Well the officials shortage...what a question! We have had many discussion about this topic in our league meetings and at the conference. I started having discussions with our P.E. Teachers at Stanley Lake to see if we could incorporate having officials come to our classes and teach students to become officials. I reached out to Tom for some contacts and have been in contact with a few officials to see if they would be willing to come to our school. We have been focusing on football (regular and flag), basketball, and soccer right now. We have not been able to get it scheduled yet with homecoming and testing. We have been debating about bringing the officials in for class or having students interested in learning how to be an official after school??? We are also trying to get information about if and when students learn the sport how and where can they get hired. I have not been in contact with Gold Crown yet...but I think that is my next step. We have also been asking parents in the community....so long story short we have not had anything come to fruition yet....but we are still working through is all of the
Statement By: Bob Lantzy
Shortage of officials is a common problem nationwide and the Colorado Springs Basketball Officials Association (CSBOA) is taking a more proactive approach in recruiting and training new officials.
The CSBOA Executive Board implemented a training program for new officials conducted in April 2016. The goal was to recruit potential officials-train them-and provide on court experiences through various youth programs. This program consisted of class room and on court training which provided the basics of officiating. After completing the spring training program officials were provided an opportunity to use the skills they learned and were assigned to officiate youth games. Some officials decided that officiating was not their desired career path due to the abuse they received from coaches and spectators.
This verbal abuse is the leading cause of why new officials do not continue with officiating! Coaches simply do not understand they play a vital role in recruiting officials. Officials will make mistakes and do not deserve the verbal abuse they receive from coaches and spectators.
Many programs such as MAYB and SoCo have instituted programs to help eliminate verbal abuse towards officials. Still, it is not enough to keep young officials in the game.
The CSBOA will test 30 new officials on November 7, 2016 after completing 7 weeks of class room training. They must achieve an 86% on the 50 question exam to be certified and earned the privilege of wearing the International Association of Approved Basketball Officials patch. This patch symbolizes they have earned the privilege of officiating at the high school level. The CSBOA’s training program is an outstanding one with 95% of the trainees achieving the pass rate of 86%. Despite the successes of their training program the CSBOA needs at least 30 more officials to keep up with the increase in games and the shortage of officials caused by retirements, family commitments and job requirements.
While many athletic directors have altered their schedules to accommodate the shortage of officials this is not enough. Hosting a game on a Monday or Wednesday evening was unheard of; however athletic directors recognized the need to accommodate the shortage of officials.
The Rocky Mountain Sports Officials (RMSO) have played a key role in recruiting officials but they experience the same issues with coach and fan abuse. Officials are eager to learn the craft of officiating; however they are discouraged by the unruliness of coaches and fans. It takes approximately 2-3 years for an official to prepare for the high school level and the RMSO prepares officials for that level, if officials can stay interested in the game.
The CSBOA has stepped up its efforts in recruiting; however efforts in retaining officials must be a priority as well. More officials are leaving the game because they feel the compensation is not equivalent to the time and dedication they spend in becoming a top notch official. Officials receive a $1.00 per game raise every other year---certainly not a fair compensation for the level of effort officials have to undertake! In 2017 the Colorado High School Activities Association will implement a tier system. This will help in the compensation for officials—officials are hoping this will help.
The bottom line is coach and fan abuse must stop and a fair compensation for officials must be implemented to recruit and retain officials! The CSBOA is trying their best but it’s not easy.