Friday, November 1, 2019

Referee Shortage

NOVEMBER 1, 2019 | written by Steve Ulrich
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1. Referee Shortage

"Think high school football.

Think Friday night lights.

Think of a special gathering time and place for students, parents, alumni and other supporters of athletes clad as colorfully as the leaves in the trees that surround the stadiums.

Think Thursday night, too?

Fans of the sport in Southeastern Pennsylvania and South Jersey might soon find out because officials on both sides of the river are pushing hard for more football teams to play on Thursday nights starting next season to account for a disturbing development: A shortage of officials."

“Something has to be done,” said Ernie Gallagher, a long-time assignor of officials for both the Philadelphia Public League and Philadelphia Catholic League as well as several youth leagues. “We’re having a problem covering all these games [on Friday nights], and it’s only going to get worse.”

In South Jersey, Lindenwold High athletic director Derryk Sellers, who is the president of the 95-school West Jersey Football League, has asked every school to schedule one Thursday night home game during the 2020 season.

“I’m pushing hard for it,” Sellers said. “I’m telling everybody at every meeting I go to, ‘Look around. We don’t have enough officials.’ ”

>> Why It Matters: According to the Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic Association, the group has 16,533 registered officials to cover 13 sports during the 2018-19 school year. That's 1,132 fewer than five years ago.

>> What They're Saying: "It's simple math: Too many games, not enough officials." - John Barna, South Jersey soccer assignor.

>> Reality Check I: “Our average [umpire] in baseball is 67 years old. Our average guy in softball is 63 years old. What happens when they walk away?” - Ernie Gallagher, assignor for the Philadelphia Public and Catholic Leagues.

>> Reality Check II: “You go to a football game, it’s a referee crew of 65-year-olds. It should be a crew of 30-year-olds.” - Derryk Sellers, Lindenwold High School athletic director

>> The Final Word: “Sometimes, maybe you have to let things get to a critical mass. In couple years, guess what? We won’t have games, and then maybe the kids say, ‘Hey, Mom and Dad, I can’t play because you ruined it.’ Maybe that’s what it’s going to take.” - Larry White, Executive Director, NJSIAA

>> Read More from Phil Anastasia, Philadelphia Inquirer
>> Watch "The Parent Seat" video

2.  Stopping the Flopping

Ken Clark did it for science.

It was 2014, and Clark, then a doctoral student at Southern Methodist University, was part of a biomechanics group tasked by Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban with studying – and perhaps fixing – flopping, basketball’s dark, daffy art of fooling referees into calling fouls that aren’t.

Like all researchers, the SMU team needed data. Specifically, collision data. The underlying idea, Clark tells the Guardian, was “what if we just imagine people like billiard balls and go from there?” And that’s how Clark, his colleagues, and some hardy student volunteers found themselves in a campus lab, slamming each other off their feet, over and over again, as sensors captured every pileup.

Years after a company owned by Cuban gave a six-figure grant to SMU to investigate a perpetual hoops quandary that leaves game officials perplexed and fans apoplectic – flop or not? – the school’s Locomotor Performance Laboratory has released its findings in an amusing and informative video that breaks down everything you wanted to know about the physics of flopping, but probably never thought to ask.

>> Reality Check: In the NBA, there are two types of players. Those who have flopped, and those who haven’t – yet. LeBron James flopsChris Paul flopsStephen Curry flops. Hoops history’s attic is crammed with Oscar-worthy efforts: a Vlade Divac pratfall here, a Dwyane Wade tumble there, a truly magnificent offense-defense double dive from Manu Ginobili and Raja Bell, the flopping equivalent of the Al Pacino-Robert DeNiro diner face-off in Heat.

>> Why Does It Matter: Basketball fans love to see the good guys get away with some well-timed ersatz contact; they get irate when the bad guys pull the same trick.

>> Yes, But: To stop flopping, however, you first have to spot flopping – yet by definition, a good flop is indistinguishable in real time from a genuine foul.

>> Of Note: SMU biomechanics professor Peter Weyand, a former basketball player at Bates, and his team ran three experiments. All three told the same story. It doesn’t take much to knock someone standing upright off balance – just 50 lbs for a quarter of a second, roughly the same as walking or lightly jogging into someone.

>> Be Smart: Two conclusions: First, during natural two-person collisions, the stationary recipient will fall backwards with their arms out – but not up, and certainly not high enough to direct traffic on an aircraft carrier flight deck.

>> Go Deeper with Patrick Hruby for the Guardian

3. In the Paint

It's women's basketball's turn in the preseason spotlight as the WBCA and released their top 25s.

  1. Amherst
  2. Tufts
  3. Wartburg
  4. St. Thomas
  5. Scranton
  6. Bowdoin
  7. Texas-Dallas
  8. UW-Oshkosh
  9. Hope
  10. Messiah
11-15: Mary Hardin-Baylor, DePauw, Transylvania, George Fox, DeSales
16-20: Washington-St. Louis, Marymount, RIT, Oglethorpe, St. John Fisher
21-25: Whitman, Cabrini, New Paltz, (tie) Chicago, Geneseo
  1. Amherst
  2. Tufts
  3. Scranton
  4. Wartburg
  5. Bowdoin
  6. Hope
  7. Mary Hardin-Baylor
  8. George Fox
  9. St. Thomas
  10. DePauw
11-15: Trine, Texas-Dallas, DeSales, Wheaton IL, Christopher Newport
16-20: Transylvania, UW-Oshkosh, Chicago, UW-La Crosse, Messiah
21-25: Whitman, Ithaca, Augsburg, Washington-St. Louis, Emmanuel


Need assistance with a departmental review or a strategic plan? Time to refresh your conference's policies and procedures? Searching for talent for your athletic department? ASC is dedicated to small colleges and is committed to providing solutions for your concerns.

Contact to see how ASC can help your organization.

4.  Your Streaming Schedule

These are games worth tuning in for on your desktop, laptop, tablet, mobile device or Conference streaming portal via Roku, Apple TV or Amazon Fire TV. All times EDT 
  • Soccer (W): Carnegie Mellon at Washington-St. Louis, 6:30 (watch)
  • Volleyball: #9 Berry at #2 Emory, 7:00 (watch)
  • Ice Hockey (W): #2 Hamline at #3 Adrian, 7:00 (watch)
  • Ice Hockey (M): #4 St. Norbert at #1 UW-Stevens Point, 8:00 (watch)
  • Field Hockey: #6 Franklin & Marshall at #8 Johns Hopkins, 12:00 (watch)
  • Football: #25 Union at #8 Ithaca, 1:00 (watch)
  • Soccer (W): #2 William Smith at St. Lawrence, 2:00 (watch)
  • Soccer (M): #8 Rensselaer at Ithaca, 2:00 (watch)
  • Ice Hockey (M): #9 U. of New England at #2 Norwich, 7:00 (watch)
  • Ice Hockey (M): #1 UW-Stevens Point at #4 St. Norbert, 8:00 (watch)

    5. Weekend Preview

    Football -
    1. Mount Union (7-0, vs. Ohio Northern)
    2. Mary Hardin-Baylor (7-0, at Louisiana College)
    3. UW-Whitewater (7-0, vs. UW-La Crosse)
    4. Saint John's (7-0, vs. Concordia-Moorhead)
    5. Wheaton, Ill. (7-0, at Carroll)
    6. Muhlenberg (7-0, vs. Johns Hopkins)
    7. North Central (6-1, at Elmhurst)
    8. Ithaca (7-0, vs. #25 Union)
    9. Bethel (6-1, vs. Hamline)
    10. Salisbury (6-0, vs. Christopher Newport)

    Soccer (M) - United Soccer Coaches
    1. Amherst (13-0-2, vs. Wesleyan)
    2. Calvin (18-1, idle)
    3. Johns Hopkins (13-2-1, vs. Dickinson)
    4. Franklin & Marshall (14-2, vs. McDaniel)
    5. Tufts (11-2-2, vs. Hamilton)
    6. Chicago (8-1-5, vs. Case Western; vs. Carnegie Mellon)
    7. John Carroll (14-2-2, at Wilmington)
    8. Rensselaer (14-1-2, at Ithaca)
    9. Luther (13-4-1, idle)
    10. Oneonta (15-2, idle)

    Soccer (W) - United Soccer Coaches
    1. Messiah (16-1-1, idle)
    2. William Smith (13-1-1, at St. Lawrence)
    3. Washington-St. Louis (13-1-1, vs. Carnegie Mellon; vs. Case Western)
    4. College of New Jersey (14-1-1, idle)
    5. Johns Hopkins (11-2-4, vs. Franklin & Marshall)
    6. MIT (16-1-2, at Emerson)
    7. Wheaton, Ill. (15-1-1, vs. North Park)
    8. Christopher Newport (15-1-3, idle)
    9. Pomona-Pitzer (14-1-1, at CalTech)
    10. Middlebury (11-1-3, vs. Wesleyan)

    Field Hockey - NFHCA
    1. College of New Jersey (15-0, at Stockton)
    2. Middlebury (14-1, vs. Trinity)
    3. Salisbury (16-1, idle)
    4. Bowdoin (14-1, vs. Hamilton)
    5. Tufts (12-3, vs. #18 Colby)
    6. Franklin & Marshall (15-1, at #8 Johns Hopkins)
    7. Williams (12-3, vs. #17 Bates)
    8. Johns Hopkins (14-2, vs. #6 Franklin & Marshall)
    9. Kean (17-2, idle)
    10. Rowan (13-3, at FDU-Florham)

    Volleyball - AVCA
    1. Chicago (24-1, at UW-Eau Claire)
    2. Emory (23-2, vs. #9 Berry, vs. Wittenberg, vs. Washington and Lee)
    3. Carthage (24-3, vs. Aurora)
    4. Calvin (21-2, at Alma)
    5. Claremont-M-S (23-3, at La Verne)
    6. Trinity, Texas (29-4, vs. Hardin-Simmons, vs. East Texas Baptist)
    7. Johns Hopkins (26-0, vs. Franklin & Marshall)
    8. Colorado College (28-3, vs. Johnson & Wales Denver)
    9. Berry (21-4, vs. Washington and Lee; at #2 Emory; vs. Randolph-Macon)
    10. Ohio Northern (22-5, vs. Mount Union)

    Ice Hockey (W) - USCHO
    1. Plattsburgh (A/A vs. Buffalo State)
    2. Hamline (at #3 Adrian)
    3. Adrian (vs. #2 Hamline; H/H vs. Saint Mary's)
    4. Elmira
    5. St. Thomas (at St. Scholastica)
    6. Williams
    7. UW-Eau Claire (A/A vs. St. Norbert)
    8. UW-River Falls (H/H vs. Lake Forest)
    9. Norwich
    10. Middlebury

    Ice Hockey (M) - USCHO
    1. UW-Stevens Point (H/A vs. #4 St. Norbert)
    2. Norwich (vs. #9 U. of New England)
    3. Geneseo (at Potsdam; at Plattsburgh)
    4. St. Norbert (A/H vs. #1 UW-Stevens Point)
    5. Hobart (A/H vs. Elmira)
    6. Oswego (vs. Cortland)
    7. Adrian (vs. Nichols; vs. Manhattanville/Buffalo State)
    8. Augsburg (H/A vs. St. Scholastica)
    9. U. of New England (at #2 Norwich)
    10. Trinity (idle)
    H/H - home/home; H/A - home/away; A/H - away/home; A/A - away/away

    6.  Congrats!

    7.  Comings and Goings

    8.  1 Dog Thing

    Have a great weekend! And remember to move your clocks ahead one hour on Saturday night.

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