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GLR vs LSR officiating [long] (was:Coaches.. go to rules interp?)

Roger Ozima <> writes:
> In article <77qula$l2t$>,
> 	"Rob Peglar" <> wrote:
> >Todd wrote in message ...
> >>Just to clarify my statement above...the "ugliness" to which I refer
> >>is directed at adult USAV players offiating.  As Michael stated, the
> >>junior player/refs are typically better informed than their adult
> >>player/ref counterparts.
> >
> >Can't speak for GL as a whole, but in the two regions I've lived in
> >(NO and GW), and in most of the adult AA and A events I've played
> >in spread over 20 years and many regions, including GL, I've had
> >little or no issue with the player/referees.  Sure, out of 10 AA or
> >good A teams, 1 might have a referee who doesn't get it, but it's
> >the exception.
> >
> Correct me if I'm wrong, Todd.
> But, I believe that Todd is referring mainly towards the lower (BB &
> B) adult divisions. The upper adult levels (AA & A) have more
> experienced player/refs than the lower (BB & B) levels (who are
> generally 1st year/inexperienced players). Just a general
> observation from past playing/reffing experience at both levels.

Ding!  You are correct sir.  Looks like I have to become a better
player to get better pool officiating here in Great Lakes.  :-)

Here's my dissertation on officiating quality in the two USAV regions
I've observed:

Observation 1:
Pool play officiating by player/refs in the men's B and BB levels is
worse in the Great Lakes Region than it is in the Lone Star Region,
based on my experience.

Observation 2:
Furthermore, I've seen a similar gap in officiating at the
recreational and league level--the Chicagoland recreational refs are
by and large much worse than Austin, TX recreational referees.

Observation 3:
The quality of semi-final and final match officiating for adult USAV
tournaments is worlds better in Great Lakes than in Lone Star.  Great
Lakes doesn't have a problem of eliminated teams leaving w/o fulfilling
their officiating duties at the end of the day here.

Observation 4: 
Referee training in Great Lakes is worlds better than in Lone Star.
The evaluations are much more rigorous, and the clinics much more
detailed than in Lone Star.  Great Lakes does a full-day rules
interpretation clinic early in the season, and does ratings on a
separate date.  Furthermore, Great Lakes has a list of training and
tournament-work requirements for an official to keep their
certification.  Lone Star Provisional and Regional officials need only
attend a combined interp/rating clinic once every two years to
maintain their standing.  There are no match working requirments in
Lone Star Region (at least as of 1996).

My explanations for the above:

        1) Lone Star (and many other regions, apparently) requires all
           USAV adult teams to have at least one certified official on
           their roster.  This policy is good for the quality of
           grass-roots officiating in pool play and in rec. leagues.

        2) Great Lakes Region does not impose this certification
           requirement on their adult teams.  Grass-roots officiating
           suffers as a result.  

        3) Instead of forcing teams into certifying an official, Great
           Lakes guarantees quality tournament officiating by
           requiring the use of GLR USAV certified officials for
           semis/finals of all sanctioned USAV tournaments.  This
           practice eliminates all of the problems I saw in Lone Star
           when the bitter, angry 3rd place team that one of the
           finalists just eliminated has to stick around the
           tournament to referee their foes in the final match.

        4) Great Lakes appears to have chosen to be on the "quality"
           end of the referee training spectrum.  Certification is
           taken quite seriously to ensure that those who are
           certified are truly interested in excellence.  Lone Star's
           training programs are geared towared certifying a greater
           quantity of offials, per their adult team requirements.
           Given a finite pool of clinicians, it's tough to do both
           aspects well.

My humble recommendations:

a)  Great Lakes can improve the quality of grass-roots and pool
    officiating by prodding JN/Regional/Provisional refs to organize
    clinics for grass-roots and adult players.  (Most of the National
    refs are already EXTREMELY busy making sure the rest of us are

    I've done a little work on this front, but more followup is needed
    on my part.  

b)  Lone Star and other regions should consider adopting Great Lakes'
    policy of requiring tournament directors to hire non-playing,
    uniformed, certified USAV officials to cover semi-final and final
    matches of all sanctioned tournaments.  This adds some cost to the
    tournament fees, but at the end of the day, it's QUITE worth it.

Best Regards,
                  Todd H.
USAV Regional Referee, Great Lakes Region, Palatine, IL
Todd's Volleyball Referee Page
"So you're a Ref and an engineer? Oh that explains it...."

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