confirmed that he did not cancel it and asked me to keep the date for him. Luckily, the other AD/assignor understood when I had to decline because he's experienced similar weirdness.
2. I had an AD send me a HS contest and then a few months later assign me a JH contest at the same date/time and location. Don't know how that happened or how Arbiter allowed it.
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  #9 (permalink)  
Old Tue Jun 09, 2020, 10:50am
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The OhioHSAA uses Arbiter for the assigning of all sports; MichiganHSAA also uses Arbiter.

Mark, Jr., receives his college regular season softball assignments (NAIA, NCAA Div. I, II, and III) through either Arbiter, OfficialHub, and ZebraWeb, and one Div. I school does its non-league assignments by email. The NCAA uses Arbiter for its post-season assignments.

One has to stay in top of things to keep "blocks" up-to-date.

MTD, Sr.
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Trumbull Co. (Warren, Ohio) Bkb. Off. Assn.
Wood Co. (Bowling Green, Ohio) Bkb. Off. Assn.
Ohio Assn. of Basketball Officials
International Assn. of Approved Bkb. Officials
Wood Co. (Bowling Green, Ohio) Ump. Assn.
Ohio High School Athletic Association
Toledo, Ohio
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  #10 (permalink)  
Old Sat Jun 20, 2020, 12:46pm
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Just noticed this on ZebraWeb:

Explanation of block:
(required)
For example: Wedding, Game at ABC site


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  #11 (permalink)  
Old Sat Jun 20, 2020, 01:57pm
Do not give a damn!!
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChuckS View Post
Just noticed this on ZebraWeb:

Explanation of block:
(required)
For example: Wedding, Game at ABC site


Is that a problem?

Peace
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"When the phone does not ring, the assignor is calling."
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  #12 (permalink)  
Old Sat Jun 20, 2020, 05:01pm
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I am an adult, not a middle-schooler. I shouldn't have to give a reason for a block, I am either available or not. I realize being assigned a game is a private matter, and if I refuse to give a reason for a block I may not games. I will gladly take that chance, rather than subject myself to the whims of an assignor to judge the suitability of the reason for a block.
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  #13 (permalink)  
Old Sat Jun 20, 2020, 06:29pm
LRZ LRZ is offline
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Chuck, can you indicate as a reason "unavailable" and leave it at that?

But I agree with you--it's no one's business why I block a date, especially if you have to deal with vindictive assigners. Thankfully, my assigners are understanding, but a former assigner was unforgiving if you worked for other people. If you told him (let's call him Assigner A) you had a previous assignment from Assigner B, you might find your entire A schedule retracted.

I've always thought that Arbiter considers officials an afterthought. This "reason requirement" seems to me a similar dismissive attitude by ZebraWeb: it may be of use to assigners, but offers no benefit to officials.

Last edited by LRZ; Sat Jun 20, 2020 at 06:33pm.
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  #14 (permalink)  
Old Sun Jun 21, 2020, 06:51am
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This upcoming season will be my first with ZebraWeb, so "unavailable" sounds like a good option!
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  #15 (permalink)  
Old Sun Jun 21, 2020, 09:23am
Do not give a damn!!
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChuckS View Post
I am an adult, not a middle-schooler. I shouldn't have to give a reason for a block, I am either available or not. I realize being assigned a game is a private matter, and if I refuse to give a reason for a block I may not games. I will gladly take that chance, rather than subject myself to the whims of an assignor to judge the suitability of the reason for a block.
Wouldn't this depend on who you work for? Now you are right, you are an adult. But if let us say an assignor wants to know on a Saturday if you are available at 1:00 pm and they want to know if your game is at a time or location, then that information might help them to offer you a game. I guess you do not have to list that information, but I know for a fact that happens. So if you are blocked only at a certain time but want to work later in the day, the information is for them. Now on Arbiter, we were asked to do similar things if we wanted to, but if I did not want to work I would just put down closed and give no reason.

Now with BlueZebra which is used by college assignors, they are asking us to list game time and location so they can do things to accommodate changes. So if I am in a specific location and is right around the corner from another situation, I might get asked if I want to make even more money later in the day. Or they might ask you to move to another location at a different time. I never have issues with this, but then again those are much bigger checks.

Peace
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Charles Michael “Mick” Chambers (1947-2010)
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