Football Officiating > General Discussion

State Championship Assignments

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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.

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. 

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.

Ralph Damren:
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)


ďI 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.Ē

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.
Thatís 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 isnít a single legislator in Texas that is gonna be interested in getting involved in this issue.


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