NFHS officials question / rant

Discussion in 'Referee' started by Scott Zawadzki, Oct 12, 2003.

  1. Scott Zawadzki

    Feb 18, 1999
    Midlothian, VA
    Club:
    New England Revolution
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Once again I have become sick to my stomach over the pathetic level of officiating in high school soccer. While I have seen several very good/great high school referees this year, those exceptions are always also USSF certified. It seem that in Massachusetts referees are certified for high school level matches with no experienced required. I remember a couple of years ago, a poll was conducted on this web site that indicated we felt that U16 to U18 boys was the toughest group to manage for a referee. Why the powers that be allow inexperienced people to referee freshman to varsity level matches is beyond me.

    Now, on to my rant. I attended a match Friday that was to be one of the most competitive in the State featuring 2 teams ranked in the top 20 with a league championship at stake. While I'm becoming quite used to the no call on clear penalties followed by the makeup call for "touching an opponent while he's jumping" what transpired in the 2nd half was beyond the actions that any responsible adult should be taking.

    With the visiting team ahead 3-0 things started to get chippy/violent for both teams. On three occations, one of the referees stopped active play, got into a players face, yelled loud enough so that everybody at the field could hear, and stuck his finger in the players face. On a 4th instance, the same referee started to yell at a player who did not turn around to him. The referee grabbed the player by the bicept 10 yards from me, Got into his face and gave the same finger under the nose routine and issued a caution.

    When I saw the player grabbed, I screamed from the sideline "Hey, get your damn hand off that kid. Don't you touch those players."

    I want to know from my Massachusetts friend that know the high school system if referees are ever evaluated and if so how often. It seems that this is a high school official who is probably ready to go out to pasture. Also, how does one report incidences for referees abusing players as I consider both the finger in the face and the grabing of the arm abusive.

    I should also point out that the referees routine was the ame for both club and got parents from each team equally angry.

    Scott
     
  2. GlennAA11

    GlennAA11 Member+

    Jun 12, 2001
    Arlington, VA
    I think the sad fact is that many referees cannot (because of when the games are) or will not referee HS matches, which leaves the HS administrators and assignors in a pretty tough spot. They need bodies to do the job, so they round up whatever bodies they can get.

    Not that that excuses what this particular referee you talk about was doing. Can you find out who the assignor or league commissioner is? That would seem to me to be the appropriate place to take your complaint.
     
  3. Ref Flunkie

    Ref Flunkie Member

    Oct 3, 2003
    New Hudson, MI

    Agreed. Personally I have no desire to referee HS for a variety of reasons, and most of the folks I referee with do not do HS either. My complaint about HS is that, at least around here, they will not let you officiate in your same town, and I am not about to drive miles on end for one match.

    Now are you the coach of this team or were you just a fan? I would say it would probably be more appropriate for the coach to file a complaint with the High School association, detaling the incident.
     
  4. nsa

    nsa Member+

    New England Revolution; Boston Breakers
    United States
    Feb 22, 1999
    Notboston, MA
    Club:
    New England Revolution
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    As a newly certified official for EMSOA I was observed by an assessor in a recent match. The funny part about it was that the assessor used me as an example of how to work a game when he chastised my brother referee for poor signals, poor mechanics, and failure to stay with play. :)

    Truth be told, I'm not your average rookie NF referee. I was NF-certified for 8 years, but let it lapse for several years. I'm an assessment away from USSF Gr. 6, as well as being an instructor and assessor.

    How frequently they assess referees is hard to say. Right now EMSOA is only using two assessors with 60 new refs this Fall so I imagine that a second assessment in one's NF career is very rare unless you get stuck working with a rookie.

    I do not believe that the CMSOB has ever done any assessing. All rookie referees have to work a preseason jamboree where they work with experienced officials. Beyond that, you sit through boring meetings - nothing on the pitch. (My "mentors" at this year's rookie jamboree had a good laugh when they saw me. I had worked a lot of USSF matches with them.)

    EMSOA is the Eastern Mass Soccer Officials Association (http://www.mec.edu/emsoa/).

    CMSOB is the Central Mass Soccer Officials Board. (hey, we're all a bunch of SOB's. ;) ) No website or e-mail. Assignments come by telegraph and pony express.
     
  5. nsa

    nsa Member+

    New England Revolution; Boston Breakers
    United States
    Feb 22, 1999
    Notboston, MA
    Club:
    New England Revolution
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    I think that Big Daddy Z could be classified as a "concerned parent". ;)
     
  6. IASocFan

    IASocFan Moderator
    Staff Member

    Aug 13, 2000
    IOWA
    Club:
    Sporting Kansas City
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Somehow Central Iowa has the high school reffing figured out. The high school conference have an agreement with the local Soccer Officials Association. MISOA (Mid Iowa SOA) assigns all high school games. All the clubs shut down their U16 and U19 schedule during high school season. All the highschool refs must be members of MISOA, USSF refs, and taking the NFHS test and certifying with the boys and/or girls officials association. We work as crews. The crew chiefs divide up the schedule and referees before the season. The first pass at assignments is done before the season starts. Rainouts, reschedules, injuries or other obligations for the officials guarantee changes, but our system works pretty well, and for the most part we get pretty good officials on all games with the best on the biggest games. Working with the same experienced crew gives good feedback on things to do to improve your game management.
     
  7. Scott Zawadzki

    Feb 18, 1999
    Midlothian, VA
    Club:
    New England Revolution
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    I was fortunate that the player involved was not my own child. As angry as I was seeing any kid grabbed by an adult referee, I can't imagine what would be going through my head if it was my son.
     
  8. SoCalRef

    SoCalRef New Member

    Oct 6, 2003
    San Diego
    In the situation described above the coach or another school official (such as the AD) should contact the HS federation (CIF in California, not sure in your state). For a referee to grab a player who is dissenting and also to point into players faces is totally unacceptable. Sounds like he was losing control and didn't know how to handle himself.

    Down here in San Diego we have a similar setup as our friends in Iowa. I believe every referee who works the HS season is either a USSF or AYSO referee. We also have preseason classroom training and tests. In season we have assessments, and to work playoffs you have to have passed an assessment. All referees are given a rating and only the higher rated referees may work the better games. Of course San Diego is a hotbed for soccer in fact there are 7 USSF national referees and (I believe) 3 candidates. So we have more diversity in referees and most work the HS season. We can only hope that other areas of the country are as lucky as we are here, but it sounds like that is not the case.
     
  9. new old man

    new old man New Member

    Jun 7, 2003
    SW US
    Having grown accustomed to out of control coach/ player/ fan stories, I suppose symmetry requires out of control ref anecdotes- but wait- doesn't that align us with the complaining coach, etc.? Perhaps those crazed folks on the other side of the whistle had valid complaints after all? Where does that leave us? Should we just moan about the bad refs, those Snidely Whiplash types, but not the good refs, like you and me? Things get more complicated, I think, when your own ox is gored?

    Now, about my kid's red card- I wasn't there, but obviously undeserved, don't you think? Who needs facts?

    It may well boil down to believe in the referee system, or not- but it might be best to come up with a viable alternative before complaining too much. My kids may have been hometowned, treated with prejudice, and cheated, and so on, in tournament towns as my observer/ parent status percieves, but I as referee must make every call on every field I enter as straight up as I can, or I have become one of those bent buggers my observer status thinks exist.
    This referee stuff gets pretty complicated after a little while, eh? If I had ever met a long- term ref who didn't take it really seriously, I would worry more.
     
  10. monop_poly

    monop_poly Member

    May 17, 2002
    Chicago
    Do you pontificate sanctimoniously at home as well on the Internet?
     
  11. whipple

    whipple New Member

    May 15, 2001
    Massachusetts
    Scott,

    While I sympathize with your situation, I do not believe it is fair to characterize an official's capabilities on the shape and color of his badge. We have some excellent high school soccer referees who have never worked or been certified by USSF. We also have some terrible USSF referees. In fact, one of the crew at your game is also USSF certified.

    As for experience, both have 20 plus years, so it is not an issue of inexperience.

    Rather, I suspect that it is more an issue of MIAA politics and trying to manage a game without resorting to cautions or ejections, since these effect standings and play-offs.

    This is really something you should address with the coach and the AD. They are the only ones who are in a position to do anything.

    Sherman
     
  12. Scott Zawadzki

    Feb 18, 1999
    Midlothian, VA
    Club:
    New England Revolution
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Sherman

    It turns out that this match was observed by members of the MIAA. Either they'll do something about the events or not. Seems little need for me to address it further if the higher ups were in attendance.

    Experience or none doesn't explain the lack of common sense in getting in the faces of 17/18 year old boys (on both teams) and screaming at them with a finger under their nose and the act of physically grabbing a player under the age of 18 (or any player for that matter).

    It was disgraceful and embarrassing IMHO. I hope the MIAA took notice.

    Scott
     
  13. whipple

    whipple New Member

    May 15, 2001
    Massachusetts
    All the more reason to run it through your AD or send a letter directly to the MIAA, voicing your concerns. MIAA has observers at many games. Nothing is likely to happen unless you give them a compelling reason to take action.

    I have had observers at many of my games. They usually just shake their heads, tell me that I am hopeless, and walk away.

    Sherman
     
  14. new old man

    new old man New Member

    Jun 7, 2003
    SW US
    "Do you pontificate sanctimoniously at home as well on the Internet?"

    Quite frequently, in fact. Do you often find yourself with little of interest to post- but go ahead, anyway?
     
  15. IASocFan

    IASocFan Moderator
    Staff Member

    Aug 13, 2000
    IOWA
    Club:
    Sporting Kansas City
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    new old man and monop_poly, this is a warning. Please keep professional. No personal attacks and no thread hijacking. Thanks for joining our forum. I look forward to your positive contributions.
     
  16. uniteo

    uniteo Member+

    Sep 2, 2000
    Rockville, MD
    Club:
    DC United
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    I actually went to watch my first area HS game (JV) last night and was shocked at the level of officiating. A two-referee system with both refs standing in one spot and making all kinds of interesting calls.

    Not nearly up to the level of officiating I see for the U-13 team I coach.
     
  17. AvidSinger

    AvidSinger New Member

    Sep 6, 2002
    Massachusetts
    It becomes a vicious cycle after a while. I referee many sports, but especially football and basketball. I hold myself to a very high standard when refereeing, so when I work in a league where others do not meet that standard, I get very frustrated and leave. So do the other good referees who get sick of working with partners of such poor quality.

    In the end, you're left with only the inadequate referees who are unable to get work in better leagues, and an inability to attract better referees because they don't want to work with the ones who are already there.
     
  18. IASocFan

    IASocFan Moderator
    Staff Member

    Aug 13, 2000
    IOWA
    Club:
    Sporting Kansas City
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    If the schools want better refereeing, they need to work with the local soccer organization. Oh, and they will probably have to pay for it too. The coaches still complain about us, but they know it could be a lot worse.
     
  19. nsa

    nsa Member+

    New England Revolution; Boston Breakers
    United States
    Feb 22, 1999
    Notboston, MA
    Club:
    New England Revolution
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Wonderful HS game tonight with an excellent partner. There are good referees out there working the HS games. :)

    Then there are those that actually look upset when they see me on the opposite side of the pitch trailing the play, 30 yds. beyond midfield. :(
     
  20. BentwoodBlue

    BentwoodBlue New Member

    Sep 20, 2003
    Dela-where?
    Club:
    Ipswich Town FC
    Nat'l Team:
    England
    That and the guy last night that jumped my case for simultaneous whistles...
    What was I thinking.
     
  21. Ref Flunkie

    Ref Flunkie Member

    Oct 3, 2003
    New Hudson, MI
    Why the heck does HS do a 2-ref system? I don't ref HS, but from all these stories it seems like it causes more problems then it is worth? Is this just because you only need 2 officials then and can save money/people?
     
  22. colins1993

    colins1993 Member

    Mar 1, 2001
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    I did HS for 3 years and gave it up because I couldn't deal with the 2 man system.

    The reason they use the 2 man system here BTW is because they are short of refs.
     
  23. IASocFan

    IASocFan Moderator
    Staff Member

    Aug 13, 2000
    IOWA
    Club:
    Sporting Kansas City
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Our local high schools use the DSC for Varsity and JV matches. With the number of games and number of referees and the expense involved, we use the 2 man system for all Freshman games.

    After doing many games over the last five years and a few adult teams many years ago, I'd rather do a 2-man with one my local peers, than the same game with inexperienced club linemen. It requires almost as much running as a CR, and we've called fouls in the far penalty area because were closer than the ref who's on the that half.
     
  24. Scott Zawadzki

    Feb 18, 1999
    Midlothian, VA
    Club:
    New England Revolution
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    2 refs are cheaper than 3!
     
  25. nsa

    nsa Member+

    New England Revolution; Boston Breakers
    United States
    Feb 22, 1999
    Notboston, MA
    Club:
    New England Revolution
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Two reasons

    I'll disagree with Scott. It's not a question of total money.

    Probably the biggest reason that the two-man system exists is because some guys don't want to be AR and get paid less money.

    And there is a significant shortage of folks available to run around in the afternoon sunshine.
     

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