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Old Tue Dec 11, 2001, 06:29pm
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Question

I'm curious - how hard is it to become a college ref in the USA? And are there different levels of college refs in the same way that there are different divisions of schools?
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Old Tue Dec 11, 2001, 10:38pm
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Quote:
Originally posted by Oz Referee
I'm curious - how hard is it to become a college ref in the USA? And are there different levels of college refs in the same way that there are different divisions of schools?
For the most part, it is pretty tough. First you need to have a solid HS varsity schedule for a few years. After that, you would work junior (2-year) college games, then maybe NCAA.

The NCAA is split up into three divisions for college basketball - Division I (the biggest schools, where most of your future NBA players go), Division II, then Division III (smallest athletic programs; no scholarships). Generally you move up from III ---> II ---> I.

Within each division, schools form conferences of about 7-15 schools. Hiring officials is usually by conference, but many big-time officials work for more than one. An East Coast ref might work for ACC or Big East, while a West Coast ref would work for Pac-10 or Mountain West. The best officials travel the entire country to work Top 25 games.

Bottom line: I have my work cut out for me
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Old Tue Dec 11, 2001, 10:39pm
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Follow-up

There are also oddities - Ted Valentine worked HS Varsity his first year of officiating and was calling NCAA D-I in his second year!
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Old Tue Dec 11, 2001, 10:53pm
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So, is becoming a collegiate referee an unreachable dream for the majority of referees?

In other words, it is unrealistic for the majority of basketball players to dream of making the NBA, and probably the NCAA. Is the ratio between wannabe's and postions for referees similar to that of players.

(I'm not really making myself clear, but I hope you follow my train of thought)
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Old Tue Dec 11, 2001, 11:02pm
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I don't have the exact numbers, but it's probably a bit less likely for an official to move up than a player. (Of course, with the current shortage of officials, things might open up in 10-15 years )

The way I look at it, there are a certain # of kids playing varsity ball - each game requiring 2-3 refs. With a smaller number playing in college, you still need 2-3 refs per game, but you have fewer games. It is slightly tougher for refs, though, because (as some have said here before) some refs will work HS varsity and Jr College, or (a few) refs will do NBA and Saturday morning 3rd grader rec ball (why can't I get any of these guys as partners for my intramural games?)
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Old Wed Dec 12, 2001, 11:19am
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Mark, I would seriously question whether the NBA officials could be found doing any other level of basketball, they simply do not have the time. My answer to Oz's question: To be a NCAA official is more like a fantasy than an unreachable dream. Most of us don't have the time to put the effort that it takes to go that far, and are perfectly happy being a part of the high shcool game and maybe some aspirations to work some small college. I have gotten to know several officials that work D-II, DIII, and JuCo ball, including my uncle, who I consider my mentor. I am going to go to a couple of camps this summer and I believe that I have a chance of working some of those games in a couple of years if I keep improving and working hard. Realistically that is about as far as I expect to get.
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Old Sun Dec 16, 2001, 04:43pm
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Thumbs up

I agree with Mr. Devdog69, while many of us do aspire to go to higher levels we need to consider how much we are willing to sacrific to get there, and to finally use something from my economics class you also have to consider supply and demand. The higher you go the tougher it gets because supply is high and demand is low, Unfortunely the stories you hear about people making quantum leaps into he D-1 area are few and far between.

And besides there is alot of GREAT basketball being played at the lower levels that will still get you home in time for ESPN.



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Old Sun Dec 16, 2001, 04:57pm
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Quote:
Originally posted by Talkinhoopsy'all
I agree with Mr. Devdog69...

And besides there is alot of GREAT basketball being played at the lower levels that will still get you home in time for ESPN.



"Mr. Devdog69" Boy, do I feel underdressed for this conversation. The apparent respect gives me new hope for mankind.

I agree that moving up should be a goal, but, we move up everytime we take the extra steps to become better at the level we are in right now. Quality officials are needed at every level. If the doors do not open right away, be content to be the best possible official where you are right now. I don't want to have to work with a bunch of uncontented "veterans". Maybe you should see it as a "ministry" (remember, I'm a preacher) to help develop the new kids coming into the game. I'm sure that one day you'll get noticed by the powers that be.
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Old Sun Dec 16, 2001, 05:21pm
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Depends upon ....

Many factors need be considered to answer how long or how tough to move up to D1. Geographics (supply)is high. Age, ability, and experience (reputation) are important. Who you know and how many butts you've kissed might be more important than anything!
I'll give you 2 cases in San Diego (men's).
Ref #1 is early 30s, 15 years exp, 8 high school finals, regional JC playoffs, tryouts men's Pac-10 twice, been to camp, blah, blah, blah. He officiates for a living and has not kissed the right behind.He doesn't make it!
Ref #2 is a few years younger, hs finals, jc playoffs, several D3 playoffs,similar ability, volunteers to videotape at camps run by guy whose butt needs to be kissed
(he does not kiss it). Is politically correct. Is frustrated after several years of trying. Almost quits 6 years in a row. Finally gets a break and is now "big-time"
and has worked up to the Final Four.
Ref #1 and #2 were both good enough, but only one went.
In fact only one has moved up in 20 years in San Diego.
(a few guys were up for a cup of coffee)
Geographically, there is nothing south, west, or east and they have plenty of refs up north (LA).
Chance of making it to D1 are SLIM at best.
Sometimes the better refs are working lower levels or even sitting at home. If you want to get there, you better be ready to travel, work camps, make friends, buy dinner/drinks, act as if you like those in power, even though some are not worthy, and NEVER piss off someone
who has clout.
Be realistic and give your best at whatever level you reach. Only a few ever get up there.
The ref #2 is Tom Wood, while the other is me.
No sour grapes on my part. I am very happy for him as he deserves it.
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Old Sun Dec 16, 2001, 05:49pm
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is it more about "connections" or skill, or a little bit of both. when taking the step from varsity to college, is it who you know or how good you are? i've learned in my area, that varsity and below is almost all about who you know and how well you know them.
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