Problem with a HS referee

AlistarWills

All-American
Jul 26, 2006
3,503
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No it’s not over calls in a game.
It turns out there is a referee that keeps getting assigned to games for my sons school, that has a kid on the team. He has ran the clock at home games. I recall him being on the field last year. Last night, we were at a school who uses the same association to acquire referees and he was working the clock there.
To me this is HIGHLY unethical but I’m not sure what to do about it. We learned the association didn’t know he had a kid on the team and thought he wouldn’t be back around, until last night.
 
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rolltide_21

Hall of Fame
Dec 9, 2007
7,329
684
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NW AL
There is a definite conflict of interest. Don’t know if you live in AL but we’re having a shortage of refs this year, at least in the two associations that serve our school. Might be stretched too thin and getting who’s willing/able to work.
 
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imauafan

All-American
Mar 3, 2004
3,032
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Huntsville, AL
There is a definite conflict of interest. Don’t know if you live in AL but we’re having a shortage of refs this year, at least in the two associations that serve our school. Might be too stretched thin and getting who’s willing/able to work.
I briefly considered taking the training to become an official after seeing a report on the shortage of officials before the season started.
 
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AlistarWills

All-American
Jul 26, 2006
3,503
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Does he do a good job running the clock?
NOPE!
I’ve watched him play on his phone during the game and not pay attention. One game already this year he’d run 2-4 seconds off every time there was a clock stoppage. On one TD he ran an extra 15 seconds off the clock. Got royally ticked off when called on it.
I just feel it’s highly unethical and they cover multiple games. He doesn’t need to be working his own kids games. When a game comes down to a couple seconds left on the clock to be able to run a play, and the opponent finds out there’s a parent in charge of the clock, it’s going to be a SERIOUS issue. Yes it’s in Alabama and I know there’s a shortage. Ethics is ethics.
 
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4Q Basket Case

FB|BB Moderator
Nov 8, 2004
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If I’m the head of officiating, the impartiality of the crew has to be paramount....Caesar’s wife and all that. Can’t imagine how this would be tolerated, and if I were the opposing team, I’d be raising Cain.

I went out of state for my freshman year, and had a friend on the floor whose dad was an ACC basketball official. Because his son was attending an ACC school, the dad couldn’t officiate any of that school’s games. That’s how it should be handled.
 

BamaHoops

New Member
Jan 13, 2019
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I understand your concerns. But there is a shortage of competent HS refs in football, basketball, and baseball. Too much grief from coaches and parents for too little pay. Your complaint is legit, but they may not be able to get anyone better to do the job.

I ref'd HS baskets in the 80s and 90s. Pay barely covered the gasoline costs of travel to games. And then getting ripped by parents of the losing team.

Again, your complaint sounds legit. But no one is standing in line to do what is a thankless job. If you ref high school (or even junior high) games you will get cussed at, screamed at, and even followed to the parking lot and threatened. It happened to me.
 
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bama_fan01

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Aug 25, 2003
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I agree that it's a conflict, but in my experience (HS baseball official several years ago) it's up to the official to let the association know he has a child playing at a certain school. That being said, I officiated several games at the school my son attended because there was a shortage of officials. I did everything I could not to, but wound up doing it anyway. It's bad enough when people yell at you and call you "blue" or "ump", but it's really bad when they call you by name! I would contact the association and see if they'll do anything about it.
 
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spock*

1st Team
Dec 27, 2006
583
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Woodstock, GA
I understand your concerns. But there is a shortage of competent HS refs in football, basketball, and baseball. Too much grief from coaches and parents for too little pay. Your complaint is legit, but they may not be able to get anyone better to do the job.

I ref'd HS baskets in the 80s and 90s. Pay barely covered the gasoline costs of travel to games. And then getting ripped by parents of the losing team.

Again, your complaint sounds legit. But no one is standing in line to do what is a thankless job. If you ref high school (or even junior high) games you will get cussed at, screamed at, and even followed to the parking lot and threatened. It happened to me.
I commend you. Ref has a thankless job. I’ve seen adults act like children. I wouldn’t step into the line of fire. Folks make mistakes it’s a life lesson.

no one has a zero error rate on the job.
 
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81usaf92

Hall of Fame
Apr 26, 2008
15,721
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South Alabama
I refed the last two years and I liked the games, but not the office politics. But they were bearable. But I had to move otherwise I would be doing this year. I would say for anyone who would like to learn the game better and make some play money then you should sign up and do it. It’s mostly worth it.
 

Titans&Tide

1st Team
Jul 22, 2000
474
73
143
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Tuscaloosa, AL USA
www.kornegay.us
I understand your concerns. But there is a shortage of competent HS refs in football, basketball, and baseball. Too much grief from coaches and parents for too little pay. Your complaint is legit, but they may not be able to get anyone better to do the job.

I ref'd HS baskets in the 80s and 90s. Pay barely covered the gasoline costs of travel to games. And then getting ripped by parents of the losing team.

Again, your complaint sounds legit. But no one is standing in line to do what is a thankless job. If you ref high school (or even junior high) games you will get cussed at, screamed at, and even followed to the parking lot and threatened. It happened to me.
Before I get started, I want it to be clear that threatening an official with physical harm or following them to their car is way out of bounds. No one should have to endure that. But getting criticized for being crappy at the job is absolutely fair game. It's safe to say we would all get criticized if we were to do a crappy job at whatever we're getting paid to do. There is definitely a shortage of COMPETENT HS refs, that's for sure. But the pay isn't the issue. I see what our school gets charged for officiating in all our sports and it is highway robbery. Our school pays around $750 per football game with a clock operator. That's five on-field officials and one in the stands.

Last year, our basketball officiating costs DOUBLED. Just out of the blue "hey we're going to double our rates, sorry for the inconvenience". Our school paid over $8800 last year for basketball officials (Varsity girls', Varsity boys' and JV). Baseball, soccer and softball are the same way. Three officials for soccer is $450 per game. Baseball and softball require two umpires per game and are $350 I think. The schools are absolutely getting screwed, in my opinion.

Maybe I'd feel better about the money if I actually thought the officials we get are good at their jobs, but they're just not. It's pathetic across the board. It's a sad state when the coaches and parents expectation is that we just want the officials to screw both sides equally. People like to blame the parents and the coaches for giving officials such a hard time, but I work hard to do my job right because the folks who are paying me expect me to do it right. These bums are terrible and deserve the grief they get for the money they're stealing.
 

CoachJeff

All-American
Jan 21, 2014
2,392
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Shelby County Alabama
Before I get started, I want it to be clear that threatening an official with physical harm or following them to their car is way out of bounds. No one should have to endure that. But getting criticized for being crappy at the job is absolutely fair game. It's safe to say we would all get criticized if we were to do a crappy job at whatever we're getting paid to do. There is definitely a shortage of COMPETENT HS refs, that's for sure. But the pay isn't the issue. I see what our school gets charged for officiating in all our sports and it is highway robbery. Our school pays around $750 per football game with a clock operator. That's five on-field officials and one in the stands.

Last year, our basketball officiating costs DOUBLED. Just out of the blue "hey we're going to double our rates, sorry for the inconvenience". Our school paid over $8800 last year for basketball officials (Varsity girls', Varsity boys' and JV). Baseball, soccer and softball are the same way. Three officials for soccer is $450 per game. Baseball and softball require two umpires per game and are $350 I think. The schools are absolutely getting screwed, in my opinion.

Maybe I'd feel better about the money if I actually thought the officials we get are good at their jobs, but they're just not. It's pathetic across the board. It's a sad state when the coaches and parents expectation is that we just want the officials to screw both sides equally. People like to blame the parents and the coaches for giving officials such a hard time, but I work hard to do my job right because the folks who are paying me expect me to do it right. These bums are terrible and deserve the grief they get for the money they're stealing.
Most people don't get screamed at by strangers over and over at their jobs. That's quite uncommon.

Pay is an issue. Officiating is physically demanding and requires a lot of knowledge and skill. It can be pretty stressful as well.

I think coaches and fans should work as officials before opining on how hard it is. I had issues with officials but once I started to do it on even a intramural level I realized it's a lot harder than it looks.
 

Con

All-American
Dec 19, 2006
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South Alabama
Most people don't get screamed at by strangers over and over at their jobs. That's quite uncommon.

Pay is an issue. Officiating is physically demanding and requires a lot of knowledge and skill. It can be pretty stressful as well.

I think coaches and fans should work as officials before opining on how hard it is. I had issues with officials but once I started to do it on even a intramural level I realized it's a lot harder than it looks.
I feel the same about fans with their opinions about coaches too. Fans know a lot more than the coaches do at any level.
 

AlistarWills

All-American
Jul 26, 2006
3,503
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Most people don't get screamed at by strangers over and over at their jobs. That's quite uncommon.

Pay is an issue. Officiating is physically demanding and requires a lot of knowledge and skill. It can be pretty stressful as well.

I think coaches and fans should work as officials before opining on how hard it is. I had issues with officials but once I started to do it on even a intramural level I realized it's a lot harder than it looks.
It’s really not hard to flick a hand held switch to stop a clock when a kid scores or goes out of bounds. Which is what this guy is was supposed to be doing in every game we’ve had this season. It’s the total lack of attention to detail that is totally frustrating. Fair and impartial is one huge tenant of officiating. When your child is on one of the teams, you make impartial sort of fuzzy. Regardless if intent, not doing your job perfectly is going to look fishy. When you aren’t paying attention and don’t do your job, it looks as if you are trying to help one side that likes to shorten the game. First game this year one of the 2 clock refs had a female companion in the booth with them. Last game, this guy had his younger child in with him. He always has cell phone in hand.

Regarding pay...I’m not sure about football but AL HS baseball refs get $85/game. And most I’ve can’t call a strike over the plate to save their life. I work the scoreboard and sit in the pressbox and can see plate quite well. Sometimes we have a strike zone that is 22” wide and off to one side. But that’s a different story for a different day.
 

Titans&Tide

1st Team
Jul 22, 2000
474
73
143
48
Tuscaloosa, AL USA
www.kornegay.us
I don't think the money the schools pay end up in the ref's pocket.
A very small percentage goes to the association for administrative fees, but the vast majority gets paid to the officials.

Regarding pay...I’m not sure about football but AL HS baseball refs get $85/game. And most I’ve can’t call a strike over the plate to save their life. I work the scoreboard and sit in the pressbox and can see plate quite well. Sometimes we have a strike zone that is 22” wide and off to one side. But that’s a different story for a different day.
Our baseball umpires get paid a lot more than $85 per game. Most of the youth league umps get at least $85 per game here (Tuscaloosa). And don't even get me started on the baseball umpires. I was in the pressbox for years and I've seen strike zones change batter-to-batter and inning-to-inning. It's awful. I thought Tuscaloosa was bad until I went to Fayette County. We actually had umpires wearing home team attire after a game.

Most people don't get screamed at by strangers over and over at their jobs. That's quite uncommon.

Pay is an issue. Officiating is physically demanding and requires a lot of knowledge and skill. It can be pretty stressful as well.

I think coaches and fans should work as officials before opining on how hard it is. I had issues with officials but once I started to do it on even a intramural level I realized it's a lot harder than it looks.
Been there. Officiating isn't difficult if the official actually knows the rules and cares about what they're doing. The point I made about doing the job right because that's the expectation includes caring enough to develop knowledge and skill and being physically prepared for what is required to actually do the job right. In other words: EARN your money.
 

Tidewater

Hall of Fame
Mar 15, 2003
17,884
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Hooterville, Vir.
I commend you. Ref has a thankless job. I’ve seen adults act like children. I wouldn’t step into the line of fire. Folks make mistakes it’s a life lesson.

no one has a zero error rate on the job.
A high school classmate of mine, who is now a sheriff also refs the church league softball games. There is no money involved in winning (maybe some ribbing later between friends) and it is supposed to be the Baptists vs. the Presbyterians, etc. My high school classmate/sheriff said the Methodists' coach is such a hard butt complainer during the games that he won't ref the Methodists' games any more. Too much grief and not enough pay. That's a sorry reputation. I know the Methodists' coach and he is a nice guy, but get him on a softball pitch and apparently he becomes Woody Hayes.
 
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Con

All-American
Dec 19, 2006
4,361
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South Alabama
A high school classmate of mine, who is now a sheriff also refs the church league softball games. There is no money involved in winning (maybe some ribbing later between friends) and it is supposed to be the Baptists vs. the Presbyterians, etc. My high school classmate/sheriff said the Methodists' coach is such a hard butt complainer during the games that he won't ref the Methodists' games any more. Too much grief and not enough pay. That's a sorry reputation. I know the Methodists' coach and he is a nice guy, but get him on a softball pitch and apparently he becomes Woody Hayes.
It is good to see that church league softball hasn't changed since I was younger. Some of the biggest gripers were some of the best preachers.
 
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