Author Topic: State Championship Assignments  (Read 738 times)

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Offline ncwingman

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State Championship Assignments
« on: April 08, 2021, 04:42:58 PM »
I've been thinking about how the state championship assignments get made (not that I'm planning on getting one quite yet), but was wondering how they worked in other states/regions.

Is the championship crew the best crew for that year, as noted through evaluations or something else, or are they more of a "lifetime achievement award" and you generally know who's "due" for one before the season starts? Or something else?

Around here, it seems to a bit more of the lifetime achievement award, with rumors usually swirling preseason (not that they're always true) which leads to those people getting more of the "big games" throughout the year. The rumors especially tend to pick up after you see who gets the big non-conference rivalry games early in the year, and more importantly, who doesn't. I don't think I've known anybody who earns the big game through in season performance alone -- it's like college football championships, if you're not ranked pre-season, you probably have no chance for the national title even if you make some moves and start impressing people throughout the year.

Offline dammitbobby

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Re: State Championship Assignments
« Reply #1 on: April 09, 2021, 09:49:14 AM »
As I understand it in Texas, whoever's home  team picks chapter and/or (usually and) specific crew. As long as the visiting team agrees, that's who they use.  If they can't come to an agreement (which is fairly rare, I think) then UIL steps in and picks and they have to live with it.

It's a system that is ripe for gaming, lots of jockeying, cozying up to coaches right up to the ethical line, etc. 

Offline HLinNC

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Re: State Championship Assignments
« Reply #2 on: April 09, 2021, 11:08:13 AM »
I've worked one, 2012.  I know several guys that have had two now.  Some of it depends on the size of your association.  A smaller organization gives you a much better shot at attaining a state final than a group like the old North State association that had 300+ officials. 

While "lifetime achievement" may be a factor, it isn't the only one.  A demonstrated ability to handle important games is certainly a criteria that must be considered.  If you are working multiple "big games" in your region, you have probably shown that you can handle them.

I would agree that a 2nd final can be based on a "Farewell Tour" concept for guys who have announced their retirement.

My final was anti-climatic- the winner was up 28-0 at the end of the first quarter.  My Western regional was a much better ball game.

Offline Ralph Damren

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Re: State Championship Assignments
« Reply #3 on: April 10, 2021, 05:27:06 AM »
In Maine, we have had two methods. Prior to 1990's the head coach of each team would meet and each would each choose three officials. We don't assign crews during regular season, only as indivduals. I worked four of those games and always felt uneasy as it was perceived to be "the we's and the they's". You would often hear such as: "...'their' official called holding against us, but 'our' officials wouldn't call it against them >:( ". The Maine Principals' Association then developed the following protocol :
  (1) Every coach in the state would be allowed 14 votes (2 for each position);
  (2) this would create a pool that each chapter's assignor would meet and discuss. Their guidelines are:
    (a) official needed to attend a interep. meeting and worked at least 6 varsity high school games during the season- as many also work NCAA;
    (b) official needs to be it top 25% of their chapter's rating;
    (c) official can't have worked a state game in the previous year-gives more guys the change to work.

We have 4 classes of 11-man and 2 classes of 8-man. With 300+ officials in the state, 42 (7-man) will be assigned a state game. The number of assignments from each chapter depends on the chapter's size. I've worked 10 under this system and have always felt at ease as often the teams involved were not assigned by my chapter. I realize there are weaknesses in any method and I realize that some of my votes come from coaches who probably never seen me work, but only heard me run my mouth at their coach's meetings. The 6 off-field officials (4 on chains & 2 timers) are usually assigned locally and consist of newer officials.

I understand that many of you may feel that the coaches shouldn't have any say. IMHO, the schools are our employer and should have some input on who they hire. My chapter's rating system has several components:
  40% results NFHS part II exam
  40% fellow officials' ratings (5 catergories)
  10% meeting attendance
   8% seniority
   2% submitting ratings of other officials
Does this develop into an "old-boys network" ? We are all human and have our likes/dislikes of fellow humans, but we stress that we should take the same stance as we do in calling the game...CALL IT FAIR !.

Our system seems fair to me but (IMHO) it has treated me more than fair...WHAT SAY YOU  ??? ???

 :sTiR: :sTiR: :sTiR: :sTiR: :sTiR: :sTiR: :sTiR: (7-MAN CREW)
« Last Edit: April 10, 2021, 07:59:03 AM by Ralph Damren »

Offline ElvisLives

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Re: State Championship Assignments
« Reply #4 on: April 10, 2021, 08:27:08 AM »

“I understand that many of you may feel that the coaches shouldn't have any say. IMHO, the schools are our employer and should have some input on who they hire.”

The citizens of a community are the employer of their law enforcement staff. Do they get to choose which officers are on duty at any given place and time?

Same thing. Just as with NCAA/NFL, etc., input from the competing institutions should only be with regard to being assured the officials are part of a recognized independent organization that recruits, trains, and assigns officials to contests, and assignments are based upon qualification to work the contest to be assigned. No coach or institution should ever be allowed to directly select officials.
That’s what I miss most about FBS football.
Now, if we can only get that done here in Texas for UIL football. Sadly, I believe it would literally take legislative action to make that happen. But, with COVID, illegal immigration, school finance, energy production, farming issues, there isn’t a single legislator in Texas that is gonna be interested in getting involved in this issue.

Offline bama_stripes

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Re: State Championship Assignments
« Reply #5 on: April 10, 2021, 08:28:36 AM »
State championship officials here are chosen from a pool of those nominated by the eight District Directors.  Officials who have attended state camps (and have thus been seen by multiple DDs) have a better chance. First-time selections usually make up about 35% of the available spots.

Speaking as a DD in a different sport, my choices for playoff assignments are usually based on this criteria:  If all hell breaks loose, can I justify my selections to my boss?

Offline CalhounLJ

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Re: State Championship Assignments
« Reply #6 on: April 11, 2021, 09:05:10 AM »
State championship officials here are chosen from a pool of those nominated by the eight District Directors.  Officials who have attended state camps (and have thus been seen by multiple DDs) have a better chance. First-time selections usually make up about 35% of the available spots.

Speaking as a DD in a different sport, my choices for playoff assignments are usually based on this criteria:  If all hell breaks loose, can I justify my selections to my boss?

Our State follows the same general guidelines here. We have 8 officiating regions and only 6 classifications, so the championship assignments are on a rotation. The local district assignor places officials in playoff games up to but not including the Semifinals. Then he submits the names of three crews to the State office, and the state office assigns the semifinals and the state championships from that list.

Offline HLinNC

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Re: State Championship Assignments
« Reply #7 on: April 11, 2021, 07:31:05 PM »
Quote
The local district assignor places officials in playoff games up to but not including the Semifinals. Then he submits the names of three crews to the State office, and the state office assigns the semifinals and the state championships from that list.

Pretty much how NC does it.

Competition is about to get tougher for the finals starting next year as we are reverting back to 4 classifications instead of subdividing the 4 into big and little "A"'s for 8 state finals.  The state association wanted to up the classes to 5 but that required a bylaw change.  A lot of the member schools tend not to vote and not voting counts as a no so it didn't pass.  The BoD voted to remove the subdivided classes in what some view as a fit of pique in response.

We have 9 regions so one of the two out west, mine and the group along the Georgia line, had to alternate the 8th spot every other year.

Offline ncwingman

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Re: State Championship Assignments
« Reply #8 on: April 12, 2021, 12:55:42 PM »
Pretty much how NC does it.

Competition is about to get tougher for the finals starting next year as we are reverting back to 4 classifications instead of subdividing the 4 into big and little "A"'s for 8 state finals.  The state association wanted to up the classes to 5 but that required a bylaw change.  A lot of the member schools tend not to vote and not voting counts as a no so it didn't pass.  The BoD voted to remove the subdivided classes in what some view as a fit of pique in response.

We have 9 regions so one of the two out west, mine and the group along the Georgia line, had to alternate the 8th spot every other year.

I've only vaguely kept an eye on all of that, because I just go where I'm assigned and try not to "know too much" about conferences and such.

I think they're adding a round to the playoffs (and removing a regular season week -- well, the endowment game) to compensate for combining the divisions, correct? It's unclear if they're actually expanding the field though. It had been a 5* round tournament, but only 24 teams (top 8 got byes), so there were the same number of first and second round games. The vague statement I've seen is now it's a 64 team tournament, but that's probably maximum, as I know several schools have declined playoff berths in the past -- it's a toss up between getting your butt kicked in the first round or starting basketball practice. Since they aren't filling out the whole 32 team bracket now, I don't see them suddenly filling out a 64 team bracket next year.

Fun math fact -- if you take two (single elimination) tournaments and just combine them into one big tournament, you've only added one additional game, even if it takes a week longer and people get to argue about how they changed the seeding process now. Logically, the winners of the two smaller tournaments just play each other at the end to be grand champion.

Edit -- Originally said it was 4 rounds, but it's 4 rounds + championship. Starting next year it'll be 6 rounds total (5 + finals), so it'll take an extra week to complete.
« Last Edit: April 12, 2021, 01:14:11 PM by ncwingman »

Offline riffraft

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Re: State Championship Assignments
« Reply #9 on: April 12, 2021, 02:44:00 PM »
I have no idea what the criteria is for Arizona.  I assume someone(s) in the AIA office picks the playoff crews based on who they think deserves and/or earned the assignment. We are told we will be observed in person as a crew at least once every two years and that film is reviewed.  I am sure there is probably some feedback from coach and/or athletic directors.  But the how it was ultimately decided between one crew or another I don't think the general population of officials know. They do seem to rotate somewhat what crew gets a state championship assignment from year to year. 

Offline CalhounLJ

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Re: State Championship Assignments
« Reply #10 on: April 12, 2021, 03:23:32 PM »
Let me go on record as saying I detest the idea of coaches being involved in the process of evaluating officials. They are extremely biased and tend to look at everything from the standpoint of whether it gives them an edge. A great example is a long time, well-respected and successful coach in our association scratched us every year after the first year we had him at his place. His rationale? We knew the rules too good. He wanted officials he could manipulate.


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Offline JasonTX

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Re: State Championship Assignments
« Reply #11 on: April 19, 2021, 01:12:36 PM »
Let me go on record as saying I detest the idea of coaches being involved in the process of evaluating officials. They are extremely biased and tend to look at everything from the standpoint of whether it gives them an edge. A great example is a long time, well-respected and successful coach in our association scratched us every year after the first year we had him at his place. His rationale? We knew the rules too good. He wanted officials he could manipulate.


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Years ago the coaches used to fill out a post card with various items they would grade us on.  One time we go pregame with the head coach in his office and saw on his desk that he had already filled out the postcard. hEaDbAnG

Offline Ralph Damren

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Re: State Championship Assignments
« Reply #12 on: April 19, 2021, 01:43:20 PM »
Years ago the coaches used to fill out a post card with various items they would grade us on.  One time we go pregame with the head coach in his office and saw on his desk that he had already filled out the postcard. hEaDbAnG
When I first started we used to supply each coach with stamped postcards for each game, we did notice that 80+% of those returned were from losing coaches and not many were good  >:( ! I assume that the majority of you share Jason, Calhoun and Elvis's feelings about allowing the coaches any say and I understand that. I deal with many of them during the season on rule questions and they are usually civil to me UNTIL the kickoff  :o. My own feeling is that if they don't want me to work their game, then I don't want to work their game.

Offline dammitbobby

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Re: State Championship Assignments
« Reply #13 on: April 19, 2021, 05:08:11 PM »
My own feeling is that if they don't want me to work their game, then I don't want to work their game.

I'm not there for them.  I really don't care if they don't like me personally, as long as they respect me professionally.  I'm not there to be their friend; if I get a game assigned, I'm there to work, and be as much of an impartial jurist of the game as I can be. If they don't like it, they can scratch me for next time. 

Offline Etref

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Re: State Championship Assignments
« Reply #14 on: April 19, 2021, 09:16:49 PM »
I deal with many of them during the season on rule questions and they are usually civil to me UNTIL the kickoff  :o. My own feeling is that if they don't want me to work their game, then I don't want to work their game.

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Offline bama_stripes

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Re: State Championship Assignments
« Reply #15 on: April 20, 2021, 06:33:10 AM »
Let me go on record as saying I detest the idea of coaches being involved in the process of evaluating officials. They are extremely biased and tend to look at everything from the standpoint of whether it gives them an edge.

Things are certainly not like they were when I broke in.  Coaches then were getting only a small four-figure supplement, and most had to cut the field and/or drive a bus to make ends meet.  Now, some are getting SIX figures to do nothing but coach football and teach one PE class.

I get it.  I EXPECT a coach to be an advocate for his team.  But that doesn’t mean he gets to abuse me or my crew during the game. It certainly doesn’t mean he should have any say as to who works playoff games.

Offline Ralph Damren

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Re: State Championship Assignments
« Reply #16 on: April 20, 2021, 07:33:50 AM »
I am certainly in the minority on the belief that the coach/AD/school should have some input on selecting officials, but if we all agreed on everything, this would become more of a "sewing circle" than a forum.  8]  :sTiR:  :)

Offline Ralph Damren

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Re: State Championship Assignments
« Reply #17 on: April 20, 2021, 09:12:11 AM »
I fully agree that coaches can become very fickle . Our playoff games -up to before the state championships-  are assigned by local chapters. Ours asks for a list of the 15 desired officials from each school and tries to assign a crew of officials on both school's list.

SCENE : Home team had beaten the visiting team 40-7 in regular season. Neil was #1 and I was #2 on home team's list, and we both were high on the visiting team's. Neil was the referee and I was the umpire. A downpour /snowstorm had turned the field into a mud bowl.

(1) Underdog visitors were leading 6-0 late in the 4th quarter;
(2) home had the ball a midfield;
(3) ball was handed off to their all-state running back;
(4) center decided to tackle the nose guard;
(5) the ball carrier ran where the nose guard used to be;
(6) I threw my flag ^flag;
(7) the ball carrier took it to B's 5;
(8) the frenzied masses screamed  :laugh: :laugh: :laugh: :laugh: :laugh:;
(9)Neil announced the holding penalty   :!# :!# :!# :!# :!#;
(10) the visitors held on to win.  :puke: :puke: :puke: :puke: :puke:

EPILOGE: In pre-season ,each coach is supplied with a list of our chapter's officials with a choice of : acceptable, unknown, unacceptable . If an official is unacceptable a reason must be given. The home coach listed three : me-" poor judgement", Neil -" poor communication" , the 3rd was -"sleeps with his eyes open". I joked with Neil that "poor communication" must have meant he should have given the "thumb's down" signal after signaling holding  :). Neil was on his black list but one year P_S, while I was for two P_S P_S. Neil joked that the "bank robber" always had a longer jail time then the guy that drove "the get-away  car". While this system gives this coach vent on a call, the high majority respond with : "sent me anyone" on their rating sheet.

 :puke: (coach)    tR:oLl Neil     tR:oLl me     ^TD ^TD ^TD (5 man crew)

MORALE:  A bad field is a great equalizer.
               A mere hanky can take you from  aWaRd to  :puke:
« Last Edit: April 20, 2021, 09:19:33 AM by Ralph Damren »

Offline HLinNC

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Re: State Championship Assignments
« Reply #18 on: April 20, 2021, 09:21:24 AM »
Ralph, I agree that coaches and AD's, particularly, should have some input and format for recommendations of officials in general- demeanor, professionalism, timeliness, are certainly aspects that they can and should have some input to assignors and state associations.  However any sort of ranking, grading, or evaluating of on-field performance is better left to those who have knowledge of that criteria.

Offline CalhounLJ

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Re: State Championship Assignments
« Reply #19 on: April 20, 2021, 09:35:00 AM »
In a perfect world coaches could be valuable in evaluating officials. But, we don' t live in a perfect world. Having coaches evaluate officials is like having the crooks evaluate the police. A crook would not be looking at how fairly and justly the cop applied the law. He would be looking at what he got or didn't get out of the deal. The best cop in his mind is the one who let him off the hook, not the one who enforced the law correctly.

Offline carol1995

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Re: State Championship Assignments
« Reply #20 on: April 20, 2021, 10:24:16 AM »
In a perfect world coaches could be valuable in evaluating officials. But, we don' t live in a perfect world. Having coaches evaluate officials is like having the crooks evaluate the police. A crook would not be looking at how fairly and justly the cop applied the law. He would be looking at what he got or didn't get out of the deal. The best cop in his mind is the one who let him off the hook, not the one who enforced the law correctly.

Well said.  I think coaches should be able to scratch an official or two with a legitimate reason.  There used to be a coach at my alma mater who had (basically) scratched every crew that officiated one of his losses.  He didn't like any of the local crews for that reason.  He always blamed the officials.  Unfortunately, the assignor at the time would allow unlimited scratches.  So, every game was officiated by a crew that was from the far corners of the state instead of crews that could travel 45 miles or less (and there were plenty of good crews in that area). 

Offline Ralph Damren

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Re: State Championship Assignments
« Reply #21 on: April 20, 2021, 01:19:51 PM »
Well said.  I think coaches should be able to scratch an official or two with a legitimate reason.  There used to be a coach at my alma mater who had (basically) scratched every crew that officiated one of his losses.  He didn't like any of the local crews for that reason.  He always blamed the officials.  Unfortunately, the assignor at the time would allow unlimited scratches.  So, every game was officiated by a crew that was from the far corners of the state instead of crews that could travel 45 miles or less (and there were plenty of good crews in that area).
Do your schools pay mileage, Carol ? For if they do the athletic director should be made aware of the strain on his budget that this causes. Another approach would be for your assignor to refuse to assign any sub-varsity or middle school games for that school district, Just thoughts....

Offline Ralph Damren

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Re: State Championship Assignments
« Reply #22 on: April 20, 2021, 02:42:07 PM »
By the way, we also allow officials scratch off schools for legitimate reasons.
Some legitimate reasons:
(1) Official dates coach's ex-wife;
(2) Official is member of team's booster club;
(3)  Official is employed by school;
(4) coach is dating official's ex-wife.

Some that are not:
(1) Official doesn't want to drive that far;
(2) game will be a mismatch,
(3) black flies too thick there.

Offline carol1995

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Re: State Championship Assignments
« Reply #23 on: April 20, 2021, 03:22:55 PM »
Do your schools pay mileage, Carol ? For if they do the athletic director should be made aware of the strain on his budget that this causes. Another approach would be for your assignor to refuse to assign any sub-varsity or middle school games for that school district, Just thoughts....

That was several years ago and I'm pretty sure they did not pay mileage at that time (but I'm not 100% sure).  There were 8 teams in the conference and 5-6 of them were in a larger city that was strapped for funds so the conference voted to pay a minimal amount and not to pay mileage.  My alma mater could have paid twice the conference rate with no problems, but they decided to pay the conference rate because they could.  They could get officials to come in from a longer distances because it was the largest classification in the state.