Comments about ‘Schools struggle with fairness in high school officiating’

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Published: Sunday, Feb. 17 2013 5:10 p.m. MST

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Dietrich, ID

Market dictates what is best. Thing is people don't watch girls basketball men or women as much as men. Girls state championship or sub par boys game same city boys will get better attendance. Title 9 which I am not a fan of can't force anyone in the stands. Good way to get attendance to girls games, play them same night as boys so fans that come to get a good seat will see some of girls game.

Same can be said of sub varsity games. Who outside the family and friends will watch a jv game. I live in a town were a good chunk of the community shows up to the games. Myself included.

However Girls basketball will never be a popular spectator sport and football and boys basketball will pay the bills and fans go to that sport. As for Three man officiating that and shot clock discussed in Idaho neither though came to fruition.

Super Trooper
Richfield, UT

I think this article is spot on about the fairness between boys and girls officiating, HOWEVER, the bigger problem is the quality of officials the girls get. You want to see the hierarchy of officials in the state just watch the state tourneys this weekend. The higher the classification the better the officials. Boys will also get better officials than the girls. Say what you want. It's a fact. The girls don't need three officials, they just need two QUALITY officials. Until USHAA gets that part fixed (not bashing them - its a problem I feel they are addressing) the 2 or 3 person crews are irrelevant.

Chris B
Salt Lake City, UT

Title nine is a joke.

Provo, UT

Fairness? Try get a fair official in San Juan....won't happen....it's not a boys vs girls's thing there

Murray, UT

If the boy's games are limited to a two-man officiating crew, that would open up more spots for the higher rated refs to work more games. It's simple logistics. If the problem is that the better refs are working all of the boys games then more, higher rated refs could work the girl's games.

It sounds like there needs to be a commitment that some of the higher rated refs work the girl's games.

Spanish Fork, UT

The article says:

"After two years, UHSAA staff shared data with principals that showed games officiated by three referees didn't take longer to play and the number of fouls was relatively similar to games that were officiated by two-ref crews."

Same length of games, same number of fouls...If this is true, why bother with 3 officials? Are there more fights with 2 officials who "work the game?"

3 officials seems to only matter in that it gives more referees a chance to work. I'd prefer a system that calls fewer fouls and let the game go on.

All this equality talk is so bogus. We're a nation of spoiled brats everywhere I turn. Nice to have the same opportunity but after the nanny state leaves life and we grow up, reality hits and doesn't protect us... then somebody has to call the Waaaambulance.

american fork, UT

Don't forget the availabiity of officials. Some officials will not officiate girls basketball. To improve officials you need to have more officials. A shirt and a whistle does not make an official. Competion for game assignments creates better officials. Unless there is a shortage of officials or a complaisancy in officiating..
Hopefully all officials in Utah have a desire to improve regardless of the level of their assignment. Each game deserves the best performance an official can give. "The player has worked hard all week to play in the game you have been assigned." Give them your best and then some.

Kearns, UT

Until UHSAA mandates that there is only one officials association that services all the officials, instead of the so called "big wigs" in the "varsity" association, nothing will change.

Springville, UT

HIGV & Chris B:

Why on earth is making certain girls have the same opportunities to compete and establish a healthy life style for themselves be a bad idea or joke? Participating in sports for women has been scientifically linked to reduction in various illnesses (cancer, heat disease, etc) reduction in incidents of domestic violence, and longevity in general. Since Title 9, participation for girls in athletics has risen at least 800%. Without Title 9, you know as well as I do, money talks, and that means football programs would simply push out women's athletics if given the chance.

Tell you what. You go to your daughter, neighbor's daughter, cousin's daughter, niece, or son's girlfriend and tell them they do not deserve the same opportunity to compete. You tell them their health isn't as important as that of a boy's who plays football---which will never be under-funded. You tell them that while they are good enough to bear the children of your sons, they do not deserve to give themselves the best opportunity to ensure a healthy life. Tell them they are not allowed the joy of winning, bonding, or learning the lessons of competition.

Howard Beal
Provo, UT

Titile IX has led to some good opportunities as shared above but it's enforcement has led to many ridiculous and sad things in sport.

Go to any college athletic web site and you will find that most of them have many more female opportunities or teams than men's. It is because universities have to follow gender based quotas for scholarships and participation and having a football program gets those out of balance. So for boys doing other sports their opportunities are lowered.

Before Title IX, for example, there were nearly 300 Division I wrestling programs, now there are less than 90. Is it because participation in high school wrestling isn't as high or the quality has suffered. Neither, the quality is better than ever and participation higher than never. But opportunities for boys has lessened and not everyone can be a football player.

I am all for Title IX and opportunity for women but it needs to be enforced differently. It was meant to provide equal access and opportunity for women but not come at the expense of opportunities for men.

Saint Louis, MO

It all depends on what the meaning of "is" is. This is pure and simple an issue with Title IX. There were two ways to interpret Title IX. One is a straight quota system. The second was based on the number of students requesting to participate in athletics. With the hormones involved, that would be about 10-1 at every level. Instead, it became a socialist issue with a hidden agenda. As a graduate of Saint Louis University, I watched SLU drop a more than viable ice hockey program and the dismantling of a very good womens' field hockey program in addition to wiping out a club football program in the name of Title IX. Most universities offer 120 football scholarships. Boston College only offers 85 because of Title IX matching restrictions. Most women want to have a husband and have babies and that is the real problem for radical Title IX proponents. Somewhere, somehow, someone has to en"gender" a common sense solution that does not destroy society and the family.

Springville, UT


That is a logical fallacy known as Post Hoc Ergo Propter Hoc. You have shown no link between Title IX and the fewer numbers of wrestling programs in universities. Simply because you can count the decline of wrestling programs since Title IX, does not mean Title IX caused that decline. I could do the same thing, saying Title IX is responsible for the decrease in men's professional bowling, but it doesn't make it so.

It's a strange coincidence you picked wrestling, seeing the Olympics just cancelled wrestling from its roster of events, but to blame the decline of men's athletic programs such as wrestling on Title IX is poor logic and laughable.

Provo, UT

If the girls went back to playing Tuesday & Thursday and the boys on Wednesday & Friday, the best officials could be shared.

Blanding, UT

RE: justmythoughts no sure what you are trying to say. Surely you aren't saying that San Juan gets the benefit from the officials. If that was the case well we won't go there.
I totally agree with the person that said if there are no more fouls being called and games don't take longer with three officials then why switch. Title IX is a huge benefit for women's sports. I agree that there are some that choose the sleezy way to make sure things are equitable by getting rid of male programs.
Yes people don't attend women's sports as much as they do men's. When they do go it usually isn't to cheer but rather to point out the differences and shortcomings of the woman's game. Why not understand that while it might differ it can be just as exciting. I see scores from boys games in 30's and no one complains. It was good defense. If girls games are in the 30's it is because girls can't play. HMMM whats the difference. Go watch a girls game from a simple fans point of veiw. You might be surprised.

Blanding, UT

Now about officials. One of the biggest problems I see from many of the officials that work both girls and boys games is that they think there is a different set of rules. Girls aren't allowed to block shots, or make the same moves as boys do without a whistle blowing. Tie ups are blown faster in girls games than boys games. I appreciate the thankless job that officials have. Spreading officials thinner to do three man crews will hurt until we can get more officials that see past gender. If an official turns down girls to do boys they shouldn't be allowed to do any boys games.
Here is another question. What about the schools that aren't in SLC and Provo. One thing that wasn't mentioned in the article is mileage officials get paid. Adding $51 x 9 home games is adding $450 more dollars in expenses to programs. That doesn't include milage.


I want to know when they will mandate that Cheerleading and Dance will have the same amount of Boys and Girls.

Pendleton, OR

I can see why this is not a simple issue. It is really several issues.

Quality officials available for any game.
More efficient evaluation of play.
Costs---home officials vs. away officials---associated bias and travel

In my opinion each issue should be addressed alone. I have a solution for the quality issue.

The quality of officials for each game, (boys, girls, JV, Varsity, whatever) should be addressed by whoever provides quality control and training of officials. The contract should include a statement that participation in officiating will be without limits as to games worked and assignments should be made according to a next up wheel or graph. I recognize there can be occasional conflicts but they should be the exception and should be contractually limited so that a referee can not pick and choose boys over girls or local or travel or even time of day or day worked. Even working a part-time job at Burger King is subject to the needs of the employer and the employee must regularly adjust his or her other life parts to accommodate the job. And those doing the certification of officials need to monitor for bias and eliminate those so inclined.

Speak English - USA
West Jordan, UT

The 4A and 5A boys coaches took a vote last year and voted 3 man out. The UHSAA took the results and flushed them, and made an in house decision to keep 3 man going. Having a 3 man crew is pointless, as the article states, 2 man does the same job for less money. If you are one that wants equality, you need two things:

1. Boys and girls both do 2 man crews.
2. Have girls games on Tues/Thurs and boys on Wed/Fri to open up more good officials.

Pretty simple fix, but it won't happen as long as the UHSAA has their own agenda.

Roosevelt, UT

As a high school coach and certified UHSAA referee I find it entertaining that people are surprised by the lack of good referees. In my opinion it has very little to do with pay or equal rights. The coaches, fans, and players need to look at themselves and display sportsmanship above all, win or lose. New referees do not like to get yelled at over every call. Then, young people (men and women) that could be good referees would enter the profession.

West Jordan, UT

I hope someone can explain exactly when fairness ends and equality begins. Or perhaps where equality ends and entitlement begins. It's not as easy as you might think.

Do we really want all of our young people moving out into the world as adults with the expectation that everything has to be equal? I'm pretty certain that life will teach them a far different lesson.

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