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  #1 (permalink)  
Old Sun Nov 07, 2004, 04:06pm
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Money is NOT the reason most officials officiate, it’s the love of the sport and being involved with a game they/we can no longer play. When I started officiating football 35 years ago, the fee for a varsity game was $20 and now it’s $56 which will increase to $59 next year. I drive 35 miles one way (my choice, not complaining with no travel fee) to most game sites. The cost of living in California (Silicon Valley) is high, where home values are in the area of $500k plus.

We, like most high school associations are short of officials and with low game fees and the high cost of living we are forced to use other means to attract officials. When times are good a company might get by with poor management but when times are poor management has to step-up.

Our group is a private company born from an association with a long staying reputation, having fed six officials into the NFL (three are presently active, two on the field the other in the NFL office) plus feeding officials into the WAC, Mountain West and COA officiating for JC and small four year colleges.

During the 35 years I’ve been a member, the group has been receptive to official (who have moved into the area) with experience and assigning games to their level of experience, working a varsity with an opportunity to prove themselves. Some groups require an experience official to work only Junior Varsity and Freshman games their first season.

What I’m getting at here, is that some associations/group are not all that respective to new comers, in short, protect the present membership (the good-old-boy-system) the members are more important than the players and coaches they officiate games for, but at the same time, saying, they have a shortage of officials... Hello.

In addition to our training program, we also have a mentor program to help elevate official’s skill level and it also says, they are welcome to the group. The mentors, as are the mentees, are in the program by choice. Most mentors have one mentee. Just like in coaching, a player needs to have the feeling, they’re welcome and if they work hard and prove themselves, they can move up.

We also have a program for first year officials only (first year as a football official) conducted by two veteran officials. Class room and on the field, classes.

Another group in our section (Central Coast Section) with 125 schools, have hung signs on the on gym walls, listing each sport and a phone number to call.

Maybe some of you have some thoughts, on how to attract and improve the skill level of new officials.


[Edited by Green on Nov 7th, 2004 at 11:55 PM]
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Old Sun Nov 07, 2004, 07:44pm
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Thumbs up awesome!

Green it sounds like you guys have taken the bull by the horns and are doing what it takes in order to move forward.

I am a first year referee, 4th year football official, that took on 5 rookies and a 10 week Jr. High schedule in order to "train" a new crew of officials. Our shenanigans, er - lessons, are documented on the paid portion of this site.

I would love to get additional information on your training, mentorship and 1st year official program. Do you have anything in writing? You can email me direct by clicking on the email icon on this post.

As for recruiting new officials - Our association keeps a list of new officials, like a pool. When the old dogs need someone, they call down the list for a fill in. I wish that our old dogs would split their crews on Jr High nights and pick up 2 or 3 new officials. This would be a great training ground and the old dog, experienced crews would be together for varsity contests.
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  #3 (permalink)  
Old Sun Nov 07, 2004, 11:22pm
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Quote:
Originally posted by Green
...we are forced to use other means to attack officials.
Ummm... I think you mean attract ! LOL
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Old Mon Nov 08, 2004, 02:44pm
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Jumpmaster,

The mentor program is mainly for officials... new through three years but anyone is welcome. We are fortunate in that one of our officials (who heads the program) owns a small motivational company. He met (a couple of times in the off-season) with the mentors who had volunteered, asking us for ideas on how the program should be structured. After that, he met with us prior to the start of the season with (mentees in attendance) to outline what our role would be... which was (Mentee orientated) or meet their needs and concerns. Answering questions about rules and mechanics using e-mail, working scrimmages with, observing their games and sending articles like the following “Should You Throw?” http://www.nfhs.org/scriptcontent/va...content_id=503

With his company’s technology tools he held conference calls which had a tone of, work hard on and off the field, study the rules and mechanics, keep yourself in good physical and mental condition and the rewards and satisfaction of doing a good job. The conference call was not about questions on rules and mechanics which could be answered in other forums.

First Year Officials:
Our new official’s program meets with the general meeting to listen to general information for the first half hour or so and then they break away to their own meeting. They also have, on the field classes with and without players (JV or Freshmen) to learn mechanics etc. They’re also schooled, that when they’re working on the field, clinics, scrimmages and games to listen to the older officials’s advice but Don’t say (that’s not what we were told) but to filter the advise.

The same two officials have been running the program (one a teacher) to maintain its consistency. This way they’ve been able to continually improve the program as well.

Another veteran official also holds off-season classes for rules etc. for all officials who want to attend... attendance is not required.


[Edited by Green on Nov 8th, 2004 at 02:46 PM]
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  #5 (permalink)  
Old Mon Nov 08, 2004, 03:48pm
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Quote:
Originally posted by Green
Money is NOT the reason most officials officiate, it’s the love of the sport and being involved with a game they/we can no longer play. When I started officiating football 35 years ago, the fee for a varsity game was $20 and now it’s $56 which will increase to $59 next year. I drive 35 miles one way (my choice, not complaining with no travel fee) to most game sites. The cost of living in California (Silicon Valley) is high, where home values are in the area of $500k plus.

We, like most high school associations are short of officials and with low game fees and the high cost of living we are forced to use other means to attract officials. When times are good a company might get by with poor management but when times are poor management has to step-up.

Our group is a private company born from an association with a long staying reputation, having fed six officials into the NFL (three are presently active, two on the field the other in the NFL office) plus feeding officials into the WAC, Mountain West and COA officiating for JC and small four year colleges.

During the 35 years I’ve been a member, the group has been receptive to official (who have moved into the area) with experience and assigning games to their level of experience, working a varsity with an opportunity to prove themselves. Some groups require an experience official to work only Junior Varsity and Freshman games their first season.

What I’m getting at here, is that some associations/group are not all that respective to new comers, in short, protect the present membership (the good-old-boy-system) the members are more important than the players and coaches they officiate games for, but at the same time, saying, they have a shortage of officials... Hello.

In addition to our training program, we also have a mentor program to help elevate official’s skill level and it also says, they are welcome to the group. The mentors, as are the mentees, are in the program by choice. Most mentors have one mentee. Just like in coaching, a player needs to have the feeling, they’re welcome and if they work hard and prove themselves, they can move up.

We also have a program for first year officials only (first year as a football official) conducted by two veteran officials. Class room and on the field, classes.

Another group in our section (Central Coast Section) with 125 schools, have hung signs on the on gym walls, listing each sport and a phone number to call.

Maybe some of you have some thoughts, on how to attract and improve the skill level of new officials.


[Edited by Green on Nov 7th, 2004 at 11:55 PM]
This is the first year that I will do it, but I contacted one of the local high school head coaches and he agreed to let me speak to his team at a post-season team meeting. I will spend about ten minutes talking about officiating and how it is a great way for those who have played the game to stay involved, since most of the guys will never play the game again. I will tell them it's good spending money in college!

I think that ex-players must be our prime pool of candidates.
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Old Mon Nov 08, 2004, 04:53pm
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Quote:
Originally posted by Green
Money is NOT the reason most officials officiate, it’s the love of the sport and being involved with a game they/we can no longer play. When I started officiating football 35 years ago, the fee for a varsity game was $20 and now it’s $56 which will increase to $59 next year. I drive 35 miles one way (my choice, not complaining with no travel fee) to most game sites. The cost of living in California (Silicon Valley) is high, where home values are in the area of $500k plus.
I agree that money should not be the main reason people officiate or not, but it is a big reason that can keep people out of it. It is expensive to get started and to maintain their ability to officiate. Gas prices are going up. Schools or leagues do not like to pay when we officiate, it can make it difficult to convince younger officials to maintain their schedules when it is getting harder and harder to get paid. For us that are already involved it might not be a problem. For those that have not started, it can be a really big problem.

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  #7 (permalink)  
Old Mon Nov 08, 2004, 10:06pm
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Quote:
Originally posted by JRutledge
Quote:
Originally posted by Green
Money is NOT the reason most officials officiate, it’s the love of the sport and being involved with a game they/we can no longer play. When I started officiating football 35 years ago, the fee for a varsity game was $20 and now it’s $56 which will increase to $59 next year. I drive 35 miles one way (my choice, not complaining with no travel fee) to most game sites. The cost of living in California (Silicon Valley) is high, where home values are in the area of $500k plus.
I agree that money should not be the main reason people officiate or not, but it is a big reason that can keep people out of it. It is expensive to get started and to maintain their ability to officiate. Gas prices are going up. Schools or leagues do not like to pay when we officiate, it can make it difficult to convince younger officials to maintain their schedules when it is getting harder and harder to get paid. For us that are already involved it might not be a problem. For those that have not started, it can be a really big problem.
Thosee are some really good points, one other thing I'd like to mention is that we don't get paid to go to a billion meetings, state meeting, take the test, scrimmages ect ect. We spend a lot of time towards officiating for which we don't even get reinbursted for.
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Old Tue Nov 09, 2004, 10:00am
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Quote:
Originally posted by Snake~eyes
Thosee are some really good points, one other thing I'd like to mention is that we don't get paid to go to a billion meetings, state meeting, take the test, scrimmages ect ect. We spend a lot of time towards officiating for which we don't even get reinbursted for.
You're right, we don't get paid for these. But you can put any miles/meals/lodging/expenses towards your taxes every year. This includes but is not limited to:

-camps you go to
-meetings
-equiment you have to buy
-scrimmages you attend
-tests you take
-association fees you must pay
-etc
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Old Tue Nov 09, 2004, 10:52am
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Quote:
Originally posted by TerpZebra
You're right, we don't get paid for these. But you can put any miles/meals/lodging/expenses towards your taxes every year. This includes but is not limited to:

-camps you go to
-meetings
-equiment you have to buy
-scrimmages you attend
-tests you take
-association fees you must pay
-etc
That all sounds great, but that is money they will not see or benefit from for several months to come. Of course you can write off that stuff, but when you have an opportunity to spend money that you do not have, you might want to not spend it at all. And whether we like it or not, that factors in with many potential officials. I know when I started (I was in college), I had to borrow the $300+ dollars to get my equipment. It is easy for us that have been around the block awhile, but if someone has to spend some serious money to start out with, that can easily discourage folks to not start. That has to be addressed by us. We cannot talk about what it was like when we started 20 years ago. We have to deal with the gas prices, societal issues and in many cases the job market or concerns all have to be looked at in the current situation. Especially when we are talking about the college aged individuals that might one day officiate. I have noticed a lot of guys in their 40s that are starting to officiate and they have some of the same concerns. But they have children in college or a wife that might be resistant to the idea of spending that kind of money to stay away from home.

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  #10 (permalink)  
Old Tue Nov 09, 2004, 12:00pm
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Quote:
Originally posted by TerpZebra
Quote:
Originally posted by Snake~eyes
Thosee are some really good points, one other thing I'd like to mention is that we don't get paid to go to a billion meetings, state meeting, take the test, scrimmages ect ect. We spend a lot of time towards officiating for which we don't even get reinbursted for.
You're right, we don't get paid for these. But you can put any miles/meals/lodging/expenses towards your taxes every year. This includes but is not limited to:

-camps you go to
-meetings
-equiment you have to buy
-scrimmages you attend
-tests you take
-association fees you must pay
-etc
Yea I might beable to write that stuff off but I can't write off the hours of my time I spent at a meeting every thursday for 2 months. The time I spend working scrimmages, taking the test. The driving doesn't really bother me that much, it is the time I have to spend. Time is money.
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Old Wed Nov 10, 2004, 09:52pm
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Try recruiting some students. Officiating is a great part-time job, and the oppertunities available to a younger official are endless. The earlier you start, the more time you'll have to advance. That's a huge selling point.

I know I'd much rather be officiating then flipping burgers at McDonalds or serving coffee at Tim Horton's
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Old Thu Nov 11, 2004, 08:04am
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Quote:
Originally posted by ref18
Try recruiting some students. Officiating is a great part-time job, and the oppertunities available to a younger official are endless. The earlier you start, the more time you'll have to advance. That's a huge selling point.

I know I'd much rather be officiating then flipping burgers at McDonalds or serving coffee at Tim Horton's
The disadvantage is that there is only so much football to do in Ontario. I'm not sure about other areas.

I make only about $2,500 a year doing football. I recommend an off-season job for students.

For some students, who don't yet officiate the higher level ball, and therefore have a shorter season than other, finding a job as a student-manager is valuable experience. I cherish the work I did as a teenager managing other students. It wasn't a huge job, but it looks geat on the resume.
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Old Thu Nov 11, 2004, 08:16am
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Good point Mike, football officiating doesn't last all year. I forgot to add one point, work more than 1 sport.

When my football season ends, my basketball season starts up. That keeps me working for the majority of the year.
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Old Fri Nov 12, 2004, 09:18am
Ref Ump Welsch
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Working more than one sport can be a good source of part-time income. People look at me like I'm nuts when I say I officiate football, basketball, and slow-pitch softball, and also work as a starter for track. I said, hey, one advantage: no waiting for the next sport to get started.
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Old Fri Nov 12, 2004, 02:16pm
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Quote:
Originally posted by Ref Ump Welsch
Working more than one sport can be a good source of part-time income. People look at me like I'm nuts when I say I officiate football, basketball, and slow-pitch softball, and also work as a starter for track. I said, hey, one advantage: no waiting for the next sport to get started.
An excellent point, I'm glad I don't have to go on football withdrawals after football ends because I'm reffing basketball. It is kind of nice.
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