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Old 06-11-2008, 09:18 PM #1
ThndrCat
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New Reffing System

Hello! I play rookie in the XPSL, and after every event you hear teams complaining about how badly the refs screwed them, and what terrible calls they were making. Well this past event in Victorville was one of those events for my team. We had never had issues with reffing before, but now I'm beginning to think that was just a lucky streak. With all of the complaints you hear about poor reffing, it got me thinking that maybe it's not the reffs themselves that are the problem, but the reffing system as a whole. So I came up with the following:


So currently if you have a dispute after a game you take it to the head ref, and after that doesn't work you go to the ultimate ref who overseas multiple fields and most likely didn't see any happening in YOUR game so takes for granted whatever the field refs tell him.

Well I think it would make much more sense to assign an 'ultimate ref' to each field. This ultimate ref would preferably have a high vantage point (a high "chair" or something similar to tennis or volleyball). More importantly this ref would not actively make calls DURING games, but ONLY afterwards IF there is a dispute.

This accomplishes 3 things:
1) 1 ultimate ref per field ensures that the ref making the final decision saw exactly what happened during your game and didn't just hear about it.
2) A clear view of the field allows the ref to see everything that goes on and can accurately make decisions. So "I didn't see that" is not an excuse.
3) By not actively making calls during the game a ref is less likely to judge biasly while deliberating conflicts afterwards.



Those are just my thoughts. I think it would make for a much more efficient and satisfying system for everyone. Any more ideas....?
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Old 06-11-2008, 10:06 PM #2
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That sounds like you are employing one extra ref and then only using him when there is a major complaint. Isn't that a wasted body? What about all the games where he could have made a difference mid-game, especially with his high vantage point? If you have that body, use him when it counts - during the game.

The real problem is that most reffing errors can't be fixed after the game is over. Once a ref makes a mistake during a game (not accessing a penalty, wiping a player off, accessing the wrong penalty) there's no going back and fixing it after the game. Sure, they can adjust a body or two or even reverse a pull or hang if the body difference was slight at the close of the game, but everything after the error is now suspect. Everything would have been different if the error hadn't been made.

Sorry you got screwed. It happens. Some days you have to play significantly better than the opposition to win and make up for reffing mistakes.
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Old 06-11-2008, 10:06 PM #3
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The only issue I really see here is #2

The problem with this is that the farther a ref is from the game, the harder it is to see the smaller things (i.e hits). And hits are the very core of almost all major issues, especially the timing. And there is a possibility that the Ultimate ref would still miss the issue (one ref trying to watch a whole field is hard)

I'm confused with #3 why would a judge act bias even if he was making calls during the game?

Now while the current system inst perfect, I don't find it to be all that flawed. I think the bigger issue with reffing is that in the situation where we are wrong, whats a fair solution to the teams?
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Old 06-11-2008, 10:11 PM #4
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The only issue I really see here is #2

The problem with this is that the farther a ref is from the game, the harder it is to see the smaller things (i.e hits). And hits are the very core of almost all major issues, especially the timing. And there is a possibility that the Ultimate ref would still miss the issue (one ref trying to watch a whole field is hard)

I'm confused with #3 why would a judge act bias even if he was making calls during the game?

Now while the current system inst perfect, I don't find it to be all that flawed. I think the bigger issue with reffing is that in the situation where we are wrong, whats a fair solution to the teams?
The point is that the ultimate ref see's the whole field. And see's everything as it happens. It's not important that he/she is close. The refs making calls still play the same role. And details can be assessed by them. I'm not phasing field refs out.

A ref actively making calls of the field can/will get emotionally involved and therefore bias in the course of controversial calls. Having 1 ultimate ref per field is the simplest, most efficient and FAIR solution. Do you think it's fair that a ref that didn't watch YOUR game, much less any one else's, comes in to make the final decision if you had a problem with a game?



EDIT: If you're an NPPL ref do you have any suggestions? What would make your job easier or more efficient during and after games??

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Old 06-11-2008, 10:19 PM #5
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That sounds like you are employing one extra ref and then only using him when there is a major complaint. Isn't that a wasted body? What about all the games where he could have made a difference mid-game, especially with his high vantage point? If you have that body, use him when it counts - during the game.

The real problem is that most reffing errors can't be fixed after the game is over. Once a ref makes a mistake during a game (not accessing a penalty, wiping a player off, accessing the wrong penalty) there's no going back and fixing it after the game. Sure, they can adjust a body or two or even reverse a pull or hang if the body difference was slight at the close of the game, but everything after the error is now suspect. Everything would have been different if the error hadn't been made. This is where his/her presence at the field is vital.

Sorry you got screwed. It happens. Some days you have to play significantly better than the opposition to win and make up for reffing mistakes.
It's not a wasted body, it serves a purpose. If I just wanted an extra ref on the field, that would have been much easier to explain.

Errors happen during games, but because of the nature of our sport, you can't just say time out and stop the action to sort it out. Which is why you need the ultimate on the field. By XPSL rules an Ultimate ref can call for the replay of a match in which it was determined that a ref made an improper or incorrect game altering call.
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Old 06-11-2008, 10:24 PM #6
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Originally Posted by ThndrCat View Post
The point is that the ultimate see's the whole field. It's not important that he/she is close. The refs making calls still play the same role.

A ref actively making calls of the field can/will get emotionally involved and therefore bias in the course of controversial calls. Having 1 ultimate ref per field is the simplest, most efficient and FAIR solution. Do you think it's fair that a ref that didn't watch YOUR game, much less any one else's, comes in to make the final decision if you had a problem with a game?
I think you misunderstood my point, think of it this way- look out your window so that you could see something thats as big as an NPPL field, now imagine trying to see a hit roughly the size of a quarter with 14 players moving around shooting at each other.

I understand your thought process but trust me the only real issue that the ultimate ref might notice as opposed to a field ref would be a run through, and thats only if the field ref missed it. The ultimate would miss all the small things that a ref puts into making a decision.

I don't think a ref will be any more bias than a player would be in a controversial call (in my experiance players are much worse).

No, I don't necessarily think its fair that the ultimate has the final say..BUT the head ref who is on your field does have the first "final" decision, and you can take it or choose to appeal to an ultimate ref who is generally there to correct any ruling mistakes made by the ref.
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Old 06-11-2008, 10:34 PM #7
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By XPSL rules an Ultimate ref can call for the replay of a match in which it was determined that a ref made an improper or incorrect game altering call.
If your goal is just to replay more games, then I don't think that is in any way a good idea. That would be taking paintball back years.
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Old 06-11-2008, 10:40 PM #8
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I think you misunderstood my point, think of it this way- look out your window so that you could see something thats as big as an NPPL field, now imagine trying to see a hit roughly the size of a quarter with 14 players moving around shooting at each other.

I understand your thought process but trust me the only real issue that the ultimate ref might notice as opposed to a field ref would be a run through, and thats only if the field ref missed it. The ultimate would miss all the small things that a ref puts into making a decision.

I don't think a ref will be any more bias than a player would be in a controversial call (in my experiance players are much worse).

No, I don't necessarily think its fair that the ultimate has the final say..BUT the head ref who is on your field does have the first "final" decision, and you can take it or choose to appeal to an ultimate ref who is generally there to correct any ruling mistakes made by the ref.
I see your point. Players absolutely have a bias lol. I'm just trying to think outside the box here. After every tournament you hear horror stories about bad calls. Some legitimate, some perhaps not. I just think the system needs tweaking to benefit those teams really suffering from questionable calls. It happens.


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If your goal is just to replay more games, then I don't think that is in any way a good idea. That would be taking paintball back years.
So how do you propose you remedy a situation in which it IS determined the refs made a wrong call/s ? I'm not trying to pick fights or bash here, I'm really interested in any ideas you might have.
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Old 06-11-2008, 10:55 PM #9
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ThndrCat...we did something similar to this in San Diego 06. Each field had a "Head Ref" and an "Ultimate Ref". Most fields had a tower for the ref for a better view. For the most part, having the "Ultimate" on field allowed to keep games rolling if a dispute came about. That way the "Ultimate" could step off the field and the "Head" could continue to run games.

This helped a few times, but honestly, the on field "Ultimate Ref" system did not accomplish any more or less than having one off field ultimate, in my opinion.
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Old 06-11-2008, 11:01 PM #10
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So how do you propose you remedy a situation in which it IS determined the refs made a wrong call/s ? I'm not trying to pick fights or bash here, I'm really interested in any ideas you might have.
You are pretty much out of luck. If it happens too many time, play a different league. Encouraging a system that invites replays can cause more harm than good.

If they took the money it would cost to build that ref tower and to employ your extra silent judge, then they could feed the refs a little better and make sure they were significantly better taken care of during the day. Or they could have a swing ref so one ref at a time per field was on break and resting up.

If they took the time that replaying games would take to have more ref down time then you'd have better rested refs which almost always leads to better calls.

More food and drink. More rest. More training. Only allow refs on the field that have passed at least one course that year and been tested that event on the rules. These things give you better refs.
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Old 06-11-2008, 11:02 PM #11
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I see your point. Players absolutely have a bias lol. I'm just trying to think outside the box here. After every tournament you hear horror stories about bad calls. Some legitimate, some perhaps not. I just think the system needs tweaking to benefit those teams really suffering from questionable calls. It happens.


So how do you propose you remedy a situation in which it IS determined the refs made a wrong call/s ? I'm not trying to pick fights or bash here, I'm really interested in any ideas you might have.
And indeed mistakes happen, but I'm not sure if there is a better system outside of just getting refs better training and experiance.

As for what to do in the situation where refs are wrong....I don't know, outside of just giving points back for bodies thats really the best it can get (outside of a random idea i have but its not really fees able ). And game replays should only happen if the refs 100% decided the game.
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Old 06-11-2008, 11:07 PM #12
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ThndrCat...we did something similar to this in San Diego 06. Each field had a "Head Ref" and an "Ultimate Ref". Most fields had a tower for the ref for a better view. For the most part, having the "Ultimate" on field allowed to keep games rolling if a dispute came about. That way the "Ultimate" could step off the field and the "Head" could continue to run games.

This helped a few times, but honestly, the on field "Ultimate Ref" system did not accomplish any more or less than having one off field ultimate, in my opinion.
That's interesting. Personally, as a player, an on-field ultimate seems more fair, as far as making our argument goes. I would be more comfortable with a second opinion, be it in my favor or not, from an ultimate ref that was actually watching the game.
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Old 06-11-2008, 11:17 PM #13
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You are pretty much out of luck. If it happens too many time, play a different league. Encouraging a system that invites replays can cause more harm than good.

If they took the money it would cost to build that ref tower and to employ your extra silent judge, then they could feed the refs a little better and make sure they were significantly better taken care of during the day. Or they could have a swing ref so one ref at a time per field was on break and resting up.

If they took the time that replaying games would take to have more ref down time then you'd have better rested refs which almost always leads to better calls.

More food and drink. More rest. More training. Only allow refs on the field that have passed at least one course that year and been tested that event on the rules. These things give you better refs.

Just being "out of luck" upsets a lot of teams. And it is a fact that there are instances where refs do make poor calls and it's just too bad for the team it effects. What about them? If training is an issue, then that's a problem. How do we get better trained, happy refs? lol
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Old 06-11-2008, 11:18 PM #14
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Unfortunately, generally you have to pay more.
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Old 06-11-2008, 11:22 PM #15
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And indeed mistakes happen, but I'm not sure if there is a better system outside of just getting refs better training and experiance.

As for what to do in the situation where refs are wrong....I don't know, outside of just giving points back for bodies thats really the best it can get (outside of a random idea i have but its not really fees able ). And game replays should only happen if the refs 100% decided the game.
Eventually the system will have to evolve. Our sport is only getting bigger and faster. Bad calls are an issue at every level of this sport and sooner or later it will need to be addressed. I was just brainstorming some solutions. I appreciate your input. I'm curious if as a ref you give any feedback to those people who put on events as to what would make your job easier and/or how to resolve disputes with players
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Old 06-11-2008, 11:23 PM #16
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Unfortunately, generally you have to pay more.
What is the current training 'course'? is it actually like a class? seminar? how long does it take one to get certified? is there testing?
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Old 06-11-2008, 11:30 PM #17
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Absolutely, Dan Perez especially is very good about asking the refs for feedback or suggestions.

As for training, its all about money and time. It costs a lot of money to fly refs around and then training cost. Then remember that were not refs full time, so we take time out of our personal jobs to fly out.

The current training is a 2 day course. *but your not guaranteed a reffing position*

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Old 06-12-2008, 01:25 AM #18
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You are pretty much out of luck. If it happens too many time, play a different league. Encouraging a system that invites replays can cause more harm than good.

If they took the money it would cost to build that ref tower and to employ your extra silent judge, then they could feed the refs a little better and make sure they were significantly better taken care of during the day. Or they could have a swing ref so one ref at a time per field was on break and resting up.

If they took the time that replaying games would take to have more ref down time then you'd have better rested refs which almost always leads to better calls.

More food and drink. More rest. More training. Only allow refs on the field that have passed at least one course that year and been tested that event on the rules. These things give you better refs.

So, we just need to give the refs more food and water and they'll be able to function better? Hah, I don't think so.

I doubt he's saying every call that gets argued will automatically be replayed. There are some calls you can't say 100% affected the game but there are definitely times where there will be a call that 100% affected the outcome of the game. Especially in the finals, I think that it's a probable solution.
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Old 06-12-2008, 01:30 AM #19
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So, we just need to give the refs more food and water and they'll be able to function better? Hah, I don't think so.
That's almost exactly what I am saying. More rest. More food and water. more training. Less games reffed. More experience. More feedback on how to improve and you will get better results.


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I doubt he's saying every call that gets argued will automatically be replayed. There are some calls you can't say 100% affected the game but there are definitely times where there will be a call that 100% affected the outcome of the game. Especially in the finals, I think that it's a probable solution.
Replaying games is not a viable solution. Do they just keep replaying until it is dark? Or until no one complains? Or whichever comes first. Reffing things better the first time is your only hope.
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Old 06-12-2008, 01:37 AM #20
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That's almost exactly what I am saying. More rest. More food and water. more training. Less games reffed. More experience. More feedback on how to improve and you will get better results.


Replaying games is not a viable solution. Do they just keep replaying until it is dark? Or until no one complains? Or whichever comes first. Reffing things better the first time is your only hope.


So, if they ate more than they normally do and we pumped water into them they'll perform better? You are giving too much credit to human error, their job is to be precise... and if they can't do that maybe the job isn't for them.

And I don't know if you read my last post but I didn't say every game shall be replayed and replayed and replayed until all parties are satisfied... having an impartial ultimate ref to make a final decision I believe would need to have had seen the game to make the decision whether it affected in such a significant way the outcome would be different. There are some calls that I personally saw that would fall under this category and others that very much would not.


And if I might add... if they reffed less games wouldn't that mean they'd have to employ more refs to cover all games during the day? Which would pretty much defeat your argument of the cost of hiring one extra ref per field.

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Old 06-12-2008, 01:42 AM #21
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So, if they ate more than they normally do and we pumped water into them they'll perform better? You are giving too much credit to human error, their job is to be precise... and if they can't do that maybe the job isn't for them.
Have you ever tried exercising for half a day with little water and no food? Your giving little credit to how the body works....

The job is precise and in order to do that job properly there needs to be proper training, hydration, food and rest.
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