Jump to content
  • 1
Sign in to follow this  
Impartial_Observer

Any truth the to rumors we're short stripes?

Question

15 answers to this question

Recommended Posts

  • 0

I don’t know about the official number, but John Barron, HFB at Plymouth and President of the IFCA, told me that the IFCA is sending a very clear, unambiguous message to its membership to lay off the officials for just that reason. And I know from talking to assignors that there are a number of uncovered games in NWI, including some from the Duneland. Thinking of making a comeback.... 😜

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 0

There is no way for the iHSAA or IFCA to know if we are 6 crews short to cover Friday nights. We haven't started the process to apply for the tournament. There will be crews who don't apply for the tournament so even that number wouldn't tell us how many crews there are for the regular season. The IHSAA would know how many individual officials are licensed and could be basing any concern over a reduction in the number of licensed officials. Since you can be licensed in 3 sports for one registration fee some people will pick multiple sports even if they don't work it. There are also some licensed officials who don't work varsity games or a full season of varsity.

All that being said the shortage of officials is getting worse and not better. The IHSAA and officials associations have been very aggressive in recruiting new officials but they aren't able to keep up with the reduction. Abuse from coaches and fans isn't the only factor but it's definitely a key factor. I would guess it's worse at the lower levels than high school, but it's not a bad idea for coaches to improve their behavior on the sideline. Communication on both sides is important. We are in this together and should be working together not against each other.

If someone does step away for reasons other than job changes, injury. or age there is likely another issue but poor sportsmanship only exacerbates it. If someone is struggling balancing work, family, and football and they are fed up with abuse from coaches or fans, they may blame that abuse, but it's just an aggravator. If you love doing this and know you are doing a good job any screaming won't affect you.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 0

I wouldn’t say there is “no way.” Robert is in touch with the crew chiefs and the football chairs in each local association, and could well have gotten information via that route.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 0

Two texts I received from fellow officials after seeing the post at the Offside FB page:

Quote

 

The biggest issue I see facing the IHSAA is all the time and money that is spent before you ever step on the field. Between licensing, mandatory association dues, gas/time getting to all these meetings, and routine equipment replacement I figure I'm $400 into it before I ever step on the field. And that doesn't include my time. We used to have equal numbers of online meetings and in person meetings, as technology has advanced we have gone backwards, with less online content and more in person stuff. I watch vids and presentations from other states and in an hour of home study, I can get more information than all six of my in person meetings. Their method for tournament advancement is a joke. Older guys/crews are fine with the status quo, younger guys not so much. Unfortunately the older guys are going away an no one is replacing them. At a time when the IHSAA should be looking at ways to make this whole process easier, they're making it more difficult. Lastly the pay, after going $400 in the hole before I start, my week one contract calls for a $65 payment. Seriously, you expect guys to drive to your place, burn a night of their life away from friends and family on a Friday night for a lousy 65 bucks? I could go flip burgers at Rally's for 12 bucks an hour and not have to go $400 in the hole before I do it.


 

Quote

It's not about the coaches and sportsmanship, it's about the time and money involved. I'm 12 hours and probably 250-300 bucks in at this point, and haven't made a dime. 

I tend to agree with Just Rules, at least at the HS level, sportsmanship is an easy scapegoat, but there are other issues at play. For me it's not about the money and I tend to lose a good deal of money doing varsity games. I'm a 54 year old empty nester, it's not that big of a deal so long as it continues to be fun for me. But put yourself in the position of a young person with a wife and small children. Suddenly the money is a little more of an issue. Plus meeting times being away from said wife and kids. I understand the point. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 0
1 hour ago, Impartial_Observer said:

Two texts I received from fellow officials after seeing the post at the Offside FB page:

I tend to agree with Just Rules, at least at the HS level, sportsmanship is an easy scapegoat, but there are other issues at play. For me it's not about the money and I tend to lose a good deal of money doing varsity games. I'm a 54 year old empty nester, it's not that big of a deal so long as it continues to be fun for me. But put yourself in the position of a young person with a wife and small children. Suddenly the money is a little more of an issue. Plus meeting times being away from said wife and kids. I understand the point. 

As far as those tweets, I fully agree with the first one on the issues of pay and the frustrating system for  tournament advancement. Where we part company is on the value of in-person meetings. Self-study of rules and mechanics is indispensable. And in the off-season it’s all you can do. But the online meetings produced by the IHSAA are, for the most part, unhelpful. There is no substitute for getting in a room with 30 other officials, and watching video clips with them, hearing different viewpoints, discussing, etc.  That is, of your goal is to get better. Plus, at least for me, the socializing with other officials is one of the best things about our avocation.

  • Like 2
  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 0
1 minute ago, Bobref said:

As far as those tweets, I fully agree with the first one on the issues of pay and the frustrating system for  tournament advancement. Where we part company is on the value of in-person meetings. Self-study of rules and mechanics is indispensable. And in the off-season it’s all you can do. But the online meetings produced by the IHSAA are, for the most part, unhelpful. There is no substitute for getting in a room with 30 other officials, and watching video clips with them, hearing different viewpoints, discussing, etc.  That is, of your goal is to get better. Plus, at least for me, the socializing with other officials is one of the best things about our avocation.

I don't disagree with that. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 0

It wasn't that long ago all 8 meetings had to be in person. They tried splitting it 4 and 4 because they knew many of the smaller associations were delivering little or no content other than 10 guys sitting around a bar bitching about their game the previous week. The IHSAA realized it was a lot of work to produce those videos (largely because they have 0 staff dedicated to officiating like the other states mentioned in one of the texts) and they scrambled to put something together at the last minute. They cut back to 2 videos and even those are only 5-10 minutes each. The IHSAA allows us to use the clinic as one of the meetings as well so it ends up only being 5 in person meetings.

The guys who show up for their 5/6 and then stop coming to me aren't doing this for the right reasons. If you don't like the content of your meetings get involved and make them better. These are the same guys who complain about not advancing yet they want to do the bare minimum to get on the field every Friday night. They aren't following up with schools to get Hudl video. They aren't doing adequate pre-games to prepare. The crews advancing are leading those meetings and organizing the clinics and mentoring young officials and doing video review. Those things don't directly affect playoff advancement but the attitude and approach may be a contributor.

  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 0
1 hour ago, JustRules said:

It wasn't that long ago all 8 meetings had to be in person. They tried splitting it 4 and 4 because they knew many of the smaller associations were delivering little or no content other than 10 guys sitting around a bar bitching about their game the previous week. The IHSAA realized it was a lot of work to produce those videos (largely because they have 0 staff dedicated to officiating like the other states mentioned in one of the texts) and they scrambled to put something together at the last minute. They cut back to 2 videos and even those are only 5-10 minutes each. The IHSAA allows us to use the clinic as one of the meetings as well so it ends up only being 5 in person meetings.

The guys who show up for their 5/6 and then stop coming to me aren't doing this for the right reasons. If you don't like the content of your meetings get involved and make them better. These are the same guys who complain about not advancing yet they want to do the bare minimum to get on the field every Friday night. They aren't following up with schools to get Hudl video. They aren't doing adequate pre-games to prepare. The crews advancing are leading those meetings and organizing the clinics and mentoring young officials and doing video review. Those things don't directly affect playoff advancement but the attitude and approach may be a contributor.

Other states produce good study vids. I watch a LOT of them. I have no idea where they come from, whether state or officials associations are putting them out.  I'm not going to argue the value of of in person meetings, discussion, and interactions with other officials. However, the issue at hand is a shortage of officials. What I posted above are from two different officials and their comments regarding the post at Offside. These are two guys in my relatively small group of cronies. Some associations start their meetings in June in an effort to "get them out of the way". There is little to no content ready at that point, no one has rule books yet, most people aren't even in Football mode yet, with many still officiating other sports. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 0
2 hours ago, JustRules said:

It wasn't that long ago all 8 meetings had to be in person. They tried splitting it 4 and 4 because they knew many of the smaller associations were delivering little or no content other than 10 guys sitting around a bar bitching about their game the previous week. The IHSAA realized it was a lot of work to produce those videos (largely because they have 0 staff dedicated to officiating like the other states mentioned in one of the texts) and they scrambled to put something together at the last minute. They cut back to 2 videos and even those are only 5-10 minutes each. The IHSAA allows us to use the clinic as one of the meetings as well so it ends up only being 5 in person meetings.

The guys who show up for their 5/6 and then stop coming to me aren't doing this for the right reasons. If you don't like the content of your meetings get involved and make them better. These are the same guys who complain about not advancing yet they want to do the bare minimum to get on the field every Friday night. They aren't following up with schools to get Hudl video. They aren't doing adequate pre-games to prepare. The crews advancing are leading those meetings and organizing the clinics and mentoring young officials and doing video review. Those things don't directly affect playoff advancement but the attitude and approach may be a contributor.

Truer words were never spoke.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 0
39 minutes ago, Bobref said:

Truer words were never spoke.

Again, I'm not arguing what's being said. But still the issue at hand is a shortage of officials, not their competency. You guys see the same emails I see needing crews for games this year, we have a problem. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 0
2 hours ago, Impartial_Observer said:

Other states produce good study vids. I watch a LOT of them. I have no idea where they come from, whether state or officials associations are putting them out.  I'm not going to argue the value of of in person meetings, discussion, and interactions with other officials. However, the issue at hand is a shortage of officials. What I posted above are from two different officials and their comments regarding the post at Offside. These are two guys in my relatively small group of cronies. Some associations start their meetings in June in an effort to "get them out of the way". There is little to no content ready at that point, no one has rule books yet, most people aren't even in Football mode yet, with many still officiating other sports. 

That's an issue with the association and not the iHSAA. You could still put together really good content in June, but you said the primary issue: "to get them out of the way." That's not why they exist. They exist because they are the primary training mechanism from the IHSAA. They provide very little training and rely on the associations to do it. If the associations aren't doing an adequate job then it's on their members to improve them. I attend IOA meetings and we'll have anywhere from 100 to 200 officials early the season (first meeting was last week and they'll go through the end of September) but only 30-40 at the end of the season. The content is pretty decent, but I know we still have guys who only attend so they get credit for playoff rating. Ultimately I think those complaining about having to go to meetings will do it if the content is really good or not.

Other states have a full time director of officiating for the state or a structure for training officials through the state throughout the year. I think the IFOA could possibly do this but finding someone who has time to do it is a challenge. The IHSAA needs to approve anything before it's published so it would need to be done fairly early in the week. I use a lot of the videos produced by other states as well and agree they are good. Some use local interpretations so you have to know when not to apply those (i.e. Georgia doesn't allow low blocks by linemen in a 2-point stance regardless of starting location when QB is in shot gun).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 0
1 hour ago, JustRules said:

That's an issue with the association and not the iHSAA. You could still put together really good content in June, but you said the primary issue: "to get them out of the way." That's not why they exist. They exist because they are the primary training mechanism from the IHSAA. They provide very little training and rely on the associations to do it. If the associations aren't doing an adequate job then it's on their members to improve them. I attend IOA meetings and we'll have anywhere from 100 to 200 officials early the season (first meeting was last week and they'll go through the end of September) but only 30-40 at the end of the season. The content is pretty decent, but I know we still have guys who only attend so they get credit for playoff rating. Ultimately I think those complaining about having to go to meetings will do it if the content is really good or not.

Other states have a full time director of officiating for the state or a structure for training officials through the state throughout the year. I think the IFOA could possibly do this but finding someone who has time to do it is a challenge. The IHSAA needs to approve anything before it's published so it would need to be done fairly early in the week. I use a lot of the videos produced by other states as well and agree they are good. Some use local interpretations so you have to know when not to apply those (i.e. Georgia doesn't allow low blocks by linemen in a 2-point stance regardless of starting location when QB is in shot gun).

I think we're saying the same thing. Perhaps we need a "Goldbook" lol.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 0

I spoke with an AD last spring about officials for all sports.  He said that it is getting harder and harder to find officials for games.  He said football isn't as bad as others.  He said the hardest sports to find officials are baseball and softball with baseball being the hardest.  He said many of the umpires want to do 2 games not 1 in a day.  Saturday's usually aren't a problem getting umpires and baseball typically plays a doubleheaders.  Softball usually isn't hard finding umpires because there is a typically a Varsity and JV game to umpire.  He went on to say that his school installed lights to the baseball and softball fields which has made it easier to get umpires.  Baseball and softball usually start at 5 at schools without lights and sometimes even earlier.  Many of the licensed umpires work until 4 or 5 so getting to the games before the scheduled start time is difficult for the umpires.  He moved all his start times to 6 and is trying to schedule JV/Varsity baseball doubleheaders like softball does and he hopes this solves his umpire issue.  In Football varsity games start at 7 or 7:30 typically but when an official has to be there 60 minutes before kickoff and they get off of work a 5 and have an hour drive to the game it makes it difficult on the crew to make sure that they have a full crew for the game.  JV football games start at 5:30 and many times there is only 1 game that takes just over an hour to play.  Not every school has a freshman team.  Some schools have a combined 7/8 grade team and others have a team for each grade.  If they have separate 7th and 8th grade teams, then the officials do both games in just over 2 hours some times 3 but the first game starts at 5 or 5:30.  

Getting younger officials is something that is needed but the younger people that would be interested in officiating have jobs that they don't get off until 5.  If the younger people work at a factory they are typically on 2nd or 3rd shift because they don't have the seniority to hold day shift.  Perhaps AD's need to look at ways to start games a little later and maybe that would help with getting officials.  Another thing that the AD told me is that he has had officials call a day or two before and cancel because they were offered more money by another school for the same date to officiate/umpire a makeup game.  AD's complain that some sports aren't making enough to cover the costs of the officials/umpires, playing field preparations, coach's salary, uniforms, etc but when the games start at 4 or 5 due to not having any lights or because "that's when we have always started games for this level" philosophy attendance is down.  Who wants to pay to get into a game that starts at 5 and is over by 6:30 when the fan can't get there until 6 because of work and the drive to the game?  

I am not an official but have considered it but part of my problem is I don't get off of work until 5.  Many times I am done with work for the day by 3 or 4 but I have remain available for work until 5.  I am also the "on call" person for the medical company that I work for the last half of the month.  The other person that  I split on call with would cover me but not every night. I could check emails during timeouts, breaks, etc as I have a hour or two to call people back or send someone out so this would be flexible.  By the time I get off work at 5,  go home to change clothes, grab something to eat, and hit the road to get to a game it's 5:30.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 0

This is my 20th year and I’m about done. My crew cut back to 1/2 season and no playoffs a few years ago. This had nothing to do with coaches, fans or sportsmanship and everything to do with the IHSAA taking all of the fun out of it. I would never again go back to having to sit in a meeting and hearing (or caring about) what Robert Falkins sees as important. I’m in my mid forties which makes me young by officials standards. I’m still enjoying the weeknight MS games but Friday nights are no longer as fun as they used to be. You can accuse me of not caring enough to attend meetings to improve my craft but the truth is that with school aged kids, a wife and a career I don’t have the time or patience to listen to the endless drivel of the association meetings. Add on the IHSAA BS and I’m almost checked out.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Answer this question...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Sign in to follow this  

×
×
  • Create New...