Note to coaches,
OCFOA has carved out an area on our webpage for you in an effort to accomplish the following:
- Provide a place for you to vent your frustrations, compliments and recommendations
- Give you information about the OCFOA goals, recruitment training and how you can help
- Provide transparency with NFHS and CFOA rule and philosophy changes
The goal of OCFOA is to provide you with high quality officiating to go with the high quality of football played in Orange County.
Our current philosophy is safety first, game integrity second and true neutrality as officials third. The hard fact is that we are having trouble recruiting and retaining good officials. The reasons are multi-fold. One, schools want to play their varsity games on Friday nights and their lower-level games on Thursdays. This means we must have more officials to cover all the games on those 2 days. Second, we are losing more officials than we are recruiting. Some of the officials have retired due to age or injury, moved out of the area but a large group has resigned saying it wasn’t worth the constant abuse and low pay. Last season we had 51 officials who chose not to return. That equates to approximately 20% of our association membership with an average experience level of 10+ years.
To overcome this we are actively recruiting new officials by working with other organizations such as “Battlefields to Ballfields”, “Pop Warner” etc. Additionally as an organization, we have collaborated with other associations to align our training programs and certifications, appealed to increase game fees from CIF and finally we actively request HUDL film from schools such as yours to show our officials where they are either falling short of expectations or are exceeding them.
You can help by:
- Sending in game film with your frustrations and questions. Every week our Hudl Coordinator sends out a request for film thru the Hudl Exchange portal. The purpose of this request is to provide you with a place to vent your frustrations, provide feedback, give compliments when warranted and provide game film to the officials to improve. Every request from you “IS” reviewed and responded too. We do not take this information and provide it to other schools. It is used internally only. Additionally, we want to encourage you to identify plays or areas you see we could improve. If you have a simple question or want a rule interpretation we encourage that too. This is by far the best way to assist the officials in getting better.
- Work with the officiating crew. Granted you will be frustrated and you are trying to win of course but communicate in a respectful manner. We will do the same. If you have any issues with a crew or individual, do not hesitate to escalate, first to the Crew Chief(White Hat) and then to an association Board member.
- Encourage your players to have all comments and frustrations filter through you.
- Encourage your assistant coaches to funnel everything thru you. Trying to have a coach “work over” the official usually has the opposite effect.
- A simple thing that will improve your experience with the officiating crew is having the head coach stand out or found easily on the sideline. Where something distinguishable from your coaching staff or stand to the side when a flag is thrown. Most crew chiefs will look to the sideline looking for the head coach to see if they want to accept or decline the penalty. Finding you quickly for this task keeps the game moving
Finally, please do not worry about sending in your frustrations or questions. Your opinion is treated with confidentiality and will not have an impact on how your next game is called.