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Author Topic: A Cautionary Tale for Head Refs  (Read 9717 times)

Offline SkateGoat

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A Cautionary Tale for Head Refs
« on: September 30, 2013, 04:34:37 am »
This evening I had the pleasure of serving as head referee for a team's first game ever. All went well throughout the first and second halfs of the game, and our zebra crew received positive feedback from the benches at halftime. During that time, unbeknownst to me, the jam referees asked the scorekeepers to double-check their math. They confirmed that all was well.

In the last jam the game was incredibly close, and the unofficial result came down to a 3 point advantage in favor of one team. As head referee I immediately skated over to and asked the scorekeepers if they had confirmed that the scores were correct. After a short pause, they confirmed that the score was final. I announced to the crowd that the score was final.

After skating back to my referee crew, I was asked why I hadn't instructed the jam referees to confirm the score. I said I had confirmed the score with the scorekeepers but admitted I hadn't personally double-checked the math. The referees said I should have done so. At that point we skated over and went through the paperwork.

If you've read this far, you know what's coming: a 4-4-4 jam in the first half for the winning team was added up to 16, not 12. That meant the team was incorrectly awarded the game and the score was instead one point in favor of the home team. I immediately called the captains over and explained the situation, apologized profusely, and made clear that I was taking responsibility for the error. I was offered the microphone and explained to the audience what had occurred. After chatting with my referee crew, I returned to both benches once more to apologize for the result.

I'm telling this story to share the valuable lessons I learned today, and perhaps to commiserate with officials who have made similar errors. Six things I will never forget:
1) Always have two pairs of eyes checking the score after every half. Every calculation is subject to a careless error.
2) Always have the jam referees confirm the math on a score before calling it as final.
3) Be more clear in communications. Instead of asking the scorekepers to "confirm" the score, I should have been more clear that all the math needed to be double-checked.
4) Always take ownership as head referee for mistakes like these. The benches seemed to appreciate that I did so, even though the bout's ending was bittersweet for both teams.
5) As head referee have a checklist of things that need to be done before, during, and after a bout. I'm in the process of developing my own, but clearly I left out some important information on mine. I'll definitely be adding to my pre-bout meeting that jam referees and scorekeepers must automatically check the score after each half.
6) I truly lived up to my referee name tonight ::)

Offline Riff Reff

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Re: A Cautionary Tale for Head Refs
« Reply #1 on: September 30, 2013, 11:59:07 am »
Oh boy. That was learning the hard way.

I add 5.1
Have the score keepers check the others score sheet during time outs.
Don't look at the game with rules-tinted glasses; look at the rules with game-tinted glasses!

Offline FNZebra

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Re: A Cautionary Tale for Head Refs
« Reply #2 on: September 30, 2013, 01:17:56 pm »
Ouch.

The WFTDA StatsBook score sheets are set up for an error-check, that at least one NSO is a huge fan of using. At the bottom of each scoring pass column, there is a cell for the total.

Add each pass horizontally, and calculate the running total. Per usual. At the end of the bout, add the sum of all the pass 2s, pass 3s, ... vertically,  to double-check the running total.

When the scorekeepers exchange sheets during timeouts, they should initial in the margin which row they have worked thru -- avoids undue effort for that critical task.
You will bout as you practice.


Cheers,

FN Zebra
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Bloomington, Indianer

Offline Major Wood

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Re: A Cautionary Tale for Head Refs
« Reply #3 on: September 30, 2013, 06:37:22 pm »
While it may be admirable to take the blame, it's really spread out among many people.

The scorekeeper should have caught the error.
In such a close game, the scorekeepers probably should have double checked each other's work at the end.
The jammer refs should be checking with their scorekeepers at the end anyway, even if you are checking as well.
The home team should have noticed and called for an official review. If they didn't have any left, they should have at least mentioned something was wrong.

So, multiple officiating errors and an error from a team in not using an official review (which is there to correct officiating errors). Lessons learned, just don't be too quick to fall on your sword.
Your friendly Zebra Huddle admin.

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I speak only of my opinions and interpretations.

Offline Wheels Bohr

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Re: A Cautionary Tale for Head Refs
« Reply #4 on: October 11, 2013, 06:41:31 pm »
A related question, when do you as HR declare the score official final?

I normally would not have the scoreboard operator mark it as "Official Final" until the Jam Refs and scorekeepers have both rechecked all the second period calculations but this can take a couple minutes with a calculator, but I noticed at the Divisional Tournaments it was marked Official quite rapidly after the final whistle.

Anyone know what the verification procedure was at the Tournaments?
Wheels Bohr
Tallahassee RollerGirls

Offline Julius Seizure

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Re: A Cautionary Tale for Head Refs
« Reply #5 on: October 11, 2013, 08:08:39 pm »
Anyone know what the verification procedure was at the Tournaments?

Jammer refs very promptly verified the score with their scorekeepers at the game's conclusion. At this level you will have some of the best officials working, so things like this are going to be handled fairly efficiently.

...not saying that there weren't a couple blips here and there.  :-X
The Chicago Outfit - Head of Officials
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Offline Axis of Stevil

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Re: A Cautionary Tale for Head Refs
« Reply #6 on: October 11, 2013, 09:48:57 pm »
More likely the jammers were zipping over to the score trackers during team timeouts.  That way they can add up a bunch of the scores and jot down a mark indicating scores are correctly added to that point.  Makes for much faster adding at the end.
6.1.3.5.1.2.3 - The referee who quotes a rule with the most digits is declared the winner.

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Re: A Cautionary Tale for Head Refs
« Reply #7 on: October 12, 2013, 05:09:47 am »
Not to mention the use of laptops/Rinxter it was probably easy to confirm tally's as they were probably computed.
Madness Tolls
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Offline Nick Bergus

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Re: A Cautionary Tale for Head Refs
« Reply #8 on: October 12, 2013, 03:28:21 pm »
Not to mention the use of laptops/Rinxter it was probably easy to confirm tally's as they were probably computed.

LOL.
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Offline The Gorram Reaver

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Re: A Cautionary Tale for Head Refs
« Reply #9 on: October 12, 2013, 04:51:11 pm »
Not to mention the use of laptops/Rinxter it was probably easy to confirm tally's as they were probably computed.

LOL.

Right?  Should we mention the time an entire period had to be done on paper and a whole NSO crew had to go to "NSO Detention" after the bout completed in order to get all the data entered in to Rinxter?  Or should we just let the rest of the derbyworld continue with their illusions?
The Gorram Reaver
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Offline Samuel Bergus

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Re: A Cautionary Tale for Head Refs
« Reply #10 on: October 14, 2013, 03:15:30 pm »
rechecked all the second period calculations but this can take a couple minutes with a calculator

As a scorekeeper, I find it's pretty fast to check each jam total for accuracy, and then check the running total for accuracy from the jam totals, with no calculator necessary.

 

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