2015 December Meeting Minutes


CFOA 2015 Post-Season Meeting
December 12, 2015

Kickoff and Review Agenda:
President Kirk Russell called the Post-Season Meeting of the CFOA to order at 9:00AM on December 12, 2015 at Kent Denver High School. The following members were present:
Clair Gausman, State Secretary/Treasurer. George Demetriou, Rules Interpreter. Scott Saucke, President Elect. Robert Loyd, Past President. Rusty McRight, Area 16. Rick O’Bloch, Area 12. Mark Drummond, Area 13. Mark Nethercot, Area 2. Steve Cunningham, Area 8. Terry Haynie, Area 11. David Trimble, Area 7. Damian Savolt, Area 10. Harry Waterman, CHSAA. Tom Robinson, CHSAA. Scott Lewis, Area 1. Jim Altman, Area 1. Chris Stearns, Area 1. Sonny Smith, Area 15. Craig Cox, Area 3. Jim Sprague, Area 4. Robert Samaniego,
Area 6. Greg Guzzo, Area 5. Doug Clayton, Area 14. Kyle Sprouse, Area 9.

June 2015 Meeting Minutes:
State Secretary Clair Gausman presented to the Board the minutes of the Pre-Season Meeting of the CFOA from June 20, 2015 at the CHSAA office. Mr. Gausman stressed to the Board the importance of the new dues structure now in place for CFOA. Members paying before December 1, 2015 will pay the normal fee of $90.00, members choosing to pay between December 1, and March 1, 2016 shall pay $120.00. All NEW members will pay the normal $90.00 member fee effective in 2016. No discount will be offered to new members. The Board approved the Pre-Season Meeting minutes.

Secretary/Treasurer Report:
State Treasurer Clair Gausman relayed information to the Board concerning the financial status of CFOA. The 2014 Federal Tax Return was distributed to interested members for their review. A financial statement was also dispensed to the Board concerning the current balance of CFOA accounts. On this date the CFOA bank balance was $23,989.66 with 569 members renewing for 2016. The Non-Profit tax return shows all banking actions from July 1, 2014 to June 30, 2015. The Board voted to approve the financial statement.

CHSAA Report:
Harry Waterman and Tom Robinson from CHSAA explained to the Board their review and evaluation of the 2015 football season. Mr. Waterman thanked the CFOA for their time and effort especially in reference to assignments for post-season playoffs. He indicated that although there were some errors along the way the games were “out of the headlines” and described the year as successful. Mr. Waterman praised the membership which contributed game reports on a weekly basis, the majority of the reports were accurate and detailed. He encouraged Area Directors to be certain the game reports are made without emotion and allow tempers to cool before reporting difficult situations. It is uncommon, however it has happened that an official will send a report and then wish to retract statements at a later time. For 2015 the ejections of players was very similar to last year and the coaching ejections were slightly higher. Approximately 80% of the reported ejections involved physical actions (non-football acts) while the remaining 20% were incidents involving unsportsmanlike conduct. He indicated an ongoing issue with assistant coaches and indicated the importance of building rapport with sidelines not just head coaches. Mr. Waterman discussed the difficulty of assigning playoff and factors that make the task tedious. It is the intent of CHSAA to use the best officials who meet a physical athletic standard, to use mixed crews when possible and balance the geographic needs within reason. He indicated that their majority of complaints from coaches concern the fitness of officials who were selected for playoff level assignments. A large amount of time was spent reviewing video of contests, the images revealed some missed calls but also many correct “no calls.’ Mr. Waterman stressed to the Board that all comments from officials and coaches are read and reviewed. He reminded the Board that CHSAA must assume a middle ground for ejections. Players and coaches are suspended according to rules and in rare cases an appeal can allow the player or coach to be reinstated in information warrants that action.
Tom Robinson praised the efforts of the Board in connection with the playoff assignments and explained the limits and success of mixed crews. Mr. Robinson indicated his personal goal of revising and improving the “ready for play. He explained the vast differences he witnessed from crew to crew and the need for a better methodology in hopes of making crews more consistent in this area. He explained how the possible use of a 40 second clock has largely been abandoned by other states. He indicated his preference to continue to explore that technique but revealed that no proposed legislation or rule change is likely. Mr. Robinson detailed the current trend to eliminate blocking below the waist and indicated it will be reviewed at the national meeting next month. He also informed the Board of Colorado’s experiment with “blindside blocks” and the possibility of a rule change. A total of 164 ‘blindside blocks” were penalized within the state and Mr. Robinson stated the video from those contests will be helpful to state a rationale at the national meeting.

Mr. Scott Saucke reported to the Board concerning playoff assignments and changes within the state. Mr. Saucke detailed how committees were utilized to view and report their results observing playoff candidates. He was encouraged by the results of the observations and indicated a similar plan will likely be utilized in the future. Mr. Saucke informed the Board of issues with specific assignments, he explained that most candidates were referees with few umpires available. The Board was informed that due to local needs some officials are asked to serve as referees during the regular season but were recommended at a different position for playoffs. He also explained to the Board concerning confusion with testing and how officials might misinterpret what is needed/necessary to qualify for playoff assignments. Also mentioned to the Board is the realignment of the 5A playoffs in 2016, which will reduce the number of 1st round assignments from CHSAA.
Mr. Kirk Russell discussed the value of knowing the eligible officials by March and encouraged area directors to inform officials in their area to be certain dues are paid in a timely manner. Mr. Russell also informed the Board on the value and difficulty with “mixed crews” for playoff assignments. The mixed crew allows for a geographical split between areas that may enhance the concept of “neutral” officials. The discourse and sharing of mechanics and discussion is also seen as a positive. Matching schedules for regular season games was discussed as a possible method for future use. Mr. George Demetriou also informed the board concerning evaluations. He stated his concern with “phantom fouls” indicating that many fouls called by officials were not visually present on film. He encouraged officials to be certain that fouls exist and not be tempted to call a marginal foul. He discussed with the Board the value of the Colorado mechanics manual and encouraged officials to refer to the manual and not deviate from its contents with mechanics. Mr. Demetriou described to the Board that using the “best officials” cannot always be applied to which officials are utilized in playoff games. An example cited was an official who was highly ranked by observers and used as a back judge, had limited experience at that position. A 150 mile, limit was also discussed as a limiting factor on some assignments. A lengthy discussion ensued on the use of mixed crews citing the value and limitations for playoff use.
Other discussion from the Board showed a majority believe that the physical standards testing may be too easy. The Board will table possible changes in physical standards until the pre-season meeting in June.

Breast Cancer Awareness:
President Kirk Russell described to the Board an ongoing issue with official’s uniforms and commemoration and support of issues. The support for Brest Cancer is shown by the use of pink whistles/wrist bands or ribbons from NFL officials to NCAA officials. The current policy for CFOA involves allowing the local area to determine the method and frequency of support on a local basis. The Board members voiced support both for and against the issue. Some cited the support as a means of officials showing they are more that “striped shirts” and representing their concern for the cause. The most common argument against the change in the uniform code is that it may be difficult to show support for some causes and draw a line and not support other equally worthy causes. The Board tabled the issue and will address the concern at the pre-season meeting in June.

CFOA Camps/Recruiting
Mr. Russell explained to the Board the frustration of hosting a CFOA camp in the future. Insurance and housing and the difficulty of obtaining information from host institutions are the leading factors that prevent the CFOA from obtaining permission to host the events. Mr. Russell urged the Board to increase their efforts to recruit officials. Many strategies were discussed used at local levels and in other states to increase exposure and interest in sports officiating. Mr. Tom Robinson explained a program on the Jr. College level within the state that provides credits to students interested in pursuing this avocation. The highest number of members in CFOA, was 933 in 2006, that number is currently at 840 for 2015. 569 officials have renewed their membership for 2016, unless that number grows in could create multiple problems for the member schools. Board members were asked to assess the needs of member schools in their area in the event that numbers continue to decline and could possible effect the availability of officials for contests in the fall. Mr. Robinson quoted a survey of past officials, which indicated that many officials simply allowed their membership to expire by missing deadlines.

CFOA Statewide HUDL Account:
President Kirk Russell explained to the Board the use and value of the video website HUDL. He indicated the problem with usage that has developed and the need to expand the system to include more of the state. Several members of the Board described the limitations of the program. The most serious concern involves getting information/video from schools. Some schools expressed their concern that the video they supply will become readily available to opponents and can be used as a scouting tool. Most were not aware that officials use the video for training and review and the site requires password etc. for use. Another frustration that was expressed was that member schools provide less video as the season progresses. The consensus of the Board was to support the program on a statewide basis. More information will be shared at the pre-season meeting in June.

June Meeting Date: The pre-season meeting of CFOA will be held at the CHSAA office in Aurora on June 25, 2016.

Open Microphone:
Items discussed by Board members included an increase in fees. ($1.00 in 2016).
The Board recognized the efforts of Mr. Steve Hall and his contributions to the Honorary Banquet which will follow the meeting.
The meeting was adjourned at 11:49 AM.

Respectfully Submitted,

Secretary Treasurer
Clair Gausman