2020 GKCOA SUNDAY VB NEWSLETTER – 9/20/20

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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!

KEEP YOUR GEAR HANDY AT ALL TIMES! It would be a good idea to keep your uniform and gear handy at all times (like in your car) just in case you might get a last-second call to officiate–it’s probably going to happen more than once this year!

  1. I’m starting a new job on Sept. 27…  I’ll still be with the USDA, but I’m moving from being a contractor to becoming a federal employee.  Since there may be a time during the transition where I won’t have access to my USDA e-mail, I’ve set up a new e-mail address just for my volleyball contacts—something I probably should have already done.  I expect that don.sleet@usda.gov will continue to work, but please use don.sleet.vb@gmail.com as my primary e-mail address. 
  2. I’ve seen a number of cases this year where exposed metal used in securing the net isn’t properly covered.  Examples include chains, exposed cables, a metal device that is used to hold two pieces together or a metal device that slides along and clamps down to hold it in place.  This does not include the metal grommets at the ends of the net where ropes or cords are used to tie the net to the post to create tension.  Any exposed metal on the top or bottom cable is to be covered.  The covering can be tape, pipe insulation, a towel draped over the cable, etc.–anything to cover the exposed metal.  (3-1-1)
  3. I was at a rivalry game and the fans were ringing bells and banging flag staffs on the bleachers to make noise.  Volleyball rules prohibit the use of artificial noise makers, except during warmups, during time-outs, between sets and post-match.  If you encounter this situation, host management needs to be the ones to address it with the fans–not the officials.  The home team’s coach is host management if there is no game administrator present.  Cheerleaders may use megaphones to amplify their voice, but they may not bang them on the floor/bleachers to make noise.  See Case Play 1.8.
  4. Please make sure to monitor cheering by parent or player line judges during the match. Despite their affiliations to their schools, they are to display neutrality while they are a part of the officiating team.

MSHSAA POST-SEASON SELECTION CHANGES – EMAIL FROM MSHSAA ON AUG. 31: Due to the COVID-19 pandemic ‘Class and District Assignments’ will not be released until WED., SEPT. 23.  In addition, there will be no state-wide drafts held this year for districts.  We are going back to the prior model of every manager securing and calling their own officials.  Our office will email the entire officials draft list to the district managers to review for selection purposes.  District Managers will also be instructed that no phone calls are to be made to any official prior to 6 a.m. on October 6th.

ONE OTHER MSHSAA CHANGE

MSHSAA has pushed back the date for schools to choose between a traditional fall season and the alternate fall (spring) season to Thurs., Sept. 17 (it was Sept. 11). That is why the date above regarding the release of class and district assignments was delayed.

Also, a team still might be able to switch after Sept. 17 to the alternate fall season if they are forced to stop playing (for instance, by the health department) and if they haven’t competed in more than 40% of their total matches and if they have MSHSAA Board of Directors approval.

ASSIGNOR ANNOUNCEMENTS

1. If you are scheduled to officiate C Gold and Silver at Blue Springs HS, please note that Varsity Line Judge slots have been added per school request. Please finish the C Gold/Silver matches and then proceed immediately to the Main Gym to Line Judge the remainder of Varsity. 
2. When contacting a school one week ahead to confirm details, if you find any detail from the school that differs from what is on Arbiter, please immediately email Don Gard AND David Thompson. If it is a change on the day of the event, please call David and Don.  
3. Thanks for your Flexibility—our mantra word—during all the cancellations, reschedules, etc. Keep up the great communication. 

Please constantly check your Arbiter and block and unblock dates frequently. Also, it might not be a bad idea to email Dave and Don on the weekends to make it clear when you might be available for the upcoming week. There have been numerous match and tournament changes already with surely more to come. Be persistent if you want to get more matches–the opportunities will be there!

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.

HOW TO GET YOUR MONEY OUT OF ARBITER PAY/REF PAY:

Here’s a good video to check out if you haven’t figured out how to get your Arbiter money into your bank account yet.  PLEASE pay particular attention to using manual transfers—in other words, DO NOT set ArbiterPay to automatic transfers—if you do, it will charge you $1.50 per transaction!!

OBSERVATION

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., OCT. 4 – 1:00PM (HOPEFULLY IN PERSON)

I would like to have one more meeting this season, and hopefully we can do it in person. NOTICE THE TIME is earlier because the Chiefs play at 3:25pm that day. I will try to nail down as site and let you know as soon as possible.

ANNOUNCEMENTS FROM PREVIOUS WEEKS:

RULES INTERPRETATION REMINDER

If you have a rules interpretation question, please contact Dixie Wescott at (d.wescott@sbcglobal.net) – do not contact MSHSAA or NFHS directly!

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)

FROM DON SLEET:

  1. When working in a location that requires masks, officials must wear masks at all times, as well.  When blowing a whistle, droplets can be expelled with greater force than normal speaking.
  2. 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 drsleet@sbcglobal.net and he’ll get one to you.

KNOW YOUR ASSIGNOR

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.

SCHEDULING AND GYM REMINDERS

Some schools which originally had their C Gold in an Aux Gym, are moving this match to the Main Gym/Field House for a couple of reasons: 

1. Social distancing in smaller gyms may not work as well as the Main Gym. 2. Main Gym matches allow the school to Live Stream matches so folks can view. 
In these instances, schools are moving up start times by about 30 minutes to start the C Gold match. These same officials will now be staying to Line Judge JV and V.  We have had great responses from officials about being flexible on matters like this! Kudos to all!

ARBITER BREACH

You may have received email or snail mail notification that there was an information breach at ArbiterSports. If you are concerned about your information, please call 1-877-296-5652 during their business hours of Monday-Friday 8am-10pm central time or Saturday-Sunday 10am-7pm central time to discuss your options.

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/

THE VALUE OF A STRONG R2: https://www.sportsofficiatingsummit.com/athome/sessions/sport-session-volleyball-r2-mechanics-and-interactions/

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!

EMAIL FROM KENNY SEIFERT, MSHSAA – SEPT. 3, 2020

Safety and security has always been a primary concern for the Association.  This concern not only includes the safety of students, coaches, fans, administrators, but also for sports officials.  It is extremely important that all MSHSAA Officials have a good understanding of how to protect themselves in the case of an “active shooter” scenario at a sporting event.  It is our intention to provide information and guidance which will assist them in this situation.   


The link included with this message is for a presentation that discusses the important role and responsibilities, as well as the expectations for school administrators in helping with the protection of the officials at the contest.  It is our hope that all Officials, Principals and Athletic Administrators will give their undivided attention and take the time to watch this 8 minute power point presentation, in order to be prepared in the case of one of these unfortunate events happening.

https://www.mshsaa.org/resources/video/Active Shooter Video.mp4

Please refer back to this message to review the presentation.  There will NOT be a link provided on the MSHSAA website.  

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:

Tues., Oct. 6 (6:00am) – earliest that officials may accept assignments for districts