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Non-Skating Officials => Working with Referees => Topic started by: The Sharmanator on September 13, 2016, 07:52:31 pm

Title: Should Officials Get Paid
Post by: The Sharmanator on September 13, 2016, 07:52:31 pm
I put this topic in this forum because it involves both NSO's and Referee's and I wanted to post this dialog for all officials to see and comment.  This is a hot topic right now, should Officials Get Paid?
Title: Re: Should Officials Get Paid
Post by: Vanilla VICE on September 13, 2016, 08:46:15 pm
I think they should. I think officials should unionize (even if we continue to not pay them). A state chapter type system. Once that is in place, I feel you might then be able to make a dent in this progress. (If there were union fees that would cover clinics, camps, and practice space in a central place)

Varsity High School Referees for Basketball & Football make around $55 USD per game. The state organizes officials for the state, and after that I'm not sure where the money comes from. (I would assume it would eventually get tracked back to the schools which is funded by taxes even if the ticket sales could easily cover it)

Usually when this is brought up people will respond with "Well some leagues wouldn't be able to afford it" To which I would answer: "The rules allow 3 referees." I believe progress on this front is two steps: using fewer refs to bring the total cost per game down, and organizing in a way to collectively make getting paid more normal. To make getting paid the new norm, the majority of referees in the state would need to be on board. Without the leverage of everyone asking for money, I don't think you are going to see anyone getting paid. The basic idea is that you staff as many refs as you can afford starting with 3 and go up to 7.

Even the "NSOs" of other sports get some money even if less. Check out this AL State Website for an idea of what I am talking about:
http://www.ahsaa.com/Officials/Officials-Fees (http://www.ahsaa.com/Officials/Officials-Fees)

If getting paid became the new norm, do you think there would be more refs that travel or looked to this as a career? I'm interested in hearing people's thoughts on that if it doesn't derail too much.

Edit: I found this part interesting too:

Other Fees

The fees that the schools are allowed to pay are outlined above. The schools will not be allowed to pay any other fees without the approval from the Central Board. The Central Board has previously approved an administrative fee for the local associations if the local associations take responsibility for handling all IRS Tax Requirements. This is the only additional fee that has been approved. A fee of $35.00 per school per sport is acceptable for this purpose.

The Application Fee for Registration purposes for the officials is $50.00 per sport.  Restricted officials who are participating in the AHSAA/SDE high school sports officiating class will have this fee waived for one year.
Title: Re: Should Officials Get Paid
Post by: ShoNuff on September 14, 2016, 02:02:17 am
An immediate question comes to mind.

If officials become contractors hired by leagues, then we are no longer members of leagues.  We can't reasonably expect to have free access to training time with leagues which we are no longer members of.

How much would we have to spend to get training since we would probably have to pay for track time since a team isn't going to be excited to have to hire an untrained official just so that official can get training.
Title: Re: Should Officials Get Paid
Post by: Major Puddles on September 14, 2016, 02:33:04 am
Some leagues do pay already. My league pays each ref $50. Some of our bouts are not profitable due to high venue costs and clashes with other events which limit ticket sales. But the league feels it is still worth paying the referees.

That said, while it is common knowledge that we pay our officials, it is still an absolute nightmare trying to get officials to travel. The fact we pay doesn't seem to impact on peoples ability or desire to travel.

Unionising would have a lot of it's own issues, and I don't know that officiating is big enough yet to do it and still have good training systems in place, without the help and agreement of leagues.
Title: Re: Should Officials Get Paid
Post by: General Hellativity on September 14, 2016, 03:32:32 pm
I too wonder what that will do to league membership for us. I think league membership is a good idea. It's one of the things that makes refereeing roller derby different from other sports. Practicing with the league, socializing with them, being part of it is both fun, and promotes a sense of understanding between refs and skaters. This means that during an actual bout, we get treated with more understanding and respect than in other sports. Just look how hockey or soccer refs are treated. It's terrible, sometimes even violent. Our participation in our leagues is one of the things that tones that down.

As someone who was always picked last in school, I also *like* being part of a league with a national presence. In your face, high school football jocks!

And I'd only be repeating the concerns about where and when we would practice if getting paid meant loss of or less robust league membership. I think that financially, it would be a wash.

It would also make it more difficult for officials to travel for derby. Crossing a border as a volunteer is easy. Crossing a border to go do a job requires paperwork and may not even be possible in some cases.

On the other hand, I also recognize the huge amount of work we put in for tournaments, which really is work after the first two games or so! Perhaps a "hybrid" scheme is called for: regular bouts get gas money... WFTDA recognized tournaments offer some form of actual compensation.
Title: Re: Should Officials Get Paid
Post by: Vanilla VICE on September 14, 2016, 03:33:15 pm
If officials become contractors hired by leagues, then we are no longer members of leagues.  We can't reasonably expect to have free access to training time with leagues which we are no longer members of.

I would think leagues with free dues to officials policies would also go away. I think leagues could still charge officials dues to skate. Currently the norm seems to be "charge referees cheap or no dues at all" in exchange for "working our games for nothing". I'd be cool with reversing that if there wasn't a central training place for the state funded by official membership.

Cash Comparison:

Current Hypothetical League:
Officials Pay $0 Per Month to League to Train & Scrimmage (Encourages New Officials)
Officials are paid $0 to Officiate (Discourages Travel Needed to get better)

Proposed Hypothetical New Structure:
Officials Pay $X Per Month to Train & Scrimmage (Might Discourage New Officials)
Officials are paid $X per game or day to Officiate (Money Incentive to Seek More Experience)

$X being approximately the same amount for each game/day as the cost per month to train and practice.

Incentivizing Growth with Money to me is just a better system than incentivizing free training and scrimmage time. I do understand that money won't motivate everyone, but half the officials I encounter don't travel due to money. This shifts traveling from a net loss, to possibly a break even model (and maybe even a Career if you was about that life)

Current Hypothetical League Result:
Non Traveling Refs Break Even, Traveling Refs Net Loss
Proposed Hypothetical New Structure Result: Non Traveling Refs Break Even, Traveling Refs Break Even.

Thoughts on this?
Title: Re: Should Officials Get Paid
Post by: bmd (2113) on September 14, 2016, 07:14:05 pm
Should Officials get paid? Of course. Officials provide a service, and when one provides a service one should receive compensation for it.

"What compensation should officials receive?" is an entirely different question. I don't know the answer to that. I know that I spend a lot of time doing derby. I spend a lot of money on gear and on travel. I spend a lot of energy on derby on-and-off-and-around the track. Heck, I am, er might be, even replying on a derby officials forum during work time. :)

But I freaking love roller derby.

I love the action and sights and the sounds. I love the video and the GIFs and the the forums. I love the awesome venues and the crappy venues and the 5 hour drives home with seat heater on the sore muscles and just enough caffeine to get me home. I love the rules, the rules changes, they hypotheticals, the what-ifs, the why's, the why-nots. I love the rules and the strategies and learning the intricacies, and sharing what I've learned. I love the camp and the history and the future. Mostly, I love officiating roller derby.  I don't agree with everyone or everything, but I.love.it.all.

I'm fortunate that my league doesn't require dues from Officials. I'm fortunate that most nearby leagues allow visiting officials to scrimmages. Someone else is paying for that space and administrative overhead. I don't have to pay for it - that's nice. Usually I receive a thank-you or a goodie bag or a gas card or some cash after a game or 5 - that's nice. As a board member for our junior league I've successfully lobbied for a per-game budget for Skating Officials (sorry, NSOs) because I know they could be doing other things and we're trying to be nice.

If I wanted to make money as an official then I should go work a high school basketball or football or baseball or anything. Kids working my kids' soccer games make way more than I do officiating. But I get more out of derby than could ever be put into my wallet. I get to be part of something that I love and is bigger than me.

And right now that's good enough for me.