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TSSAA Officials


Doc931
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Hate to be this guy, but are refs across the state just awful or is it just South Central and Middle Tn associations that are just that bad?  It's hard to watch. TSSAA needs to host clinics and offer trainings because it is clear some of these men/women have never called or never played the game of basketball. I appreciate their commitment cause without them there is go game but the product that is on the court is crippling really good basketball games. 

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15 minutes ago, Doc931 said:

Hate to be this guy, but are refs across the state just awful or is it just South Central and Middle Tn associations that are just that bad?  It's hard to watch. TSSAA needs to host clinics and offer trainings because it is clear some of these men/women have never called or never played the game of basketball. I appreciate their commitment cause without them there is go game but the product that is on the court is crippling really good basketball games. 

Sat with a Supervisor during a scrimmage where they were training and having new officials shadow a veteran official. I jokingly asked him if he wanted me to heckle them to get them ready for real games. He said please don’t because several of these guys have never called a game and they may not come back. Terrible shortage of quality officials.

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3 hours ago, Doc931 said:

Hate to be this guy, but are refs across the state just awful or is it just South Central and Middle Tn associations that are just that bad?  It's hard to watch. TSSAA needs to host clinics and offer trainings because it is clear some of these men/women have never called or never played the game of basketball. I appreciate their commitment cause without them there is go game but the product that is on the court is crippling really good basketball games. 

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. 

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I have watched 4 games in West TN. I'm pretty sure there are a couple of different groups of officials that share the West TN area. 3 of the games I have watched were good. Called the fouls that needed to be called, got the violations that needed to be called and let the kids play. 1 game was not good at all. over 45 total fouls and took about 1:55 to play the game. The new free throw rule is good if they let the kids play but if the don't, it is not good at all. 

Overall in West TN I would give the officials a high B.

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I know that high school refs have a challenging job that’s for sure, but many times they make things worse for themselves.  The referees that have huge egos and come in ready to give a technical for anything are part of the problem also.  I was always told the best referees are the ones that give the fewest technical fouls and can admit when they make mistakes.  Go over to a coach and say coach I missed that call I will try and do better, it’s not that hard.  They need training on how to manage their own personalities as well as being able to communicate with players and coaches as much as how to make calls.  It’s a lot more than just making the correct call.

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If you haven't  officiated/umped in the past 10 years then you have no idea how difficult it is. 

The starting cost can be high. The amount of time required for training, camps, gear isn't compensated for enough many times not at all. Then the drive time to games plus game time isn't worth $100 or less and listening to stupid fans, coaches, and now players yell, scream and critique even the stuff you get right. 

I umpired baseball in Shelby County for 2 years 15-16 and it wasn't worth it. Middle school games there was 1 umpire, high school games could be ok depending on who and where you're calling the game. And the facilities in some places are completely unsafe for players and don't get fixed for a whole season or longer.

Also, keep in mind that you have to have a job that allows you to accept games that are assigned to you through your organization. 

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14 hours ago, crazzyness said:

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. 

Does the lack of ref's stem from low wages? because TN is one of the lowest paying states when it comes to contest officials. I have heard some say due to fans and GA's not keeping the gym in order, but fans have been barking for years it hasn't just become a thing. 

Middle school may should maybe consider moving contest to Monday or Wednesdays across the state and slot High school contest on Tuesday, Thursday, Friday, or Saturday there has to be away to help with the cancelations. 

 

I did know that officials have to pay all fees which is a joke in itself. The summer camps they work only count for meetings and no training is really offered to them. I have seen the way Alabama high school association is ran far as the ref's side of things and it is a well-constructed model, and they offer them trainings and meetings all summer and fall ( TSSAA should take note) 

 

I remember at the State Tournament last year there was 30+ fouls and in the boys' games a kid received a tech for dunking and hanging on when players were underneath him. I would think in games of that magnitude you should send the absolute best officials across the state not just picking from associations. 

This needs to be looked into to help solve the issues

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1 hour ago, warmachine7954 said:

If you haven't  officiated/umped in the past 10 years then you have no idea how difficult it is. 

The starting cost can be high. The amount of time required for training, camps, gear isn't compensated for enough many times not at all. Then the drive time to games plus game time isn't worth $100 or less and listening to stupid fans, coaches, and now players yell, scream and critique even the stuff you get right. 

I umpired baseball in Shelby County for 2 years 15-16 and it wasn't worth it. Middle school games there was 1 umpire, high school games could be ok depending on who and where you're calling the game. And the facilities in some places are completely unsafe for players and don't get fixed for a whole season or longer.

Also, keep in mind that you have to have a job that allows you to accept games that are assigned to you through your organization. 

The cost I understand the fees are a joke when TSSAA claims they are " non-profit". You do get compensated for drive mileage even though it's not great.

Players, fans, and coaches scream and critique at every level that's not an excuse you know that when you sign up. Fans pay to get in they should be allowed to voice their opinion and cheer on their team. Coaches have the right to "yell" they get paid to win or they lose their jobs... you will still wake up and go to your job the next day. 

Refs have seemed to develop rabbit ears now days. Facilities shouldn't alter how well you call a game. Also, you knew when signing up to officiate rather or not you job would allow to make contest or not. 

Respectfully 

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2 hours ago, 1983 said:

I know that high school refs have a challenging job that’s for sure, but many times they make things worse for themselves.  The referees that have huge egos and come in ready to give a technical for anything are part of the problem also.  I was always told the best referees are the ones that give the fewest technical fouls and can admit when they make mistakes.  Go over to a coach and say coach I missed that call I will try and do better, it’s not that hard.  They need training on how to manage their own personalities as well as being able to communicate with players and coaches as much as how to make calls.  It’s a lot more than just making the correct call.

Saw a good example of this last week in a middle school game. Both the home book keeper and clock keeper got ejected. Honestly, those were probably justified, but the refs definitely didn’t help the situation. Later one of the refs was having an argument with a fan in the stands during play. That should never happen, if the fan said something worth of getting ejected then just toss em, but don’t engage with them in that way. To their credit, they spoke to each other, shook hands and apologized after the game. 

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