T’was the night before Christmas….well, almost.
As 2019 comes to a close, the DFOA leadership team would like to thank everyone for their hard work and dedication to making high school football a success. Thank you for all that you did this year as part of DFOA. Please enjoy the holiday season with your family and thank THEM for allowing all of us to do what we love on the football field. Here’s some important updates to closeout 2019 and kickoff 2020.
DFOA dues “holiday” for 2019
Many of you have called, or e-mailed, asking how to pay the annual $25 dues for DFOA. This is separate from the $90 dues paid to CHSAA in December of each year, DFOA does not receive any of the funds that are paid to CHSAA and we must be self-funding.
For 2019, we decided to waive the dues for everyone because of our strong financial position this year. We had a great deal of cash come in, during early 2019, from fundraising efforts in 2018. With all the hard work everyone did in 2019 to cover games, we felt waiving the $25 fee was the right thing to do. However, the association does have expenses and the organization could not afford to operate long-term without regular income. Therefore, the dues will be reinstated for 2020 and online notices will be going out in mid-January. PLEASE pay online when you get the notice as it is much easier to track and reconcile. If you absolutely cannot pay online, then you can mail a check but cash will not be accepted for DFOA dues. PayPal is no longer accepted either since we cannot match everyones PayPal name to their real name and the PayPal fees are higher than our bank fees. If you get an invoice and believe you are exempt, or you are retiring, just let us know…we will take care of it. Remember, to be exempt from the $25 dues payment you must have participated in a fundraising event during 2019 (i.e. golf tournament).
CFOA winter meeting
The CFOA held their annual winter meeting on Saturday, December 14th. The meeting lasted for just about three hours and a variety of topics were discussed. For transparency, we are posting links below to the handouts and meeting minutes.
As a high level summary, here are some topics of interest that were discussed at the state meeting:
- Championship awards. CFOA is looking into providing plaques or awards to all championship officials. In the past, this has been up to the local area but may be done by CFOA in the future. Proposals and costs will be considered during the June meeting. John Juranek from DFOA will be working on this for a presentation to the board.
- Creation of a “post game ejection” rule. There have been an increasing number of confrontations with coaches after the game and after our jurisdiction ends. This proposed rule would allow coaches to be ejected and sanctioned by CHSAA for improper behavior after the contest ends. There was also discussion about overall coach, player and fan behavior in 2019. It was noted that poor sportsmanship is becoming more common in the game, around the state, and CFOA / CHSAA will try to be more proactive on this in 2020.
- Referee game reports. CFOA once again stressed the importance of game reports from the Referee as they serve as a legal document to the contest. There were a few instances in 2019 where something controversial happened during a game and the Referee never filed a report. The Denver area has a high number of “unreported” games and one or two crews that did not file a single game report for all of 2019. There was discussion about how to hold the crew chiefs accountable for reports and the topic will be addressed again in the June 2020 meeting.
- 7-man Mechanics. There is a proposal to begin using 7-man mechanics during championship contests in 2020. Consequently, that means there will be opportunities to use and train on 7-man mechanics during the regular season. DFOA, specifically Joel Pogar and Kirk Russell, will be working on adapting the NCAA 7-man mechanics guidelines for use in regular season play. This is not yet a “done deal”….it must be approved by CHSAA for use in 2020.
- Testing. There was a great deal of conversation around testing. The good news, testing will DECREASE in 2020 and only two of three tests will be required. This is the direct result of a DFOA proposal put forth in June of 2019. We also spent time addressing the testing platform (i.e Arbiter), question pool, and the addition of diagrams or videos to make the test questions more complete. Testing is a hot topic around the state and a lot of resources are being put into making the process better, but testing WILL NOT be going away and some kind of testing process is endorsed by every area of the state.
- Umpire mechanic on scrimmage kicks. Because of inclement weather along I-70, many of the AD’s from west of the mountains could not make the meeting in person. Therefore, this topic was tabled until the June 2020 meeting.
- Non-certified officials. The Denver area has the biggest issue with this but it does happen around the state, just not as frequently. In order to get games filled, assigners have allowed unregistered officials to work varsity and sub-varsity contests. However, a high number of game complaints come from these contests where non-certified officials are used. The first priority is to get these officials to join their local association and properly trained. For those that do not want to register, CFOA and the local associations plan on being more proactive in 2020 to limit the games that unregistered officials can work.
DFOA AD meeting
On December 19th, the DFOA AD’s met for several hours to discuss the upcoming season. John Conklin was officially sworn in as an Area Director and the successor to Scott Lewis. Scott will remain part of the leadership team as the DFOA rules interpreter but will no longer serve as an Area Director. Scott Lewis served almost two consecutive terms when a previous AD moved up to the RMAC. A big thank you to Scott and a huge welcome for John. Anybody else notice all the AD’s are now “J’s”? Joel, Jeff, John and John? Must be good karma….
Here are some of the topics the AD’s recently reviewed:
- Insurance: It’s time for DFOA to renew its insurance policy. We have quotes from NASO and NFHS. We will be reviewing the proposals and making a final decision in January. Insurance is one of our biggest annual expenditures.
- Roles and responsibilities: Each year the duties of the AD’s shift around and we walked through who will be responsible for what. Rather than list a detailed explanation here, we will post the new assignments on the website.
- Crew Chief Responsibilities: We discussed at length what the roles and responsibilities of a Crew Chief should be…being a Referee and Crew Chief means you hold a leadership role in the organization and should have certain “minimum expectations” such as mentorship, recruitment and yes…game reports. This was an extension from the CFOA meeting the Saturday prior….we also discussed if there should be additional compensation to the Referee because this role does require extra time and effort….we didn’t come to any conclusions at this meeting but did agree to draft a set of “minimum expectations” to be reviewed in January.
- Bylaws: The DFOA bylaws are not current. There was some work done in 2019 to update them but it never got completed. John Conklin agreed to take on that responsibility and draft a new document for review.
- Evaluations: We have tried several times to revive the evaluation program…it’s been difficult with low numbers. We’re going to try and recruit some retired HS officials to be full-time evaluators specifically for DFOA. John Juranek has agreed to follow-up on this and Joel will look into developing a mobile app that can be used for evaluations and immediate feedback.
- Non-registered officials: This was a topic at the CFOA meeting and it was discussed again at the AD meeting. From an administrative perspective, it’s one of our biggest issues. We get complaints from you, our members, when you have to work with an official that is not registered, clearly doesn’t know the rules or mechanics and is still put on the field. We are going to put a renewed effort into recruiting / training these individuals. If that doesn’t work, we will be more aggressive in keeping them assigned to “C” level games only.
- DFOA Annual Survey: The annual survey will be published in January. However, since 2019 was quite comprehensive, the 2020 survey will be limited to ten or less questions. Your candid responses are important to us and inspired changes to testing, playoffs and mechanics for 2019.
- Publication of Post-Season Status: We’re going to post regular updates of each officials post-season status from week 0 through week 10. This will hopefully avoid the unforeseen issues that happened with Tony G. and Kirk this year and officials will know their status from week to week. We might make this information available to schools and AD’s so they know which officials are certified and eligible to work their games. No final decision on that but it is being considered.
- Miscellaneous: We covered a lot of additional items like the new officials class, recruitment, meeting with the assigners, implementation of 7-man mechanics and our goals for the year. Meeting adjourned at 9:25pm.
Crew chief applications
Last but not least, Crew Chief applications. In 2019, we had 26 full-time Referee’s and Crew Chiefs. While the number needed for 2020 has not been finalized, we do know some of the 2019 Referee’s will not be returning do to retirement, health issues or job circumstances. We anticipate there will be a limited number of openings to fill for these leadership roles. If you would like to be considered for a full-time Referee / Crew Chief role in 2020, please click on the link below to fill out a brief application. Applications are due by January 22nd, 2020. We hope to have all of the Referee positions finalized by the first week of February at the latest.
That’s all for now…..thank you again for a strong 2019 season and look forward to a fast start in 2020.