Officiating, what is happening?

I wish the OHSAA would have thought some of the procedures and requirements they have through a little more and used more common sense. If only offering Online Class why not make at least 1, 2 Hr Scrimmage Mandatory? Class “Instructor” could get other Officials to help train at said Scrimmage. Note- this usually already happens but it’s not Mandatory. EVERY Official should have some Field/Court Time before going to Officiate their 1st School Ball Assignment. Assignors do play favorites,towards men and women. This is really no different at an Official’s Regular job imo. Not that I agree with it but pretty much happens everywhere.
 
Officials are treated as independent contractors. They're not employees of any one school or the OHSAA. To get into it, you need to pay out money first for your uniform and to get the right accreditation to officiate. And even then you're usually stuck doing Junior High, Freshman or JV games to start. Usually with really difficult start times for many workers.

The days of an 8-4 or 9-5 job are gone. Most people work some type of service level job where hours are afternoons and weekends. Most of the games to start officiating are in the late afternoon/early evening or early Saturday. That's difficult from most in the 20-40 age range. One big gripe I've seen from officials is that whatever chapter or assignor for your area (depending on how the state association handles things), you may be given the worst possible games that no one wants while favoritism goes to those who have been there the longest. Regardless of their actual ability in advancing years.

So, it's really hard to get fresh blood into the ranks. I'm in my 40s now, and it's rare for me to see someone younger than me officiating a game. I'm sure some are, but it's not a young man's thing to do. What I have noticed is young women have gotten involved. I've seen several 20-or-30 somethings doing high school games as either some 'love of the game' or 'women can do this too' statement to get them into it.

The biggest gripe I've heard by officials, regardless of state, is the money. And not just the game pay. It's the cost to get to and from games. Many crews will carpool as much as they can. But there's usually rules, written or an honor system, of not doing the same team more than a few times a year. To avoid favoritism. Also, you will never be assigned, usually, the school closest to you.

Gas costs have soared in the past decade or so. Every state does it different. But even Texas, which pays their officials pretty well including a mileage pay, is having trouble attracting new officials into the ranks.

In Texas, the bare minimum pay is $115 for games less than 31 miles away (mileage is based on chapter center point to the game contest). As the gate receipt for a game goes up, so too does the pay. As well as the distance to travel. Minimum for up to 91mi one way travel is $145. That's for games with less than $4000 gate receipts. For games with $20,500 gate receipts, the pay is $165 for less than 31 miles and $195 for less than 91 miles. For every $5000 of gate receipts above $20,500, each official earns an additional $40.

And if an official travels further than 91 miles, there's a per mile basis calculation based on number of vehicles taken (full for 1 vehicle, 75% for 2 vehicles, 60% for 3 vehicles. Unless it's a 7 man crew, then the amount drops more).

And despite that, Texas still has trouble finding officials. That's why you see so many Thursday night games outside the major cities where it's more venue availability than just official availability.

But, going from finances. The other with quality of the officiating is that we use mostly 5-man crews. That's a lot of field to cover with just ten eyes. In PA, they're toying with the idea of going to a 4-man crew due to the shortage of officials. Though, thankfully, coaches and schools would much rather face Thursday or Saturday games than to have all games officiated by just four guys.

And though you may think they 'miss' something, each official has a set checklist they follow each play. Where to look based on how the play is unfolding. That holding call is probably happening where no one is currently looking because it's not in their immediate zone. Being on the sideline, I've talked to many officials about how they conduct their games. And they've always told me that missed calls are usually just something happens at an angle they can't see, or in a spot where they're not currently looking. Five guys have to cover 22 players. With many of them having to be more focused near the ball than away from the ball.

It's not that easy. I'm always impressed by it and only a few times in my thousand-plus games have I ever felt an official or the crew were playing favorites or were just negligent in their efforts.

Seeing that most of the games I go to is as a neutral fan, I always find it humorous how often fans decry 'home cooking' or 'favoritism' when it's really not. It's just you see it when you're negatively impacted. But you never see those same blowhards call out when their team benefits from the same 'favoritism'.

And as someone else said... if you think you can do better, they're always looking for new officials.
 
I ref soccer and the shortage has already resulted in weekly varsity game cancellations because of lack of officials. Football and basketball being the most popular sports, it’ll take longer for it to be as bad there.
Can soccer games legally be officiated with one official?

I'm asking because the question came up last spring down here in South Carolina and I want to say some JV games were being played with 1 official.
 
its a product of the good ol boy club. there were lots of young guys about 5-10 years ago. they did everything right and were good officials, but the assignors had their boys on the games and never gave the new guys a chance. especially in basketball.

jtk
()
Is it the good ol boy club or the guy with 2 years experience thinks he should get several playoff games and the state finals?
 
Can soccer games legally be officiated with one official?

I'm asking because the question came up last spring down here in South Carolina and I want to say some JV games were being played with 1 official.
Not at the varsity level. I believe a JV game can by rule, but I’ve never heard of that intentionally being done.
 
Witnessed a few Freshmen, JV and then varsity games every Friday. Sure mistakes are made but all in all I have no issues with the referees.
 
As a society, we’ve moved away from objective truth. That’s the root cause.

“what’s true for you might not be true for me.”

At its heart, officiating is seeking the objective truth about what happens in a sports contest.

But truth is hard to find these days and not worth fighting for when everyone thinks they’re right.

Don’t blame the refs one single bit.

Want to ruin your life by seeking the objective truth in a meaningless game where people get so angry they say, at least, the most horrible things in the world to you, and at worst, threaten your life when that objective truth doesn’t line up with their own?

Yeah, No. Deuces.
 
As a society, we’ve moved away from objective truth. That’s the root cause.

“what’s true for you might not be true for me.”

At its heart, officiating is seeking the objective truth about what happens in a sports contest.

But truth is hard to find these days and not worth fighting for when everyone thinks they’re right.

Don’t blame the refs one single bit.

Want to ruin your life by seeking the objective truth in a meaningless game where people get so angry they say, at least, the most horrible things in the world to you, and at worst, threaten your life when that objective truth doesn’t line up with their own?

Yeah, No. Deuces.
You nailed it. I had decided ten or so years ago I wanted to become involved in officiating basketball. During the summers I spent hours in the gyms honing my eye and improving reaction time. I knew I wasn't very good yet and could find many fans and coaches who would vouch for me on that issue.

The final straw for me was when after a game a very irate mom said she was going to her car to get her gun, implying she was going to use it on me. I fled the scene, then I started carrying to protect myself. One day the stupidity of such hit me, and I was done. Never made it to OHSAA sanctioned level.
 
You nailed it. I had decided ten or so years ago I wanted to become involved in officiating basketball. During the summers I spent hours in the gyms honing my eye and improving reaction time. I knew I wasn't very good yet and could find many fans and coaches who would vouch for me on that issue.

The final straw for me was when after a game a very irate mom said she was going to her car to get her gun, implying she was going to use it on me. I fled the scene, then I started carrying to protect myself. One day the stupidity of such hit me, and I was done. Never made it to OHSAA sanctioned level.
You fled? You never found the AD or the school administrator in charge?

I'll take THINGS THAT NEVER HAPPENED FOR $500 ALEX
 
Is it the good ol boy club or the guy with 2 years experience thinks he should get several playoff games and the state finals?
not sure, you can ask the assignors who keep allowing officials that can barely run officiate their games.

jtk
()
 
Officials are treated as independent contractors. They're not employees of any one school or the OHSAA. To get into it, you need to pay out money first for your uniform and to get the right accreditation to officiate. And even then you're usually stuck doing Junior High, Freshman or JV games to start. Usually with really difficult start times for many workers.

The days of an 8-4 or 9-5 job are gone. Most people work some type of service level job where hours are afternoons and weekends. Most of the games to start officiating are in the late afternoon/early evening or early Saturday. That's difficult from most in the 20-40 age range. One big gripe I've seen from officials is that whatever chapter or assignor for your area (depending on how the state association handles things), you may be given the worst possible games that no one wants while favoritism goes to those who have been there the longest. Regardless of their actual ability in advancing years.

So, it's really hard to get fresh blood into the ranks. I'm in my 40s now, and it's rare for me to see someone younger than me officiating a game. I'm sure some are, but it's not a young man's thing to do. What I have noticed is young women have gotten involved. I've seen several 20-or-30 somethings doing high school games as either some 'love of the game' or 'women can do this too' statement to get them into it.

The biggest gripe I've heard by officials, regardless of state, is the money. And not just the game pay. It's the cost to get to and from games. Many crews will carpool as much as they can. But there's usually rules, written or an honor system, of not doing the same team more than a few times a year. To avoid favoritism. Also, you will never be assigned, usually, the school closest to you.

Gas costs have soared in the past decade or so. Every state does it different. But even Texas, which pays their officials pretty well including a mileage pay, is having trouble attracting new officials into the ranks.

In Texas, the bare minimum pay is $115 for games less than 31 miles away (mileage is based on chapter center point to the game contest). As the gate receipt for a game goes up, so too does the pay. As well as the distance to travel. Minimum for up to 91mi one way travel is $145. That's for games with less than $4000 gate receipts. For games with $20,500 gate receipts, the pay is $165 for less than 31 miles and $195 for less than 91 miles. For every $5000 of gate receipts above $20,500, each official earns an additional $40.

And if an official travels further than 91 miles, there's a per mile basis calculation based on number of vehicles taken (full for 1 vehicle, 75% for 2 vehicles, 60% for 3 vehicles. Unless it's a 7 man crew, then the amount drops more).

And despite that, Texas still has trouble finding officials. That's why you see so many Thursday night games outside the major cities where it's more venue availability than just official availability.

But, going from finances. The other with quality of the officiating is that we use mostly 5-man crews. That's a lot of field to cover with just ten eyes. In PA, they're toying with the idea of going to a 4-man crew due to the shortage of officials. Though, thankfully, coaches and schools would much rather face Thursday or Saturday games than to have all games officiated by just four guys.

And though you may think they 'miss' something, each official has a set checklist they follow each play. Where to look based on how the play is unfolding. That holding call is probably happening where no one is currently looking because it's not in their immediate zone. Being on the sideline, I've talked to many officials about how they conduct their games. And they've always told me that missed calls are usually just something happens at an angle they can't see, or in a spot where they're not currently looking. Five guys have to cover 22 players. With many of them having to be more focused near the ball than away from the ball.

It's not that easy. I'm always impressed by it and only a few times in my thousand-plus games have I ever felt an official or the crew were playing favorites or were just negligent in their efforts.

Seeing that most of the games I go to is as a neutral fan, I always find it humorous how often fans decry 'home cooking' or 'favoritism' when it's really not. It's just you see it when you're negatively impacted. But you never see those same blowhards call out when their team benefits from the same 'favoritism'.

And as someone else said... if you think you can do better, they're always looking for new officials.
Great post.

KY already doing 4 man crews in varsity games. They started that last year.
 
not sure, you can ask the assignors who keep allowing officials that can barely run officiate their games.

jtk
()
I have..... and have been for years.

They have nobody else to turn to.

But you keep believing there is an excess of experienced licensed officials out there sitting home not doing anything on Friday nights just, waiting for an assigner to call them........ all because the of the "good old boy network".
 
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You nailed it. I had decided ten or so years ago I wanted to become involved in officiating basketball. During the summers I spent hours in the gyms honing my eye and improving reaction time. I knew I wasn't very good yet and could find many fans and coaches who would vouch for me on that issue.

The final straw for me was when after a game a very irate mom said she was going to her car to get her gun, implying she was going to use it on me. I fled the scene, then I started carrying to protect myself. One day the stupidity of such hit me, and I was done. Never made it to OHSAA sanctioned level.
I'm curious....

Why did you spend hours in the gym working on your skills, but never took the class? (OHSAA sanctioned level)
 
You are having a mass exodus of guys who were the problem. They hogged games and many of the younger guys simply quit. Now those guys can’t run, have bloated 80lb bellies and don’t give a crap coupled with guys you’d never want to do games with and it’s a recipe for disaster most nights.

1 problem the OHSAA football officiating ranks is there is zero consistency from crew to crew and it cheats the kids across the state.
 
Not at the varsity level. I believe a JV game can by rule, but I’ve never heard of that intentionally being done.
I've never seen it first hand. Maybe it was just the possibility they were talking about. But I have to imagine officiating even a JV game by oneself would not be very fun.
 
In terms of soccer, the OHSAA regulation is following:
-FR = minimum of one
-JV/RES = minimum of two
-VAR = minimum of two

HOWEVER, at any level, the game can be played with one official if the official and teams are amenable. There has been the occasional one-man JV game this year due to lack of resources. Would have to be absolutely the "right" game for an official to agree to one-man a varsity game.
 
You know the number 1 thing that really bothers me when I'm at games when it comes to refs: I see players run or catch and run and then go out of bounds and many refs signal to keep the clock running. That is such BS. I wonder if they are being told if it's close, run the clock. I hate it because I know many times that kids are out of bounds but yet the ref signals run the clock. And it is very inconsistent.
Going out-of-bounds does not necessarily stop the clock. 🤷‍♂️
 
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Great post.

KY already doing 4 man crews in varsity games. They started that last year.
I really hope that idea doesn't spread. I know the coaches REALLY want to have Friday games. But having seen the trend in other states, biting the bullet and going with some Thursday or Saturday games and having some officials double up on a weekend will make things a lot better than having 4 guys cover a 22-player game. The quality will get real bad real fast.

Out west, six-man football has a 3 man crew usually now. But 11-man still hangs on with a 5 man crew. But there's enough chances for Saturday games due to lights, travel, etc that makes it easier to adjust.
 
I really hope that idea doesn't spread. I know the coaches REALLY want to have Friday games. But having seen the trend in other states, biting the bullet and going with some Thursday or Saturday games and having some officials double up on a weekend will make things a lot better than having 4 guys cover a 22-player game. The quality will get real bad real fast.

Out west, six-man football has a 3 man crew usually now. But 11-man still hangs on with a 5 man crew. But there's enough chances for Saturday games due to lights, travel, etc that makes it easier to adjust.
Ive seen it a couple of times. It is really bad and safety suffers.
 
The new guys thought they were ready for Massillon/McKinley, Pick North/Pick Central, Elder/Moeller, St Ed’s/St I’d, Colerain/StX, etc…. After a few years of working……

those guys are all finding out or will find out in a couple of years that they aren’t ready for those games.
The crew that did the Pick North/Central game was completely overwhelmed. They looked scared and started to panic. They couldn’t even spot the ball correctly. Several huge game changing calls that were not correct. I think the Pickerington community would be willing to pay extra for qualified officials for that game. Heck, give the refs the 50/50 raffle money, it was ~$650.
 
Without arguing over this, my point is that I have seen many many times when a referee circles his arm to keep the clock running when a player goes out of bounds and forward progress was not an issue in any way, shape or form. Period. I know the game, I know what have have watched when it comes to refs keeping the clock running. If you are looking to argue about it, or proving someone right or wrong, please find another poster and critique him/her. Thanks.
Going out-of-bounds does not necessarily stop the clock.

Still correct.
 
That's part of it. Having umpired baseball, I knew that after about a half dozen seasons, I'd had enough. What I found is that there was no longer any respect given from either fans or players. Nothing like when I played many decades ago. The only parties that treated us reasonably well were the "older coaches," who knew what a thankless job it was. The other component is it is not easy and it takes years to really get good at seeing the nuances of the game, when to make a tough call and more importantly when not to.
I remember an old football ref friend who was calling a freshman game. The score was already settled and both coaches were subbing liberally. The losing team finally breaks a big run and RB is off to the races. A young sub WR who is all excited finally getting to play, makes an insignificant push from slightly behind a defender 10 yards behind the ball carrier, which was technically a clip. He started to throw the flag, then regrouped and put it away. He told me that since the game was no longer in doubt, since the RB had made a spectacular run and since this poor sub WR might never play another down in HS, there was no way he was going to call that TD back, even though he was justified in doing so....That's what good officials do and only years of experience groom you for that.
One of my best friends is an OHSAA football ref. He was calling a JV game where one team was winning by a ton of points. The team in the lead kept throwing long passes, and my friend started throwing his flag for holding every pass. He finally turned around and told the coach, “every time you guys pass, I’m throwing the flag for holding.”
 
One of my best friends is an OHSAA football ref. He was calling a JV game where one team was winning by a ton of points. The team in the lead kept throwing long passes, and my friend started throwing his flag for holding every pass. He finally turned around and told the coach, “every time you guys pass, I’m throwing the flag for holding.”
Although I don’t agree with passing in that situation, it’s not the refs job to intervene. Sometimes coaches want to work on something specific or get film on specific players. The ref needs to call what he sees and that’s it.
 
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