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Old Sun Nov 05, 2006, 12:56am
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Female Officials

Hi all,

Out of Curiosity, at the various associations everyone works in, what are the numbers of female officials that are in the group?

If the numbers are like my high school group, then they are on the very low side.

I ask because we had a one day clinic today for new officials in a youth leauge that I work. The assignor noted that there were "19 male officials" and "0 female officials" in the group.

Any ideas why the gals don't ref games that much and how people would recruit girls to officiate more basketball?
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Old Sun Nov 05, 2006, 01:15am
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We've discussed this before on here, so here are two threads that you should take a look at:

Female Refs

Newbie questions
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Old Sun Nov 05, 2006, 01:28am
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Our HS girls assoc has 95 refs. 7 of them are women and 88 are men.

Our HS boys assoc has 88 officials. Only 1 is a woman and 87 are men.

35 of us work for both the girls and boys HS associations. The others work for either one group or the other (although that is changing and more officials work for both groups each year).

In my women's CC group, there are 80 officials. 25 are women and 55 men.

We work pretty hard to recruit women with very limited success. Many of the female former players that we have recruited just hate the idea of some idiot up in the stands yelling at them.
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Old Sun Nov 05, 2006, 01:35pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by coach41
Hi all,

Out of Curiosity, at the various associations everyone works in, what are the numbers of female officials that are in the group?

If the numbers are like my high school group, then they are on the very low side.

I ask because we had a one day clinic today for new officials in a youth leauge that I work. The assignor noted that there were "19 male officials" and "0 female officials" in the group.

Any ideas why the gals don't ref games that much and how people would recruit girls to officiate more basketball?
As a female official myself, I can give you some insight, but not a lot.

I think one aspect of it is that in general the culture of basketball officials is somewhat male, and it can be hard for a female to feel like she belongs. I got a lot of help by studying (coincidentally, I might add) two books about children called The Wonder of Boys and The Wonder of Girls. When I got done with those books, I understood men a lot better, and also myself. There are basic assumptions about how people relate that are fundamentally not the same for men and women, and it's really hard to get past sometimes.

Another aspect is that there are some physical things that women can have problems with. Lots of girls and women still don't see sweating and grunting and turning red as feminine. I mean it's less true than it used to be, but still there. There are a lot more women refs in volleyball, I think partly because they don't have to get disheveled.

Anlther femininity issue is the aspect of confrontation and competition. It's there in just about every person, but it shows up much differently in many girls, than most boys. There are lots and lots of girls who will say, when challenged, "Yea, you're faster." There's no drive to prove anything in athletics. That makes participation in competitive sports less interesting, and it also keeps women from being in the ref culture, where competition and moving up are very important.

Many women don't handle confrontation well, and can't do the authority thing in the way male coaches and players are accustomed to.

And much as people will deny this, there is still a lot of prejudice against women by many of the men in power namely coaches, ADs and assignors. I know that a lot of individual men don't have this issue, and overall, I think it's gradually getting better. But it's still very much there in lots and lots of associations and cities and towns.

Lastly, there are a lot of practical hurdles for women to ref. It's harder for to find clothes and shoes in the correct sizes and shapes. Much harder. Most reffing happens in the late afternoon and early evening, and many women have other, more important responsibilities at that time of day. This is not necessarily fair, but it is a fact. Just the fact of various menstrual issues that some women have to deal with every month is enough to keep them out. Either they have excessive pain and cramps, or they get exhausted and weak, or bleed heavily enough that control is a problem. Not a lot of women have this struggle, but a lot more women than men!! It's just one more thing.

None of this is insurmountable, as is obvious if you look around. There are many very, very admirable women refs who do a great job, and are respected by all their peers both male and female. There are many female refs at all levels who try to get better and move up, just like there are many men in the same situation. But as far as percentages, I doubt it will ever be 50-50. Women just do have more obstacles than men.

Personally, I don't have a problem with that. What does bother me a lot is people who assume that women who ref are oddities, or that it isn't quite "normal" somehow. I also object to people making assumptions about my sexuality, my lack or sexuality or my genetics or physiology. Ditto about those assumptions about any ref at all. And I really get my panties in a wad when I, and other women refs, get written off or dismissed. Which certain people in my association and in my state do. (Howard, I don't mean you). I have no idea how to overcome that, except to just keep being great. When I'm really upset, I think of the bumper sticker that says, "Women have to be twice as good as men, to get the same recognition. Fortunately this isn't difficult." I know it's not really totally true, but it helps me remember that it's not always my problem.
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Old Sun Nov 05, 2006, 06:38pm
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Our Association has 87 total, of which 12 are women.
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Old Sun Nov 05, 2006, 07:07pm
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80 officials total. 3 active females. Might be interesting to note that we had an all female crew for one of our state championship games in Florida last season (boys game).
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Old Sun Nov 05, 2006, 10:07pm
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I don't know what the percentage is in my high school chapter, but it is tenfold (or more) what it was when I started (late '80s). I'm estatic, because I've always thought we needed more women officials, for various reasons.

The only problems I have with women officials are dressing facilities when the school(s) haven't thought that out too clearly. But then, it isn't a problem with the women, just the situation.

I'd sooner work many a boys 5A (big school) varsity or college game with several women officials than a whole lot of men officials I've called with over the years.
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Old Mon Nov 06, 2006, 02:27am
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Could it be a simple answer.

I have heard this debate many times over. But, could it just be the simple answer, that, women are not as interested in certain sports as men are. e.g. basketball, football.

Looking at the big picture, the level of interest in basketball in general as a sport, is predominantly more male than female. This is evident in the number of men's recreational leagues as opposed to women's leagues out there.

YOU WILL NEVER INCREASE THE LEVEL OF INTEREST IN OFFICIATING AMONGST FEMALES, UNLESS YOU INCREASE THE LEVEL OF INTEREST IN THE GAME ITSELF AMONGST FEMALES.

The precentage of female officials will always be proportionate to the numbers of females who play the game and/or who are interested int he game. Some of you will say that we always have a girls team and a boys team in the school system and therefore it should be 50/50. However that does not reflect the level of interest, because quite frankly in some schools you can have 5 or 6 boys teams if it was possible, where as girls are just not as interested.

The WNBA is a great step (although I don't know how long that will last), becasue it will bring it into the mainstream media. Getting female coaches is important etc. Once the interest level grows this will be a natural, gradual progression. For us to force it, is wrong and will be a failure. We should commend and encourage female officials, but in no way should we choose female officials over male officials, just to make the numbers right.

Female officials do take more heat, but thats only because of ignorant male egos in male coaches and male players.

Let's not make exceptions or try to tip the scale, and be very carefull of how we deal with gender issues. Because after gender, comes race.
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Old Mon Nov 06, 2006, 02:49am
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I attended a popular clinic on Saturday that is run by an association that I am active in. The clinic had about 300 or so officials. There were probably around 10 female officials in attendance (that might be a generous). Officials came from all over the area and many different associations. I will say this seems to be more than has attended in the past.

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Old Mon Nov 06, 2006, 08:21am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by coach41
Hi all,

Out of Curiosity, at the various associations everyone works in, what are the numbers of female officials that are in the group?

If the numbers are like my high school group, then they are on the very low side.

I ask because we had a one day clinic today for new officials in a youth leauge that I work. The assignor noted that there were "19 male officials" and "0 female officials" in the group.

Any ideas why the gals don't ref games that much and how people would recruit girls to officiate more basketball?
I think we have a total of 5 out of about 100 Officials. Two of them are in college conferences.
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Old Mon Nov 06, 2006, 08:27am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by IREFU2
I think we have a total of 5 out of about 100 Officials. Two of them are in college conferences.
Actually Rob, we have 8 who attend our association meetings, 2 of whom are NCAA (D1) officials. One of those 2 no longer works HS, she is just there to support our association.

And I think our over-all total number of officials is closer to 120.
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Last edited by Raymond; Mon Nov 06, 2006 at 09:14am.
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Old Mon Nov 06, 2006, 08:30am
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Thanks, I knew there were at least 5, I was trying to remember the one I may have missed. Seems like my girl and your girl are good friends now!
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Old Mon Nov 06, 2006, 10:03am
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Our numbers are 154 male to 5 female. We are trying very hard to recruit young ladies finishing High school. Some of the ladies I spoke with explained that the harsh comments they get on the court they don't deal with well. It's sad, I had my daughter officiate rec ball and the comments coming from the crowd totally turned her off. At times she felt as to just go in the stands and pop the fanboy in the head..They had no regards that she was a young official learning..
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Old Mon Nov 06, 2006, 10:17am
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About 70 officials in our association and we have 4 women.
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Old Mon Nov 06, 2006, 07:30pm
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We have 65 officials in our Chapter . . . 3 females, and only one that is competent to call Varsity Ballgames. We have recruited about 5-6 in the past 4 years, but none have stayed with us more than one year.
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