Officiating QA/QC

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Mr. Grady
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Officiating QA/QC

Post by Mr. Grady »

Board,

What recourse do coaches have to address the poor quality of officiating, particularly at the lower levels?

In my experience "training" focuses more on how to position yourself during a play and how to identify holding for example, but while penalties tend to be a wash, it's the other things they do that seemingly alter games.

What I'd like to see is an off-season forum where a panel of coaches can discuss ways to address nonsensical blunders and help improve their overall performance. I'm not alking about the most common coaching gripes which include annoying equipment "points of emphasis" or how to correctly detect holding or pass interference. I'm talking about ways to eliminate (or at least minimize) game altering calls by insolent (or worse, incompetent) refs who, for example, lose track of downs and INSIST they're right when they're clearly wrong, mysterious end-of-play spots that seem to take into account who is winning (or whether they have a train to catch) rather than forward progress, refs who keep the game clock running when a ballcarrier runs out of bounds because they insist the runner was touched by a DB's fingertip when he was still in bounds (to make sure they can get on that train out of Dodge I suppose), regular misinterpretations of when roughing the kicker (or long snapper) IS and ISN'T roughing the kicker (or long snapper), 15 yard penalties that get walked back or forward 17 yards, 5 yard illegal procedure calls that get reset 4 or 6 yards back (as if nobody notices???), etc, etc, etc.

I know there guys are taught not to admit mistakes coupled with a commanding authoritative presence bravado, but in an era where fans are sophisticated, games are on TV and their mistakes are visable to all, and where we want to teach the kids accountability and honesty, something needs to be done.
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Notorious
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Re: Officiating QA/QC

Post by Notorious »

What you're asking, I think is unreasonable.
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Old School
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Re: Officiating QA/QC

Post by Old School »

Mr. Grady wrote:Board,

What recourse do coaches have to address the poor quality of officiating, particularly at the lower levels?

In my experience "training" focuses more on how to position yourself during a play and how to identify holding for example, but while penalties tend to be a wash, it's the other things they do that seemingly alter games.

What I'd like to see is an off-season forum where a panel of coaches can discuss ways to address nonsensical blunders and help improve their overall performance. I'm not alking about the most common coaching gripes which include annoying equipment "points of emphasis" or how to correctly detect holding or pass interference. I'm talking about ways to eliminate (or at least minimize) game altering calls by insolent (or worse, incompetent) refs who, for example, lose track of downs and INSIST they're right when they're clearly wrong, mysterious end-of-play spots that seem to take into account who is winning (or whether they have a train to catch) rather than forward progress, refs who keep the game clock running when a ballcarrier runs out of bounds because they insist the runner was touched by a DB's fingertip when he was still in bounds (to make sure they can get on that train out of Dodge I suppose), regular misinterpretations of when roughing the kicker (or long snapper) IS and ISN'T roughing the kicker (or long snapper), 15 yard penalties that get walked back or forward 17 yards, 5 yard illegal procedure calls that get reset 4 or 6 yards back (as if nobody notices???), etc, etc, etc.

I know there guys are taught not to admit mistakes coupled with a commanding authoritative presence bravado, but in an era where fans are sophisticated, games are on TV and their mistakes are visable to all, and where we want to teach the kids accountability and honesty, something needs to be done.

Brady, I think you are putting the cart in front of the horse, this is all common sense, but they have to care first. It only takes a couple that dont to spoil the ones that do. I go to many lower level games in all sports and many times talk to the ref's, majority are good guys, explain the rule, like kids and love the game and really try to do a good job even if they make a bad call, you can see they are hustling, so I am good with that, no one is perfect. Other just do not care and/or get tired or other reasons, the kids would be better off with two refs when this happens. I thought the recession would change things a bit, but too many lower level games are the same, one guys that should not be out there becuase he can no longer run or does not want to do his best.

If you think football is bad go watch a lower level boys or girls BB game. OMG I have seen some refs that never make it across half court except for a free throw. The kids really get frustrated, sometimes both are fat and old.
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THETRUTH
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Re: Officiating QA/QC

Post by THETRUTH »

Mr. Grady wrote:Board,

What recourse do coaches have to address the poor quality of officiating, particularly at the lower levels?

In my experience "training" focuses more on how to position yourself during a play and how to identify holding for example, but while penalties tend to be a wash, it's the other things they do that seemingly alter games.

What I'd like to see is an off-season forum where a panel of coaches can discuss ways to address nonsensical blunders and help improve their overall performance. I'm not alking about the most common coaching gripes which include annoying equipment "points of emphasis" or how to correctly detect holding or pass interference. I'm talking about ways to eliminate (or at least minimize) game altering calls by insolent (or worse, incompetent) refs who, for example, lose track of downs and INSIST they're right when they're clearly wrong, mysterious end-of-play spots that seem to take into account who is winning (or whether they have a train to catch) rather than forward progress, refs who keep the game clock running when a ballcarrier runs out of bounds because they insist the runner was touched by a DB's fingertip when he was still in bounds (to make sure they can get on that train out of Dodge I suppose), regular misinterpretations of when roughing the kicker (or long snapper) IS and ISN'T roughing the kicker (or long snapper), 15 yard penalties that get walked back or forward 17 yards, 5 yard illegal procedure calls that get reset 4 or 6 yards back (as if nobody notices???), etc, etc, etc.

I know there guys are taught not to admit mistakes coupled with a commanding authoritative presence bravado, but in an era where fans are sophisticated, games are on TV and their mistakes are visable to all, and where we want to teach the kids accountability and honesty, something needs to be done.

One of the major problems with what you are asking is the fact that officials associations are not goverend by the CIF, these associations are independent contractors. The CIF needs these groups to conduct high school athletics and the officials want to be involved for a couple of reasons. Some just like doing it while others want the money. Generally it is more money for less time put in than if they were coaching. A new reason, and this is a strange one and most likely speakes to your concerns is individuals are officiating multiple sports which in turn has become their primary income. I perosnally think there are some great officials who are outstanding individuals. I also think there are some turds out there who are ego maniacs and as they have gotten older have become worse and moved into administrative positions, some sitting on both sides of the fence with the CIF and their officiats association. I might get my hand slapped for this, but someone like Speedy Castillo is bad for high school football in my opinion and has been for many years!

I remember a bb-gun incident at a AUHSD football game. It was early so except for the teams and school personell, few fans were there yet. The school administrator cleared the field and stands, the entry gate for fans was closed, he called the police and the AUHSD superintendent. She and the police showed up, the police started to investigate the area where the bb's had been shot from. Time went on and at about 7:10 PM the official told the home teams head coach (shows what a coward he was, like the head coach was in charge at that point) that they would be penalized and it was time to start the game because no bb's had been fired since they cleared the field and stands(duh, I doubt the person on persons were big on just shooting a field of grass or cement. Keep in mind that the stadium had not been cleared by the police or the superintendent of the two schools involved. When the superintendent approached the official he boasted that he was in charge and had the right to make that call. Obviously he had no clue that not only the power a superintendent had in general, but that this one happend to sit on the CIF board of directors. Cynthia Grennn quickly put him in his place, eventually the police gave the ok and the game was played. The point is that many of our officials could care less about a freshmen or JV game, senority has gone to their heads and in many cases the guys you want out there have left associations over the ego maniac behavior of people like a Speedy Castillo. These guys that have left are often the officials who have played themselves, coached and have a good basic understanding of the game as opposed to those that have not and would be good mentors for those other new guys working their way up the ladder, but senority means more than ability.

Nice point Old School, they do have to care first and often that is not conveyed to them by the vetran officials.
Last edited by THETRUTH on Fri Oct 05, 2012 10:35 am, edited 1 time in total.
Red
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Re: Officiating QA/QC

Post by Red »

Mr. Grady wrote:Board,

What recourse do coaches have to address the poor quality of officiating, particularly at the lower levels?

In my experience "training" focuses more on how to position yourself during a play and how to identify holding for example, but while penalties tend to be a wash, it's the other things they do that seemingly alter games.

What I'd like to see is an off-season forum where a panel of coaches can discuss ways to address nonsensical blunders and help improve their overall performance. I'm not alking about the most common coaching gripes which include annoying equipment "points of emphasis" or how to correctly detect holding or pass interference. I'm talking about ways to eliminate (or at least minimize) game altering calls by insolent (or worse, incompetent) refs who, for example, lose track of downs and INSIST they're right when they're clearly wrong, mysterious end-of-play spots that seem to take into account who is winning (or whether they have a train to catch) rather than forward progress, refs who keep the game clock running when a ballcarrier runs out of bounds because they insist the runner was touched by a DB's fingertip when he was still in bounds (to make sure they can get on that train out of Dodge I suppose), regular misinterpretations of when roughing the kicker (or long snapper) IS and ISN'T roughing the kicker (or long snapper), 15 yard penalties that get walked back or forward 17 yards, 5 yard illegal procedure calls that get reset 4 or 6 yards back (as if nobody notices???), etc, etc, etc.

I know there guys are taught not to admit mistakes coupled with a commanding authoritative presence bravado, but in an era where fans are sophisticated, games are on TV and their mistakes are visable to all, and where we want to teach the kids accountability and honesty, something needs to be done.
Nothing you can do, but grin and bear it. It's lower level football.
Liberalism is like an out-of-control 5 year old at McDonalds. All the talking to and admonishment won't make a difference. They have no concept of right or wrong, they are nothing more than narcissists.
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Zebra
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Re: Officiating QA/QC

Post by Zebra »

I think a few of the generalizations by a few people are a bit overboard but I do get the point. My suggestion would be that the coach contact the Instructional and/or Executive Boards of the local officials associations and schedule a pow wow (no offense to any Native Americans) or send in video. Our instruction and assignment people look at all video and plays that are sent, so if those behaviours show up, the proper people will see it. This is my 11th year and I can honestly say IMO, 95% of the officials do not act as described.

One does need to understand that for officials associations, to be accredited to do CIF games, have required classtime hours and testing that must be completed and classification exams that qualifies officials for post season play. We could probably use a psychological review because who would want to to do this job? That could weed out some, eh? If instructional time is missed, it must be made up. If test scores aren't satisfactory, they don't get games. The newer officials don't have to take the classification exam but they have to abide by all the classtime hour requirements and weekly testing. The "lower levels" are where the new officials cut their teeth, just like the players. I frequently have 2 brand new officials with me on games.

Again, probably addressing this with the proper association authotities is the best move. I've been a sounding board for the forums on officiating for the past few years and I can tell you, you aren't the first to bring the issue up and you won't be the last. My personal mission is to train the best officials I can when I work with them because I may have to work with tem again someday. I wish all officials thought that way, but as in any professions, police, fire, teaching, board mods ... they do have to care, some exceed and some hang on and some suck. Oh, and officials aren't taught not admit they are wrong .. you'll just have to trust me on that one. I have the lesson plans and we don't have a "How to not admit your wrong class". We do have a "It may look ugly but let's get the call right seminar".


Disclaimer - The opinions above are my personal opinions and in no way represents the position of the association or officials crews I belong to. I represent my self as a private person and base my opinions of many years of studying the rules of football and playing the sport.
Coach, you can call me a S.O.B. all you want. Just don't call me a little S.O.B. [-X
Mr. Grady
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Re: Officiating QA/QC

Post by Mr. Grady »

Zebra,

While I appreciate the time you took to reply I'm afraid film review won't address my concerns. To wit, game film is is choppy (from snap to whistle) and doesn't capture the little things that may take place after the whistle. For example most film ends when the ball carrier is down but isn't extended an extra 5-10 seconds to clear the pile let alone see where the ball is set for play. Also, since a lot of freshman film is at or near ground level you can't articulate your concern over a subjective call 50 yards away very effectively. This is a case where the refs need to be told, you're bad and we know it so please do us and the kids a favor and get better.

Here's another issue that film won't catch. The game clock is stopped when a first down is gained, but I noticed it's become commonplace for the refs to start the game clock before the chains are set. Like long before they're set. They may feel nobody notices or that it's inconsequential, but it's a killer for teams playing from behind who need as much time on the clock as possible and want to extend the game. When these yo-yos are called out on it you get a defensive and snarky reply like "watch your mouth!", or this gem "stop watching us and start coaching your team", Or "we know what we're doing, so you just do your job and we'll do ours!" Those replies as my grandmother used to say, really burn me up. For once surprise us and say, "you got me coach. My bad"

Here's another stunt that does affect quality of play and player safety that these refs seem oblivious to. This has had to be the hottest summer in OC history. Maybe it wasn't but it sure felt like it. When a time out is called a team is entitled to 2 minutes for water, rest and instruction especially in September. I've noticed refs try to push these along as quickly as possible to where their tooting their whistles maybe 30-45 seconds into it to encourage play to resume. Film would never catch this because timeouts aren't, ever, filmed so nobody can "prove" they are putting players at risk so they can get out of Dodge a few minutes earlier.

Another thing that can't be proved with film is the age old keeping the official time on the field. Thankfully most venues have a visible scoreboard clock, but a few don't or have clocks that are inoperable so we're at the mercy of soccer refs. So since when is it proper, ethical or sportsmanlike for refs to withhold the time from the staffs? In one game the white hat said, and I quote, "I have no obligation to tell anyone how much time is left except to give four minute warnings.". WTF? Again, like cutting valuable seconds out of timeout breaks, it's this license for passive aggressive behavior to control the duration of the game that they feel entitled to. And, no, he's not too busy not to disclose it. I noticed and after each change of possession, some incomplete passes and scores they ALWAYS look at their watch. How hard is it to announce to each side how much time is left after a score or dead ball after a punt? Really?
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Re: Officiating QA/QC

Post by BoscoBandWagon »

u may want to consider never going to a high school football game again if u are getting this worked up about high school refs, especially on the lower levels.

i am suprised anybody does it at all. for the pay and the hastle??? i would never do it.

it is what it is. stressing out about it or nit-picking??? this is something that always has and always will be a problem associated with football on all levels not just lower level games.
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Zebra
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Re: Officiating QA/QC

Post by Zebra »

All of your examples indicate very bad officials. I don't know what else to say except hit up the instructional chairs and exec boards. See any good ones at the lower level?

I don't instruct that way and I don't know many who do. I've known a few that match your description but they are a minority. I would invite you out to see me work if it would ease your mind. I have a feeling it wouldn't. I coached for 20 plus years before I put on the stripes and everything I do relates back to when I coached. How I communicate with players and coaches. Being fluent at sarcasm is a lifesaver for myself and the coaches. I do know that I know more about the rules, mechanics and philosphies than I did when I coached and I realized the importance of professionalism on both sides.

Good luck in your quest. If I can be of help, let me know. :cheers:

Disclaimer - The opinions above are my personal opinions and in no way represents the position of the association or officials crews I belong to. I represent my self as a private person and base my opinions of many years of studying the rules of football and playing the sport.
Coach, you can call me a S.O.B. all you want. Just don't call me a little S.O.B. [-X
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