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How Tournament Officials are Selected | Ohio Valley Basketball Officials Association | Cincinnati Ohio

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How Tournament Officials are Selected

Posted by | February 15, 2010 .

Ratings and votes from administrators combine to select officials

Every winter season, teams and individuals from schools all across the state take to the courts, mats, alleys, rinks and pools with a dream of extending their season by advancing as far as possible in their respective state tournaments. Officials do the same. Most officials have a desire to officiate at the highest level of high school sports, and like student-athletes, it takes many years of practice and experience to achieve that goal.

Although most officials want to officiate tournament games, there are many misconceptions on how officials are selected and assigned to games. The assigning for winter sports tournaments through the district level is overseen by the OHSAA District Athletic Boards, but many other people are involved, including coaches, athletic directors, assigners and OHSAA staff and commissioners. OHSAA administrators take over the selection of officials for the regional and state levels.

Tournament officials are assigned based on ratings and votes from those involved in their sport. All head coaches of varsity teams are required to rate officials. The rating is a 1-5 scale, with five being the highest a coach can rate an official. All coaches ratings are then averaged to get that official’s “rating.” This rating becomes a multiplier later in the selection process.

Athletic directors, assigners, local associations and athletic board members then “vote” for officials. These people are given a limited number of votes to vote for whomever they wish. These votes are then added together to get an officials total number of votes. The votes and rankings gathered after the season will be used in the next year’s tournament selection process. For example, when selecting officials for the 2009-2010 tournaments, the votes and rankings from the 2008-2009 season will be used. It is important to note that the local associations with an extremely large number of officials are given more votes than some of the smaller associations.

The ratings of the officials are then multiplied by the number of votes they received. The officials are then ranked by this final number. From this list of officials and their final rankings, twice the number of needed officials are taken off the top to become the pool of officials that will receive tournament applications.

When the pool of officials is populated, these officials receive an application on their myOHSAA account. They also receive an e-mail asking them to fill out an application. These applications are used as a way to make sure there is a desire to officiate in the tournament and also to make sure that officials are still eligible and available. In order to officiate a tournament game, an official must have officiated a minimum number of regular-season games, participated in their local and state meetings, not be a coach or assigner to work the regional or state level, and fulfill a couple of other requirements. Officials selected as part of the tournament pool but who fail to fill out applications or will not meet requirements are then taken out of this pool.

The list of eligible officials is then sent out to the District Athletic Boards to assign for sectional and district games. Regional and state assignments are made by Henry Zaborniak, Assistant Commissioner at the OHSAA. State tournament assignments are made proportionally to the number of officials in each district. For example, if 20 percent of all basketball officials in Ohio come from the East District, 20 percent of the officials officiating the state tournament will be from the East District. Officials are also not permitted or assigned to work consecutive state tournament assignments.

Gymnastics officials apply through the OHSAA office to judge the state gymnastics competition. Eligible and available officials are selected by the state interpreters based on the official’s National Association of Women’s Gymnastics Judging rating. These selections are then approved by the OHSAA’s gymnastics liaison, Deborah B. Moore, Ph.D.

Officials who wish to one day officiate tournament games are encouraged to keep improving their officiating skills. Experience, skill and love of the game are the three quickest ways to become a playoff-level official.

### OHSAA ###

Source:  http://ohsaa.org/news/Magazine/Winter2010/TournamentOfficials.htm