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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Millville, UT


So I can tell you the same thing. You have shown no link between the 800% increase in participation and the inception of title IX. You use the same fallacy as Howard Beal speaking on wrestling. Ask any athletic director at a university why they don't have a wrestling program and they will tell you that title IX limits their ability to do so. And please understand that I have two young daughters, so I am all for increased opportunities for girls. But I also have two sons who wrestle, so I don't enjoy seeing their college opportunities decreased.

Brave Sir Robin
San Diego, CA

Lack of quality officials has nothing to do with Title IX and everything to do with the fact that officials are constantly berated by coaches and parents in everything they do. Officiating is the only job in the world where you can do it perfectly and 50% of the people who were there still think you did a horrible job.

Want more and better refs? Stop verbally assaulting them.

MiddleofNowhere, Utah

@ springvillepoet,
Title IX has everything to do with the huge decrease in college wrestling programs.

Provo, UT


Despite the philosophical lesson offered, I'll go with the words of the many athletic directors and college presidents that have cut hundreds of wrestling and other men's programs. They said it was Title IX considerations and that is that.

Orem, UT

Speak English-USA is exactly right. That comment should have an article written about it. The coaches did vote it out, the uhsaa did ignore it, and there is a lot more to this than is being told. The Tuesday/Thursday and Wednesday/Friday solution would solve a lot of these issues as well.
Very simple solutions but not what people in administration and positions of power want to hear for some reason.

Cedar Hills, Utah

Of course the officials prefer a 3 man crew, it means they don't have to run nearly as far or move their feet as much to get in position. I am amazed at how many horrible high school officials there are, I see far too many old men who are out of shape and unable to keep up with the game and constantly out of position to make the correct call.

Women's games are actually much less demanding physically for officials because the women are so much slower but they do slap the tar out of each other on every play. The fact is they don't pay enough to develop good officials and there isn't enough demand for the job so they can institute much accountability.

Springville, UT


Here's your link. Deseret News will not let people post links (which is fine with me) but simply search for the on-line Forbes article celebrating the 40th birthday of Title IX. Participation among women in sports went from 1 in 27 in 1972 to 1 in 4 in 1974, while participation of boys stayed the same at 1 in 2. Is Forbes a good enough source for you?

You are absolutely right. Saying it's so doesn't make it so. But you have to at least consider Title IX is not the only reason college wrestling programs have dwindled.

Sandy, UT

@Speak English

Get your facts straight. The 4A/5A coaches did not vote. The Administrators/Athletic Directors voted and a re-vote came about because the coaches asked to keep 3 officials. Most of the coaches I spoke to were never consulted about the vote prior to it happening. Most coaches who have had three officials do not want to go back to 2.

The other unintended consequence of going back to 2 officials that was not explored was the number of current top ranked officials who would retire rather than go back to 2 official games. This will not stop games from happening, but the quality of officiating will definitely go WAAAAAY down.

Ogden, UT

I am a UHSAA Certified basketball official. I really like the concept of a three man crew because it gives me the opportunity to learn from more experienced officials. However, in regards to the quality of officials has to deal with evaluations and scheduling. There are a lot of sub-varsity officials that should be officiating the varsity level. The only way to move up to the varsity level are through evaluations and having Mr. Petty notice you at a camp. Last season, I was frustrated because I was only evaluated twice and my goal is to officiate at the varsity level, boys or girls. Second, there are two separate rankings for boys and girl officials. An official can be a level 100 girls official and be a level 400 boys official. Both are varsity level rankings but are rated differently. Thirdly, Mike Petty is the one who schedules the majority of the varsity games. He has been known to hand pick officials for certain games. If everyone wants equality in boys and girls officiating, you need to look at the top with Mr. Petty, not the officials themselves.

Sandy, UT


Your comments seem to reflect the majority of subvarsity officials...we are as good as they are, someone else is to blame for my shortcomings, the man is holding me down, etc.

You clearly do not understand how the ranking/moving up process works. You have chapter representatives who represent your interests at the Quad Board level (who is responsible for ranking officials).

I too am a UHSAA certified official, I am routinely scheduled with the *new* varsity officials and MANY of them are not ready for primetime and as I watch the subvarsity officials work the games before mine, I am glad those officials do not work with me. Is that Mike Petty's fault? Where does your individual responsibility come into the process? What are you doing to get better (aside from trying to get Mike to notice you at camp)? There simply is not a glut of qualified officials that are being held down to keep others working games. Utah, like every other state in the nation, needs more quality officials.

Provo, UT


Sure, there are other reasons that wrestling programs have been dropped. Still, the reasons are most often tied with Title IX. When a school needs to satisfy quotas and eliminate a male program, budget of the program becomes a factor, community interest in the program becomes a factor, competitive success becomes a factor, etc. But most often the program was put on the table because of Title IX. Further, again look at most every athletic program at the vast, vast majority of our universities and colleges. They have more female sports, some quite substantially. Again, because of the football factor, schools have to balance the quota sheet and male sports are eliminated while sometimes female opportunities like bowling and rowing teams are created, though the quality of athletes compared to their male counterparts is extremely low.

Also, look at how many wrestling and other male programs were eliminated from 1963 to 1973. See how many were eliminated the ten years after Title IX.

Indeed, we can come with philosophical whatevers, but I don't see a trend and then when the college presidents and A.D.'s openly admit it, one must come to that conclusion.

Ogden, UT

I am a 3A boys varsity basketball coach... I would love to have three officals every game. There are a lot of things that happen off ball that two officials simply cant see. Its not because they are bad officials, but rather there is so much area to cover, and it is hard to do. I personally think officiating in general has gotten better over the last 3 years. Just my opinion..

Rural sport fan

None of this matters unless the UHSAA actually starts TRAINING the refs. The reality is, if a ref can pass the paper test, and that's an open book test by the way, then he/she gets to ref high school ball, and for most of the state NO ONE is checking their ability to see or make calls, nor their ability to handle situations or interpret rules consistently.

The umpires that do ASA softball in the summer get FAR more hands on and high level training and supervision, and they get paid FAR less per game than the UHSAA refs.

The coaches and parents of this state should be demanding better from the UHSAA in this regard, it isn't a mater of boys vs girls, or 5A vs 1A, it is a matter of the UHSAA simply doing a ludicrously poor job of taking care of business, as usual.

The Ghost
salem, UT

I could no sooner tell my daughter to forget her hopes and dreams because the boys get preference. Please! Sure the outside world is harsh and sometimes unfair, but, I will fight to the death anyone who says boys opportunites should come first and formost and take the lion's share of the money. This is coming from a father. I all so announce the games and these young women are great athletes, and quite honestly fun to watch. EVERYONE I repeat EVERYONE deserves the support to succed in doing something that they love. That is the lesson that we as parents, administrators, and fans should remember.

Provo, UT

The Ghost:

Now how about your son?

Mothers, fight for your sons tp make sure they get their fair opportunities!

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