Author Topic: Increased test requirement for Playoffs  (Read 418 times)

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Offline ElvisLives

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Increased test requirement for Playoffs
« on: June 20, 2022, 03:10:38 PM »
I applaud TASO for attempting to assure a high level of rules competence for playoffs, i.e., the new minimum exam score of 90 to be eligible for playoffs. Sadly, unless we have proctored, in-person exams, there is nothing to keep a group of folks from getting together and taking the exam together, to help each other attain a score of 90.
Yeah, a paper test, in a proctored environment is less convenient than an online exam. But that would be the only way to assure exam integrity. You could even allow the exam to be open-book, but you gotta take it by yourself. Otherwise, this increased requirement will have little-to-no impact on the list of officials 'qualified' for playoff games.

Once again, one man's opinion (based upon 46 seasons of experience).

(FYI, got a 94 on it. Totally misread one question, and just missed two - no excuse. Probably won't take it again.)


 

Offline Covid 22

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Re: Increased test requirement for Playoffs
« Reply #1 on: June 20, 2022, 03:54:23 PM »
I always liked to take the test multiple times.  Even if I made 98 on the first one, I knew there were many more questions in the pool.   I printed the tests and we used them for pregame and if someone had a question at halftime.
It was a good tool. 

Offline dammitbobby

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Re: Increased test requirement for Playoffs
« Reply #2 on: June 20, 2022, 04:02:30 PM »
It wouldn't even be that hard - buy a couple of old scantron scoring machines on ebay.  Proctored test, preferably at a rules clinic.  Chapter sends all of the ungraded scantrons (with no names, just member IDs) to TASO, who scores them, returns them to the chapter.. they work out member names to IDs, congrats you passed, or no, you need to take again.  Have a couple of proctored makeup sessions as needed, send scorecards to TASO, repeat.

Or, simply increase the test bank volume so people will not likely be getting the same questions.  They can still work them out as a group (if they lack integrity), but it does make cheating a bit more difficult... but a 60 or 90 minute timer would help that as well.

While we're at it, get rid of non-football related test questions like these:

TASO-Football renewal process opens in January each year. An official is not a member of TASO until their renewal process is completed. However, if an official pays their dues by the 'late payment' date, they are considered to have been a member for the entire year.

and

A member who is arrested or charged with any criminal charge greater than a fine only traffic violation must report that event to the chapter and the Executive Director within 72 hours of the arrest. The member shall be suspended pending disposition of the charge for felonies and Class A and B misdemeanors while Class C misdemeanors may be reviewed by the TASO Membership Review Committee (MRC).

These are garbage questions, pure and simple.  I'd be hella mad if I made an 88 and had to retest because I missed a question like one of those.

And it would absolutely have to open book or we'd never qualify enough officials.

Offline ElvisLives

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Re: Increased test requirement for Playoffs
« Reply #3 on: June 20, 2022, 04:16:18 PM »
I always liked to take the test multiple times.  Even if I made 98 on the first one, I knew there were many more questions in the pool.   I printed the tests and we used them for pregame and if someone had a question at halftime.
It was a good tool.

Novel and excellent use of the tools, intentional or coincidental, available from TASO. Great idea.
 

Offline TexDoc

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Re: Increased test requirement for Playoffs
« Reply #4 on: June 21, 2022, 09:21:43 AM »
I see nothing at all wrong with the current process.  I also see nothing wrong with groups of guys getting together to go over tests.  Everyone gets a different set of questions that may or may not include what others in the group are having to answer.  We sometimes need to keep in mind that this is high school football, not college or beyond.  We need members.  We need them to be continually educating themselves on the rules and mechanics, but we also need every beating heart on a Thursday night.  The newer guys will get there with snaps.  We don't need to run them off with some sort of proctored exam.  Just take the darned test online 20 times until you get a 90.  If you're unable to get a 90 after that many tries, maybe soccer is more in line with your abilities. 

There is a new generation we need to appeal to and having all of the required meetings and clinics in person, as was done in the past, is not going to work with this generation and is keeping our numbers low.  We have the technology.  Let's use it.

I currently live an hour from our meeting place and we will have 14 meetings, in person.  That's 28 hours of my life in a car I do not wish to spend in a car!

Offline CosmoKramer

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Re: Increased test requirement for Playoffs
« Reply #5 on: June 21, 2022, 10:09:26 AM »

While we're at it, get rid of non-football related test questions like these:

TASO-Football renewal process opens in January each year. An official is not a member of TASO until their renewal process is completed. However, if an official pays their dues by the 'late payment' date, they are considered to have been a member for the entire year.

and

A member who is arrested or charged with any criminal charge greater than a fine only traffic violation must report that event to the chapter and the Executive Director within 72 hours of the arrest. The member shall be suspended pending disposition of the charge for felonies and Class A and B misdemeanors while Class C misdemeanors may be reviewed by the TASO Membership Review Committee (MRC).

These are garbage questions, pure and simple.  I'd be hella mad if I made an 88 and had to retest because I missed a question like one of those.

And it would absolutely have to open book or we'd never qualify enough officials.

I'm going to respectfully disagree with this statement.  There's only one or two of these questions per test but, IMO, it's important for the TASO members to understand their are TASO guidelines to be followed.  Having a question in the test provides this knowledge for all members.  And it's not like it's a difficult question but rather almost a give me question.  If someone scores an 88 because of this question then they need to reconsider studying up on the actual rules we officiate by and worry about why they missed the rules related questions. 

The only thing I get tired of from test questions are the "gotch ya" questions.  But I think the committee has done a great job this year getting such questions out of the test.  I'm not talking about questions where there's a distinct definition difference but rather questions where one word in the description changes the outcome of the play but that one word used is ridiculously worded.  But as I sit here I cannot come up with a good example to make my point but if you've been officiating long enough and always taken tests, you know what I'm referring too.   

Offline ElvisLives

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Re: Increased test requirement for Playoffs
« Reply #6 on: June 21, 2022, 10:52:41 AM »
I'm going to respectfully disagree with this statement.  There's only one or two of these questions per test but, IMO, it's important for the TASO members to understand their are TASO guidelines to be followed.  Having a question in the test provides this knowledge for all members.  And it's not like it's a difficult question but rather almost a give me question.  If someone scores an 88 because of this question then they need to reconsider studying up on the actual rules we officiate by and worry about why they missed the rules related questions. 

The only thing I get tired of from test questions are the "gotch ya" questions.  But I think the committee has done a great job this year getting such questions out of the test.  I'm not talking about questions where there's a distinct definition difference but rather questions where one word in the description changes the outcome of the play but that one word used is ridiculously worded.  But as I sit here I cannot come up with a good example to make my point but if you've been officiating long enough and always taken tests, you know what I'm referring too.   

As I keep saying, it takes a lot of carefully selected words to get the full meaning of any message across to the reader. This is particularly true for exam questions, especially true/false questions. 'All-inclusive' statements are rarely true, but most such questions are not intended to be 'all-inclusive.' Then we get the, "Well, you know what we meant" response, when we point out that, it some certain circumstance, that statement is not true.

But they do try to make the questions pertinent, and without "gotchas." It is just difficult to do.

Offline ElvisLives

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Re: Increased test requirement for Playoffs
« Reply #7 on: June 21, 2022, 01:50:01 PM »
As I keep saying, it takes a lot of carefully selected words to get the full meaning of any message across to the reader. This is particularly true for exam questions, especially true/false questions. 'All-inclusive' statements are rarely true, but most such questions are not intended to be 'all-inclusive.' Then we get the, "Well, you know what we meant" response, when we point out that, it some certain circumstance, that statement is not true.

Example: Q7 of the Shaw-Blandino Quiz 4

7. 3/10 @ B-25. Late in the 4th quarter, Team A is out of timeouts and makes a first down at the B-10, stopping the clock which reads 0:03. Team A intends to spike the ball and run an additional play. The referee appropriately blows his whistle and signals, which starts the game clock. The quarterback takes the snap and raises the ball high over his head before throwing it directly to the ground. The game clock shows 0:00 when the ball touched the ground.
RULING:

What is to happen next? What is the score? Is either team ahead in the score, so the game is over? OK, so, with 'logic,' perhaps we can determine that Team A is not ahead, otherwise, why would they want the clock to stop? (OH, yeah. If this is UIL football, and they are playing for 'positive points,' I can see many UIL coaches trying to score, to increase their point differential.) But, the score may be tied. If so, we go to an Extra Period.
So, which is it?

By their ruling, Team B was, apparently, ahead. OK, so say that, next time. Easy:
"3/10 @ B-25. Late in the 4th quarter, Team A is behind in score and is out of timeouts and makes a first down at the B-10..."

Offline dammitbobby

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Re: Increased test requirement for Playoffs
« Reply #8 on: June 21, 2022, 04:34:36 PM »
I'm going to respectfully disagree with this statement.  There's only one or two of these questions per test but, IMO, it's important for the TASO members to understand their are TASO guidelines to be followed.  Having a question in the test provides this knowledge for all members.  And it's not like it's a difficult question but rather almost a give me question.  If someone scores an 88 because of this question then they need to reconsider studying up on the actual rules we officiate by and worry about why they missed the rules related questions. 

The only thing I get tired of from test questions are the "gotch ya" questions.  But I think the committee has done a great job this year getting such questions out of the test.  I'm not talking about questions where there's a distinct definition difference but rather questions where one word in the description changes the outcome of the play but that one word used is ridiculously worded.  But as I sit here I cannot come up with a good example to make my point but if you've been officiating long enough and always taken tests, you know what I'm referring too.   

Cosmo, I appreciate your response.  But for the second one, it is false.  It is a 'gotcha' question in my opinion.  Why raise the bar for higher scores if we want to pick nits about an obscure rule, that I don't even know where to find it at.  It's not in the rulebook (obviously), not in the TASO football procedures document, and not in the mechanics manual.  I concur that it's important for officials to know and understand policies, but this one seems designed to intentionally trip people up - it's not a 'gimme'.

The only other 'gotcha question I've seen this year is this one:

In the first possession of the second overtime period with the score tied 35-35 the home team scores a touchdown. The team lines up to kick the extra point.

Select the option:

1)   If the kick is good the second possession will begin with the score 42-35
2)   Teams are required to run a 2 point try beginning in the second OT.
3)   If the kick is good the score will not be counted and the second possession will begin with the score 41-35.

This question was also around last year, and had a different correct answer than this year. 

I work in an industry that relies somewhat on certifications as a measure of competence and ability, and having to distinguish between the words 'required' and 'must' (from the actual rule) is a level of pettiness that even we don't go to.  (the old standby is 'which answer is MOST correct')

I also think at least some portion of the test should be dedicated to 6-man specific testing questions.  Our chapter for sure does way more 6-man games than 11-man almost any given week, it just seems absurd to say that those rule exceptions aren't important enough to test officials on, especially when there's questions specific to 7-man mechanics on the test.




« Last Edit: June 21, 2022, 04:53:12 PM by dammitbobby »

Online JasonTX

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Re: Increased test requirement for Playoffs
« Reply #9 on: June 21, 2022, 06:47:18 PM »

In the first possession of the second overtime period with the score tied 35-35 the home team scores a touchdown. The team lines up to kick the extra point.

Select the option:

1)   If the kick is good the second possession will begin with the score 42-35
2)   Teams are required to run a 2 point try beginning in the second OT.
3)   If the kick is good the score will not be counted and the second possession will begin with the score 41-35.

This question was also around last year, and had a different correct answer than this year. 

I work in an industry that relies somewhat on certifications as a measure of competence and ability, and having to distinguish between the words 'required' and 'must' (from the actual rule) is a level of pettiness that even we don't go to.  (the old standby is 'which answer is MOST correct')

I also think at least some portion of the test should be dedicated to 6-man specific testing questions.  Our chapter for sure does way more 6-man games than 11-man almost any given week, it just seems absurd to say that those rule exceptions aren't important enough to test officials on, especially when there's questions specific to 7-man mechanics on the test.

That question has been re-written because it wasn't clear on what was being asked.  If you take it again and see that question it is clear now.  The intent was to be that it wasn't illegal for Team A to kick the ball, it just simply wouldn't be counted.  We can't force them to go for 2.  The very well could line up to kick and we just won't count the kick if it's successful.

As for the questions related to policies.  Unfortunately, there are members who break the rules and the first response is that they didn't know that what they were doing was a violation of policies.  I would expect that a huge percentage of our members have never would have looked at TASO policies had there not be questions on the test.  By have two questions on each test related to policies, then at least gets them into those policies and maybe they'll read into them.  We have a bank of close to 500 questions so it's a huge task to make sure everything is written so that everyone will understand the question.  Any feedback that is sent in as you take the test is looked at and we do edit questions in response to that feedback.  The goal is definitely to get rid of any "gotcha" questions.  As with the policy questions, many of the questions aren't play scenarios, but simply definitions.  Again, those typically would require someone to pull the rule book out and read it.  It's hard to please all the English majors out there but we try.  Making a question easier for one person sometimes makes it harder for someone else to understand it.

As for proctored exams.  I think some chapters have their own proctored exams for crew chiefs.  Chapters could develop their own chapter policy and their own tests if they wanted to implement a proctored exam.  It would be in addition to the TASO required test. 

Offline CosmoKramer

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Re: Increased test requirement for Playoffs
« Reply #10 on: June 22, 2022, 09:24:47 AM »
Cosmo, I appreciate your response.  But for the second one, it is false.  It is a 'gotcha' question in my opinion.  Why raise the bar for higher scores if we want to pick nits about an obscure rule, that I don't even know where to find it at.  It's not in the rulebook (obviously), not in the TASO football procedures document, and not in the mechanics manual.  I concur that it's important for officials to know and understand policies, but this one seems designed to intentionally trip people up - it's not a 'gimme'.

And I too appreciate our dialogue.  It's healthy for us all.  From your comment stating you do not know where to find the information on TASO policies is the exact reason why there should be a question on the test.  You can elect to guess at the answer, using common sense, and have a 50/50 chance of getting it right or take the opportunity to determine where to find the answer.   TASO policies are certainly not in the rule or mechanic books but they are on the TASO website under the TASO About Us/Policies link.  The necessary intent is to take away the excuse of a member saying "I didn't know" as Jason also stated.   

Offline dammitbobby

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Re: Increased test requirement for Playoffs
« Reply #11 on: June 22, 2022, 10:53:47 AM »
I can understand that... I was looking at it from a purely football perspective, without consideration of the issues that have to be dealt with by the larger TASO organization and even chapter, that I may not necessarily see/be exposed to as a plain old chapter member.

That said, I DID look for them (I haven't read them all I think since my first year) - but I was looking inside the member's portal, where I would have expected those policies to reside, not externally under 'About Us.'  Perhaps in the test kickoff wording (where it is clarified that all questions are 11-man unless otherwise specified, and mechanics questions are 5-man unless otherwise specified), there can be verbiage added stating where those policies can be found.  If the intent is to ensure that officials are aware of them regardless of test question status, to me it would make sense to help point them in the right direction.

Offline ElvisLives

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Re: Increased test requirement for Playoffs
« Reply #12 on: June 22, 2022, 11:27:45 AM »
I can understand that... I was looking at it from a purely football perspective, without consideration of the issues that have to be dealt with by the larger TASO organization and even chapter, that I may not necessarily see/be exposed to as a plain old chapter member.

That said, I DID look for them (I haven't read them all I think since my first year) - but I was looking inside the member's portal, where I would have expected those policies to reside, not externally under 'About Us.'  Perhaps in the test kickoff wording (where it is clarified that all questions are 11-man unless otherwise specified, and mechanics questions are 5-man unless otherwise specified), there can be verbiage added stating where those policies can be found.  If the intent is to ensure that officials are aware of them regardless of test question status, to me it would make sense to help point them in the right direction.

Bobby,
TASO is not to be criticized for this - your chapter should be. I fault your chapter for not making sure that your membership are advised about all of the TASO policies and guidelines. Your chapter should present them to the membership during a meeting(s), and the chapter should give you direction as to where you can find these policies and guidelines for independent reading and studying. For those chapters with web sites (who doesn't have a web site?), they ought to have them posted on the chapter web site, which might be even more visible and easier to find. As the old adage goes: Ignorance is no excuse.
Having said that, I wouldn't argue against your disappointment to find the policies outside the members portal. I'm no technology expert, but I would think that there could be a link to all 'membership' related info from within the portal, as well as links to such pertinent information for the general public from the 'home' page. Sounds like something to respectfully suggest to your District Director (directly, or through your chapter leadership).
But, as always, the problem isn't the policies. It is the people at whom those policies are directed. And we just can't seem to get rid of them. And, as always, the root of the problem is the UIL officiating assignment policy. Until it goes away, those people won't go away.

Offline bctgp

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Re: Increased test requirement for Playoffs
« Reply #13 on: June 24, 2022, 12:47:39 AM »
As part of the TASO new member registration or returning member renewal process an individual states they will comply with TASO Policies.  If there was any question about those policies and where they are located a person should have stopped there and contacted their chapter leadership and/or TASO regarding where these policies are located. I know in our chapter our District Director includes a session on TASO Policies and where to access them in each years District Meeting. Perhaps you should have that discussion with District Director if they ae not doing that or your chapter leadership.