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  #1 (permalink)  
Old Tue Jun 19, 2007, 01:59pm
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HS Summer Camp experiences

First, I'll explain that I am in Georgia where the Georgia High School Association offers about a dozen training camps for officials scheduled throughout the summer months. These camps provide high school teams an opportunity to play games and the officials who work the games receive training from a variety of clinicians as well as evaluations.

I have attended four of these camps over the past three summers and I will admit that my perspective and opinions about this process have changed as I have gained exerience.

I think the process is intimidating for two types of officials. The first is the newer official. Most are receiving three-person crew mechanics training "on the fly" at camp. This is because most have "cut their teeth" in officiating by working in two-person crews. The camps I have attended generally take this into consideration and place newer officials with more veteran crews.

The second type of official that I think is intimidated by the process is the long-time veteran with limited skills. I've worked several camp games with this type of official. They are generally resistant to change and resistant to constructive criticism. They also tend to offer more judgement about their clinician/evaluator than they offer help to the newer official(s) on their crews.

The overall experience for me has been best when I've been assigned with at least one veteran official who is also eager to learn and get better. Since that is the type official I want to always be, it excites me to share experiences, opinions, and the floor with guys who are always seeking new information, techniques, and methods.

I've learned as much or more at camp from my fellow officials and watching guys work games as I have from the actual games I've worked. As a result, I've learned to really enjoy the process and the experience.

What kind of summer camp experiences are you guys (y'all for other Southerners) having in your state?
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Old Tue Jun 19, 2007, 02:18pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HoopsRefJunior
They also tend to offer more judgement about their clinician/evaluator than they offer help to the newer official(s) on their crews.
As a somewhat "experienced" guy, I refrain from offering very much help to other campers. I'm not there as an observer or trainer and it's not my place to tell other guys what they're doing wrong. JMHO.
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Old Tue Jun 19, 2007, 02:38pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Scrapper1
As a somewhat "experienced" guy, I refrain from offering very much help to other campers. I'm not there as an observer or trainer and it's not my place to tell other guys what they're doing wrong. JMHO.

I disagree! If it's obvious that a "younger" (experience wise) official is doing something wrong, you should tell them. You don't have to tell them that they are wrong and they should change. Instead, offer suggestions such as "maybe you should do this......, this way it'll you can....." If you are teaching them the right thing, then IMO it's absolutely OK to let them know what they should work on. If they have an open mind and are sincere to learn, then they should be thankful for your generosity. Observers and evaluators are humans too and they are not going to catch everything that you and I might see. We are all at camps to learn and if you can help those who needs help, then why not.
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Old Tue Jun 19, 2007, 02:50pm
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Originally Posted by Mwanr1
I disagree! If it's obvious that a "younger" (experience wise) official is doing something wrong, you should tell them.
You're certainly entitled to your opinion, and if it works for you, that's great. But I've seen it really explode when somebody resents what they perceive as being "talked down to" by another camper. So for me, when I'm at camp, I don't offer advice unless I'm specifically asked.
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Old Tue Jun 19, 2007, 02:52pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Scrapper1
As a somewhat "experienced" guy, I refrain from offering very much help to other campers. I'm not there as an observer or trainer and it's not my place to tell other guys what they're doing wrong. JMHO.
For me, it depends on what it is that my partner(s) need to fix (be it a regular game at which we're being evaluated or a camp situation). I remember being at a camp once and working a game where the R wore a watch. The evaluator told the R that he shouldn't do that, but then chastized me and the other umpire for letting our partner go out on the court dressed improperly.

To each his/her/its own.
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Old Tue Jun 19, 2007, 02:54pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HoopsRefJunior
I have attended four of these camps over the past three summers and I will admit that my perspective and opinions about this process have changed as I have gained exerience.

The overall experience for me has been best when I've been assigned with at least one veteran official who is also eager to learn and get better. Since that is the type official I want to always be, it excites me to share experiences, opinions, and the floor with guys who are always seeking new information, techniques, and methods.

I've learned as much or more at camp from my fellow officials and watching guys work games as I have from the actual games I've worked. As a result, I've learned to really enjoy the process and the experience.
Very well stated. Sounds like you have come of age with this process. I too share most of what you just stated. You have to have a reason for attending any camp and that reason should not always be to get picked up. If you approach it to just get better, you will get way more out of it, and you will eventually get picked up. One of the things I enjoy the most about camps is working with an experienced crew.
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Old Tue Jun 19, 2007, 02:56pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Scrapper1
You're certainly entitled to your opinion, and if it works for you, that's great. But I've seen it really explode when somebody resents what they perceive as being "talked down to" by another camper. So for me, when I'm at camp, I don't offer advice unless I'm specifically asked.
You also never know whether the advice that you're offering might be different than what is being taught at that camp.
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Old Tue Jun 19, 2007, 03:05pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Scrapper1
You're certainly entitled to your opinion, and if it works for you, that's great. But I've seen it really explode when somebody resents what they perceive as being "talked down to" by another camper. So for me, when I'm at camp, I don't offer advice unless I'm specifically asked.
True true - it depends on who you're telling and whether that person has an open mind to learn!!!!
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Old Tue Jun 19, 2007, 03:30pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Scrapper1
As a somewhat "experienced" guy, I refrain from offering very much help to other campers. I'm not there as an observer or trainer and it's not my place to tell other guys what they're doing wrong. JMHO.
I agree with you there. Unless its my buddy and we are giving each other advise, then I stay away from that sort of thing.
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Old Tue Jun 19, 2007, 03:36pm
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We have to attend camps to keep our state license, it is that simple. We are required to attend every 3 years or be put on probation (no post season opportunities) and suspension of our license if we do not fulfill requirements the following year.

Now I do not know so much about the intimidation factor. I think anytime someone is not mentally prepared for something the likely hood they will be intimidated on some level. Officiating is a skill and just like any skill some pick it up very quickly and others do absolutely nothing to get better.

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Old Tue Jun 19, 2007, 03:44pm
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Originally Posted by Mwanr1
True true - it depends on who you're telling and whether that person has an open mind to learn!!!!
One of the things I have learned about the camp system is it's one of the only accepted places for officials to be told they are doing something wrong, or suggested how to do things better. This is why some associations, not all, require everyone on staff to come to a camp. Officials that do not attend camps anymore, maybe verteran officials, never get critique anymore and that is bad. It is bad because they think they can't do any wrong. They are always choosen for post season assignments so they don't have to get any better. The camp system is a great way to keep offciating fresh, imho.
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Old Tue Jun 19, 2007, 04:40pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Scrapper1
You're certainly entitled to your opinion, and if it works for you, that's great. But I've seen it really explode when somebody resents what they perceive as being "talked down to" by another camper. So for me, when I'm at camp, I don't offer advice unless I'm specifically asked.
Same here. When I'm at camp, I'm in "learning mode" and I don't offer much advice to other officials, even if asked. If I need to be a leader to get an inexperienced crew through a game, I'll do that. But if I get asked on how to do certain things, I generally refer my fellow campers to the clinicians.
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Old Tue Jun 19, 2007, 05:01pm
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I am going to one next week. Thanks for all the good advice.
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Old Wed Jun 20, 2007, 08:43am
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One of the most memorable pieces of advice I got from a clinician at a camp was to keep attending camps. He said, "There's a lot of officials who have 10-15 years experience, but they've worked the same 10-15 years because they've never worked on getting better (camps, reading, chatboards, etc.). Never let a year go by where you don't take the time to learn something."

It's like golf. No matter how good you get, you never totally master it. Have any of us ever had the "perfect" game (on the court or on the course)? Just keep doing everything you can to get better and you'll be moving in the right direction.
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Old Wed Jun 20, 2007, 12:20pm
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Originally Posted by daveg144
Have any of us ever had the "perfect" game (on the court or on the course)?
Yes. I have. But it wasn't due to me...the players played such a game that we could have remained in the locker room and the game would have played out the same. We more or less just watched the game. Foul counts of like 2 and 3 in the first half...the same in the second half. It was a cakewalk.
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