Double-Booking and Turnbacks
One of MHSOA's major problems has been the number of turnbacks to both Section 1 and
Much of the problem had to due with "cherry-picking." Some officials made themselves available for the
same days to all of their assignors - Section 1, Section 9, junior college, and college. They then waited
for the assignments to roll in, held off accepting until the last moment, and accepted the "best" game for
each day. This must stop! The only person benefiting from this activity is that referee. Because they
played this game, the match must be re-assigned, a referee may not be available or ready for that level game,
and the teams end up with inadequate coverage of the match.
You must decide on the types of games that are important to you (and those of lesser importance), and
adjust your availability to match that. For example, if college games are your thing, make yourself fully
available for them, but reduce your availability for high school games. Initial college assignments should
not be a problem, since they usually arrive much earlier than high school assignments (which arrive much
earlier than junior college assignments.) The problems occur when games are added during the season - we'll
address that later. The most important thing to do after you have accepted a game is to immediately update
your availability for all other assignors.
Availability to Assignor A:
Don't make yourself fully available to both high school assignors; instead, select days of the week on which
you will accept assignments for a particular Section. For example, give Section 1 Monday, Wednesday, and
Friday, and give Section 9 availability on Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday. Again, after you have accepted
an assignment, immediately update your availability with any other assignor that has that day open for you.
Availability to Assignor B:
Okay, you have responded to all your assignors and accepted their games, but you became lax in updating
your availability. Because of this laxity, you receive an assignment that is much better than the one you
accepted. Wow, what a good game! Stop! Remember that you have a contract to officiate another game on
that day. The only reason that you are in this quandary is because you have not previously done your job
properly, i.e., made yourself unavailable. Tell the assignor of the "great game" that you would love to
accept his game, but you can't because you screwed up and forgot to make yourself unavailable when you
accepted the other game. Your integrity will probably put you on the assignor's "keeper list," even when
you turn down his pleas.
There are more games out there than we have referees to cover, so you will not be without as full a schedule
as you want. You may not have the college game or the varsity game on that day, but don't all teams at all
levels deserve quality referees?
Trust and integrity are key attributes of a referee; not only on the field, but off.
They are displayed by how you manage your schedule - well before the season begins.
Now that the problems of "cherry picking" have been called to your attention, we hope that those of
you who have done this in the past will modify your actions and that your future performance in accepting
and refusing games will eliminate this problem. We're counting on it.