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Old Sun Oct 19, 2014, 05:13pm
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Getting picked up very young

I'm a fairly young official (19 years old), or at least think I am. I often hear stories about how 19- and 20-year-olds get picked up for lower-level college assignments, and it surprises me. Mainly because in my state (South Carolina), you aren't even allowed to be a member of the association until you graduate high school. And that's just what I did–joined the SCBOA after I graduated high school. I've been learning rules, learning from my mentor, and calling some middle school and church league with him for about a year.

So, my question is, how do so many young officials get college assignments when they are younger than the players and (probably) don't even have much if any JV or varsity experience?

Hope that makes sense.

Thanks.
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Old Sun Oct 19, 2014, 08:37pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bballref3966 View Post
I'm a fairly young official (19 years old), or at least think I am. I often hear stories about how 19- and 20-year-olds get picked up for lower-level college assignments, and it surprises me. Mainly because in my state (South Carolina), you aren't even allowed to be a member of the association until you graduate high school. And that's just what I did–joined the SCBOA after I graduated high school. I've been learning rules, learning from my mentor, and calling some middle school and church league with him for about a year.

So, my question is, how do so many young officials get college assignments when they are younger than the players and (probably) don't even have much if any JV or varsity experience?

Hope that makes sense.

Thanks.
You do not need to be part of a HS association to be picked up by a college supervisor. I have a young buddy of mine who got picked up by a D3 supervisor after only 1 season of HS officiating; believe he was 22 at the time.

There is a forum member whose son got picked up in college ball when he was 20 and attending university.
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Old Mon Oct 20, 2014, 01:07am
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I do not know many that were picked up that young for the college level, but early 20s is not out of the question in my general area.

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Old Mon Oct 20, 2014, 09:09am
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So, my question is, how do so many young officials get college assignments when they are younger than the players and (probably) don't even have much if any JV or varsity experience?

Hope that makes sense.

Thanks.[/QUOTE]

*Contrary to popular opinion, the vocational progression towards becoming a higher level ref is no longer a linear pathway. One does not have to start off their reffing vocation by reffing 3rd grade girls, then 5th grade boys, then 8th grade girls, then frosh, jv, vars in order to move up the chain.
These days with officiating having become so, shall I say "standardized", one can really enter the voacation at any point in the pathway and get games by simply attending the appropriate camps and identifying the relevant assignors.
The days of "starting in the mail room" then becoming a "departemental manager" are long gone.

Last edited by Kansas Ref; Mon Oct 20, 2014 at 09:12am.
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Old Mon Oct 20, 2014, 10:10am
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Originally Posted by Kansas Ref View Post
*Contrary to popular opinion, the vocational progression towards becoming a higher level ref is no longer a linear pathway. One does not have to start off their reffing vocation by reffing 3rd grade girls, then 5th grade boys, then 8th grade girls, then frosh, jv, vars in order to move up the chain.
These days with officiating having become so, shall I say "standardized", one can really enter the voacation at any point in the pathway and get games by simply attending the appropriate camps and identifying the relevant assignors.
The days of "starting in the mail room" then becoming a "departemental manager" are long gone.
It's not that simple either.
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Old Mon Oct 20, 2014, 11:22am
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Well Bad news Referee, I did not intend to over-simplify the vocational progression but rather to inform the OP that there is no need to be "baffled" by a 19 y.o reffing games when the players are 20+ yrs old (or older). To emphasize that the main point of my post was that Officiating has become so Standardized that one can enter the vocation without having to submit their time and effort in the classical approach towards "moving up". Really, a ref who wants to 'move up' could really waste a lot of their effective years/prime time by going the classical route. Which may not even pan out.
Pay for the camps, get the instruction from relevant clinicians, and meet assignors, impress them with practice games---and one can "move up". Now, granted you may have to travel further to get prime time games (e.g., >40 miles to get a varsity game or college level game) once you are in the network. This is the modern era way to move up in the Officiating vocation.
In my career I've seen folks who did 3rd grade girls for the ymca, then in 2 yrs they were doing hi-level JUCO games in Garden City,KS and Hutchinson, KS.
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Old Mon Oct 20, 2014, 11:23am
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While meeting the right people can go a long way in getting games, that doesn't mean you don't have to be a good official. And being a good official oftentimes takes experience.
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Old Mon Oct 20, 2014, 11:38am
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Originally Posted by BryanV21 View Post
While meeting the right people can go a long way in getting games, that doesn't mean you don't have to be a good official. And being a good official oftentimes takes experience.
*BryanVs, I cannot disagree with that point; however, prospective refs who decide/attempt to go the "fast-track" route generally acquire "experience" as a result of working the practices and games of their relevant competition level. Hey don't get me wrong, I realize there are a wealth of "non-curricular" type of experiences that can be (must be obtained) towards becoming an elite ref (such as how to get along with obstinate crew partners, how to manage confrontational coaches, how even to manage your own psychological stance in order to endure the immense challenge of reffing a live game, etc...). Yet, for the most part these are, shall I say, tangential issues. The key aspects are: knowing the relevant rules, getting self in good position to make calls, and managing the game--all of which can be learned by attending a relevant camp/clinic and identifying the relevant assignors.
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Old Mon Oct 20, 2014, 11:38am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kansas Ref View Post
Well Bad news Referee, I did not intend to over-simplify the vocational progression but rather to inform the OP that there is no need to be "baffled" by a 19 y.o reffing games when the players are 20+ yrs old (or older). To emphasize that the main point of my post was that Officiating has become so Standardized that one can enter the vocation without having to submit their time and effort in the classical approach towards "moving up". Really, a ref who wants to 'move up' could really waste a lot of their effective years/prime time by going the classical route. Which may not even pan out.
Pay for the camps, get the instruction from relevant clinicians, and meet assignors, impress them with practice games---and one can "move up". Now, granted you may have to travel further to get prime time games (e.g., >40 miles to get a varsity game or college level game) once you are in the network. This is the modern era way to move up in the Officiating vocation.
In my career I've seen folks who did 3rd grade girls for the ymca, then in 2 yrs they were doing hi-level JUCO games in Garden City,KS and Hutchinson, KS.
Yes you have to go to camps, but you also have to know what you are doing. Many officials have no clue what they are doing. You can go to all the right camps and not be talented enough to work that level.

And honestly, I do not know many people that worked middle school first, then high school freshman, the a sophomore game on your way to JV then varsity. A lot of officials work high school and then fill in with middle school early in their career anyway. But I would never recommend someone just go to a camp when they have not seen enough plays or have not been trained properly. John Adams years ago before he was the NCAA Coordinator said to a camp of officials, "You either have it or you don't" when he was talking about judgment. I see a lot of officials that just do not have it and it is not easy to develop if you do not put in the time and the work.

Peace
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Old Mon Oct 20, 2014, 12:11pm
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Originally Posted by JRutledge View Post
Yes you have to go to camps, but you also have to know what you are doing. Many officials have no clue what they are doing. You can go to all the right camps and not be talented enough to work that level.
John Adams years ago before he was the NCAA Coordinator said to a camp of officials, "You either have it or you don't" when he was talking about judgment. I see a lot of officials that just do not have it and it is not easy to develop if you do not put in the time and the work.

Peace
*Ahhh another sagely John adams reference, but I must disagree when he is stating it in such absolute terms--you either have it or you don't. Seems a bit..shall I say, deterministic. But hey....

And yes, I am in complete agreement with your point that it must be "developed over time" and there are "refs who do not know what they are doing". But all of that is beside the point of the OP post...they were just simply asking "how to move up when you are so young". Which I have already said is very possible by the procedures I've already described in the above post.
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Old Mon Oct 20, 2014, 12:15pm
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Sure, they are going to be people that just have "it" when it comes to being a good official, and therefore don't need to spend 10 or so years to get to a higher level. Those guys just need to get their name out there and meet the right people.

However, in general, I wouldn't tell a prospective official that knowing the right people, and going to the right camps, are the way to get to the upper levels.

I think a lot of it depends on where you are, too. I'm in a fairly large city with multiple associations, each of which has hundreds of members. Climbing the ladder around here is much tougher than... say... a rural area in a smaller state, where the need for officials is much greater.
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Old Mon Oct 20, 2014, 12:25pm
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Originally Posted by Kansas Ref View Post
*Ahhh another sagely John adams reference, but I must disagree when he is stating it in such absolute terms--you either have it or you don't. Seems a bit..shall I say, deterministic. But hey....

And yes, I am in complete agreement with your point that it must be "developed over time" and there are "refs who do not know what they are doing". But all of that is beside the point of the OP post...they were just simply asking "how to move up when you are so young". Which I have already said is very possible by the procedures I've already described in the above post.
Yes it is very possible to move up. You can move up if someone gives you a shot. I just think you do not want to make people feel that they are just going to move up just because they go to the right camp. It just is not that simple for many of us, that is all. Usually it takes several trips to a camp and see how you improve to get a shot at all, even at the JUCO level. Also this might be part of the country you are in and how competitive it is. Here, you will complete in a much larger area and have to come in contact with officials that work D1. You are not just kicking them off to the side to hire a 20 year old. It is possible, but I think the point that BNR and me are trying to suggest, you still have to work and still have to put in the time and a lot of young guys are not going to do a lot beyond going to a camp.

Peace
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Old Mon Oct 20, 2014, 03:52pm
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Young Guns ...

We've got a lot of pretty good junior varsity officials that get tired waiting to get a full high school varsity schedule and move over to low division college, or junior college, basketball without ever working a regular high school varsity schedule. These young guys take advantage of our local board's high school training opportunities, and then go to a lot of college camps (often with scholarships provided by our local board) in the off season, and are ready, and willing, to travel (in our New England winters) to assignments once the season starts.

This type of movement is a lot more common now that it was twenty, or thirty, years ago when the only guys that moved up to college were the better high school varsity officials.
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Last edited by BillyMac; Mon Oct 20, 2014 at 04:25pm.
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Old Mon Oct 20, 2014, 04:00pm
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Originally Posted by BillyMac View Post
We've got a lot of pretty good junior varsity officials that get tired waiting to get a full high school varsity schedule and move over to low division college, or junior college, basketball without ever working a regular high school varsity schedule. These young guys take advantage of our local board's high school training opportunities, and then go to a lot of college camps in the off season, and are ready, and willing, to travel (in our New England winters) to assignments once the season starts.

This type of movement is a lot more common now that it was twenty, or thirty, years ago when the only guys that moved up to college were the better high school varsity officials.
*Very astute point Billy Macs. And that post proved my initial point: the days of working one's way up by the traditional route will burn up a LOT of your useful and optimal reffing time. No need to labor incessantly at the lower ranks and be content with watching varsity officials who are past their prime get games over you when you do not even get a chance especially after paying dues etc..for years. Now, granted you may have to travel further out in the district to get those games--but hey my Mother never said it was going to be easy
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Old Mon Oct 20, 2014, 04:15pm
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Nepotism ...

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Originally Posted by Kansas Ref View Post
Very astute point Billy Mac.
Thanks Dad.

(Astute is good? Right?)
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