I have read alot about the officials this year. Having personally attended about 20 HS games I would note the following. I believe officials are people of great integrity and try their best to do a good job. With that being said It seems some of the officials are in really bad shape physically and have trouble being in the proper position to call the game. Several have also seemed uncertain when making calls. Also I was told by an official that officials are given a full schedule for the year. Back in the day officials were assigned by commissioners weekly and had to earn Varsity games on merit. Any thoughts
posted at 1/30/2007 3:56 PM EST
posted at 1/31/2007 8:27 PM EST
I am a high school official and without going into specifics I can say the following:
1. Officiating is very difficult. As an article out of a Maine newspaper points out "try chasing 10 teenagers around a 94 foot surface and keeping everything in check for 90 minutes."
2. The number of officials vs games is decreasing. You have a lot of guys who end up doing a freshman game in one place at 3:30 or 4:45 only to rush off to do a varsity game at 7:30 four towns away because they can't get sub varsity officials to fill all of the sub varsity games. Typically for each high school you get two varsity games/night and up to four sub varsity games; and filling out eight sub varsity spots without touching the varsity official pool is very tough.
3. Remember, the officials have full time jobs. An official may work in Boston, have a long commute and get to a varsity game after a horrible day of work. Officials are human, as much as the players, coaches, and fans may want the officials to treat every game like the final four and leave their problems in the locker room, sometimes you just can't focus on the game because of extenuating (sp?) circumstances.
4. Two-man vs three-man officiating. The state tournament and many early season (holiday) tournaments and jamborees have three person crews. The officiating at these events is superb, considering the lack of three person training officials get. The athletes are getting bigger, stronger, faster, and more skilled. Officials are getting beat to the spot more often now than in the past. However, there has been no mandate by the MIAA to make all varsity games three man crews. I think if you see a huge missed call in a division 1 game and enough postering by the higher tier of coaches, then there will be a change. This will cost the schools more money so it will not be an over night change. Of course this means more officials are needed.
5. The season is "only" about ten weeks before the state tournament but it takes a physical toll on the body. The average official works three high school games per week (sub varsity and varsity combined) and spends the majority of the weekend working youth leagues, some as many as 10 games on the weekend. Many even fill out there schedule with youth scrimmages and men's leagues. The reason? The money. Youth and adult leagues tend to pay on the spot, scholastic ball makes you wait a while before the checks come.
Lastly, consider this an open invite to anyone who wants to try to be an official. It is great money. We need more good officials, and you will see basketball in a whole new way!
posted at 2/1/2007 10:24 AM ESTWith all of that being considered it is no wonder the quality of officiating is so poor. I applaud those that are working and do not question their integrity but the IAABO boards have got to do a better job of recruiting, retention and certification of officials. There has to be a level of accountability for them
posted at 2/1/2007 7:10 PM EST
There is a lot of politics when it comes to getting varsity assignments, I won't dispute that.
Every year it comes up at our board meetings that we need more officials and we need to do a better job of mentoring the new ones. The board I am a member of has started a mentoring program recently.
I almost quit after a year or two because I felt like I was joining some tight, fraternal group of guys who I would not be able to crack and I had very few people I could go to without feeling stupid for asking a question that may have otherwise seemed so simple. After getting screamed at by a coach who didn't care if it was my first game or 100th season, I wanted to give back all my games and had no one to show me the way through a tough situation like that. I think the officiating ranks will seem more welcoming wih a mentoring program and more people will stick through the tough early years, helping to give us more qualified, better varsity officials a few years down the line.
posted at 2/1/2007 7:49 PM EST
I know what you mean. I was a board member in the DC area for several years and when I moved to Ma. I joined a local board . You seem to have a great attitude. Hang in their and encourage some of your friends. All the best