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Old 10-03-17, 02:14 PM
MSL MSL is offline
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Officiating–Ol' Boys Club?

I think this is one of the more underrated reasons for why many areas in Ohio and elsewhere are dealing with a shortage of officials.

-The same guys, in many cases past their prime, are working the best games every year.
-Officials butter up to coaches so they get rated favorably (insane that coaches have a say in who works the postseason).
-Young officials work their off, going to camps and spending countless hours and dollars to improve their craft just to not be able to get a shot at the varsity level, or the postseason, state finals...
-You have to be in bed with assigners, evaluators, etc. to get a shot in many cases.

I think this is a problem with officiating in Ohio (and many other states probably) that no one wants to talk about. Thoughts?
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Old 10-03-17, 04:18 PM
zebrastripes zebrastripes is offline
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I posted this in the football forum but it's still applicable for basketball...


I'm further along in my officiating career in basketball than in football, but I'll address some of my observations.

The coaches' ratings are what they are. In an ideal world every single game across the state of Ohio would have an observer. Obviously this is impossible given the large number of games and officials at the high school level. So there has to be some "objective" way to "rank" officials to determine who's working the early rounds. Varsity football games use crews that are pretty much consistent for the whole season, so partner ratings don't make sense. Ultimately the coaches are the ones who have a stake in the outcome of the game, so it's not unreasonable that they get some say in who they feel the "best" officials are. Sometimes I think we as officials don't give coaches enough credit to do their best to objectively evaluate our performance. Are there some who don't know what they're talking about? Yep. Are there some whose ratings fluctuate greatly depending on whether they win or lose the game? Absolutely. Are there officials who kiss a** to coaches and don't penalize unsporting behavior due to fear of getting a bad rating? You bet. Overall, it's not perfect and has plenty of flaws, but the sheer volume of officials across the state requires that there be some attempt to implement objectivity in the system. What would be the alternative to coaches ratings?

The dichotomy between young officials and old officials can often be generalized this way: the young guys want the old guys out so they can get their shot (whether deserved or undeserved is a different topic), and the old guys want the young guys to stay off their turf and feel that they've "paid their dues" to work certain games. Neither position is a solution, so where is the middle ground? There's not a simple answer, but if recruiting and retaining talented young officials is the priority we make it out to be, the onus is on the assigners to create a pathway that is conducive to giving young officials chances to prove themselves before they get impatient and leave.

Much of a young official's ability to advance is based on his assigner(s). A lot of coaches want familiar faces on their games because it gives them comfort, and ultimately, the assigners work for the schools. So, there's a balance between appeasing the coaches and giving young officials the shots that they deserve. There are assigners who will not hesitate to put a young official on a game he/she is ready for, regardless of what the coaches think. There are assigners who are solely concerned with keeping their job, and thus if a coach wants familiar faces, he'll get familiar faces. And there are assigners who have their "buddies" that work for them, and we all know how that song and dance goes. All that to say, there are chances for young officials to advance; sometimes it just involves working for the right people.

There is absolutely plenty of "good ol' boy" politicking that goes on in Ohio and other states when it comes to officiating, and much of that has already been pointed out here. There are people who deny the presence of such politicking and pass it off as "sour grapes"; often those people are the ones that are benefitting from the politicking. That being said, there are also plenty of sour grapes, plenty of officials who think they're ready when they're really not, plenty of officials that don't put in the work but want the rewards...and the list goes on.
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Old 10-04-17, 08:37 AM
hoopstar1988 hoopstar1988 is offline
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this should be good.
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Old 10-04-17, 09:43 AM
thePITman thePITman is offline
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I'm only 31 years old, so I can't recall way back when, but my guess:

Fans, parents, and players complain and yell at the referees much, much more than they ever have. Everything is the referees' fault. Heck, even televised NFL, MLB, NBA games have rules experts on-hand to debate and analyze every call made by a referee or umpire. It's almost as if part of the game nowadays is to watch and critique the referees. I wouldn't want to be a referee nowadays.
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Old 10-04-17, 09:49 AM
hvs1717 hvs1717 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thePITman View Post
I'm only 31 years old, so I can't recall way back when, but my guess:

Fans, parents, and players complain and yell at the referees much, much more than they ever have. Everything is the referees' fault. Heck, even televised NFL, MLB, NBA games have rules experts on-hand to debate and analyze every call made by a referee or umpire. It's almost as if part of the game nowadays is to watch and critique the referees. I wouldn't want to be a referee nowadays.
I have thought about being a ref a few times. It is a decent way to stay involved in the game and get a little more exercise. I always end up deciding not to because I just don't think I can deal with how disrespectful fans and coaches can be to referees.
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Old 10-04-17, 02:49 PM
zebrastripes zebrastripes is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thePITman View Post
I'm only 31 years old, so I can't recall way back when, but my guess:

Fans, parents, and players complain and yell at the referees much, much more than they ever have. Everything is the referees' fault. Heck, even televised NFL, MLB, NBA games have rules experts on-hand to debate and analyze every call made by a referee or umpire. It's almost as if part of the game nowadays is to watch and critique the referees. I wouldn't want to be a referee nowadays.
I think Mike Pereira, Bill LeMonnier, Steve Javie, etc. are mainly on TV to answer questions regarding complicated rulings, not necessarily to critique the officials and say whether they were right or wrong. I think the concept is awesome.

Quote:
Originally Posted by hvs1717 View Post
I have thought about being a ref a few times. It is a decent way to stay involved in the game and get a little more exercise. I always end up deciding not to because I just don't think I can deal with how disrespectful fans and coaches can be to referees.
Once you learn how to use your tools to deal with that stuff, it's the most enjoyable avocation you can have. Unfortunately, oftentimes the worst of behavior is seen at the lower levels, i.e. where new officials start out.
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