Referee shortage nears crisis in Iowa

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by CyHans, Feb 24, 2017.

  1. besserheimerphat

    besserheimerphat Well-Known Member

    Apr 11, 2006
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    Just so everyone's clear, the rules ARE different between the NFL/NBA/MLB, NCAA and high school. Not to mention junior high, where officials will purposefully let ticky-tack stuff go just to keep the game moving. When I coached junior high football, we often had officials tell us about little things kids were doing so we could teach them rather than throwing flags every other play.
     
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  2. NickTheGreat

    NickTheGreat Well-Known Member

    Jan 17, 2012
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    My cousin did JR high baseball while in college. He stopped it because of the parents. He had guys come up to him after the game with their video cameras to show him a call he missed . . .
     
  3. FarminCy

    FarminCy Well-Known Member

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    When I coached I guess I saw it the other way. When a ref would say they missed an obvious call it showed me that it was an honest mistake and he knows what he's doing which I can live with. If it was an obvious blown call and one can't own up to it than I think they are just incompetent.

    However I can see how some coaches would react as how you describe.
     
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  4. 1UNI2ISU

    1UNI2ISU Well-Known Member

    Jan 30, 2013
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    Agree with all of this. I never go down the 'Sorry, I missed that one road.' I had a partner that used to do that and then he would spend the next three innings trying to be 'perfect' and in the course of that, miss more. You have to have an incredibly short memory.

    I'm so glad I don't work with that guy anymore...
     
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  5. cyhiphopp

    cyhiphopp Well-Known Member

    Jan 9, 2009
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    One thing that pisses me off the most is that all of the parents and coaches who incessantly complain about calls, just teaches kids to complain about every call.

    I had a 10U softball coach who could not understand that his pitcher just didn't have it that day. She was all over off the plate. Because he complained all day she just got more and more frustrated and then she blamed everything on me instead of adjusting and putting the ball over the plate.
     
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  6. AllInForISU

    AllInForISU Active Member

    Nov 24, 2012
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    I have officiated in Illinois and Iowa, multiple sports (soccer, baseball, slow pitch softball, and basketball). Started doing it when I was in high school and have tried to keep going in Iowa but my day job makes it harder to travel to the remote places in the state the assignors wanted me to go to. I will say, baseball and slowpitch softball were the worst. At least in the other sports you move up and down the court away from the parents for a little bit and usually there is a lot of stuff going on to keep your mind off of any yelling that may happen. Slow pitch is the worst because the adults who are assholes in the little league are now the players and think every umpire is against them.

    My favorite thing someone told me about officiating is usually half of the people in the stands will hate your call and the other half will love it. I know its not always true, but you can't have thin skin as an official and if you at least act confident most of the time people can live with your call. Nothing is worse than an official who is wishy washy on their calls.
     
  7. CYphyllis

    CYphyllis Well-Known Member

    Jun 22, 2010
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    One trick an older ref taught me was to bring extra equipment to youth games. I did a lot of soccer so I would carry three or four pairs of cheap youth sized cleats in my bag along with a couple extra pairs of socks. It was fairly common to come across kids that came from families that couldn't necessarily afford the equipment and the kid would show up with hand me down baseball spikes and no soccer socks. Due to safety rules I couldn't let kids without the proper equipment play, so I would provide the equipment to those individuals. No parent or coach is getting pissed at the ref that helped a kid out so he/she could play. Hell, in those games I could have just laid down on the sideline and taken a nap and those parents/coaches wouldn't have cared.
     
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  8. AllInForISU

    AllInForISU Active Member

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    Side note, anyone know how to get into refereeing football in Iowa? I want to officiate football but don't know who to get in touch with to find a crew.
     
  9. FarminCy

    FarminCy Well-Known Member

    Nov 14, 2009
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    This is spot on!! It's pretty easy to pick out which kid belongs to certain parents based on both their actions. I've been a sight manager at youth sports events as well as coached and I'm amazed at how many parents tell their kids the refs were idiots as they are walking to their car. Plus how many times I had to step in to tell a coach to stop going after a ref or he will be removed.

    It also amazed me to see people I like and thought would be level headed go completely off the deep end once they are around their kids sports. One of the worst I've ever encountered and had to step in on is a former CF celebrity.
     
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  10. intrepid27

    intrepid27 Well-Known Member

    Oct 9, 2006
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    Yes..... I'm looking at you Bob Huggins.
     
  11. kingcy

    kingcy Well-Known Member

    Sep 16, 2006
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    Yes as do parents. Its always the loudest parent yelling at kids or refs that have no clue to what the rules are or what the kids are being coached to do.
     
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  12. Tornado man

    Tornado man Well-Known Member

    Sep 16, 2007
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    I got started in officiating after receiving a call from my old high school's AD, asking me to give it a try. So I was recruited. When I started doing games, the ref was considered more of an authority figure than now - I find that coaches are more argumentative with officials today, IMO as a way of showing their players that they "support" them. It's a cheap way of trying to bond with their team.
    The WHO-TV segment pointing out the time/travel commitment problem is very true in that it discourages officials from advancing in the profession.
    Shouts and critiques from the stands are about the same as when I started - there are more split families now though, so lots of times the dads aren't sitting by the moms telling them to be quiet. So the dads are now non-stop. There are more isolated crazies who go "over the line" now. Many more fans are looking down at their cell phones as opposed to yelling about the travel call however.
    By far though, the biggest reason for the shortage is the constant disrespect shown to refs by the fans, coaches, administrators - in the stands, on social media, etc. Instead of being "the" authority figure - given the task of trying to ensure the contest is played in an impartial, fair manner by enforcing the rules - officials are considered the "enemy."
    Optimistic, energetic new officials get worn down very quickly.
    Lots of talkers not enough doers.
     
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  13. Goofyguy1

    Goofyguy1 Member

    Feb 18, 2017
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    As a ref, I always go with the highest bidder. Except when I am betting on the game.
     
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  14. brother bob

    brother bob Active Member

    Feb 20, 2008
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    High School Wrestling Official here. I agree, but some coaches need to be better educated as well.
     
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  15. IceCyIce

    IceCyIce Well-Known Member

    Aug 17, 2009
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    This is an interesting topic and always a tough situation. Ive coached youth girls basketball for 10 years (3 kids). My parents for the most part were very good but we all have moments. This is my first year of not coaching.

    1. I've had moments where I have been that guy as a coach and parent.
    2. Youth sports have escalated in skill, speed, size and knowledge significantly in last 15 years.
    3. I've had officials tell me during games that the games don't mean anything. Try telling that to kids and coaches that have worked hard to try and win. And if these don't mater then when do they matter?
    4. A coaches and parents level of intensity decreases (becomes more realistic) with each kid.
    5. Best story - at a tournament a 5th or 6th grade coach was irate that there was a continuos clock under 2 minutes what down by more than 20 points at games end. It may or may not have been in the rules. He was yelling at the official (good friend of mine). yelling at the coach tournament people etc. I played right after the guy throwing a tantrum. I said "Let me guess, this is your first team isn't it" He packed up and left. During my game we were in the same situation. I told them to roll the clock and don't stop. Couldn't get end it fast enough. Take your lumps and get out!!
     
  16. brother bob

    brother bob Active Member

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    Go here http://www.iahsaa.org/officials/ and click on 'become an official' This is your first step. You should be able to find a crew quickly.
     
  17. jdoggivjc

    jdoggivjc Well-Known Member

    Sep 27, 2006
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    I'll ref. Can't be that hard, right?

    [​IMG]
     
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  18. cyfanatic13

    cyfanatic13 Well-Known Member

    Dec 19, 2008
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    I have umped middle school baseball and softball for about 5 years now and last summer started umping JV/Varsity baseball. The parents/fans at the higher levels were so much better than the middle school games. I would get a few comments throughout the JV/Varsity games but that's to be expected. Middle school softball games were brutal though. Every pitch no matter what I called some parent was complaining. The coaches were always great and would thank me countless times afterwards.

    Probably my favorite story from umping middle school baseball.. called strike three on a kid that was probably a little too low but hey it's middle school. Had a few comments but then the next day I saw the kid's dad at the gas station and he says "hey cyfan13! thanks for ringing Keaton up yesterday. He needs to start learning that he's up there to swing" Some parents get that the younger levels are all about developing and that wins and losses don't really matter at that age. Other parents unfortunately don't.
     
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  19. AllInForISU

    AllInForISU Active Member

    Nov 24, 2012
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    I am an official in Iowa. I can register to be an official for football but why would I do that before I have a crew? If I don't find one that is money down the drain. I'm asking for help finding an association for football officials.
     
  20. Pat

    Pat Active Member

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    Curious: has pay changed over time, or has it been pretty static? That could definitely be an issue, too.
     

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