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Author Topic: ref shortage  (Read 196 times)

MU82

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ref shortage
« on: February 10, 2020, 10:16:39 AM »
I have read about a shortage of referees on the HS/MS/youth hoops level, but for the first time was actually affected by it.

Last Thursday was supposed to be the season finale for my MS team. But we had torrential flooding here and schools were closed, so the game was rescheduled for today.

Last night, I got a text from my AD saying that the game was being re-re-scheduled to Wednesday. When I asked why, he said: "Not enough refs. All working HS games."

Yep, most of Friday's HS games also had to be rescheduled for today, and between varsity and JV games, there simply were not enough refs in the area to also do MS games. Ten years ago, that wouldn't have been a problem.

It is a big deal nationwide, as more and more officials are quitting because of the verbal and sometimes physical abuse.

I ref youth basketball and have been asked by two different HS administrators (NC and SC) if I would consider doing HS ball. But the money is simply not enough to take the abuse and to put myself in potentially dangerous situations.

I also umpire youth baseball, and my administrator is desperately in need of more umpires, as are the local HS associations.

At least college officials get paid well, and there are many police officers on site at their games. At most HS games, there might be one cop - and none at MS games.

Here's a recent article about the problem: https://www.inquirer.com/high-school-sports/pennsylvania/official-shortage-referee-high-school-youth-sports-southeastern-pennsylvania-south-jersey-20191101.html

Sad that good officials choose to get out of officiating, and it's hard to blame them.
"You will never find a more wretched hive of scum and villainy than Scoop game threads."

-- Obi-wan Kenobi

Benny B

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Re: ref shortage
« Reply #1 on: February 10, 2020, 10:37:46 AM »
I have read about a shortage of referees on the HS/MS/youth hoops level, but for the first time was actually affected by it.

Last Thursday was supposed to be the season finale for my MS team. But we had torrential flooding here and schools were closed, so the game was rescheduled for today.

Last night, I got a text from my AD saying that the game was being re-re-scheduled to Wednesday. When I asked why, he said: "Not enough refs. All working HS games."

Yep, most of Friday's HS games also had to be rescheduled for today, and between varsity and JV games, there simply were not enough refs in the area to also do MS games. Ten years ago, that wouldn't have been a problem.

It is a big deal nationwide, as more and more officials are quitting because of the verbal and sometimes physical abuse.

I ref youth basketball and have been asked by two different HS administrators (NC and SC) if I would consider doing HS ball. But the money is simply not enough to take the abuse and to put myself in potentially dangerous situations.

I also umpire youth baseball, and my administrator is desperately in need of more umpires, as are the local HS associations.

At least college officials get paid well, and there are many police officers on site at their games. At most HS games, there might be one cop - and none at MS games.

Here's a recent article about the problem: https://www.inquirer.com/high-school-sports/pennsylvania/official-shortage-referee-high-school-youth-sports-southeastern-pennsylvania-south-jersey-20191101.html

Sad that good officials choose to get out of officiating, and it's hard to blame them.

Oddly, this brings me to my second RecPlex observation.  These parents who were screaming at their kids the entire game,  rarely screamed at the officials.  And if they did, the officials were happy to engage.  I have never seen something more unprofessional.  I've sat through more than a dozen USA Hockey officiating seminars, and at every opportunity, we were told never to engage the parents/fans under any circumstances... USA Hockey's standard procedure for dealing with unruly/abusive fans was to identify which team they were supporting, stop the game, and then tell that team's coach that the game will not resume until the individual(s) were removed from the rink. 

It was surprisingly effective, by the way... however, it requires a certain amount of respect for the coach to work.  As such, I don't think such measures would work in the upper echelons of youth basketball these days. [Incidentally, hockey is much easier to officiate than basketball... very little gray area on penalties (i.e. most calls are obvious and require minimal judgment), and even the "bang-bang" calls like off-sides will often elicit groans, but is rarely argued.]

In any event, it was all but clear to me that these 5th grade basketball referees wielded too much power, which was the root of their arrogance.  I did not confirm this, but my assumption was that the referees could eject a player based on their parents'/family's behavior... that's the only logical explanation for why very few, if any, were yelling at the refs.
« Last Edit: February 10, 2020, 10:40:51 AM by Benny B »
Wow, I'm very concerned for Benny.  Being able to mimic Myron Medcalf's writing so closely implies an oncoming case of dementia.

Jockey

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Re: ref shortage
« Reply #2 on: February 10, 2020, 10:57:13 AM »
I have both reffed and coached at the youth level before. I won't do it again.

As a ref, I never minded when coaches complained - that was their job and if they went too far, giving them a 'T' usually ended the problem.

Dealing with parents? Both as a coach and a ref, it was horrendous.

injuryBug

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Re: ref shortage
« Reply #3 on: February 10, 2020, 12:27:10 PM »
Coach and ref currently basketball and ref football.  I often ref on the weekends with my son who is a junior in high school.  I will not do HS games until my boys are done playing do not want to miss their games.  We have a real hard time finding games on saturday mornings.  So many of the refs that work everyday of the week will work 4-10 games on saturday and sunday.  I often see guys get hurt or struggle to keep up with varsity games cause they are spreading themselves too thin.
I have sent emails to the wiaa to try to get a mentor program going with some older officials to work with HS kids.  If you have some veteran officials that understand how to deal with parents that will help keep younger guys in the game

MU82

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Re: ref shortage
« Reply #4 on: February 10, 2020, 01:20:56 PM »
Coach and ref currently basketball and ref football.  I often ref on the weekends with my son who is a junior in high school.  I will not do HS games until my boys are done playing do not want to miss their games.  We have a real hard time finding games on saturday mornings.  So many of the refs that work everyday of the week will work 4-10 games on saturday and sunday.  I often see guys get hurt or struggle to keep up with varsity games cause they are spreading themselves too thin.
I have sent emails to the wiaa to try to get a mentor program going with some older officials to work with HS kids.  If you have some veteran officials that understand how to deal with parents that will help keep younger guys in the game

Interesting. Sounds like there might be too many refs there?!?!
"You will never find a more wretched hive of scum and villainy than Scoop game threads."

-- Obi-wan Kenobi

 

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