Officiating Book

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Tegan
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Officiating Book

Post by Tegan »

I am nearing (hoping I am nearing) the end of a process of writing a short book (about 30-40 pages) on how to be a good official for high school academic bowl style matches. I am trying to write it without placing emphasis on particular state "styles" (I hope it would be something that could be universally used, and not just in my native Illinois). With any luck, I am hoping to be able to get it printed sometime in 05-06 or 06-07.

My initial entry into high school quiz bowl, long before coaching, was as an official. I assisted in rewriting and reorganizing the Illinois rules some years ago, and I hepled write the case manual that is used to help clarify rules for coaches, players, and moderators. I have been officiating for about 11 years, and have been an official at the Illinois State Championships for the last 6. I am hardly the best official in the state, but I would like to think I am among the better students of officiating.

Before I finish, I am looking for some more input.

1. Would there be an interest in this (assuming that it was well written, and covered the correct points of emphasis)? Is this something that a coach could hand to a new official, or that a coach who officiates would be interested in reading?

2. This question is especially for players as well as coaches: If you could only guarantee one good quality in the official who was going to officiate your state championship match (with you playing for all the marbles). What would it be (exclude experience, as that would be an automatic).

Not only are all critical responses appreciated, but I would be happy to credit input in writing.

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Post by First Chairman »

I have some notes from a small booklet which may help. The problem is exactly who would "buy" this book.
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Post by harshrealm »

An online "publishing" would probably be more useful, but I think there's one floating around somewhere, though its written more towards the college level. As for the one quality I would look for, I would say a steady rhythm.

Tegan
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Post by Tegan »

Thank you both......if there is an on-line book somewhere (Even if it is for college), I would love a chance to see it (if I use anything, I would be sure to credit it). If you know the URL, I'd love to know.

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Post by harshrealm »

http://www.gataquizbowl.org/downloads/A ... Reader.doc

http://www.princeton.edu/~cbowl/moderators.html

http://www.ocf.berkeley.edu/~quizbowl/rules.html

There use to be one that gave really detailed instructions on tempo and so forth- I think it was on the ACF site, which is down at this time.

Hope this helps.
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Post by MLafer »

The ACF site isn't down, it was just moved (from http://www.acf-qb.org to http://www.acf-quizbowl.com ).

Their reader's guide is here:
http://www.dpo.uab.edu/~paik/acf/readguid.html

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Post by Tegan »

Thanks everyone,

I will be sure to credit and cite for this (assuming I ever do get it printed).

Mr. E.T. mentioned a concern on how would "buy" it.......I'm certainly not doing this as a "for massive profit" venture....just limited printings to cover cost. But having run into 2-3 mediochre and plain bad moderators in my career for every gem, I was (perhaps naively) hoping that it could serve as a start in discussing good technique whether a person is just an official, or a coach who has to officiate as a part of a match (in Illinois, it is perfectly normal for coaches to split duties in moderating during a match).


Thank you all again!

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Post by Skepticism and Animal Feed »

Tegan wrote:(in Illinois, it is perfectly normal for coaches to split duties in moderating during a match).
That's one thing that I had serious issues with during my high school career in Illinois, especially since I played only in a local league with no moderators.

Lots of coaches had thick accents, and this made them very difficult for us to understand them, while their own team, having practiced with that coach, did not share the problem. This was an unfair advantage for the other team. Now, you could argue that since the coaches split reading duty, its fair, because during the other half we would have the unfair advantage because we're used to our coach's voice, but that's simply not true in reality. It is far eaiser to get used to a non-accented voice during the game than it is to get used to a thickly accented one; so even if we had some advantage, the other team "caught on" to our coach's speech far earlier in the course of a half-game than we did with theirs.

All moderators should have unoffensive standard midwestern accents. You don't need to be foreign to be difficult to understand -- I recall Latin having a coach with a very high-pitched nasal voice that provided just as much problems to us as any foreigner.
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Post by David Riley »

I agree that a bad moderator can be really frustrating, but I wouldn't hold up midwestern accents as the standard :grin:

Part of the problem in Illinois is that until we get some kind of certification process for moderators (the coaches' association is working on this), you have almost no choice if you want to run a large tournament, where you need as many as 20-30 moderators. About the best we can do is to assign our good moderators to the playoff rounds or to rounds where the TD thinks that the majority of questions will be answered (though I suppose the problem there is a slow moderator rather than one who has problems with clarity or pronunciation).

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Post by Tegan »

I somewhat disagree with my esteemed colleague from Wilmette.

Tournament directors should consider designating a coach as the moderator (that is, pick the one who moderates the best), and name them the official.....it might motivate other coaches to get with it and learn to do a better job.

Of course, as Bruce pointed out, this can give an advantage to one team over the other. I will say that when I first started coaching, my team usually fell behind when I moderated......lately, the opposite is the case......we were behind a local school at a recent match (the other team's coach elected to read the first half)......the coach was a bit choppy, and I could see that it had an effect on my team. Once I took over, my team took immediate control and came from behind to win.

The certification system, if we can get it rolling, would help. I think a start could be for players to rate moderators (even if they are coaches), and return ratings cards to T.D's. That should give the TD an idea for the future.

And don't knock Midwestern accents:

"We had quitters in the Revolution too. We called them Kentuckians."
--General George Washington

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Post by dtaylor4 »

Tegan wrote:The certification system, if we can get it rolling, would help. I think a start could be for players to rate moderators (even if they are coaches), and return ratings cards to T.D's. That should give the TD an idea for the future.
Mr. Egan, with all due respect, I love the idea, but I'm not so sure it would work because first of all the "ratings cards" could be filled out with a bias toward certain coaches and secondly, and I will use myself as an example, I know of one moderator I've heard on several occasions from around here that has a very thick foreign accent, probably new jerseyan. I do not like the moderator but I have gotten used to his accent, and that gives me an advantage over the other team. The best idea put forth is a certification, and I think that anyone who wants to become a quiz bowl coach should also go through the same process.

Mr. Egan, you need to push for "triangulars" in your league matches and if need be, get a petition going. In our league around here, we have nine teams and at any triangular with say teams A B and C, the B coach would bring their own questions and read for the AC match, and so on. This is just a suggestion.

Tegan
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Post by Tegan »

DaGeneral wrote:Mr. Egan, with all due respect, I love the idea, but I'm not so sure it would work because first of all the "ratings cards" could be filled out with a bias toward certain coaches and secondly <sic> The best idea put forth is a certification, and I think that anyone who wants to become a quiz bowl coach should also go through the same process.
You are right.....I myself am not intimately involved in the proposal for certification right now, though I have heard bits and pieces. In many sports, coaches are required to go on line after a match, and rate an official (the on-line service run by the IHSA has replaced the "cards" that they used to use. There were times that angry, prejudiced, frustrated coaches rated down an official for no good reason.....I even worked for coaches that rated coaches higher, essentially, because they were easily intimidated into changing their calls. That's no good. I also believe that they are a minority. Over the course of time, officials that get selected (for example) to work the state tournament, and are not really good, get found out, and not asked back again, no matter what. From that, it is simple to find out which coaches give improper reviews...and they can be ignored. The key thing: it takes time. And I fully agree...any coach worth their salt ought to become a certified official.
DaGeneral wrote:Mr. Egan, you need to push for "triangulars" in your league matches and if need be, get a petition going.
I wish it would happen! When I helped found the South Metro League (Marist, Mt. Carmel, Bishop Mac, Fenwick, Joliet Catholic, Timothy Christian, St. Laurence, St. Rita, Brother Rice, Providence....a few others that dropped out over time), we never even considered single matches...we went with modified quads....4 teams meet at one place, but only two rounds (two teams didn't play). We had 12 teams, and everyone played everybody once, plus a tournament, and only used 6 dates.....and that included the fact that we had teams as far apart as Kankakee and Oak Park (practically O'Hare!). Those two teams played on the morning of the conference tournament...play a match....take a 20 minute break for breakfast.....seed everyone up...and play it out.....I thought it worked great! Every big league (more than 6 teams) that I know of plays tri's or quad's (or some variation), except for two. Out of that league, Marist and Fenwick are Class AA powers (I'll even say that Marist is the best team that has never been to the State Finals). Bishop Mac is occasionally good, and Timothy Christian, in some years, is easily a top 10 Class A team in state...but never win the sectional ruled by Latin. Its simple: more experience + exposure to different styles of questions + hard work = better team.

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Post by Captain Sinico »

Tegan wrote:Oak Park (practically O'Hare!).
I resemble that remark! Anyway, I think you have this right; any transparent format can be made to work in a fair way in the hands of the right people.

MaS

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Post by dtaylor4 »

ImmaculateDeception wrote:I resemble that remark!
That's the second-best misquote from that quote, the tops going to "I reject that!", from a history teacher here at mac (and not a very smart one).

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