PLEASE KEEP CHECKING YOUR EMAIL AND ARBITER CONSTANTLY: Those are where the latest updates and announcements will be. As we already know, the situation changes minute by minute, so please make sure to stay up to date on the latest information!
Here we go! Some of us were able to blow (or push the button on) our whistles on Friday and Saturday and experience our new normals for the first time. Socially distanced benches, masks or gaiters, captains and coaches meetings at the center of the net, and a reduced number or no spectators are now part of volleyball in the age of COVID. Teams seemed to do a good job keeping their masks on, and there was a great deal of positivity overall – most were just happy they were able to play! Hopefully, we’re able to keep it going! Good luck for those of you who kick off your seasons this week!
NEW OFFICIALS (and officials who want a refresher course): Don’t forget about our jamboree videos from last year that may help you see what a match looks like before your work your first one:
MEMO FROM MARK BUBALO, SUBURBAN CONFERENCE ASSIGNOR
COMMENT: Remember, Mark is not an assignor with GKCOA–he has his own policies and procedures, but much of what he says below are good ideas to keep in mind this season:
I’m sure this is going to be a wild ride, so hang on and remember a few of these things.
If you get a cancelation notice via Arbiter, the game has been canceled. (I know, it seems silly to repeat this, but I have already had some questions).
Look, in the time we are living there are going to be plenty of cancelations, just count on it. Teams are going to run into COVID-19 problems and have to cancel and move games. Just get used to it.
When games are re-scheduled I will try to offer the make-up game to the original officials. Arbiter will tell me if you have a conflict most of the time, but some of you don’t update your blocks all the time so just decline an assignment if you can’t do the re-scheduled game and I will move on.
You will also, almost always, receive a phone call from the home team’s AD that the game has been canceled, so this is a good double check.
In terms of pay, the Suburban Conference policy is to NOT pay officials for canceled games UNLESS the official is on his/her way to the game or already there when the game gets canceled. The executive committee of the SC, made up of 7 superintendents, said they would continue with that same policy. Everyone is inconvienced by the COVID-19 crisis and we will all have to work together on cancelations and re-scheduled games.
IF something happens and you are unsure about whether or not your game is taking place get in touch with the home team’s AD to confirm the game is still being played. I will get out Arbiter notices as quickly as I find out something has changed.
Officiating and participating in the time of COVID is totally a new and exasperating experience for us all. Please be patient and please communicate often and clearly with me and your home team AD. We appreciate your service to the student-athletes AND WE DON’T TAKE IT FOR GRANTED OR TAKE IT LIGHTLY THAT YOU ARE WILLING TO HELP IN THE MIDST OF A PANDEMIC!
THANKS FOR YOUR ATTENTION TO THE DETAILS!
RULES INTERPRETATION REMINDER
If you have a rules interpretation question, please contact Dixie Wescott at (email@example.com) – do not contact MSHSAA or NFHS directly!
PART II EXAM INFORMATION
The MSHSAA Part II Exam is now available…make sure you complete it and pass it (90% or better) by Sept. 7. The only major issue we’ve seen thus far is an error on the question, “The number of the uniform top shall be placed no more than ___ inches from the shoulder seam, or centered below the bottom edge of any neckline ribbing, placket or seams on the uniform top.” The answer should be 5 inches, but the website marks it as incorrect. Dixie Wescott has let MSHSAA know about the error, and it should be fixed soon. So, if you missed it, you actually didn’t!
MSHSAA POST-SEASON APPLICATION
If you want to work post-season, you must fill out the application on the MSHSAA website which is NOW AVAILABLE. Even if you don’t meet the minimum requirements, fill it out anyway. With the potential shortages we have this year, you still might have an opportunity! Our region is Region 6–make sure you fill that out correctly or else you may be placed in a different part of the state! Also, if your availability changes after the due date of Sept. 11, YOU MUST CONTACT MSHSAA DIRECTLY to update your dates. MSHSAA does not look upon those officials favorably who have to give back post-season matches due to avoidable schedule conflicts.
NASO SUMMIT AT HOME VIDEO SESSIONS
The National Association of Sports Officials is an association that GKCOA is a member of and previously having sent representatives to their national convention. This year’s convention is virtual and FREE anybody that signs up. We HIGHLY ENCOURAGE you to register to have access to some of the great volleyball specific content below:
HANDLING UNSPORTING CONDUCT IN VOLLEYBALL: https://www.sportsofficiatingsummit.com/athome/sessions/sport-session-volleyball-unsporting-conduct-ignore-warn-or-penalize/
THE ART OF PREVENTIVE OFFICIATING IN VOLLEYBALL: https://www.sportsofficiatingsummit.com/athome/sessions/sport-session-volleyball-art-of-preventive-officiating/
VOLLEYBALL LINE JUDGE TRAINING: https://www.sportsofficiatingsummit.com/athome/sessions/sport-session-volleyball-line-judge-tips-and-techniques/
Plus, there’s a lot of general officiating topics and sessions for many other sports at this website: https://www.sportsofficiatingsummit.com/athome/program/#Day-1
Please check it out!
If you’re available on Thurs., Sept. 10, email David and/or Don ASAP…we need help that day!
Know who your assignor is–remember Mark Bubalo assigns Suburban Conference dual JV/varsity matches and some tournaments. GKCOA assigns middle school, C-Gold/Silver, varsity line judges, some varsity tournaments, and some varsity/JV matches outside the Suburban Conference. When you have a question about an assignment, make sure to look in Arbiter to see who actually assigned it to you before you send questions to the wrong assignor! (see below to tell the difference)
With all the uncertainty, it could be possible (maybe even probable) that you will have to let David and Don know the day of a match that you cannot work (especially due to illness)…please be professional and CALL THEM ASAP to ensure that they are aware of the situation and to give them enough time to find your replacement.
Don says that if you want a laminated clock countdown protocol sheet or a laminated partner prematch sheet traditionally handed out at his MSHSAA mechanics meetings or at in-person GKCOA meetings made by Nancy Willig, please contact Don at firstname.lastname@example.org and he’ll get one to you.
We are proud of our officials and want to see improvement all the time. To that end, members of the leadership team among others go out to Saturday tournaments to watch and help referees improve. This is not an official MSHSAA evaluation, but just an opportunity for improvement. Most likely, you’ll get some written feedback and a conversation about your strengths and areas for improvement. We were able to observe over 50 referees last year, and we hope to continue that process this year. We haven’t decided which tournaments we will observe yet, so stay tuned. More information to come.
NEXT MEETING – SUN., SEPT 13 – HOPEFULLY IN PERSON (SITE TBA)
Between now and then, there are a number of MSHSAA responsibilities that need to happen…make sure you get those done (see below)!!
ANNOUNCEMENTS FROM PREVIOUS WEEKS:
PLEASE DOUBLE CHECK YOUR ARBITER – THERE ARE A LOT OF UNACCEPTED ASSIGNMENTS!! Also, if you’ve been removed from any assignments recently, it may be because you haven’t paid your GKCOA or MSHSAA dues. Scroll down to GKCOA president Brian Verman’s email below regarding the GKCOA Board of Directors position on making sure you are paid up in order to be assigned matches. If you have questions, please let Brian know or make sure to fill out your renewal form at https://gkcoa.formstack.com/forms/renewal to be reinstated to the matches on your schedule.
MAKE SURE WE ARE PROPERLY ACCEPTING ASSIGNMENTS IN ARBITER
The assignors have noticed that a number of assignments have gone unaccepted and therefore cancelled because they believe that people don’t properly accept their assignments from their schedule page. The video below shows how to accomplish that.
MSHSAA EMAIL TO REFEREES REGARDING POTENTIAL NATIONAL ANTHEM PROTESTS
PREPARING TO OFFICIATE THIS SEASON DURING A PANDEMIC
As you prepare yourself to officiate this season, in addition to the written recommendations and guidelines, there are some unwritten items you may want to consider:
Also, remember there are items that we do not have to worry about–we have enough to do without inserting ourselves into places where we don’t belong. The administrators on duty and the teams generally need to police such items that aren’t directly in our NFHS rules book.
TOURNAMENT CREW CHIEF CHECKLIST
If you are listed first (Referee 1) in Arbiter for a Saturday tournament, congratulations–you are the crew chief! Here is a list of responsibilities that you need to follow:
HERE ARE OTHER DATES TO KNOW:
Mon., Sept. 7: Part II exam DUE
Fri., Sept. 11: MSHSAA online rules review and post-season application DUE