Ok, this is the way criticism should be conveyed. I can appreciate this point of view, put across this way.
Unfortunately, this will be becoming the norm, moreso in some areas than others. In my local association, last week, we had to inform schools (2 or 3 middle schools) that their contests would have to canceled/postponed till a later date due to lack of officials. This is the first time our association has had to do that, ever. I'm afraid there will be a few more times in December and the early part of January that it'll happen again.
The turnover is just too high, we can't keep up with it. I'd guesstimate the 5 year retention rate for new officials in our area is now roughly 15% or less. So with 3 or 4 guys retiring every year, we've got to bring in 20 new faces evey year, just to break even. So when you were used to seeing, say, two veterans and a younger, less skilled ref making his way up through the ranks in a Tuesday or Friday night game, now you're going to maybe see one veteran, one younger developing guy (or gal,) and a fella that quite frankly has no business being in that game. But the spots have to be filled with the personnel that are available.
And to address your idea of the TSSAA offering constructive training, that's a pipe dream my friend. I suppose folks don't realize this, but the TSSAA doesn't really put anything monetarily into its officiating base. In fact, they actually rely on officials paying fees and paying to attend summer camps (where officials have to pay the state $200 to work an entire weekend for free in order to maintain 'postseason eligibility' while the TSSAA pockets the gate money) in order to meet their bottom line in the balance sheet. They do pay a stipend for a few supervisors in every area, but the reality is that you can't expect 2 or 3 people to be able to train/develop new officials efficiently, and especially not on the fly while the season is in progress. Any preseason training is paid for out of local associations' coffers, which are dwindling due to less officials in it to pay membership dues.
It's just not a good situation. And it's going to get a lot worse, I'm afraid to say.
Thursday 11/30 @ 7 p.m. CST: He's Decided!!
2X State Champ, Summit High School hammer Jarvis Little is ready to reveal his college future! Join us for tomorrow night, November 30 at 7:00 p.m. CST for another emergency podcast and find out which college gets this stud for the next five years!!
Tune in Live and Participate in the Chat!: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2qQLtmEH5no