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Old Thu Dec 18, 2008, 10:03am
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Officiating a Team You Formerly Coached

I'm a first year official who has officiated 30 games so far this season. I would like to think I'm progressing and I, of course, have a great deal of veteran officials to thank. Last night I officiated a boys' 8th grade game involving a team I coached last year. I didn't coach any of the players since they were 7th graders last year. I don't believe (and neither did my partner feel) that I showed any bias toward my former team in any of my calls but, of course, the fans of the opposing team, naturally, felt differently. I ignored their comments as well as the opposing coach who said something like "Your last six calls were for white!" Nevermind that his team was undisciplined and, frankly, terrible. In my roundabout way, I'm asking, how do you handle officiating a game involving a team you formerly coached? Like I said, I believe I called a fair game, but, in the future, should I turn down the opportunity to officiate games involving my former team? Any thoughts will be appreciated.
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Old Thu Dec 18, 2008, 10:07am
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Whether or not you think you called a perfect game, there is always going to be comments from people because you coached them last year. It is a lose lose situation for you, so I would definitely not call any more of their games. What usually happens is you call a little more than you normally would on the team you coached just to show that you are not being biased, which is not fair to them either. Just a bad situation all around.
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Old Thu Dec 18, 2008, 10:07am
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8th grade & below: you did fine.

9th grade: consider not taking the game; borderline case, depending on your area.

JV & V: do not officiate for any school/team where you worked within the last 5 years. Even your home town can be dicey (depending on its size).
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Old Thu Dec 18, 2008, 10:10am
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Thanks for the input. The assignor is, of course, aware that I coached previously and he has no problem with it either.
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Old Thu Dec 18, 2008, 10:15am
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If you wish to avoid the hassle, then stay away from that school for a couple of years until the kids and parents change. You won't be as known and won't have to deal with the kind of garbage that you did during that game.
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Old Thu Dec 18, 2008, 10:45am
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We have two Associations in my area. I purposely aligned myself with the Association that is further away, as my son and many of his friends, who I coached for many yrs, are still involved in Fresh/JV games in the closer Association.

I was assigned one my son's schools scrimmage games this yr as it crossed Associations and asked our Training Committee if I should ref it. They said it would be ok - but, never in regular season.

I do a lot of Rec Games for kids I've coached too, but, both teams usually have players on it so it's no problem.

I know I can call it fairly, as I have been forced into action to ref my son's teams before. But, as you allude, you just simply don't need this issue - there's enough to worry about.

Hey, did that kid dunk in warmups? TWEEET!
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Old Thu Dec 18, 2008, 11:18am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Eckley View Post
I'm a first year official who has officiated 30 games so far this season. I would like to think I'm progressing and I, of course, have a great deal of veteran officials to thank. Last night I officiated a boys' 8th grade game involving a team I coached last year. I didn't coach any of the players since they were 7th graders last year. I don't believe (and neither did my partner feel) that I showed any bias toward my former team in any of my calls but, of course, the fans of the opposing team, naturally, felt differently. I ignored their comments as well as the opposing coach who said something like "Your last six calls were for white!" Nevermind that his team was undisciplined and, frankly, terrible. In my roundabout way, I'm asking, how do you handle officiating a game involving a team you formerly coached? Like I said, I believe I called a fair game, but, in the future, should I turn down the opportunity to officiate games involving my former team? Any thoughts will be appreciated.
Officiate like you would any other time. Don't sway from being consistent. That's how you stay professional and earn respect.

Every area is different, but if there's an opportunity to avoid the games in order to avoid the nonsense that people carry, you could do so.
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Old Thu Dec 18, 2008, 12:42pm
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Officiating former teammates

Any recommended waiting period before reffing adult rec leagues you played in? No need to put one's head into the mouth of the lion, but then again, if you need or want the work, especially in you're transitioning from player to official......

No doubt a lot depends upon the intensity of the league and personalities involved. (No matter how good you are, or they are, you're going to get picked at ...)

Any thoughts from the collective wisdom residing here?
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Old Thu Dec 18, 2008, 12:48pm
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Rec leagues are a different animal altogether. While I certainly understand the desire to get more games and more experience, a rec league where you know too many people could be a disaster unless these people already respect (not "like") you a lot. I would avoid it until you get enough confidence to give them a technical. Not that you'll have to, but you don't want to go in to the lion's den without a bullet in your gun.
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Old Thu Dec 18, 2008, 12:57pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Eckley View Post
I'm a first year official who has officiated 30 games so far this season. I would like to think I'm progressing and I, of course, have a great deal of veteran officials to thank. Last night I officiated a boys' 8th grade game involving a team I coached last year. I didn't coach any of the players since they were 7th graders last year. I don't believe (and neither did my partner feel) that I showed any bias toward my former team in any of my calls but, of course, the fans of the opposing team, naturally, felt differently. I ignored their comments as well as the opposing coach who said something like "Your last six calls were for white!" Nevermind that his team was undisciplined and, frankly, terrible. In my roundabout way, I'm asking, how do you handle officiating a game involving a team you formerly coached? Like I said, I believe I called a fair game, but, in the future, should I turn down the opportunity to officiate games involving my former team? Any thoughts will be appreciated.

We are in the perception is reality business. I wouldn't take a game there for a year or two....just me. That said, I actually reffed my daughter's lower level game in another sport a few years back. I don't regret it as it was a Daddy/ daughter moment, but the other coach figured out that I was a 'homer' in her opinion. It won't happen again. I don't do games at my kids high school even though they are gone, I know too many people.
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Old Thu Dec 18, 2008, 01:11pm
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If it bothers you and you can avoid calling these games, do so. If it bothers other people and that bothers you and you can avoid these games, do so. Otherwise, treat it like any other game and do the best you can. I have varsity games today involving the local high school from which my son graduated a couple of years ago. The girls head coach is a friend and actually is one of the officials in our local rec league. The boys head coach is a guy I grew up with and is on a short list of people I have known for 40+ years. Is this an ideal situation? No. But it's nothing I can't deal with.
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Last edited by just another ref; Fri Dec 19, 2008 at 04:22am.
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Old Thu Dec 18, 2008, 01:19pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Amesman View Post
Any recommended waiting period before reffing adult rec leagues you played in?
Yeah, never!

You must be a glutton for punishment!
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Old Thu Dec 18, 2008, 01:29pm
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Originally Posted by just another ref View Post
If it bothers you and you can avoid calling these games, do so. If it bothers other people and that bothers you and you can avoid these games, do so. Otherwise, treat it like any other game and do the best you can. I have varsity games today involving the local high school which my son graduated from a couple of years ago. The girls head coach is a friend and actually is one of the officials in our local rec league. The boys head coach is a guy I grew up with and is on a short list of people I have known for 40+ years. Is this an ideal situation? No. But it's nothing I can't deal with.
I don't see a problem........
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Old Thu Dec 18, 2008, 02:02pm
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I think we worry too much about perceptions of other people. I do not care what people think as a factor of where and when I work. If someone is looking hard enough, they will find a presumed conflict. What if I went to high school with a coach? Should I avoid that game if my involvement was over 20 years ago? If you do this long enough you will know someone better than another person or you will have contact with someone in a way that someone else does not. Work the game if it matters to you and if it is not a varsity game, I see this as a real non-issue.

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Old Thu Dec 18, 2008, 02:07pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Eckley View Post
I'm a first year official who has officiated 30 games so far this season. I would like to think I'm progressing and I, of course, have a great deal of veteran officials to thank. Last night I officiated a boys' 8th grade game involving a team I coached last year. I didn't coach any of the players since they were 7th graders last year. I don't believe (and neither did my partner feel) that I showed any bias toward my former team in any of my calls but, of course, the fans of the opposing team, naturally, felt differently. I ignored their comments as well as the opposing coach who said something like "Your last six calls were for white!" Nevermind that his team was undisciplined and, frankly, terrible. In my roundabout way, I'm asking, how do you handle officiating a game involving a team you formerly coached? Like I said, I believe I called a fair game, but, in the future, should I turn down the opportunity to officiate games involving my former team? Any thoughts will be appreciated.
Personally? It's middle school ball, I wouldn't think twice. If your assigner knows and doesn't care....

And the comment in red would not have gone answered, either.

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